3 February

Posted: June 6, 2017 by saraherhodes in 1917

We got some Christmas presents about a week ago. A cardboard box containing two packets of Capstan cigarettes, two boxes of matches, a handkerchief, two packets of peppermint lollies and a couple of postcards. Some presents!

I have just come back from another flutter in London. It helps to break the monotony. I left here Wednesday midday, I went via Salisbury this time. The line from here runs up a valley, the Wylye valley. The river Wylye runs through it. The journey was very pretty, plenty of trees and water with ice gleaming all over it. In several places, children skating and sliding on it.

At Salisbury, I had to wait an hour so I crawled out and investigated the place. It is the quaintest and oldest place I have been in so far. The houses are all very old fashioned. Narrow little streets with stone arches over them. The river Avon runs through it, also the Wylye. The rivers are cemented up in the town, and houses are built right up to the banks. Every little while there are watch towers etc. In the centre of the town is a big market place. The Cathedral is wonderful. On the outside there is the most beautiful masonry work. It stands in fine open grounds with lawns all round it. Inside, the long naves with their lofty gothic roofs are very fine. There are tombs of all the old nobility dating back centuries. The altars and shrines are very fine too. The battle honours are very interesting. What were once flags are now sheets of silk with just a trace of the original material sewn on here and there. I arrived in London about 6pm.

Thursday I went to the Board and was passed fit for general service. I ran across Colbey there. He was put on three weeks Home Service. He only had a fortnights leave too. About half a dozen of us lunched at Regents Palace Hotel and then Colbey and I went off to Harrods to buy records. Afterwards we had tea at the Waldorf.

Mayman, the Staff Captain, was booked to go to France as a conducting officer with a draft. As soon as he was leaving, he was to wire me, so I was expecting a telegram at any time. I had two days leave. The wire came Friday. Took train at Waterloo Station and had to change at Salisbury. When I got there I found I had missed the last train to Codford. Had to get a motor. It was a lovely moonlit night. The road was lined with trees all the way. The Wylye and irrigation channels could be seen through the trees shining with ice. It was a 14 mile ride so you can guess I was pretty cold before we finished.

Our mess is some class. We have a piano in addition to my gramaphone.

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