Captain Scott's Other Last Letter To His Wife

My darling dearest,

By now the missive recounting my pain at being apart from you should have arrived. The sentiments expressed therein still hold true of course. You mean more to me than anything, which I hope I made clear in the previous letter. It’s just that I’ve remembered some other stuff, of a more practical nature, that should also be addressed.

I’m expecting delivery of a Parka jacket sometime in the next couple of weeks. Obviously, this should have arrived prior to the expedition, but the outfitters have been manifest in their buffoonery. I would like you to return this item, demanding a full refund and expressly pointing out their lack of commercial responsibility. And please make clear my personal indignation (feel free to show them this letter if necessary).

If they continue to give you grief (as is their wont, let me tell you, especially an older gentleman called Standing whose dedication to officiousness is as committed as mine to Polar expedition) perhaps include a few cuttings regarding the tragic nature of my fate (should this occur, fingers crossed and all that).

While on the subject of blaggards, be wary of that fellow who washes the windows. He’s always trying to increase his prices and then saying things like: ‘Oh, Mr Scott said it would be all right, before he went off to the North Pole’.

He does the windows of quite a few of the explorers and he’s tried it on with all of them. He seems to focus on the ones not likely to return, that’s his angle. He charges Shackleton £4 a year! He’s only got a bungalow. Really quite ridiculous.

Also, me and the lads were just having a bit of a chat in the tent and it was imparted to me that I do sometimes come across as a bit of a fuddy-duddy. Perhaps, when speaking of me to the press (should the inevitable occur), you could highlight my more playful side? I don’t wish to go down in history as a big grump. Make me appear less dour. ‘As my husband always used to quip, “no-one likes the cold shoulder!”’ Not that exactly, but like that.

Think that’s everything. As you know, the dog gets that worm thing sometimes, but there’s little that can be done. Erm ... dum, de, dum ... oh, cancel the hall for the celebration party obviously. There’s quite a bit of bunting in the loft, picked up a job lot before I left, dispose of it as you see fit (or hang onto it, if you think your next husband may also be an explorer. Though I wouldn’t recommend it! You see, that’s the playful side I was referring to earlier).

So, I shall offer you my sweetest farewell my dearest darling, with all the love that I possess in ... oh, another thing about the Parka people, they’ll claim I didn’t pay a deposit (that’s the sort of swines you’re dealing with). There is a receipt in the bureau drawer – threaten legal action if necessary, I really am most peeved about this.

Yours, Scott

P.S. Oh, love to the children etc.


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