The same place
3 July, 1918
Letter No. 63
My dear mother,
I intended to write this letter in ink but the stuff in my pen at present is too thick to use so I must my old "Venus" - should be quite lost without one of these.
I have had a holiday today! No parades whatever and no work; can you believe it? Reveille was at 8 o/c and breakfast at 9 o/c and after I had washed and completed the letter to Stan in time for the afternoon's collection, Stuart and I wandered down to the place where I am now and read magazines until 12.30 when dinner was ready. Thus we had a long afternoon in front of us and the weather being suited for walking, S & I decided to go on a fairly long stroll and try and find the river that flows about four miles from her and if possible to get a swim. Well, we hadn't gone more than a mile when the sun seemed to get rather hot despite the pleasant cool breeze and Stuart counseled a rest under the inviting shade of some trees. And, almost needless to say, we didn't get any further for Stuart fell asleep in no time and I got very interested in the book I was reading. You will say that we are getting old and lazy but we get so much tramping about as a rule and so little rest that it really made a change for us to spend the afternoon in this way. Before strolling back for tea we went over to the next village and bought some butter (margarine rations being short). Something went wrong with the grub today so we had a good tea by frying some eggs. I think I could eat "umpteen" eggs at a meal now; it is lucky that I can usually manage to get some occasionally. I must say that the cakes which you have sent are very enjoyable for lunch and also especially as a supplement to the bread ration when it is smaller than usual. I always save the cake for these occasions.
Since tea we have come down to the usual place to write our daily letters home and here we shall remain until supper time. I might explain that the reason for this holiday is on account of the Water Carnival which is taking place at a small town about six miles away; to enable those who wish to attend to do so. I did not go because the place would necessarily be crowded and I prefer the country to those old French towns.
Your nice letter written last Friday reached me at tea time today and as soon as I saw the familiar handwriting all that had to wait until I had read it. Letters only take three days to get home as a rule - they always leave here the day after I write them - which is quick. No letter reaches me under five days which is not too bad. Yes, I like the British Weekly very much and am pleased that you are sending it out.
The information Greenberg gave to Archie is quite correct. Weren't we pleased to see them arrive?!
I was sorry but not surprised to her of Uncle Tom's death. As you say it will completely break up their home. What a waste such an amount of our happiness is bound up and depends upon others? One scarcely realises this until our loved ones are taken away for a time.
Stuart tells me that his people have received 25 picture postcards from him; it would be interesting to know how many you have received.
Give my love to dear old Dad and the boys; also to Grandma and Cookey. Hope to be home before Archie gets out here again.
Now I must say tootle-loo for a little while,
With heaps of love and xxxxxxx
from Old Dinkey