Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday 16th July 1942

It isn't quite so cushy for sergeants here, nowadays. We have to go on parade three times a day – at 5:45a.m., 7:45a.m. and 5:15p.m. In between there is nothing to do except for frequent medical inspections, which usually involve many hours of waiting.
These three roll calls are apparently to prevent convalescents deserting or slipping away for a few hectic hours into the nearest town. It's quaint to see men on crutches or with a leg in plaster, creeping slowly and painfully towards the parade ground! How possibly could such as these hitch-hike the 20 odd miles into Ishmailia?

I'm feeling better now and not quite so tired except during the heatful hours of the middle day. In the evenings when it is cooler, I go for a walk with Jock Forbes. The bowl of my pipe gets warm in my fingers and the smoke drifts away scarcely quite visible, whilst his cigarette glows red in sympathy.

We usually finish up by sprawling on the sand in between our two tents, while the last tale is told.

Ends the Second Part of Shimmering Haze 1942.


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