The Royal Club for Officers Beyond the Seas,
Royal Automobile Club,
Pall Mall, London S.W. 1.
July 12, 1918
It seems very odd for me to be writing letters on the 12th of July, but that's partly what I'm doing to-day. At home on this day I always attend an Orange Celebration, but I didn't see any around close today so I couldn't carry on, - very sorry to say. Had I been in Ireland I would have, without doubt, had a real old time day.
To date I haven't received any mail from you, but I feel that it is on the way, as you would hardly have had time enough to get me here yet. This week I just received the first letter from home written after they had heard from me here. So that next Canadian mail should bring me quite a supply.
I haven't seen Walter yet, but if everything goes alright I hope to see him tomorrow. He is about two hours' run from London (I mean train-run) and so I'll be able to make the trip in one day. On Sunday I have to go to my Ship. My first order told me to report to My Ship on Tuesday last. On that day a letter informed me of this second dating. I hope by this Sunday morning I'll get another letter extending my leave a little further. But not likely my good luck in the leave line will continue much longer. I think I've been real fortunate. I've already had three weeks leave.
One week was spent in the South of England, over a week in Ireland and the rest of the time in London. Have I told you anything about my trip to Ireland? I forget to whom I've written and what about. Letter writing is more difficult here because it takes so long to get an answer that you forget a lot of what you've written about. But we'll suppose I haven't already told you about it.
Ireland certainly impressed me very favorably, more so than any other place over here. (The North of Ireland I refer to). Of course I was slightly prejudiced in that part of the world's favour. The ties of kin and love of ancestry. Also fraternal adherings. I went straight to my Mother's Old Home. Saw my Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins etc. The places about which Mother had often told me, I quite eagerly visited. So it was quite likely that I would like the place very much. However there are many things in its favor. It is a quaint country. The people everywhere make you feel right at home. Anything they do is little compared to what they wish to do for you. They seemingly can't do too much. I never saw such hospitality anyplace else. They go out of their way to do for you. I used to be ashamed of myself, but what could I do? They persisted in making your sojourn persistently interesting.
I went by way of Dublin. Saw Sackville Street - the scene of the riots. Saw the destroyed buildings and some of the other interesting sites. Here was where I had my initiation into riding on an Irish jaunting cart. It is a very comfortable outfit after you get settled to it. But is somewhat disconcerting to the beginner. It doesn't seem at first a very secure position. I was with an Irish lieutenant and he knew what to do. Otherwise I suppose I would have been hunting around for a taxi. They don't grow those things so much in Ireland as they do in London. So I would have been left. While with my relatives I rode around in a "trap" as they call it. Sometimes drawn by a donkey and sometimes by a pony. A most comfortable way of riding. Sometimes I went away for a trip by myself on a wheel or on foot.
But believe me, I'll certainly go back to Ireland again when I get a chance, and I hope it is soon. And oh yes, it has another advantage. And that which appeals to all men (and women?) the whole world over - they know how to feed you. And the way they serve it up is even better. All homemade you know, and often. They eat five or six times a day. The hours are about 7 and 11 a.m. and 2,4,7, and 11 p.m. Of course I missed No.1. Do you wonder?
Now look, don't apply that old adage to my talk and say "The nearest way to a man's heart is by way of his stomach". Well, I'll desist from this Irish harangue. I had thought that by this time I would have seen your Uncle Millen. I heard that he was due here anytime. I suppose on leave or furlough. And I was hoping he would land in this week before I pulled out. But I haven't had that luck yet. Probably he'll come tomorrow.
Hope you and all the rest of your folks are O.K. Give my best regards to all and write often.
Best love to all,