Sunday evening now, and we are sitting around the kitchen fire, Mamma reading and Barrie behind me in the window chair. We had late dinner today (!), 7 o’clock, as a more suitable hour for the broth to be ready. The vegetables came in from the Manse garden and the mutton from Mr. Macrae… Stornoway, 11th November. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 11th November 1017

This week, Mr Gibson updates Jean on their recent social events. He has also visited the Ex-Provost who is ill in hospital, and of course there is a mention of the Hebridean weather – Mr Gibson noting that they haven’t seen much of the sun for two months. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean Dear,

Sunday evening now, and we are sitting around the kitchen fire, Mamma reading and Barrie behind me in the window chair. We had late dinner today (!), 7 o’clock, as a more suitable hour for the broth to be ready. The vegetables came in from the Manse garden and the mutton from Mr. Macrae.

Mrs. Menzies and Miss Dean are to start for the south to-night; the wind is beginning to blow up but may go down again before they start.

Mamma wrote you on Thursday evening. On Friday I had rather a busy day as Mr. Ewen had crossed the Minch to bring Mrs. E. and the bairns over, and I had to keep the Science classes going. In the evening I went to the barber, after some domestic pressure, and then with Mr. Grant went up to see Ex-Provost Anderson at the hospital. He is getting on; had gone to the court that day to plead a case; and though tired after it, did not seem to be any the worse. While I was out Mr. & Mrs. Clarke had been in and Miss Bella Gerrie.

On Saturday we did chores, those of the afternoon consisting of planing down the two drawers of the oak wardrobe, so that they might be used. It was something of a job, but with Mamma as apprentice it was managed at last. In the evening Ellis came in, and as we were having a late tea she joined us. Then she went on to the James St. Hall and Mamma and I paid our usual weekly visit to the magazines. I omitted to say that Coinneach Bard was in for a few minutes on Friday evening to bid us goodbye, his draft leave being up. Today we were at church in the forenoon. Mr. Clark & Ellis were in for a short time and since then, we have been alone.

Mamma is reading me tit-bits from European history, so if you find any passing reference in the letter to Ivans or Peters you’ll know its origin.

Now for your letter, Mamma wants more news of your own self – so note. I also want to hear something of the method in the Nat. Phil. Of which you have as yet mentioned nothing, and something more of what is happening in the Zoo. class. Has the new Asst. started yet?

We were sorry to hear about Jean M’s illness. Hope she is now well again. Tell her we were asking for her. Hope the comp. will get on well. You will be curious to see where you are placed.  I see from what you say you are finding your hands full, and with a Nat. Phil. exam. ahead I suppose they  will be specially so next week. Do both N. P. and Zoo. stop in March? If so, that wd. give you a leisurely term to end your English class in comfort.

I was glad you saw Marion Clarke. She seems to be liking Aberdeen and the hostel greatly. I hope Bessie is continuing to benefit by her holiday.

The weather continues wet and dull. There has been little sunshine since the beginning of Sept.

Did I make mention in my last letter of Callum Macleod’s success in the Med. Bursary Comp.? He was 4th out of about 60 candidates, and gets a bursary of £18 for three years.  This will be a great help for him. In a letter I had from him he mentioned that he had been elected President of the Anatomical, and was busy preparing his opening paper for it. It will do him much good to take part in the work of one of the Societies.

I have just put my hand round to my back and Barrie is still there sleeping off his broth very nicely. I have no doubt he wishes to have his love sent to you.

How is Maud? Remember us to her. I hope they are working her a little more gently at that College of Domestic Hardship.

Now I think I have posted you generally on our uneventful history.

Goodnight, and love from us both.

Papa.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L10

Transcribed by Margaret Smith, Museum Visitor Assistant

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