Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Friday 12th July 1940

Had a stump of candle on my table in the mess tent during breakfast this morning, so that I could see what I was eating. After the meal I took out a packet of “Capstan”, put a “tube” in my mouth, leaned forward and lit it in the candle's flame. Once again I thought of that little tea place in Surrey, The Old Mill House at Thorpe.

Then I switched my thoughts – all this in a second, as the first twirl of smoke rose from the glowing end – and looked forwards, not backwards. I wondered if in some future year I'd be sitting at tea in The Mill House, with a girl beside me, fire glowing in the old grate, water gurgling outside; I wondered if, tea finished, I would lean forward to light a cigarette and think back to these days and if then, in retrospect, they'd seem good days of a glorious adventure.

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