23rd August (1917)

Sketching an old farm house, was somewhat discouraged by the occupants bringing out a very finished real “ile” painting of the same by an itinerant artist 20 years ago and sold to them on the spot for 7/6.  After-wards we did a smart mile to the Queen’s Arms where we consumed pints of bitter beer with biscuits and cheese.  Good fun this morning acting as a driver.  We went helter-skelter down lanes, over fields, ditches, and brambles and made the pace whenever we got a chance.  The countryside is thick with blackberries which are just beginning to ripen and what appear to be small wild plums.  Plenty of woodbine in flower and although it is not springtime the fields are gay with wild daisies and other flowers, with occasional red poppies.  In most of the cottage gardens are yellow daisies and red hollyhocks.

Note: R. has taken kindly to the big sock and is going to get a girl friend to knit a mate for it.  Went forth towards Fleet where we hired a canoe and paddled about on a disused canal.  After nearly 2 hours on the water we made for the nearest pub, and back to camp in the dark.

[Mounted New Zealand troops towing transport at a training camp in England during World War I, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association: New Zealand official negatives, National Library, 1/2-013887-G]

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One thought on “23rd August (1917)”

  1. The “small wild plums” could be damsons – ripening in our garden in South London right now.


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