Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine



Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine


Writes of successful shopping expedition and getting oranges, tomatoes, chocolate and cigarettes. Continues with news of savings group and what she is reading. Mentions other domestic matters and housekeeping expenses. Catches up with family and baby news. Addendum reports arrival of letter and his news. Concludes with description of evening activities.



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Two page typewritten letter with handwritten addendum


IBCC Digital Archive


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No. 1 Lido, Sunday August 10
Darling Johnnie, Yesterday I had just about my most successful shopping cruise to date. I got 3 oranges, 2 tomatoes, 15 cigarettes, two 2 ½ bars of chocolate – I think that's about all, but you'll admit it was pretty triumphant. Oh yes, I got some eating apples too, small but quite good,. I met Mrs Wilford coming back from town as I was going down, & she told me there were oranges about, so I managed to get 3 from various greengrocers. Later on Betty Wilford turned up with 2 more oranges which she said her mother insisted on my taking for the baby, because they had plenty. I demurred & told her I had managed to get some, however she insisted, so as Frances is after all the most important consideration I took them gratefully, & will now be able to give her fresh orange juice for a week or more if they don't go off too quickly. I thought it was very kind of Mrs Wilford, Frances had won her heart entirely by smiling that infectious smile of hers.
This evening I have rounded up my remaining sheep & fleeced them of their savings contributions, bringing the total for the week up to 49/6. That is without the Greenishses, who are on holiday, but several people said they were putting in a bit extra to start off with, so may be I shan't always keep it up to that. It certainly is one way to get to know the neighbours, they are all very friendly, & of course I have to chat to them when I go round to get their subscriptions, so that it is quite a long business. I rather enjoy it, though of course I can only go when Barbara is at home to stay with Frances. I am still deeply engrossed in “Gone with the Wind”. It certainly is a fascinating book & very hard to put down. It will be just as well when I have finished it, then I can attend to real life again. I washed your socks today along with a dozen pairs of Peter's & will send them to you soon with my collected store of cigarettes. I do hope the lighter has arrived safely by now & is working satisfactorily. I rang up Betty Hughes to thank her for “sorting” it. It was lucky she did, because the tobacconist said it would take at least 6-8 weeks to get it looked at by Ronsons, & there was nothing really wrong with it after all. I hope after Betty's stinging comments you will manage to keep it in working order. And by the way, if you can ever get hold of any Ronson flints, we really ought to pay her back the new one she put in your lighter & it would be as well to have a few in hand, so you might just keep on enquiring in tobacconists. I will do the same.
I have been trying to work out my housekeeping expenses, & it seems that the regular necessary household items will just about use up the RAF allowance, which leaves me at present with Barbara's £1 a week for all the other things which as you know usually turn out to be far larger than the regular items. When Mrs Stenzel comes (if ever, I still have no news from her), & if I have to pay her 15/- a week as well as keep her, I suppose these funds will not suffice & I shall have to draw on sundries.
[page break]
I was slightly held up in my spring cleaning ardour the other day by breaking the key in the lock of the camphorwood chest up on the landing when I was trying to open it to get our blankets de-mothed. However, I managed to prise it open without damage & take the lock off to be repaired, & duly got the blankets & rugs aired in the sun the other day. There is no sign of moth in them, that camphorwood is really marvellous. I was pleased to see how many we have, I was really never quite clear as to what we were buying off the Freemans. However, we seem to have two double blankets & 4 single ones, & the two rugs, so when we get some eiderdowns we have 3 beds furnished at least. At the bottom of the chest I found an old pair of cotton curtains that had once hung in Barbara's room & these |I have put up in the kitchen & made the black-out really black thereby. Their colouring luckily goes quite well with the kitchen, so that is another job done.
Today I played the piano for the first time since I've been back. Frances was sleeping peacefully on the front lawn & I had just finished the washing & there was no lunch to get as Barbara was out till 5 pm so I sat down & enjoyed myself thoroughly for an hour with all my old favourites. When Mrs Stenzel comes perhaps I shall have time to practise now & then, I should like to if possible. Barbara is leaving tomorrow on her holiday & I shall be on my own until Sunday. I'm planning to invite people to tea if possible, & shall try to go over to the Serpells one day, though it does mean pushing the pram all the way up North End Rd. still I think it will be worth it to see them & the baby & have some company.
[underlined] Monday [/underlined] 11th Your letter of 8th has just arrived, containing £1 PO which I am going to put into our joint savings as I am doing OK financially this week. I'm sorry a letter of mine seems to be missing its probably in a parcel which has been delayed. I've written & posted something every day, but there have been several parcels recently & they seem to get hung up. You see I've started numbering on this one. I've received your socks & divi warrant, also exam results, in fact something every day, so I think your correspondence is OK. It's certainly lovely to get so many letters from you & I'm sorry my letters have been rather scrappy recently. Barbara & I have sometimes played cards in the evenings, & in the mornings I'm generally in a rush before noon. However, I'll be on my own this week so should have more time. Now as usual I must go to town, so goodbye darling one, I hope very much that your efforts to get another long break of being GB are successful. All my love to you for ever, Ursula
PS Will send cigarettes with socks when I've darned them.



Ursula Valentine, “Letter from Ursula Valentine to her husband John Valentine,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 2, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/19595.

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