Monday, May 26, 2008

Tuesday 28th February 1939

Felt like death warmed up this morning when I awoke (and then sneezed seven times!)
However, eventually got away in a hired Ford Eight. Seemed a funny little tub after having Slinky B’s magnificence at my command. Wobbly steering, much noise and no trafficators. Rather unfortunate, the latter, as I had to drive with the window open and there was a cold drizzle of rain.

Went to Heybridge. Left the car half-way up a muddy unmade road and saw Kove, a builder with a beard, whom I hadn’t visited for several months. He gave me a small order. Returning to the car I found it hopelessly bogged. Kove quite nonchalantly brought up three of his men and set to work with spades, planks and shoulders. They eventually extricated it (obviously experts at the job) and I reversed madly down that hell track until I came to a real road again. Getting on for midday by now. Only one call made and the car and I both very muddy. I thought grimly of the quotation used as a frontpiece here: -“so stand up son, look gritty…” So I did – stick it.

An order at Howards Dairies, Leigh. Goodeve, Southend decorator, sent me an inquiry for distemper yesterday. I called this afternoon and found he’d just posted off the order to head office! I hadn’t called on him for months – nearly two years. He was one of my earliest customers and an unsatisfactory account. (There is some mention of him in my diary during the early days on the road, I think.) However, he seems more affluent now. We sat snugly in his parlour and talked business. Ultimately he gave a further order – for Piccadilly and Duripan Hard Gloss – and (quite unflinchingly!) a cheque. The total days turnover was £5-15-0.

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