Thursday, January 08, 2009

Friday 9th July 1943

The small things upset me easily. This morning I missed the nine-thirty bowl of tea – through being out of the ward at the time of issue – and later could find no ration cigarettes on my bed. I felt frantic through having had no tea and apparently no cigarettes! I paced angrily up and down the ward, which suddenly had been transformed in my imagination into a bleak cage set in the middle of a public square, with people gaping at us, the animals, and of course terrible wind sweeping in through the bars...

I was easily cured though! William showed me the 5 ration cigarettes – in my locker – and told me to go and have a shower. So I had a shower, and subsequently sat in the small, secure, brick-walled shower room and smoked three of the five cigarettes, gradually becoming more placid. “There's hardly any wind in here at all, Bill,” I said several times. On each occasion he replied soothingly, “Of course there isn't old man.”

But – my God! - I'll be glad when life is normal again!


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