Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Friday 2nd June 1939

Sunny weather continues. I’m used to it being summer now but I don’t take it as a matter of course or cease to be grateful. Nine calls. This was supposed to be a NE Essex day but the only two orders were taken on the way – in Billericay and Chelmsford. The seven other calls were all mere “contacts” except one which was a complaint. (Curious how some customers say Ceiling Distemper is quite hopeless and useless, whilst others praise it and give repeat orders.)

Began packing for Camp this evening and this included a melancholy and fatuous job – that of smearing filthy green “Blanco” all over my haversack. If only there was a reason for this interminable cleaning and polishing! Application of green “Blanco” however, hardly can be called “cleaning” it is dirtying.

Called at the drill hall to see if there were any final orders. Embleton and I can go by car, having first reported at the drill hall before departing. The dress is to be slacks, jacket, belt and overalls. No equipment. There’s an improvement in Army sensibility, anyhow. Last year and for every other year, we had to parade in full marching order for going to Camp – and that includes haversack, respirator and water-bottle, beside the most uncomfortable clothes ever invented! Now, however we journey in less impressive but far more comfortable and healthy outfits!

Nearly midnight now. My kit, half-packed, is spread widely yet methodically around the bedroom. At my feet is the bloody green haversack, drying. I’ll turn in now and maybe, read an Edgar Wallace thriller (lent by Lois) before going to sleep. I’m not to be called until 9:30 tomorrow morning!

Thus, on the eve of Camp, I end –

Morning Mists.

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