18th August 1961

August 18th


Dear Diary,

Last day of the best holiday I have ever had.  Yet it hasn’t gone particularly quickly.  It feels like we have been here for weeks.

Neither Lena nor I got up for breakfast, although we were awake.

Nothing spectacular happened during the day.  The gang walked to the nearest village, Osmington Mills, during the afternoon.

Lena’s ankle has been a bit stiff and she went to the First Aid place after dinner so I walked back to the chalet alone.

I got a letter from Alan in the afternoon post.  I felt rather guilty as I’ve hardly thought of him all week.  I did post a letter to him on Wednesday though.  I only hope he gets it as letters take two days to arrive at the base and he is leaving Akrotiri for Nicosia on Friday.  It doesn’t seem possible that I’ll be seeing him in a few days.  He said he flies home on Sunday and should get his demob by Tuesday 22nd.  I am a bit scared at meeting him again.  I wonder what the reactions will be.  Just think this time next week…….

I won’t know what to do before I go to bed at night.  No more letters to write.  I think I will miss that. I like writing letters.  Still, now my letters to Lena will be more pally as I know her very well.

We have been very lucky to find ourselves so alike in many ways.  This holiday could have been hell if she had been at all stuffy.  I don’t think even Jean would have joined in as much as she has.  Another thing I like about her – she doesn’t like going to bed or getting up, just like me.  We are the same height as well, which makes things a lot more comfortable then if she’d been a lot smaller than me.  She is just a pet.  I am going to miss her a lot when she goes home.  She is more like a sister to me.  I enjoy the nightly chats we have when we’re in bed.

The evening wasn’t as lively as I’d expected, being the last evening the gang would spend together and all that.  I think most people were exhausted after the hectic week we had been having.  We had our last sing-song, our last Grand March (terrible bore!) and assembled outside, after getting thrown out of the Sun Lounge where we’d tried to start up a late night sing-song of our own.

It was decided the code word for the night was 49, our chalet, so I had to tear back and tidy up. Half the gang assembled but then we found out there was a bonfire on the beach so everyone wanted to go down there.  The evening was pretty chilly so wrapped in sweaters we made the perilous climb down the rotting wooden steps to the beach and clambered over the millions of stones to the bonfire, the smoke of which could be seen for miles around.

The gathering wasn’t so friendly as the previous Tuesday.  Half the camp were there and nobody was speaking much to anyone else, cos it was too dark to see if you knew them or not.  The wind was bitter and I soon made my way back up to the camp where I found Jim, – the chap whose chalet was near ours – and his girlfriend.  I stayed and spoke to them for quite a long time.  It’s funny, we’d been living so near each other for seven days and didn’t speak a word til the last night.


When I finally made my way back to chalet 49 it was to find Lena there.  I’d thought Lena had come down to the beach with us but she said her ankle was hurting so much she hadn’t liked to risk it down those awful steps.

We dozed and suddenly it was 7 and we had to meet the taxi at 8.  Neither of us had changed or had breakfast.  There was one big rush after that.

Maureen's Diary Week 32: 13th - 21st August 1961

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