Friday, August 01, 2008

Saturday 13th January 1940

Doris, Stan Ling and I went into Nottingham this afternoon, meeting Eileen there.
It was foggy again! We had tea at Boots and went to the flicks. Front balcony seats but it wasn’t too good a show. Rather cold and – a thing I’ve never known before – the fog had seeped into the theatre and somehow obscured the screen so that all the scenes flickered by in a sort of twilight. We didn’t see the principal film right through; indeed, I apparently slept for about twenty minutes.

Hurried back to the station – lucky we had Eileen to guide us, for the fog was now dense. Waited some time in the buffet. Fortunately we were able to get cups of tea and seats by the fire. When the train came in, Eileen and I got separated somehow from the others and eventually found ourselves in the guard’s van, squeezed into the small recess seat. There were two drunks with us; a lady; and a man who had apparently once worked on the railway. One of the drunks was annoying, the other – a corporal – dazed. The latter fell onto the line at Carlton and had to be lifted back again. (“The sod’s fallen out!” said the lady suddenly, pointing to the open door!)

At last we were left alone with the ex-railwayman. “I think we’ll have the lights out” he said (had he a sympathy for lovers?) and pulled over a master switch. In the ensuing silence and utter blackness, I felt Eileen’s breath on my cheek, sensed Eileen’s fluttering hands; I leaned over a little and my mouth met soft, warm lips.
That master switch had put the whole train in darkness, so our companion switched-on again at the next station, when the commotion among the other passengers became evident.


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