Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Friday 23rd January 1942

The tempo of bullshit, work and discipline is gradually quickening, in the battery – but really quite gently, so that life is still fairly tolerable.

Today there was a paper chase, starting at 2:30p.m., and an inoculation parade on which I was scheduled to appear at 2:20p.m. I reported on the parade in running kit and was allowed to proceed to the MI room independently, hurriedly. As I'd previously forged entries in my AB 64 record book which proved I had had TAB and Tetanus inoculation at the Base last November, I did not remain long in the MI room and was not inoculated. As soon as my false particulars had carefully been copied out into the appropriate medical record book I doubled off to RHQ and was in time for the start of the chase.

There were about 20 hounds; we never saw the hares after they trotted out of sight at the beginning. For the first mile or so I was a steady 19th hound – anyhow, there was only one behind me. Then, however I had some luck when a false trail was followed in an orange grove, getting away from about 7th on the real trail. On the last mile I pulled up a bit and eventually staggered in 3rd. (Staggered is about right!). It was not a close finish, the 2nd man was about 100 yards ahead of me and the 4th man about 100 yards behind. There was a big gap between 4th and 5th too.

Considering all my smoking of late, it was surprising that I stayed the course at all. As soon as we'd all assembled we had a cold shower, whilst we were still sweating and hot. Fine! I felt a hell of an athlete and exceedingly virile!

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