Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wednesday 16th February 1938

Started late, moved some of my things to Eastwoodbury in readiness for the return. It is an ordeal to go out to the car. Slush and the piercing wind. I’ve only got a light mackintosh – no overcoat. Blast the Stillness. Damn and blast.

Arrived at Burnham on Crouch just before lunch. I was luckier than I deserved. Took a stock order for DHG (new account), a repeat order for U/coat Paste from a boat builder, and a repeat order from a builder.

Called at Pat’s this evening, and sat by the fireside. Her mother confessed to having felt worried last Saturday, when we went to Chelmsford. “…and Pat came in joyfully at 1:30 a.m…” (So she was joyful – literally?) Were they worried because of the gale or because of me, I wondered? Both, probably. “Of course, this is a new venture for Pat…”

Later, father inquired the number of my car and the description – “in case anything happens you know. Of course you’ll be careful but someone might bump into you, who knows?” I solemnly produced my insurance policy and he solemnly copied out the details. Even now I laugh as I think of this! Such amazingly candid people and yet tactful. Before departing I made an impressive little speech with a double meaning also, saying that I might be reckless – as a driver – but not when I had precious cargo onboard. Somehow, I explained, I felt peculiarly protective towards Pat and so would look after her. I meant it sincerely, too. They were relieved, I think.

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