31 July 1916

I was not destined to enjoy for very long my freedom from formentations. The day before yesterday I went up to spend the night wandering round trenches and called on Barton on the way up. He seemed to think that my idiotic knee had not entirely ceased being idiotic after all, and so yesterday and today have had to be more or less rest days – office work and nothing really interesting. That night however I had quite an enjoyable time and stayed up long enough to see the sunrise. We are at present having summer weather really hot, but always start the day with a heavy mist. We had very much the same thing for a week or so last year. It is simply gorgeous out between five and six, or thereabouts. Before that it is rather cold but by five it is just beginning to get really warm without getting too hot. Of the heat I will never complain – anything in fact except the rain. There is only one grouse that I can raise at present and that is that I am nightly devoured by squadrons of mosquitoes. At present solitary scouts are hunting round my candle – of which I have bagged five victims – now laid out in a row before me. But it is really no good as the number that I destroy now will not have the least effect on the number that will come and slaughter me tonight. Poor Williams has got a couple of pieces of bomb in him from an accident at his bomb school yesterday afternoon. Some silly old bomb went off when there was no reason for it to do so, and he got a piece in the chest and a cut over the eye. Neither was very serious but I expect they will take him to England. It is a great nuisance – these things will happen sometimes even in the best regulated schools. This time last year we were having just about the worst time we ever had – living in that never-to-be-sufficiently-maligned wood, being potted at with shrapnel. Doubtless you remember hearing all about it at the time. It is very different now – here we are quite peaceful by comparison. It is true the old Bosch occasionally tries to strafe a bit with mortars and things but it is mostly noise, and very seldom does anyone get hurt. Tomorrow I think I shall be once more free to wander – and I hope permanently so. For a small scratch it has been really quite a lengthy business getting the thing right. I think the cause of all the trouble is the general foulness of the water and the land of this hopeless country – the slightest cut goes wrong if it is not kept covered up until it heals. Next time I shall know what to do.

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