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T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith


6.III.32.

How the weeks lengthen out. I came in the end of November.

My Notes of the 200 Class are finished: a small book of about 40 pages, I expect: and they may appear as an Air Ministry Publication. That will make me laugh, if it does. I am revising them now, for submission to the Publication Department, and preparing an index. Ever so dull, the notes, and entirely impersonal. Nobody could guess that anybody had written them. They seem just to have collected themselves.

Now we are testing these 16 boats: and hope by Easter to have passed them all out. Easter is the first possible date for finishing. It means one every day, and two on some days, I hope, but do not feel too sure of managing so much.

After Easter there are 9 dinghies to test : and one of them the refuelling dinghy, to be exhaustively tested in all weathers. I see myself getting wet again.

After that, in April, there are two target boats to test. That is a new proposition and should be curious and perhaps exciting.

After that there is nothing at all, and I hope for Plymouth. Not the Biscuit, particularly. I shall be half-dead of motor-boating, and longing for books and armchairs and fleshpots.

A queer mixed life mine is.

You will see how difficult it is for me to say anything definite about Manston for the moment. After Easter... yes I think after Easter. I should get at least a week-end. But until the 16 boats are passed, not a day or hardly an hour.

The irony was that I lately spent 5 days in London, and did nothing - saw nobody. All the time I was in E.6 typing these blessed Notes on the etc. and answering questions about them and other boats.

I become learned about boats, and meanwhile, there are no books, no music, no easements. But George Brough have swapped my bike for a new one, a beauty; if only I had time to ride it.

Lately I nearly sent you two Turkish rugs: but had mercy. They were so dirty, and so threadbare. Even Leo would have found them stringy under-paw. Please give them a double ration of coffee sugar to-morrow night. They will have forgotten me before I come.

My regards to the Squawk: I hope Manston is growing more like a home for its airmen. By the way, did you get poor Sergt. Pitt along?

Yours,

T.E.S.

Source: GR 182-3
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 3 July 2006


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