Aldwinckle, Eric, Letter, 15 July 1944

00001600.jpg
Description: 
Letter to Harry Somers

Tabs

Case Study: 
Creative Dialogue Across the Ocean: Eric Aldwinckle’s Letters to Harry Somers
Creator: 
Aldwinckle, Eric
Source: 
letter
Date: 
15 July 1944
Place: France
Collection/Fonds: 
Contributer: 
McMaster University Libraries
Rights: 
Copyright, public domain: McMaster University owns the rights to the archival copy of the digital image in TIFF format. Reproduced with the kind permission of Margaret Bridgman.

Identifier: 
00001600
Language: 
eng
Type: 
image
Format: 
jpg
Transcript: 

France July 15th 1944
Dear Harry,
Last night I thought of you before retiring and I thought I 'felt' you in the region of my ear rim.
My tent is under an apple tree in an orchard which once produced cider -- perhaps champagne. Not this year, for a large portion of the orchard has been torn up just as you might whip up a quilt from a bed, leaving a blanket of clay earth beneath, which is heavy to shovel, as I found when I dug myself a little grave 'a la' mode at the cost of a few grade A blisters. My fox hole is inside my tent and is about 4x4x10 with two handsome steps leading down into its welcome interior at one o'clock at night (morning). On planks above it rest ration boxes now full of earth and are excellent protection against flack showers which fill the skies at night. On top of these are more empty boxes serving as shelves for my colours and papers. The whole or 'hole' is my studio. The shelter is lined with straw and sacking which I rescued from a recently abandoned farm house, and as I crouched last night in this miserable 'idea' I watched, listened and thought. Probably looking ludicrous in my pyjamas, slippers, leather jacket and steel helmet. I felt no fear, only a sense of discomfort from a warm bed and listened to the strange symphony of hate, occasionally coming out to watch the fantastic pretty picture of an exhibition of fireworks. The pting, pting, pting, dum, dum, dum of high altitude flack; the drone of aircraft, the lurid theatrical glare of yellow on the horizon periodically silhouetting the trees to the north, then to the east, then to the south. Too absurdly pretty to paint.