Wep’s 1956 Romanian adventure: 28 Nov-3 Dec; Homeward bound

Mon 26-Nov-56: Got train to Harwich, boat to Holland
Tue 27-Nov-56: Down the Rhine by Lorelei Express, arrived Zurich about 9pm
Wed 28-Nov-56: Roamed around Zurich & caught plane at 7:30 back to Aust.
Thu 29-Nov-56: Landed Instanbul about 1am. Passed by the mountains near Mt Aararat. Landed Basra – Karachi.
Fri 30-Nov-56:    Calcutta about 1am, Singapore 11am. Stayed Raffles – saw dress rehersal of show.
Sat 1-Dec-56:     Left Singapore 10:15am direct to Darwin – arrived 8:45pm. Took off for Sydney about 11pm.
Sun 2-Dec-56:    Arrived Mascot 7am. Met by Dorothy, Graham & Trellie – John Boyce in at dinner in evening.
Mon 3-Dec-56:  Quiet day & loafed around – few drinks.

 

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Zurich, Switzerland; 28 November 1956
Zurich, Switzerland; 28 November 1956
Ganymed Statue, Bürkliplatz, Zürich, Switzerland; 28 November 1956
Bürkliplatz, Zürich, Switzerland; 28 November 1956
Uraniastrasse Bridge, Zurich, Switzerland; 28 November 1956
47.371648,8.542234
Basrah Airport, Iraq; 29 November 1956
Singapore; 30 November 1956
Singapore; 30 November 1956
Looking across towards the Fullerton Building, Singapore; 30 November 1956
The Fullerton Building (now a hotel) with the Fullerton Road bridge in front, Singapore; 30 November 1956
Singapore; 30 November 1956
Cavenagh Bridge, Singapore; 30 November 1956
Raffles Hotel, Singapore; 30 November 1956

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Wep’s 1956 Romanian adventure: 19 Nov; London – catching up with an old friend

Mon 19-Nov-56: Picasso exhibition. Met with McNulty & Ronnie – went to cocktail party at Kensington. Bought [air] gun for Graham & coat for Dorothy.

1956 MM-DD WEP Romania_0125

Monday 19 Nov 56

Dear wonderful girl,

There is nothing worse than a wife who can’t handle a situation in front of a stranger-if there is, it is a husband. It seems to be my fate to always accompany someone who was about to be in the gun in any case. But why, (when the excuse is that you haven’t seen a friend for six years) you can’t get a little out of schedule is beyond me. Not that I caused it. It happened before I arrived on the scene. I would say it happened two days ago when McNulty [Head of Consolidated Press’s London Bureau] arrived back from New York. But why sour off on the innocent accomplice? Even I never did that (within limits!) If I ever bring someone home, dear sweet girl, please remain your charming self. This is the first night I have been slightly thinged since I have been in London. And I am enjoying telling you about.

But suddenly everything collapses about my ears, and there is little to write about and nothing at all to tell, with the love, and the deepest affection that I have for you-and you, really only. I love you. And sometimes I think there is something wrong with me, that I don’t get any real thing for another woman. Yet, when, I first met you I had a desire. Could it be that my being, knew better than my head? I have never experienced the same thing since. I don’t forget that I went back to the Journalists Club and told King Watson that I had met a nice girl and that I had kissed her good night even if she had sat on my hat. And I don’t forget that I wrote in the back of my cheque-book that Dorothy Lees (21 Beresford Road Strathfield XM 8822) was to be taken out for a meal and affection. And what is more I don’t forget that I asked you as we reached the top of Greenwich Road in the old Pontiac why a nice girl like you had not been married-and you had no real answer. And I didn’t know either. And later when you said to me one wonderful morning-I can remember you sitting, where you sit now, at the breakfast table, and it was Sunday morning and light and as crisp as a chip. And you said to me “don’t you go getting shy on me, Bill Pidgeon”. And to tell the truth I was so shy I could hardly look at you but you seemed somehow quite happy, which I couldn’t understand-yet knowing, very implicitly, that you were as innocent as I, about what we had done and sealed, without completely knowing it, in our hearts. Why did you so suddenly give yourself to me? I didn’t expect it! Did you know that by doing so you had marked me down for yours? Because you did. I knew was well as you, that your,-not generosity, not magnanimity, not anything but a certain psyche that you had, would come true-and that you gambled upon it and in its way, it has worked. I don’t mean gambled-I am sure that you knew then that I needed you, rather than any other type of dame. And I know that you still think that. And I assure you it is truer than you ever imagined. The trouble with me when I am a bit buoyant is that I can’t write fast enough, to say the things that should be said, with grace they deserve. Strange, but one of my life’s most vivid recollections, is that Sunday morning with your “don’t you get shy on me!” You looked (although I know now I was wrong) so sure of yourself I thought for a moment what a woman of the world, and yet I knew that was false because you gave yourself to me in an innocent way. And that was fatal-for me. Perhaps for you too. Although what I had to offer you at that time seemed less than nil. A comparison on a dead love-a half grown child-and a surly, egoistic, lazy, sensualist. Yet one who responded to the feeling of your heart, as strongly as Graham did. You know, my darling, from all this distance I can appreciate your love and stupid faith, which at times can be unsaid, but still remains, as mine does, for you. You know I loved Jess-and you also know that there is nothing to be done about that, and that my heart is yours now-even if it is quieter and not as gay as it could be for a honeymoon couple like ourselves. Every day I go two miles out of my way to collect a letter from you. Every day I get one-and my heart is warmed and my love for you become stronger. I love you very much indeed-dear sweetest Dorothy girl wife.

