October 2nd 1939 – Madras

That party with the Harridans went off all right. They were only two hours late in arriving, and I had to look after the heavyweight May for many an hour, whilst John went about his business with Honor. Yesterday went out after snipe with Niven. Left here at 5am  with a shikhari, and no one spoke Tamil, so it was rather difficult.

Eventually we reached the place and for three hours we waded through paddy fields. Some were so full of water that the snipe would need to swim to get anywhere but we saw three. Niven killed one and I missed one, after having opened up on a sandpiper by mistake (and missed him). Romany kite, kingfisher,Paddybird, Beeeater and Blue Jay seen for the first time.

Yesterday afternoon went to Gordon Woodroffe’s Factory sports as some of Sikh Coy were competing. Met a lad by the name of Cole, who is one of the “Key-men of industry” there. He taught me the one word of Tamil essential to know, “Poida”, meaning “Get the hell out of it”. No mail from home since the war (started), and only one from Grindlays, forwarded from Razmak.


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