3rd October 1943
I am starting to number the letters from now as I have been forgetting
to put a number on sometimes. It's mother's birthday today. Our
Aggie had a surprise last Saturday. She had a telegram to say
Ernie had arrived in Sheffield. He is now in Sheffield hospital
and we still don't know what is wrong but she was seeing him today.
I will let you know next time. I hope you are alright love and
that your cold is better. I am sending a parcel today so let me
know when you receive it, if you do !.
We have been having some fun today playing at hide and
seek. We were hiding a bobbin. Sheila still wants to give the
game away. Bernice once put it on my head and I was holding Michael
and I couldn't keep still for laughing. Sheila spotted it and
yelled 'on mummy's head'. Another time I had it in my belt at
the back and kept trying to draw Keith's attention to it. I even
knelt on the floor and although he got on my back and then he
didn't see it.
Keith was very pleased to get your letter and took it to
school to show his teacher. He seems very fond of her, he always
takes the register to Miss Bamford and you know that pleases him.
Sheila gets quite a little Mrs. and I am afraid I shall have more
to put up with from her than I do from Keith and that's saying
something. The other day she told Keith to get on with his tea
before she had to smack him. Keith still plays with his mineral
cases and bits of wood. Somedays it's an aeroplane, tramcar, house,
roundabouts, rowing boat, maypole, or telephone exchange so you
can see your son has plenty of imagination. I think he will be
an architect. Sheila is usually put in the middle of whatever
he makes and told to sit still.
I hope I shall hear in your next airmail that you have
started to receive our letters as I know how rotten it is for
you love. It's two months since you came home and it seems like
years to me. Goodness knows how I shall feel at the end of twelve
months if you don't manage to finish Hitler off in that time.
Still as long as you come home safe and sound we mustn't grumble.
Harry L joined the Home Guard this morning. I shall have
to lend him the pram to fetch his kit in. Mrs. Gill came out of
the Royal Yesterday but doesn't seem too well today. Gladys had
the best week last week since she has been married with her being
away. Our Gladys spent a week at Liverpool and thoroughly enjoyed
herself. I had better just mention that I have recovered from
my cold and feel more myself. I certainly felt lousy last week.
I have spring cleaned the sitting room ready for when you come
Keith has bought a book from the John Bull with the birthday
money he had in hand. It has 320 pages so there may be a bit left
for you to read to him. I have bought myself a new skirt to go
with my green coat but find the moths have been feasting on my
one and only jumper. Michael is getting a fine boy and I'm keep
trying to knock his bottle off but he is very fond of it especially
the early one and he yells and wakes all the rest so it6s easier
to give him one and shut him up. He likes Keith to build things
and then knocks them over for him. Well love I'm getting to the
end of this letter. Look after yourself and let's hope that this
separation won't be quite so long after all and we shall be able
to enjoy the family together while they are quite young. I don't
think I would lose my patience so much if all this mental worry
wasn't there as well.
Goodnight and all my love
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7th October 1943
My Dearest Eric, I have just finished telling Keith his story
and got him off to bed and the blackouts are down as blackout
time is 7.05 now. The nights are long now and Bernice is not able
to get up. I have plenty of odd jobs to do though, sometimes I
go to bed early and hope for a letter when the morning comes.
I was hoping I would get one today but no luck, it was a week
yesterday when I had your last Airmail but I expect it's late
being delivered and perhaps tomorrow.
I haven't sent any newspapers this week but will send some
next Monday. I posted a parcel off to you on the 6th October and
Mrs. Silver said they take about one month.
Well love your daughter has been a real imp of mischief.
Today I went to see if your mother had heard from you and Sheila
said she was going to stay and sleep with John. I believe she
would as well. I was singing two little nigger boys sitting in
the sun when she said that's not right, it's two little nigger
boys sitting in the rain. Then I was putting some powder on and
she wanted to know what I did that for. I said it was to make
mummy a pretty girl and the saucy little puss said made mammy
dopey ! I think I had better send her out on the next boat and
see if you can train her, I know though you would just spoil her
Keith has been weighed at school today and he is 3½ stones. I don't know if that is good, I shall have to look it
up. He is being a very good boy at present and for over a week
he has eaten all his dinner up. There was a water main burst against
their school and the water was a foot deep down Buckminster Road.
Of course he had plenty to say about that and I had to rake up
all I knew about water mains and the reasons for quick bursts
and the mending thereof. I think mothers are supposed to be books
of knowledge. I'm glad I'm not too dumb !
I met Ernie Chappell yesterday. He says the war will end
next March with the jerries and he gives the Japs about three
months so love I'll probably be seeing you this time next year.
I hope so as it seems ages now and it's only two months. I'm beginning
to think I must love you a little bit somehow or I should never
miss you like I do. I keep carrying on but my heart doesn't seem
to be in what I do and I sometimes wonder if it's worth cleaning
when there is no-one there to appreciate it, not that you ever
showed that you did, but you know how it is. I feel I am living
only half a life, I often feel thankful that you did not volunteer
when you wanted to at the very beginning.
Michael has just woken up . I think it was my fault, I
forgot whether he got his wind up or not at six and apparently
he didn't, you know Me. I hope by now you are hearing from us.
Mr. Plaskett handed over your letter to me also ten shillings
from the post. What do you want me to do with that ?
I seem to have made a long letter of this so as I want to get
Bob's done tonight and a bit of ironing I'd better say goodnight.
Goodnight love, god bless you and keep you safe for me.
PS Received airgramme 3
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13th October 1943
I have forgotten which number to mark this letter so I had better
leave the margins plain in future. I had 3AG, 4AG and 4AM this
week. I missed your letter last week. I am so glad you are getting
them now, it makes writing so much more pleasant.
Well love, the children and myself are well. Michael is busy
about some more teeth. I took him to have a photo of him twice
this week and at the finish I had to sit with him so I'm afraid
I spoilt the picture as I look really fed up but I'll send one
along for you to pass judgment on. I hope it won't make you want
to stay out there for good. I had one of Sheila too but I don't
know how I shall get one of Keith but I expect I shall somehow.
