CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/290
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her parents, Robert and Maggie Laws
Date6 - 13 April 1919
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Valence, to her parents, regarding neglecting them as everyone else is so dependent on her general letter; thanks for their letters; thanks too for her share of Miss Telford's very generous legacy; her finances; her clothing economies now she is in uniform, and her trimming of her own hats; she will not need further clothes this summer; she does not know what the future will hold; there is no massage at Grenoble; the administration there thought she should become a pupil in their school of nursing; Mme. Delattre had the idea of her training at Bordeaux, a Protestant institution, but it would mean two years of fees and two years lost for massage patients; she is not drawn by many aspects of nursing; she is interested chiefly in the muscular and nervous systems; 'In New York there is a distinct branch which includes music in the treatment of nervous diseases'; she has also been experimenting with suggestion, but does not quite know how she wants to bring these elements together with the massage; she has refused to return to Rome and wishes to 'serve my own generation'; she is distressed to see the development of tuberculosis, asthma, and bronchitis, in patients, and abscesses and fistulas developing and leading to tuberculosis of the bones; the patients are no longer interesting to the doctors after the surgery is past and she cannot see how to reach those who have been dispersed but would benefit from her treatment; she regrets missed opportunities earlier in the war which would have given her more experience; praise of the men she treated and of the family atmosphere beneficial to their recovery as young men together; Chauvel's appreciation of her music; her work now is less intimate and she has less chance to befriend the patients, though she feels appreciated; Chauvel has now become infirmier for his company and is doing dressings and massage, trying to copy her methods; description of him; she likes to work with young people; she would also like to work where her massage and music are appreciated and where she can have board and lodging; hospital routine is a great excuse for avoiding social commitments; letter from Aunt, expressing her gratitude for present of £10 from Amelia's parents to mark Amelia's mother's 70th year; Aunt still has difficulty writing; death of Mr. McGregor of the Mission, of acute pneumonia, at Firbank, Muirhead, Chryston; mention of Miss Macqueen and the trouble she has caused; thanks for locust bean flowers; possibility of acquiring plums to be dried for her parents, for planting purposes; loss of mail sent by Mr. Kirkwood; thanks for more letters; Uncle's plans are vague but she is trying to make preparations for their summer; he has come to accept that she can choose her own way of life; she has urged him to sound out the Continental Committee with regard to his retirement, and make arrangements to carry on with Bible Society work, either in Italy (in which case she would remain as masseuse in France) or at home (in which case she would find a post as organist in Scotland); he makes no preparations but continues to procrastinate; he is still thinking of retiring as soon as the peace is signed; he cannot compose fresh sermons but Gibson and Smith criticise him for remaking old ones; he gives too much work to other things, and will not give things up; the Y.W.C.A. has been giving him problems; he will not give up even his social life; he has finally given over some of Mr. Bragg's affairs to the consul, but retains control; the French are not as thrawn as the Scots and her Polish patient; she is trying to establish herself as the service de massage at the Hôpital Général with M. Draussin's backing, but is not expecting things to move quickly; she is not required at Grenoble; she hopes to stay in Valence even though 'the gossipyness of Valence ... was most distasteful' and 'I should certainly not risk massaging male patients privately without the protection of my family to chaperon me where the southern temperament sees evil in innocence'; this leads to the possibility of Uncle retiring to Valence, continuing with his Bible Society work, and if necessary returning to Rome for the winter; the climate is bearable all year round; Valence needs no trams, and is quiet but amply provided with good food and milk; there would be no social commitments for Aunt, and Uncle seems amenable so far, though he says he could not do his Bible Society work from there; he wants to stay in Rome all June, but she wants Aunt to come to Valence earlier for her health; she has written to La Grave Dauphiné as Uncle wants glacier air before two months in Scotland; Aunt Amy is looking forward to it; that is the current state of affairs.
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