Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday 25th September 1942

Well, I bullshit my way through the No.11 set exam and the oral exam. Most of yesterday forenoon was devoted to the procedure exam. Got through that alright – about 60% I should think. Made some silly and unnecessary mistakes though, as I found later, when I consulted my notes.

That wireless theory was a stinker of a paper though. Worst we have had. Next week is the last of the course. There are no more tests except the morse reading and sending. Don't see how I can manage the reading. (12wpm running hand)

At last (yesterday) I had a free afternoon! Bob was on duty, so I went out alone. I had lots to do, so worked to a strict schedule. As soon as I left camp, I had my boots cleaned. Had iced coffee at the naval place when I reached town. Then I booked a seat for the cinema and did some shopping (stockings and cosmetics for England).

Next I browsed peacefully in bookshops and incidentally bought some Christmas cards. Then I called at “Music for All”, had no music but a bath, haircut and some tea and cakes. And by that time it was 6:30p.m. and I hurried off to the cinema. Not a bad supper afterwards at Rousso's, although I did not feel very hungry. The meal was a pleasant change from Army food, which is hardly ambrosia. Altogether, it was quite a pleasant outing, and I got a lot of things done which had been outstanding for some time.

This night I was on guard – i/c an anti-parachutist guard. Just as I was going to guard mounting, Dewhurst brought me a letter from Battery Office. I saw the Southend on sea postmark and the familiar handwriting; my heart sank. If she knew the hell it plunged me into, would she still keep writing? Does she not understand? Does she think I'm happy here? Oh, Lois, why do you wreck a happy memory so desperately? Why could you not have finished as you seemed to do, so splendidly, far back in 1940? “... On my way into the blue...” Yes, that was splendid, this miserable dragging on is only sordid.

Not much sleep on guard – only from 2a.m. to 5a.m. It did not matter,as I didn't feel very sleepy. I read “Gone with the Wind” by lantern light.


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