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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to H. S. Ede

Ozone Hotel,


No: the address is not spoof. I have been here for some months doing my last R.A.F. job, overseeing the refit of ten of our boats in a great garage in the (empty) town. A summer seaside resort is an uncanny place in mid-winter.

The refit is due to be completed by the end of February; and early in March I 'get my ticket'. It's like a blank wall beyond which I cannot even imagine. Exactly what leisure is like, whether it will madden me or suit me, what it means to wake up every day and know there is no compulsion to get out of bed... it's no good. When it comes, I shall try to deal with it; but now, beforehand, I can only say that 1 wish it had not to be.

The assets are my cottage in Dorsetshire (Clouds Hill, Moreton, Dorset... you have the address just right) 25s. a week, a bike. If to that I find myself in possession of a quiet mind, then I shall be fortunate. I think 1 have to 'draw' this mind when I draw my discharge; and dare only hope to find it full and quiet.

. . .

Yes, we must meet this year. I shall trip up the stairs some fine or wet day and discover you sitting by a veiled fish; with five Kit Woods for background as though I had never left the Air Force. But I shall try not to come till my feet are steady again.

Isn't it odd that a sober man should feel so, merely because his term of service has run out? I have passed all these twelve years hoping that an end would not come.

Thank you for the renewed diary: but after March, time will be just one of the things for which I have no use. Space, now; space still keeps its meaning




Source: S-E 58-9
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 7 January 2006

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