Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thursday 7th April 1938

An order from Wrights Ltd. this morning. Then – it was sunny and warm – I explored new and very beautiful country around Halstead and the Colnes. Two orders – new accounts – which I sent into Wrights. Got myself in a filthy mess with Undercoat Paste. Arrived home 6 o’clock. (Collecting an account en-route) and have been writing ever since. (It is now 8:30)

Among the several letters to be answered was one from Pat:-

“Many thanks for your letter. I’m afraid I can’t answer it here, because I’d rather see you. If you are doing nothing on Friday evening perhaps you would call for me and then we could talk it over. I do hope you will be able to manage this.” So I wrote back and arranged not to call for her, but to meet her on the foul piece of waste land opposite her home, between 8:30 and 8:45p.m. tomorrow.

Having written the foregoing, I motored into Southend, to post my letters. Then – instinct superseded reason. I parked the car in a side street off Victoria Avenue and sat there smoking my pipe. Presently, as I expected, Pat walked by. “Hullo, Stephen” she said as I reached her. We drove to the foul piece of waste ground – just 23 hours earlier than intended – and sat talking. Bitterly upbraiding each other at first; the drifting apart was just the result of careless words and gestures from both which had meant nothing.

After an hour or so we became a little happier and by 11 o’clock our mutual unpleasantness was spent. So we then agreed to carry on, as before. And that was that.

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