23 Jan 1943, W J Carrie's wartime diary
I haven't written for a week. My back has been horrid - I don't know what causes it, lack of fats I think. But it's better again. I have had 2 lovely parcels this week, one from a Margaret Guttinger (Dora knows her - she of course just lends her name as a "cover" - I think it's the gentleman whose wife travelled to Singapore with you - No, it's not) - 1 tin of bully, 2 lbs sugar, a cake of Carbolic Soap, facetowel, toothbrush and toothpaste. The latter I've no use for so I gave it to Dora. Another parcel from the Informal Welfare Comm (Selwyn Clarke's show) - 1 tin Jam, and of Pineapple Crush, Grapefruit, Tomatoes, and Vegetables. I made a glorious stew of the Veg which were green peas and diced carrots and a tin of bully. The Grapefruit, half the pineapple crush with 1 lb sugar, a whole fresh orange, rind and all, and the rind of another orange and two small pieces of ginger I got from Lynne Jones - I have made the most glorious marmalade. We are terribly short of things to spread on our bread. I buy peanuts at the Canteen, roast them and grind them (Johnny Farr has a machine) and make lovely peanut butter. I'll make it for you when I get home. It's really good and full of vitamins.
I wrote this morning - tonight I've had another parcel from Mrs Kan Tong Po Jam, Condensed Milk, 1 lb Coffee, 1 tin Braised Pork and some Chinese Rice Biscuits - very good.
I think this is the 32nd Anniversary of my first "popping the question" in that little back room in Gilmore Place. You remember I once thought the 23rd was your birthday, and you were so cross with me - I knew it was a date of some importance! We have been promised more mail which is said to be in Tokyo - so I hope to get another letter soon.
I had to stop there - I've had some men in seeing me. I am the member of Committee for the Indian Quarters in charge of the kitchen - as well as Treasurer - and so I have quite a lot to do.
I won't go on any more therefore tonight. Goodnight L.O.