These pages are so thin, I find I have turned two together again, must copy some of my “poems” into them. Mustn’t waste paper in these days. Had a beastly cold or perhaps the 48 hour flu’ Dr. M told Father was going about. Very nasty but no temperature he said. Well I was very hot and cold Thursday and kept Jean at home until 10.30. and was not too bad tho’ about whacked by tea-time. Rather better Sat. morning and kept improving. Jean went to see how Rene was yesterday afternoon and found her very seedy. She has gone again now. As it was Sun I thought they would manage even if she was in bed. It is time she was back again as it will soon be dark. She has lamps and there is a slim new moon, but it won’t give much light. The sea settles as if it was going to be a frost. Father has just been to cover his car down. It has been cold and showery today, rain and snow mixed, tho’ at times the sun shone quite warmly. It gets a bit of power now in the middle of the day.
Jean just came back again. Rene is much better and says she shall be here early tomorrow ready for work after her rest? Think we had better have a quiet day. Young John Short (stockings) has gone in forces also Laurence. Her[bert] Fau[lkner] had to join H.G. Mary has 3 boys in forces now. Ray[mond] in Iraq. Ke[ith] is in Wales and now Laurence has gone. It will be an anxious time for them.
Had a long interesting letter from Ron on Thursday dated 11 Jan so only about 3 weeks coming. Very quiet I think. Says natives very dirty and ragged no shoes. He has 1000 francs in N.A.A.F.I as the boys had to lend money for stock. Sounds opulent but Jean thinks francs may be only worth 2D. Tobacco 10D oz Players cigs for 20 [?] and very good quality at that. Quite a smoker’s paradise. They had had a sudden storm just a few puffs of wind then a terrible gale, torrents of rain and the worst lightning he has ever seen. It did not last long and the tents stood up to it and very little wet came in. His corner being quite dry. Tom says he hasn’t seen a gale yet if the tents weren’t blown down or quite away. Hope he doesn’t. Says the tents are warm and comfortable and fitted with E.L. [electric light]. Tom thinks this is a luxury! Ron says natives have a lot of little donkeys which they pile up with loads, poor little beggars. He has seen camels but there aren’t any where he is now.
Flora came to call for Jean to go to S.S. [Sunday school]. I gave her an apple, she was very pleased. Mrs Balding senr. brought me a few. Elsie G brought me 1doz eggs 3/1, they are lovely big ones. If we get any at the shops they are always small think they must shrink, as there must be a lot of big ones collected off the farms. Eff brought me 3 but would only take 6D for hers. They are nice and fresh but the farm eggs are best now as the hens get corn. Had Cant[erbury] lamb for dinner today and preserved kidney beans. I forgot them until after Xmas. They were put down in dry salt and kept perfectly. The lamb too was extra good. We opened a tin of Pork sau[sage] meat again this week and made sau. rolls, very good too. There is enough fat to make ¾ lb flour up. Must get another tin as they need only 9 points. Now 2/6 tin. Tinned fruit on sale tomorrow, must see what they have got and how many pts wanted. 60 pts a month don’t go far and I am owing two from this week. Got ½ pound dates and ½ pound raisins yesterday. Grandma better again and as quirky as ever. Eff wished Jean Many Hap[py] Ret[urns] of her Birthday and Gma wished her M.H. Ret. of the year. Jean had to put her tea-party off as I was so seedy. Flora said “Mrs Hill would be badly as she was coming to tea.” They must come this week. I gave her a pair of stockings for school and Rene a dark blue scarf 3/6½, cotton, the poorest thing. Jean chose it and it looks quite nice on.
John Short was nicknamed ‘stockings’ after the long black stockings he used to wear. He lived with his parents at ‘Ashleigh Villa’ near Tylers Bridge (see Village Map).
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?