Friday, February 06, 2009

Wednesday 7th June 1944

In the early hours I awoke suddenly, to find April sitting up and just about to get out of bed, half asleep and hair-tumbled. (She is a bit adorable when like that, and I can “mother” her at last!) Planes were roaring past the house very low, seeming to kiss the chimney pots. “Wassermatter?” I asked seizing the sleepy bundle. “Planes... mmf wuff” it said. “They won't come in here,” I assured and pulled it down into the warmth again.

This morning we cycled out to Stock. April was in play-acting mood and pretended she was married to SJD and I, the ex-Paripan traveller, had just met her after years of absence. I got quite jealous of that feller SJD before we'd finished!

I put April in charge of my cigarettes today. She carried the packet and I had to ask her each time I wanted a smoke. It all helps to keep down the smoking; I certainly smoke much less whilst I'm with my non-smoking wife.

Nurse Pascoe lived in a quaint little cottage and was herself a nice, small old lady. There was much old brass in the kitchen, a Welsh settle and a kettle singing on the hob. She was an easy-going, accommodating woman, too. But, the lavatory was in the kitchen/scullery and consisted of a pan and bucket separated from the gas stove by six inches and a half screen. A tin bath was strapped to the wall near the bucket...

Both our faces went blank when we saw this! We decided to take a walk and think it over, and come back for lunch. Miss Pascoe agreed and we called in the tap-room of the Cock Inn to discuss the situation and chat to Mr Allen. We had two half pints of mild and bitter which must have been doped, anyway we returned to the house of pan and bucket in a tamely acquiescent mood and agreed to move in here in a few weeks time. When the decision was made I had some misgivings but presumed my wife was more enthusiastic.

However, we parted outside the Cock and April waited with the cycles whilst I visited the lav. When I returned I said cautiously, “Of course we needn't stay there very long, need we?” April walked across the road to Mr Allen's ladies room and said over her shoulder, “Do you know, I don't think we'll ever go there?” As we'd just left Nurse Pascoe in a good-bye-till-tomorrow and all that sort of fashion, this remark surprised me. “What do you mean?” I enquired darkly, when she arrived back. April then revealed that the effects of the beer (doped) had worn off as she sipped her cup of tea after lunch, in the next room to the pan and bucket. A feeling of horror and desolation had then surged over her, and all sorts of psychic feelings of grimly impending doom. “Yes, maybe we won't go there after all,” I agreed as we cycled off, “You can write to her and explain, in a few days time. Unexpected developments or something.” “Me to write?” “Yes,” I said firmly.

We entertained Mrs Connie and Bill with the second instalments of our adventures. And that ended our first quest for a home!

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