Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday 19th June 1938

We strode down the hills to “The Robin Hood” at Halling. The men had a glorious wash in the yard; I put a pair of slippers on, afterwards. Bacon and eggs, marmalade and many cups of tea. Real country breakfast. (Many of the members by this time knew of the romance in their midst. Pa Shervill had been confidentially whispering in the night!)

The next memory? Oh, there were 13 of us left now. We lay on a grassy hilltop, half asleep, under the sun. Lois and I, side by side, our hands secretly touching. We got separated somehow, in the afternoon. First I was alone, then I found Lois, Joan Yeaxlee, another girl and Pa Shervill. Lying behind a haystack. We had lunch there.
I dozed. “Come on, lazy bones” said Joan, “Lois has gone. Let’s find her.” She was nearby, though. We found her lying face downwards in the long grass, dreaming.

Later, much later, we met the others – saw them waving from beyond the valley. They crossed towards us, two-by-two, Ella Dorken tramping ahead like an officer with his soldiers. John had gone home. Tea at The Leather Bottle preceded by glorious cider and a glorious wash. What a day of sunlight it had been, after a night of moonlight!
So twelve of us crossed at Gravesend, then went our ways.

Nine o’clock. I’d just gone to my bedroom when a visitor was announced by Mrs Butler.
It was Hazell, the decorator whose first order was taken after my final argument with Pat and her Mother – the night of the black-out. We discussed business. He gave an order for five gallons Egham Paint and had written out an agreement to take fifty gallons at contract terms. Sound account, too! So I did all the incidental office work, dashed out to the post.

Bed by 10 o’clock. Surely I’d be too excited to sleep. But no! I slept like a corpse as soon as head touched pillow.

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