Mon. Feb. 9. 9.15. PM [1942]

Weather turned milder last night and rained, had a few showers before dinner but washed, as it was so nice not being frozen every time one went out of doors. Thawed quite a lot, but still a lot of snow and ground hard underneath. Sun came out this afternoon but it was a damp air so we did not hang out the clothes. Shall get them all out together early tomorrow if fit. Jean started to walk to catch bus’ but heel hurt so much, think it is a chilblain, that she returned for cycle. Alright this morning but came off near’s bridge coming home, not hurt. She brought the newspaper. Soap rationed without warning to-day. We have to give a coupon a week per head (or 4 a month) for 3oz soap, or powder, or Toilet s. Liquid soap not included so must try to get some ammonia. Pleased to say I have a nice little stock of soap and some powder, but shall have to cut powder down for washing up. Wonder if “Carbosil” (water softener) is rationed. Clothes coupons are to be cut down when the new ones are issued. Mary says we shall have to wash our necks once a fortnight instead of once a week!

Rene has a wretched cold, seems very seedy but insisted on helping with the washing. She has left her knitting I see. Had 2 letters from Ron to-day, one written last Mon. 2nd when he got back off w.end leave. The train was late so he missed last bus’ and arrived at Camp 8. am 8 hrs late. He had a chit signed by R.T.G. [railway train guard ?] to say train was late so he heard no more. He is coming Wed after all as other man can’t change day as he draws wife’s pay Thurs. Father’s cold not much better, don’t expect it did him any good sweating over that crate on Sat. Or perhaps he is really getting over it, but feels weak and seedy now. He eats fairly well. Is on watch until 2 a.m. Shall be glad when he gets in. Am leaving kettle near fire and Oxo ready for mixing as he usually turns cold coming home.

Have doctored Jean’s heel with salt and onion juice as Jessie advised. It is red and swollen but skin not broken. My nose still discharges a little where gathering was, but not quite so much like a cherry at the end. I dare go in the garden now without feeling a blackbird might come and “snap off my nose”. Lots of twittering amongst the birds when the sun came out to-day and just before dark a long sweet trill from a thrush just one, or perhaps a blackbird as it certainly did not sing it “twice over”. Anyway it sounded like spring. The thawing snow leaves things looking very dilapidated, all the leaves and bits and dirt that were whirled into corners with the drifts of snow are left behind, but a few drying days will work marvels and we shall be able to clear up corners and garden with a will. Nearly 10 o’clock and I want to read a few minutes. Annie F[aulkner] has or is to register for war work. I wonder what Her[bert] will feel like if she goes and he stays at home? He has managed to dodge it so far.

Herbert Faulkner, married to Annie (one of Will’s nieces) was a brother of Ron’s friend Ralph, also Maurice, sons of Thomas Herbert (see 2 Apr. 1941).

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

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