My dearest Mother
Many thanks for your long awaited letter which took 9 days to come !! It is a beastly shame: my second letter from Southampton doesn’t seem to have reached you, and as for my wire: it was despatched on Monday the 16th at 8.45am!
We are awfully busy in the garden just now: we did not plant any new trees by the summer house they are too expensive and we shall just have to risk people annoying us by staring in! Sunday afternoon is a perfect pest: everyone in Rouen choses the road past our quarters for a walk especially as there are the fire ruins to stare at and comment on. The lamps got over safely and the provender although not in its first youth was delicious.
I also had a p.c. from Molly saying that R was my side of the water but he didn’t come this way. Poor Molly I am very sorry for her, but as she says she has been lucky. I hope Bunny will be better behaved: I dare say she will get broken in a bit now the baby is less on her –M’s- hands and she has more time to devote to the little imp.
The Spode ware sounds delightful, is it the green kind? We were much amused at the communication May had received about me. If it weren’t so funny it would be insulting. We have written to May urgently on the subject of staff and wire too. They have been awfully tiresome at headquarters but help is coming at last. We are four short (no five) at the moment. Tim is in the operation ward and unfortunately ( for me and for her as she doesn’t want to stay there) gaining golden opinions from the doctors there. Dr Stouffs is furious at her being taken away as he also thinks very highly of her but the Medecin-chef did it so he can’t complain. She will come back again to the electricity when the new nurses arrive. I have only got an orderly to replace her which is a very poor do. Fortunately I have very few patients at the moment (comparatively speaking) I haven’t been so slack since we came up here. The hospital isn’t very full just now.
The weather is delightful here just now: we have had a bright sunny week and no rain, Tim and I have been slaving with the last of our seeds. Will you please get me some giant sunflower seeds – 1 pkt – and some more – 2or 3pkts – mignonette to plant for a succession. Our Darwin tulips and narcissi in round beds look awfully healthy and it is wonderful to see the results we have in our packing case frames. Our chief trouble is cats and dogs; there is a perfect plague of them. They take a short cut across our garden to the mess kitchen to scavenge and frequently inter some succulent morsel in our flower beds. We are going to have rabbit wire put up but things move very slowly in a military establishment.
I was much amused about Mrs Mucky B. Still I don’t suppose Nurse expected to find anything else. Please tell Nurse that her jam was absolutely delicious. Alas that it may only be spoken of in the past tense.
There isn’t much more to tell you. I have bought Miss Loveday’s bike. It is a bit expensive but it has a 5 speed gear and quite a good machine, would you should bag it. Please take the saddle and saddlebag off my bike and send it out here as hers is a brute: I should be worn to a thread if I rode far on it. Tim will try and get a bike when she is home: in the meanwhile she can borrow from the others. Also I am afraid I am stony broke. I had the paying for the bike (perhaps Father would give me it for my birthday) and I had my expenses while at Southampton, and the washerwoman’s bill to pay when I arrived here – so there you are!
I mus dry up now: my light is supprosed to go out in five minutes and I haven’t taken any of my clothes off yet!! You will send the seeds as soon as possible, also a packet of Shirley poppies please.
My best love to you all
Your loving Dorothy
Please would you send the May Nash’s magazine. How are the roses looking ? I’ve got my fountain pen back all right: I hope yours is better now.