As a young conscript in 47 the scraper was sent on a tour of the British Sector (B.A.O.R.) in Germany to play in a band. He kept a diary which will appear here from time to time.
England (Halesowen) March 1st 1947
Nature may be notoriously careless, and hopelessly immoral, she may have many other faults, but none can deny that she has her moments of utter, unadulterated beauty, moments when nothing matters but peace and serenity. the undeniable splendour of her temporary caprice.
Tonight, while still aching from a cold ride in a draughty bus, I chanced into a sudden eternity of fairyland. I entered a narrow alley where the unguent snow, still falling, faded the memory of a pair of purposeful footprints under the yellow light of a swinging lamp. The rough bricks of the old houses seemed to provide a chorus to the cameo of romance, while the falling flakes
insisted a gentle prologue.
I walked away unwilllingly, and it was some minutes before I realized that my feet were wet and that I was very cold.
Tonight it was dark where I walked and the streets were silent; long white cuts in the snow bore witness of the night's purity, urgent in their symbolism.
There was the finest possible rind of the infant moon lying on the horizon and all the stars shone steadfastly, as if proud each of its individual contribution to the stillness' beauty, and though I would have stayed still and silent, I had to walk on, and the martyr snow beneath my feet spoke sadly of my profanation, shattering the silence, and heaping all nature's old hostility on my head.
I turned on the threshold, and the silence spoke more eloquently than man can say in the finest moment of his inspiration.
Thus England, in its coldest spell for years, and just to show you that there are beauties even in such severity, for those that will see.