I don’t care if this is all thing on paper. I am in the mood to be extra urgent and tell you that you are the most necessary focus for 85 Northwood Road. What would Graham and I do without our crumby old sheet anchor? Can you tell me, or even see, one who could take your place? Your wonderful girl body under the shower with 1 foot slightly raised and the face towel down near your moustache, and the water glistening down your 34” bust and 35 ½” hips? Not to say anything of the 13 ¼” neck with a small kissable mole on the left-hand side nearest the oven, when you are unfortunately forced to be perpetually washing up. Or the flat little feet all covered (or rather soled) with planters? Did you ever see your wonderfully formed behind shake a cup? No! But I did. And can still! I am in the mood to forgive you almost anything until I get home. Then your last-minute rushes will provoke me to rolling you on the floor (i.e. in embrace not anger). One other thing I want to tell you, before I fold up is that you always look wonderful when you walk up the path towards the front door. That is, when we are waiting to you. Before we were married you looked grand and gay, and after two years, you still look grand and gay to me. I hope soon you will look grander-if not gayer, or more expectant. That is the key word expectant. You have such implicit trust-it is all wrong-and yet, who wouldn’t envy that look? – Oh Darling – dear girl.

That was a breathless bit-wasn’t it? Almost all of it without one cigarette. All because I got 4 letters from you this morning and I have been out with Clarrie McNulty to a cocktail party at a well (or fairly well) heeled gent’s place. He had two beaut Buddha heads, for which he paid only £3 each 25 years ago. And a magnificent Chinese Sing horse and all sorts of other things. I love you for sending me a daily note. The only thing against it is the fact that I am too lousy to go away for the day for fear of missing it. I have been thinking it over and I would be much happier if you all could meet me at Mascot. I didn’t mean to be discouraging about it. I get mixed up when I’m tired and can’t get a proper thing on what should be done. I would really love it. You could ring Mascot or Qantas to find out how the schedule is going. I definitely expect the three of you at Mascot even if you have to take a picnic lunch and a grilled knuckle for the chopped down ankle dog.

I flatly refuse to go to bed. I am not fat, and on the looks of things and not likely to be any more cuddlesome when I arrived in Sydney. However I hope you will accept me in spirit, if not in flesh. I can tell you now that the dressing gown is off. Much as I love your suggestion-I can’t see how I can do anything about it. I am so glad you liked, and received, the mad black cat. I don’t know whether I told you it was baked enamel from some bloody place or other in France.

Really, sweetheart, I don’t feel like writing any more about the aspects of the western world. Whether it is in Gothic or Classic, or this side up, or Antipodean, I have got to the stage where I couldn’t care less. I have seen all I want to see of London (apart from the Tower). From now on I will stick to the three galleries and have done with it.

I loved very much your lipstick. It is such a pity that I can’t request anymore because you cannot answer this letter.

I could see the imprint of the fabric of your lips. A little open and very kissable-I tried to get it-but all I tasted was writing ink. I do wish you could use a unguent that was expensive and lasting. I would have slept with it.

