A.A. Laporte Payne letter 25 December 1916
Christmas Day 1916
Thank you so very very much for the two lovely photos which arrived quite safe last night together with your letter of the 19th – a delightful lot to get on Christmas Eve. I had a large mail – 3 parcels and 7 letters, which helped one to realise a bit that it was Christmas time.
The photos I think are excellent, but I like the one of you looking down best. They are not quite like you used to be though. Are you getting thinner – and perhaps a little sadder? Or is it the faultiness of the photographer? I hope so. My anxiety now will be to keep them clean and uncrumpled which won’t be easy out here I am afraid. They are much too good for campaigning.
You are quite right in what you say about being understood. I wonder if you understand me yet. To understand all is to forgive all as you say, but I had given up all hopes of anyone ever understanding my stupidity.
It is a horrid wet and windy day to day – and so unlike Christmas. Everything is as usual and I am for the O.P. this afternoon and the trenches tonight. We were up most of last night so we feel a bit ‘off colour’ this morning, and our tempers are not of the best.
I hope you are enjoying a good Christmas. You will I suppose be at church now unless you found two days following too much. There will be no church for me I am afraid. We are growing such heathens.
There was a most amusing chaplain in the trenches last night. He was helping the Doctor attend to the wounded. He was extraordinarily cheerful – most refreshing; but then he has not been out here more than a few days, but he had tumbled to it very quickly.
Don’t have too much Turkey and plum pudding. We can’t at present as our turkeys have not yet arrived. I expect they will walk here when they do. Perhaps the gentry at the base have eaten them for us. They are sometimes so obliging.
We still rub along and are having quite a good time in spite of adverse circumstances. We are still in the same place and I hope we shall remain here until the bad weather is over.
Have you read any more of Locke’s books yet? I suppose you have not got much time for reading now. I have not been able to either.
I am living for my next visit to England, and longing for the time when I can see you again. That precious ten minutes was a dangerous one for me as I want so much more now. I wonder what you’ll be like next time. Haughty and cold no doubt. Even if you are not I shall have to take care not to get in the way, and so end the kind treatment I have always had. You know if you of all people treat a fellow as you did me what are you to expect? What a fool I have been. If I had known I could not resist I should not have been so stupid and what I time I might have had – but you must have been thankful that it was only for the ten minutes. But don’t be frightened I will be awfully good and obedient and do all you wish!
I am still filled with amazement and am quite unable to understand you. Well I suppose even the best people do mad things sometimes. May you always be mad if you are as you say you are.
I must shut up now as I am sure you are getting tired and I must have an early lunch and go up to the O.P. where I can think of you.
I hope you & all are well and having a good Christmas.
With a long kiss for Christmas. I think Byron was right when he said you don’t measure them by number but by length; really I am getting very naughty.
All my fondest love, darling.