Another week has gone and we expected to be going today. All the 5th Brigade left last Sunday but have been held up at Alexandria owing to the presence of submarines and until they move we will have to stay where we are.
Alf expects to be shifted shortly, he has had a sickener of Egypt. He has been here I think just on seven months. It's a good place for people with tons of L.s.d. and plenty of time and who are able to choose the cool portion of the year. But it is a brute of a place for soldiers with no cash and very little spare time, the novelty soon seems to wear off.
I would not like to be here as long as Alf and was very glad when they told up to pack up, but now we will be here at least another week.
We have got our colours up, one on each arm, a little triangle. Violet and red are our battalion colours and they look very doggy. I was sewing them on the other afternoon, I was not expecting any visitor and so was not quite dressed in my Sunday togs. I had an old white cap, a pair of knicks and a singlet, when in walks Mr. Alf W Osborne to say goodbye. So he grabbed up my camera which was hanging over my head and snapped me but I do not know how it has turned out yet. I arranged to meet him the following afternoon which I did and we spent the afternoon together. We roamed right through Cairo, through all the dirty little lanes and bazaars and finally arrived at the Citadel about two miles from where we started.
It is about time Cairo was burnt down. The streets are only about two yard wide and talk about filth and odour and millions of humans of all colours and smells. I was mighty glad to get out of it, we took a few snaps but the streets were too dark to do any good. When we get tired of walking we hired a couple of donkeys and finish our trip. Then we had tea in the gardens, had a good old yarn and came home.
I expected to do a few days C.B. over it for missing the evenings parade but nothing much was said, but yesterday I was an escort on two occasions to a chap who did exactly the same thing Friday night and he got four days pack drill and two days pay stopped, so I have got a guardian angel somewhere, there was I, at the trial with a drawn bayonet standing beside the criminal who had missed a parade. He was a Bandsman and I didn't think I'd worry the Colonel by telling him that I was also an offender.
Last night I went and saw Miss Ricketts and had a good old talk, afterwards we met Ernie and Alf and took her for a long drive. The nights here are simply beautiful, toward morning it gets very chilly. When we first came here we never had to use blankets at all, but now it gets too cold and we are glad of the two, although the days are no cooler.
I fell in lovely for a little ramble this morning temp 140 degrees about. I had been in the habit of staying behind after Church parade for communion in the YMCA but this morning I thought I'd like to go down to the 23rd Battalion to the Methodist Communion but before the band was dismissed the Colonel sent down an order to play the 3rd Lighthorse away, they were leaving for the front and we had to march in front right down to the railway siding a distance of three miles playing most of the time and by the time we got back to the camp we were just about tired.
I expect that you will know long before this reaches you that we will be at the front. We are prepared to leave at a moments notice, even the officers don't know when we will be starting.
I have sent a registered parcel to you containing one table centre for you, one handkerchief each for Olive and Mabel, one silk handkerchief for Lester (a present from Egypt), one violet one for Bill and a pair of cuff links for Dad. All the things were made in the bazaars by the women, the handkerchiefs are simply beautiful specimens of fancy work, the women working some of them eighteen hours a day for 5 piastres. Also included is a Mohammadan's veil, my specs, fountain pen and some of the photo films which are very precious as we want to take some good photos from them when we come back so please put them away. I had to fill in two customs forms and sign all sorts of things to send them. I have done all I can to ensure them going safely, so I hope you will get them alright. I am also sending two photos of the battalion at the Pyramids and some postcards. I spent every blooming cent I had and forgot the sending of them away. I had to pop a loan off Ernie, that's brains, isn't it. I also put in some cigarette cards and a couple of shells which must be thousands of years old, the desert is strewn with them as it must have been sea bottom once, the stones and pepples are all smooth and water worn. I am sending some more photos which I took at the Barage last Saturday week.
I received a letter from Dad on Thursday. It had been to England as it came with the English mail, he seems as pleased as Punch over the nine thirty business, and I don't wonder at it and I hope they will never alter it unless to close earlier still or close right up. Its a pity the pubs here are open at all they close at nine thirty but it is so hot here that the fellows get shick in no time.
I have to meet Alf soon as we are going to Church so will have to close now and run off and wash my knees. I am sorry I have been too busy to write to the younkers this week but if I'm able will write next mail, in the meantime you must give them my love but keep a lot for yourself. I remain, your loving son.