Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tuesday 22nd February 1938

Calls in Braintree. Hasty lunch at Chelmsford. Brentwood. Grays – a grey place! Promising Paripan Enamel contact here – a builder who wishes to wangle orders through his merchant brother-in-law at Laindon. One call and one order at South Benfleet. Service call at ANS Cycles and at the Municipal Hospital, Rochford.

Wrote my reports at dusk, just before the light failed. Went to Garon’s, to my corner table, for a jolly good, savoury tea. Refreshing wash and brush up afterwards.

Posted my letters and arrived early at the elocution class – a surprise for Pat when she came in, cos she wasn’t expecting me. So that I could get away, we did “Fantastic Flight” first. I had intended to make an early exit, Pat should hear the roar of Zephyr’s engine as I went away from her again. But – as we sat waiting for our cue – “Must you go at 9 o’clock?” she asked, “Can’t you wait a bit?” “No!” I said firmly and then, weakening subtly, “Why, do you want to see me about anything in particular?” “No… but…” she hesitated, and all my plans were abandoned. We both left shamelessly at 8:45p.m. (I’m sure everyone knows!) and went to the Tudor Teahouse, Leigh, for a fireside supper. Pat pointed out that I had said I was seeing some charming girl friend tonight and it obviously wasn’t true. “It is true!” I declared triumphantly, “For here I am, with you!”

Back at Victoria Avenue, we sat in the car talking, for a long time. Delightful stupidities. (That makes me think we are both about to fall in love.) I tell her all sorts of picturesque quaint things about herself. She’s a still green pool of deep water; a rosebud in a garden; morning mists. “I am the bud of a rose in a garden – then what are you?” “Oh, I’m a bunch of thistles growing in a heap of bricks, watching a rosebud that has not yet awakened.”

Eventually said goodbye at 10 to 11. I drove northwards. (She admits she is becoming attracted. By Jove, I’ll make her love me!) Drove homewards fast. Stopped by the Police at Witham and at Kelvedon. Looking for the third of a trio of crooks who had attempted to break into a fruit packaging store. Home 12.15 am.

A letter from Pat, which had come by second mail, lay on the table. Two pages of artless chatter, several half-jealous references to the “social activities of Colchester”. The postscript was best: “I do miss you a bit”.

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