24th July 1961

July 24th 1961

Monday

Hiya mate!

There’s bedlam upstairs at the moment.  Jennifer was still awake when I went up there just now and she started fooling around, The outcome was Jennifer sitting in the middle of a pile of bedclothes on the floor.  I did a five second dash downstairs.  Now mum’s in there trying to sort out the pieces.  Mad this family!

You’ll never guess.  I got the most charming letter of apology from Michael this morning.  He quite excelled himself.

The tale of a car to Gatwick goes on.  I decided that putting up with my uncle and aunt was better than losing myself on the way down to Gatwick.  Dad went to see his brother (the uncle who tells me I am his favourite niece every time he is drunk) but he wasn’t in.  So dad went to his other brother who also has a car.  He was all set to take me then remembered he goes on holiday the next day so would be busy packing.

This evening we had a visit from my cousin and his wife.  They are the maddest pair I’ve ever come across.  Real good fun.  During the evening dad reminded me that they had a car.  I caught on and asked Denny if he fancied a run down to Gatwick on the 4th, and blow me, if he wasn’t all for it!  So that’s all arranged, I am going by car after all.  He hasn’t got the faintest idea how to get there so we have spent most of the evening on the floor looking at maps.  He said if buses don’t run down there he’s had it.  He doesn’t go anywhere unless he can follow a bus.  Dot is coming too so we should have a good laugh.  We’re leaving at 6. ‘Just to be sure we get there.’  He said he doesn’t trust maps, we’ll go to Charing Cross and ask a policeman.  I can see us arriving about midnight.

He left with the words, ‘and no telling her it’s your car, it’s mine and don’t forget it.’  It’s handy to know people with cars.  I told you I had friends I hadn’t even used yet, just like you!

Now, the only thing left to worry about is getting from Osmington Bay to Weymouth at 8 am on August 19th.  now let me think…..

Denny’s got a gorgeous car, a Consul and he has only had it a few weeks.  I’m glad they came round tonight.  I didn’t think of asking him.

I had a long discussion on bikinis with Dot.  She said she had bought one and she didn’t think she’d have the nerve to wear it but when she got on holiday she had it on at the first opportunity.  There’s hope for mine yet.

I’ve had a relaxing day at work today.  There’s not a scrap of work to be done.  I prefer it when there is something.  It makes the day go quicker than when you’re hanging around all day.

I seem to be doing well at avoiding all the post lately.  Have I told you before?  Our office opens all the post for New Change and apart from one girl left on every section everyone does morning post.  I’m the one left on the section this week and I was the week before last.  If they do it much more I’ll think they just don’t want me.  Still, I don’t mind this way I can have an extra five minutes in bed.

We all have to stay one evening a week as well to open your blasted SE post.  Something has been going amiss with the rota lately.  They haven’t put me on for six weeks.  If it’s the same after my holidays I’d better confess.

One problem concerning this post lark though.  I’m usually on the first Saturday of the month but as that is a bank holiday next month that would have transferred me to the 12th which is the day I start my holidays.  So, they informed me today that I am in next Saturday which is just damned unfortunate for my aunt who still thinks I am going with her and my nan to this place my nan is staying at for a coupla weeks.  Now someone else in the family will have to put themselves out.  They’ve all been thinking up excuses like mad.

My mother is just plain ridiculous sometimes.  She’s obviously made up her mind to let me have this party but she said she’s not going to give me an answer until Monday week.  That way I won’t have so much time to invite everyone I speak to.  If only she knew I’ve already invited everyone I’ve spoken to.  Well, nearly everyone.

July 26th

Wednesday

A certain SAC I know must have broken his arm or taken up residence in the underwater village he was looking for.  I haven’t had a letter from him for one whole week!  And if he’s going to keep his promise to write at least fifty letters before he comes home, he’ll have to get himself a typewriter.  There’s only twenty-nine days left.

Isn’t it marvellous Alan, four weeks Friday.  At the risk of repeating myself once more I’d like to remark ‘it doesn’t seem possible.’

Mum’s gone quite glamorous.  I don’t know what’s come over her.  She had her hair done yesterday, a bit more modern than it’s usually done and what a change.  Dad keeps whistling her and she gets all embarrassed and tells him to shut up and not to be so daft.

Carol found a new topic to talk about on the train tonight.  Her aunt and uncle are visiting from Canada and she was telling me how her aunt always sits on her uncle’s lap and every time she (the aunt) walks past him, he touches her leg.  C. ended with ‘they’ve been married ten years.  I didn’t know whether to laugh at the way she said it or blush at what she said.  The other passengers seemed content enough just to give her stoney glares.  In the end I just said ’oh’ and stuck my head in my book.

