Not a great deal to do except wave to passing cars.

Marist Fathers’ Novitiate,
Private Bag,
Palmerston Nth.
Sat. 1st March ’69.

Dear France,

Congratulations! and Happy Birthday! When the day comes I’ll be in the middle of a Retreat so I have to write early.

It has been raining a lot here lately. I hope you have good weather for your birthday.

Yesterday afternoon we were picking up bales of straw. They harvested the barley. When we put it in the shed they sprinkled it with molasses, so that when we had finished we were all sticky. It was good fun though.

Last night Tony Solomone caught a hedgehog in his possum trap. It screamed all night until about 3 o’clock in the morning, when we heard someone getting a spade out of the shed, and then some thumping.

I got a letter from Bear the other day. As you probably know, he was in Wellington. Apparently he went to Cambridge University & “lunched” with Sir Thomas Higginbottom – former Counsel of Arden (whatever that means) – so he seems to be meeting the right people.

Today 4 of us went down the drive to the gate dressed in roman collars & birettas to “discuss” the road, & wave to the cars. People couldn’t believe their eyes. Next time we’ll go down dressed as nuns!

Yesterday we had an exam & we have another two on Monday. We have a Conge on Tuesday before we begin our Retreat in the evening.

Well France, I have to go now. We don’t get much time to write. Congratulations once again – I wish I could be there, but I’ll be somewhere in “Heaven” I suppose. Looking forward to seeing you sometime.

Love from

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