David to May HOLZMINDEN December 2nd 1917 Letter No 12
My Dearest,
I have your letters up to No 23 October 25th, the last three being especially nice ones. Hurrah, you are actually getting your photo taken, now I am itching to get it. I think I mentioned in my last letter that I have got those five snapshots, but they only make me want the decent photo more. How I do wish I could see you yourself.
I hope your sleeplessness is not a usual thing as you will be bad if it is. Don’t get worrying. And look here, if Helen comes to stay, don’t get doing any more work in consequence, you will get thoroughly fagged out and it isn’t fair to yourself. I hope it will do Mrs. Muggridge good if it isn’t too hard work.
That girl palmist seems to be rather remarkable, I hope some of the things she said come true. Anyway she ought to be a success for the Bazaar. I am glad it is going so well but it sounds as though you are living in a fearful rush all the time. By the bye I thought I should be too late or otherwise I would have offered a contribution. Anyhow if it is any good now, please take what you like.
Thanks very much for writing to Mrs. Heberden and for taking the trouble you did. Of course the way you wrote was by far the best, Heberden wasn’t married but naturally his mother would be upset if she knew he was badly injured. I really only thought she would like to know what became of him. The Doctor was taken prisoner, but is not at this camp.
It is good of you to send on those books to me. I have received the first three, but they have now gone to be censored, It is usually somewhat difficult to do any serious reading as being one of ten in the room (the majority of the other nine are usually whistling, singing or groaning some music hall ditty or revue jig) does not tend to assist much. However I manage to do some. In my last letter I enclosed a form to the Board of Education which I asked you to forward. I hope you got it.
In one of your letters you tell me all about Mum’s talk with regard to my cousins’ mistake over their youngster, which is rather amusing (the talk I mean) and then you say “She finished her talk by saying she would like to live next to us”, but you don’t tell me what you talked about in between. I want to know. I do feel injured in not being able to see that new dress and not being able to go with you to the dressmaker. Somehow we always managed to lose that train and didn’t succeed in catching the next. Didn’t we?
Thanks very much for finding out how things stood with Read & Brigstock. I am very glad to know that that matter is settled. Mum hadn’t mentioned it in her letters.
By the way I have discovered that I can hear a little with my game ear, so perhaps after all you won’t have to yell down an ear trumpet in order to talk to me. It still whistles a good deal, but one gets used to that.
A few days ago I got hold of a book called “Women & Labour”, by Olive Schreiner, the author of “The Dop Doctor’. You ought to read it. A number of the things it mentions you have already told me, but still it is well worth reading.
I have had a letter from Ethel Barnet. She starts “Dear David (I ought to say Mr. Taylor, I know, but it sounds so formal, and even if you raise your eyebrows and look shocked, I’m not there to see, so it doesn’t matter).” and is looking forward to a “rheumatickky” old age in order to be wheeled to dancing in a bath chair and then appear in the illustrated papers as a “fine example of English grit and spirit”. Please thank her for writing, though I can’t reply and it is good of you to get people to write. Next time you are writing, please remember me to Mr. & Mrs. Sandys.
I have been sketching out the bungalow again. I think I can make your suggestion work. The front entrance is at the side as I told you end I have got the two living rooms back and front with the kitchen in the centre, and up above three bedrooms and I think I can get in a tiny bathroom and downstairs too there could be a fair sized place for coals etc. and this without squeezing into the front door edgeways on. There is no waste room except for a short passage on each floor, which obviates the rooms leading out of each other. It all looks alright and even the stairs don’t seem to go out through the roof, or a chimney stack come up casually through the centre of a room but still these things have been known to happen.
7/12/17 I have been indulging in one of my “old pain in the side” attacks, hence the reason that this was not posted before. However I think I have scored over it, as there has been thick snow and frost outside and I have been tucked up warm in bed. Two days ago I was down on a list of a number of officers to be moved to another camp, but being “krank” I could not be sent and yesterday my clothes got here. So its an ill wind etc.
Today your second lot of books came and have gone to be censored. They were all “Everyman” volumes, so I suppose Batsfords are sending “Estimating” and Laxtons Builders Price Book separately. Thanks very much indeed for getting them all for me.
According to the latest bulletins “After a peaceful night, I am progressing favourably”. I may say that the peaceful night was very much added to by some awfully nice day dreams (arising from that palmist’s talk) this morning.
P.S. I am enclosing a letter to Mum which please give to her.