My dear Mother
I sent in application for leave today, and if it is granted, and in time, we hope to reach Badsey by the 7.30 train at Evesham next Saturday (30th). We will of course wire later to confirm this. Our journey will be via Le Havre and Southampton and we shall come through London as we both have business we want to do there. I do not know yet where I shall have to rejoin for work, probably not in Nantes, and I hope not for I shall feel that the more work I can get the better.
My patients are all now convalescent, and the one really bad case, a typhoid dating from October, is getting up at last. He has been fearfully bad several times but looks now as if he’ll make good progress and be able to travel home to complete his convalescence. We are both well and cheerful and have had some good walks lately. For two days it has been raw and cold, and a walk into the town to get a paper and read the telegrams has been our limit in the afternoons. I play chess most days with Thompson at the hospital or here. He generally wins but always after a tough game – I’m bad at the later stages.
On Thursday the two local representatives of the RN (Transport officers) gave an at home at the Customs House to English people here – it took the form of a few short talks about the war. Not very brilliant, but the gathering was a novelty in these times and quite a success.
Mary and I are watching with interest and some amusement the matrimonial intentions of one of my colleagues here; I get much first-hand information about it, and even my advice is sought on some points!
We invited old Mme Renou and her daughter to tea last week, also perforce our landlady who lodges with them pro tem. They enjoyed their tea, and “took well” as we say of patients, without protesting that they were gourmandes. They have I think seen better days and are quite chatty and well informed, but the old landlady woman is double-bourgeoise I’m sure, and was very much on her best behaviour; we think she is more of Mme Defarge’s type. The other two are royalist in sympathy probably, as are many of the people round this district.
The nursing sisters have now all left, going to Etretat to a general hospital there, so our place is now run by RAMC orderlies only.
I don’t suppose I’ll hear about my leave till shortly before I have to start. Mary of course will come with me to you, and then I think she feels they will want her at Dowlais for a bit as her visit there has been postponed several times. I have every hope that we shall follow not many days after this letter arrives.
With very much love to you all from both of us.
From your son