Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thursday 2nd February 1939

Southend district. Sold 5 gallons white spirit, 1 gallon varnish and 1 cwt. Ceiling White. Total turnover about £1-17-0. Also sold three 1 cwts of Undercoat Paste White, but that was for periodical delivery (March, April and May).

Called for Lois at 4 o’clock. All my vivacity has come back (I deliberately forced it at first) although business is still bad. We drove to Thundersley, left Slinky on the Common and strode gaily into Rayleigh for tea. Lois had planned a surprise for the evening so I did a good deal of speculating but without success. Cunningly I assumed she would take me poodle-faking in the hope that my pseudo-disgruntled remarks would “draw” her. However she just laughed like hell and gave nothing away!

Walked back to Thundersley, found Slinky and drove out to The Royal Oak at Paglesham.
(My inquiries had elicited that we were going to that district!) Played darts, talked to the landlord, picked out tunes on the piano. Then Lois drove, chuckling. Along winding country roads to God-knows-where. The headlights swung… at last only one place remained ahead. I knew the road ended at Fambridge, near the sea wall. We went into the Ferry House. We were expected. Cosy supper table by a wood fire. Electric light and oil lamps. The host, Rowley, was amused at my attempts at detection “You wouldn’t do for an Inspector Hornsleigh on the BBC” he said, impassive but twinkling as I tried to discover what we were to eat. I assumed it was fish and mashed potatoes but Praise be! I was wrong. It was sausages, tomatoes and baked potatoes, followed by coffee. Clever little Angel!

Back to Chelmsford soon after 11 O’clock. Hurried through my office work – hat perched on the back of my head – and caught the midnight mail.

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