My dear Betty
Great minds think alike, the proof of which is in the fact that I thought only yesterday it was about time you wrote to me or I to you. Thanks for your letter, I will answer it at once in case you are still in bed, because letters are extra nice at such times, aren’t they? You are quite in the fashion, for about three-quarters of the world seem to be having colds just now, some having to stay in bed and some not. Poor little Ma is likely to be in bed for a week or two yet, her cough didn’t get any better so we had Dr Leslie to see her yesterday. He sounded her and says the old patch on her lung has got a little active again and it must be quietened down again and to do that she must stay in bed until the cough is better and the temperature is quite down. Her temperature was quite normal this morning and she slept rather better last night, but the tiresome cough always disturbs her more or less. She is rather sick of bed but makes the best of it. George will have to go and sit with her in her room, as I am afraid there is no chance of her being up while he is here. It is very nice that he can get a full weekend here and a day at Sydenham too. Father has written to ask him if he can get here in time to speak at a War meeting at the school that evening. I hope he will, both Cyril and Arthur have already addressed one of these meetings most successfully. I am glad you have got your hand in sock-knitting, probably you will find it quite easy now you have done one. I have passed the heel in the first sock of my second pair, but I don’t get on with it very fast. There seems to be a pretty constant demand for socks all the time. The Whist Drive the other day brought in about £7 which is all to go towards sending comforts and things to local soldiers, so Ethel must get her wool and set people knitting again.
Did you hear that De Ridder has gone to London? He heard of work he could do in connection with the Belgian Army and was very glad to be able to go and help the great cause. He spoke in a very patriotic way and talked of the Germans as “les lâches” with fire in his eye. Father heard from Arthur this morning; he has gone to St Nazaire and is in charge of some English patients there in a French hospital. He says he has some bad cases of pneumonia and expects to be pretty busy there for about three weeks, then he expects moved somewhere else. Mary wrote cheerfully from Dowlais, she said they were very pleased at her news and her Mother would like her to stay at Dowlais over August, but she doesn’t think she will. Don’t you feel very pleased at the prospect of being an aunt? We are very pleased about it here. Only Mr & Mrs Williams and Olwen were at home when Mary got there, Millicent is with Nellie at Cardigan with their Aunt. Nellie seems to be better – and Dorothy had gone to stay with a friend in Merthyr. Ethel and Mary went over to Birmingham and saw Mela last Saturday and had a lovely day for it. Mela was full of spirits as usual they said, though looking rather tired. Kath had sent her a nice box of eatables, plasmon biscuits, meat juice, chocolate etc, all nourishing things, she said it was like a box packed for a soldier at the front. Cecil Brown-Constable has gone back to the front as an officer this time, his Mother and Barbara came over to England and saw him at “Uncle Harry’s”. Poor Mela was rather sad she couldn’t see him.
Thanks for your sympathy about my cold, it was a sort of touch of influenza I think but is now practically all right again. Father and I are both taking a tonic to drive off the last vestiges of our colds. I was away from school most of last week, but as it happened, a lot of children were away with colds at the same time, so it wasn’t very hard for Marjorie and May to manage. This morning a lady from Birmingham came to talk to them about the Cripples Union which does good work in Birmingham and the district, we are going to have a collecting box in school for children to bring pennies, but we wouldn’t let them take boxes home though some were eager to, but most of them already collect for something else, and we don’t want them to collect from other people, but to give their own pennies occasionally.
We heard yesterday through Aunt Pollie that Fred Butler has gone to France, he is working with an ammunition column, sending supplies up to the front I suppose. There has been heavy fighting again the last few days. I do wish we could hear that the attack on the Dardanelles had been successful, there seems no further news about that.
Well, I mustn’t ramble on any more, but set to other work. I do hope your cough will soon go and you will be able to be about again, for your own sake and Miss Fletcher’s! Is Miss Grierson nearly well again? One good thing Dr Leslie saw my gland yesterday and agreed with me that it is getting smaller, so he doesn’t propose to take it out, but wait and see if it disappears which I hope it will do.
With much love from you no longer very snuffly sister