Two letters arrived at the hospital today. I see they take four days. Many thanks for the photographs, quite good eh? So you have at last heard from Ted, his leave certainly does seem uncertain. I have’nt heard from Paul yet. There may be some letters at Cox, I hope to go & get them tomorrow, I went on Sat but they had closed when I got there, so annoying, as I could not get down today, & it’s a long time since I got your first letter written there.
So sorry to hear Daphne has been seedy. So Topher has got his A.S.C. School all right, I expect there is news of this in letters at Cox. It’s much cooler today, a wind blowing and a tremendous lot of dust. I got some things up from Cox today that have been there since I arrived in France Oct/16. My camp bed, a chair & 500 cigars I am glad to say although so old, the cigars are in quite good condition & I am having an awful FF with the C.O. over them as he likes them, & I have given him some.
We are a good way from the town & the sea, but some afternoons we go down & bathe but the water is very dirty where we bathe, bits of cabbage & decaying vegetable matter of all kinds floating about. I wish I had brought my bathing suit. I had to buy one.
A racquet came up from Cox, a good one press, case & all, I had forgotten I had it, all the strings are bust though. I may send it home as it would be worth restringing, such a good frame & all. Might do for one of the girls.
I have got about 80 patients under my care! I have not absolutely given up all hope of having to go on, but I have definitely heard they will not sanction an exchange, if I don’t have to go yet something might be worked, but I doubt it.
I have had one game of tennis, but the men here are awful rotters & although by no means young never seem to have done the usual things. No idea of playing tennis, absolute beginners. The court is hopeless too, big sort of undulations going lengthways & if you stand on the top of the undulating surface on the service line, it’s like serving the ball from the top of the hill over the net, & you can get a tremendous slash in. They think I am marvellous, & I fancy they find it difficult to understand how it is I’ve never been champion of the world, let alone England. They always say “service” before each service.
(drawing of court)
It’s great fun sleeping in that bag every night, such a good idea of yours that old eiderdown, it’s so warm. I have been sleeping on rather a hard board bed, but tonight I am using my camp bed which will be much more comfortable.
The grandfather clock must feel much happier with plenty of breathing space. You did tell me you had sent the specs & stick to Alex, I shall hope to get them some day. But I dare not do anything till I know definitely. I wish I had’nt stopped you writing here, I don’t expect I shall go yet. You never know though. I expect I’ll write again tomorrow
Best love to all
Yr loving son
A.S.C. School is probably Army Service Corps School – “Soldiers can not fight without food, equipment and ammunition. They can not move without horses or vehicles. It was the ASC’s job to provide them.” – http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-army-service-corps-in-the-first-world-war/
It’s very hard to work out where Richard is. Presumably near Marseilles.