Paul ( http://alan-slide23.blogspot.com/2011/04/paul-interweb.htmlis ) is back at the Somme (corned beef and plum jam for tea again) where he was a duckboard, and so here I write this yesterday. I hope at least for the best, but the Somme was four months in the fighting and I cannot be without Paul for so long he (being as previously described) my interweb provider. Perhaps it is the mud and shelling that accompanies Paul’s return to days horrid but having made tea I came down with a passing case of feeling rotten.
That’s the medical phrase I am assured. Assured indeed by the local quack, Dr Phibes (no relation). Still I had to shudder on whilst putting Catnip and Bosswell to their beds, their energies exponentially increasing come such time for sleep in direct contrast to my own. And here I write and late, sick and alone by the light of a storm lantern and the occasional falling flare without.
Thankfully with Paul making Tolly Maw France for the night I’m not expected in the trenches where far worse than I shudder and throw brown tea from britches ripe with lice. I’m too old and too Bohemian, and not in uniform they don’t know what to make of me anyway. I’m writing this on a stack of smoothed gold-flake packets, and I wish I still smoked. The last time I was in 1916 it was further back, Paris typically where Mme Roux was amused to introduce me to my own great-great Aunt - actress, and what passed then for a spy. She spoke French with a Lambeth accent. She sounded Australian. She was only an aunt by marriage, a Richards, and there soon we would have by that line Keith. He didn’t believe me in ’64, but I’d tucked into his shepherd’s pie and that’s never the thing apparently?
I’m badly digressing, the inevitable result of being somewhere I’m not. Four lads of the London Scots have just come in and they’re ignoring me whilst not letting me out of their sight. I’ve slipped clearly, Slide 19 at a guess.
Last time (Paris as I say) and the Musée-Galerie de la Seita had been half crowded because of the rain. It hadn’t meant to open until the 1970s but could hardly stand to ignore the custom. We spoke in front of Marianne von Werefkin’s Schieben Sie dreiundzwanzig which she was not due to paint for another five years, or to be hung for another fifty. The wine was pretty rotten too.
Dr Phibes says this sort of thing is to be expected. He has quite the most impressive syringe which is he assures me, for Paul. Paul being well then on the morrow and this should now be today. I’m not very well and it might not be 1916 much longer. And if I post this, it won’t be now.