My first visit to the dentist came off all right and an examination of my mouth produced a far better report than I had expected. There are two roots of an old friend (most of him was pulled out in Aug. 1915) which will have to come out – presumably with gas. There are also four to fill, including the one with the missing stopping. He did not do very much on Sunday except fiddle around a bit with the old grinding machine and put in a temporary stuffing. He is going to have a really good go next Sunday. I managed to faint twice but that is of course a detail of comparative unimportance. I am still suffering from a rotten throat and a bit of a cough. I had begun to imagine that it might be the teeth causing the trouble, but the Dentist says there is no sign of any poisoning so that is all right. I expect I shall soon get rid of it. We are working pretty hard each day at training, but it is very nice having a stationary home and a good bed to sleep in. Tonight is most beautifully fine and the air is consequently not infrequently disturbed by the much annoyed Boche flying about and trying to get his own back. We being in only a small village escape the delicate attentions which he is apt to pay to the dwellers in cities. In any case I don’t suppose he is doing much damage. I wonder if he is doing anything over your way.
There is just time for a letter before I go off to dress for dinner so I will make the most of the opportunity. There is not much news. The weather has been glorious and if it were not for my horrid cough which is indulging itself somewhat vigorously just at present, I should be enjoying things immensely. As it is I am hard worked but manage to get plenty of exercise and have no troubles except the impending visit to the dentist tomorrow morning. Petch’s XXI st birthday celebrations went off very well last night, and we had a very merry little dinner at his billet with a gramophone to help things along. I can hardly speak let alone sing, and as I am somewhat of a leader in the vocal department, there was not much done in the singing line. I hope to goodness my voice returns before the next ceremonial parade – I can no more shout at present then fly. I am billeted at the village school, and with sheets on the bed manage to be very comfortable indeed. This afternoon Burnett and I rode into our nearest town – a couple of miles away – but it is a dreary, dirty little place, not worth visiting. Yesterday the C.O. and I had a most trying day. We rode to a rendez-vous first – about 4 miles – then picked up a bus which took a lot of other C.O.s and Adjutants and ourselves for a trip of about twenty miles to see some fortifications. Next we walked round the latter and looked at them, as distance of 13 and 3/4 miles by map, probably more when one takes into consideration the road bends and twistings. When we arrived back at the bus we found the others not yet back – and not likely to be for two hours or more, so we made the rest of our way home, begging a lift where and when we could off passing vehicles – and ended up home about an hour sooner than we should have done had we waited for the bus. In addition to this advantage we had the pleasure of a comfortable tea in quite a pleasant little town on the way home. I was very tired by the end of it all – 14 miles walk is a long way with a game leg.
Brooke and I got back here yesterday all right to find that we are out at rest, and sitting in the midden of a flooded country. Some of the roads are under water and those that are not are very muddy. We managed to catch our train at screech of dawn all right and the journey was not at all bad, though I still have several hours sleep to make up. Huntingdon met me with the horses and a couple of miles sharp trot soon brought me to the little wayside pub, with our flag hanging out. Everybody seemed very cheerful and nothing very terrible has happened during my absence. Old Huskisson has taken Atter’s place at Bde HQ. for a time – you may remember the name, he was there for a very long time when I was with them. Your book on the war in S.A. has arrived – for which many thanks, I shall not set about the reading of it – it looks distinctly interesting. I also found several letters waiting for me – one from Col. Trimble who speaks vaguely about Doctor’s alarms, so I rather gatherer that he may be having trouble with his heart. I hope not. How is Mary’s cold? I seem to have managed to catch it all right – and am now in full swing – so must take some quinine before going to bed tonight. The Dentist is going to have a go at me on Sunday morning. I am not particularly looking forward to the performance but it must be done and there is no help for it.
Just a hurried line before turning in for the night to say that we had a good crossing and arrived safely. Brooke turned up all right – I found on enquiring that B.s Pullman seats were of the 7.50 so transferred my luggage and my allegiance to the later train. Morning had to be spent in Folkestone wandering round and trying to pass the time until the boat started. Roberts of the 6th Btn was also with us – One of the crowd of “XVIII” officers with me in the famous Calais days. Woolly turned up all right here and we have just had dinner together incidentally an extraordinarily good dinner and much better than anything obtainable in England. Tomorrow we start at an appalling hour – to wit 5.30 AM. so have to arrange to be called at “Cock-crow-40 mins.” I hope we manage to get some breakfast all right.