War Letters – NW Australia: 2 Aug 1943, Darwin; Barber’s shop in a forward area.

W.E.Pidgeon
C/O DPR Unit
Army Post Office
Darwin
Monday Aug. 1 or something
[2 Aug 1943]

 

Darling,

Sorry I growled about there being no letters from you.  Very little mail arrived for anyone last week.  Must have been some hitch.  Happily I received two this morning and was thereby much delighted.

What - No Letters Blokes

You seem pretty lonely poor darling – it is obviously sickening to have to either stay home alone or still see the same faces & the same chatter.  It’s lonely here as a rule when I’m not working.  That is why I like to get out each week to some camp down the road and settle in to steady effort.  There is  a great deal round about here I want to get on to, moreover the general atmosphere of this mess is slow.  At the moment all the correspondents are spine bashing.  Apparently there is bugger all for them to find in the way of news with the exception of raids.  Now that would be exciting if I didn’t catch a bomb.  And the food up here is bloody awful.  Margarine, dried eggs, macaroni pudding, stewed tea & leathered meat.  That wouldn’t be so bad if the cook thought of something besides going on leave.  Believe you me, I’ve been criminally spoilt.

On the beach again yesterday.  Water really wonderful – the sunshine and Freds bountiful.  I’m losing the lolly pink – changing chameleon like into tiger stripes owing to a little semi spine bashing of my own the other day.  Curled up in a deck chair & came to with pink bands across my belly skin where the creases between folds of fat had been retained it lily white line.  Got sunburnt on the flat yesterday – result – pink & brown now instead of original barber’s pole style.  Nerves not much better – worry a bit about the job as I don’t know how I can remember all the different colour & tones of the scenes I have ideas of portraying.  Most of the stuff I want to get down is of the rapid impression type –Much too quick even to get the drawing let alone tone, etc. The only painting I do is to note down appropriate backgrounds & incidentals to the job.  Have written these blue lines while waiting for a haircut in a military camp.

Barber's Shop In A Forward Area
Barber’s Shop In A Forward Area

He’s a hell of a little barber about as short & thick as a fart.  An ex-ladies’ hairdresser from Farmers, or, some say Borrowmans – anyway he cuts a pretty hair.  The charge is 1/- of which he gets 6d & his unit comforts fund 6d.  You sit on a sawn off log in a parlour of the most delicate hessian.  Whilst outside in the ante-room grim faced & spare witted troops purse lips and pen handle heads in the agonising concentration of writing the dear ones at home.  I draw.  Somebody asks how to spell Americans.  I oblige.

 Have returned to Happy Messy.  This mail is due to go off in 10 minutes.  So lots of love dear & keep on writing even if it kills you.  Won’t be very long before I see you again.  Thanks for the lipstick – tasted good.  Love

Bill.

AWW 1944 Jul-29 BARBER'S SHOP IN A FORWARD AREA
The Australian Women’s Weekly, 29 July 1944
Barber Shop
Barber Shop
Barber Shop
Barber Shop
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut
Reading and writing letters whilst waiting for a haircut

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