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T. E. Lawrence to Clare Sydney Smith


23.IV.32.

I strike at the date blindly, for the feel of the weather is almost May-like.

At Donibristle they kept me for an age, telling them all about their new boat, and showing them target-towing, etc.

One engine broke down on the way to Felixstowe. So instead of Ramsgate for the night, we could only make Dover: and the next day had to drive straight for Felixstowe. It was annoying to pass all along the Forelands and not be able to call! A good trip, otherwise.

I'm glad the Manston interlude is to end quickly. Basra ought to be a pleasant command: not that Basra itself seemed to me a very attractive spot. I can’t help you about a house, for I cannot think of anyone there I knew (except A/C Welch!), and S/M Furner has not written to me since he sailed. I expect they know his whereabouts at Batten, but I seem to be banished from that! It is sad, with the summer coming, to be away from it all. My job here is likely to last till late June, and it gets more, instead of less, occupying. Sometimes I like it, and another time everything goes wrong.

Sea coast... and cottages? That is very hard. In our run to Scotland we saw hundreds of miles of blank beaches, as if nobody lived near the sea: but that is an illusion, surely.

My head is like a pudding. That long night in the train, and four days of rushing between here and London since I got back have done me up rather. I would like a few days inland, and a chair, and books, and regular food. Instead I now go out to try a dinghy!

Yours,

T.E.S.

Source: GR 186-7
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 3 July 2006


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