Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday 16th August 1936

At Kapai.

Yesterday was chaotic – moving-in, last minute difficulties and minor troubles, noisy trippers late at night. Today has been better. Went up to Ealing by the 10.48, the sun already hot.

Had some lunch – the family, absent, had left instructions for me to help myself – and had a look at Christopher. He was in a sorry state. The rear cone broken, or something. Had to get to Forest Park, nevertheless. Desperate, I came away at half past one sur Christopher. Damn hot! Sweated and sweated.

Stopped at Hounslow to raise the saddle. More sweat. Christopher and I were both exhausted by the time we reached Egham. So I left Chris at Kapai and hurried into Egham in search of a bus. The luck changed. A Green Line came in a few seconds – 3.25. At 3.40 I was in Windsor and by 4 o’clock was at Dicks.

After tea and a stroll in the gardens, Dick came back through the Park with me. On the way he told me all about the King’s mistress. Sat down for final cigarettes near The Copper Horse. Dusk, darkness. “Perfect peace”, said he. “Quite like old times – this”, said I (Platitudianns!).

He disappeared at a trot, homeward bound, whilst I marched on towards Bishopsgate. Caught a bus. Had bacon, egg and tomatoes at the old Forge House snack-bar. Walked down to the riverside. 11o’clock. All quiet. Weekenders gone. Unlocked the door, switched on the light and was in my castle.

Minus jacket and socks, wearing ancient shoes, hands in pockets, I strolled onto the riverbank and looked at Kapai. The light shone through curtains and fell on dewy grass and the flagged path. Left and right, the dark, empty river.

Sweet! Sweet.

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