December. 27, 1943

Dear Bud,

Just recalled that I haven't answered your letter only by V mail and so will do so. I had a couple of days off the past week in which I intended to do a lot of writing but as usual did less than usual, as the music was better around Xmas, the bed real inviting and too much reading material around. Very well I realize these V mail I turn out aren't literary gems by any means. I often wonder how they look after being processed. Really though they aren't carbon copies even if they say the same thing. I wish I could convey some of the feelings one has upon viewing the many different scenes here. It is very easy to see why England has produced so many great authors in her time. The fact that I cannot mention names of localities greatly hampers any very good description I might make but already I have seen everything from "Scott's" castles of the Middle Ages down to "Hardy's" heath ponies. So far as I can see nothing has changed.

Looking at a map one is greatly misled for the States seem to make it a mere dot on the map. Over there one travels for miles looking at practically the same scenery or same type of country. In England, all are jumbled together in hills, dales, lakes, streams, as fantastic as in a dream. Artificial objects add to the beauty of the country as they are of stone and so old they are actually a part- as if they had grown. To me the coastal country is about the most beautiful.

Quite a lot of difference in the farming sections here and in the States. The land as a whole is very fertile and soil erosion just isn't around. Add that to the fact they have no terraces and plow up the steepest hills and wonder. They go in for rotation as a must. For this reason all fields are cut up into one-half to three acres. The stone fences do a lot to hold the soil I believe. At this time of year most fields are green and cattle and sheep grazing. Cattle are shorthorn and white-faced and very nice ones. Very few hogs around as they don't raise much in the way of feed for them. I haven't seen a single 4 wheeled wagon, I believe, as 2 wheels seem to fit the mud. When two animals are hooked up one is in front of the other rather than to the side. Usually the houses join to the barns directly or very near! Homes in general are far ahead of the ones there, being all stone or brick. Just thought the above facts might be of interest.

I certainly do like to look around and have several places in mind I hope to see. The main one being London. Some of the boys have been and enjoyed it a lot. People here, I have mentioned before as being real friendly, and not much different from people there. They like very much to hear all about the U.S. The girls are very nice and I admire their English accent. They excel in singing these old songs like "Shining Through" and others. They also sing U.S. songs a lot and quite well.

Hope you like my description of things on this side. I made a point of leaving out advice in this letter. Stick around and do the best you can. Hope you are right in any deals you make regarding the land. I am about out of space and time to mail this so will close. Give my love to Dot and the boys. I see dozens of kids that I imagine must be just about their size. I owe Mother a letter but decided to answer yours first, lest you think I didn't appreciate hearing. Hope the girls got home Xmas and all of you enjoyed it as much as I did.

All for tonite and Love to all, Odell