18 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

18 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary

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Thu, 18 Dec 1941

What gets me down is the waiting - there seems little now that I can do.  I don't go out unless I have to -   I had to see the Controller of Food today.  I went first to the C.S.O. tunnel and for the first time went to the upper part where H.E. and the C. S. are.   They sleep and live there all the time.  The heat and atmosphere generally was awful I thought.  In the lower tunnel it's not so bad.  Then I went to the Food Controller - I had to park outside the Cheero Club - and just at the Bank I saw Harry and Timson with H.E.   H.E. went into the Bank.  He was all alone walking about.  Not long after I got into Holland House - you remember the new building at the corner of Ice House Street and Queens Road - just opposite the bottom of Battery Path - the alert went.  They dive-bombed and scored a direct hit on the Architectural Office of the P.W.D. - one of the so-called temporary buildings erected near the C.S.O.   I was on the second floor of Holland House - we felt the blast and then a shower of stones came down.  Another one fell some way along Queens Road and the third hit the miniature rifle range at Volunteer H.Q.   When at last the all clear went I tried to get back here - up Garden Road but found it was impassable.

They got the A.P.C. installation at North Point too, and a lot of our kerosene has been lost.  The sky has been thick with smoke all day and it is floating over the Peak.  There was another fire near the Power Station - probably coal but it is out now.  But the electric power went off just after we had tiffin.  It went on again about 3 but has gone off again as another alert is on.  I am writing this by candle light as my office is pretty well blacked out - though it's only 4.30 in the afternoon.  

They are your candles.  I have also brought down all the stuff you left for me - we call it our iron rations and they are not to be used unless we are forced to do so.   We have had plenty decent chow so far but cooking is going to be difficult if the electric power stays off.  Still we have a fairly good stock of firewood and in the end will burn all the parallel bars and so forth in the Gym - there are some packing cases there too and shavings.  We'll have to use "chatties" of course.

 Glover is such a decent fellow and pampers me like blazes.  Well I'll stop now and write on later if the light goes on.

I have never mentioned your affairs - things don't seem to be going too well around Kedah and Penang - but they've a long way to go yet.  I was wondering however, whether you would be able to go - or risk going - to Alice in Dacca.  I tried to fix up that you shall get your money as usual from the Bank -   I must try and find out if the wireless got through.  If not   you will have to get some from Alice.  Cheerio just now.  B.

6.30 - dinner over but no light yet.  Not quite such a good meal.  We get too much bread.  I'll try and write later.  B.

8.20pm. No light - so I'm off to bed.  It's the only place - I'm not going to sit downstairs where they have hurricane lamps with the Inspectors and Chinese clerks.  Roe and Glover go down but I don't.   So Goodnight L.O.  B.