Mon. June 21st 10.30 P.M. [1943]

It has been a lovely day tho’ with a fresh breeze. So far we have had no real scorching June days. We had thunder storms all last week with heavy rain and hail showers, the hailstones really like marbles. We have not had many letters from Ron written since war in N.A. finished, but had an Airgraph written 3rd June and 2 or three letters written in May. He does not write much and not very enthusiastically. I expect they are all feeling the reaction now and wondering what next? I expect they all feel they would like a leave at home, but that is not to be, only the badly disabled get sent home. We do not want him to come if he had to go again. It would be too upsetting I think but we would like to see him. He says he is well and near Tunis. Hope he meets someone he knows. J[ohn] Kirk is about there and several more we keep hearing of. Had an Air mail letter from Jock this week, he too is near and has been to Tunis.

Wonder if Ron saw Churchill and if he has seen the King this week. King has sunburned his arms and knees riding in an open car in short sleeves and shorts. He has been in Africa over a week now. We keep expecting to hear he is home again. A lot of people will be pleased when he is I expect. It is very generally thought the Gers. believed W.C[hurchill] was in the civil air-boat they brought down. Leslie Howard was lost from it, we saw him in “Pygmalion”.

Emmie came from Sat until Tues Whit weekend (June 12). She walked from W[illough]by. Stn. as she had taken the ticket before receiving my card saying car was in repair dock. It still is tied up with all the red tape about necessity and priority etc, when they know quite well only necessary cars are allowed petrol. It will be a big expense and in the meantime we have to throw work away. J. Denman been down to “Redcott” for week, alone. Today Mrs D sent £1 to Father and asked if he would get her [in car]? J. to get new or sec. hand range for B[rook]dene. Don’t know why £1 as he should have had £1.10. at Easter I think. Must make sure.

Wrote to Sybil and Vic and Emily last night. Miss Baker did not finish coatees for Rene and Jean. for Whit, she is very dilatory. Mrs P[imperton] made up the pink mat[erial] Rene gave me. It is very nice. She had not cut it out until the Sat morning and as she only sent it home Whit. Sun. dinner time. I wonder if she was working at it on Sun. It is well finished off but don’t think she is as particular about fit as Miss B. Miss B brought Jean’s coatee (I had done dress bottom) last thing this Sat. night. Rene’s is to come still. They want a little lively opposition.

Emmie on bicycle at 'Lenton Lodge'

Emmie on bicycle at ‘Lenton Lodge’

Emmie really got to ride cycle this time. She and Jean went to Chapel Sunday morning. Tom was preaching. They went to Rene’s to tea on Mon. tho’ it was very showery. Jean went to Sk[egness] on Tue to see her off. Rene and I cycled to W.I. jumble sale. Not enough people to buy all the things as it was a stormy afternoon. It was “Wings for Victory” the week before so perhaps everybody had invested their money. Target was £1,250. Total was £3,100 for Chapel. There was a very good Youth Concert, £60 invested that night. I got a cardigan suit at Jumble. Green coat and check green and white skirt. Wanted washing but not much worn at 5/0.

I am letting my hair grow so that I can wear it in a roll. Rene informs me that she was quite upset when I had it cut short “years and years ago”. It has got to that ragged stage of neither long nor short so I have had ends “permed” to the great delight of the family. Emmie was very sorry I had not got it done before she came. So was I, as it will be about straight if she doesn’t come again until Xmas. I went to Mrs Ashton’s on Wed. afternoon. It was almost as good as a play. She talks a lot then sings bits of a song or two or finds the most ordinary things one says quite amusing and giggles for about two minutes. She is very nice with the washing, drying, and perming tho’, and brought me a cup of excellent tea and bread and butter. I was rather nervous as it was thundering, raining and lightning very badly all the afternoon, but Mrs A. said it was quite safe, all she was afraid of was the lightning cutting electricity off. Said I, “I shall be only half-baked in that case” which set her off giggling. She is a fine looking woman (widow about 40ish) and Alice, her companion is too, and they are very kind to the soldiers and their wives too, I have however never heard a word of scandal breathed against either of them, which shows how much she is respected. They were both very pleased because I had taken the Adams photos to show them as they knew them.

Rene is finishing the cleaning this week so we did not want to wash today. I pulled up a lot of poppies in “Corbie” garden as they were beginning to flower and I pulled up some weeds in our garden too. I had asthma over the weekend and I was surprised to find how very weak I am when I try to do a bit of gardening. Everyone says how much better I look and I do not have such bad bouts as formerly but this weakness bothers me. Jean has had a feverish cold over weekend. Got wet last week and took a chill.

Leslie Howard, film actor, was in a civilian aircraft, reportedly shot down off the coast of France on 1st June 1943, when all aboard were killed.

The village ‘Wings for Victory’ targets and totals were for War Bond or National Savings investment pledges (similar to Warship Weeks), not cash donations. Participation probably covered an extended area and may have included billeted soldiers.

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

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