Monday, January 05, 2009

Friday 14th May 1943

Corporal Munsey and one of my few remaining friends from No. 22 – Mochabanco, of the Bechuana Pioneers – went away to 41 (N) Hospital this afternoon. Two days ago, the once utterly crazy Jock Farrell was transferred from 37 to 34 ward. He is now quite quiet and normal; says he remembers very little of what happened in No. 22. That MO in ward 37 must be jolly clever! First Rampelli, then Hamad, and now Jock are transferred to an “open” ward!

A lot of new books and magazines have been coming in from the Red Cross Society this week and I have been very busy in the library, listing and numbering and arranging them, and selecting old or unpopular books and magazines to be sent back in their stead. I've been given a free hand and allowed to make my own hours; no parades – and also, very few walks in the citrus groves either, for I can work well when I'm not supervised. They have not interfered with me in the least. at last they seem to know how I will get well most quickly!

Eugene Lobel has been absent without leave for several days now. I hope he is found, or comes back, before I go from here, as he just recently borrowed 30 or so of my best desert photograph negatives. If I don't get them back by some means, I'll regretfully have to conclude that all Jews are the same – oily and zift. Up to the present I have though Lobel was an exception and that there might be others.

Today I received a letter from April, in reply to the one I sent her on the 19th of last month. (There is service for you!) This was a simply marvellous letter. Not an essay in precise correct English; it seemed hurried, as though pen could scarce keep pace with brain.

It told me something about April I did not know before, for I've never seen her with children, sick people or animals. Now I realise she does not need her man to be a big, strong hero all the time; she can be motherly. (And I was afraid the news that I was ill in this way would irritate or disappoint her!) My God! I didn't realise before now that she isn't just a young girl, either! She is a woman.

“.... I'm waiting... for making you all better... I'm not going to pretend to know what your life has been like during the past 3 years – except I'm sure – bloody awful – whether you ever said so or not... I know it is useless to say don't worry darling, about the person you love when you are thousands of miles apart... And now precious, will you think about all these things... take a firm hold of my future husband, my Ste' – Bless you and get well and strong again for me please... if you were here... I'd hold you quite close to me and with your dear head against my breast, I'd hope you'd cry – and think it would do you good...”

Just reading such a letter, has done me good.

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