From on board the SS Rajputana (P & O.S.N. Shipping Company) off Malta. This letter of New Year greetings will be posted in Malta this evening. The weather is wonderful and the people are nice. Many of the passengers disembark at Malta and others at Port Said [Egypt]. After Bombay there will be fewer passengers still.
The old captain led the service this morning. There does not seem any point in having one tonight as they have supper at 7.30pm and come alongside in Malta at 8.30. The ship seems fairly full of 'grass widows' [wives temporarily separated from their husbands] on account of the children [being educated in England] - the army, church and business all share this separation experience.
H B R occupies a table with three [China Inland Mission] and two [London Missionary Society] missionaries; one of the C.I.M people is a niece of Harold Balme[?] and three of the party are doctors. Also on board is a sister of Deaville Watkins and a [British and Foreign Bible Society] man from Korea. If there are other missionaries around, he has yet to meet them.
The weather is cool but lovely, and there is no trouble expected this side of Singapore. After that however, the ship will be getting into the monsoon area.
He thinks that Emily should be quite well off for money this next year. Now that everything is clear, she should be able to plan. With regards to Emily's health, he is sure that she must not allow herself to be rushed from one thing to another. With Arnold now at school and H B R away, she should be able to devote some time to all sorts of things without the necessity of late nights. There will be no worry about having to move house or having a husband home on furlough. She will in fact be more on her own than at any time since 1914 [the year of their marriage]. 'But above all, you are at home to be home-maker...' Reference is made to Martha and Mary.
He cannot help but feel that 1933 will be a good year.