Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sunday 2nd July 1944

I am at Pat's at Hampstead; this is being written in bed. Tomorrow I begin work at the Paripan Office in Piccadilly Circus – at least, I hope so, but Liddie said a robot bomb fell near there on Friday and she found the street of the office to be roped off. (Glasshouse Street) The office windows appeared to be smashed, but we hope there was no internal damage.

I made several visits to Little Dene last week and little remains to be done. April and I both went there on Saturday afternoon. Our things are neatly stowed away in cupboard, drawer and wardrobe, and there is still room for more. Mrs Potter has certainly been busy and made room. The kit arrived from Westbourne Terrace too. I have few possessions at Terori now and none are stored here in Hampstead, so my things are more centralised than for years.

Yes, all is well at Great Burstead. April and I rendezvous there on Saturday next, to live in our first home together. That is something happy to anticipate.

On Friday I went into Southend, bought shirts, socks, braces (with elastic, which is apparently a luxury these days) and a knock-about tweed jacket. Prices: 12/11 per shirt, £2-14-0 the jacket. Before the War they would have been 7/- and 30/- respectively.

The weeks at Terori were happy ones, not idle, for there always seemed a good deal to do – digs to look for, visits to be made, forms to be filled in (this is a bureaucratic Age of Forms) shopping to do etc. April came down several times, beside at the weekends. Of course those mid-week visits entailed a rising at 5:30 a.m. next morning so that she could catch the 7 o'clock of the first of a series of cross-country buses that took her to the hospital.

Vi and I got on quite well, alone together. Yes, I enjoyed those weeks. They're a separate little piece of my life, the period of change from being a soldier to being an ordinary, working civilian. That period is ended now. Tomorrow (if the office is still inhabitable) I begin work.


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