Monday, March 10, 2008

Thursday 9th June 1938

Took Lois with me on the road today. She wore a dress and looked deliciously cool.
An order at Great Baddow – new account, small order from Wrights (Colchester)Ltd; fairly good order from Garforth and Wellham. No! She did not bring me bad luck!

We parked for a while in a quiet lane beyond Colchester, spread the rug and had lunch from Lois’ picnic basket. The sun blazed gloriously. Afterwards, coffee and Russian death tubes. Lois looked up at me. “A penny for your thoughts!” I cried. She lay on her back, shielded her eyes from the sun and laughed. “Worth more than that! Besides it’s a request, not a thought.” I emptied my pocket. Only two-pence halfpenny and a bunch of keys. “What is it?”“Kiss me” …

(We decided to give the 2 1/2d to the first tramp who appeared to need it. Up to the present we have not met him!) I gave Lois a wild rose and a sprig of honeysuckle from the hedge. She put them in her dress. “The first flowers you’ve given me, Stephen. Thank heavens they’re wild ones.”

At 5 o’clock we were at Walton–on-the-Naze. No more calls; no need to return home just yet. I had a jolly good wash – delightful feeling of coolness! Studied the map, trying to find Flatford. Whilst I was still looking, Lois said, “Lets go to Flatford!” She knew the way, so my map was superfluous. So we had tea at a little cottage in East Bergholt. I wrote my reports afterwards. And did all the necessary “office work”.

We went down to Flatford Mill, on the Stour, and Lois showed me the places Constable painted. It seemed a thousand miles from any town, this little backwater where the road ended. Took a skiff out and sculled easily along a winding river. My pipe tasted good. Lois put on my RNVR scarf – or did I put it on for her? Blue, with red and white wavy stripes against the white of her dress.

Back to the Mill at twilight. We strolled across the bridge, beside the locks and back to the car. Arm in arm, fingers entwined among fingers. “Not my girl – my lady”
My lady – Milady! “I hope I’ll be your lady for a long time” whispered Lois as I put the rug around her. “I like to have you looking after me.”

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