Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thursday 13th June 1940

Half holiday. A hard morning, laying line in hilly country (trying to keep our clothes clean too, so that they'd be OK for Saturday inspection and possible guards).

Idle afternoon. Bugger! I wasted about an hour, dozing in my room! Hadlow was asleep, Gayler getting ready for guard, Cartwright reading. I lay on my bed, gazing thoughtfully up at Jebel at Tur – shadowy; sunlit; crag; grey-green. Dreaming... I woke up, faintly annoyed at having wasted an hours leisure, went down into the garden and had a shower.

Found Sidney reading a tattered Penguin book, “Chaos is Come Again” by Claude Houghton. He tore off the first hundred pages so that I, too, could indulge in the novelty of reading. Quite enjoyable; one of those stories about people, with neat phrasing and good dialogue.

“...He walked slowly towards it (an old house) experiencing the disturbing sensation... that if he were to remain here, the static atmosphere of the place would capture him, paralyse his will, and that the years would pass unnoticed like the shadows of dreams...”
“...Life, love and happiness are all very precarious – little flames in a wind-haunted darkness...”
“...For the eyes were old. They were old – the light of expectancy had flickered out of them – and instantly, the youth of her features acquired the unreality of a mask...”

No sea mail letters for some time – we reckon mails are coming via the Cape. I wrote to Eileen by Air yesterday, explaining why she'd probably not heard from me for some time. Let's hope that the letter gets away before they suspend air mails. It's in the air (unconscious pun). About a dozen Air Mail letters arrived this evening – one for me, from Eileen. The last mail from England?

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