Friday, January 30, 2009

Sunday 2nd April 1944

I heard rain pattering when I awoke, just after 8 o'clock. The first rain this year, almost. I slumbered again.

April made the “early tea”; April prepared breakfast and brought it back to bed on a tray; Violet did the “elevenses”, a stimulant of sherry and cake (made by April the day before). I made and prepared nothing, so there must be some arrears of early morning teas etc. for me to make up!

The rain had ceased when April and I left Terori after tea – to cycle to Brentwood, where Aphrodite, at any rate, would remain until my next leave. There was no wind against us but it was still a damply warm day and I felt uncomfortably hot by the time we reached a cafe in Brentwood. This was Ward's Cafe and it was chosen because long ages April wrote me from there and wondered if we'd ever come here together.

That was sentiment; this is practicalness – she paid for the meal, because my funds were running low. And this perhaps is thoughtfulness – she wanted to fetch all our dishes from the counter to our table and maybe this was because she felt I might be rather embarrassed if I stood beside her at the counter whilst she paid the bill.
Whatever the reason, I felt strongly inclined to kiss my wife then and there, as she stood by the counter! However, I mastered the impulse and returned to our table with a plate of bread and butter!

We stayed awhile with Bill and Connie and had some coffee there. Then leaving “Monty” and Aphrodite in the garden, we walked to the railway station.
Romford was reached before we expected, which was just as well. Our parting was rather funny. First April stood up in the carriage and said, “Well, good-bye...” and we kissed. Then she hastily left the train and I hastily left it too, and caught her a few yards across the platform and we kissed again, more thoroughly. Then April disappeared into the crowds on the platform, I returned to my carriage and sat down, and waited for the train to start.

Almost immediately April re-appeared outside the now closed door, laughing. I stuck my head out of the window and said sternly, “Now look after Pixie...” “Oh, I will!” she assured me solemnly. Then the train did start, and finding April's gloved hand in mine, I kissed it quickly. She clung a moment, so that I felt her arm jerk as the train pulled out.

Then we had parted.

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