Sunday 22 July 1917
Good lad Lic! Your letter was fine fun for me last night – so I’ll answer it – & the other home ones straight away while I have a good chance. It was only this morning that I posted to Father – green envelope – so this may arrive just as early as his. In the other I enclosed 2 or 3 snaps taken here & there, which may be of interest. When the letters came last night we had visitors – that is – Lance & Herb & I were entertaining Frank Jones & Herb Bail who had come over from the M Gun Squadron for a yarn. So I just ducked up for my ‘dozen’ – & waited for a while till our visitors had gone before I started to read.
Then I hopped into my blankets after having lighted a candle & had about 1 ½ or 2 hours good fun touring parts of SA, WA, France – & home for a good ½ hour or more. Went to a couple of hockey matches – a debate or speech turnout at which Dorc was one of the chief speakers! & I dunno what else. I’m jolly glad I looked ‘quite well’ in your dream – altho my ‘nose was shortened & my chin was stunted & my legs had lead in them’.
At present my chin badly needs a razor cos there is over a weeks growth of hairscrub on it. Also with my hat off I might be taken for one of Cromwell’s roundheads – cos it’s only 2 or 3 days since a chap cut all over with the clippers but apart from my ‘looks’ I feel ‘quite well thank you Mrs Buck’ – so that’s all right.
I hope it didn’t rain the next time you & Mary & Coy were going on the bikes to H[enley] Beach – do you use mine at all? – is it any good now the cold weather has come? I hope it is some good for fun. Joy must be getting a crack rider now to ride that far. I’m glad you like the brooch & that people think it is pretty. Next time I go to Cairo I think I’ll try & get a few decent things & send home. I’d bring them only it’s not convenient for me to get away just now – too busy.
Mack told me about you & Joy singing a duet – [illegible] chorus – & chorus was laughing: bad luck – but cheer up – I can’t sing mesel. You seem to have had quite a bit of fun & plenty of visitors that day (holiday Monday). I’m sure the concert must have been first class but the ‘coffee & toast’ for supper about capped all. I’m glad ‘Hurtle Peters’ comes down sometimes. Old ‘Wolf’ has been missing his letters for a few weeks past – I must send him on mine from her & one I got last night from Stell – to read – in case he is still missing. But he may be getting them again now all right. Bad luck if a chap here doesn’t get his mail: it’s just a bit of all right – home letters. Because even if you can’t exactly see us, we can ‘zactly see all of you: cos we know our way round & the lay of the country etc at home.
What for Ray learning music from Mr Brewster Jones! She is a ‘leddy’ [lady] now & no mistake. I want her to play the ‘Chapel in the Mountains’ tho when I come home – you can tell her. How does old Mack go now on the screeching joke? I don’t know if I have ever remarked about the fact of her ‘learnedness’ in this direction – but I noted it when told of it some months go! Good.
Glad to hear that Sir Harry [Sir Henry Lionel Galway, Governor of South Australia 1914-1920] duly visited the school and kindergarten at Wooder on second attempt. I reckon if I’m not ‘shot up’ too much – his job will do me all right after the war: it would amuse the school kids to see my short nose etc & I would give them numerous ½ holidays. I might even take an occasional trip up to the ‘Never Never & see Ruth’s tribe of piccaninnies & give them some gaudy ribbons to tie up their shaggy black hair. What do you think of the ‘bit of a girl’ going away up there on her ‘lonesome’? I think it may be all right for her. Plenty of fun in some ways I reckon – but you see – she’ll want to come home for 2 or 3 days at least – at Xmas – I’ll bet. I believe by what she says that she is going to the home of ‘Robbie’ Robertson, a chap who came over at the same time as I did – in 23/9, a nice chap too: I saw him the day I sent out to the 9th to see Wilf Rowe. I know he came from well up north & that way somewhere. I’ll ask him if it is so next time I see him. I reckon his mother & sister & Co would probably be all right.
What-o for the motor cars & tennis & riding – that will be the place for a holiday for me when I’m convalescent – getting over the shortening of my poor nose you know. Of course a wounded – returned ’ero will be able to help himself to all such things ‘bucksheesh’.
Fancy Mrs Hartley going to a hockey match! & then dropping 2 stitches – I’m sure she’ll never go to another – not even to see her prospective – at least – I mean – to see Ruth play. Good old Varsities for getting a win anyhow that day (at Blackwood this was). Thank you Mack for Miss Wattie’s & Miss Clark’s regards or summat. I may write to Fluffy & Co by Xmas if I’m not home before then: ‘spect I will be.
Bad luck for Finsbury Park Bap[tist] the Clarkes going away. Fancy Faith being housekeeper while Aunt Millie was in town! ickle Faith. I wish you had had that mail a day sooner (about 12th June) so as you could have ‘talked’ about what I had to tell you – neffer mind – I hope you did get it all right the next day.
Father said he hoped that Wilf & I were in that little ‘20 mile railway accident’ in May: I’m glad something was in the paper about it. I was there – I think I told you about it in one letter at least but early in June a batch of our letters was lost at sea & I am afraid one I wrote to Ray & to Ruth were about going at that time – & for all I know they may all be down & being read by the mermaids instead of by the pretty maids I meant them for – Faith Hollidge, Doc Paynter, Miss Cunningham, Mrs Wellie. Kath Harry – quite a number or all of these may have got to the pack. Neffer mind. Never never worry sez I. I’m still alive to tell the tale anyway.
I don’t know what could have happened to that birthday parcel of mine – except that it didn’t come by the same mail as ‘Jaick’s’ & I went to the bottom as Dorc feared & ‘ventured to suggest’ – bad luck. I’ve done my best here – asked postman Willie Wilson – & I had enquired at Moascar PO before ever coming out here & apparently it’s never been seen this side of the ‘bluey’. But I didn’t lose all the fun & luck & love that came by wireless – perhaps the parcel may even turn up yet. I’d like to see the photos & things & the something that Miss Priest did for Dorc – & all & all: you didn’t ever tell me about it cos you expected me to get it of course & see for myself.
Paper is full – so say I cut it out & write a note to Mother cos I’ve still a bit of time to ‘talk’ left in me. It’s time I wrote a letter in answer to some of your letters isn’t it? But Ev [?] growled cos I hadn’t written to them – what is a fella to do? Bad luck!
Sunday – no church – no nothing.