Friday, August 01, 2008

Friday 12th January 1940

Things went fairly nicely, this crisp, cold day. (Still, there’s a white frost, thick as snow on the ground.) First, I was left alone – with no officer and no NCOs – with six men. After a spell of buzzer work, we went for a route march to Halam. Just the right weather for a brisk march! We had a long stay in The Plough; I let the men run the show themselves more or less in communistic fashion, and all went well. Secondly, my voice began to regain normality and my throat.

Thirdly, a colossal pay-day. I drew pay, TA travelling expenses and some more TA bounty for extra drills. Altogether - £10-4-0! I’m now affluent again! Shall ask the clerk to stop my pay for a few weeks, thus I’ll build up a good “credit” for times of need. I can now hardly visualise the days – before my leave – when I used to carefully count the few coins which rattled in my purse. Have not smoked any tobacco lately – because of the throat – and as for cigarettes, I’m still using my Christmas stock.

Fourthly, I was not on duty so was able to go to the battery dance in the evening. Eileen and I had quarrelled again and she made a nice dancing partner – sort of gigolette – but not a sweetheart. Made me feel quite an outsider when we sat down besides Stan and his Doris, who were obviously fond of each other. “I’m not silly like her – not now,” said Eileen scornfully, looking across at them. That was cutting!

We walked back from the dance side by side, not touching. However we ended sitting by the kitchen fire and our bickering was settled – between 1 and 2 a.m.! I was first miserable and then sulky but Eileen coaxed me into an affectionate mood.
It was rather nice being coaxed…


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