16.3.39.

Yesterday not quite so hot, overcast & clouds of dust. Ditto today, probably presaging rain.
Other wildflowers here: a small kind of scabius°, several vetches, one of them very pretty, with a flower about the size of that of a garden pea, in two colours, pink & magenta. Several new ones in the last few days which I cannot identify. In many places the ground is now actually covered with them, predominantly the wild marigold, a pale yellow flower which is evidently mustard, & a smallish daisy not unlike the English one.
Yesterday three greenfinches, a cock & two hens, sitting on the telephone wires:
1st. greenfinch:  “little bit of bread.”
2nd.   “    : “little bit of bread.”
1st.    “    : “little bit of bread.”
2nd    “    : “little bit of bread.”
3rd (the cock): “Che-e-e-e-e-e-se!”

Men still ploughing in places. Yesterday a man sowing, broadcast out of a bag. Flocks of domestic pigeons swooping down to try & steal the seed, & the men chasing them off.
Yesterday saw a very young camel cub, evidently only a few days born as it had a bit of navel-string. Nevertheless its legs were almost as long as its mother’s.
Cavalry passing yesterday. Note that all the horses seem to be stallions.

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16 Responses to 16.3.39.

  1. Stephen says:

    Is this not the happiest we have seen our diarist since he arrived in Morocco? Transcribing the chatter of finches, walking on a carpet of flowers, marvelling at a new-born camel – perhaps he is cured and England is beckoning him home to write.

    Amid these pleasures, the cavalry in his mind’s eye keeps passing the house; he footnotes it to remind him of the pending war. Yes he must be getting restless and will be going home soon I’m sure.

  2. Natalie says:

    Mmmmm Cheese. I find this entry so charming.

  3. Stefan says:

    How very Blyton.

  4. The Greenfinch code. This is new. I think his egg code must have been cracked. He’s obviously testing shortwave radio signals with Graham Greene who is spying nearby in Majorca or Liberia or wherever he is today.

  5. Before the month is over, they will be on a boat heading for Wallington; Orwell with a manuscript (Coming Up for Air, published about three months hence) under his arm, wind blowing in his hair, nostrils flared, steely gaze, mustache bristling.

    My informants had informed me that Orwell would return to Wallington to find it in disarray. I chose not to share this information with George; why harsh his mellow?

  6. holden caulfield says:

    He seems to spend a lot of time sexing every horse he runs into…I am not a horse person,is this normal (presuming G is a horsemen..??) or simply the tip of some terrible iceberg?

    As far as the finch story…???? He is going to hayseed in that God forsaken place !! And obviously homesick as hell….

  7. art brennan says:

    Horses, the horses of WWII, they were everywhere.

  8. My investigative team came across a memo concerning a 4th greenfinch (3rd’s wingman), which was taking a snapshot of the 3rd greenfinch (with the 1st and 2nd greenfinches flanking him closely) as he grinned victoriously and said…..

  9. The Ridger says:

    Few people in England would ride stallions; most males would be gelded. I imagine George is also remembering the old stories of Saracens riding mares in heat to mess with the Crusaders’ stallions minds (or what passes for such in a horse).

  10. Ed Webb says:

    Four small bits of bread,
    Some cheese within: a sandwich –
    Orwell dreams of home

  11. Owen says:

    What a beautiful entry. I don’t remember seeing Orwell ever writing poetry like this–so childlike, so fun. I almost forgive him for the awful poem at the end of “Looking Back at the Spanish Civil War.”

  12. George~~
    Thank you. You have once again triggered the Vincent van Gogh module in my membrane.

  13. Holden Caulfeild says:

    membrane ??

  14. I fed a stallion a couple of sweets known as Victory-V lozenges. A policeman was sitting astride the beast by a football stadium. The animal’s reaction was, shall we say, quite revealing.
    If George had some Victory-V lozenges about his person, or even some Fisherman’s Friends would probably do, he could surreptitiously feed these hot sweets to those mounts bring some much needed chaos and humour to the scene.

  15. Mactheyak says:

    Bird watchers will have noted that GO’s greenfinches, a species well known for mimicking other bird calls, were apparently imitating, somewhat imperfectly, the well-known call of the yellowhammer – “a little bit of bread and no cheese”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowhammer

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