CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/229
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date10 March 1918
Extent6 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her relatives, regarding daylight saving time; losing her voice after a draught in the car, and having to stay indoors most of the week; she has spent the time doing repairs; she has made a handsplint using Ernesta as a model and is pleased with the result, from paper only; it shrinks if it is not dried on a mould; 'common paper glued with boiled-water starch, cooled to a jelly consistency and properly manipulated, gives a perfect result'; elastic bands can be sewn in more easily than leather straps and the splint is much quicker to make; an injured man can also do the work himself if directed; 'Work-rooms turn out finished articles, but my purpose includes temporary, inexpensive splints, easily renewed for changing conditions when swelling disappears, and self-made when men leave hospital'; comparison of prices; the solid splints are good for outdoor use, but excessive for hospital; she has made a lampshade for Uncle of dark green silk, a 'serious' shade; she has also mended Aunt's screen with her starch; she is also using an awl, harness needles and linen thread in her work; she is trying to work out how to add a waterproof lining; Mrs. Miller wants to affiliate the Marchesa's work with Queen Mary's Needlework Guild so that they can benefit from each other's ideas; Amelia has received a letter from Mlle. Vernaz saying that she will be needed soon at Chambéry; the hospitals in the Savoy are all to be evacuated again soon to make way for a new wave of casualties from Italy or France; Mlle. Vernaz is eager for men to care for; Amelia feels she has made good use of her time in Rome; Aunt is not to put up the curtains again until October, so that they do not attract the summer dust; Aunt is worried that all their cleaning may offend Maria, but Amelia is eager to get on with it; Ernesta went out in a rain storm to fetch her mended umbrella but by the time she returned it was in tatters, and she now has a cold; what she wanted to eat, contrasted with what they gave her - Amelia's reputation as a nurse means that Ernesta does not argue with her treatment; they cannot understand how Ernesta eats so much; Aunt is afraid of offending either maid, and usually has Amelia say things to them that she fears they will not like; scoldings are administered well at Chambéry, and likewise Mrs. Berry deals well with the Marchesa Centurione; Uncle's lecture to the Archaeological Society was very successful and he found a map to suit; he is still visiting Miss Forster Walker and Mr. Bragg at the hospital to deal with business for them; the business affairs are at last to be put in the hands of the consul; Miss Forster Walker's wound has had to be cleaned; the disease has reached a large blood vessel; Mr. Bragg is helpless and confused; death of Mr. Hudson, their former tenant, following over-excitement at the visit of the Allied bandsmen; at his cremation, the heat was insufficient and the coffin would not burn, so they lifted the body out and laid it on the gridiron; Mrs. Hudson was told to take the ashes home in an urn, but she has left them in a niche at the crematorium until there is the opportunity to take them home to England, where they will be buried with his first wife and boy; the coffin was resold to another party, no doubt a deliberate fraud; it may be used again and again; Mrs. Hudson will be free to leave after Easter although she has signed the lease on her apartment, for a woman's signature counts for nothing in Italy; she can sublet it till November if she wishes, but if Mr. Hudson had signed the lease she would have been forced to pay rent till November and could not have sublet, though the landlord could have done so as well as taking her rent; she will be glad to leave Rome; many who were not friendly to her before have now become so, hoping for presents from the furnishings she will not wish to take back to England; she will sell the lot through an agent and have nothing more to do with it; Mrs. Roberto Bompiani is in Bastianelli's clinic for hernia and is recovering only slowly, being 84; the Campanellas are to move to Genoa; Dr. Campanella's reputation has been lost in Rome as a man, but his mother and sister live in Genoa and his wife thinks that their daughter Eudora is more likely to find a suitable husband there; Eudora should think again about that, but the little nursing she has done has been a mere hobby between school and marriage, so she has little option; Lamberto Vannutelli is in Washington as naval attaché and would like, according to Miss Curtis, to have Elise with him; she uses his name as a cloak; Mr. Lorimer has confirmed that they are still holding all his boxes, despite their impression that one had been stolen; sharp storm which tore down an iron stanchion in the garden - it fell and smashed the slate roof of the gas meter; letter from Mrs. Fleming, acknowledging Amelia's lists of her box contents sent to her and asking Uncle to pass over to her some money from the amount he is holding for them, so that she can buy any little thing she needs for France; Mrs. Brock is not currently causing trouble, and nor is Leghorn; Mrs. Berry (wife of the Passport Office official) has taken the Marchesa to task as the Marchesa proposed to take out a patent on the splints they were making, even though they were copies of the English models, now hidden in a cupboard; the Marchesa wishes to prevent other laboratorios in Italy from using her designs, but Mrs. Berry insists that they were granted for the use of injured soldiers, not for the Marchesa; the Marchesa then attacked Amelia for telling her that the starch recipe worked for glue when it does not, though Amelia is sure that she has done it wrongly; Mrs. Berry thinks Amelia has done a lot of good at the laboratorio; Amelia asked again for the English models back, but the Marchesa insists that they are hers; the talk during work at the laboratorio is of 'curls, features, admiration at receptions, preachers and the war'; the retreat was apparently a rout, but the civilians think things are going to be worse; they are eager for the war to be over, and there are daily prayers to that effect in the Church of S. Gesù; Hale Benton thinks that the two Anglo-Saxon races will finish the war alone; Germany wants to create revolution in Italy and then 'step in as the saviour of the country'; the Manchester Guardian reports that Austria wants to take Bologna and Germany Milan and Turin, so that they create another front for France.
Access StatusOpen
Add to My Items