Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March 1944

... At about 9:30a.m. having obtained no pass and completed no formalities, I got on a bus near the barracks, which took me (slowly but surely) to Oxford Circus. After about half an hours wait at the Cumberland (during which time I had coffee) I secured a double room, 2XA.

Went up there. Everything warm and luxurious just as before. I had a bath and a shave, lunched near Trafalgar Square and met April at Liverpool Street at 3p.m.
“Have you got a cold?” I asked, bending to kiss her. “No!” “Nor have I!”

Supper at Schmidts, Charlotte Street. Rather faded and war-lit. No German food of course and a pathetic notice above the door claimed that Herr Schmidt was a loyal British subject, established since 1906, who employed many ex-servicemen...

After we'd had tea and biscuits served in the bedroom, we read to each other, until the room seemed stuffy and we put the light out and opened the window and black-out curtains. We really did read to each other in the morning though, for breakfast was not served (in bed!) until nearly 10a.m.

At midday we walked through the Park and went in a boat on the Serpentine. It being April's turn for a story, she told me of the film “Jane Eyre” and this lasted all the time we were in the Park.

It was a happy weekend; better than having an official leave with pass. As her train started, April pushed a piece of paper into my hand. “Read that when I've gone.” It was not to say “farewell for ever” - it was a £1 note!

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