I feel tired today. I have been into town twice and set forty
spring cabbage. At the weekend I limed the garden and took the
bean poles down and did a little weeding Harry doesn't show any
sign of doing any and now he is in the home guard it looks pretty
I have the kiddies in bed a bit earlier now as Keith likes to
go before it's dark because he doesn't like the blackout down
as it makes his mouth dry. I had a game of Sorry with him before
he went to bed and also read some of Percy Pig. Sheila was in
bed just after six as she didn't have a sleep today. This morning
when she woke Keith was in our room and she said she didn't feel
very well so I told her he would bring her breakfast up to her
but he said he wouldn't be able to carry her tea up. She was soon
down though and he told her off because I think he would have
liked the job but I'm afraid I should have had a bit of washing
to do afterwards.
I don't suppose you have had the parcel I sent yet. Have
you received the newspapers ? I'm sorry I haven't sent any for
a fortnight but I'll get some this weekend without fail.
Mabel still brings me a Guiness on Sunday and Mam brings one
on Wednesdays Bernice comes up while Mabel and Harry go to Suttons.
I think I told you that Ernie was in England. He is getting along
nicely and hopes to be out of the bed before long. He was wounded
in the thighs and has had two operations on them. The Doctor said
it was lucky it wasn't an inch or two higher or he would have
lost a leg at least.
Cathy was thrilled to see him and cried all the way to the hospital,
they thought her lungs would burst., poor kid she didn't know
what to expect.
Keith went to Bradgate on Saturday with Nora and Alf. There was
nine altogether. Ethel Burton took her two nephews and they all
had a good time, it was a glorious day. Bernice and I went on
the car up to mother's. It's over two months since I paid them
a visit. They were quite surprised and pleased.
The cabbages you planted at the top are doing well. I looked
after them and took the dead leaves away as they said on the wireless.
Well love, now we have Italy as an ally. Well let's hope it might
help to shorten the war. Are you staying where you are or are
you likely to be moved anytime ?. Try and let me know. If you
had been here you would shortly be on leave again. It does seem
a long time love and I often wonder if I can carry on without
becoming a bitter old woman. Iris told me on Sunday I was beginning
to look old and then the photo today was proof of it. Still Eric,
I guess there are plenty of people looking older than they should
and everyone will feel a lot better when this lot is all over.
Just as long as you keep loving me that's all that matters. We
will pull through as you say and enjoy ourselves at the seaside
with our lovely children. I think we shall be able to afford it.
I went t other bank today and added another fourteen so now I've
got to save for the painting if it ever gets done. Well love,
it's almost nine and I'll have my supper, hear the news and get
off to bed early.
All my love.
18th October 1943
Sheila and Michael have gone to bed and are asleep now
as they haven't been to bed today. I took them out this morning
to do my shopping and Mam came this afternoon but she has to go
earlier now as it gets dark sooner. Keith is washing himself ready
for bed. He has just had some wheat flakes which he got ready
by himself. He seems rather pleased with himself and has made
a model of Holland this week and it looks very nice too, with
the windmills, tulips, children bathing, a lady and trees and
water all about. He cut it out after he had drawn it and then
painted it and stuck it all together. If you hurry home you will
be able to see it Keith has also finished his big sheet for you.
You will smile when you see it and I hope you are able to understand
it all, you will have to get and interpreter to help you. I shall
be sending it on Monday along with my photo if it comes out alright.
I said to Keith this morning "Oh, I thought I would get
a letter from Daddy today" so he calmly said "That's nothing fresh,
you always expect one." He makes me smile some of the things he
says. I did have a letter this morning, anyway, love. The post
was late as the letter was dated the 10th. I see you have been
having some nice food (fish cakes) and I hope you haven't felt
too stiff after your game of football. I don't seem very lucky
with my housepainting as I've already told you. I sent a letter
to Fishers but had no reply. I also sent to Parrys of Groby Road
a week last Saturday and so far haven't heard from them. I shall
give them until Saturday and then write to someone else or else
it will be too late this year.
I have seriously thinking of new curtains but they would cost
at least £3. What do you think, love, shall I leave them
until things are a bit cheaper and there is more choice. Mrs Quinn
mentioned the bike the other day and said now that John felt better
they were taking him into town to get him a new one. What should
I do ? I don't fancy giving her the price I was asked for in the
first place, now that they have had so many months more wear out
of it. What do you say, do you suggest leaving it and Keith having
a new one after the war and you are home to teach him how to ride
it. I think I'd better save all my money and then we will spend
it together, it will be more fun. I want a new dress. They have
some lovely one in town and they are quite cheap, anything up
You haven't mentioned if there is anything you would like.
I think I had better make a parcel for Christmas now after all.
I cannot see you being home by then, worse luck.
Sheila went to the pictures with Bernice and there were
three fellows on a tank and Sheila pointed and shouted "There's
my" and then stopped. I think she realised it wasn't you after
all. Michael is going to be lefty I think as he often eats with
his spoon in his left hand and throws a ball with his left hand
as well. Each day he says something new. He has been saying "Look
Grandma" this afternoon. I do hope you get home before he is out
of his baby ways.
Sheila and Michael have been playing at Mothers and Baby
today and I've been Auntie Olive. Michael has been Marlee (Molly
in Sheila's language) and he's been acting like a tiny baby and
letting Sheila pick him up cover him over and knock him about
a bit. Anyhow she has taken him to the park and he hasn't been
allowed to go too near the water.
Well love, I almost forgot to tell you that we had a siren
on Friday night at 10 o/clock although only for 15 minutes but
it made me a bit worried as we don't want flying bombs here and
on Saturday night I was woken up by the planes going over. I have
never heard them so heavy or so many and it made the houses vibrate.
I was very alarmed but they were ours so the Germans must have
quaked knowing that the bombs they carried were for them. There
were 1500 that night and they carried 12,000lbs of bombs.
My leg still hurts but it looks a bit better at least.
All my love to you, look after yourself, Your loving wife and
My Dear Eric,
I had your airmail No.5 on Tuesday and am pleased that you are
keeping well and happy as we are at home and just waiting for
you to come home to us. The poor goldfish died yesterday, it had
a sore for about a fortnight on the top of it's head. I don't
know if that had anything to do with it dying.
Bernice has been to keep me company tonight and Mabel has just
been up to fetch her. Peggy and Les came last night, that's why
I'm rather late writing this. I am going to see Dr. Airie on Friday.
Keith is going to Mabel's for his dinner and I'm going to Nora's.
It's alright once in a while but I couldn't do that every time
but I'll let you know what he says. I have to be there by 1.30.
