Sunday 25 December 1836

[, who arrived in South Australia on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Sunday 25th December.

Christmas Day. Reminds us of Old England and our friends warming their knees by a rousing fire, with all other Christmas comforts. Here we are broiling under a sun nearly vertical and half of us nearly blind with Opthalmia which I hear from the Sealers who visit this Coast always prevails during the Summer months. It is very distressing and of the purulent kind. The small flies, which when living in the tents were maddening, are, I am happy to say, much less troublesome in the huts, but the large disgusting blow-fly is very active, actually depositing living maggots on the plate you are eating off and making no distinction between fresh meat and the salt ship provisions. One of our sheep, the first, was killed last night after sunset and my ration which was served out at 6 this morning altho’ carefully wrapped in a towel was actually crawling by 10 and it has taken me nearly an hour to wash it. Nothing worthy of mention has occurred this last week with the exception of the days when I brave the heat and sally forth with my gun. My time is passed principally within my hut reading etc. The whale-boat left here by Captain Light which was to have been such a source of comfort, has, on the contrary, created disappointment, as we have had no success whatever among the finny tribe. Our dinner today (that is Jacob’s and mine) will consist of the above named piece of mutton, some parrots and pigeons, killed, plucked and cleaned by me and a plum pudding made by Jacob, and all I have to say is that I sincerely hope my dear friends at home are spending a Merrier Christmas than we are here. If not, I pity them.

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