8 July 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

Sierre is only 1700 feet high, which makes a great difference to my heart, too. If one had no work to do it would be a dull little place, for apart from the hotel there is nothing much to be said for it. But another great point in its favour is there is a farm attached, where the faithful old Swiss gardeners allow me to explore. This is all complete with cows, turkeys, poultry and a big rambling orchard that smells already of apples. The damson trees are the first I remember seeing since those at Karori. After all, a country life is hard to beat. It has more solid joys than any other that I can imagine. I thank heaven and my papa that I was not born a town child.
   l was much interested in the photograph of yourself taken with Andrew and John. It is not good enough of you, really. But it is a delightful record of your visit. John's likeness to Vera at that age is remarkable. He looks a very taking little chap - very sensitive. I should think Andrew was like Mack. They are both "getting big boys now, Eliza". Vera must be very proud of them.
   Yes, indeed, I too wish that I were taking a trip home with you. It would be a marvellous experience. The very look of a "steamer trunk" rouses the oId war horse in me. I feel inclined to paw the ground and smell the briny. But perhaps in ten years time, if I manage to keep above ground, I may be able to think seriously of such a treat. [To Harold Beauchamp, 9 July1922.]