15 February 1916

H.Q.

Another soaking afternoon, this time without even any intervals of sunshine.  During the night we had a young hurricane & on one occasion it got so fierce that I had to get out of bed & stop one or two things rattling.  From the hurricane there was at least one temporary good result: it was so violent that it blew away the rain & we had an absolutely fine morning until midday, when, with the end of the wind there started the deluge.

Fortunately Viccars had decided to spend the morning in doors so I got away for a ride.  I had the same horse as yesterday, but, except for his lurid intervals when meeting cars, it was one of the best rides I have ever had.  We went about 3 miles down to the river, another 6 or so across & along the other side & then recrossing came straight home, a matter of another 5 miles or so.  The country is really very flat, & I should think in springtime will be hard to beat.  It is by no means dead flat & there are lots of little country lanes, in & out of the hills, which are not very high but numerous.   There are plenty of small woods & lots of pretty little villages, each of them with its quaintly shaped Church.  I have been inside one or two of these Churches, & I must say there is a most tremendous contrast between the in – & the ex-teriors.  Outside they are usually built of grey stone which has got considerably worn away & looks to be several hundred years old.  Inside are all the colours of the rainbow: new woodwork & new whitewash on the walls; hideous stain glass, & glaringly clothed figures. All the pleasure of the beautiful exterior is taken away by the positive hideousness of the inside.

On my way home I had to cross the line by the station & there met Murphy who was R.T.O. at Marseilles when we went first there.  I believe I have told you all about him.  It is rather curious that he should detrain the division there first, & then come to this remote corner of the globe to detrain them all again.

I should think we ought to get a move on soon & go up a little bit nearer the good old “hate” areas.  To be absolutely truthful I rather hope we do, I am getting just a little bit bored with peace.  It is more than 2 months since we heard the sound of a gun, except of course at about 20 miles distance.  Besides it will be interesting going to an entirely new bit of the line.

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