Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tuesday 15 September 1936

Works: The Norland light shades have been altered to lead. There are dozens of Norland shops: each one must be visited, the old cans collected and the new ones delivered. Others will presumably have to be credited. Have been given the job, to my delight.

Up at 6:45. Works by 8:10. Left with Newman almost at once. Did three “change overs” in north London, had lunch at Jock’s Bar and got back to Egham at 1:30. Left at 2 o’clock with a fresh load for Golders Green, Hendon, Wealdstone and Wembley. I assembled the old stocks of the four light shades then gave them can-for-can of the new lead base stuff. There are invariably some short; which must be noted for credit.
A glorious change from the blasted stores routine! After we’d finished and got back to Egham, it was 6:30. RNVR out of the question so I had a solitary evening.
Groceries, tea (with a book propped against the biscuit tin – safe of course), then at dusk I took out a punt.

Had been raining heavily and everything was wet, including the punt, which had no un-necessary equipment such as cushions or paddles. A sad evening, with mist gathering and every tree weeping. Sadness and beauty are very near one another. I drifted in and out of every little inlet; beneath wet trees; by silent backwaters; sometimes poling vigorously; sometimes going ashore on the island. The only craft on the river. Up the Colne, straining my eyes, almost feeling the way. Came down singing – nobody to hear me. Mist thickening. I punted up towards Bell Weir itself – in the middle of a wide stretch of drear, swift water – until the boat was rocked by the current-force.

Clothes damp; back to Kapai for two cups of piping hot cocoa. It is now nearly midnight. As I lie her in bed I can hear the roar of Bell Weir, although the windows are closed. A lonely, dreamy, charming evening.

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