Sunday, March 02, 2008

Saturday 19th March 1938

When March 19th (which used to be Vigil Day) began, I was with Pat. We were sitting in the Zephyr, on the sea wall at Wakering Stairs. Ahead was the Broomway, the wet saltings, and moonshine. We heard the cry of sea birds. “What time is it?” asked Pat. “Midnight! Just past.” I had a new experience on the drive homewards. From the Stairs to Prittlewell I drove with one hand only. Somehow managed to change gear and all that! The other arm was around Pat and the other hand was held tightly in hers; the fingers entwined.

Awoke at 7:30 when Fred Butler brought me a cup of tea. Half awake, I sat up in bed, became conscious of wind blowing and sunshine. “A lovely day – and the wind will be behind me!” I eventually left Southend at 11 o’clock for what has been called the green heart of England – Warwickshire! At 5 o’clock, after a leisurely journey, I drove along the Shuckborough Road, below Staverton Clump.

I stopped the car and looked down into the dear, familiar basin, still in the afternoon sunshine. It was delightful enough to hurt.


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