March 30th 1941


Last night I invite Stoney over and with Pete (Gillespy) and Charles (Braybrooks) we go to the Club.

We have some of this egg nogg and some food and eventually go and play billiards. Dan Cremin appears, still drunk from the night before, and I make some passes at him with my cue. This rather takes his fancy and the next hour I spend chasing him and others and doing points and withdrawals at all and sundry in a welter of flung water and pullings away of carpets from under one’s feet. All in the form of raids from the billiard room. We get quite pally and then I go home in a taxi, reckoning I have had enough.

I find I’ve left my key in the Club so walk back for it. I stay for some more booze and get confidential with Dan C. For some reason or other ‘socking’ is mentioned and I stick out my jaw to him and invite one. I get it too, a right hand swing, which staggers me and is about all I can take. I am sober enough to refrain from hitting him back, and Garner comes in to make the peace. Back at last at 1am with Broughton, sentimentally drunk despite his bare 21 years.

Today I go out on Finjan to Medling Defile and back along the bund amongst gardens and date palms. Met Geary from Shaibah in the Club last night and one Hibbens of ¾ Rajputs who’s in Intelligence here.

Johnson and K.S. Smith, my drinking companions from Kenya, have gone – to Middle East and Shaibah respectively. I have completed the small book on Arabic, though the words therein are committed to a very faulty memory, but have stuck at “Measures of the Verb”, the Mesopotamian grammar. The interpreter who professes to instruct me says I am capable of passing the colloquial exam; which was worth ID15 before the war; but I don’t believe him.

The Greeks all got drunk (not unusual) the other night when the news came that Yugoslavia had turned out their pro-German party. The result of this was some very excellent singing though I was endeavouring to sleep at the time and so didn’t appreciate it. But I could just picture them with a bottle and/or girl in each hand.

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