Monday, July 07, 2008

Sunday 24th September 1939

Breakfast 7:30a.m. Parade for Church 8:45a.m. My buttons seem to be getting that “regular” shine now and don’t become tarnished about three hours after being polished, as they used to. I suppose this is because they are cleaned so frequently nowadays.

Am writing this in the attic during the interval between Church Parade and dinner. We marched well this morning – 339 Battery is certainly improving in efficiency and smartness. The wind whistles through the half-open skylight. I’m afraid the summer is over, now. Hot days never come and warm days grow less frequent.

Well, whatever happens now, I had a fine summer. It was like the summer of 1933 – the end of a chapter. Strangely, a few months ago – it must have been in the winter or early spring – I had a “creepy” feeling, and knew something was going to happen. Indeed I mentioned it in my diary, although I forgot the precise date. Just an uncanny, fey feeling. Without knowing what it meant something sad would well up inside me, whispering, “Make the most of this, you’ll be going away soon. Something is going to happen, it will never be the same again. You can’t recapture this”.

The third time! I’ve always had it a few months before the event it foreshadowed, maybe to give me time to seize joy and happiness and laughter and light!

1933, at Lincoln and Sudbrooke.
1936, at Egham Riverside
1939, in Essex.

And, Thank God, I made the most of what I could spend, this summer.

“And I’ll unpack that scented store…”

Ah, it’s been beautiful!

“Summer days and summer ways and all to end in this… ”

Dear, dear! Snatches of rhyme wriggle from under my pen! I can still become a little mad sometimes then, even as I sit here in Army boots, khaki slacks and tunic, on the bed in my billets bedroom. Well, thank God I can!

Afternoon: Met Mary and drove to Romford (No pass, no car insurance!) Had tea at a café there, quite snug, with a fire, the first I’ve seen this autumn. Went to a flick afterwards. Came out just at twilight and drove home comfortably; the moon is nearly at the full now. Supper at the Sunbeam.

Nice to have got away from the garrison town of Chelmsford for a bit.


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