Monday, March 24, 2008

Tuesday 27th September 1938

Drove up to Ealing Common with Lois. 1 hour 20 minutes. Anti-aircraft guns on the North Circular Road. Father away on business. Drove mother and Lois to Paddington. Marjorie and Mr Sugden packing up to leave for the north…

Called at the Office, saw Mr Percy Randall. The interview revealed the managing director to be definitely anti-Nazi… I admitted that there were no prospects of business. Very decently he told me to stay in London for the present; “until something happened”. The tense London faces!

Drove back to Ealing Common, collected Pepita from her office on the way. Anti-aircraft guns and trenches in Hyde Park.

“Britain Decides: Stand with Russia beside France” “Keep Calm and Dig” “Be of Good Cheer”: the King" “Anti-aircraft Territorials Called Up” “Dig Or Die!”

Heavy rain. Felt restless after dinner and having heard the Premier’s speech (How sadly he spoke! Little hope of peace now.) Impulsively, at 8:40p.m. I decided to go back to Eastwoodbury and fetch my kit, also to leave definite instructions in the event of a call-up from the Signals. Lois ran after me to the door and kissed me. “Don’t be long; I’ll be waiting up for you.” The rain soaked roads. Windscreen wiper clicked monotonously. Plenty of traffic but all moving. Only one car passed me (overtaking) between Ealing and Eastwood! Blue lightening flashes. Drenching rain. Click-click. Drove headlong into floods near Romford but eventually got the car started again – after having pushed the damn thing about a quarter mile to a garage.

Eastwoodbury 10:50p.m. Left again 11:20p.m. The rain had nearly stopped. Roads were drying. 45-50-55 – into the darkness. Reached the flat at 12:55. Lois, true to her promise was waiting. Unloaded the B and AV (I’d brought my uniform and equipment, beside ordinary kit.)

After I’d been to the garage I got back to find Lois in the kitchen with two cups of cocoa waiting. (She’s so sweet! Much more like a wife than a fiancée!) We sat in the flickering fire glow of the lounge, arms about each other. Gradually the fire Lessened and dulled. This was the only thing that showed how time flew. Her night things were in the room and – oh, so simply and naturally! – she took off her clothes and put on pyjamas. (It’s such a frumpish dress, isn’t it?” “Well, my pyjamas and dressing gown are here…” Good night kiss at twenty to four. Ended Sunset 1938.

Note:

My poor English is – was – inadequate to describe the glory and happiness at Sunset’s end. Her kiss before I went out. She might so easily have been indifferent!
And the long drive, knowing she was waiting for me. And the cosy lounge… “Well, my pyjamas and dressing gown are here.”

Small wonder I should want to make friends with her people afterwards, so that she’d be happy, too!

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