August 6th 1944


Mhairi gets the day off and we go to St Andrews and have lunch out of a bag on the cliffs in a damn mist. Then tea in someone’s house who is out and home for dinner and a drink, and a long sit by the football ground behind the graveyard. She was secretly engaged to one Beresford who was killed some eight weeks ago.

I return to Edinburgh rather gloomily yesterday and stay in Barnton, meeting Toby in the Officers Club last night. We go the rounds and do some heavy drinking and eventually collect three sisters in the “Aperitif”, to whom I throw ‘engaged’ cards, as on the tables, and take them back to the Club. We dance and I manage to get rid of mine (they are all horrors) in a Paul Jones (JDW: A ballroom dance in which the dancers change partners after circling in concentric rings of men and women), and am a smashing success with my opening gambit of “which end of the bath do you sit?” I have to walk home as I have missed the last train through going to the wrong station, and am passed by many empty cars, but no lifts.

This morning I leave Barnton to stay with Toby, who is an instructor at 165 O.T.U. Dunbar, and here I am, returning Ternhill tomorrow. He is playing cricket and I have been watching, and eaten the Captain’s lunch with them, as he went to his home for his. Mhairi still has the same fascination over me, which has lasted all these years, in fact I feel quite a pang at leaving, though I only see her one day and one evening, and two odd hours! Aunt Babs ill, pretty awful, and most curious about my visit to Crail.

She can remain so.

 

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