Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thursday 16th October 1941

"Russian Front Unbroken”
“Germans Lose Heavily in Battle for Moscow”

And in an obscure corner of the same page:- “Arms and ammunition in large quantities are being distributed to the civilian population of Moscow and barricades are being erected everywhere in the city... Trains with women and children are leaving every hour for the East...”

Soon, I expect, the blitzkrieg will swing to the Middle East, and there will be havoc north and east and west of Suez. Now, however, all is quiet in Sinai, and apart from the newspapers there is little to indicate that a war is in progress.
I'll enjoy this peacefulness – while I may! I'm now in charge of a hut and 22 men (a new draft of men from the hospital came in late last night) and am beginning to feel like an NCO again.

How music evokes memories – good and bad, gay and forlorn! Tonight I went to a band concert in the NAAFI and got a seat on a stool on top of a table. The band was quite good – the pianist, someone told me, had been with Ambrose's band in peacetime. And out lilted and drifted the music and the memories!

“Please – lend a little ear to my -” The grocer's shop at Lincoln with a deep cellar...

“Love walked right in -” Ah! Forget that memory! And that futile, irritating argument with despicable Hall, at Z'Mos! Well it was “drove” not “chased the shadows away,” anyhow!

“Sing a song of sunbeams -” Hall again, damn him. Always crooning it - “Sing a bleedin' song of bloody sunbeams... in a light fantastic soddin' way” How I hated him!

Ah! This was happier and unspoilt:- “Never, never change... keep that breathless charm... just the way you look tonight -” Yes, the cosy back parlour of the Victoria Inn, Egham, and Win helping me study naval signals.

“Faithful for ever -” The quiet NCO's mess at Nathanya, where I first heard this song, during the siesta time. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

“With a song and a smile -” Oh! Amersham in the winter and Matlock and the Derwent in that last dear summer!

“One night of love, when two hearts are one -” Below St. Anne's Hill, mud, moonlight, first love – worst love. What was that tune in my head? And soon afterwards I heard it. A rainy night at Hounslow. I went there to pawn an overcoat or a mac and eventually gave the macintosh to the cinema car park attendant. And then the cycle ride home, many miles to Thorpe. Funny!

Yes, music calls forth memories so easily and pleasantly. Dear!

When I glance at the last few entries, I can see that the innate sentimentalist is always lurking inside me, ready to pop out whenever there's a lull in the uncouthness!


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