Fiercely hot and glad to be off. The sand-flies tear us to pieces. Still we get good flowers and have on the table geraniums, sun-flowers, Plumbago, Dianthus, Phlox, Aster, Snapdragon, Pelargonium – the latter 4 just expiring. The frontier seems fairly quiet, but a reverse in the Dardanelles might set India on fire at any moment and we wait anxiously for good news from anywhere and it never comes. The Russians in Galicia* are being thoroughly well hammered owing to lack of ammunition. Left at 11. p.m.
Entered Aden harbour at 8 a.m. As we flew the wrong signals the outer fort fired a shell at us which passed between the funnels and made a fine splash beside the ship. The Captain’s hair stood on end. Left in tender to Salsette [possibly this ship] at 10 a.m. only about 14 of us. Salsette is a fine pretty boat but full of beetles. We have a lovely cabin and they have let Rose come up the 1st Class end, which was very good of them – without payment.
Very hot and sticky with wind aft and a hot night. I am not yet in my cotton clothes. Nothing doing on board, just a peaceful siesta. At Aden I hope we will get news of a naval victory in the North Sea*. The old war is very tiresome, but it does good and the longer it lasts the better.
* This possibly turned out to be the Battle of Jutland, which commenced on 31st May 1915.
Arrived Suez at noon and straight off for Aden. Weather fine and not too warm. It was interesting going through the canal, all lights out and portholes closed on the port side for enemy’s snipers. Bridge protected with sandbags. Troops and defences all along. Saw the 56th that is the old 2nd P.I., and passed two French cruisers and one British. The ship is very empty and nice and quiet. Daisie and I enjoy that but other passengers complain that it is dull with no dancing or athletic sports. Susanna keeps well and cheerful with occasional fits of bad temper. She has one nice little boy to play with and seems in no hurry to get to the end of the journey. No particular war news. Where is our new force going to? The Dardanelles or to Bosnia, via Montenegro? Rumours of a naval expedition off Norway. No prospect of the war ending but of course some day it will end. I am certain that we will strike a blow between now and middle of May, that it will be successful and that the war will end in the Autumn. The Turks seem to be still quite serious in their advance on Egypt, but I do not think they can do much in that direction.
Arrived Port Said at 11 a.m. All our table got off here so we have to make new friends. Stayed all day coaling and left at 9 p.m. Went ashore and did some shopping. Met an old friend, Col. Harding, commanding the 69th, who are here. He took us around in a motor-launch and over the other side to the new Canal works. Thence two ponies for Daisie and me to ride out North to the furthest defences. A small redoubt about 1½ miles away. Poor Daisie riding a fresh pony in a light skirt with lots of leg showing and very uncomfortable. She had to take off her hat and we carried it for her.