12 January 1916

Hotel Terminus de Marseille Saint Charles

Another night out, another train arriving six hours late, and consequently another jumble up of nights & days.  Last night it was gunners that had to be met & conducted to some camp or other.  Now I really hope that we have finished the railway part of the job; & today there is a rumour that the wherewithal for the next part of our programme is now forthcoming, & that our departure may be at any time. Yesterday I received two letters yours of the 24th & 26th December, how they reached here I don’t know, there is no re-addressing they seem simply to have turned up – a very remarkable thing considering that I am completely detached from the Brigade to whose care they were addressed.    Since I last wrote I have been able to see a revue called “Grandmeme” at the local theatre, the Alcazar.  A great deal of it was in the local dialect which made it very hard to follow, but I understood a fair amount here & there.  The staging, scenery & dancing were all pretty good.  We had the trenches in the Vosges as one scene, & for another a street corner in Marseille with a train-driver & female conductor as the leading players.  There were one or two quite good jokes & some really clever witticisms in place.  Most of the music was not original as it consisted very largely of English & American rag-time set to French words – some of them very familiar tunes indeed.  Today I paid another visit to the Zoo, it was very nice wandering about there in the sun – it has been quite a respectable day, neither too hot nor freezing.  The dust clouds of the Mistral have fortunately quite disappeared & we ought to get very much better weather now.  The only flaw in the whole thing is the fly which invariably turns up with the first patch of sunlight & stays till evening.  There is one of the little brutes buzzing round now.   Allen of the 5th is here just now & will probably dine with us, he & Jackson are of course great friends, both of them old Uppinghamians.  The Colonel & Toller were in the town last night, both very gay & visiting all the Cinemas, Music Halls, revues & everything of that description.

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