25th August 1961



Dear Diary,

A day that deserves capital letters and all the fancy trimming it can get!

All through the day I had been doing my utmost to clear all thoughts of him from my mind.  I know that the more I thought about him the slower the time until the evening would pass.  I think I did jolly well, for the evening arrived before I realised it.

After the disappointment on Tuesday I have resigned myself and was thinking along the ‘whatever will be, will be’  lines.

Nevertheless, when that knock on the door came I jumped a mile into the air.  I could feel four pairs of eyes on me and for a few seconds everything stopped.  Unlike Tuesday a panic didn’t follow.  I got up from my chair and more or less for something to say, said ‘I bet it’s not him.’  If I had had time to concentrate I would probably have seen that Lena was bursting with excitement.  Even more so than I, for she was almost bouncing in her chair and saying, ‘It is.  I know it is him.’  I could hear her voice following me as I once again made that nerve-wracking walk down the passage to the front door.

I remember very clearly putting my hand to the light switch then changing my mind and leaving it off.  Which I think proves that although I was prepared for another disappointment, I knew in my heart that he was waiting the other side of the door.

I was standing on the second stair as I opened the door and poked my head around the corner.  It was him.  I hardly got a look at him before I was in his arms.   We kissed for what seemed ages and ages and it was such bliss.  I didn’t realise until long after that we hadn’t yet spoken to each other.  When we finally did break apart ‘hello’ was all I could think of to say.

I had forgotten how tall he was.  I was wearing flat mules this evening so that emphasised his height to me all the more.  He hasn’t a deep a tan as I’d expected after so long away but his hair has been bleached very blond by the sun.

I was still pretty speechless when we went into the living room where I was aware of Lena grinning at me.  Alan shook hands with Dad and Mum and I introduced him to Lena. When he settled down in a chair I got out my cigarettes.  It was only then I realised that my heart was bouncing like mad and my hands were shaking like a leaf.  I just couldn’t keep them still. I wished then that I had never suggested cigarettes.  It is embarrassing trying to light someone’s cigarette when the lighter is jumping all over the place. I did the only thing I could do, make a joke out of it.  He said, ‘well, how do you think I feel?

He had gone straight home from Gloucester, smartened himself up and came round here, on the double, the darling boy.  He explained why he hadn’t arrived Tuesday as he had expected.  He got to Nicosia airport on Saturday night only to find he wasn’t on the passenger list.  (was told later that the wife of one of the officers had wanted to go shopping in London, so Alan was bumped off the flight.)

He was furious, particularly when they told him he couldn’t get a plane until Thursday night.  He had to amuse himself in Nicosia for 5 days.  He landed at Gatwick Airport Friday morning and travelled down to the demob centre in Gloucester, there to be told he’d arrived too late and couldn’t be signed out until Monday.  Feeling fed up with everyone, especially the R.A.F. he got himself a 48-hour pass and came home for the weekend.  So, as I told Dad he can still call him SAC as he is not Mr Blake yet.  The poor darling has got to go all the way back to Gloucester on Monday.  He intends to catch the Sunday midnight train from Paddington to make sure he is not late again.

The best time that evening was when he left.  He also gave me a present, my white silk kimono set, with the words, ‘I don’t know.  I always seem to buy you things for bed.’  Kissing him again was marvellous – but neck-breaking at that angle.  When he told me he loved me all the fears and the doubts I had had over the previous eight months were gone in a flash.  If he could still say that to my face then everything was perfect.  I had found a husband!

Maureen's Diary Week 33: 22nd - 25th August 1961

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