Friday, August 01, 2008

Saturday 23rd December 1939

Foggy afternoon. I went to Nottingham by train, arrived an hour and a half late. Eileen was waiting for me at the station. It reminded me of another Christmas about two or three years ago, when I journeyed to Nottingham (from London) in a thick fog and was met by my Father (now somewhere in the North Sea).

Jove! It was thick tonight! Eileen led me around like a blind man. We had supper at a café and went to the flicks, where we held hands most foolishly but pleasantly. A long wait at the station for the Southwell train. It came, two hours late, dimly blue-lighted.

I always shrank from showing affection in public but somehow I can’t help it, with Eileen. She wriggled her long, tapering fingers under my greatcoat and I held them there. Then she said she wasn’t comfy, so I put my arm around her and she went to sleep with head snuggled on my shoulder.

Reached Southwell at 12:30a.m. We tiptoed into the kitchen for a cup of hot tea and what with talking and so forth I didn’t leave until 1:45a.m. I walked home through the town. Real Christmas night. No fog, moon nearly at the full; crisp clear air. White frost glistening on the trees and on the grass. The Minster towers looming in the moonlight. Lovely.

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