January 19, 1917
The days rather lose themselves out here; and I can't remember for the life of me when I wrote last. I sent Rex yesterday a battalion Christmas card, but that hardly counts. By the way, I have learned since sending it that the monkey thereon depicted is the regimental mascot.
At present we are very comfortably billeted. Our newest officer, Wright, and myself are at the same house; but in separate rooms. I have a good bed and am quite the lord of the domain. Also there is a cellar-door within four feet of mine, where I can dodge if they start shelling us. Our mess is just a few doors away. I have been up the line every night this week, except last, which was my night off. The mud is atrocious, but it all comes off with our clothes when we get back and our servants dispose of it by the next time. It is a weird life in many ways; but it is surprising how soon one becomes accustomed to it. The sudden kettle-drum staccato of the machine guns searching for working parties, the vivid flare of the Very lights and the dense darkness which succeeds, the whistle of a salvo of shells overhead, hardly make you raise your head - unless something is a bit close. Then, of course, you hug the bank, or the bottom of the trench or wherever you happen to be at the moment, and wait till the row stops, or the light goes out, and carry on.
They've got a new "gag" in the trenches now. When some poor unfortunate slips off a foot-board and goes down to his thigh in mud, and comes up cursing, some one behind is pretty sure to come out with "Cheerio! lad.
We're winning." And they believe it too.
Oceans of love to all.