For some reason I do not feel quite so surprised to find myself still alive as I was on this day a year ago. My luck has held well, and although this disastrous war becomes daily more disastrous, that extraordinary good fortune which came to me on January 1st last year [when EJR was invited to join the Essex War Agricultural Committee] still maintains.
I am in a good job, one that I enjoy, still in and about my beloved Museum, and still owning dear Bob. The prospects are admittedly not good. Today I am “de-reserved”, and am liable for military service at any moment, although I hope the Executive Committee will ask for my deferment. Hull is determined to get me out of the Museum if he can. Even my War Agricultural Committee work is not quite so good as it was, as the new Office Manager at Writtle [the Essex War Agricultural Committee's Headquarters] is likely to cause serious trouble. Such a pity when we have got on so well at Colchester this last year.
The Museum is in a bad way. Hull is worse than ever, and is getting more uncertain every day. He is now more and more withdrawing within himself, not speaking to Poulter or I for days. Poulter becomes daily more morose. The whole place is in an indescribable state of filth.
My parents keep fairly well, although old age begins to tell on both. This terrible cold weather is bad for them.
Went out this morning with Nott, looking through the iron yards at the Hythe for stout chains, suitable for pulling out trees. At St. Botolph’s Corner I saw an old fashioned bullock cart on four wheels, quite an obsolete type. A few sometimes come to Ipswich.