14 June 1916

I have just had a little relaxation.  Hacking the new Staff Assistant went with me to see the “Bow Belles” – a most excellent show run by the Divisional concert party of one of the neighbouring Divisions.  All the artistes are gentlemen who in the piping times of peace make their living by amusing the London population.  The result was a very first–rate performance – and a real good laugh for two hours.   Two of them made most excellent ladies, and the rest were all “Stars” in some way or other.   There was one beautiful tenor and another a real musician on the violin.   Four of them sang “The long day closes” in a way which quite reminded me of the old All S Choir – only these four sang it even better.   It was very nice to have one’s mind taken off the war for a bit.  For the first time for some days we have seen the sun.   It has actually not rained since lunchtime and there seems to be a fair hope that we may have a fine day tomorrow.  The wet has done us a most inestimable lot of damage, as our trenches have fallen in in some places and things have been by no  means comfortable for the occupants. However we keep cheerful through it all. Tonight 11.0 pm becomes 12 midnight all of a sudden – it will be a great advantage out here, because as things are we waste a good deal of daylight. “We” means people out of trenches. In the trenches one’s day depends entirely on the sun – or rather the daylight, and everything rearranges itself accordingly to the morning and evening “stand to “. We have just had our first strawberries and cream of the year and very good they were. And yet they were not quite like English ones – they lacked the real good flavour. The French do not know how to grow them any more than they do how to grow asparagus, which they like to eat thick and white and tasteless. The Brigadier has now completely recovered from his fall down the office stairs and talks of going to the trenches tomorrow – so I suppose we shall have the old strenuous life again with plenty of “strafing”. He is never really happy unless he is doing a colossal amount of work – which is no doubt a good thing: sometimes unfortunately he imagines that other people are not doing enough, when in reality they are doing quite as much or even more than any ordinary person could expect of them. I was out the greater part of last night crawling about in the long grass – and got about as wet through as I have ever been. My ride home in the pouring rain on a groggy bicycle with pedals that usually failed to work was as unpleasant an experience as I ever desire to have.

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