Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wednesday 21st December 1938

Still bitter weather. Less wind. Falling snow in the air; frozen snow on the roads.
Brentwood, Romford, Upminster. One (small) order. Laindon. The frost scored once as I was travelling from Langdon Hills to Nevadan. Doing 40 on a slightly falling country road. Suddenly saw the cross-road just ahead – Signpost, hedges, grass “island”, road, all the same colour – white. Slammed her into second gear. She skidded broadside down the road and onto the “island”. (“There’s a telegraph pole: will you hit it?” a small cool voice was saying inside me.) Hell of a bump as we went sideways over the grass verge. Then stopped. The telegraph pole was still three yards away. The engine was still running. I put her in bottom gear and bumped off the “island” and drove on. A bit more slowly!

Swish – swish – went the twin, efficient windscreen wipers, as the snow fell. Tea at The Bluebird Café, beside a wood fire. A white twilit world when I came out. The snow had stopped. The main road ran under the whiteness, unrecognisable except by the wide-apart hedges.

Evening: the thermometer had moved up slightly, to 26 degrees F. My face and hands still felt blasted sore. Planned my holiday route; sent off the final batch of Christmas cards. Drove up to the Sunbeam café with Davies for hot coffee and a game of bar billiards.


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