At Sea Wednesday 9 Oct 40.
My darling BarbaraWell here begins a letter which will probably go on for quite a long time. It is a bit of an odd feeling to be writing a letter, knowing that it will not be finished today or this week & will not be posted for several weeks then it will be quite some time on its journey to you. I suppose a new sort of technique is required - & as you will have heard nothing from me for weeks & weeks, I should start of wih love & kisses, or else you should begin at the end. But perhaps the best way will be to write you a seperate letter the day this is posted,
or then you can turn to the epistle afterwards. The rules of censorship are of course
pretty strict, & I must be careful what I say.
I was very glad to be able to talk to you again on Sunday afternoon - there wasn't really much to say, was there - but it was nice just to say goodbye again. We eventually sailed during Monday, & we were all very pleased to be off - it was too exasperating to be tied up in port & only an hour & a half in a car away from you . Sure we had sailed well, that was that, I felt relieved but sad. This is a very fine ship - & we have been lucky in this direction - especially so as the weather has been terrific. Most people have been ill or nearly ill - & the tables & chairs have been whizzing fom one side of the state room to the other. Even the stewards & people said it was pretty bad. I don't know how
2 you would have managed, darling. I'm afraid you would have been pretty miserable. My inside has behaved magnificently - & apart from getting rather browned off with the perpetual pitching & rolling, I have been alright, & have been eating & sleeping quite normally. In fact, the sea air & so on have actually stimulated my appetite, if that were possible. The food is extremely good. In my cabin, I have Jame MacCaskie - Trefor Waters & Whelan & I have taken the upper birth next to the porthole; when we reach hot climates, this will be an advantage. We start the day with a cup of tea at 7-30. Then a wash & shave in strictly rational cold fresh water - followed by a hot sea water bath & cold sea water shower. Then some steady walking round the decks, & breakfast at 9,O. clock. This consists of porridge, cream - fish - bacon & eggs
4 & things - toast & marmalade - & coffee. After which I feel very well, & go & have a lovely movement - & feel even better. We then have general boat drill - & after that 1/2 an hours P.T. with our men, which is a very good thing. It is then about midday, & the hour before lunch is filled in with reading or writing or talking or looking at the sea - & having a drink. Lunch & dinner are excellent - soup, fish & choice of meats & sweets & so on, & all very good. Messing on board is free - so that part of it is all most satisfactory. I have been very temperate up to now, you will be pleased to hear and drinks are beautifully cheap: bass 4d, whisky 6d pink gin 2 1/2 d - gin & lime 4 1/2 d - & 20 Players 8d. Marvellous isn't it? I am playing a lot of bridge, it seems as though I shall play most nights. The usual four is Mac, myself & a couple of quite pleasant youngish Majors. I find myself to be quite good - in
5. spite of not having played - I am about 12/ up, to date. so at the moment, I have more money than when I came on the boat. We got to bed fairly early & read a bit before going to sleep. I have finished a High Wind in Jamaica - & found it quite interesting. It is all about some small children. My bunk is very comfortable & I sleep very well.
Tuesday 15 Oct Hello, sweetheart. Nearly a week has passed since I started this letter. I had intended to write an instalment each day, but somehow this does not seem to be very easy, & I find it better to write large instalments every few days. So when you reach this part of the letter, perhaps you will imagine the passing of time. Ih ave been missing you very much,