My dear Kathleen
I hope this will find you at Folkestone, I'm sure you need a few days change. My plans are getting fixed, you may have heard I'm contracting for another year directly; I find the prospect of getting special home jobs at the same pay is slight, and by signing on direct I retain seniority and shall get a captaincy. It is understood that I get about 2 weeks leave and I hope that will come this month. Poor Mary, I'm afraid the prospect of another 1 month is very hard, but she has taken it so splendidly and bravely. We really have morally no choice, and in certain vital respects are much more fortunate than others. But it is when she looks around and sees so many husbands and wives of like age going on calmly as if there were no war, and nothing to work for except ordinary things, that it seems so hard. Still, I know she feels I'm doing the right thing, and in the end that is what counts. But I feel very unhappy at having to prolong our separation. I hope within a month we'll be together for a little while, to welcome the little newcomer. If there seems no likely chance of letting the flat I think Mary will soon return there afterwards. I wish you weren't tied at Sydenham, you could make the flat your home for a bit if you cared to.
I think I feel the stress of things more just now than I have since this time last year: they are dark days for those who can see, but I remain an ultimate optimist, only one has to postpone the brighter days all the while.
I shall hope to be able to settle a good many matters when at home - I intend Mary to have her own place to run, whether in the flat or elsewhere - it will be much better for her, and more satisfactory in every way. Think over that suggestion about the flat - it might help to make your time at Fulham brighter in some ways, and the advantage would be mutual, I needn't say that.
I think I want a holiday - one misses so much the little things which make life nice in ordinary times. Of course I'm lucky here, and am not grumbling, but however lucky, it's not the kind of life I'd waited for so long.
I hope to hear definitely about the leave before many days; that would clear the air a bit.
I've one more letter, a long one, to write yet, so will say goodnight. Give my love to the aunts and with much to yourself.
Your affectionate brother