Dec 5 1918
I am afraid you have been getting my letters somewhat irregularly of late. During the last week I have been moving around so much that it has been difficult to get mail away. The censorship has been lifted for all practical purposes, but it is still necessary to send all letters through a military army post office and to have them signed by an officer.
Well this has been my second visit to Brussels within a week. And, I belive this is the first you have heard of it. Last Sunday the whole troupe got permission to come up for a couple of days holidays so we all started off in the morning packed in to lorries and in the best of spirits. I was in the second lorry which unfortunately broke down when we had gone about half way. So the other went on ahead with the intention of coming back and picking us up on the way. Most of us decided to walk on and I fell in with a group of three others Pers Campbell of whom I have spoken before Corpl Shaw premier violiniste [?] and Tom Mesler, a member of the chorus. The most notable fact about Tom is that he is a gradfather of forty very fat and very young and still more wonderful to relate his own father a great grandfather also served in the present war! Well we walked about ten Kils and then by this time it was after one, we bagan to feel desperately hungry and started looking for something to eat. We had just walked through a fair sig[?] manufacturing town, breweries prinicipally I think called Tanbige so just at the outskirts I tackled a house and asked what the chances were. The people were very kind, took us right in and fed us a magnificent vegetable soup brussels sprouts, potatoes, a small piece of pork and a good beer. It was really a shame to take their food because vegetables are scarce all through the country yet and transport hard to obtain. They wanted to take scarcely anything for the meal but as was only right we paid them well and everybody seemed delighted with the bargain. Then Shaw played for them on a wretched little fiddle and all the neighbours came in to enjoy the performance. We really had an awfully good time and were almost glad the old bus had broken down. About three o’clock we started out again and at the next town, Hable, the other lorry picked us up.
When we arrived at the place de P’Hotel de Ville it was almost dark and you can imagine what a treat it was to see the big city all lighted up with gay white lights; first time I have seen them since leaving home. We made our head quarters right in the grand place in one end of the houses of the corporation where the rooms on three floors were occupied by the head quarters of the Brussels Boy Scouts. The organization seems to be very strong here and there were always scores of young ones around very excited and anxious to help us and usually frightfully in the way. We established our cuising in this building (Just here I may say that I am practially official dishwasher just now, but when we are having such a good time and the battalions are having just as miserable as the our would be Parisians can make it for them, it would be ungrateful to complain. I do get impatient at times the [?] Really I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to do regular work again). Well as I was saying we had brought our rations with us so we cooked our meals right in the building and slept in a hotel close by were we had procurred very comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.
Now I see that if I keep on at this rate I’ll spend the rest of my time in Brussels writing this letter so I’ll have to cut down the plan.I expect to be going to Blighty on leave in a few days and as it takes years getting to Aulais in Boulogne (no exaggeration) I’ll have whole days and nights at a stretch in a meachy lousy ould troop train when I can write a book about Bruxelles (note the old [?] spellings) and send it to you.
But I must tell you how I managed to get up again. We went back to Nons by the same way Tuesday night and next day heard that we had to come up to give two shows for some charitable object I just forget what on Friday and Sat nights (This is Friday night and the show is now in progress while I am writing ‘chy’ boys scouts where we have our kitchen as before.
Will is on leave at Forres. I haven’t seen him for a long time but hear from him quite regularly. Your littble box with sox reached me last week, Mother , and also a box from Weston church. Letters from Marion and Mother Also. I have a lot of cards of Brussels which I shall send you at the first opportunity an interesting city, the next best thing to going to Paris. Then I expect to go to Forres next week so I am really having a wonderful time.
Ever so much love to all of you,