December 10th 1943


I get myself a jeep and a driver and come out with Albert to the Directing Staff camp for “Exercise Malabar”. The Camp is at Gudallur at the bottom of the road to Ooty, 25 AASC is here under Warren and my job is the RAF ‘advising’ of that, and Air Director of the scheme. I live in ASC Mess and not very entertaining. I go out and visit both sides and see some good jungle country. I also take the jeep down to Solar and Basil Darlington and I go into town in the evening. We visit one Major Mollison, officer commanding the evacuee camp at Coimbatore, and stop a beautiful Greek girl on the camp road and invite her out. Nothing doing. Back to the Club for dinner and meet “Bubbles” the Wren, who insists we go to a dreadful flick with her.

The drive up and over Ooty always makes me morose as it is so nice and cold up there, and you can think of popsies all about, but it is a bit of an anti-climax when you reach the bottom. Below Coonoor is a great forest of palms all planted within six feet of each other, and I always wonder about them when I pass. I meet one Major Ridley who brought me out on the “City of Venice”, and one Brigadier Hunt who ran a young officers course I attended in Wana. Truly I have a remarkable memory for faces. A boring place this.

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