20th August (1917)

A year today since I arrived in Featherston camp – that probably explains the fact that I am a bit off colour with a headache.  I put it down to living chiefly on dried beans and dried peas – two things I don’t fancy.  This district is well farmed, but is so well wooded that you would have to be in an aeroplane to realise it.  Instead of the cobble stones of Lancashire we here have fine hard yellowy-white sandstone roads – the main roads being mostly asphalted.  This is a land of cyclists – you see them everywhere and in every village or centre are cycle shops or motor garages.  Another feature (apparently it is so all over England) is the wonderful tidiness of most of the cottages old and new – they usually look scrupulously clean within and without – pots of geranium on the windowsills and tidy little gardens of bright flowers and green vegetables, with brick paths.  Did I tell you how the Lancashire folk even in the most squalid slums make it shine qua non to keep their door-stones clean and may be seen scrubbing them all hours.  Most of the pubs here have square signboards, stuck out in the road, divided by a coloured diagonal stroke and usually named the (something) “Arms”, whereas in Lancashire they are all “Inns”, “Brown Cows” and so forth.

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