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Diary Entries

Tuesday 23rd January

First day back from France. Ruby was ecstatic last night. We walk in the woods, Ruby swims in the stream. Flowers and chocs for our neighbour Diane who has walked Ruby in my absence. Peter calls for coffee and chat and tells me a nice story about his father during the Second World War.

Seemingly Peter’s father volunteered at the beginning of the war. He was commissioned and given the job of erecting more than 200 searchlights on the West coast between Devon and the north of Scotland. At some point during this project, his detachment received a typewriter that was packaged in a crate. Once the crate was removed, the packaging was found to be chopped up petrol coupons. Petrol was rationed and petrol coupons were precious. Over a period of months, the coupons were painstakingly reassembled, using gummed paper which was designed for repairing sheet music. (Sellotape had not been invented.)

Peter tells me that his father’s detachment had a strict set of rules for using these petrol coupons. For some reason they were not to be used in Yorkshire, presumably one of the principals lived there. They were not to be used anywhere near where the detachment was currently stationed. The way in which they were used was that one person would remain in the vehicle with the engine running whilst the second person paid for the fuel then handed in the coupons before running back to the vehicle and making a getaway.

Interestingly Peter’s father ran an SS90 Jaguar to the amazement of his commanding officer who ran an Austin seven.


Wednesday 24th

Walking with Ruby this morning, Peter and I have a politically incorrect conversation. It concerns the sort of partners which we might have in the distant future. I’m not sure if we’re thinking about humanoids like Dolly the sheep or automata; we don’t go into detail. We discuss the specification which we might ask for when placing our order.


Peter would like somebody or something which looks like Rachel Weisz. Peter is very knowledgeable about all things mechanical. He rebuilds cars. I suggest that part of Peter’s order might include a request for a software download of the complete Hayne’s motor repair manuals. Peter thinks this is a great idea.

‘Well,’ he says, ‘At least we would be able to have a meaningful conversation.’


Friday 26th

Sue and I take Sue’s mum to Otley hospital for minor surgery on her lower eyelid.

Whilst we are waiting, the TV programme is featuring a prize-winning fish and chip outlet. Though I don’t hear it, Sue tells me that mushy peas are described as ‘Yorkshire caviar'.

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