28th August 1961

Dear Diary

                                                                                                                                                 Monday
Today wasn’t too bad really. I’ve hardly done any work. People kept coming to talk to me and I’ve found myself answering the same questions over and over again. The first being, ‘did you have a nice holiday?’ The second, ‘Is Alan home?’

The subject I had been rather dreading was about a day’s leave tomorrow. I thought it the worst possible cheek imaginable that I should go back from a fortnight’s holiday and ask for the next day off. I couldn’t have been more surprised when I got it!
I mentioned it to Miss Glass (section supervisor) almost as soon as I got in. She was her usual helpful self and said it seemed very doubtful but if they were to ask I could say it was alright as far as the section was concerned. She gave me the holiday form and said I could explain circumstances myself. I was glad of this because I could state my case better myself.

Thankfully Miss Watson wasn’t in the main office (she gives me the creeps) so I could speak to Miss Griffiths in peace. She looked doubtful when I told her when I wanted the requested day. She said it was rather short notice and was it for something special? I explained about wanting to see Lena off at the airport. She looked understanding but asked whether I didn’t know about this before. At that point I got in the line Dad had suggested. ‘Someone else was going to take her but that can’t be managed now.’ That did the trick! I signed for the day’s leave there and then and left her office a happy girl.

 

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We took longer than usual for coffee. There was so much to talk about. There was the party to discuss and I had to hear Margaret and Lesley’s opinion of Alan. (They couldn’t forget how tall and thin he was.) Pat was disappointed that it was Lena’s last day and they hadn’t met. So, being the mad hospitable fool that I am, I invited her home to tea. Not even thinking about what Mum would say. When I remarked on how much drink was left over from the party Carol offered her services to help get rid of it. She came home from work with me.

 

 

Lena and Jennifer weren’t in when we arrived. They had been in Romford all afternoon to buy presents and they didn’t get back until 6, loaded down with interesting things for Lena to take back with her.

Alan had said he would be back from Gloucester at 5-ish and to my house about 7.30. I was getting quite worried by the time he turned up at 9. I thought they had shipped him off to Berlin or somewhere.

 

Lena had done her packing before he came. The end seemed very, very near. When Alan had left we gave her the little gold locket we’d bought for her. It was so touching to see how pleased she was with it. It was all so sad. There were tears in her eyes and I felt like bawling.
We didn’t get into bed until 1 am. We were up in the bedroom for over an hour looking through all the old letters she had sent to me. She was very amused to see some of the things she had written.
The room looked so terribly bare with her things packed away. It is so strange how, in three short weeks, she has become part of the family. We must see each other again. I can’t just wave her off tomorrow with the thought that this is the first and only time we shall meet. We have become very close friends in the last weeks. So close that it is hard to believe we are of two different countries. Many times we have noticed how alike we are in ways, likes and dislikes and even in appearance. Our neighbor, Mrs. Whatmough, says that when she sees us from the back she can’t tell which one of us it is.
I wish we didn’t live so far apart. I have become really fond of her. She has been the sister to me that age difference has prevented Jennifer being. I particularly enjoy the nightly chats we have before we turn out the light at night. Something I have never had and always wanted. And the holiday in Dorset. We could never have enjoyed it so much if we weren’t of the same temperament.

 

Still, partings have got to come and we have known from the beginning when this one would be here. I am just not looking forward to it one little bit. I don’t know what I would have done if Alan hadn’t been coming home so near the time she leaves. It is true that half my mind is on being with him again. So every time I think I Lena’s departure I have thoughts of Alan to cheer me up. It is a very strange world!

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