Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday 21st November 1939

Another muddling day, ending with “maintenance”.

Stan Ling and I arrived 25 minutes before tea-time at the dining hall so that we’d have the chance of a seat. About a dozen mournful individuals, were sitting on the cold steps waiting for the doors to be unlocked. “A handful of browned-off soldiers,” intoned Stan; looking at their sad faces. There was the usual scrummage and milling to and fro before we got in. The usual scramble for tea, for jam and for butter.

However in the evening I shook off my depression and went to a dance! It was not an Army dance and there was no bar but still, heroically, I went. Plunged into the dancing almost at once and got around alright. I seem to have forgotten most of the steps learnt so painstakingly at Margaret Goddards but a few remain with me.

Went down to the pub with Stan, Ron and Sid. They laughed when I confessed my lack of experience and how I, nervously, would always ask each partner what the dance was – as if I couldn’t tell from the tempo of the music. Eventually a tango was announced. After asking five girls the sixth one jumped up in a sporting manner and said, “Well, I’ve never done the tango in my life but I don’t mind trying!” Surprisingly (she with no knowledge, I with only “rusty” experience) we seemed to tango nicely together. Anyhow, I scored over the snakes that time! They did not take the floor for the tango!

Later I found this girl – her name was Eileen – again. “Ah! Aren’t you the tango lady?” “Yes! I expect you wish you hadn’t asked for this dance now.” “On the contrary, I’ve been looking for you.”

Had to leave at 10 o’clock, with many other unfortunates, as I had no late pass.
Speaking of passes, I’ve put in for long weekend leave. My Father wrote asking me to do so as he is going home himself and does not expect to get any more leave for “some considerable time”.

Dancing and rugger! How I’m altering, once more!

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