August 3rd 1944


I make Edinburgh late, due to trains being delayed and have to stay the night. I go to the Officer’s Club, 2 Castle Street, and they fix me up with a bed in the Shelburne Hotel, and I drink beer there later.

Next morning I go to Barnton to see the Virgin Aunt, who looks a bit ancient and lives in an attic with a view of a Jeyes Fluid advertisement.

On 1pm train to Crail where I am met by Mhairi and taken to the Marine Hotel, comfortable and good food. We walk around, talk, have a drink and she returns to her billet at 11pm. At work today and I see her for lunch and tea and again tonight, I hope, when she comes off duty at 11pm. Now aged 27 and living in the past, or seems to be, with a memory like mine. We are a bit shy at first, but things improve and tomorrow she has a day off, and then I return to Barnton and Aunt Babs’s inquisition. I feel the old love of soul again, but am not sure of the body! Crail full of smells and sounds reminiscent of Tiree, and Barracudas tear through the sky all day from the RNAS (Royal Naval Air Squadron).

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