December 11th 1939 – Uttapanayskanna

Went and climbed one of the local hills yesterday with Palmer and Awal Khan. We worked up a chimney but got foxed near the top and had to come down, making great use of Awal Khan’s pugri as a rope. We play football in the afternoon against Madura police in Usilampatti. They play in bare feet, and their goalkeeper gets his big toe badly cut by a boot. In fact the ball becomes bloody. After the game we wait from 5.30 to 7.30 in the police station for the home bus to arrive and pick us up – never again!

After having been instructed in bridge by Golly in St Thomas’s Mount, I now find myself playing every night and am 58 annas up – Kent, the Doctor is 60 up and everyone else is minus. Am getting a bit worn out here. Rise at 6.30 on parade from 7 to about 10, and get breakfast at 10.30, a barbarous hour – out again at 3pm for about 2 hours, and then generally playing bridge up to about 11pm – I can’t take it.

There is very little scrub here, it is all cactus, of the bleeding sort, which drips milk and has an all round defence, so that you can’t grasp it without being pricked. An answer to my letter to Bill Webber, saying come when you like, but not especially enthusiastic. I think.


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