Tuesday, 11 August 2015

12.8.45.Sunday. Fine warm day, I had two spoons of oil with breakfast porridge. Rice & greens as usual for tiffin & rice & our private fish soup in the evening. Confidence in the general situation is still very strong as we got news of Molotov's statement to the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow at the Declaration of War. This morning, too, a launch came into Cheungshawan Bay flying a brand new Chinese flag – the first time we’ve seen it in years. Later the Japs delivered a sweat towel & a pair of cotton socks for all paid officers plus a cotton vest & packet of tooth powder for Majors & higher ranks. Straw in the wind. By the way Pete got his parcel as usual yesterday including a very small bottle of honey. There is a very peculiar quietness about the colony – no sounds from the shipyards or the garages at the back of the camp – not a plane moving or any motor boat in the harbour. When the working parties came back in the evening they had the same stories to tell – & named certain people in town who had told them the war was over. One variation was that there was a 48 hour armistice to give Japan a chance to make up her mind – expiring tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. So the whole story is very persistent & our optimism is at a high level. I don't feel excited, but it is a fact that I took a long time to get to sleep last night & I was awake abominably early this morning. Lots of people have picked over their stuff & packed what they really want to take away with them, though we have endless discussions as to whether whoever takes us away will allow any of our gear to go with us on the assumption that it must all be bug ridden etc. Then there is the problem of people with relatives locally – shall we all be shipped out, say to Manila willy-nilly, – will they get a chance to speak to relatives first. Pete is liable, I fear, to think the very worst in this matter. But he is quite happy, so confident has he suddenly become, to get on & eat our reserves of food such as beans etc. Hey-ho here’s hoping. I, in common with most others, sold my pair of socks & sweat towel, which though for paid officers were whacked out among the whole camp, each for 100 Yen. It is quite astounding how much of this worthless money is about. The sentries handle lakes of it.


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