A quote about the beginning of The Second World War from my mother’s memoir, The Catch of Hands.
‘Like a spider’s web over a pile of rocks, the war was making little contact with many of us, and it hadn’t yet begun to shave bits away from people’s lives. So in order to feel necessary to one another, everyone went to a great many parties and dances, cricket matches and picnics; the telephone rang a good deal and it was often someone called Gerald or Adrian. None of it was really my cup of tea, and if I came home rather late, my mother questioned me minutely, chattering with nerves as she put her copy of ‘The Warden’ down on her bedside table. I said of course, he hadn’t, didn’t, wasn’t, and kissed her goodnight. It was true. I was much too frightened to let anyone do anything.
Inexorably, the war set in. Like a small blaze in an empty house, it could be almost overlooked to start with, consisting as it did of minor drawbacks, the blackout, form-filling, rations and making one’s nightdresses out of butter muslin, dyed on the Aga. The words most likely to cause an affray were: ‘No, Madam, I’m afraid we haven’t any. It’s the war, you see.’ But we managed.’
Benedicta Leigh, The Catch of Hands