Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunday 13th November 1938

Mrs Ife brought a tray of tea. To my satisfaction, she left it all outside my door. So I slipped into the bathroom, cleaned my teeth and threw some water over my head to waken myself. Then I tapped on the door of Milady’s room, received no answer, went in with the tray and knelt down by the bed. As I gently moved the coverlet from her head (Yes! She’d burrowed underneath!) her eyes flickered quietly, happily open.
Downstairs, our muddy shoes had been cleaned and polished. We had a jolly good breakfast. We told Mrs Ife how, when we first came, we’d only just started “courting”. The second time we’d just become engaged – Now we were quite a veteran engaged couple, and “Maybe next time we’ll be married!”

Sunshine when we took the road. We tramped along the Pilgrims Way until great trees towered above on a steep hillside. So we climbed up among them. Red copper-beech leaves like a carpet. We stayed there a long time, whilst cyclists and walkers, unobservant, passed just beneath, along a path in a deep cutting. When we went on again, Angel had a great bunch of red spindle berries fastened in her rucksack flap.
We had a pot of tea, with our sandwiches at the little cottage, “Rosedene” where we had tea last night. A quiet voiced young man was there, whom we’d passed earlier, along the Pilgrims Way. Seemed lonely; we discussed ramble routes with him. He was planning a ramble for a London Club.

We became more or less involved in some woods near Cobham. Eventually I climbed to a tree top and called down my vision to Angel below, who had the map. I was the “eyes” Angel was the “brain”! And the humorous thing was that our path was only twenty paces distant!

A good wash and tea, at “The Leather Bottle”, Cobham. Walked to Gravesend then, feeling pleasantly tired – and sleepy! It had been raining since dusk but only a light, wind driven, exhilarating drizzle.

Train to Westcliff. (Back again, damn it!) The B and AV was ready. The weekend had brought us ever so much closer, in the way that husband and wife, or very old friends are close. No shyness between, now.


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