21st February (1919)

Even grousers have luck sometimes.  I go on leave tomorrow morning.

At stables I groomed by last ‘donk’, and he tried to kick.  Othello proved a grand if somewhat harrowing work.  Most glad am I to have heard Aida and Othello; Verdi in these seems to have excelled himself.  The opening of the Opera was most dramatic – no overture – a tremendous crash of drums and cymbals and the curtain rises.

I have packed up my belongings, and, I hope, most of my troubles “in my old kit-bag” and, though it rains now in torrents, feel that the morrow will produce some of the smiles mentioned in the famous song under quotation.

I have taken out my ticket to Penzance, so when next you hear from me I may be “apprenticed to a pirate”.

Like all experience, this will be interesting in the retrospect, though it has of late become very tedious, with the one alleviation of music.  What a great amount other countries can learn from Germany in the State support and management of theatres.  Here is a community that can see the works of the great masters at prices which in our country would hardly admit one to the “movies”.

nlnzimage 1-2 013774-G NZ troops at Ehrenfeld Station, Cologne, cDec 1918

[Image: New Zealand troops and transport assembled at Ehrenfeld Station on the outskirts of Cologne in Germany. Several soldiers appear to be packing their kits. Loaded wagons and a truck appear in the background. Photograph taken after the end of World War I, probably December 1918 by Henry Armytage Sanders. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. Ref: 1/2-013774-G]

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