21st November 1941

Warmer today, a cloudy autumn morning, the sun shining through grey and purple clouds. Everything very damp in the Castle, the walls sweating in rivulets. Had a bad night, high temperature and a sore throat. During the morning, Mrs. Blake, on the floor above, hurled a shower of bread crusts out of the top window onto the lawn beneath. Instantly a great flock of gulls, blackbirds, jackdaws, thrushes and sparrows, appeared from nowhere, and came wheeling and swooping in the most amazing evolutions, the jackdaws and sparrows dodging among the bigger birds. It is a strange thing that the Castle pigeons never seem to join in these daily feasts, nor do they ever come down to feed with sparrows. For years I have tried to tempt them with corn, so that they would come sailing down in great squadrons, like the London pigeons, but I have never succeeded.

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