Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Saturday 7th August 1937

Cycled to Anne’s home, at Hatfield Broad Oak – 30-40 miles. Made two fruitless calls en route. Had a snack at Chelmsford and late lunch at a pleasant roadside café at Leaden Roding. Real Essex country. Quaint names! Good Easter, High Easter, White Roding (pronounced Roothing).

A walk with Anne after tea, through pastures and corn fields. We stared contentedly at weeds and flowers, munched wheat. We “made love” when the stars began to twinkle. All gone to bed when we returned to the cottage. Had supper in the lamp light and left about 12 o’clock. Cycled along gaily at first, singing in the quietness.
Then I rode silently, wondering if I should ever be able to fall in love with anyone again, or be stirred, as I used to be. I ate chocolate, and some ham sandwiches which Anne had given me.

2 o’clock. How weak I felt! It is always so on these night rides. Frequent pauses; every little hill has to be walked up. No all-night cafes on these roads.
Incredibly thirsty and sleepy. Walking up hills I began to close my eyes and eventually walked 100 yards without opening them. At Battlesbridge , I leaned against the iron parapet of the bridge, without dismounting, and nearly fell asleep.

At last I reached Roedean. Still dark, at 4 o’clock. I drank three glasses of water; had a little supper, not much, because I was so tired. Slept from 4:30 to 11:30a.m.


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