Friday, August 01, 2008

Sunday 21st January 1940

Pleasant awakening! The electric light was switched on and someone came in. I rolled over and saw the fire still burning slowly. It was one of the batmen. 06.30, I need not get up for another half hour or so – no roll call for the ex-orderly Bdr!
So I lay there awhile, “Twixt sleep and waking, watching through closed eyes the dawnlight breaking”. Heard the clatter of crockery, got up, went into the warm kitchen and had a cup of tea, freshly made, with evaporated milk. I love evaporated milk!

Bleak day. Snow blown on the wind, making miniature drifts. Eileen lay in my arms, head on my shoulder, in a firelit room… I started suddenly! Eileen had jumped up and began to poke the fire! Someone was coming into the room. I had been asleep. Always falling asleep nowadays. “Sleep – drifting – deep…” The other night, alone by the fire at the billets, I decided to have a last cigarette before tuning in. I leaned back “just for a moment” and closed my eyes. Relaxation… I felt the cigarette - and the paper spill – slip from my lax fingers… I awoke suddenly, two hours later, when Roland Cottam came in, having been to a dance.

I did feel a fool!


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