CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/222
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date20 January 1918
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding mother's birthday; difficult week; Uncle very irritable, as he was during Aunt's illness; he has been puzzled and cross over Mrs. Fleming's accounts; he blames everyone else but it is his own fault; this upset Aunt, who did not sleep; he is annoyed about the ventilators in church and the Frasers' complaints about them, but even more annoyed by suggestions of solutions; all his irritation arises from Amelia going to Chambéry; she hopes it will all end when she goes, and not continue for Aunt; each stage of tidying and repairing the house can be accomplished with each communication confirming the arrangements for Chambéry; Amelia must leave everything in order for Aunt, who cannot do it all herself; Ernesta is still complaining of the food and Maria is tempted to resign; Ernesta is showing reluctance to do her duties, in return for having meat cut from the household meals on certain days; Maria is too unpunctual now and cannot sleep in, anyway, as she has her own house to run; Uncle's income tax has gone up as has the church property tax, and now the garden is to be taxed because it is not built upon; it would be a relief if the authorities did take over the building; Fulvio's salary has gone up, too; Uncle and Mr. Gibson have disagreed over Miss Jazdowska's rent, and Uncle has been annoyed by Miss Jazdowska's demands for him to arrange for a plumbing repair - meanwhile Aunt has had to wait for him to arrange for the plumber to come to deal with their repairs, even though he was in the building [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]; women should have full control over their households and not have to depend on men; Uncle has waited too long to order more firewood; he is prompt at attending to everyone else, but not to his own home, and will not let them do the things they want done either; firewood has gone up in price; visit of Mr. Gibson, who is willing to be organist in Amelia's absence; he will take no salary; she will give him some short voluntary pieces; Mr. Green is now in regimentals and unsure of his future; he will serve in Italy if need be, but thinks that as he is nearing forty with a wife and two children, younger men ought to serve instead of him; Amelia is furious at this, as the old always want the young to sacrifice themselves for their convenience; reflections on how different age groups are better suited for different aspects of military service; he says that his wife and daughter have expressed no views on the subject, but Amelia thinks that that is probably their best way; Mrs. Rowat's account of a girl in Samoa born of an English mother and German father interned in Fiji; visit of Mr. Rideout in regimentals, looking very well; visit of Mrs. Hodges to invite Uncle to a lecture in honour of America's entry into the war; she is to set up an information bureau for American soldiers as they arrive in Rome, as they receive three months' pay in advance and are being fleeced on their arrival in Rome; examples of this practice; 'the moral liers-in-wait are legion. One of the ships could not leave Naples till the city was scoured for the men found where they ought not to have been'; she foresees slaughter at Calais, Verdun and in Italy this summer; 23 ships of American troops have arrived in Genoa - total of 35,000 men; two million are already in France; they have been lucky to cross the Atlantic safely, but will be even more lucky to return so; mention of New Year card from Mathieu, her patient; Dean Miller's contrast of the Roman Catholic faith in France and Italy; his story of the fate of a truckful of bread at Bordeaux; the papers are displeased with Lloyd George for not having referred to Trent and Trieste in his speech to the Trades Unions; Hale Benton is annoyed at the commercial practices of the Italians in American camps; thanks for all letters.
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