Monday, January 05, 2009

Thursday 20th May 1943

Alas! The child and the Jew came not back, last evening. So the nasty man goes undetected. “Believe me,” said Hamad sternly, “If I see this man, there is fighting.”

(1982: Looking back and remembering – I hate to think it – but could Sheik Said, my friend, have been the man?)

One Sister here likes talking, and the subjects about which she talks change with amazing lightness and rapidity. In the course of a few seconds, the conversation will flit from a female friend in Finchingfield to a wounded Colonel in the Sudan and then to a baby aged 2 in Palestine – and between these three there is no thread of connection!

However, when one is ill at ease, such idle gossip is soothing; tonight I sat in a wicker chair in the duty room, peering vacantly at the pages of a book concerned with the knitting of wooly garments for babies. After I'd looked through this half a dozen times, my nervous hands pulled the cover right off! - “Oh, it doesn't matter...” said the Sister casually and began to talk about a Moslem who became a Christian – and why!

There's another Sister with the blunt cheerfulness and humour of a Gracie Fields, who say's there's no need to worry about inspections! All rot she says. She thinks medical treatment is more important, too. She really thinks this... Obviously , a neurotic type...


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