Friday, 12 February 2010

5 December 1943

My Darling Eileen

Maggi and Peter sent a beautiful card.  Inside Maggi had slipped a note.

This is how it began:

'That day I was aware something was up when Mary, then aged 8, and I, aged 5, were despatched across the road and around the corner to 'go and see Auntie Kathleen.
Strange that, because we hardly ever did.
Mary was deputed to hold the hand of sister Kate, then aged one and a half. To my shame I was told to carry her potty.  (No plastic bags to disguise the evidence in those days.)
I don't remember the tea or what happened in Connaught Gardens, but our father came to collect us several hours later. 
On our return home he said 'Mama has something to show you' and we were introduced to our new sister, Eileen Ann.      

We were good friends as children, despite the five and a half year age gap.  We had a similar sense of humour and played Monopoly and card games obsessively.
Eileen was good at Snap, being quick, and managed to win with monotonous regularity and great good humour, especially at Rummy.
When we were older I recall shopping together in Oxford Street, when the children were at school or being minded by Granny.
At one point we shared a lovely Ossie Clark black evening dress.  Since we had different sets of friends the dress got good wear.
Our lunchtimes in Oxford Street were always a cheese omlette and a half pint of lager.  Those were the days!

Christmas parties and holidays in Holland were so good - lots of new experiences and so much laughter and fun.
There are so many memories and I am grateful for those.  Eileen was brave and kind and funny.
I will miss her so much.'

Eileen, my love, we all will.
Will write again soon.

For ever,

Trevor xxx