Fall Term 1945: Letter 3

A note about some of the people mentioned in this letter:  Ann Chapman, a friend possibly teaching at the same school, married Tadek Winnick, a Polish soldier who stayed in England, and we will read about them in Cyn’s letters in the future.  Mary Egan, a long time friend, lived into her 90s and kept in touch with Cyn’s other English friends- if I knew the date of the baby’s birth, I could date this letter!  Auntie Moo is Cyn’s aunt who lived in St Vincent, and sent Christmas cake stuffed with fruit and probably dripping with rum, to make up for the English rations.  I think that Edgar might be Edgar Cooper, son of close friends of the Ewings from Cynthia’s childhood. And finally, this letter shows Cyn planning for the American teaching exchange by gathering testimonials- obviously nice ones- as part of the application process.

Warkworth House

Sunday

Dearest Mummy,

Thank you so much for all your letters – including the S.O.S. which arrived yesterday. I think the iron is a lovely idea and I would love to have it for my Christmas present – even if it is small it will do quite well for undies etc. and then if I ever needed a heavier one I could borrow one from work – just for one day this time! One of the children told me the other day that they had a little electric irons in one of the shops & I meant to go and see them, but of course I never even had time!

I wonder if you got my S.O.S. about the evening dress all right – I do hope that the telegram came in time and didn’t give you a fright. I was sure Papa would get it & would come to you saying “Some nonsense of Cynthia’s “!! What happened was that earlier this week Ann asked me to go with her & Tadeck to a dance they were having at the Polish club on Tuesday:- if they could make up a party & get a partner for me. So every day there have been plans and doubts & one thing at & another till Thursday everything was settled- and of all people, my partner is to be a GREEK! Another to add to the list! Then on Friday Ann came rushing to work with the news that it was to be in full evening dress! I came home & tried on my white one & really! I looked as if I had just got out of bed in my nightie! My bosom is larger now & the dress is very tight & altogether I looked so peculiar, so I flew out & phoned Winnie thinking I would get her to give you a message. I was in the phone box from 7.0 pm. to 7:55 p.m & when they got through there was no answer! I nearly bit a piece out of the phone! So that is why I sent the telegram & I do hope you didn’t have too much of a rush & that it gets here in time!

I have had such a busy time this week on the whole. With this member of staff absent I have had to be a form mistress in her place as well as everything else, so work has been busy too. On Tuesday Carl had thought he might be able to come through & if so, was arriving at 7.0 p.m. At 6.0 pm. Ann & Jessie & I were sitting amongst the debris and dirty plates of fried sausages & apple pie & tea, when there was a knock on the door & in he walked! The second time he’s caught us out! And this was even worse as we were dirty & unwashed & I had on my old flat shoes & lisle stockings!! Jessie & he went into her room & Ann washed the dishes & I got ready, so we did get organized eventually! We went out & he not only had Tuesday evening off, but had a Leave Pass until Wed. night so he stayed on at the Red X and took Jessie & me out to dinner at the Blue Boar on Wed. after we’d been to “Saint Joan”, and left later in the evening. He thought he might be leaving at the weekend, so I was to ring him on Friday & during the interval of waiting for Winnie’s call, I rang him, & instead of saying he was leaving next day as I expected, he said no, could he come and see me?! So he came through again yesterday evening, & we had quite a celebration the two of us & then he left & spent the night at the Red X & went back to Camp this morning. And that is definitely the last time- they leave camp on Tuesday & sail probably Thursday. I was awfully sorry to see him go.

