Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Margaret Robinson to Tom Critchley 7.2.1942

Thanks for your lovely long letter. When I saw the words "will you marry me on July 3rd – I thought it was an official proposal. Darling, of course I will, but do you realise 3rd July is a Friday. I wonder if you will be able to get leave at the end of the second course, by rights you should, but the army does such peculiar things at times and you can never guarantee what silly things it is going to do. I do not understand the grading, but perhaps you can explain that next weekend.
Your mother phone today and asked me to tell you that only £4 has been put in the bank for you this month. Do you know the reason why? Perhaps you would like to pursue this matter. Unless it is income tax deducted or you have been receiving more than you should from the army. Perhaps the government is running short of funds. But this is so serious (I mean the £4) when we have to save. Your mother had a phone call from a girl who used to live next door to Ron in Jerusalem. She apparently asked if Ron was in, as she knew he hoped to be home for Christmas. This girl is Lillette (the Bulgarian) who is in London working for our government with her mother. Nancy, I think, is quite worried about this girl coming into Ron's life, and having waited all this time, will be terribly disappointed if her affair does not come off. However, we shall see.
Darling, I don't know why I should keep creeping between you and the blackboard. I don't seem to help you in your work, only hinder. Can't you think of me standing behind you with a very stern look on my face and glasses on the end of my nose?
Fancy you actually speaking to me. We must be in our own little workd apart but I do not remember receiving your message & perhaps I was dreaming as usual. There must have been a technical hitch somewhere. But really, the more you talk to me in this way, the more I long to be with you every day and see the end of this beastly war. I nearly forgot I was in the office when I read your letter and nearly burst into tears, but unfortunately, I had to bottle up my feelings.
Well, I went to our office dance and social last night with Betty and Alan, but I didn't feel frightfully happy. I knew all the time there was some missing link. Tom, I can't go to these places without you, because I really don't enjoy it. We left at 11 o'clock and Betty and Alan saw me home. Consequently I feel very tired this evening and feel I have a cold coming on.
Tom, thank goodness I have not had to play bridge this weekend. Nothing makes my weekends less enjoyable than playing bridge. I wish I had never learnt the beastly game. These days I certainly can't enjoy it, especially when contract seems to be looming in the background. I have vowed never to learn to play contract. It's too much like hard work & less of a recreation.
I feel so tired that I will finish this tomorrow and post it, then you will receive it on Monday sometime, unless held up by now. I have not had a letter from you today, but Joyce has, so I feel quite jealous. I hope you have received your parcel today, because I posted it quite early on Friday morning. The roads on Friday were very bad. It had apparently been sleeting in the night and that had got frozen over, so you can guess how treacherous the roads were. It is still very cold here and the snow has not disappeared yet.
Well, goodnight.
Sunday afternoon
This morning Nancy and I went to see your mother and father. We have come to the conclusion the deduction in your pay must be income tax unless you are paying that monthly. anyway, I thought if you wanted to write and make sure, you could do so.
I am a lucky girl having a gramophone. Yesterday I felt really down in the dumps in the afternoon and as if I was on the verge of a very bad cold. However, I decided to put on some lively records and that certainly did cheer me up. I started with "Down Forget-me-not Lane." By the way, two of the records I got were "I know that my redeemer liveth" and "Holy City" Kentucky Minstrels.
The other two I shall fetch when I go to London.
Do you know the time of the train you are coming by next Friday? Will it be morning or afternoon? I could easily meet you at Paddington, if it was the morning train unless of course you would be too early for me.
I have enclosed two more gillets so that will make the dozen now. If you do not want any more, perhaps you will let you know, but you can certainly make some money by selling them if you wish. That is, if you are hard up.
I had a letter from Nina, which I will show you next weekend,

All my love,


Thankyou for the parcel which arrived this morning. The gloves look very nice – how lucky I am to have you so good ar doing these things darling. Thankyou too, for the battery and photo, Now I shall at least have a nice big photo to look at, and a torch to see it with in the dark !
Today, it is very cold for Swansea. The weather is much worse than last weekend, so we are very lucky again. It's easily the coldest day since we came to Swansea, so I haven't been a-mumbling today. Instead I did the painful duty of haveing my photo taken. I do hate it. You didn't say if you wanted a "serious" one or a "smiling" one, so I thought the former. But just as the operator was about to take it, I laughed at something, so it's a smiling one after all. I didn't know it was being taken just then! it is due to be ready on Thursday, so I'll bring it with me if I come – I hope i shall.
Today I have been so rash to to pay 2/- for a book from Smith's – it's reduced in price. It's Lord Houghton's "Life and letters of Keats" – an established classic. It will be a nice companion to the letters of Shelley. I'll bring it home with me when I come.
The same evening I went for my cycle run through the mining village I told you about.
You think of some lovely ideas, but I shouldn't become either a ticket collector or a stoker if I were you. I don't think it would be very comfortable, and if I got moved to Newcastle, & you found yourself travelling to Swansea every day it would be a to-do.
Don't worry about what you owe me Margaret (Not that I think you are for a moment!) Of course deduct the 16/6. If we don't feel a church service is essential preliminary to loving as we do, I'm quite sure we don't need a church service to make us give each other everything else we've got. Just see how you get on, and do as you like about it.
There really isn't any more news, so I'll continue this letter tomorrow – though I don't expect there'll be much more news then.
It's now about 8.15 on Satuday evening, and I'm going to read some of this book on Keats.
Sunday 11 am
Well yesterday evening dragged on its weary way, and so, as Pepys said "To bed" It's still very cold and this morning, for the first time, there was frost on the windows inside. So I don't know if I shall go far today.
Last night we were wakened in the early hours of the morning by the sirens. My sleep thoughts turned at once to scenes of desolation by the High St, but all was quiet, and I was woken again by the all clear some time later. It is a good job we chose last week-end for your visit, both in view of this and the weather.
We have now started making our wireless sets. I have every hope of getting America on mine, but if I manage to pick up the home service faintly, I shall be very lucky! We spend the last one and three-quarter hours of each day on them, from 3.15 to 5.00 pm.
Well there doesn't seem to be any more news. I'm just living for next weekend. By the way, I shall be traveling back on the Sunday night, so shan't have to rush off early.

All my love,


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