22 November 1915

La Fosse

I believe we are now in for a really hard spell of weather.  Last night the wind disappeared & it froze quite hard.  Today has been bright with a nice warm sun, but there was only a slight attempt at a thaw & by five o’clock this afternoon it was freezing again vigorously.  This none of us mind so long as the rain continues to keep off as it has done now for the last few days.  The only objection to the frosts is that they make the roads so hard & slippery that riding is not only difficult but, at times, absolutely impossible.  This morning I got on to my black mare & set off for the trenches.  We started very carefully at first & occasionally tried a gentle trot.  This was scarcely ever a success & as a rule the first dozen yards saw the poor brute with its four legs all going in different directions, & myself falling lovingly on its neck.  We never actually parted company & the mare never actually fell, but it was anything but a “joy-ride”.  Coming back was better, for the sun was just strong enough to turn the slippery surface into a slightly sticky one.   The only way that the war is waged in these parts seems to be by sniping, hence my visit to the trenches today.  We are organizing a “hate” gang & are going to make quite sure that if any old Hun goes hopping about as he likes behind his lines he will find a bullet or two trying to turn him into a billet.  It ought to be rather good fun for the men who are chosen to do it, & will provide them with some amusement in these eventless days, when one’s only exercise is the extraction of one’s foot from a pool to place it in another.  This afternoon & evening we have not done anything very energetic.  I rode over to the Field Cashier & drew a little money for myself & for a few others who could not get there to draw it for themselves.  Tomorrows programme is not yet made out, so that I don’t yet know whether I shall have to stay at home to keep house or whether I shall be allowed to sally forth on my own.  There is quite a lot to see up there as well as back here; at present there is practically no intelligence work being done by the battalions, & it has all to be organized.  The Brigade has not yet moved, but I believe we are going to depart from this Chateau, this abode of comfort & warmth, the day after tomorrow.  I have not seen the new billet but it certainly cannot be so well furnished.  As a matter of fact, I believe we shall be pretty nearly as comfortable there as we are here.  I shall not get a room to myself there as I do here, but in all probability will share a large “three-bedder” with the Interpreter, & Escombe the signaller.  Viccars is going to arrange to have some cubicles erected if it can be managed.


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