Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday 19th December 1943

"The damned ship lurched and slithered...”

I have never felt sea-sick before. I feel sea-sick now. Happily, I'm not liable to vomit but feel horribly dizzy, my head whirling and cavorting in sympathy with the awful heavings of the deck. No breakfast; not much lunch. Moans and noises of retching around me. A lying-down position on my bunk seems admirable.

Today I have finished “Waverley” and commenced “Busman's Holiday.”

I heard Nobby say to Grindall (The Boat Toucher), “What's the use of you eating, Grindall? You only spew it up right afterwards!” Even at such times as this, Grindall remains joyful; “What of it, mate?” he replied, “It passes the time, doesn't it? Occupational therapy, that's what spewing is, to me.”

Heard a Christmas service (with carols) through the loudspeakers. Deadlights still closed. Stuffy down here. “All's cheerless, dark and deadly.”

Corporal Lias, seeing me still and spent in my bunk, beamed and said, “Pardon me smiling slightly, old man. But being – though perhaps only temporarily – in a state of complete physical well-being myself...” I cut in, dreamily, “You are in a state of complete physical well-being?” “Yes, old man!” said Bill enthusiastically. “Impossible, surely,” I sighed dismally.


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