Dear Mom & Dad,
Just to thank you for your very welcome letter which I received yesterday, No 4. I can’t understand that you hadn’t had a letter from me from Capetown by the twenty sixth of November as that was two days off Sydney which means that my Capetown mail would have been on the way for a fortnight. Still I should think that you would probably get it in the beginning of the week. If I remember right it was a pretty heavy letter so probably it would be sent by sea mail instead of by air. Talking of mail and letters, I think you will find that you can send my letters for 1 1/2 d instead of putting a 2 1/2 d stamp on them. Have you sent any newspapers on to me yet? I think a parcel of newspapers costs threepence to send!
Yesterday afternoon I went to the Newtown rolling skating rink in Sydney with three other boys. We were there for three hours or so and had a pretty good time. I was a bit shaky at first but soon picked it up again. Sometime next week we are going to have a try at ice skating and see how we get on at that. I expect we shall end up with a few broken bones.
Thank you for the Christmas cards. You needn’t have worried about them getting here in time, they did it with a fortnight to spare. A letter from England takes roughly a fortnight to get here which will give you a bit of a guide. How long does it take them to get from here?
I have got a special duty job here now, I am in the Main Engine Room Regulating Office as a messenger. There are eight of us altogether and we work it in shifts. We all work in the mornings and knock off at dinnertime except for duty watch, two of them. Non duty watches can go ashore at dinner time. I do that for three days. On the fourth day I work until four thirty and can go ashore at night. Then another three half days and on the eighth day I work until dinner and then knock off until seven at night when I come on again and work until seven in the morning. So you can see I get plenty of time off.
There is a general strike of the electricity and gas workers on in Sydney and the rest of N.S.W. at the moment. All the ships are operating with candles and very few cinemas are working, only those that produce their own current. As long as the electric railway into Sydney keeps running it won’t be too bad.
Well I am getting to the end of this letter so I shall have to close again. I hope you all have a very happy time at Christmas and plenty of ‘big eats’. There is a rumour going round that we are all having five days leave at Christmas so I shall probably spend mine at the British Centre where they are having a big “bust up”. So for the time being I will have to say “Cheerio”
All my love
xxxxxxx Graham xxxxxx