I wonder if I should have a change — a year in Europe this time — something new, something better, perhaps. A life has to move or it stagnates. Even this life, I think. It is no good telling yourself that one day you will wish you had never made that change; it is no good anticipating regrets. Every tomorrow ought not to resemble every yesterday. Still, I look at my yesterdays for months past, and find them as good a lot of yesterdays as anybody might want. I sit there in the firelight and see them all. The hours that made them were good, and so were the moments that made the hours. I have had responsibilities and work, dangers and pleasure, good friends, and a world without walls to live in. These things I still have, I remind myself — and shall have until I leave them.
Somebody attempts to break the loneliness. It is Blix, asking a simple question that everybody answers, but nobody has listened to. Winston stares at the tips of his boots like a child who has never before had boots and never wants to lose them. I sit with a notebook on my knee and a pencil in my hand, trying to write a list of what I need, and writing nothing. I must answer Tom, too. He has written to say that he has entered for the International Air Race from Mildenhall to Melbourne. Eleven thousand and three hundred miles — half around the world almost. England to Australia. I should be in England. I ought to fly to England again. I know the route: Khartoum — Wadi Halfa, Luxor, Cairo, Benghazi, Tobruk … Tripoli and the Mediterranean … France and England. Six thousand miles — only a quarter around the world, and take your time. Well … I wonder.
“Want to fly to London, Blix?”
He says yes without even looking up from the rifle he’s fiddling with.
[map from Mary S. Lovell’s Straight On Till Morning]