Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wednesday 1st March 1944

There was a mild air raid last night; it was the first for several nights.

Went to the dentist's this morning. He was pretty thorough: he stopped and drilled one molar quite enthusiastically and says there are some more to be done, so he'll send for me again. After vainly trying to absorb Dicken's “Nicholas Nickleby” in the waiting room and afterwards – whilst my thoughts kept straying from Mr Squeers and Ralph Nickleby to April's remarks – I sat down and wrote a brief letter to my wife.
I tried no to do so, but if I'd held myself in much longer I should have burst, I think!

Another reason was that I wanted her to have some prior warning of how I felt, before telephoning, as arranged, on Thursday night. Otherwise she might be sitting back comfortably and contentedly, now that she had freed her mind of her angers and be therefore quite unprepared for any reaction from me. I tried to make my letter as short as possible; but it was a bit of a struggle.

Thank heavens, the Army is not worrying me much at this time! Thank heavens too for this job which keeps me on my own and out of barracks most of the day!

The man who is responsible – if anyone in this bloody Army is ever responsible for anything – for many of our small worries and hardships; who makes us be out of bed and parading for breakfast at 6:45; and who makes it so difficult for us to ever get to our homes for a few hours, has an easy time himself. I refer to the Major who commands “B” Battery. He arrives by the 9:33 train each morning and goes home either on the 4:57 or 5:57 afternoon train. One of our most important duties is to be much in evidence whenever the good Major comes or goes and to give him a nice, big salute. He likes being saluted as it is not officially necessary on railway stations.

I'm off duty in an hours time. Let's hope I sleep better tonight than I have since Sunday. Curiously enough, last night I lay awake for hours, worrying and pondering and puzzling and, when I did fall asleep I dreamed a nice, happy dream about April, in which we trusted each other, and she gave me a strange look as she did in St. Stephen's that day...

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