25 June 22nd /45 Okanagan Mission B.C.
My dear Tony
The last letter [RAS450418] we got from you threw us into a lather for a while, till we realized it had been written some time ago! It was written on board ship and you were apparently in the Red Sea or rapidly nearing the equator! We thought your plans had been changed again and you were heading for the Pacific instead of possibly coming back to Canada, which, of course, we are all looking forward to. However when you went on to say it was nice to be somewhere warm at last, I thought there was something a bit odd and looked to see when it was written. You had omitted both date and number but the postmark was clearly stamped “Ap. 26” and further study disclosed another “Sierra Leone Ap. 27th”. It was of course all about your trip out to W. Africa which we had supposed you had not mentioned for security reasons! What a terrific bridge hand, it must have cheered you up quite a lot.
Our gang of thinners are doing pretty well and so far Daddy has not done any himself and I don’t think he will when they get behind with the job. He finds plenty to do with the irrigating, garden and other odds and ends. [cf. RHS0708] Mary [Stubbs] is putting in 9 hrs a day and so is Archie [Stubbs] when he is here. Today he was spraying for Henry [Hobson?] and he did a day for Clayton at the beginning of the week. The latest gossip is that Peter [Mallam] is engaged to Patty Cummings! I have heard it from several people but I don’t know when it started. When someone asked Mrs Mallam about it she said she knew nothing at all.
I met Beryl [Archie’s fiancee] in town on Tuesday and drove her and all her parcels home and had tea with her. I was amused to see a large photograph of Archie in the place of honour on Haverfield’s piano! I think she bosses the show there. Last night she spent the evening with us while Archie and Haverfield went to a Ranger meeting and we went down to look at Haverfields [sic] camp where they are going to live till their house is built. It has all been done up and a bedroom and bathroom added and is quite a nice little place and a delightful spot at this time of year, but may be rather shut in and damp in the winter. The site we have chosen for the house is through the Greece [?] Gate at the lip of the steep part and a bit to the left. It will be pretty well hidden from their house by the maple trees and will have a gorgeous view up and down the lake.
The Dunlops are living in the Hays’ camp and Jane has a terrific crush on Ian, the eldest boy. He is awfully nice to her and they go riding together. They must look a funny couple as he is well over 6 ft and she still a tiny little mite.
Five Liberators went over the house today, flying in perfect formation, they looked lovely, sparkling in the sun. Mary has found 6 birds [sic] nests in the 13 trees she has thinned. The birds don’t seem to mind much when they have young ones. Leicester Collett is coming on leave next week. We are getting a nice lot of strawberries now and I have been making jam today. I heard from Valerie last week she seems to be looking forward to a more social life now and she said she had been playing tennis.
With best love from Mother.