I had my usual Guinness tonight and I had to go upstairs and
tell Sheila to be quiet. She just looked at me and said "What
you been having eh?. Drink of beer?" She must have a good smeller
as the width of her bed was between us (even better than her mother
Well love I had to leave off last night as I felt too tired to
write a letter of interest. I've been reading your letter through
again today and I'm wondering whether you are going to have a
rude awakening when you come back home. You seem to paint some
pleasant thoughts of us all and your home but you know love it's
not all honey. The kids still cry and fall out and I still lose
my temper, more at times than I used to and you love, won't show
me how much you love me as you do while you are away and can express
it on paper because as you say, you are not made that way. I sound
a bit morbid but these things have to be faced it's no good just
I must say that Keith is improving, he seems quite grown up at
times. I think I have already told you that he had your letter
and I expect by now you have already had his airgraph. I don't
suppose you have had the parcel I sent you yet, we are getting
another one together for you for Christmas but I want to get a
photo of Keith first.
Michael gets a proper lad when I put him in his cot, he turns
over before you can wink and I just have to leave him until he
is asleep and then cover him up. He chews his pillow case until
it's soaking sometimes. I left him on the rug while I went to
change the beds the other day and when I came down he had pulled
the guard and the front of the grate out. He just moves along
on his bottom but doesn't crawl yet but I don't think he will
be long. He's a grand baby, love, and loves to be cuddled. Sheila
seems to grow and is a mischievous little madam, she is in to
everything. Olive came today and Sheila said to her "My daddy
is a long way away" She was giving your photo some big kisses
tonight and then Keith rather shyly wanted to do the same.
Ernie is now at the City General and is getting along fine. He
gets out and has been to see Mam. He had only been in Sicily ten
days when it happened, it was the first of August. I wrote to
Bob and let him have your address so I expect you will hear from
him shortly. Mabel and Bernice have sent an Airmail this week.
Bill is home this week and I expect I shall see him up here tomorrow,
Well love, they seem to want plenty for a handbag, don't give
high prices for anything for me. I know if you could you would
send something but if you can't, I'll know that you are thinking
of me just the same.
We had a siren last week but I didn't get the kiddies up. It
was just after nine and there was nothing around, only our planes
with lights on. It was about half an hour.
The spring cabbage I set last week looks wel. Il think it's rained
every day since I put them in. I got the chance of a gabardine
mac for Keith so now I've washed his winter coat and let the hem
down and it's as good as new so I shan't have to buy a new
Thanks for you birthday wishes. I had A.G.6 as well on Saturday.
Airgraphs take about a fortnight and air letters anytime around
ten days but I'd sooner have it a week before than after. The
words were sweet and I really think you mean them. Well it won't
be very long now once we can get over the winter.
I had quite a shock the other night. It was raining and blowing
and at about 11.45 I heard a man's voice calling upstairs 'Mrs.
Mason, your front door was wide open.' After I had gathered my
thoughts together and donned a dressing gown I found Mr. March
at the bottom of the stairs. He said he was passing and saw the
light on the landing and the door wide open. He had a good look
round for me but on parting said that there had been burglars
around Anstey Lane recently. It was not a very wise thing to say
to me and I couldn't get to sleep for ages. If Mabel had been
nearer I would have fetched a sleeping partner. I must have left
the door just off the catch and the wind had pushed it open. I
have found it off twice since then but am trying to be more careful.
I took Keith to see a musical comedy at the Opera House on Sat
but I wish I could have had a better seat as we went up in the
Gods. It's 2/- now. We went to Mabel's for tea as usual and we
were in town by five. Mabel then took Sheila and Michael home
and got them off to bed. She is such a good pal to me Eric, we
shall never be able to repay her. I think I shall give Bernice
one of those brush sets as there is one for Sheila and I don't
think we shall get another daughter. Well at least we have our
I went to see Dr. Airee on Friday about my arm. He said it needed
a lot of attention and started by giving me one injection for
a trial and I am to go again in three week's time. He asked me
if I was going to have UV light again but I told him it
would be too much for me at present. He said it would be alright.
I feel a lot easier in my mind now about it. I shall be sending
your parcel off this weekend love, so I hope you get it safe.
There's a lot of oranges come to England this week and I shall
get two pounds each for Sheila and Michael and one pound for Keith.
Not bad, eh, and I might even get some for Olive.
When Michael finished his dinner today I said 'all done'. He
said it after me in his way and he says 'hello' after us as well.
I think he will walk early. Madge and Bill came yesterday. They
thought he was grand and Madge was surprised how he had altered
and thought he was the finest baby she had seen lately. Doesn't
that make you feel proud ? Well love it's now 10.30 Tuesday night
and I have just finished ironing and had my supper. It's late
but I feel I'm with you when I'm writing so I'll try and finish
this tonight. Keith has written and Airgraph tonight but it's
not as good as the last one. He did it while I was bathing Sheila
and Mrs Saunders was here as well and I think he was rather tired.
He says in it I'm tired but I don't know where he gets his news
unless he thinks I am always tired.
Ernie is coming home for 14 days leave on Friday. I have been
listening to the prisoners coming in today on the wireless and
I had to shed a tear. let's hope that you never come home like
that. There was one RAOC man who was badly wounded. We had a siren
about a fortnight ago, I think I told you about it. Old Jerry
has been over the south and the SE and the London area for a few
nights running but not in great strength.
Gladys is coming for the day on Friday as the kiddies are
having a holiday. Tom has his first leave on the following Friday.
You would have been on your if you had been in England. Do you
get any kind of leave there, if so mind how you spend it. Well
love, I think I will rest my weary head and dream of you. Hurry
up and come home, love.
PS. I put Michael in the playpen today for the first time. He
looks as if he will soon pull himself up as he likes the beads.
Sheila thought it was great fun.
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NOVEMBER 1st l943
I had your most welcome air mail letter dated 23rd October this
morning. I am pleased you are keeping well and enjoying better weather
than we are at present. Today it hasn't stopped raining all day
and the kiddies have a holiday from school. They had from Thursday
till Wednesday and they only had two decent days. Keith went to
get a photograph taken on Friday. Les took him but they were unlucky
and so they went this morning and after three hours waiting managed
to get one alright so now I can make up the parcel for you. They
should be in today for Christmas delivery so love if you don't get
yours you'll know there is one on the way.
