Wednesday, February 07, 2007

April 15th and 16th 1933

Evening, Night, Morning. Dinner in the dinning room, sitting at the front window.

Began the night hike at 11p.m. Along Carholme Road, by the silent racecourse. At the third milestone I turned right towards Burton. Starlight. A lonely road. Burton. Barking dogs. On the ridge. Found an old tumbledown shanty near South Carlton, on the hilltop. Rested here some time and drank a little hot cocoa. Stars covered by clouds. North Carlton; downhill. Along strange and very solitary roads. Used flash and map. Sometimes I laid the map on the ground, sometimes I held it. Once at the fork I spread it out on a tar- barrel.

Walking well, humming march tunes. Not sleepy. A desolate country, just occasional farm houses. The electric pylon that buzzed. The Foss and Saxilby. What time was it? Sat on a gate eating bread and cheese and watched the moon rise. Skellingthorpe – at last. Not so fresh now.

By the railway towards Doddington. Tired, stumbling – how much further? Behold, in the east the sky was getting lighter. Doddington Sidings. Climbed a signal post without fear and watched the sky reddening. Ate egg sandwiches and finished the cocoa sitting on the high lamp platform.

Twilight. Then, very quickly , day had come.. No spectacular sunrise; hidden by clouds. Treated my sore feet, in a cosy towel. Early shift plate- layers. Went on to Five Lanes Ends, Broadholme and Saxilby. By the Foss Dyke to Lincoln. Painful feet. Arrived home 9a.m. City people just getting up. Mileage 25. The feet seem troublesome. Beside various lingering blisters the heels are extremely tender. Those old shoes I wore. Vaseline.

A lovely day, as usual. At 1 o’clock (it seemed like 4 o’clock to me; such a long day!) I caught a bus to Sudbrooke. Nobody else there. Spent the whole afternoon in the “Wolf”, home made boat, and paddled all over the lake. Dreamy, drifting and strenuous dashes. Warm sunlight. Waited half an hour for the bus at Lane End. Propped up against a sign post. Needed will-power to keep myself awake. It is nearly 8 o’clock now. Bed! First for 36 hours but I feel quite fit. Shall I sleep soundly?

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