Friday, August 5, 2011

Sunday 5 August 1945, Marks Hall

My own,
              I have been rather longer in writing than usual since I discovered that there was no postal lift here on Saturday or today. The reason is Bank Holiday, which has half-emptied the unit of all those lucky enough to be fairly near home. I expect that this weekend, the frenzy at the railway stations will rise to a climax.

1948 Rover - gives an idea ...
              The last few days have been extremely warm but as I write (evening), a terrific thunderstorm is in progress which my bring some relief. I only hope it does not damage telephonic communication before I put through my call. Our tin huts have been most unpleasant during the heat. Fortunately, I have been able to escape most afternoons and go for a run with Griffiths in his car. It's a fine large Rover and suits my taste for expensive motoring. Yesterday we visited western Suffolk passing through Sudbury and having tea at a pretty little place called Bures. The whole landscape is rather burnt-looking after the great heat, and there are numerous indications of a very good harvest. This rich landscape dotted with villages, market towns, picturesque old churches, and timbered pubs, is attractive in a sleepy complacent way which is well matched by the characteristics of the easy-going natives. But it does not appeal greatly to me and most of the time I am travelling mainly to keep cool.

             One laudable fact is that casual meals are cheap and good at the countless cafes, small restaurants and pubs which seem to exist for no clear reason, since very little tourist traffic ever ventures into the network of narrow twisting lanes which provide the communications in these parts. Yesterday three of us had an excellent meal with eggs and unlimited tea, bread, butter and home-made jam for four shillings.

           I received your letter last Wednesday on Friday evening. Your description of the house is rather surprising: one does not expect to find a museum of Victorian internal decoration housed in a modern bungalow. However I am glad the garden is satisfactory and if your heatwave has continued, you'll have found it very useful. I wish I could join you in a pilgrimage to Boclair Road. We had some very pleasant walks and serious conversations there, and we also consumed a good deal of Barker and Dobson's grapefruit chocolate which we used to get in a shop opposite the station.

           The station library has been revivified by some new books, among them Long Range Desert Group, which I am now enjoying. I wonder if the flood of painstaking historical books about Desert Warfare will militate against the appearance of an imaginative work on the same subject? I expect it will, because people are now tiresomely familiar with the whole story. But one can't help feeling that in the completeness of the various actions and in the psychological intensity which men develop there, the Desert offers plenty of material for a great story.

          I wrote to Mary yesterday thanking her for the invitations transmitted via you but saying that I want to look after my interests here at present. I also touched gracefully on the things that she has sent you.

        I am hoping to hear you tonight and to get a letter from you some time tomorrow. I am glad to hear you are keeping well and looking after yourself. Continue to do so ...

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