Sunday, February 18, 2007

Thursday 20th July 1933

I was ill during the night and felt groggy all the morning. Late afternoon, felt better, so took the Westgate skiff out, with Jack. Needed careful piloting through the weedy shallows around the mooring place. Sculled down-stream under High Bridge and as far as Stamp End. Locks. Each time, at the Glory Hole, I could hear that haunting music – “Smilin’ Though”. Up the shallow Witham, between gloomy factories, to the country’s edge, where we turned back. How far is the Witham navigable?

Met the H.F. for an evening walk to Pyewipe. I felt ill however, and left them, at Carholme Road. Of our glorious river day a dream has been born. I have also a dream of Sudbrooke – lake, trees, water and the swish of paddles. And – that beautiful song. Harsh tramp of feet, the dark Army. A train rolls out of a station and I see two blue eyes come smiling through – what? Night on the river, creak of sculls as THEY smile…like pools of water. Sudbrooke’s lake and warm sunlight…a boat that drifts dreamily. My thoughts are confused, incoherent.

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