Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday 23rd October 1938

Lois and her people came today. I was out in the garden when they arrived, cleaning Father’s car “with the other boys”. (Haven’t been allowed to drive it yet!) Lois seemed horribly, ever so much older today. She and all the other “grown ups” sat discussing their Vauxhall cars and the wonderful tours they’d had.

Poor Pepita – who might have proved a leavening influence – was in Hospital at St. Georges. We all went up after lunch. The majority of the old people went with Father whilst Lois thought she might manage “three noisy children” in her car. (I was sent down to clean the car again, whilst the adults had their after-lunch cups of tea. Was soon ordered to return however and gulped down a hasty cup before we set out.) A huge crowd of us, so it seemed, rushed into Pepita’s ward. Rhuematic fever! She’s damn plucky about it. The way Pepita accepts illness always did amaze me.

After tea, back at the flat, they all sat round the fire – Lois not Lois at all, but just another female aunt. How can I describe it? Well, she wasn’t my Lois but just a friend of my parents. Not in my sphere at all. Not young, not a girl. I was nearly as bored as Richard! Robin, of course, did his homework and listened intently to the adults conversation, in his usual quaint way!

I didn’t wish to be given a lift back to Eastwood, when I remembered my return ticket, my book, and my very own (though infra dig) car waiting at Southend Station.
I left before the Rogers. Lois tore herself away from the conversational fray and – very kindly – gave me a lift to Ealing Broadway Station. I came down by the 9:57 from Liverpool Street. When my thoughts weren’t straying, pondering on what a bloody awful day it had been, I read a spy story and smoked.

Southend 11:15. B and AV started easily.


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