We are not allowed to send food you know love so there won't
be any tasty bits. It is a job to know what to put in but I hope
you find our little gifts useful. Mabel, Peggy, Les, Mrs. Quinn,
Your mam, my Mam, Keith and myself have all put a little.
I didn't get any medicine last night as Harry isn't well so Mabel
won't be able to come up. She has been up tonight tho' and says
Harry is a bit better. He was all of a sweat when Mabel got home
yesterday afternoon and it seems on his chest and I think her
thoughts were of pneumonia. She hasn't been to work today
We all had a walk to the cemetery yesterday with your mother
and then Bernice came for tea. Winnie and Iris came as usual about
six, they have been now for a few weeks. Gladys came and brought
John and Allen on Friday and stayed until Saturday afternoon.
Dad seems a bit better. He keeps saying he will pack in work.
Ernie is home on fourteen days leave and Cathie has fourteen days
compassionate leave and ten days privilege so she is going to
stay the extra ten days with Winnie and see Ernie in the afternoons
and visit him for half an hour each evening at the City General.
Ernie is getting on well.
Well love we drank all the champagne up and ate the lovely birthday
cake on Sat. I had seven cards and your Airgramme and Keith has
been telling me ever since that he thought his card was the best.
He wanted me to send it to you so that you could see it but I
have cut out a bowl of flowers from it and stuck it on the wall
so that you will see it when you come home. That pleased him.
Sheila has been full of mischief today and Michael is getting
as bad. I gave them all a bath on Saturday night. Bernice was
here and I put Michael to bed. He just turns over and starts to
chew the pillow so I left him. I bathed Sheila and then you should
have seen him lying across the cot, legs up in the air minus nappy
which was wet when I found it so I changed him and snuggled him
up but he was over again and by that time Sheila was asleep so
Bernice had to keep her laughs low. He saw her laughing and gave
her a raspberry. She almost exploded. We just left him and straightened
him when he was asleep. He puts his hand up and says' co-ee',
he's a darling.
Does the Att H2 mean that you may stay there love, or are you
just waiting to be shipped off to somewhere else a bit more lively,
sometimes it seems never ending. It makes you think that in peace
time we never realised how well off we were. We are all keeping
quite well. I think my Iron Jelloids are doing me good. Have you
heard Night and Day on the wireless lately. I wondered if you
were listening, God bless you and keep you save for your loving
wife and family.
Well love I seem to get later than ever writing to you. I try
to manage two a week but have only managed one this week as in
the first place I don't get this form on Fridays as usual and
went yesterday morning and all day I just didn't feel I could
write and at night I was so tired I hadn't had a very good night's
sleep for two nights as Sheila had been sick a bit on Saturday
and then on Sunday first I had the cramp and then I was out as
Michael cried and I seemed to be awake on and off all night long
but Sheila is alright now. I gave them both a dose of syrup of
figs last night. Keith was sick in the middle of the week and
Michael; was a week ago so there's only me and we shall be finished.
I had your airmail dated 1.11.43 and Sheila had her airgraph this
morning. She was thrilled and Keith read it to her and she has
been kissing it and showing it around. I took her to let your
mother and Nora see it when Keith came out of school,
Mrs. Saunders has seen it and so has Mrs. Brown and Mr Pentegrass
and his wife who came this afternoon and brought my lovely gift
from you. I think it's grand, love, and I'll be sure to make myself
look pretty with it when I hear that you train is about to arrive
in Leicester. He stayed quite a little while and talked about
you and said they put you up at Phillipville but guessed you had
gone on a bit further and said it was nice there. If you could
only stay there he had only just got home and was only on four
days leave so it was good of him to make a special journey here.
He told Sheila her daddy was on his boat and she said daddy went
on a puff train, Sheila see her daddy go on a puff train. Then
to make it right she told him that you took her on a boat. He
thought she was sweet but still, everyone does. I bet we will
have plenty of lads after her when she grows up.
I'm wondering now, love, when I shall get the lemons. I wished
you had sent a few oranges as although the kiddies have had about
sixteen I didn't like to rob them as they are few and far between.
You had my last letter very quickly. Hadn't I told you in one
of them that Mr. Saunders had finished digging and had limed it
and took the beans down. He also set 40 spring cabbage plants.
The onions are alright but I think I had better send them to you
as I have gone right off them but I'm saving them so someone can
have them when they are in short supply. At present there are
plenty about, it's carrots which will be short. We haven't any
and a chap told us he had sown six lots and hadn't had a B one.
I shall let Harry have one or two lemons.
By the way you never told me what to do with the 10/- I had from
the post for you. I felt sure that I had mentioned it before.
We can get the photographs on an Airgraph here, I think they cost
about 3/6. Mrs. Silver sent her husband one.
The news has just come on and Mr. Churchill seems to think that
we have a hard struggle but promises us victory. He says the Germans
still have 400 divisions. I should have thought they would have
had less the way the Russians have been polishing them off. It
made me feel that the end is a bit further off still.
Still love, I'll tell you a few items of home news. Michael waves
his hands when he says 'Coo' and pat-a-cakes for us. He still
hotches along on his bottom and gets what he wants and where he
wants. I shall have him weighed on Thursday. He chuckles with
delight whenever he sees Keith and of course that pleases Keith.
I have had the playpen out but they all want to go in and that
makes Michael seem very crowded out.
We went to meet Keith out of school the other day and when
we saw him he was crying and his face was covered in blood.
It gave me a shock. I thought all sorts of things about his
glasses. He had fallen down and cut his forehead, scratched
his nose and grazed his knee and only bent the nosepiece of
his glasses. He looked better when the blood was all washed
off. He said today people had been asking him how his head was.
I asked him what his teacher had said and he said nothing but
Mrs Bamford asked him if he had had a fall. He said she knows
everything. He does seem to be growing up. Glad and Tom came
up on Sunday afternoon. The first day he was at Liverpool a
spitfire crashed into the hut next to him while it was training.
Well love, god bless and keep you safe.
I have been to the Infirmary today and had just one more injection.
I wish they could give me more as it means a lifetime job at one
at a time, still let's hope this war will end soon and then I
can get down to proper treatment. I don't suppose they would release
you for twelve months would they, still you had better not trouble
them, I'll manage.
