Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thursday 14th January 1937

Monday - RNVR; Tuesday – English swotting; Wednesday – signals swotting. (God how I’ve slacked since the summer!)

Tonight was exercise night. I went by bus to Virginia Water and walked around the lake. Left the track once, to explore a likely-looking path through the wet bushes. Pushing through the undergrowth, a gruff voice challenged me. Halted in a clearing; saw a light coming nearer, searching this way and that. A man stepped out of the bushes. (Damn! His torch was stronger than mine!) “What are you doing here?” he demanded. “Who are you?”, I reciprocated, then saw the helmet of the law on his head.
Eventually satisfied him that I was innocent though possibly eccentric. I must have seemed a suspicious character when I suddenly darted from the track! The P.C. and I parted on friendly terms, however.

I got to Blacknest, then walked to Bishopsgate via the landing ground. Arrived Victoria soon after 9 o’clock.

Six items of the D.A. are now in force and of these four are being carried out satisfactorily. It is only a habit – and soon all nine points shall be under control.

On the eve of a fresh appointment in business (I have reason to believe so) I record a few notes which may be interesting in future years. As a temporary phase my work in the lab is quite suitable. However, I’d hate to think that was my ultimate destiny. Work where my strongest points of character are useless and the virtues not possessed by me are necessary! In short, am utterly out of my element in the analytical atmosphere of test tube, beaker and Bunsen burner.

Pleasant to be a novice again, with no responsibility, though such a state does one’s character little good. Not pleasant to be such a novice that I am under the supervision of Mad Willy, a being far inferior in poise, age (actual and apparent) and general experience. Nevertheless he is far beyond me in education (school) and chemical knowledge – not to mention his skill in synthetics and nitro-cellulose!
By the law of averages, I have surely, some talents. Well, I want to have work where they may be useful. That way happiness lies – and success.

Last week, when I thanked Mr Lever for the rise, he asked me what I really wanted to do. “I want to go on the road. I want to sell.” That revokes my decision of 1934, when Mr Val asked me the same question in similar circumstances. 1934 was too early to decide and anyhow, I was three years younger, then. Now, I think, because of a hint received tonight, that my long cherished secret desire will soon be granted.
I have not tried to force the hand of fate. That would be very bad form!

Thus ends Midnight 1936 – 37

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