Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday 25th February 1943

Didn't sleep too well last night. First poor Taffy had an attack of stomach pains and had to have an injection; then, for the rest of the night, the nigger sergeant was screaming and shouting abuse. He's in the next tent, so the sound carried all too well...

Today was bullshit day – Colonel's inspection. I felt thoroughly miserable and began to realise I was a neurotic after all. The Colonel apparently saw I was a waste and addressed the usual stupid questions to the MO, not to me. “Who is this?” “This is Dawson, sir.” “What's he in?” “Artillery, sir.” “Good!” (bloody fool, what was good?) “And is he getting better?” “Oh yes, he is much better sir.” Lucky he didn't ask me! I'd have told him I felt a good deal worse because of his ridiculous inspections.

To keep my brain alive and to break the monotony, I am learning French once more. So the work I did early in 1942, before the desert inertia gripped me again, is not to be wasted. A couple of days ago I began revising the old exercises, and have now finished with revision and am breaking new ground. I have just completed the eighth lesson.

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