Have you had my first parcel yet ?. I bought Cathie and Ernie
half a dozen desert spoons today. It's twelve months since they
were married so our present is a bit late but I guess it will
still be welcome. Nora's neighbour Mrs. Sutton gave Billy and
Sheila a lot of Xmas tree decorations today. Sheila had a dozen
and they are grand, big ones about sixpenny ones in peacetime.
Keith was very thrilled and wanted the tree down when we got home
but I've promised we will have it down on Sheila's birthday so
he wanted to know, how many days.
I took Michael to the Welfare today. He now weighs 19.8,six ounces
more then Keith did at twelve months. He is about the same as
Sheila was. I also had him immunised while I was there, he seems
alright today though. He's a bit wittery and I think he is about
to get some more teeth. The doctor said he was alright but a little
pale but I think that is only being so fair, Keith never had much
colour. Michael eats and sleeps well so there is nothing to worry
about and he certainly is strong. When I put him in the playpen
he stands up alone. He tries to talk too and knows when we say
'where's your Dad', he looks at your photo so I think he will
know you when he sees you again Your mother thought Keith
was growing, I think so too, he is eating much better now and
I'm giving him malt, cod liver oil and chemical food. Sheila doesn't
seem too well although she is lively enough but doesn't want her
food. I give them all a cup of milk and Michael a bottle before
they go to bed.
It's been a blowy day today and on the way to Nora's this morning
I lost my hat and then while I was looking after that several
things blew out of my basket. By the way Mr. Quinn's address is
56 not 36.Mrs Quinn comes and spends an evening pretty often.
We just sit and sew or knit and sometimes just talk. Have you
written to Dick Hammond at all ? I always forget to ask how you
are love but I hope you are well and used to the weather now and
have that glorious Mediterranean that people rave about in peacetime.
I haven't had any alterations made yet as Harry doesn't seem
to want the job and the other chap round here isn't too good at
it so it looks as though the house will be dull and dirty when
you come home. What do you say 'you won't notice that ?'
Well love I feel hungry and I have not got a bit of bread in
the house. Keith went to fetch it from Mrs S but could not make
anyone hear and I don't like to go now myself and leave the house.
I thought she might bring it as she knows I haven't any. I guess
I will have to make a few chips and fritters, 'are you coming
over for supper?' I've got a bottle of medicine too. I'm trying
to make a teddy bear for baby for Christmas and I want to get
Keith a pencil case and some pencils and plastercine. I don't
know what to get for Sheila as I don't fancy paying the fancy
prices for the rubbish they are selling, still love I suppose
we shall make a Christmas somehow. Well goodnight my love. I'm
always thinking and telling the children about you. All my love,
your loving wife and family.
Well love your family are all in bed and I've just put their
clothes and toys tidy. Sheila is asleep, Keith won't be long but
Michael just rolls around and finishes in the most awkward position
on his tummy then yells but he goes off when I put him alright
again. He has been having me up quite a bit again the last night
or two.. I should have loved you to have seen his face tonight
when I gave him your photograph. He just talked in his way and
gave the biggest smile with his mouth as wide as it would go,
he knows it's his dada.
Sheila has taken you airgraph to bed with her tonight and put
it under he pillow. She is eating better and Keith is still doing
well. Keith has got another job at school going round the classes
with the bus book and this afternoon he said he hardly did any
work as Miss Bamford asked him to do something else after he finished
so I think he must get on well at school.
Cath came to see me with Winnie and Iris last night and Ernie
and her are coming on Wednesday. I went to see Dr. Airee on Friday
and had one injection. I could have done with the lemons this
weekend as Mrs. Brown has been very ill, her temperature was 104
on Sat and the doctor called again Sunday and it had gone down
one point. I think it was near enough pneumonia. She is still
poorly but a bit brighter today. She see sees things when she
does manage to drop off to sleep. I feel sorry that I cannot nip
across to do things for her as I should like. I'll let you know
love how she gets on. He mother has come today for a bit.
Mrs. Woodcock has some trouble as well. They took Christine away
with diphtheria but after two days found it was a bad attack of
tonsillitis. They kept her in hospital for nine days to make sure.
Now she has another worry as well but is still hoping that what
she has taken will bring her OK again. If only this war was over,
it's times like this when we need our husbands but they were saying
in the paper the other day it may be over in six months. Some
Jack is in hospital and so is Oliver and our Percy has dermatitis.
They haven't said what is wrong with Jack. Oliver has Cyrosis
or something like that. I had AG8 this morning. I am glad you
are getting your papers. I stopped sending them but I shall send
a few more this week.
I saw Mrs Silver and she wishes to be remembered to you and said
Albert has joined his unit and is on the coast somewhere.
I'd love you to hear Sheila sing 'coming in on a wing and a prayer'
in my arms. She gets all the songs off a treat. Keith is waiting
for his airgramme so don't disappoint him. Have you had my parcel
yet ? It was sent on the 5th October. When you send money over
it is sent by the Paymaster isn't it. I don't know what I shall
be able to buy. Mabel sent an airmail last week but I suspect
you will have had it by now.
Well love we have had our first fall of snow yesterday but it
didn't settle thank goodness. I dread this winter somehow. It
is bitterly cold again today. I took the kiddies as far as the
Post Office this afternoon but was glad to get back to the fire.
I bought myself a calendar with two bare babies on, it's grand.
I'll save it unless you are home before the year is out which
I sincerely hope you will be.
Well love it is Tuesday night now and I have just come home from
the pictures. I saw 'the Gentle Sex' It was very good. I wish
I knew more about what you are doing at certain times and your
surroundings then I could, picture you better. As it is I just
know that you are on some ground 3000 miles away, it's a lousy
thought love. You do know your home. I'd better close now as it's
getting late and my heart aches and my throat is sore and I feel
very sorry for poor little Olive. All my love.
I expect you have been wondering where I had got to as it's over
a week since I last wrote to you. Well love there seems to be
a lot of colds about and of course I had to have a dose again.
It was in my throat and Dr. Mann came on Friday and said it was
tonsillitis. Bernice stayed at night but was poorly the next day
herself. By Monday Keith wasn't too great and Mabel and Peggy
were both away from work, but I'm pleased to say we are all improving
I did feel a lost little soul on Saturday night. I hadn't heard
from you and Mabel and Bernice couldn't get up and to top it all
they forgot to leave me a Leicester Mercury and I hadn't anything
to read and I didn't feel like work.
