Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday 19th November 1933

A very curious day indeed and one of differences. Once I lay upon a hillside 20 miles from Egham, looking around across wild country, seeing land I had never seen before. And once I sat beside a cheery log fire with a girl.

While I was happily shaving, after breakfast, Peggy surprisingly arrived. She was unwell, could not come with me… A few minutes later I cycled away on Harveys bike. Bought a packet of Salisbury Turkish Cigarettes. Have had 17 and Peggy 1, too. Now that new, pleasant smell of Turkish cigarettes will always remind me of today.

When I came to the cross roads on Chobham Common I halted awhile; smoked; looked around. Fog, desolate beauty, motor cars. Then I saw a man and a girl walking over one of those solitary hills…. Oh, curse it! I rode on – on. Bisley and the zone of military camps. Woody country and high (400feet). Chobham Ridge. Left the road and soon came to a clump of tiny firs.

(2005 Obviously lovelorn at this time, unfortunately with an elusive minx. However I was now becoming happy with the area finding wild open country. At first coming from Lincolnshire the whole district seemed a series of gardens and parks.)

Beyond, Eastward, the ground fell away. Brown lands. Dead bracken and firs. Could see far and wide. Back to the road – hum of wheels – how quickly I seemed to go! Cascades of leaves showered on me from trees rapidly becoming bare. Came to a tea shop near Sunningdale, on the main road. On that first dreamy walk to Ascot, I decided to call here. Coffee; smoked; read in a paper about “The Hand of Fate”. I believe in Fate.

3p.m. Egham and Wood Haw. Peggy and I took a stroll along the river with two other girls, who afterwards left us. Helped (or rather hindered) while she did her farm work, milking the cows etc. Peggy and I sat at one table, all the others together. After tea everyone went out leaving us alone, sitting on the couch, by the fire. Gramophone music. Haunting tunes I knew well. “ You’re getting to be a habit with me”. Nerves on edge. She lit my cigarettes then gave them to me, from her lips. Arranged to meet her on the Medes tomorrow. “Really truly.”

Came home after supper. Those strange impenetrable glances of hers. A curious uneasy-happy day. And the fragrant taste of Turkish cigarettes will always bring it back again.

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