CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/313
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her parents, Robert and Maggie Laws
Date6 September 1919
Extent7 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Edinburgh, to her parents, just returned from Mr. Campbell at Gryffe Castle, Aunt is extremely well, description of Gryffe Castle, Mrs. Campbell has aged a good deal, she has a great deal of work to do to manage the place, description of Bridge of Weir, not at all attractive and partly Dr. Barbour's fault as many of the houses are on his property, 'he gives himself to the slums of Edinburgh and creates his own in the Bridge of Weir', he had no interest in the Campbells renting Gryffe Castle, the estate came to him through his mother's family, the Freelands, description of gardens and outbuildings at the Castle, Mr. Campbell has been in bed for 15 months, and is much changed, yet is comfortable and happy, reminiscences of Pontresina, visit to Quarrier's Homes, where Mrs. Burgess, the Campbells' daughter, works, with description of church and holiday plans for children, arrangement of living and schooling, delightful hospital, story of origins of Aberdeen House, one of the homes in the village, meeting the Hope Robertsons whom Amelia quite likes, but is dismissive of Miss Muriel's inability to cure her stammer by willpower, account of music hall song sung by one of the guests regarding wearing flannel next to the skin, lovely drive by Kilbirnie, Largo, Greenock and Kilmacolm, meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Peter Macgregor, strange to hear so much of the Barbours suddenly after so many years, 'Annie Brown is more vulgar-looking than ever', description of her costume, Mr. Macgregor is now 'haggard and sunken', no longer dapper, obviously ill but 'no specialist can cure his self-made trouble', which Amelia seems to put down to his wife, Annie Brown, hints at some past history between Annie, Mr. Macgregor, and Amelia in Pontresina, detailed account of lunch conversation which seems to indicate the same, Annie complains that Mr. Gibson has stopped writing to them, and Amelia says that it is probably because she never replied, which is why she herself stopped, Annie says that having a husband takes up too much time, but her husband reprimands her, saying that that does not fool anyone, least of all Amelia, and she should not use him as an excuse, further details of an awkward conversation between the three of them, Annie is astonished that Amelia replies when her old patients write to her, 'you write to Frenchmen?' Annie is more subdued than she used to be, but does little in the household, neglecting her children, arrival at last of letters from Africa, financial arrangements, hopes that there have been no more earthquakes, and that the lions have gone elsewhere, hoping to send Dr. Bainbridge's book, with references to war surgery and Dr. Carrel's technique in combination with the Dakin antiseptic solution, account of French treatment of complex wounds in which infection is likely to occur, with use of massage at certain points, either to stimulate healing or to drive poisons to a point where they could be excised, she thinks the human hand much better than a machine for this and it can cover a larger area, a pity that there is no x-ray apparatus at Livingstonia, possibility of work in a civilian hospital in Strasbourg as the military hospitals are reducing their staffs, plans to go to London, to visit French and Italian consulates.
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