Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sunday 10th July 1938

My people came down and met their future relations at Oakdene. (“Have a drink?” said Lois’ father. “Yes!” said my father, thirstily as the water splashed into the whisky, - “Not too much water!” he added hastily.) All went well, although it was a meeting of ancient and modern, settled and unsettled.

At last Lois and I were again alone. We sat in the car near Hockley and discussed the financial side of marriage. Lois reckons she could run a home for two – and pay the rent – on £3-0-0 a week. But the furniture would have to be brought first… We called at the Mayphil, Battlesbridge. Lois had an “egg-flip” cocktail (to the contempt of the barman. “That’s right, a straight drink”, he grinned when I asked for a “White Horse”.)

Afterwards we put the car in a bridle track where I have sometimes come to be alone, lately. Yes, serenity has returned, so that I can be alone and contented, reading or thinking. Milady said she did not want to be taken to a roadhouse where there were lots of people and synthetic conversation. She wanted somewhere quiet like this. (On a bush nearby, invisible in the darkness, I knew that wild roses were blooming.) Lois snuggled into my arms. I sat very still. Her breathing changed, as though she were asleep. I sat very still. Lois raised her head, said in such a surprised voice, “Oh! Are we still at Battlesbridge?” Where had she thought we were? Like a flash, clear vision came to me. I knew that this was something, a mood or a moment, that would return and that sometime, somewhere in the future, Lois would again awake in my arms and be surprised because she’d dreamed we were somewhere else.


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