32 Aug 9th /45 Okanagan Mission BC
My dear Tony
I am very glad to hear you are back in England at last and hope its [sic] really the first leg of the journey home. [RAS450802] It must have been a most uncomfortable trip but will probably be far worse on the Atlantic. The boats are so crowded they not only eat in shifts but sleep in shifts, I believe! I dont [sic] wonder you feel a bit annoyed with Peter [Mallam], he does seem most casual over money. He told us of some of his dealings, which, I thought, came pretty near black market stuff! He and Patty left for Vancouver on Sunday, both a little bruised and battered having managed to turn the Mallam’s [sic] car upside down one afternoon last week! The lake shore road is being remade and the low spots built up, so that you are apt to come upon stretches a foot deep in loose sand and gravel. I suppose they were going a bit fast, anyway they turned over and skidded along on the top which was crushed in so that all the doors jammed and he had quite a job to get out. It was lucky the thing did not catch fire. He climbed onto the road and tried to stop a passing car, but it sailed gaily past! You’d think anyone would investigate a car standing on its head, but not Lt [?] George Baldwin! Luckily some other people came by quite soon and righted the car and got Patty out. They escaped with a few bruises but the car was wrecked and will cost $350 to repair which will make quite a hole in Peter’s savings (if any) as it was not insured. They say one front tyre was flat, but whether that was the cause or the result of the trouble. nobody knows.
The Taylors came over to tea on Sunday. Claude has got his discharge and is back at work in his orchard. Nigel is getting out too as soon as someone can be found to take his place at Camp Borden. He wants to try for a degree in agriculture at the K.A.C. with a view to a government job, his folks cant [sic] think why as he always hated both schoolwork and anything to do with the ranch! Yesterday Archie [Stubbs] and Beryl [Archie’s fiancee] spent the afternoon cleaning up their future residence and the rest of us joined them there with a picnic supper, a nice finish to a very hot day. Daddy and I walked along to the Meadows while the others washed up but there was nobody home but the large black dog, tied by the back door and looking very fierce. We go there to supper tomorrow night. A large pile of boxes caught fire at the Kuipers early Sunday morning and the neighbours including Beryl had to go to the rescue and shift what they could. One stroke of luck was Haverfields [sic] spray tank was just over the fence already filled which helped a lot. They dont [sic] know how it started but suggest spontaneous combustion from the green wood which makes us rather nervous as we have a pile of 4000 close to the woodshed, which houses the Dodge and your little bus right beside a drum of gas! We have had no rain for weeks. Mary [Stubbs] has just returned from spending the afternoon with Amy and says it was lovely bathing. They dont [sic] see much of Joan [?] now, she spends all her time with Heather Dunlop. Did I tell you the Dunlops are going to live in the Mallams [sic] old house for the winter. The Hales have sold the place to some girl, but she and an invalid uncle are going to live in old Mrs Hale’s house till she comes into her money when she is 30. She was a Wren with Nan Collett who says she is a bit eccentric. Archie was spraying for Ramsey today and says the old boy seems half sorry he has sold his place and does not know what he will do now. That is quite some bomb we are dropping on the Japs, what with that and the Russians coming in [?] it must surely be over soon. Daddy says a week but I, more cautiously, hope in a month but I dont [sic] know that I really believe it. Well here & [?] hoping it wont [sic] be long before we see you.
Love from Mother
Hope you have got to Ditchford by now. [Ditchford Hill Farm was the home of Kathleen’s brother Geoff Freer.]