It never dawned on me in our haste on that memorable Saturday (although I didn’t forget anything-and as a matter of fact, took too much) to take a well soaked handkerchief of yours. Just like a knight of old-off to the jousting. I would have worn it as a cockade. I am getting to look more and more like a colonial as my clothes get tireder and tireder.

I love you and this is, in some way, a means of being close to you. I wish I could write you with the fluency you write me. I have so much more to say but somehow it gets left unsaid. In the near summer nights when we are both together and alone I shall wander off into a dream sequence, out of which you will get something of what I felt and saw in these long two months of Europe. I probably won’t recollect what I have seen consciously, but in your arms, images may come back and against your love, and your warmth, the realities may come to life in a dream tale for you. I’d like to be semiconscious letting a flow of visions, people and ideas, flows smoothly over your warmth, and your sweet and tiny breasts.

I have folded up stop I love you, I love you, I love you! Much binding about the marsh to you from an absent admirer-your husband-Mr W. E. PIDGEON.

[Paragraph inked out]

P. S. Don’t waste your time trying to read through that-it’s impossible-it wasn’t anything crude or nasty-I somehow just lost the grip on my affection and the words were forced came from the head and not from the heart. I can’t see much possibility of me writing you another such letter before I get home. I should be there about a week after you get this note. You had not mention that I said anything about being delayed. I suppose that is in order-for what I can gather you had only received one letter from am sure I mentioned it later but in any case I will be home on Dec 2 at 7 a.m. Mascot.

By way of being repetitious-I love you-and still love you,

Yours singularly,

Your husband.

A pretty letter-many things said twice-bed as I meant them, I hope you accept them.

XXXX Bill.

P. S. You can’t answer this letter. Save your thing up.

[Additional page]

You wonderful, wonderful girl!!

What are you trying to do? Make me die of love for you? If you were here I kiss you right in the middle of Fleet Street. Might utterly adorable little woman. I love you even more than I did last night. I’m pining away fee you.

Must say though, I beat it down to Fleet Street to get that cable, in fear and trepidation. Almost had the flaming shakes all that money-so unexpected-I don’t need that sort of money. Can’t very well not get a dressing down now, can I?

My sweet, Darling, most loving, scrumptious, inestimable, fantastic, kissable, /-able, dearest, most unbelievable, adoring, delirious, unpredictable, delicious, and utterly unique, darling girl wife-I love you.

I have half a mind to seal this avowal with my life’s blood.

Your abjectly devoted husband.

Willie

I can’t get home quick enough!!

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War Letters – New Guinea: 9 Jan 1944, Sydney; If anything should happen to me…

Jan 1944

Darling,

If anything should happen to me I’d like you to do a few things that while I was here I didn’t seem to be able (or for that matter, had no point in saying) to tell. Or ask, of you.

Above all, I don’t want you to blow the old top! I expect you to be upset – that is human enough.

But these are the things I want you to do. I couldn’t tell you them – it would sound all so silly and melodramatic.

Go for a trip or something. Don’t hang around the house we lived in. Wipe all the half-wits you and I know are half-wits. Get rid of Molly. And for Christ’s sake don’t finish up the widow Vi. Get married.

Don’t panic. You’ll be getting more money than even you know what to do with. What with office compensation, my insurance, remains of my mother’s property, and your own people’s estate, you will be worth about £5,000. You don’t have to let a cheap hick get hold of you. I would hate the guts of that. Don’t sell your mother’s house. Don’t sell my property. Lend £1,000 to Jack at 5% – he could use it. All in all you should be able to get about £5 to £6  per week without doing a tap.

Please always be a little bit in love with me. Within my pretty lousy way I have loved you. Unspectacularly maybe – but there has been no other.

Please don’t lose that little baby. Perhaps I’m sloppy – but I’d like to leave something behind to justify the old existence.

I love you – at times, wildly, deliriously, and without reason. I have loved you.

Too bad I think that there is nothing after all this. I’d have liked to have seen you.

Snugglepot Bill

[This letter was probably never revealed to Jess till later. It may have been in a sealed envelope, or it may have been given to an associate to give to her in case Bill was killed whilst overseas.]

Note: Bill left for Townsville on 9 January 1944 (Ref: DVA File No. X336636)