Jan. 19 1919
Dearest Mother: -
Your letter from Montreal with the two cards enclosed came yesterday. I hadn’t heard from you for some time but knew you were with Hazel by a St. John Telegraph I saw. I am so glad you and father went as I’m sure it did you both good, much better than staying in that lonely house. Well I am back from my two weeks leave arrived a week ago last night and intended writing all week, but I seemed so busy getting used to day duty again. Mary & I have a nice room together, and "Mame" had all my things fixed up when I arrived back – flowers on my table and hot water bottles in my bed. There are only two beds in the room so when Crocket returned from leave (last Thursday night) she got back in our old room of 3 beds with 2 other Canadian girls Mrs. Dyde, daughter – in – law of Prof and Mrs Dyde and a Miss Hudson from Vancouver.
Now I must tell you about the rest of my leave. I think I posted you a letter from Scotland. We left there Monday morning Jan 6th & got to London that night. We had a room at the same hotel the Waldorf. Had to book it a week ahead though as every place in town is crowded. Tuesday night we went to see Elsie Jarvis in a Revue “Hello America” and it was splendid the next night we saw a play “Nothing but the Truth” and Wednesday night we went to the Drury Lane Pantomime with “Cy” Inches. We all had tea together that afternoon, then dinner and the theatre. Friday we had lunch at the Royal Auto Club with Cy again. He has left the battery and is on his way home. First time I had seen him for 4 yrs and after all the talk I had heard about how old he looked I was agreeably surprised. Friday night we just sat in the hotel & listened to the orchestra. I came back here at 7 Saturday night. Semi came down with me and went back to London that nights as he had to leave for France early the next morning.
I wore my black and silver evening dress nearly every night for dinner & it is most becoming. I also bought such a pretty smart black satin hat rather of the 3 corner type medium size and it has a flat corded silk brim on the edge of one of the turned] up sides, then I got a lovely white silk scarf with fringed ends a broad one much like the one Peter sent Mary last Christmas. Oh I mustn’t forget to tell you what Semi gave me for Xmas, a beautiful bar pin set with rubies and diamonds. Didn’t tell me what he was getting me either just went out & bought it one afternoon. Came from the same place my artillery pin did. He gave me the money for the hat & scarf of course, although I intended getting the hat when I got my trousseau things. I told you that I get $110 a month. $60 from Semi and $50 separation allowance up to now all I have spent of it is $25 on my teeth (worse luck) and some on Xmas presents. In London I had $40 extra didn’t spend all of it there so the other day I was in an antique shop with Mary saw the most perfect large pair of silver (Sheffield plate) candle sticks for 2 £ ($10) so I couldn’t resist buying them. They are the prettiest I have seen for some time.
Now I wonder when I am going to get home. My 6 months contract is up Feb. 2nd. I offered to stay on a month or so more but was told I couldn’t, would have to sign another 6 months contract which I wouldn’t do, imagine being over here till August & then back in Canada. However I only signed my discharge papers yesterday so won’t get away for another month about the 18th of February. Mary won’t get away till the 3rd of March so I think I will board here for a couple of weeks till she finishes. I know a very nice place where Semi stayed. I have spoken already for a passage the middle of March, but everything of course depends on Semi. If he gets away from France before that, I will come sooner but he is going to be kept in France till May I may wait a while longer.
He can’t find out yet when they will be sailing, but a transport officer told him all the Canadians would be out of France by the end of May and some have sailed already so he might get away sooner than we think. I haven’t had time to get a letter from him since he reached his battery again so haven’t had any late word of things yet. Wasn’t it great he got the Military Cross. I wish it has been the D.S.O. still its nice getting something.
We are having horrid wet cold weather, haven’t seen a sign of snow this winter in this part of the country, but its so damp and chilly all the time.
I had a letter from Stan a few days ago & he expected to be over here any day now. Of course he has written you that he is engaged to Miss Alexander & that she has been quite ill with “flu”. I am glad he seems so happy & I am sure you will like her. I also had a letter from At and he was at the Canadian Infantry Base Depot. I imagine he will be getting home before long.
Well I have written quite a long letter and my arm is tired. I got the [?] Calendar Mrs. Percy Thomson sent me one too, so I gave one to Mary. We just love having them. We got such lovely boxes after I went on leave from Jean Sayre, chocolates from Kay Trueman & a box from Catherine Kay Coster & Dorothy Blizard.
We are still pretty busy where I am working. I am in the great big ward and where I was on night duty you will see it in that book of views of the hospital.
Don’t you think it would be rather a good idea for me to get some linen sheets, towels & tablecloths through Mr. Sutherland and of M.R.A’s next time I am in town and charge them to you. Things are a big cheaper over here & then they could ship them out with their things for me.
I haven’t drawn on father yet for my trousseau clothes & won’t till just before I come home & then it won’t be as much as all I have decided to get is one dress and a smart black and white checked suit & a pretty blouse or two. I have saved all my separation allowance for a fur coat and I am going to buy some cretonne over here you can get it for 2/6 (60) a yard beautiful too.
Mrs Mackay writes me often & certainly is good to me, so I think she must like me. How nice it would be if we could both get home next month and go south with them. Had such a nice letter from Katie this week and she tells me I am Hope's god-mother and Semi the god-father. I must write her, but oh dear I seem to have so little time for such things.
Hope you found everything all right when you got back.
Tell father I am surely going to Oxford some day as we enjoyed going through the colleges at Cambridge so much.
Heaps of love to you all