Neil – Mother: 23 Aug 1917

Aug 23rd 1917
Dear Mother,
Things have kept on improving until now life is almost pleasant.  The tucker is excellent except for the absence of butter which matters far less than you would expect when you have plenty of fresh margarine .  We got a real soaking today followed by a 10 mile route march in wet tunics with packs up so the life cant be so bad when one feels cheerful after that.  This letter card contains a few views of Salisbury the nearest big town to here about 18 miles away.  We may be seeing Vic there the weekend after next.  We get our draft leave (4 days) in about a fortnight, after we have been put through the gas chamber & the bull ring & a few other pleasantnesses.  Vic will probably be having his convalescent leave at that time and we are arranging to paint London red together if possible.  It is unlikely that we shall be in France for three weeks yet.  I received that lens from Reid today.  It was a little bit thicker than the last one so you can imagine the trouble it was getting the darn thing into the frame .  I lost one of the little screws and cracked the glass through the hole after I had got the other screw in.  I hope the remark I made made Reid turn in his bed [It was my dinner time – about midnight in NZ ]     I have got them fixed now in a sort of a way.