Henry accompanied me back to school in the evening – but I recall nothing of the journey. The light had gone out of the day. Fortunately, as soon as I arrived, it was time to go to bed . . . . But I slept very badly that summer, and the trains, with their puffing and hooting, filled me more than ever with nostalgia. . . . I lay awake listening to them and to the croaking of the frogs, a sound new to me. Even then I loved that music, ragged and of the mud, muddy yet so boastful and personal that, much more personal than in birdsong, one could detect individual voices . . . .
Osbert Sitwell, The Scarlet Tree, 1945