What about this lark of the old cigs going up then!  4d more for twenty!  Every time there is the slightest increase I make up my mind to cut down but the idea doesn’t last for long.  This time it didn’t even last the day out.

I’ve never laughed so much at work for a long time as this afternoon.  There were three of us sitting together and a man from another office came in and started talking to this Ann – she knew him vaguely.

He was talking about his nineteen-year-old daughter and how little control he seemed to have over her.  It seems when she goes out they don’t see her until about 5 o’clock the next morning.

She had a party a few weekends ago and he and his wife were asked to go out.  When they got back there was no furniture downstairs.  They had made the rooms into caves and grottos and outside on the lawn they’d stretched sheets of canvas on poles and painted Paris street scenes on them.  He said he’d heard from the neighbours that they were letting fireworks off at 5 o’clock in the morning.

You might have gathered that his daughter and friends are artists.  She’s away on a job at the moment designing costumes for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon.

All this was vastly interesting.  I was straining my ears to catch it but all the gaps were filled in afterwards by Ann.  I couldn’t help thinking of all the fuss about a party being created at home compared to him.

It got more interesting as the conversation went on.  He said,’ Of course, a couple of months ago she had what she called her Black Leather Period.  She would dress from head to foot in black leather.  She’s out of that now.  That was when she took to smoking cigars and wearing a monocle.’  That just about did it for me.  I had to make a dash outside and spent a good ten minutes in the cloakroom trying to recover.  He said it so seriously as if these things are a matter of course.

He is quite a case himself though.  He paints and spends his lunch hours down by the river.  He has even sold some paintings.  I knew this other fellah called G.. B……..  spent his holidays at Nudist Colonies with a friend.  Ann tells me this is the friend.  He has a son who sounds intriguing.  All he’d say about him is, ‘Oh, he’s a naughty boy.’

It’s surprising and very interesting the people you come across in the Bank and the things that go on.  Last year sometime I rang for a lift and as the doors opened the couple in there sprung apart but not quite quick enough.  She was twenty something and he was touching fifty and they were both married, but naturally not to each other.

There is a great argument going on in the family now.  Jennifer went to our aunt’s yesterday afternoon while mum was having her hair done.  Jen told our aunt that I couldn’t come on Saturday and apparently she blew up and started creating like anything.  More or less demanding that mum should go with her in that case cos, mum never puts herself out, doesn’t do anything etc.  Mum was flaming mad when Jen told her and was all set to go marching over there for a big bust-up.

My other aunt came over this evening and told us that the time of the taxi picking us up had been changed from 10 am to 2 pm.  That made me see red absolutely.  She’d go to all that trouble just for the sake of someone to talk to on the way back.  That made me want to go even less.  But it seems I’m going after all.  If I start making a fuss nan will only get the wrong end of the stick and think I haven’t got time for her.  Trouble is, it’s the last Saturday afternoon I’ll have free for ages.  We’ve got relations coming to tea on Sunday and I’ve still got another dress to finish before 4th.

I hate people visiting Sunday afternoons.  That means I have to find some other time to wash my hair and instead of slopping about in something comfortable I have to dress in something decent.

I got the letter I wrote to Pat back yesterday.  Marked: regret not known at Winchester House.  Wonder if they read it all the way through.  Hope not!

It was Lesley’s birthday today so we were all treated to a glass of cider.  Do you realise that no alcohol has passed my lips since July 2nd?  Something must be done. I am getting thirsty.  Lesley agreed to wait until payday for her birthday present.  I bought a card last night but I was in a bigger rush than usual this morning and left the darn thing at home.

Alan, are you not writing because of what I said in answer to your remarks about Michael?  Thinking about it, I suppose I must have sounded as though I was defending him a bit.  I’ve had three letters from him so far and I’ve answered two of them.  I’m not going to bother any more.  He always seems to find an excuse to write back.  This way we could go on until Doomsday.

So far sixteen will be at this party.  That’s seven couples and two girls.  I don’t know whether it is worth making up the numbers with two extra boys or not.  Margaret and Lesly need a little talk about some Facts if anyone does.

Do you know what you’re doing by offering to pay to keep this boozy lot in drinks?  I’d sure appreciate it cos the trouble with the people I know is they eat too much and I’ve got to fork out dollar lolly for that.  Still, we’ll see how the land lies.  Shall I wait until I see you before I start buying drink?  We can sort it out then.  Mum hasn’t said anything about it yet but dad’s been helping me plan the party so to me it seems pretty clear that it’s on.

See ya very, very soon.

Billions of kisses

Maureen

Letters from Maureen Week 29: 24th - 28th July 1961

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