Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday 19th September 1943

It is hot today but there has been a decided cooling-off lately. Last night I had two blankets on the bed instead of one, for the first time this summer. The hot, dusty winds – and agile flies – remain, of course, unabated.

Yesterday I paced 38 furlongs, today 30.

I am writing this in the almost windless dining hall, cigarette in mouth. (Because of being almost constantly wind blown I've reduced my cigarette smoking to 10 or less per day.) Just outside the window the ubiquitous idiot is loudly and sonorously declaiming from a Hebrew book. Foreign lunatics are even more irritating than British ones, generally. There were two uncouth Greeks sitting besides me at tea just now. Whilst I tried to be detached and read the first chapters of Cronin's “Citadel”, these worthies dipped their bread and margarine in their tea, ate it, licked their fingers and finally (with jaws still chewing the food) drank tea with loud sucking noises. In between whiles they conversed loudly in Greek.

September the nineteenth! And just ten years have gone since that memorable September 19th 1933! What hopes and thoughts of gay adventure were asurge inside me then, when I first came to London! They were justified too, for that day was followed by six greatly happy years...

Then came three strange, gay-sad, frightening yet exciting years of war. And finally, this last grey, bleak, most wretched year of lostness.

What hopes and gay adventures lie before me now? I do not know and I cannot plan anything.

I am no longer free.


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