Daily Archives: August 5, 2016

5 August 1916

I am still in bed, and still undergoing fairly frequent formentations. My knee is I think improving and there is still hope that I shall not be evacuated any further back down the line. The other bed has already changed hands once since I last wrote. The gentleman with the trench fever got sent down without delay to the C.C.S. Last night they suddenly pushed in a man of our 4th going down to the same place to have his teeth seen to. He left this morning and at present I am alone, that is to say the other bed is unoccupied. What tonight will bring forth remains to be seen. As to being alone I am scarcely ever that as my room has practically become the sitting room for the few other patients who are living more or less normal lives. He with the face is here fairly frequently, and is, entre nous, a shocking bore – quite the opposite is the previously gloomy doctor man who has now revived somewhat. We have been reading Demosthenes’ Philippies together, that doesn’t sound very exciting but is actually productive of quite a lot of amusement. The doc. and I have a good deal in common, although he is a Scotchman which is rather against him. We both read the works of one Kipling, and our tastes in music and literature are very similar. Unlike most of his nation he can see a joke almost as soon as it is made. Mould dropped in a few minutes ago – he is just allowed up and expects to be sent back in a day or two. He stutters just as much as ever, and is quite as madly in love as before – oh dear! These engaged people with their dreamy far off looks and lop-sided smiles –pshaw. The weather has improved quite considerably this afternoon, and though there is still a modicum of wind, the sun is shining and it looks as if we might have a fine day tomorrow. I am so near the window that a fine day is a distinct advantage, and makes a deal of difference to one’s comfort. This is a curiously run hospital in some ways – it doesn’t seem to have a doctor. An orderly jams a thermometer into one’s mouth as 6.30 AM and slams on the formentations when he feels inclined. It is true that a Doctor comes round after breakfast and chats quite merrily about the weather and the state of his stomach – owing to the ptomaine I told you about. He may be in some way connected with the hospital and so with my knee, or he may not, it is really hard to say. There is another orderly who brings me an occasional meal and in the evenings makes my bed, but that is all that goes on. I suppose it is all right but it certainly seems a trifle curious. I find that the post does not go till morning so am finishing this the day after the date at the beginning. The postal arrangements are now absolutely unfathomable: one used to know more or less how the posts went, but now every unit seems to have its own time. My visitors were here most of the evening – that is to say the other three patients, who get so jolly tired of each other’s company that they have to come here for relaxation. When they’d gone I started to read a most thrilling novel called Dr Syn – unfortunately I had no candle so had to use my electric torch to finish it. It was rather a question which would last the longer the torch or the book, the former won by about five minutes. The book was so gruesome in some parts and the light in my bedroom so uncanny – a dying torch and ‘orrible shadows that I almost got the jim-jams. It is all about Romney Marsh and smugglers and pirates, and parsons, and ghosts, and sailors. Most exciting – I should advise you to read it. Today is going to be really hot again – there is a most delicious patch of sunlight coming through this window – and I only wish I could get out and sit in the garden. However I look like being another week in bed yet, then possibly a week or so with a stick, so goodness knows when I shall get back to work again. The post is going so I will close.

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