Dear Mum, just got a letter from you and am very pleased to hear that all your insides are sorting themselves out. What a nuisance that you’ve got to go back in again; didn’t you tell them that you weren’t going to be treated like this? It’s not every day they get somebody with double kidneys or whatever the particular speciality you have is! (Plus being an unusually blooded person!) [My mother had a rather unusual blood type.]
I went to Mass on Friday at midday at St Pat's in Soho Square. Have I ever told you about that church? I keep finishing every letter and realising that I haven’t said what I intend. And yet at the same time I have the funny suspicion that I have mentioned it, and the church near Leicester Square ˗ the French one. Would you let me know if I have or haven’t as the case may be? Anyway, today I was in town again (see why below) and popped into the French church ˗ I think it’s called Our Lady of Lourdes or something like that. [Notre Dame de France,in fact, ie, Our Lady of France.] And the priest was just in the middle of the Offertory, so I thought I’d stay, you see. I couldn’t make out a minute or two later why no one was standing up for the bit before the Sanctus. I didn’t stand alone (being unlike my wealthy uncle John ˗ they must have been through more cars than clothes! That’s transgressing somewhat.) [No idea what this is about, nor who this particular uncle could have been.] and then suddenly realised that the bit he was saying was the end of the Mass! And here was I calculating if I would be able to go to Communion etc!
I stayed on a bit later trying to get what I should do about getting a job sorted out in my mind. Whether I should go back to the agency near Leicester Square (again) where they employ people for cinemas and such, or whether I should try another place that would probably give me an office job. (I’ve given up trying to get one from the paper, though there have been a few possibles, and the job that Reg suggested of working for the Post Office as a night telephonist is proving to be more trouble than its worth. They just don’t seem to want anyone even though they advertise continually, and when I saw the wages that they offer part-timers I can’t understand how they keep staff. Anyway my name’s down on the list. I thought that it would be a possibility but it’s taking so long to get anything out of them that I thought I’d be better to try something else out.)
There’s no doubt the Good Lord is a fast worker. I only need tell him I’m depressed while walking along the street because there are so many unfamiliar faces, and somebody will smile at me, or talk, or give me something to smile about. (I really must get a new ribbon for the typewriter.) Anyway I headed for this office agency, and then started thinking about perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad to try as a trainee projectionist as was suggested the other day. But it’s a full-time job ˗ however I thought the hours might have suited, so after sitting down with a sandwich and a cup of coffee, and thinking about it, I decided to go back to this cinema employment place. The lady then told me that I was wrong about the hours they work and I realised that they would be of no use at all. I told her again that I wanted the day-time free if poss, and she pipes up with a job as cashier (night one) from 5˗11, five nights a week and alternate Sundays (ye gods!). but the pay is £14 basic! Plus two guineas extra for the Sunday. What could be better? So I went round to this cinema to see about it, and though the actual manager wasn’t there, the relief manager seemed to think I would be quite satisfactory, so I’m to go back on Thursday and make sure. Isn’t that fantastic?
Now I come to the distaff side of the picture ˗ if that’s the expression I want. The cinema is in Soho (!) so consequently it shows mainly foreign X films, or home-made ones ˗ which means that to show them it’s got to be licensed as a club apparently, and the outfit as a whole may be a bit sleazy. When I say that I don’t mean the actual place as far as working goes, it’s just the thought behind it all that’s a little seedy. However it seems to me that it’s not likely to involve me personally in anything distasteful ˗ if it does we’ll just have to start looking for something else! Anyway it all seems to be convenient otherwise so I guess it was pretty well intended, so I think it should be all right. We’ll soon know if we get the job, won’t we? [Looking back on this I’m not sure if it was sheer naivety on my part, or whether I was trying to justify the possibility of this job to my mother. The cinema was a ‘club’ because it showed blue movies, as I later discovered, and should have realised early on. However, I spent the majority of my time in a caged-in box ˗ locked in to prevent people trying to get at the cash ˗ and when I wasn’t serving customers, which was often, I read lots of books, including, as I recall, a biography of Berlioz.I can laugh at it now, and talk about it freely, but for a long time I felt ashamed, afterwards, at having decided to take the job.]
My foot hurts when I walk without shoes on, but I can almost run again so no doubt it is improving.
Everyone’s going to the Little Sisters!, Love Mike. [The Little Sisters is a rest home for the elderly, and sick. I think this probably refers to two of my great-aunts going to live there.]