Tue. 8.30. p.m. March 2nd. [1943]

March came in yesterday like a lamb. Very little breeze and a poor visibility rather than a mist. Had a big wash and clothes all dried well. A very heavy dew at night almost like a shower with slight frost at sunrise. Had a long letter from Ron yesterday. It was over two weeks since the last. He had just received one of mine written on Dec 20 altho’ I had got the answer to one sent Dec 29 some time since. Still he got two more before he finished his letter on Jean’s birthday which he remembered. Natives had been doing his washing. He does not like washing and it is very hot midday there now. Cost him 60 francs. Exc[hange] has altered in our favour and 3,000 francs he had are worth £15 instead of £10. He has sent it to Emmie. Says the N.A.A.F.I. can supply 4pts [pints] beer every time it is open but writing paper tooth-paste etc are seldom obtainable. This is a bit too bad as they were asked to finance the N.s [NAAFIs] or they could not stock them and of course it is chiefly the small and non-drinkers who have the money to invest in them. He is very fit he says and very busy. We are not to worry if we don’t get many letters. We shall send him a few odds and ends this week, Emmie has already sent one.

This fine mild weather reminds us of the last two springs, but this is much earlier, when Ron used to come for his day off from Binbrook. I think it must have been bright and sunny lots of times when he came, because one day last week when it was fine and warm I put on the little checked yellow and white cloth for Father’s lunch and it seemed as if Ron must walk in. It very often rained on the way to Willoughby at night. Rene had thought the same too and mentioned it in her letter to him.

Jean and I went to Trusthorpe on Sat Feb 20. Aunt J[et] had been in bed with bronchitis and was very frail and rather subdued, she had not strength to talk long, but was really very good considering her age and that she was only getting up for part of the day. Ken had been in bed with flu’ and A[my] and F[red] had had it too. Amy looks thin and tired. I brought home 15 eggs. She would only take 2/6 tho’ she makes 3/1 doz for them. They were fine eggs. I sometimes think the eggs we very occasionally get from the shop must be pullet eggs they always seem so small and look so “tired”. Amy’s had a lovely fresh “bloom”. She gave me some purple primroses, “wannias” she called them, they seem to have settled down and will grow I think. Snowdrops, primroses, violets and a carnation are in bloom in my garden and a wee bit or two of aubrietia. A bud on the anemones at last. If fine and I am not too asthmatical I am going to Rene’s tomorrow. Father will come to dinner, I have not been since she was married so it’s about time. I have not got ironed today, no breath to do much. Rene washed at home and went to hat-making class W.I. this afternoon. She left “Bill” here and fetched him tonight. He was comfortably established in Fa’s armchair when she went in kitchen after tea. He knows quite well he isn’t allowed on chairs here. He has his own at home.

Father fetched Cousins from Sk[egness] St[ation] at dinner time and took Mrs Parish and “Uncle” to Huttoft for potatoes and a pig’s fry, after tea. We had one pig killed last Tue. Wells charged 7/6 just for his man killing and dressing it. It was badly dressed too. We had to chop toes off all the feet and I put very little of the rind in brawn as it was so bristly and a lot of the top skin not scraped off and being black looked very nasty. The sausage skins were very good. Rene helped with them and they did not take long. We made about 80 sau. Very good too and 6 pies. Not many mince-pies yet as I want more fruit but we got a few for weekend. Sent Emmie Pork pie, Haslet, Duck and sausage, on Thurs. We registered it, but have had no letter from her so far. We sent a letter too, separate. Jean been at home today, thought she had a cold but hope it has passed off. Father is on watch 8pm till 2am. He has to take Mrs Pilgrim to Ingoldmells for Scholarship sittings and to take Mr Collison from Hogs[thorpe] back to Ingoldmells when he fetches Mrs P. back at dinner time. Mr C at the end of his note to Father asked “What relation am I to you?”! Weather feels rather like a change tonight. I have weeded the middle bed on the lawn and planted the polyanthus rose in the centre. It was too smothered up at the back. Have also weeded small bed to left of front door but there is a lot more to be done yet. Still it is early yet. Jean weeded hers at half-term last week. She has made a woolly ball for Sybil’s baby today and packed it up to post with a letter inside from herself. Sybil sent two mounts for Patsy’s poly-photos [unclear] photo’s. Must see if we can get some for Phyllis [‘Faulkner’]’s baby.

‘Wannia’ – a name for an early spring purple primrose – was possibly Amy’s invention as no other reference has been traced.

Mrs Juliet Parish was the wife of Will’s Coastguard colleague Albert Parish. It is not known who ‘Uncle’ referred to here.

Local information suggests that another butcher, not ‘Wells’, may have been meant here.

Patsy Adams was the baby daughter of soldier Frank and wife Sybil whose pregnancy had been mentioned earlier (see 12 Mar. 1942).

The word relating to photo mounts was unclear (question mark was May’s) but either refers to ‘poly-photos’(a sheet of, typically twenty, sequential photographs taken in a studio or department store) or  could have been a deliberate misspelling of ‘fabulous’.

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

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