11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 12

It was good at first. All day I had the

place to myself : I could write, or read as long as I wished. Often if the writing was going well I would not trouble about luncheon, but went on writing until Norah returned in the evening. Sometimes I went for walks, or sat in the Public Library reading. I saw my own name in print ; under titles—in reviews. " Mr. —'s first novel — " It was good ; it was quiet ; and it was what I wanted. I enjoyed the days by myself.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I went to the Labour Exchange to sign the book, and also on Thursdays to draw my 17s. dole. On those two days I did not attempt any writing as the day was broken up by having to go to the Exchange, and the certainty of a long wait there. On Thursday evenings after I had drawn my money Norah and I would go out for a drink, or go to the pictures. I always paid for the first drink out of my 5s., which was invariably spent by Sunday. I didn't go without cigarettes though, because Norah always bought me some until Thursday came again. She was very kind to me like that.

I always had to give the evening up to Norah. " Come and sit here, Ducks, and we'll have the wireless on a bit." We would turn on the Vaudeville programmes. " Aren't those two a scream ? 0 migod they make me die." And she would laugh loudly. Sometimes I would try and persuade her to listen to a symphony concert. I would try to explain the music, pointing out the different instruments, but it was no good. She would listen for a while, and then suddenly, " 0 for Heaven's sake turn it off. Gives me the willies."