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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019 and I am now properly retired and trying to write a novel. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

"A detail on the Burma front" by Winifred Beaumont

In 1943, during the Second World War, London nurse Winifred Beaumont, known as Beau, volunteered to join the Second Front. This book is a memoir of her training, her travel, and her time nursing in British-held Burma (now Myanmar).

It has some great moments, haggling and wheeler-dealing for essential supplies, travelling along jungle roads which have been washed away by heavy rain, dealing with tropical diseases, insects and reptiles, preventing soldiers from taking advantage, and, inevitably, putting on a concert. She writes well. It reminded me of that great sitcom MASH.

Great lines:

  • "Loss of free will meant also a loss of my sense of responsibility. Decisions and tomorrow belonged to authority. Today was mine. My spirits rose. I was light-hearted and light-headed. If I'd known how to whistle, I'd have whistled." (p 10)
  • "I stared at the dark, resentful sea. It rose in lascivious, spittle-flecked hillocks to seek out its prey" (p 15)
  • "The rain sluiced down our head and shoulders but our feet and the roadway remained dry. The ground was so hot it turned the rain to steam as it fell and we moved in a knee-high mist." (p 55)
  • "Disgrace, like smallpox, was an infection avoided by the wise." (p 61)
  • "Tall slender trees flanked the road on either side. They swayed slightly backwards, as if each had a foot poised to stamp across the road and obliterate man and all his works." (p 144)

Well worth a read. September 2016; 160 pages

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