Sunday 26th August (1917)

A moist but not unamusing afternoon.  R. and I set out for Farnham, a town of about 20,000 inhabitants some 4 ½ miles away.  As it didn’t look like clearing up we hit upon an amazing device.  I crept under R’s cycling-cape which just held us both and by keeping very carefully in step we proceeded down-hill, like a two-headed 4-legged monster, to the mixed mirth and astonishment of the villagers.  The smoke from my pipe gradually asphyxiated R.  It continued to rain very hard so we crept along under the trees, accompanied by 3 or 4 very wet youngsters who had attached themselves to us.  Eventually we found a tool-shed in which we and the boys crouched for about an hour.  By short rushes from tree to tree arrived at length at the castle, which was closed to the public, but as they had left the huge gate unbarred we simply pushed it open and got in, walked around the Castle and climbed up into the keep.  Ages old and surrounded by the most beautiful ornamental trees.  The seat of the Bishop of Winchester.  We then reached the town, an old and interesting one.  Plenty of beam-laced houses with projecting upper stories, alms-houses, etc.  We found an interesting eating house and had a good feed – the proprietor was a whiskered old wag – quite facetious.  From him I cadged a sack which I threw over my shoulders and strutted off through the streaming streets past the spellbound inhabitants.

The chaps in the hut have just been talking about Burns’ poetry, but have concluded by unanimously agreeing that “Ella Wheeler Wilcox beats the lot” (which sounds like a line of her own verse.)

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