Easter Rain

It seems that tempestous weather around Easter is nothing new to the Yorkshire Dales. The passage below comes from the early pages of the diary, in which the newly arrived prisoners describe the camp and its general condition.

Der Prisoner hatte Verständnis dafür, dass der blaue Himmel nicht gerne auf Britannia herniederlachte, aber selbst ihm schien doch der Wolkenschleier, in den er sich gemeiniglich hüllte, reichlich dunkel und unfreundlich.  Es regnete, regnete ohne Unterlass.  “The English summer is made up by three fine days and a thunderstorm, and only baked apples become ripe in England” habe ich einmal irgendwo gelesen.  Und so war es wirklich, trotzdem Wagner beim Faustischen Osterspaziergang solcher Sprache gegenüber sein Misstrauen äußert.  Nur, wer des Winterregens Wirkung im Schlamm der französischen Schützengraben kennengelernt hat, kann sich einen Begriff Machen von dem Urzustand der Lagerwege, deren Besserung auch später nicht überall gelungen ist. (p. 4)

We prisoners were already aware that blue skies were not particularly inclined to smile down on Britannia, but even so, this veil of cloud that generally tended to envelop us seemed overwhelmingly dark and unfriendly.  It rained, rained without cease.  I once read somewhere that “the English summer is made up of three fine days and a thunderstorm, and the only apples that ripen in England are baked ones”. And this really seems to be the case, despite Wagner’s misgivings about such ideas (which he expressed on our Easter walk).  Only those who have experienced the winter rain in the mud of the French trenches can begin to imagine the condition of the paths in the camp, some of which, even later on, did not benefit from any improvement. (CS)