Wednesday (10 October 1917)

Still here.  We don’t know what is delaying us though rumours are as usual not lacking; some say want of transports, others presence of mines broken loose in recent bad weather.  In the town is ample evidence of proximity to France, French names to streets, shops etc. and sometimes public notices printed in French as well as English.  Had quite a successful day.  W. and I made for the motor bus that goes to Dover.  You aren’t allowed more than halfway without a pass.  This took us by a winding road up to the top of the tall chalk cliffs on the East.  Along the top of the cliff at intervals were some round medieval-looking turrets or forts, probably Martello Towers.  When we came to what is called the Barrier an “Ozzy” officer, who had 2 of his men with him, wheedled the guard into letting us through with him, promising our return by next bus.  So we have seen Dover.  You sweep right down into it.  I thought it an enchanting place, bounded by huge chalk cliffs on the highest of which the Castle stands out against the sky.  The cliffs are riddled with forts and loop-holes and things.  In the harbour, which is enclosed with a long mole, were many destroyers and mosquito craft.  It is a small town, but more picturesque than Folkstone and smelling more of the sea.  When we walked along the promenade we attracted quite a lot of embarrassing attention, being the only diggers in the town.  Or probably being two such handsome fellows!  Back at Folkstone we went over a museum, its most interesting feature being a remarkable collection of butterflies and of the various insects that use mimicry as their protection.  The setting of the sun as we came into Folkstone this evening was wonderful – we could see clear over the western cliffs out to the horizon.  There was a large belt of cloud through which old Sol glowed like a Chinese lantern, with one narrow streak of black cloud cutting him clean in half.  As we came down the sun he touched the horizon, which seemed to eat him up at the same rate as we descended.

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