Violent wind & horribly cold most of day. In the afternoon about an hour’s heavy rain, after which it is warmer & more still. Narcissi are out. Wild thyme out. Daffs beginning to go off a little. Sowed sweet peas, clarkia, phlox, sunflowers (dwarf), all where they are to flower. Resticked some of the roses, & put sticks for Canterbury bells. Too cold & wet to do much out of doors.
The Other Eric, a mere 22-hour walk away in Colchester, said, “Bitterly cold day, with heavy rain. Had to go out this afternoon in a torrential downpour to get bran, which is still 4/9 per half cwt. Felt very ill.”
Today’s News from Norway:
The British 148th Brigade lands at Andalsnes. General Paget is in command. Other British troops land at Molde. During the night part of the 5th Demi-brigade Chasseurs Alpins land at Namsos. There has, however, been a mistake made with the equipment for this force and they lack some of the bindings necessary for their skis.
“Daff’s beginning to go off a little.”
“I say. How can you tell?”
“He keeps hopping around, going, ‘Woo-Hoo!'”
For those who occasionally ask what Orwell got out of what to some might appear to be the drudgery of routine gardening, the extract from his autobiographical note supplied by Steve supplies the answer:
‘Outside my work the thing I care about most is gardening, especially vegetable gardening.’
Note that he doesn’t say ‘the thing I like best’ but the thing I care about most’. This is Orwell asserting his Englishness just as he does when he drinks warm beer at the Moon Under the Water. He doesn’t need to wave a flag or belt out an anthem, he just acts in a certain quiet way armed with spade and rake and hoe. If the Englsh National Party were to propose turnng every bit of wasteland in England (including Parliament Green) into allotments and put compulsory gardening on the school timetable, they might just be worth a vote.
Yes, well, at least there wasn’t a volcano.