February 16th 1940 – Madras


Went to a cocktail party in Connemara, given by Jimmy Jamieson, the other day. I invited myself on Celia’s suggestion. Not a great success. Stayed on with Marjorie afterwards then took her home, and she gave me one of Pa’s whiskies. Almost engaged to T.R. Molloy (http://www.thepeerage.com/p32044.htm#i320436) of Northampton in Jhansi, whose badge she wears.

Yesterday went out flying in the morning, doing figure of 8’s over the ranges fairly successfully, even though I pulled the stick in alot to swing her round, and might have stalled and spun when coming out of the turn. Entered Elsie for Ladies Race, so Willie and I took her down in the afternoon. 15 knot breeze but we had a bad start and finished last of the Tomtits. Saw a huge turtle in the harbour. Rushed back to Bearen’s cocktail party. They had a most villainous cocktail – I tried half but it seemed to be pure alcohol. Later on, John invited me to come with Celia and Joan Swann to Connemara – I said yes and immediately invited Marjorie too. This made things uneven so I collected Gerald Dunn and off we went in Celia’s car. We had a spot of dinner. I danced with Marjorie more than with the other two put together, but it really was fun.

Adrian Cooke, ‘Franco’ because of his sideboards, was throwing a party to celebrate his departure for France. Very drunk and yelling ‘Viva!’. I replied with ‘Zieg Heil!’ and eventually he embraced me on both cheeks in correct continental style. Elsie asked me to a ‘Lido’ party tonight at Adyar – dressing as one would there (where? Brighton?). OK, I say, then Springheel says there’s night firing tonight. I then have to tell Elsie I cannot make it before 9.15, but when I ask Springheel he kindly says I can go. I hope it will be alright.

Went dive-bombing today with Appleton in a Blenheim. She dived at 260 mph but I wasn’t awfully impressed, and why Jerry was nearly sick I don’t know. About four bombs stuck in the rack, so he went out to sea to try and unload them. This the gunner did, by opening a hatch and knocking them off with his hand. I was hoping he wouldn’t be able to do so and that I should be ‘baled out’.

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