Friday, August 11, 2006

LOVE LETTERS

LOVE LETTERS

Most days I would have a letter – from family, friends or patients but the reason I dashed to the mail pigeon holes twice a day was to see if I could spot that bold, looped handwriting that was Jamie’s.  Meanwhile – as I had no address – the climbing club were wandering round Skye – I wrote to tell him what had happened with Andrew and anything else I thought might interest him.

On duty my six babies kept me happily occupied and at last there were two letters from Jamie and an address.  He had been upset when I didn’t turn up to see him off but realised it must have been impossible to get off duty.  We both had to take a lot of things on trust.  He had missed his footing on a climb called Bad Step Alasdair but the rope had held and he was fine.  This did little for my peace of mind.  I was touched that he asked me to send him one of my lipsticks – they were smaller in those days – so he could use it to stub down the tobacco in his occasional pipe.  Three times I sent one and three times it was returned so we had to abandon it.

On my day off Mum and Dad were still away on holiday so I spent it with Maddie and Paul.  Maddie told me that Paul reckoned he could tell if a girl/ woman had slept with anyone – he was certainly right about me.  They both said they were disgusted that the aunts hadn’t asked me to stay the night but the family next door to us were good friends and the daughter came to spend the night with me.

The next day Mum and Dad returned, Maddie and Paul came up and we were regaled with their adventures.  Dad would never let truth get in the way of a good story but we knew to take it all with a pinch of salt.  I had told Paul that Jamie had lost his mackintosh and he had brought up an old one of his which Mum promised to post to Jamie.  By the time Jamie received it he had been reunited with his own.  He had left it in a car whilst hitch –hiking and the driver had very kindly returned it – there was an address in the pocket - and told him to ‘look after that girl friend of yours’.

Most of my free time was spent writing to Jamie or thinking about him.  The word ‘soon’ was for ever in my mind like a mantra.  It was the word we used to comfort a child who wanted its mother or wanted to go home.  It would have to be my word now.  Soon, soon.

Diary entry August 1st 1949
Must remember to be happy, not to drip, mope or otherwise be wet.

I was made chairman of the Student Nurses Association and also as a member of the Dramatic Society was asked to put on a play for Christmas so there was plenty to keep me occupied.  I had a lovely trip to St Anne’s with the Miller family and we stayed at The Hotel Majestic and I showed them the Convalescent Home where I had started my training.  The children loved the beach and we had the usual car crisis with Hector driving back with no headlamps.

I missed Ginny – she was doing her stint at Fever Hospital – we all had to spend a month there as part of our training and I would be next.  As I planned to do General Nursing after Children’s it would be useful experience in dealing with adult patients.
Then there was a letter saying Jamie planned to return towards the end of August.
Yippee!

24 comments:

Sim said...

I once had a boyfriend who moved to Japan. I used to wait to each Monday night until I could call him. But the letters were the best. Calls are momentary, whereas letters you can keep. I keep all of Girlpants, even the little notes that he quickly writes from hotels that only take up two lines.

PI said...

Sim: you are wiser than i was. I just have a scrap of paper saying To Pat:
'Iocyanides are red,
Cyanides are blue,
Here is a scarf,
Hope it suts you.'
Very romantic!
Our second time around I kept - like you - everything.

Life of a Banana said...

It would have been quicker if Jamie had sent you love letters by pigeon, not Royal Mail.

PI said...

LoaB: in those days it really was an excellent service. In the days of Elizabeth Barret Browning there would be three or four posts a day in London. I don't rememberTHAT far back of course!

AndrewM said...

Good work. Carry on.

PI said...

AndrewM: saw your inbred comment!

Life of a Banana said...

Love letters. I love reading other people's love letters. I've read all of Dolly's. It is like being a voyeur venturing into a soap operaesque world. Very intriguing.

The age of emailing and mobile texting have killed the luxury of waiting and the heart pulsating.

PI said...

LoaB: you are incorrigible. Does Dolly know?

Life of a Banana said...

Of course he does. I often have to remind him of what he had done to his past victims.

PI said...

LoaB: I suppose love is 'never having to say you're sorry.'

Life of a Banana said...

Damnit, that freakin tune is gonna haunt me all day now.

Life of a Banana said...

I love a good love story. Go to my blog and see the latest entry. it is all about love. Switch on your computer's speakers and enjoy 4 and 1/2 minutes of LOVE. You have to stay to the very end. You'll ruin the drama if you don't finish reading the plot.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Like Banana, I love reading other people's love letters...or would, if I got the chance, hee hee. When I was a child I sneaked and read a letter an aunt wrote my mum, she was going on and on about this fella she'd just met.

PI said...

Yuo're just wicked GG just like that scamp Banana!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

"he asked me to send him one of my lipsticks – they were smaller in those days – so he could use it to stub down the tobacco in his occasional pipe."

Oh, I love it when you put details like that in, Pa. Lipstick and a pipe: how evocative of the times. All that masculinity and tweed-jacketedness and all that femininity and those softly curled hairstyles. Sigh.

It reminds me a bit of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, only with much less shouting.

Larraine said...

I'm a new-ish reader.....via JohnnyB's blog. I think I must be terribly terribly impatient - I devoured your earlier episodes sooo quickly, and now the updates seem soo slow.
Why do I get the feeling that there's a bunch of sadness to come before it gets good again??

PI said...

Hi Sam! Wow to be mentioned in the same sentence as Plath and Hughes has made my week-end. I made a pilgrimage to her grave in Heptonstall which is in between where I was born and a cottage we had for years in Yorkshire.


Welcome Larraine! That is quite perceptive of you as I have tried not to presage anything. It is an interesting experience reliving events after such a long period - sometimes illuminating - sometimes painful.

Life of a Banana said...

You should serialised your love letters here,,,no. but idea, you should serialised your love letters at my blog. hahhahaha

Life of a Banana said...

Speaking of love letters, i feel a naughty streak coming upon me. I feel like serialisng Dolly's love letters on my blog...hahhahahhahahhahah

PI said...

LoaB: Dolly sounds like the perfect complaisant lover - but perhaps not that complaisant?
What happened to your comment box yesterday?

Life of a Banana said...

What comment box? did something happen to my comment box in my blog?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Me Pat? Wicked? No, no, just a plain, ordinary, nosy voyeur :-D

PI said...

LoaB: yesterday I left a comment to say i couldn't get the Love story thing to work.

PI said...

GG: sounds like you and banana have something in common.:)