Fri Feb. 20 10.00 P.M [1942]

Bed-time but will write a few lines. Why do very sensible, steady people, come to a time when they do something very foolish? Is it to keep the balance even? I notice too that self sacrificing persons, who give up their pleasures and devote their lives to someone dear to them, and they have had the happiness of that person put down to their account, when it is presented, and they look back on those empty years and see the few left to them, they want someone else to help them pay the bill. They shrink from paying the account in full and try to restore the “years the locust hath eaten” with some other person’s sacrifice.

Ron was home on Tuesday, had a very short letter, to-day. His next leave (7 days) will probably be 13th to 20th April instead of the week before. Rene got Kathie a grate brush from Hall’s, as she said she could not get one anywhere. It was Hall’s last and he said “Make it last, there will be no more until war is over.”

G[rammar] School children went thro’ gas chamber to-day. Jean’s mask alright, they had to lift flap and smell gas, their eyes smarted a little afterwards and heads ached. Big boys took masks off and came out weeping, to the immense delight of the girls. R.A.G.S. a master was bidding them farewell as he is going in one of the Services, so Jean thought he got a flattering send-off. They made pancakes in Dom. Sci. to-day, but not Jean as it is so awkward carrying batter on the bus’. She arrived home minus her glasses, doesn’t know whether she had dropped them on bus as she had to show her season T[icket] or whether she left them at school. Think we must ring up Bus’ Office tomorrow.

Father went seafaring again this morning only got a little wood. He has gone on watch an hour early to-night to relieve Paul. It is the return match of the dart players to-night, at V.H. [Vine Hotel] so Joe [Kirk] will be rather sleepy if he even lands at W.Bx to-night. Don’t know who is doing a turn or few hours for him.

Eff came this afternoon, says tinned fruit not released until Mon. 23. Stow’s have none as yet. 12 pts a tin. R.A. cook gave Father a (2lb I think) tin of Lyon’s Cocoa to-day and cab. leaves for rabbits. We had bacon slices, fried with onion and pots in oven and gravy thickened, for dinner, also spot. D. [‘spotted Dick’] pudding. Had a letter from Mrs Den[man], says Mr D. says Father is to be paid £3 for Redcott. Had cleaned bed-rooms when Rene got here to-day. Had room carpet up yesterday. Rene made me a bit of pastry. She is very full of cold yet. Tried J. Kirk’s way of lighting fire, quite successful. Get a small tin lid, fill with burnt ash, just dust. Then put just sufficient par[affin] to wet ash, place in grate, light, pile a very few sticks over, then coal and hey presto! there is your fire. It is a similar idea to the fire-brick poker I got from Wool[worth]’s and doesn’t use as much oil.

RAG Smith,‘RAGS’, was Latin master at Skegness Grammar School.

Fire-brick’ here probably meant a reusable fireproof absorbent briquette which could be soaked in paraffin before putting in the unlit fireplace. It is not clear why it would be described as a ‘poker’.

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