Mr Fewkes has died, I think it was heart trouble. Ernie has had
another operation on his leg making nine in all. They have grafted
some flesh on as it was healing over dead tissues. He seems alright
in himself. Mrs. Gill has gone into the infirmary again. Well
love so far this letter is cheery, now about your own family Keith
said isn't God good for letting us win and Sheila said, when I
asked her what I should tell daddy, 'Eila's Nice'. We had her
dressed up as a nurse and she grabs Michael under the arms and
says 'come on baby and be weighed' then she drags him along to
me (the doctor) and I have to see how many teeth and she pokes
his arm and he is immunised. What this child doesn't know isn't
worth knowing. Michael takes it like a hero. I think he should
walk by his first birthday.
I have had a fire in the sitting room this week and think I shall
keep it on as the kiddies are not under my feet so much and there
is more room for them to play now that Michael shuffles about
as well. I'd love you to see him when the door's open, he puts
on speed them. Dr. Mann thought he was two on Boxing day, he was
in his pram and no doubt looked bigger. He said he would pass
as two so you can see he is a fine boy but still a little pale
at times. He has a face as big as Sheila's and apart from crying
out a few times he sleeps from 6.30 until 7.30 sometimes so I
Keith is getting on alright at school and he is still in the
top section of his class but he still doesn't want to win a scholarship
but I hope he does. It's a wretched night, as black as pitch and
rain and wind blowing on the windows. Oh for a peace night with
lights all aglow. I bet Berlin is wondering if the RAF are paying
a visit again tonight, thank the lord we are not there.
It will be a fortnight tomorrow since I heard from you apart
from the A.G. I do hope there is one in the morning. I am sure
it would cheer me up not that I'm glum but you know, love,. I
have just listened to the news. There's nothing fresh, they are
still on about Mosley and his phebitis. Well love I hope you are
alright and that your shin responded to the elastoplast. You shouldn't
wander around at nights. I don't suppose there is much hope of
you being home at Xmas, still love my thoughts will be with you.
Bob's lad Walter joins the navy on Monday. They though he wouldn't
pass as he has always seemed delicate but he was A.1. I am having
my usual Guinness for supper tonight and some red cheese and I
wish you were here to share it with me. Still that day will dawn
but it still seems a long way off to me. I did have hopes a little
while back but now they seem to have gone away again. I'm getting
morbid so I had better say goodnight.
Your loving wife.
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NOVEMBER 29th 1943
My Dear Eric
Well after a fortnight without a letter from you I had one each
day for four days. They must have got a bit mixed. I hope you
have got rid of your cold. I have a fresh one but it is improving.
There's not many people without one of some sort or another.
I bought Michael a grand little coat on Friday in Teddy Bear
cloth- a pale blue. I thought it would be warmer than a knitted
one. He looks quite a bruiser in it. I thought it would do for
Christmas from us (33/6).I have made him a teddy bear and Winnie
and Iris bought him a penguin. I have a book, pencil box and paints
for Keith and Sheila and have got a skipping rope for Sheila and
a writing set for Keith. That is all so far. I want to get into
town during the week to get Sheila something for her birthday.
Michael has just shouted out this morning. He was sitting up
in his cot all beans and when I looked up he said "Hello" quite
clearly. He is a perky little rascal and quite hard work as he
won't be still a minute. Keith said today isn't he lovely. He
has hair almost like Sheila's a bit on the sandy side and inclined
to curl a bit and his eyes are like yours according to Mabel,
not real blue.
Bernice told Sheila she would have some birthday cards of her
own soon and she said with a look of astonishment "will me ?"
and when I said yes she clapped he hands and said "oh goody".
It's her expression which makes her so sweet.
I hope I can manage when the colder weather comes. It's been
a better day today but a very cold wind and I haven't been out.
I'm sorry you won't get the photos till Christmas love but they
will help to cheer you up, no dashing around for the midwife this
year. I forgot to tell you, Alf joined the Home Guard. Harry told
him he was daft but it gives him something to do. He hasn't got
the Pub habit as Harry has !
I was thinking the other day that Keith was five when you were
called up - doesn't it seem a long time love. Let's hope it won't
be long the other way. I have started taking halibut capsules
again. I have just had to go up to Keith as he was crying. He
had cramp. He said daddy used to put oil on and that made it better.
He's just started crying again so it looks as if I'll have to
finish for tonight.
Tuesday. Another wet day. Sheila and Michael are playing in the
pen and Keith has gone to school. They don't start until 9.20
now. Sheila is building puff trains so you can see Keith has done
a bit of training her. Michael has just put a brick on top of
another and sat back to admire his handiwork. It's good to see
him developing so intelligently, just like his mother, sorry his
father. I was dreaming of you last night love. We were out walking
together and a host of planes were coming over but they were ours
and we had a lovely kiss, it seemed so real.
All my love to you, Your ever loving wife.
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6th DECEMBER 1943
Another damp washday. Sheila had a happy birthday, she had 13
cards and over six shillings. By the way love your card hasn't
arrived but she will think as much of it when it does come. We
had Eric, John, Billy and Bernice for tea then Nora and Alf called
in and we had a good time (although I say it myself). There was
prunes, blancmange, cress with dried egg and chopped ham sandwiches,
tarts, small cakes and a cake from the baker which I put a frill
round and three candles. I covered it with milk and sugar to make
it look like snow.
We had games, forfeits, blind man's buff and passing the parcel.
For forfeits Keith had to go outside the front window and sing
a carol. Mrs. Potter heard him and said it was very nice and gave
him a sixpence. Of course Keith then wanted Billy to go out Christmas
singing with him.
I went into town on Friday and bought myself some stuff for cushions
and made them on Friday night. I looked for something to buy the
kiddies but there was nothing but books. I bought Keith a cut-out
and Sheila one about the ten little nigger boys. Mrs.S has made
a goliwog and Peggy has bought an elephant for them. I shall be
glad when Christmas is over. I might buy myself a dress. I bought
Eric a tie, Billy a book and I expect it will be a Whyggy tie
I had the first lot of brussels for dinner yesterday but I don't
think there will be many. Harry is having the allotment. I put
the Christmas tree up on Sunday. Keith was thrilled.
