Saturday, February 07, 2009

Monday 26th June 1944

Called for April in Romford and we brought back a lot of her kit, on Saturday afternoon. Doll's house Terori is looking a bit over-crowded now.

The main event of Sunday evening was that I saw a robot for the first time. It whistled by about 11p.m., just before dusk (we're on double summer time, of course) at a height of 2000 feet. Foolishly, we all stood watching it. (AA shells were bursting near and it might easily have exploded in mid-air) The robot flew on a dead straight course, at a constant height and speed. There was something eerie about it's steady but rapid flight. A light gleamed at it's tail. It sped on and on, 'til it disappeared in the distance towards Chelmsford.

I've made two journeys to Great Burstead today; in the morning I cycled over with a ruck-sack full of clothes. I also made a few calls in Billericay, checked the trains service to and from Town; sought (and failed to find) a branch of the Midland Bank; checked that I could draw my pension from he Post Office on Saturdays – and incidentally found a decent hairdressers named Vere. Now, perhaps, I'll be able to have a regular hairdresser again. It is pleasant to always go to the same shop for things of that sort.

In the afternoon Mr O'Brian gave me a lift to Great Burstead in his car, on his way home. The back seat was piled high with clothing, books, and pots and pans.
Feeling happy, I arranged my things in various drawers, put some books in the bookcase and hung my dressing gown behind the door. I'm going to be settled at last, have somewhere of my own again, with my bits and pieces around me. I came back on foot as far as Laindon, then caught a bus for Vange.

An envelope marked “OHMS THE WAR OFFICE” plopped through the letter-box at Terori this afternoon. “Ha! What does the Minister for War want this time?” I said aloud, importantly, as I opened it. A money order fluttered out. Back pay? About £5? Dazed, I read the figures £31-3-4... glanced at the accompanying slip of paper. It stated laconically:

“The enclosed money order is made up as follows:

Amount of Final Payment £8-8-4
Amount of Post-War Credits £22-15-0
Total £31-3-4”

It's always best to not expect anything. Then, one occasionally receives a nice surprise. I hurried down to Vange Post Office at once - “Just in case the Government goes broke tonight.” The order was honoured however.

£1-3-4 for this week's spending money. £5 for April. £5 for shirts, socks and a tweed jacket. £20 for next months living money (I'm on the monthly wages roll and shall not draw anything until July.)

It has been a warm, grey, showery day, but “inside, a little bird was singing.”

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