Letter re: trip to France (April 1938)

10.4.38


My dearest Mother,

I was glad to have your letter on Friday.

I expect you will want to hear something of our Paris visit. Well, chronologically, it was thus –

As you know, we left Croydon at 12.30 last Sunday. As the French had already changed to Summer Time, we had to put our watches on an hour en route, so that by French time it was after 3 when we reached Le Bourget and about 4 when we reached our room at the Roblin. After unpacking we went out to tea at a very nice place in the Rue Royale. For dinner we went to a very special place called ‘Le Reine Pedeauque’ and after a walk round sent to bed early.

On Monday I was busy all day, in Paris in the morning and at the aerodrome of Orly in the afternoon. Meanwhile Marjorie went to Fontainebleu for the day. In the evening, after dinner at the hotel, we went to the ‘Folies-Bergeres’. And so to bed.

The next morning I was at the French N.P.L. at Issy-les-Moulineaux. My chief host during my visit, M. Milon took Marjorie & I to lunch, with his wife, at another special restaurant, ‘Le Sanglier Bleu’, in Montmartre. In the afternoon, I went to the French testing station for aircraft at Villacoublay while M. did some shopping. In the evening we dined at the Café de la Paix with two friends of mine from the Air Ministry and then we went to a French film.

On Wednesday I was at meetings in the morning and afternoon but had lunch with M. and we had time to look round for some small gifts for the children. This was a difficult business and in the end we bought three cheap prints – one for C., one for J., and one for ourselves as they were very attractive.

In the evening we entertained our hosts of Tues., M. et Madame, Milon, at ‘La Reine Pedeauque’. Though Milon speaks good English and is well read in English literature, his wife speaks only French. So M & I had plenty of practice.

We left our hotel at 8.45 on Thursday to catch the early ‘plane at Le Bourget, which left at 9.30. Putting our watches back en route, we reached Croydon at 10.45 English time. We had a splendid crossing this time. I, with a cold developing, the first since I came to London, went straight to the office, & M. went home.

We were both to have gone to Sutton this weekend but having such a filthy cold I decided not to go. M. has gone alone. I worked all day at the office yesterday and today am just messing about, keeping out of the childrens’ way as it would be awkward for C. to get a cold just now. His ear is now practically alright, but he has still to be careful with it.

As I write, my cold is much better and I expect will be practically gone to-morrow. It should do us all good to go to Aldeburgh on Thursday. Paris was probably good for our nerves, but it is no good as a health resort; it is really every enervating.

We are glad to hear that Hildred is getting along well and hope she will soon be back to normal.

The children send their love and hope you are well,

Your own loving son

Harold


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