29th January 1916

At Queensferry. Dreamt of you again last night. This time I was lying in bed in the parlour at No. 19. The door leading into the passage was open so I was able to see you, Mother, Judy and Nina returning from a “dip”. You were looking straight ahead and very glum. The other girls were rather boisterous. I called out to Ma and wanted to know why she didn’t call me so that I could have gone up to the Hoe with you. Mother’s reply was (and somehow I can’t imagine her saying such a thing) “I didn’t think the girls would like to go swimming whilst you and Joe were stood watching them”. I replied rather hotly, “We shouldn’t have stood watching them but gone over and had a “dip” ourselves”. You were stood alongside Mother and looked most disappointed, because (I thought) she had not asked me to go up with you. Never mind old girl wait till the “mixed bathing” starts at Plymouth, guess we won’t be done in then.

I took a turn with the Hospital Boat this morning and of course it was rough.  Started away from the ship at 9 a.m. and collected cases from the Yarmouth (cot case pneumonia), Diamond (cot case), Africa (cot case), Indomitable (non-cot case), Inflexible (cot case), New Zealand (cot case), Australia (case of religious mania – not very common in the Navy). The Chief Sick Berth Steward from the Australia is Hobbs the swimmer, who you no doubt have seen swimming in the Plymouth Swimming Matches. He is a splendid long distance swimmer and the holder of records set up in various parts of the world. He has not much of a reputation amongst the Sick Berth Staff though, being too much of a “swanker”. He took his pension whilst I was serving in Plymouth Hospital, afterwards joining the Australian Navy, in which he is still serving.

When we were passing the light cruisers and battle-cruisers Lion, Tiger, Princess Royal and Queen Mary, I noticed that preparations were being made on them to proceed to sea. Before we reached the pier at Queensferry we were passed by the light cruisers and torpedo boat destroyers. Whilst on our way to the Hospital in the motor ambulance the above-named battle-cruisers went out. The Chief S.B.S. of the Australia was telling me that the blockade was being tightened and during their few days at sea recently they went into the Skagerack and could see the Danish coast distinctly. All shipping was stopped and examined by torpedo boats.

I suppose the blockade is being made more efficient in response to the great controversies that have been going on in the House and through the Press of late. It has been found that the Huns are getting well supplied with food through German agents in neutral countries. I expect the more stringent blockade will mean plenty of sea-time for us during the coming months.

I had to make two trips to the Hospital as the ambulance can only take four cot cases at a time. I eventually got back on board at 3-15 p.m. cold and blooming hungry. I have thought of you much this afternoon, both whilst on shore and on the weary trip back to the ship. I envied the officers on shore who on landing were met by their wives and other lady friends. Edinburgh must be full of such folk during these times. The ladies make their abode there and it is quite a sight at Queensferry Pier at about 1 p.m. to see the motor cars arriving with the ladies. Of course the leave granted to the officers is only of a few hours duration and even then they have to leave their address on board so that in case of an urgent call they can be sent for.

Yes I did feel small and out in the cold when the officers landed and met their ladies and all was gay and happy with them. I didn’t envy their happiness, but the fact that they could meet so often – anyhow most afternoons when the ships are in. I suppose the fact that my duty at the time was not a very cheerful one, made me take more notice and feel envious. I know I felt much happier when I got on board and was able to have a good hot meal – my dinner.

Received letters from you and Mother. Wrote to Mother by return.

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