Here we are in bed again as usual. The tent is cool and breezy but not too cold. All week we have been doing the old routine of feeding the horses and drill in the mornings with cleaning harness and guns in the afternoons. We have not done any shooting yet, but as I said last week we still have homes of doing some soon. Last Sunday I called for volunteers for an exercise ride, and about two men and a boy came out. We had a good ride around the country and came back again. Today we had no church parade owing to the cold weather so we took everyone out for a ride and it did the horses good. The plain is very open and rolling with lots of shallow little valleys and clumps of trees here and there. The ground is frozen every morning but soon thaws out. There is about an inch of ice on my washing water every morning and the cooks have to fill the water carts every night because the taps freeze up and they must have water for breakfast. It all sounds cold but we are fine and cosy. My clothes are good and warm and they have issued another blanket, so we are warm at nights. I dont think I need any other clothes except those good old hand knitted socks. They are the Christmas present from Granny. I'm fine and warm and never felt better in my life. I think I will have to practice at the North Pole when I come back as the atmosphere certainly would suit me, as long as it does'nt rain up there. My woolly Jaeger coat sheds the rain by the way, and it always feels warm.
I just got your note of congratulation. I knew you would be even more pleased than I am. The box has'nt arrived yet, but I am looking forward to its coming with more than interest. When we move into huts "Hanods" the mess caterers cease and we will have our own little battery group again as in Val Cartier. It is much nicer that way. We draw our rations the same as the men and by paying a little into a fund we buy extras such as butter, milk, eggs, coffee, etc. I can assure you we will have a great Christmas dinner with plum pudding, candy, and all the trimmings. I think we will have to get a turkey if they have such animals over here. At present our mess is good but the only vegetable we ever get is cabbage young (Brussel Sprouts) and cabbage old (Ancient). We look on the menu every night for some new one but it never happens to come along.
You asked about George Blackstock. He is down the road at Canadian Divisional Artillery Headquarters. I had a note of congratulation from Barbara. She said that they were in town last time I was up and just missed seeing me at the Savoy. I may go up again this week for my photo and some Christmas presents, and if I do I'll find out from George if Aunt Hattie is there and go to see her. If I send all my presents home, will you be "Santy" for me Mother. It has rained now for about a week straight and the mud is about 8 inches deep. Today we had water in all shapes, rain, hail, snow and now it is freezing. The tents are all stiff as boards. The horses stand the weather well, but need lots of care and exercise often to keep them warm. I have a fine one now "Ben" I call him. He is dark bay almost black with a star and left ear split for about half an inch. He is full of life and never gets tired.