Original cover of Few Eggs and No Oranges
PREFACE BY JENNY HARTLEY
Vere Hodgson worked for a Notting Hill Gate charity during the Second World War; being sparky and unflappable, she was not going to let Hitler make a difference to her life, but the beginning of the Blitz did, which is why she began her published diaries on 25 June 1940: 'Last night at about 1 a.m. we had the first air raid of the war on London. My room is just opposite the police station, so I got the full benefit of the sirens. It made me leap out of bed...'
The war continued for five more years, but Vere's comments on her work, friends, what was happening to London and the news ('We hold our breath over Crete', 'There is to be a new system of Warning') combine to make Few Eggs and No Oranges unusually readable. It is a long - 600 page - book but a deeply engrossing one. The TLS remarked: 'The diaries capture the sense of living through great events and not being overwhelmed by them... they display an extraordinary - though widespread - capacity for not giving way in the face of horrors and difficulties.' 'A classic book that still rings vibrant and helpful today... a heartwarming record of one articulate woman's coping with the war,' wrote the Tallahassee Democratic Review.
On the endpaper we have used 'London Wall', a fragment of a Jacqmar scarf showing a brick wall as the background to the brightly-coloured slogans that were so much a part of wartime life.