Well god bless you and keep you safe. You are all my love. Your
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I'm pleased to say Sheila has had her birthday card, it came
yesterday afternoon. My was she thrilled with it because it was
from her Daddy. Keith said Sheila is prettier than the little
girl on it but Bernice says she isn't. Aunt Mabel and granny both
say she is. They came up this afternoon to let me go out for half
an hour as things were getting a bit too much for me. I have the
kiddies all with colds but not enough to make them lie about but
just enough to make them tachy and one thing or another I began
to think I should do some harm.
I had a rotten night last night, Michael was off almost from
going to bed. That woke Sheila up and she felt lively and started
singing 'Johnnies got a zero' so I though that I would be better
off in bed. I also found I had left the switch on under the kettle
for 1½ hours with only about a cup of water in. When I
did get settled down Michael started crying and I got out three
times and listened to him umpteen times and at four o/clock I
had had enough so I picked him up and snuggled him in bed with
the rest of the family and from then until 7.30 peace reigned
apart from Sheila kicking and Keith moaning because he was squashed
what with the bed being full and glory what a b. awful night.
Don't you see,love, what joys you are missing. That was the second
time this week I have had that little lot so of course today
my temper hasn't been at it's sweetest and Keith had to start
off by knocking the jug of milk off the cooker while I was
feeding Michael who was yelling for every spoonful. I don't think
I had better say any more or I will be filling this letter with
Mabel has come up and told me to give you a bit of love now but
honest I don't know how at present. Wal Doores came up on Friday
night and stayed about two and a half hours during which time
we had an alert lasting five minutes. He says he will be writing
to you. They are all well and Vicky is just toddling about and
having her say about things. He left ten shillings to get the
kiddies something. I shall get Keith a pencil box and get Eric
to paint a picture on it for me. I'll send you a list of things
they have for Xmas. We shall all be going to Mabel's for Xmas
day all being well. Keith says he don't want to go so I shall
leave him at home. We shall be having duck and green peas unless
the duck comes to an untimely end. It's one from over the garden
Wal took Keith's lights and put them right for him but when he
put them on they popped off after a few minutes so that's that.
I took Michael to be weighed and to have the last injection. He
has gained 19 oz in four months making his 20 oz more than Keith
was at 13 months and he is cutting his back teethe as well. I
am sure you would love to see him but he's a mummy's boy, that
is until he sees his wonderful daddy. Let's hope this war will
soon be over for I for one have had just about enough of it. I
little thought what it would mean to us. Do you remember that
night after Chamberlain had been to Munich and I said then it
worried me that there should be a war little knowing that we should
be separated by the beastly thing.
Peggy and Mabel have received their Airgramme but Bernice hasn't.
Mabel has just said that she is going to make a Christmas cake
that's if she can come across some fat for it so I have offered
to make the pudding when I have time (heaven help them) I've never
made one yet. Well love I don't seem to be in the mood to think
of things that have happened. I might go to the pictures with
you Glad one night if I can get her to go. I'll try to keep smiling
and keep my chin up until you come home. God bless you and keep
I have received your sea letter thanking me for the pen and watch
this week and Keith had his Airgraph. Who did the drawings of
the soldiers on it. I also had the airmail today dated 3.12. I
am glad you are keeping fit and warm, it's very cold here, we
have been having frost since the rain stopped but it was thawing
this afternoon. I had to start the oil lamp in the lavatory, it
soon started filling up then. I don't know if I'm in for another
cold, I don't seem able to get warm tonight but it's not to be
wondered at as the kiddies have all got bad colds.
Keith has started back to school today after a week at home.
Sheila isn't eating anything and looks a poor little mite when
she says 'Eilas not very well' but I guess she will soon pick
up when she gets rid of this cough and Michael is eating well
but gets bad bouts of coughing, it's just like whooping cough
without the 'whoop'
I had some medicine for Keith and Sheila but Sheila's isn't nice
as it has a tonic in it and it's a job to get her to have it and
she coughs and splutters afterwards. I do wish you were home love.
I seem to be missing you more, I don't know if it's the kiddies
being off colour or whether it's to do with Christmas coming along
but I shall be glad when it's over and I can be sure you are coming
home at 1.0 and 6.15 and on Saturday my tea will be ready for
me after a trip into town and best of all I can have a rest after
dinner on Sunday while you wash up. Those little things would
mean so much now love.
I was surprised that you had heard of Mr. Turves death from Kath
before you heard from me. Mr. Quinn received your letter and I
should think you will be hearing from him shortly. Mabel and Peggy
had their Airgraph but Bernice is still waiting for hers. I expect
you will get this around Christmas time, love, and we will all
be thinking about you. I have made two Christmas puddings and
I told Keith to stir and wish. I asked him what he had wished
for and he said for Daddy to come home then I had my wish and
he asked me what it was and I told him the same as yours. He said,
No I wished for that, you wish for another little Michael this
Christmas. Trust Keith !
Mam has been up today. She didn't look too well. I am trying
to get ten shilling's worth of Brandy for your Mam, and I think
I had better get Mam the same, she looks as if she needs something.
I bought dad a shaving brush, he has sent me three nice hankies
today and Mam has bought Michael and Keith some socks. She gave
Sheila two pairs for her birthday. I have just been looking for
the Electric trains for sale in the Leicester Mercury, anything
up to twenty pounds.
I have not got any lemons yet, I hope they are alright when they
do get here, I could do with them right now. I can hear Michael
blowing bubbles, he seems restless tonight, I think Peggy and
Les are thinking of getting married at Whit. I don't know whether
I'm for or against marriage at this moment. Mrs Brown is back
to her normal self but Mrs. Woodcock doesn't feel too great these
days, all her efforts were in vain. I guess by the time you get
this we shall all be back on our feet again so don't worry I'll
try and write again at the weekend. I've just been to Michael,
that boy does love a bit of fuss. I was saying to your Mam on
Sunday how much he liked it. Well the time is getting on and Michael
is yelling again so I'll say goodnight love,
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21st December 1943
In five days Michael will be one year old. It hardly seems that
long when we look back but it has seemed a terribly long time
going through those twelve months. I think the months you have
been overseas have been to me a lifetime and it makes me shudder
to think of the months ahead. This week I feel so depressed at
times and Keith is so thrilled at the thought of Christmas. I
know love that I've got to enter into the Christmas spirit. I
expect I shall but it's hard.
Keith had a party at school today, he was very happy about it.
