Sunday, 9th December (1917)

The mud is getting quite fantastic in its smell, stickiness and general enormity; watering horses is now one gigantic and confused bog-scramble.  Went to church in Y.M.C.A. this morning and bellowed hymns and heard an earnest little chap discourse quite eloquently on one of St. Paul’s epistles.  We had W’s cake at lunch and have guzzled most of the blackballs, which are very popular.  One chap got a tin of asparagus which we beated up and schlooped down by the yard – it needed condiments and white sauce, which our imaginations had to supply.  Managed to get rid of the superfluous balaclavas. Note: the plethora of balaclava caps sent to soldiers was a standing joke.

8 p.m. We have just had the ginger out of the parcel – it went down like a hot toddy.  If you good folk will send the stuff what can you expect us to do but enjoy it?  You will perhaps be amused to know that every part of your parcels is utilised not excepting the tins and the cloth-wrapping, which either comes in for dishcloths or harness rags.  There is actually a farm house here still inhabited, right in the middle of the camp.  W. and I had some coffee there today in the now familiar handle-less cups.

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