Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday 6th October 1943

34 furlongs yesterday, 36 today.

I couldn't stick the OT department this morning for more than about an hour. A small army of wogs had arrived and were all hammering lustily on the corrugated iron sheeting of the roof. Every now and then, a sheet was dislodged, in which case it was hurled vigourously to the ground with a terrific clang! followed by loud shoutings and agitated arguings in Arabic. Then more vibrant hammerings on the roof.

Beneath this tumultuous clamour, I was trying to bind books. I made a horrible hash of one and gradually amassed puddles of very sticky glue all over the bench and on my hands. I couldn't wash it off; there was no water in the tap; the din increased. I hastily tidied-up the bench – half the objects thereon attached themselves stickily to my hands – and returned to the ward.

The taps there were OK; there was no hammering; I washed my hands. “I've just heard a rumour,” said Jock Hart, “There's a boat to Blighty on the 25th. Had it from a Sgt. Major.” “Was he a magdnoon Sgt. Major?” “Yes.” “Ah, well.”

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