Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday 11th April 1942

Went out this afternoon to Mena, gloriously cool in drill slacks and shirt. Some of us went up the Great Pyramid, just as we did in December '40. There were Gayler, Stevens, Naden – old companions – and Butler, Richardson, Cooper and Morgan – les nouveaux. Afterwards, Tubby, Tapper and Taffy – and I – went into the magnificent Mena House Hotel (which, weirdly enough, appears to be in bounds to all ranks) and had a delightful swim in an open-air pool in the flower filled gardens. (Quaint nostalgia-evoking taste of the cigarette one smokes after being in chlorinated water!)

In the evening the others went back to camp but I went on to Cairo, did some shopping (writing materials and silk stockings, shoe size 5, foot 9 ½!) and saw a flick. On returning, late at night, I learnt to my chagrin, that had I known, I could have gone to a musical concert, in which there had been pieces by German, Chopin, Schumann and Beethoven. Among the pianoforte pieces was – Yes! Chopin's Waltz in C Sharp minor, which I've been in search of since last autumn, when I heard it played in a tawdry film at the 63rd Hospital.

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