Nov 12th 1915
My dear Aunt Eugénie
This is just a short letter to send you all my love and best wishes for Xmas though it will not be a very merry one this year. We are so glad to hear Cyril’s wound was not very serious after all, how anxious you must have been till you had more news. I wonder whether little Dorothy Mary has stayed with you yet. Aunt Lottie told us Mary and baby are to be with Kathleen for the winter, it sounds such a happy plan. We often think of the three boys and wonder how they are getting on. We were so thankful to see Nellie Coster’s name among the survivors of the Marquette. She is one of the nurses in the No 1 New Zealand Base Hospital. Today our 8th Reinforcements leave Wellington, the 9th are in camp, the 10th being called up, they are being sent every month now. With all the Balkan complications added to everything else it is difficult to know what is going to happen. The papers today are full of the Ancona tragedy. What a terrible thing it was. Well I am just going to tell home news and not think of the war.
I have been very busy gardening, have just finished planting out a bed full of pansies opposite the drawing room window. Hubert gave me a lot and we had a good many so the bed will be very gay. I bicycled up to Ngarua yesterday morning before breakfast (I am generally too fond of my bed to get up early) to get the pansies, and found the family in various stages of undress, it was just after seven. However the children soon joined me in the garden and before I came home to breakfast I saw the baby tubbed. She is very sweet and so healthy and strong, she is over three months now and weighs 14 lbs. This morning I have been tidying up our church garden. I miss Anne over there. She writes so happily, she is very busy but does like it so much in Auckland. We are looking forward to the Xmas holidays when she will be here for a nice long time.
Our spring-cleaning is finished, I am so glad. The maid we have is not very strong and of course Maidie must not do anything of that sort, but I was lucky in being able to get outside help. Mother’s room has been done up, new cream paper and pretty grey carpet with pink and green in it, it does look so nice. It was rather an undertaking because we had to have bricklayers and carpenters as well as paper-hangers, but it is such a joy now it is done. We slept in the spare room for a week, Mother and I but got back to her room two nights ago. Mother is so much better, we were very anxious about her in the winter, and she takes so long to pick up after she has been ill. Maidie, too, is better but still has to be very careful. You people are just getting into winter, I do hope you will keep well through the cold weather.
Aunt Lottie told us of Muriel Holmes’ marriage. I daresay we shall hear more of it soon from one of the girls. I actually don’t owe any of them letters at the present moment!
Well Auntie I must say goodbye now. Very much love and may the New Year be a happy one for you all. Tell Uncle Julius that Francis’ letters from Mount Cook, and the postcards do remind me of Norway, his descriptions of the glaciers etc. He has been skiing and tobogganing. Do you think he sat down and slid as we did?
Your loving niece