My luck still holds good. As you probably remember I managed to escape the discomforts of troop train when we came down here by coming out with an advance party. I am also going to escape them going back. Viccars & I are going along tonight by the P.L.M. express, sleepers & diners etc. The General & the last of the Brigade, who were here, cleared off this morning, but we shall get their billets & everything ready for them: for though we start six hours later we shall arrive probably a day & a half sooner.
After tying up at the quayside yesterday, we were greeted with the joyful news that there was a mail waiting for us. I got several letters, dated form January 16th 17th 20th 22nd 24th 26th – a very pleasant surprise. Probably two more will be waiting for me when we get up into the line. I can only find in them one question that requires an answer & that was whether I had received a photo of myself from Dad. I did get one but cannot say that I care much for it. Talking of photos I am rather anxious to know whether those taken here ever turned up.
By the middle of the afternoon we were tied up, & then proceeded on shore. I had to see to some officers’ kits & then get some food for the journey. Both these jobs were satisfactorily completed & the rest of the day I spent in the town. Viccars & I dined together at the Novelty & went to the Music Hall afterwards. I knew the town so well that I acted as a sort of guide to all and sundry. As we were not due to depart until this morning we slept on the boat & had breakfast also on board. The General & his train left fairly early & at the last minute it was decided that I should stay with Viccars, otherwise I should now be in a horrible train. We returned once more to the ship & had lunch & now are going to leave it permanently.
I do not know exactly to what part of the line we are going but we have heard the number of corps & army & it is somewhere in a region that we have never previously visited in our rambles through France. I have great hopes that the country there is not quite so wet or so flat as that in which it has been so far our evil fortunes to have to fight.
On Saturday if we can settle down by that time we are going to have a bust. I shall beg borrow or steal some “phizz” from somewhere & try to get a good dinner going. After all it is only once that one can be 21. Viccars is now waiting so must fly.