As there is no news, perhaps it would interest you to know, how we live in these billets.
The house is very convenient on the whole, though cold, as there is no glass in the large windows and the prevailing N.W. wind blows clean through, and there are no fire-places.
As to our mode of existence, my day is almost uniformly as follows:
6.30 a.m. Am called and drink 1 cup cocoa and eat 4 biscuits. 7.15 a.m. Get up. 7.45 a.m. Finished toilet and read Times till breakfast. 8.0 Breakfast. Porridge, scrambled eggs, bread and jam, tea. 8.30-9.15. Read Times. 9.15-10.15. Parade (or more often not, about twice a week 1 parade). 10.15-1.0 Read and write, unless interrupted by duties. 1.0 Lunch. Cold meat, pudding, cheese and bread, lemonade. 1.30-4.0. Read and write. 4.0. Tea, bread and jam. 4.30. Censor Civil Telegrams. 4.45-6.15. Take exercise, e.g., walk, ride, fish, shoot, or play football. 6.15. Have a bath. 6.30-7.30. Play skat, or talk on verandah. 7.30. Mess. Soup, fish, meat, veg., pudding, savoury, beer or whisky. 8.45-10.15 Bridge. 10.15. Go to bed.
Such is the heroic existence of those who are bearing their country’s burden in this remote and trying corner of the globe!
“Meanwhile, let personal recrimination drop. It is the poison of all good counsel. In every controversy there are mean little men who assume that their own motives in taking up a line are of the most exalted and noble character, but that those who dare differ from them are animated by the basest personal aims. Such men are a small faction, but they are the mischief-makers that have many a time perverted discussion into dissension. Their aim seems to be to spread distrust and disunion amongst men whose co-operation is essential to national success. These creatures ought to be stamped out relentlessly by all parties as soon as they are seen crawling along the floor.”
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November 18, 1915.
As this week is Xmas mail, I have only time to wish you every blessing and especially those of peace and goodwill which are so sadly needed now.
I am dreadfully sorry to hear that S.’s cancer is reappearing. We need more of her sort just now. I pray that she may get over it, but there is no disease which leaves less hope.
I suppose everyone is struck by the weakness of a democracy in war time as compared with an autocracy like the German. It is a complaint as old as Demosthenes. But it does not shake my faith in democracy as the best form of Government, because mere strength and efficiency is not my ideal. If a magician were to offer to change us to-morrow into a state on the German model, I shouldn’t accept the offer, not even for the sake of winning the war.