Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday 26th August 1938

Lois came with me on the road – short country journey. Eleven calls – four orders, one cheque. We did not get our lunch until 4p.m; sandwiches, and tea, ex thermos.

Reached Eastwoodbury 6:30p.m. A telegram from the Office had been waiting since midday:-

“Mr Fisher Wrights Colchester wishes you telephone him at once. Paripan.” I telephoned from Lois’. Mr Fisher had gone home but I spoke to one of the Wrights. A complaint regarding Duripan Distemper. Supplied last week or early this week to Nock Bros. I’ve been trying to get “in” with them for months with Duripan Distemper…
Am to telephone again tomorrow. Hope this won’t mean a journey to Colchester in the morning. Damn it all! Don’t mind work, but I’d plans for the weekend. And there’s the expense!

Concluding business and turning to more emotional subjects…

Lois and I have not been au fait since our wide clash of opinions regarding Peace and how to keep it. She broached the subject as we sat in the car outside Roedean. (before going in and finding that blasted telegram), saying we’d been in a fog ever since the fatal evening. True enough, and I admitted that the great basis which made everything so different – comradeship – was gone. She’d become just an ordinary, attractive girl. Horrible but true. She put her hand on mine suddenly, said, “Don’t you want to go on?” (How awful!) “Oh yes,” I said without any hesitation…

Afer nightfall we found ourselves in the B and AV on a lonely road near Paglesham. We continued our gloomy conversation, seeking, as Lois put it, “a way out”. She was very decent and modified her views considerably even volunteering, once or twice, to change them. “Will you educate me in militarism?” I didn’t respond much to this as, if her opinions are set, it would be somewhat stupid to try and change them, probably only on the surface.

Looking back, all this emotional stress seems trivial. It is not so, because far more than a mere matter of politics and opinions, my views are a whole big lump of me in the matter of patriotism; and TA training and the TA attitude is all part of my character now. I began to fear that all this talk of pending battle, might create a very false picture of me as a bloodthirsty hero waving a sword, so pointed out that I did not want to fight and would be as eager to run away from slaughter as anyone else – this being very true! Eventually, there being no way out, I suggested that we evade the matter (loathsome solution!) and never discuss things military, warlike, imperialistic, pacific or patriotic. The TA above all, never to be mentioned. Lois agreed to this in the end, although we both know that such a state of affairs is hopeless and cannot last. We were both miles apart still but gradually we moved nearer, physically at least and were in each others arms.

Thank heavens there is physical attraction, just as before, but – exit Comradeship, the one different thing. Not twin brother and sister any more! And the goddess off her pinnacle! “You’ve got nice square shoulders” she said. Dammit, if I’d not been in khaki or navy blue they’d be narrow and round – as they used to be. Hell!

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