Thursday, September 04, 2008

Friday 4th October 1940

Night duty. I lay on one blanket, head resting on pack, second blanket hung over the dugout entrance, as a black out. I stretched out a languid hand and jerked a plug; a dim light came on. Above my head were a maze of wires – but not incomprehensible to me; the roof – corrugated sheeting supported on wooden rafters; rocky walls. On my left, the instrument. Beyond my feet, the rough entrance way, looking like a natural rock cavity, ending in the slung blanket 10 feet away. It all seemed very snug and dry and cosy!

I wrote to Lois this morning, during a quiet spell. Addressed the letter to the old address at Eastwood, for forwarding. Difficult to write. I could not be cold and casual yet a tender letter would hurt in it's reading, as in it's writing.

“... There are a tremendous lot of things I could say and there are names that will always make me sad – names of places and poems and songs – but...”

Hindhead, Fingest, The Robin Hood, Red and green and gold. Amersham, Gravesend and Tilbury and Cobham. “The Pink'un Lily Inn. The Malverns, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns. Broadway. Henley on Thames. Sunshine and green fields. Snowdrifts and ice and wintry roads. Frost and a drear wind in woods. Foulness Island; “Cheerie-bye, sun”. Dear names indeed and thousands more!

“...Echoes and dreams
And the singing of streams...”
“...Sealed orders had her captain,
Off she sailed with goodly breeze...”

(“Tola Exchange!” - “Bale One? Hold the Line!” - “You're Through!”)

“Two sleepy people” - That dance of death piece by Sibelius - “Love walked right in and drove the shadows away...” “So early one morning just as the sun was rising...”

Oh! How splendid it had all been and what a lot it had meant! And now - “...PS. Sorry to have been such a wash out”


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