Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday 19th October 1943

26 furlongs.

I've worked at odd times on the PG Woodhouse giant since Thursday – I've completed two other books in the same period. Now the binding of the great omnibus is done – and it looks a pretty bodged-up job, in spite of the consummate skill and artistry of the binder. Perhaps we won't call this wreck the crowning achievement of my career, after all. The shambles was too tough for me to make a neat, clean job. Nevertheless, all the pages are tight now and it is probable the whole thing will hang together for a couple of months, during which time a dozen neurotics may read it's merry pages and have their hearts lightened. We hope.

Pay day was yesterday. I have in my pockets 90 piastres 7 mills. (The £3 I had from home has dwindled but I still have this little nest-egg – usually I still possess 50pts. on pay-day eves – which I struggle desperately to maintain.) Smoking stock – 13 Players cigarettes and about ½ oz of foul tobacco. The tobacco is a mixture of dog-ends, stale cigarette tobacco which was too fine for rolling, and – worst of all – issue tobacco ie “Broad Cut”.

I will have a disciplinary two days without smoking – when I have finished my present stock I will buy no more for two days. That is to say I can buy 10 Players tomorrow, but not on Thursday or Friday. I shall receive 4 ozs of issue tobacco tomorrow, or maybe only 2 ozs, but I'll give that to someone else – Bill Lias maybe. His bronchial tubes seem to be tougher than mine!

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