235006, D Coy, 203d battalion,
Tiphook, Hants., Eng.
Jan. 3, 1917
Your letter came along in time for New Year's. Thank you for the five-spot. I am going to keep it to show London folks what real money looks like. The paper here is outrageous. Keep a new bill poking about in your purse for two weeks, and it is torn in several places. It is about the same stuff as butter paper, and the size and shape of an envelope. A ten shilling note is printed in red, and a pound in blue-black. They look very much like patent medicine coupons. When I first got my money changed I had a pocket-full of them. One night I dropped the whole bunch in a store. I saw them lying on the floor, and was going to walk away and leave them, but just happened to pick them up out of curiosity. They are such slippery things. I threw my purse away last summer, for our trousers' pockets are the most convenient place for as much Canadian money as a fellow needs to carry every day. But I had to get a purse here, for there is so much silver and copper to handle. One day my purse will be as thin as when I bought it, and the next, with a few pence less, it will hardly go into my pocket. I feel like a whole hardware store sometimes.
The silver is miserably unhandy stuff. Sixpence, shilling, then the florin or two shilling piece, which is exactly the same size as a penny, then the half crown, which is sixpence more. Most of the change is in florins and half-crowns, and they feel like a pocket-full of watches.
We are to move on Sunday, to Seaforth, on the channel. Goodness only knows what will happen to us there. We will be amalgamated with the 144th L.B.D.s to form the eighteenth training reserve for the eighth, our senior battalion. The Devils are better known in London than any other Canadians except the Pats. That means we will have the hot places. Interesting, isn't it?
I had a good time in London, and was invited back for Christmas. But I failed to get there, and now we are in quarantine for measles and mumps. So I will not be able to say goodbye to the few folks whose acquaintance I have made. I received the Wesleyan circuit schedule today, and find myself down for two preachments. That is one thing I will get out of.
You have had a great time with your choir and S.S. Look out for yourself, or that country will decide they can't do without you. Keep it up, old girl, you are doing well.
Oh, this is a lazy old life. We are hardly getting enough to do to keep us in condition. They can't let us have rifles. It is worse than lost time, and we are having no fun. It is monotonous spending every evening in the hut. I haven't the go to even study. Most of the time we are writing, reading, playing cards, or just lying around. I expect we will have a nasty wet time down on the channel.
My head keeps going round and round, but doesn't turn out a thing, so I will have to quit.