Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Letter Five: 1926 Christmas in Nakuru Hospital with "Fever"

This is the last letter from the Egerton Estate time in Africa. After this the next letter is from the boat returning to Africa but this time he is bound for the hills near Mt.Elgon. Allan is ill for Christmas and in the hospital at Nakuru so I think he never arrived at the Woodmores at Keringet. We don't know exactly what was wrong with him. On the photo of the rather nice looking hospital below my Mum had written " my father was in this hospital with fever".

Nakuru Hospital

Letter 5

Nakuru Hospital

My Darling Joyce
Thank you ever so much for the nice long letter and the Christmas card you sent me. I was delighted to get them and also a fine card from Mummy and a good long letter with it. Mummy has sent me several letters which have all reached me safely in Hospital and I must write to her tomorrow.
I am so sorry I forgot to send you a special letter on your birthday but am very pleased to read in your letters what a fine lot of presents you had and some of them such useful ones too. Please tell Mummy that the cake and Pudding arrived safely and in good condition. Daddy is not allowed to eat such rich food yet but he asked the sisters ( that is the Nurses) if they would accept and eat the cake because they were so kind and watchful to Dad when he was lying helpless and ill, it is due to their care that I have got better so quickly. And the sisters said the Cake was delicious and the Almond Icing a perfect treat, they have kept a tiny bit for me to taste by and by. We will have the pudding cooked on New Years Day that is tomorrow and Dad will be allowed to have a little bit of that.

Many of the Magazines & Christmas Numbers Mummy has sent have already arrived & I share them around among the other Patients who enjoy a bit of Christmas reading to pass the time along, for some of them are more seriously ill than Dad & have to stay in bed all day, but I can get up and walk about a bit in a Dressing Gown now and am feeling stronger & better every day.

Dad is coming home on the Wangoni which is the same Steamer which took him to Africa. We sail from Kilindini (is that not a long name for a port) on Feb 22nd and the voyage takes about 28 days, it is a nice time of year to cross the seas in and it should be fairly cool in the Red Sea, which is often the most uncomfortable part of the journey because it is sometimes so hot there.
I wish my Dear Mummy and Joyce could get on the magic Carpet and fly to Kilindini to voyage home with me on the steamer, it is a delightful experience, so many days on the blue, fresh sea with foaming waves all round, but very likely you will have a voyage same day when you are a few years older & you will enjoy it. Daddy has had such a lot of letters this Christmas. From Aunt Minnie & Uncle Reavely & Uncle Alec & Aunt Edith & Aunt Nellie & Grandpa Anderson & Uncle Arnold, & from Uncle John & Mr Robinson. 15 letters came on one day. And tell Mummy a very nice one arrived yesterday from Mr Charles Fowler.
There is a long chair in my bedroom and we pull it out on to the Veranda & Dad sits on it looking at a beautiful view of Lake Nakuru & the mountains. But this is a lazy life and I hope in a few days to be strong enough to get about and do a bit of useful work again.
Lazy idle people are never happy, it is only when we are doing something like learning at school or working at a job that we feel we are helping to push the world along a bit and can be satisfied with ourselves. I am glad you liked the pieces Mummy read you from “The Christmas Carol”. It is the best Christmas story ever written. Charles Dickens was a great and good man. The Photos Mr Barraclough took of you and Mums and Patsy have arrived & very good ones they are of all of you.
I had my first bath since my illness yesterday. Until then I had to be just washed in Bed and to have a real bath was a great treat. Some gaily coloured birds, blue on the back and with yellow breasts and long curved beaks fly up and down the verandah. Sometimes if I am awake in the early morning I hear in the darkness the “cheep cheep”of birds in the bushes nearby and though all is black outside, yet in about a quarter of an hour, sure enough the Dawn begins to break, the birds know that here comes the day before I do. It is Harvest home now on all the Farms and great loads of Maize and Wheat are being carried off the Fields, a Harvest at Christmas sounds strange does it not? I hope my dear Joyce had a really Jolly Christmas and some nice presents and I hope gave some little gifts to others too. With Heaps of love to you and Mums. I shall soon be coming back home now.
Your loving Daddy