Fall Term 1945: Letter 1

Note the paper- sturdy 8.5 x 11, part of Carl’s ‘junk’!

A note on the people mentioned in this letter:  I assume Carl, who is leaving England and will be home for Christmas, is American Navy; and Jessie and Norman are Cyn’s school friend Jessie Muir (who married at the beginning of the war and had a daughter Zinnia, see photos in ‘Friendly Faces’ post, but whose marriage is over by this time) and Norman Aldridge.  Warkworth House seems to be rooms that teachers lived in, the Jessie she eats with is a Cookery colleague from school, not Jessie Muir.

Warkworth House

Sunday

Dearest Mummy,

I can’t believe that it was only on Wednesday that you left- already it seems ages ago, and when Jessie said yesterday “Doesn’t half term seem a long while ago?” I answered vacantly “When was it?”!  However, if the time continues to fly past, it will soon be Christmas and I will be home again for another holiday.

I was so glad to get your letter and to know that you had a good journey home, and that the time didn’t drag, with eating and reading and whatnot.  It seems to be a good train – I must remember it for when I am coming home at Christmas.  I was amused about your remarks re. the crayfish- Jessie and I ate some of it on toast on Wed. evening, and were going to do the same on Thursday, but Margot came to tea and there wasn’t enough as it was, so I mixed it with a thick batter and made crayfish fritters and they were luscious!! Very indigestible, but worth it!

Carl came on Wednesday evening, and we had a very nice time, but he brought some news- good for him, but sad for me – that he is leaving England next week for home. I am delighted that he will be home for Christmas, but it wasn’t until I really knew he was going that I realized what a big gap he would leave and just how much I would miss his company.  We went out and rang up Jessie and Norman, and they had been going to invite us to come up and see them for a weekend, but we told them the news, and Carl said goodbye to them.  Afterwards we went around to the Free Press, and Carl said goodbye to all the dart-players and one fat man, Ted, was most upset at his going, and made him promise to write to him- address: – Ted. The Free Press. Cambridge!  It was quite touching and we all felt quite sad.  You will notice we didn’t take Jessie with us!!

On Thursday as I said, Margot came to tea & we gossiped & after she left we read, and on Friday I was really good and sat down & wrote quite a few letters – I have masses more though- maybe I’ll get them done now!  You’ll be tickled to hear that Leon has taken no notice of me recently, beyond waving occasionally, so I don’t think you need to worry.  He seems to have been dashing in and out quite a lot, so he probably has another girl!  Jesse has discovered a boy in Cambridge, a Freshman called Peter Ball, with whom she was brought up like me & Bobby & Denis, who is living next-door but one to us, so she has been seeing quite a bit of him. He is at Emmanuel, the same as Leon & tells Jessie they are having a big dance soon – so I think it would be lovely to go – but I also think I need’nt worry, as I’m sure Leon won’t take me!  

Yesterday Jessie & I had coffee in town with Ann and then lunch at the Peacock, and afterwards had a nice afternoon, washing our hair & having baths etc.  Carl was coming in at 6:30, so I was going to get all glamoured up in my new spotty dress for the last occasion!  Marcelle came in about four, so she stayed to tea which we had sitting on Jessie’s floor in front of the fire- Jessie in slacks & hair in curlers – me in dressing gown, no make up and pins in my fringe.  And of course there was a knock on the door & Carl walked in!   So much for glamour! We all laughed & laughed!  However he had just called in on his way to the Red X & by the time he came back I’d done my best to live up to the occasion!!  Marcelle & Jessie were going to the Dorothy, so Carl kissed Marcelle goodbye & away she went to get ready, then Jessie came in & we all had a drink in my room & Carl asked her out to dinner with us – she protested, but came! We went to the Blue Boar, but found a waiting list about a mile long, so went to the Peacock, which was packed, but we got a nice meal of soup & cold chicken & salad.  We parked Jessie at the Dorothy & then came home & Carl produced what he called “a lot of junk” he brought me – it was lovely!  Just things he would otherwise have left behind or thrown away, but such fun for me- pencils, ink, paper clips, a torch & batteries, folders, writing paper- scribbling blocks, paperback books, piles of this paper I’m writing on, gum, candy, cigarettes, pincers and a screwdriver(!!) (he said no home was complete without one!) a towel & face cloth, a U.S. Navy bedspread! A lipstick which he got from another fellow – soap, talcum & even a bottle of Listerine!! Wasn’t that a surprise packet?! He thinks that he may manage to get in again on Tuesday evening, but he isn’t sure – so I may have said goodbye to him for good. Nice Carl- I’m so glad I met him, and he’s been so kind to me.

Today Jessie & I have had such a busy day.  Jessie had invited two girls to lunch that she’d known in Littleport, so we made a stew & put it on & a steamed sponge pudding & put it on, & then rushed out to Church. The Service was at 10:45 today & because of the procession of the Lord Mayor etc. we were asked to be in our places at 10:20. We were late of course, & puffing along by Parker’s Piece when who should I see at the traffic lights, but my old friend the nice taxi driver! I grinned at him & he leaned out & asked me where I was going & when I told him, he said “hop in” & drove us there in style!  Wasn’t that sweet of him?  We saw him again on our way home & he tooted his horn & waved! The service was very nice & I liked it & the Church was just about packed out- not having two handsome officers with me this week- not to mention a handsome Mama!- I was put way at the side, but I could see fairly well. Afterwards we rushed back & cooked potatoes & carrots & set the table, & the girls came & we had a very nice dinner!  They washed up for us!  Later on, we made tea – the girls had left- & Jessie had Peter Ball to tea & I had Marcelle- not all together as we thought three wenches might be too much for Peter!  He is a nice boy – still very boyish, but easy to talk to & not shy.  Marcelle is all right.  She sends you her love & says she still wants to adopt you.  She found a nice Yank at the Dorothy last night, & has given up Mickey entirely.  Jessie found an RAF officer who was coming to take her out tonight but didn’t turn up! Mieauw!

The Polish letter intrigued me greatly!  It is from a lady who knows Ludwik’s aunt, & she is writing to ask if I could give her the name of a publisher & the price of certain English books which she wants but can’t get in Poland.  Some are for her husband & some are for herself to teach her 2 little boys English.  I went to a big bookshop here yesterday & got the information, & will write to her but goodness knows when she’ll get them, poor woman, as her letter was written on 22nd of Aug. & took all that time to come.

I must stop now & get away to my bed.  I am so glad you had a nice time here, Mummy, – once more we didn’t have much time alone, but still!  It was lovely having you & as always my friends liked you one & all, & think I’m a lucky girl to have such a nice Mama.  So do I!  

Love to Papa and lots for you 

from Cyn.

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