Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday 5th November

The Egham bonfire was in Wood Haws field, just opposite the Victoria. I looked at the scene from the dining room windows. The white Magna Charta was conspicuous, nearby. I mentioned that was my first digs, three years ago. Mrs Towe’s mother turned and said, “Yes, I saw you that night. You stopped at my house to enquire the way”. How quaint – and what a memory!

This brought vividly to my mind that other self, of 1933, who walked down Egham High Street, tense, on the threshold of a new phase. He hadn’t loved, or at least had never expressed love. He did not drink – or swear. A cigarette was an event, not an automatic habit. He spoke a Midland dialect. He wanted to be a gentleman. A great unknown adventure stretched before, in a strange district.

“A charming boy…”


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