Friday, March 3, 2017.
...and war correspondent and, not incidentally, soldier:
And still nothing happened, nothing ever looked like happening. ‘When are we going to attack? Why don’t we attack?’ were the questions you heard night and day from Spaniard and Englishman alike. When you think what fighting means it is queer that soldiers want to fight, and yet undoubtedly they do. In stationary warfare there
Meanwhile, the daily---more particularly nightly---round, the common task. Sentry gos, patrols, digging, mud, rain, shrieking winds, and occasional snow. It was not until well into April that the nights grew noticeably warmer. Up here on the plateau the March days were mostly like an English March, with bright blue skies and nagging winds. The winter barley was a foot high, crimson buds were forming on the cherry tree (the line here ran through deserted orchards and vegetable gardens), and if you searched the ditches you could find violets and a kind of wild hyacinth like a poor specimen of bluebell. Immediately behind the line there ran a wonderful, green, bubbling stream, the first transparent water I had seen since coming to the front. One day I set my teeth and crawled into the river to have my first bath in six weeks. It was what you might call a brief bath, for the water was mainly snow-water and not much above freezing point.
---Orwell describing the battlefront where he fought as a volunteer in the Republican militia during the Spanish Civil War in Homage to Catalonia.
Photo: The tall galoot with the long chin is Orwell---known to his comrades in the militia as Eric Blair---probably in Barcelona, circa 1936. Via ABC Sevilla.