Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Scraper's Diary Sunday March 23rd, 1947, Oldenburg

Played in the German Church this morning. Most monotonous, bland service; the Padre intoned platitudes most prosaically and automatically, and the audience, - sorry congregation - intoned the responses with the same lack of inspiration. They sounded far from convinced. They confessed themselves smugly sinful and felt loads better.

Tonight they are probably swearing and black-marketeering.


Concert this afternoon, we played badly.


Monday, March 24th

We went to a whist drive last night, Mike and I, and I won the booby prize of a bottle of Brylcreem. Good Show.

This morning we had a medical inspection, F.F.I. (free from infection), also a gum inspection for gingivitis. After that we were dusted with de-lousing powder and sent home. They don't seem to think much of the Band.

Then we, or rather I and three others, were interrogated by the military police about the recent loss or theft of the banerettes and the oboe. As I was the last to see the oboe, I am regarded most suspiciously.

Now I must go and testify at a court of enquiry.


Tuesday, March 5th, Wilhelmshaven

Arrived here at eleven, after an hour's solo whist. It's more sunny today.
From time to time during the journey someone would come out with a witty remark or a new verse of a comic song about the loss of the oboe. It's getting monotonous already.

We stood by from 5 o'clock last night for the court of enquiry. At 7.50 I was called in, sworn in and questioned for five minutes. Half an hour later I signed eight copies of my statement, and that was that.

I feel weak and tired. It must be the air, most enervating.


Evening, Church of Scotland Writing Room, Wilhelmshaven,

I've got indigestion, bad indigestion, and it's caused through eating too much, and by the unaccustomed richness of the food I have consumed out here.

I thought, two days ago in Oldenburg, that my lassitude and lack of energy had something to do with the air, but now, after a mild attack of diarrhoea, and having been belching for hours, I know differently. It is nearly seven o'clock, and I have eaten one roll, and drunk one cup of tea since one and yet I do not feel hungry. That proves it, I'm overnourished.


  1. I've never heard the Scraper be so cynical!! Very humorous today. Here's one: I feel so weak and tired. It must be the air, most enervating. Do I detect a touch of boredom? Or having a bout of the flu will do it. Well-written, as ever. xxox

  2. My goodness - boredom, diarrhoea, theft, FFI, church, fatigue, monotony - poor man!!

  3. Clear as a bell over the years.....

    Aloha, Friend!

    Comfort Spiral

  4. Hi Friko, wow!
    I admire your talent for the English language, I will never reach that level. Oldenburg is well known to me.
    You are very lucky to live in Shropshire, one of my prefered counties.

  5. Hi Friko

    I admire Scraper. He's a realist and tells it the way he sees it.

    Another enjoyable post.

  6. Lovely - as long as it was tongue in cheek!

  7. I'm late to the Scraper and so take him as I find him which is quite funny. Loved the church scene, so not what I expected when I clicked on here!

  8. Hilarious....

    Sounds like the band was as inspired about playing as the congregation was about praying! And what's not to love about winning a bottle of Brylcreem!

    Admittedly however, I did have to go and speak with Mr. Google since I was clueless with regard to the 'whist drive'!

  9. Friko, I'm enjoying the Scraper and your epistolary novella.

  10. Margaret Pangert - he does sound a bit feeble - he must be ill.

    Bonnie - yes indeed, let's hope he'll be better again soon

    Cloudia - thank you,those are mostly his words

    bayou - thank you for the compliment

    Martin H - he didn't know his words would be published

    Dave King - I don't know, perhaps not entirely

    Milla - thanks for coming over, hope you'll find more of interest in future

    Alan G - I don't know how to play either.

    Prospero - Scraper was real, you know

  11. Another enjoyable episode. Who was The Scaper, Friko? I missed the first post.

  12. Poor Scraper. He had a rough time of it for awhile. Too bad they didn't have Imodium then.

  13. I spent 2 years working in Wilhelmshaven, and often went to Oldenburg. How interesting to read about those places long before I lived there. I often wondered what that part of the world was like in the war.

    I really enjoy the Scraper's journal.

  14. Hello Friko, have not been by what with to many irons in the fire. I wanted to thank you for your encouragement to keep up with my life story Day to Day blog. I plan to as long as either I or the computer holds out. I will be the first to say I am not good on History but it looks like you are and that is what counts. I wish I were.

  15. Alaine - thanks, Alaine, he was a conscript who was also a musician

    Darlene - Too bad indeed. but he did get better anyway

    20th Century Woman - than you for that

    Lucy - keep on with the good work; you know as much about your life as I do about mine


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.