Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sunday 21st February 1937

A jolly good days rambling. John, Margaret, Pep, Richard (Dawson!) and Lucien – Pep’s French friend. Caught a bus from Staines GWR to Virginia Water. We walked far without fatigue; sunny, warm yet a cool wind. All around Virginia Water. Sometimes we marched and counter-marched. Lucien had served in the French Artillery by “artifice”. John proudly drilled his little army. The miles flew.

Lunch from our ruc-sacks, with a pot of tea at a café near The Wheatsheaf. (Incidentally we scrambled around the Falls for some time, and Margaret awoke my surprised admiration by following a “difficile” route taken by John and I). We marched towards Chobham Common, humming songs which kept the feet in step. We left the road and scrambled through a sand quarry onto the railway. We climbed signals (I was standing on a signal platform when a train passed beneath).

Then across the Common to Chobham. Tea at The Sundial. The people at the next table obviously thought we were all foreigners (“Gateaux?” “Oui!”). After tea, along the track to Gracious pond. John jumped the ford twice. So did I. We two always challenge one another and the challenge is always accepted. Flutters Hill in the gathering dusk and again the tramp, tramp, of our feet on the road to Virginia Water.

Back to Staines by bus, where the party began to break up, with the customary “Heil! Heil!"

Margaret was surprisingly vivacious today. Hardly knew her.

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