Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday 22nd February 1936

My weekend in the country. It rained, steadily all the morning: I was kept late at the works – uninspiring commencement! However I leisurely ate my lunch, packed my rukker and set forth on Christopher in the midst of a thin drizzle.

My only guide was a list of villages and suburbs, copied from a map at the works. So for some time I wandered through miserable “country” – West Drayton, Hillingdon, Fakenham, Northwood – that foul hill at Northwood! And Christopher not so dashing as he was six months ago!

By the time I was clear of Watford it was dark but I could feel I was in real country at last. No rain. Went through two villages, Alderham and Radlett and at length “coasted” into a place called Colney Heath. Bought some chocolate here and also hot chips from a travelling cook shop.

Got to Welwyn and Hatfield. “Holywell Hyde? – Oh, that’s where those men live” said one woman when I asked the way. I passed through Holywell Hyde – a remote hamlet – and splashed down various muddy lanes. Came at last to a big house with farm buildings around it. I banged on the front door; silence. Walked in the back door – which stood open – and out again. A tall man with long hair and dreamy eyes appeared eventually. I asked, “was this St. Francis?” It was! I was glad and said so.
Didn’t feel very tired after I’d had a wash.

Until 10.30 I sat by the fireside whilst Brother Kerridge talked earnestly, his eyes on the flames. Staines seemed a long way off. I slept in a room which had pictures of St. Christopher on the wall. Slept well.


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