Dr. Norman Macphail was in school seeing Papa this week. He has been at Passen-chdale [sic] and had a rather awful time but is expecting to be kept in England for the next few months. He says Lawrence Bain is in Italy. Lawrence will be glad as he was very tired of France… Stornoway, 4th December. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson 4th December 1917

In her letter to Jean this week, Mrs Gibson gives her opinion on the United States entry to the war, as well as updating Jean on the wellbeing of a few local men who are serving abroad. Mrs Gibson has also been getting the house ready for Jean’s visit, so reports on the visits from the plumbers and the painter. 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

Dear Sheann,

Thursday night again. The plumbers have been here three days this week putting in a new hot water tank and we have been without fire in the kitchen and in a great mess. They managed to make a brand new burst in the wash room too but now they have gone and I have got the fire on today and the floor washed and begin to feel civilized again.

MacKenzie the painter came yesterday and brought the paper and fell into a rage and went away. I hope his man may be here on Monday. Meantime I have the room emptied and today washed the linoleum preparatory to taking it up. So perhaps after all we will be in order by the time you get home. Won’t that be so nice?

Papa has been out taking his drill and has now returned to read his paper. The news from the front is full of gravity these days. There are such critical events toward. I see President Wilson has been addressing Congress and speaking as if the war were just about to begin with their coming on the scene. Its little he realises what the Entente has been through. We hope they will do just as well as they think and that so we may manage to end it.

It makes me quite giddy to read of all the meetings you go to on Fridays. What a feast: or should I say surfeit. You don’t go in for mental rationing anyway. It must be nice to see and hear so many different people. Fine confused feeding, eh?

I had a note from Miss Smith this morning reminding me of a sale the Y.W. are having next Wednesday. She said she had had “a ripping letter” from you.

I am glad Isa Macd. has asked you to break your journey at Inverness. It is very good of them indeed.

Papa had a nice letter from Marion Clarke. She did not say if she was coming home. Bessie is helping her father in the office.

We are still having awful weather, the glass either shooting up or dropping down. For some says we had north wind and snow but it has now returned to the normal wet. The “Plover” did not come on Saturday night and did not get here till 5.30 on Sunday evening. She had spent the night at Portree.

Sheriff Dumbar has taken Mrs. J.M’s house and the J.M’s go away in February. It will seem strange with them out of the town. I suppose if Dr. Murray gets into parliament the sheriff will then get the cottage. ‘Nous verrons’. Lily Morison has told Papa she is leaving in the New Year. Dr. Norman Macphail was in school seeing Papa this week. He has been at Passenchdale [sic] and had a rather awful time but is expecting to be kept in England for the next few months. He says Lawrence Bain is in Italy. Lawrence will be glad as he was very tired of France.

No word yet of the Menzies return but likely they’ll be soon. Mr. Menzies got all his clothes burned in the great fire at Salonika (where they were stored) and will need some time to get new ones. No word from Mr. Mills recently. Now I think you have all the news.

Love to Sheann from her Pa and Ma.

Ref: 1992.50.64ii/L17

Transcribed by Hazel Tocock, Museum Visitor Assistant

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