On Tuesday when I was with Carl, Jessie had been to the Dorothy & had a nice time with a RAF officer called Jock- he had to rush away before the end because of transport, but had made a vague date to meet her there on Thursday & told her to bring a friend & so would he. So on Thursday Jessie & I trotted off to the Dorothy & of course he didn’t arrive! However I didn’t mind & sat singing cheerfully until a tough looking G.I. nearby came & talked & asked me to dance & his pal asked Jessie. They seemed quite harmless & no one else asked us, so we danced on with them until they left at 10:30 for the truck, & they said they were lonely etc. etc. So finally we made a date with them for Friday! They arrived + a can of peaches for us & some cake, so after all my phoning was over, we brought them back here & made tea & ate them, but oh dear! were we bored! The time never went so slowly & they were a regular nuisance, so that at 10 PM we turned them out & said all men had to go then, very firmly. We were so pleased to see the last of them!

Last night, when Carl & I we’re having a cup of tea at about 10.30, in popped Jessie from the Dorothy once more- this time with 2 British army officers, Jimmy & Eric! They were catching a train later, so we all sat and had tea & they seemed very nice. So today, when I was feeling quite depressed about Carl going Jessie tells me cheerfully that we have a date with them this evening! If they turn up that is! One of them was on duty, but was going to try and get out of it, so we’ll see!

I felt that I was going to have such a horrid day today, with nothing to do at all except chores like ironing & mending & doing accounts & writing letters, so I got up late & at 11.0 o’clock I was sitting in my pyjamas & dressing gown in Jessie’s room feeling quite disgruntled, when there was a ring at the bell & when it was answered I stuck my head out – curiosity! – and nearly fainted when I saw Edgar!! Caught again! I smoothed my bed over, sat him by the fire, retired into Jessie’s room & dressed & did my face, then came back & made tea for him! Jessie came in & we ended by having quite a nice time & it cheered me up! I asked him again, but as usual he is Very Busy! Jessie & I had decided that if ever we are lonely & want someone to visit us, we are going to make the room look like a pigsty & us like hags & someone is sure to come!

I was most intrigued to hear about Irene’s young man, and I do hope that you got more news when you saw her again. I really think there may be something in it because Bill asked me about Irene once – thought she was my cousin & we got all muddled up, but I’d forgotten all about it. I think he is a very nice fellow & that he & Irene would make a very nice placid couple! – Also that he is not the type to take a girl out much, unless his intentions were serious. So, here’s hoping! If he is violent Socialist, we’ll have Irene preaching Socialism to us before long!! I was very tickled about Mrs. Johnny & my baby’s shawl! She certainly is hopeful! Talking of knitting, May the nurse is going to knit me a jumper when I get her some wool, & talking of babies, Mary Egan’s is due today. I had a letter from her last week & she was very cheery. Auntie Moo’s Christmas cake sounds lovely & I hope the other things came safely too. I laughed over your remarks re. Carl’s “junk” presents to me- I didn’t tell him what you said about the bedspread – merely because I forgot- it is blue with U.S. Navy woven in a circle in the middle.

The other Polish letter was from Ludwik’s girl & I heard from him this week too. He is going to be demobbed about Christmas he says & hopes to get a job in England, but what he will do, goodness knows. Also he may come & see me at the beginning of Dec.! To go back to Auntie Moo’s parcel after rereading your letter, I do think old Chris was a meanie, and I hope the boys don’t have any bother – it will be a shame if they do when they were so sweet. I bet Peggy & Pat approved of Auntie Moo!

I had a letter from Janie & Bill about the same time as you, I expect, telling me about getting their money, but no news otherwise. I’m so glad that they got it all back. I was very pleased to hear the good news about Neville too – I do hope that he goes on all right & will be o.k. once he gets home – it has been such a long business.

I am sending off my doingses to the American Interchange people today – I wrote & got another testimonial from Miss Dickie in place of Miss Howitt’s & it is a very nice one, so I will send that instead. My photos make me look very serious and responsible- all to the good! Nan sent me the originals as well as the copies, so I will just hang onto them. What a shame about Len never getting the little beret etc. at all – but maybe if she sends them now, they will be in time for Christmas. I owe her & Dottie & Irene all letters. Woe is me! I might get some written tonight as it doesn’t look as if our date is turning up! 

Lots of love from 

Cyn.

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