My Dearest Mother 16th May 1916
I got Pennells seeds and Ryders new catalogue all right as well as the old catalogues you sent me. Some of the seeds are almost above ground. It is very sickening for you to have all the cook trouble over again what a fool the girl is. What on earth does “Maud” want to come out to Calais for: there are lots of women much more unattached than she and therefore more suitable. She ought to stay at home and keep a heavy hand on the local VAD and the YMCA.
The tobacco came for me all right: that for the men does not come so quickly as it is a bigger parcel.
I hope John and Elsie have realised how wise it was to put them off. As for their letters I would have sent them with this but I haven’t a big envelope: they shall go off tomorrow.
The bit of bomb is fearfully exciting: I should have said that you ought to have gone to one of the holes and grubbed it till you found some bits but having one on the gravel it isn’t necessary. You must keep it MOST carefully. I bet there are some filthy pages in your diary about the raid.
Poor Frank Young, what rotten luck. The Times started coming last Wednesday, when the Times of May 8th arrived and has come as regularly as clockwork ever since and is a great treat.
John Bull and Bill Bailey was quite amusing: what a fool the latter is, but what a knave the former, as it is not so extremely funny that the old lady should have done the Church washing gratis.
The parson’s wife really takes the buttered onion. Why do they let her do Commandant if that is the way she behaves.
Thank you so much for sending back my mended clothes: I’m sorry they’ve been such a nuisance, another time just say if they’re too bad and I’ll quite understand.
Thank you very much for the Glymiel: it is a Godsend to us out here. My hands are like nutmeg-graters from gardening. As for the letter you were surprised I hadn’t got: I think mine was posted at 10.45am and yours arrived at 11.30am the same morning.
I’m glad the garden is flourishing how I long to see it.
Ours is getting on splendidly: the plants you sent are top-hole: they look as if they’d lived in our bed all their lives. We now have six beds, [drawings on original] one has all herbaceous perennials with a rose tree or two and a lavender bush and such-like oddments in it. There are a few patches of seeds coming up. The next bed has fewer perennials and more seeds in it, four nice clumps of sweet peas. The next two beds are all annuals seeded for stock to pick and the remaining ones are seeds or perennials again. It will be quite a nice garden don’t you think? There are two military gardeners belonging to the engineers building the hospital and they have been digging for us: they are such nice kind men, but our conversation is somewhat limited as they hardly understand any French nor we much Flemish. I think they are astonished that we have got our garden so nice all by ourselves. All against our hut on the garden side we’ve planted climbing nasturtiums and morning glory and mignonette to bush at the foot of the climbers so we shall be quite smart. It will be much nicer when we are up there as it takes half an hour to get up there and sometimes more, and when one only has 3 hours of free time it takes up such an age getting there and one cant pop out before breakfast to do little jobs.
What a nice windfall you had. Certainly no one deserves it half so much as you and I’m delighted. I quite understood about Mary Watts affair it is a grant or gift not an order. I’ve given it to Matron who is most grateful.Thank you so much for paying my COGS subscription: yes it was “Serbia” who got married. She was very “hairy in the hock” as Bertie once said.
As for busy I shall be 3 times as busy up at Bonsecours but I hope I shall have another nurse up there. I have got another one with me, training just now, quite a nice girl. We had the Inspector General forBritish Army Hospitals here this morning, Sir Arthur Slogett or Sluggard, something like that anyway.
A gay old chap, Matron Knew of him in South Africa. He was a great friend of King Edward’s. He was awfully interested.
I must stop now
Best love to you both
You loving Dorothy.