CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/125
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date21 April 1916
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding writing a 'Chronicle' as it is Good Friday; working on the church accounts; Mr. Barbour has again failed to find leave to go to Rome for Easter, though Dr. Brock and Dr. Ashby have taken leave; military activity on the Austro-Italian front is beginning again after the winter; Barbour's plans for Easter, including mending punctures on the ambulances caused by new road surfaces; his visit to see an unexploded Austrian 305mm. shell; his description of the beautiful views and the 'rather soothing sound of shells'; the outstation is 'somewhere in Austria'; the Gibsons have gone to Olevano for Easter; Mrs. Gibson has been overdoing it, partly because their maid seems to have gone mad; Mrs. Gibson has been busy elsewhere, too, and has been massaging rheumatic cases at the hospital of S. Croce; volunteers must be a trial to hospital staff as they do not forego their social lives to enable themselves to be fresh for work; Mrs. Gibson is never at home; this may be because she is avoiding her husband; Mrs. Rowat has ruined her eyes hand sewing two shirts a day for soldiers, when she could have bought a machine or hired some woman out of work to help her; Mrs. and Miss Talbot Wilson are going without butter, despite the awful bread, when they could economise more sensibly in other ways; Miss Jazdowska's comments on her singing in the house [There were Jazdowskis associated with teaching and art in Aberdeen: James Bronislas Jazdowski, son of John, teacher in Aberdeen, graduated from Marischal College in 1856 and according to an annotation of the Search Room student list died in Rome in 1902]; she is straining her voice in church; Mrs. Brock's servant problems; Aunt's visits to Mrs. Gill, Mrs. Courtenay and Mrs. Benton; Mrs. Gill's little girl has had appendicitis but Dr. Bretschneider saved her from an operation by applying cold compresses; Mrs. Benton and household have been at Netturo, where Mr. Benton looks after Mrs. Dodge's villa in her absence; Mrs. Gill thinks it careless of Mrs. Benton to risk a change of milk for the baby, but Mrs. Benton has always been neglectful of the child; Maria's step-grandson is even more neglected and unhappy; the Courtenays' house is beautifully furnished and arranged; Mrs. Courtenay is an artist; she is the self-important type of clergyman's wife and her husband has no chance of speaking when she is there; Mr. Green describes him as 'florid'; the couple fight a good deal; Mrs. Benton and Mrs. Courtenay do not get on as they are both 'madams'; Amelia's lessons with Signora Bianchi, the Swedish masseuse, have begun, but her technique is painful; she says Amelia is very healthy; she has given her a German book on anatomy but all her others are in Swedish, so Amelia has asked Dr. Brock to recommend some English ones, including Huxley's 'Physiology' and Sir William Turner's treatise on anatomy; heavy thunderstorm.
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