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Date: January 26th 1917
Beulah Bahnsen (wife)
Ralph Watson

26 January, ’17.

My dear Lal: —

I haven’t written for a day or two because it has been positively too cold. Sounds rather funny, but it’s true. Our billet, which is cosy enough for ordinary weather, has quite fallen down on this Canadian kind. These little outhouse places are not meant to live in, in the first place; but pass alright for ordinary weather. We never noticed till a day ago, for instance, that there are two holes in the roof and several million holes around the walls and floor. We have stopped up all we can, and we look after the stove with more care than you ever did Billie. We just cannot get warm. To make things worse, a draft came in with no blankets, and we had to cash in our extra ones, so now we have only two each. I have never seen weather like this outside Canada. Paris said yesterday was the coldest day on the Western front. Honestly it’s the limit. What it’s like in the trenches won’t bear thinking of. Indeed, I don’t know how they stand it at all.

I am tremendously thankful for my more or less easy job. Working parties and parades don’t look good to me just now. When at home here, we sit huddled over our portable small stove; when at work, there is not time, and what there is, is spent trying to warm up.

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