Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday 1st June 1944

The weather has become much more cool, alas! with occasional hints of rain.
April and I went up to Town in the morning, I to call at the Paripan Office.

When I telephoned Gerrard 3493 to announce my arrival, Mr Reddall asked, “Is your wife with you?” When I replied in the affirmative he said, “Good, I hoped she would be,” and then invited us both to join him for lunch. April looked a bit dazed at this sudden development, and entered the Paripan office feeling a little nervous, when we went there.

However, the homely and quiet atmosphere of the almost deserted offices and the charm of Mr Reddall soon put her at ease and at luncheon, in a Piccadilly Circus restaurant, she positively shone and was definitely a success as a business man's wife. I wonder what old Reddall would have thought if I'd produced some cheap little painted doll as a wife? As it was, he was obviously favourably impressed. They want me to start work again, and soon, as a traveller; the details will be settled later.

After leaving Mr Reddall we set off for the town of Beaconsfield and Jack Chenery's wife. I discovered April had a sore throat so ceased smoking cigarettes from the time we left Town, and only smoked a pipe when we were in the open air.

Margaret Chenery met us at Beaconsfield Station. She was younger and more good-looking than I'd imagined – the intellectual girl type and quite vivacious too.
While Jack's away she lives with her parents. The Father, Mr Beeston is quite incredible. He has queer ideas about diet, ate a huge plate of green stuff stolidly, switched on the wireless loudly just as we were all talking. Once he spoke to me. He said loudly and woodenly, “Do they have any salads in Egypt?” “Well, no...” I began cautiously. “Umph!” he said.

After tea Margaret took April and I for a long country walk by woodland roads and across fields. Quite like good old times, to be rambling near Beaconsfield. And we didn't meet a single soldier!

We went to bed fairly early. Jack (in a framed photograph) gazed at us from the chest of drawers. April, well dosed with aspirin, fell asleep almost at once, with her head on my shoulder.


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