Winston is terrified of rats.
This is revealed for the first time. He has had a recurring nightmare where he was standing in front of a wall of darkness, and on the other side of it there was something too dreadful to be faced. He knew what it was, but didn’t want to deal with it.
That is why he stopped Julia from talking about rats.
They got up and prepared the food. They made the coffee, shutting the window to keep the fragrance inside.
They ate the bread and jam, Julia explored the room.
They looked at the paperweight, the pictures on the wall. They began to sing an old song, she had been taught by her grandfather.
This time together was so strange for him, being with Julia in this rented room. Being alone with no telescreen.