It is so hot that after one’s work is done one pants like a dog with the heat…

1905 postcard Rouen

05/06/1917 HMB

My dearest Mother

I am writing in bed at 5 am because it is so hot that after one’s work is done one pants like a dog with the heat. Yesterday was a blazing day: the huts were more like greenhouses than anything else.

Tim came back from her leave on Thursday: she crossed on Wednesday night and arrived here Thursday morning.

She had had a splendid leave and enjoyed herself no end. Unfortunately the bicycle carrier and outfit missed her owing to the post taking so long so her people are going to send it on here.

I have bought myself a pump here but it is only a so so affair. You talk so glibly of buying things in France: as far as most things are concerned I’d much rather shop in Alford than Rouen: I shouldn’t be so cheated and the article would certainly be of better quality.

We have been busy in the garden since Tim came back: we have four flourishing rows of sweet peas in various stages of progress but I have never known the annual seeds germinate so badly nothing has done its best and many have not come up at all. The garden is looking very nice now:  the camssias are just over: they were very fine.

Our two formal beds in front of Matron’s door were a sight one had narcissi and forgetmenots in it and the other had Darwin tulips and forgetmenots. The bulbs had been presented by a late member of the staff. The Darwins were as fine and tall as one would see anywhere and the forgetmenots did well too. They really were a sight, set in a small strip of carefully mown and rolled turf which we call a lawn by courtesy.

How are the roses at home ? I hope they have recovered themselves. Of course it was awfully unfortunate having that spell of severe weather just after I had pruned them. Don’t let Fuller go poking about with them for all that of course he had got them into such a state that I had to make a bigger mess of them than I wanted to. However I hope they will be all the better for it. You must write and report progress. My own roses here are very malheureuses. The ramblers are all fairly all right but the dwarfs some of them have only just broken!! Some of them were so trodden down after the fire that I had to cut them down level with the ground, other were all but frozen to death !

Didn’t I acknowledge my reflector etc: came ages ago, I am so sorry.  Also many thanks for the stripes and the medal both of which arrived quite safely. The former caused great excitement among the doctors: the latter of course I never wear. It is not considered good form out here to go about plastered with things like that as Mrs Baron and Mrs Loy do!! By the by would you ask Mrs B if I can get my First Aid Proficiency Medal too as I have one certificate and two years hospital work ? I would naturally like to have it if I could.

Is there no possibility of getting the May Nash ? It is most sad: I have got June and find such an unbridgeable gap. Please would you go to Mr Naninby and order 6 of the No2 plate and 6 of No3. They are the two good ones. They are in great demand out here. Will you please wrench them from him as soon as you can and then send them out to me: I meant to have ordered them ages ago and have always forgot.

I hope Father has rescued my gun and rifle from the ignorant young man at the manor House.

I also hope that he hasn’t damaged the rifle trying to learn about its works.

I must dry up now or I shall be hideously late for brekker.

Best love to you all

Your loving D

PS I have just sent you home two odd looking jugs by Nick. I hope they will reach you all right.

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Mrs T

Beyond the day job, and the garden, I love to delve into local and family history. While pursuing one project other snippets frequently distract me, resulting in the eclectic mix of tales from the past found here.

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