They are all still awake as Keith keeps calling to Michael and
then he shouts back. Bernice is going to sleep here on Christmas
eve. I think she wants to join in all the fun on Christmas morning.
I gave her one of those lady's dressing sets and she was very
pleased with it.
We have at present sixteen Christmas cards and I have only sent
out five but what with the kiddies being poorly and me not really
feeling well myself and the blessed weather, I have not had the
chance or the inclination for card writing. I have been trying
to write this letter since Friday. I feel like I should just like
to sleep for a fortnight and forget the war and everything else.
I think I had better bump my head again.
Well love I'd better tell you how the family health is at present.
We all seem much better, Sheila and Michael are still coughing
a little but are on the mend. Mr Roberts next door to Dick in
Barton Road has died suddenly this weekend, he was 53 and I read
in the paper tonight that the chap who used to collect the Prudential
in Barton Road has met with an accident and died and between those
two houses a baby has been born this week. Barton Road seems to
be in the news.
I had a box of Oranges and lemons on Friday. I think that the
box of lemons must have got lost. There was one Orange and one
lemon bad but the kiddies soon made a raid on the others. I made
two lots of lemon water and gave them the oranges to suck. They
were very sweet and Michael liked them. He doesn't like the bottled
juice. I am sure it helped clear Sheila's cough.
By the way I had a card from Roy and Michael had a card with
the Leicester coat of arms on from the Health Officer. I haven't
had an airmail yet this week but I guess the post is too busy
to bother with soldier's letters in the Christmas rush.
I am thinking of going to the Panto, Aladdin, with Bernice, Keith
and Sheila if we can book at your expense when we get it from
the paymaster. I don't think Michael will walk for his birthday. He tries now to get hold of things to pull himself up and he trots
when you hold him up by his hands but he moves pretty fast on
his bottom and seems to turn over and round about as quick as
lightning. He has a hard head and he's always using it to bump
me with. I guess that's a bit of you heading the ball. I reckon
he will be a sandy boy. His hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are slightly
I shall have to go up to them now as it's nine thirty and they
are still awake.
Well Michael was sitting up in his cot with his cheekiest smile
and his pyjama sleeves were wet through where he had been chewing
them. Keith was full of Christmas and Sheila was asleep
I have got a nice pencil case and I shall put 'from Daddy to
Keith on it. Here is a list of things they are getting.
KEITH. Pencil case, 6 pencils, 6 refill paints, pair slippers,
bar of chocolate, jigsaw puzzle, writing set, reading book and
a cut out book.
SHEILA. Skipping Rope, Golliwog, Elephant, Knitting set, Bottle
scent. hair band. paints, 6 pencils, Ten little niggers book and
a book of ship pictures from her daddy.
MICHAEL.a Teddy, a penguin and 2/6
Mammy might have a new dress from Daddy and I have had a button
hole from Winnie
All my love to you.
My Dear Eric,
Christmas is almost over love and we now look forward to a brighter
New year. I received a much battered box of lemons on Christmas
Eve. The man who brought them said I was very lucky as they had
to piece the wood together to see the address. There were sixteen
lemons in it so let me know if that was so and also a Christmas
Greeting. I also had an airmail and I was very pleased and bucked
up to get two on Christmas morning.
Well love, Michael is one year old today and it hardly seems
twelve months since everyone was rushing around. He hasn't started
to walk yet but he tries to get up a bit at times. I shall be
pleased when he does as he is hard work at present although he
is such a lump of loveliness. They all enjoyed their Christmas
gifts and the lights were working again on the tree so of course
Keith was pleased.
I was pleased to hear that you had received the parcel OK and
glad you liked the contents especially the photographs. I shall
have to get a better one of me if I can raise a smile sometime
! Keith does seem to grow up quickly and granny knitted him a
pullover for Christmas and he looks grand in it. Mabel has bought
Michael some white shoes for his birthday and I bought Sheila
a pair of black patent ones and she thinks they look grand.
By the way did you send Nora a greetings airgraph as she is the
only one who hasn't had hers yet apart from Bernice and she never
received that airgraph you sent her.
We have been to Nora's for tea today and we went to Mabel's yesterday.
Peggy and Les took me out to the booser last night and I felt
too ill to take the children home (some hopes !) We went to the
Blackbird and had a couple of shandies. It was 9.45 when I took
the children home and Mabel and Bernice walked up with me. I soon
had them in bed and Bernice and I were in bed by 10.15. We all
enjoyed our day out and the kiddies behaved well and it didn't
take them long to get to sleep. Keith half woke up when
Bernice got in bed and he said 'Oh why don't you go to your own
house and said he wasn't going to move for her'
Well love it's eleven o'clock and I feel very tired so I'll say
I'm afraid I've been neglecting you as it's now Wednesday night,
I don't know whether it was the exciting Christmas or what but
after I had put the kiddies to bed and cleared up I just went
all tired and on Monday night I just fell fast asleep. I have
just had my supper and listened to the news and I have got ready
to do a spot of washing tomorrow.
Bernice has booked four seats for the Pantomime at the Opera
House for next Tuesday afternoon. Nora has also booked for the
same afternoon and Gladys has also got four seats. Mam is going
with her so we will be well represented. I wonder what Sheila
will think of it. I'll let you know.
I haven't got your money yet. I want to get a new dress or something
when it comes I hope you find the photographs a bit of a
comfort although I don't suppose we look a lot different from
when you saw us last nearly five months ago. Each time I get a
letter I glance at the censor's number to see if you are still
in the same place. Things seem to be moving towards a second front.
Tom is learning to drive. It's a bit better than the infantry.
I had a letter and postal order for four shillings from
Polly so I have four letters to answer, one from Ina,one from
your pal, Jack and one from somebody, I'll have to find it to
know who it is. Keith was very thrilled with his pen box but I
curse it at times. He has written to you but it is all blots.
I hope you will be able to read it. He says something about lights
on or off. He means the tree lights. They were on one day and
then off. They aren't worth bothering with.
I would have loved you to seen Sheila and Keith cleaning up for
me this morning. Keith turned the chairs up and Sheila with the
brush, brushing away at the rug and the floor. Keith said be careful
mammy when you put the wireless on as I may have altered the knobs
with the duster. He's very thoughtful at times.
Well love I'm getting to the end. All my love to you. Please
hurry home as we all miss you.
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