Thur Dec 4 9. p.m. [1941]

Big Ben is just striking 9 pm in its cracked voice and now Frank Phillips is reading the news. No very important change just now. We are not getting on quite so fast as at first in Libya. The successes of the last week or two are very heartening after so many set-backs. Sincerely hope we do not have to declare war on Finland, but the faint hope of peace there seems to have vanished again. Men in England are to be conscripted up to 50 and single women between 20 and 30 are to be called on as they are needed. It seems to me that there is no method or organisation of labour or there would not be all this calling up of women and I think the money spent on nurseries for children under 5, whilst their mothers work is a blot on the Nation’s History. No one can care for little children like their own mothers, nor give them the love and individual care they need. I feel sometimes that I ought to be doing something but so often I do not know how to get my own work done. I do not see how I could undertake other work.

Ron has been home to-day instead of Wed. He was in high spirits as his leave starts on Sat week 13th to 20th. I do hope he won’t be posted for his other course before Xmas, but he says it is quite possible. He took his new case and “civvy” clothes in case he doesn’t get his day off next week. He is going to Yeadon until the Thursday so we shall not see much of him, that is unless Emmie returns with him then they will come on Wed I expect. It will be rather a rush in any case as we expect to kill our pig on Mon. 15th. We have got the necessary permit from Food Office at Spilsby. We have got our Pink. points ration-cards for tinned foods so now we can get 1 lb or more per month, a head, of tinned salmon, sardines beans etc the etc being “Spam” which is chopped ham! Tinned sausage meat etc, I have heard it is spiced highly and Ron says, “for goodness sake don’t buy the messed up foods, they taste like nothing on earth”. Oh why, could the Americans not send us some good sides of bacon or better still feeding-stuffs for our own animals? Well as we are killing our own bacon we shall not be so dependent on them, but a lot of people will. After the war is over I guess there will be quantities of tinned food sold for a little or nothing and even wasted. As a nation I think we prefer solid joints at any time to messed up food in or out of tins. Rene came for dinner, she has got another bad cold, she seems very susceptible to them. Wonder if she got it Mon. night at concert as several people there with bad colds. Paid drainage rate to-day £1.5.4. The first year we were here it was 6S/4D. Have got sitting-room cleaned chair covers washed and on but curtain to wash yet. Must get Jean’s room cleaned and beds put near hot cistern to keep aired, from other room. If Emmie comes shall want both beds and Ron will go in his own little room otherwise shall put him in big room as Jean likes the little one. Harriet is having “Mrs Grey” our mother rabbit on Sat. Father is on watch and Jean and I are soon going to bed.

We went to Willo[ughby] with Ron to meet 7.20 train, did not wait as Father was due on watch at 8 pm. There is nearly or quite a full moon tonight so it was not so bad driving home tho’ there were patches of mist. [Aside: Full moon Wed.] Jean has to have lights on cycle in the morning now, as blk. out is not off until 8.17 a.m. but still gets home before blk. out time. Ron has taken a jar of home-made rasp jam and a jar of marmalade to take to Yeadon as they were not able to get marmalade when he was there last and Emmie likes my rasp jam. Shall send them a taste of pig if all is well. Em. says Ron’s B.D. cake was the best she ever tasted. Rene made it and I almond-iced it. Jeff also approved of it. Rene has made 4 Xmas puddings between us. [Aside: Ron’s rash better.]

Frank Phillips, formerly a professional singer, was a popular announcer and newsreader on the radio.

Operation Crusader (see 20 Nov. 1941) had, on 27th November 1941, succeeded in linking up with allied forces besieged in Tobruk garrison since April 1941.

On 6th December 1941 Britain did issue a declaration of war against Finland which was engaged in military action against Russia (see 10 Nov. 1941).

Rationing of basic foods by cost (meat) or weight had been in place since January 1940. Points using pink cards were introduced on 1st December 1941, initially for the purchase of certain canned foods, mostly imported.

The hot water cistern was in Ron’s small bedroom.

Jeff Pearson was Ron’s friend in the RAF unit at Binbrook.

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

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