26 December 1916

Very many thanks for an enormous plum pudding which has just arrived – too late it is true for our Xmas dinner, but in plenty of time for a New Year “Bust”.   It looks & smells most excellent, & will doubtless possess an unrivalled taste when we come to investigate its interiors.

Christmas Day as far as the weather was concerned was fairly successful.   It rained a bit in the morning & came on fairly heavily at night, but during most hours of day light was fairly dry. I got up some time before dawn & cycled into one of the French Btt H.Q. where there was an 8 o’c celebration in one of the dug-outs. The Padre was a little late & very muddy.   He had started at 4.30 am & taken a service at every one of the three Coy HQs in the line. Unfortunately on his way home he slipped into some sort of a sump-hole & immersed himself, cassock, surplice & everything else.    However one can get along very well without a surplice & we did not worry about such detail. I biked back to breakfast & the rest of the day differed very little from any other day.

Viccars came back from leave soon after tea, & was much disgusted to find that he was not expected.  We have got so used to him overstaying his leave by a fortnight or so, that we had made no arrangements at all for billeting him.  Consequently he had to share our room for the night & was very uncomfortable, which doubtless was very good for him.  This afternoon Grinling departed again for his other Brigade, & Viccars & I are going to share the room until we quarrel – which wont be long. My waders have proved themselves very useful & are the envy of all who see them.   The puncture has been satisfactorily repaired &I wear then now quite frequently.   One cannot walk with great rapidity wearing them, but that is of no account.   Nor does it very much matter that the brogues are somewhat large, they will shrink after several wettings & in time be an excellent fit.  I have finished “Les Miserables” & am now embarking on Field Service Regulation which I have hot read for some time, & is a really wonderful book.   Although it was written years before the War, it is quite up to date, & one has to obey its maxims as much as one can.

By the way, there is one other “want”: I am using the last battery & bulb for my ORILUX Electric torch. The refills & bulbs are to be bought from a gentleman in the Strand named STEWARD.   Will you get me one bulb & three refills – they are horribly expensive but good.

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