Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tuesday 31st May 1938

Slightly better day than yesterday, for business.

Met Pat at 6 o’clock; bought her a present for tomorrow – her nineteenth birthday. It was only spending some of the money I’d been vaguely saving for an engagement ring for someone, sometime… Went into No. 218 for tea, afterwards. Pat and her mother put me through psycho-analysis about friendship etc. and we all argued, I obstinately maintaining that some other boy-friend should be chosen to go with the family to a garden-party. I left soon after 8 o’clock, with the discussion still unfinished, as I had a call to make.

Incredible after all that emotional disturbance, but I got an order – new account!
Back at Pat’s 9:30. She was using a roller on the lawn, quite serene and untroubled again. “What a pity” said Amanda Retallack, “I understand you both, but you don’t understand each other the least bit!”

Air Raid Exercises tonight. Took Pat out in the car. At 10 o’clock all lights suddenly disappeared. A bad night, low cloud, high wind, squalls of rain. Drove cautiously around Southend. Side-lights only. Out to Eastern Avenue, where the gun was stationed during the last black-out. No gun there tonight. I parked the car on a bridle track and we sat there watching searchlights vainly wheeling to and fro. Suddenly they went out. We waited for something to happen. “Let's make love for a while, to break the monotony” I said lightly. We did, after she’d blown her nose. Quite pleasant, kissing Pat again, and being kissed by Pat. Left her at her gate, 11:30.

Drove cautiously back to the little lane opposite Roedean – a raid still being in progress. Walked through the mud towards my green gate. Caught Pat’s faint fragrance in my nostrils, before the keen wind blew it far, far away.

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