16th September 1941

Penelope phoned this morning, in a great state because she thought the pony had got mange. I cycled over at 6 o’clock, leaving Hampshire to feed Bob. The pony was quite alright, but had grazed her back through getting hung up. I do wish P. would not leave a trailing rope on her – it is very dangerous. We walked through the fields behind Lufkins, and I ventured to put my arm round her. Had supper, and heard the noise of RAF planes going over, then the sound of a siren at Brantham or Mistley. Left about quarter to eleven. There was a glare in the sky towards Clacton,* and two searchlights which soon went out. The glare was visible until I got almost to Colchester. Very cold, the sky clear and starry, but a thick ground mist. The air smelt more like November. Strange and unearthly to ride swiftly and silently through the mist, not a soul to be seen anywhere. Walking up Johnny Bois Hill I could hear the water gurgling in the brook at the bottom.
Nobody about in Colchester except a policeman at the Holly Trees gate. Thankful to get in and have hot ovaltine. Alarm off at midnight.

* The glare that EJR saw in the sky was from a German plane which was shot down near Clacton on 16th September 1941. See EJR's account for 17th September 1941 for more details.

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