Mon 8 Feb. 9.00. p.m. [1943]

Rene came today and thinks perhaps scarf may be fine wool. The stockings look quite decent on. Father has gone on watch 8p.m to 2am. Radio announces that we shall have to grow more green veg. for next winter as transport for them would not be available, the trains and lorries will be needed for war purposes. We usually grow enough for ourselves, as do most people in scattered districts but it would do no harm to grow more I suppose as they can always be given to rabbits or pigs if not wanted otherwise. I think there must be a big tide tonight again as I can hear it bumping and the wind seems to keep perking up too. Hope we have a quiet night. It was a sharp frost this morning with ice and wht [white] rime. It will do land good if it doesn’t come more wet. A few good frosts would do good. I washed Jean’s blouse and pinafore today ready for school tomorrow and a few other oddments. Jean ironed them after tea. She has been doing H.W. [homework] nearly ever since and is very tired, as soon as water for bottles is ready we shall go to bed. The soft water for the morning wash is nearly hot. The alum[inium] bottle in Kapok stuffed case is quite a success. She puts it amongst blankets at foot of bed and it is warm for morning. Much better than cold hard water and she doesn’t like water from rubber bed bottles. She says it smells of rubber.

'Father' - Will - Sketched by Jean for School Homework

‘Father’ – Will – Sketched by Jean for School Homework

Rene’s cold a bit better but she doesn’t seem very well yet. We did not do much today. My cold is getting better but I was glad to rest after dinner. Did a bit of Father’s sock as Jean seems to have given it up. Frank has a piece of glass which will do for car window and H Simpson is going to look at brakes. Shall be pleased when job is done and invalid Petrol cou[pon] exchanged. Rene had written to Ron but Jean had taken mine to post so she was posting hers this afternoon. I put 2½D st[amp] on mine as I enclosed phrase book from Jessie.

Mavis was quite thrilled yesterday with Wom[en]’s Mags I had let Jean bring down from cubby hole at top of stairs. They are very nice books but date from 1926 to sometime in 1928. 2 years of them. Monthlies. I stopped taking them when Rene left home that spring to go to Nott[ingha]m as I did not have time to read them. I have thought of giving them for salvage or to the wom[en’s] Services but Jean and Mav can read them first anyway. There are beautiful pictures in them and good reading too, but the illustrations and fashion advts are of the most ugly type of dress we have ever had, with waistline round over hips and skirts as short as now. A short fat woman looked dreadful in them, but if I remember right they were very comfortable and we were not poured into them as we appear to be now, so many people now look as if they had outgrown their clothes and they are tailored to fit so tightly that they look as if the seams would burst. They are no kinder to the short and stout than the 1928 fashions and to see an elderly lady of this build in a fur coat barely reaching her knees and the thin spindly legs some fat people have coming from underneath makes me feel all hot and uncomfortable for the poor dears. Perhaps I look no better but as the parody of Burns runs, “Oh wad some power the giftie gie ’em to see theirsels as I can see ’em.”

Some R.A.F boys called just as Father was going on watch, evidently a fresh lot come to And[erby]. Wanted to know if there was an inn near. It is so out of the way there and no amusements and I doubt if there is a W.V.S. I feel so sorry that there should be nowhere else for them to go, but don’t know what we can do about it with Father away so many evenings and Jean just growing up.

Frank, who supplied the car window glass, was probably May’s brother, Frank Simpson, but possibly Frank Raynor.

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

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