Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans. We are satisfied and at peace. Each man has another mess-tin full for the evening; and, what is more, there is a double ration of sausage and bread. That puts a man in fine trim.
Life is so hard in the trenches that the men start to attach great value to the innocent pleasures of life. A meal of beef and haricot beans may not sound like much, but to men brutalized by the horrors of war, it's a welcome relief, a reminder of their basic humanity amidst all the chaos and bloodshed. But the simple pleasure of eating has lost its innocence; it no longer has the same meaning that it does in peacetime.
These are wonderfully care-free hours. Over us is the blue sky. On the horizon float the bright yellow sunlit observation-balloons, and the many little white clouds of the anti-aircraft shells […] we hear the muffled rumble of the front only as a very distant thunder, bumble-bees droning by quite drown it....
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