Münsterlager, Tuesday morning,
We got back to Münsterlager at 1.15 am. It was a most successful outing, I am writing this with a stylo pen I bought, among other things.
Two rather amusing incidents occurred, in one shop I advanced to the counter and was greeted with "Good Afternoon, sir", in faultless Oxford English. There was no time to think of a new gambit, so I enquired "Do you speak English? I wonder if you have any opals?......"
The other incident occurred in a scent shop. The proprietor proffered three bottles invitingly and said "parfum, ver' nice, good smell?"
"Yes", I said, "It stinks".
He nodded and, I'm sure, added a new word to his salesman's vocabulary.
String orchestra will play at 12.30. Our first job since Sunday week last. Have polished all buttons, and blancoed all webbing equipment. Moreover, I have shaved. Moreover, I have pressed both service dress and battle dress. I'm becoming almost like a poor imitation of a soldier.
Morning was nothing brilliant, but it was dry and warm, and passing lorries left us marooned in a cloud of dust, and the sky was too clear. I didn't notice how still it was until a gentle breeze decided to announce itself.
The breeze liked the place and brought some of his friends, the clouds, along, and then, for half an hour, the sun was obscured and a thorough shower of rain baptized the camp.
I left the block at half past three, to have my first bath since we reached Germany, and my heart and mind were cleansed by the new innocence of everything; where every birch twig swelled into a bud, a pearl lay silently. The roads were fresh and lorries left no dust to dim the fretted filigree of the trees' tracery against the gently moving fronds of cloud, and my heart sang of Spring and love, and laughed at its own ingenuousness.
For no reason, save that the thought came to me unheralded, I wish to protest against the application of the word 'wholesome' to a person. It merely means 'unresponsive, unemotional and undersexed. I'd sooner be unwholesome than so negative.
Münsterlager, Thursday, April 3rd
Today, our last here, has been marked by a rash of rumours.
First, the report went round that we were to parade at ten for the purpose of changing our battle dresses before the time when we have to pay for all replacements. We were also to take our service dress so that the tailor could press it. We were also to receive our free issue of cigarettes. As it grew nearer the time the reports grew faster and more erratically.
Eventually, we received an order! We were to take our service dress to be pressed. Soon after we came back from the tailor, we were served with our NAAFI ration (forty cigarettes, the sergeants got eighty). As to free issue of kit change, we are still uninformed, but there is a new rumour, that we are not sailing until the fourteenth.
Roll on, bloody roll on.