14th June 1942


A beautiful morning, and the cuckoos still calling in Stour Park.  Fed Robin and carted mangolds with Roger from Humberlands Farm.  Little Rosemary Parrington came by with her nursemaid with the lovely corn coloured hair.

After lunch ground some flour and then cycled over to Dedham.  Mrs. Sisson made a few remarks on this ridiculous “united nations” day.  Several houses in Dedham had a few pathetic flags hanging out of the windows, Union Jacks, Scottish Lions, and a Stars-and-Stripes, drooping limply in the sunshine, apparently hoping by this means to prove the patriotism, solidarity etc. of the inhabitants.  There were no red flags.  Dedham would not sink as low as that!

Mrs. Sisson asked my advice regarding her ex-cook who volunteered for the WRNS but has now managed to get her discharge on health grounds.  She is going to work on the land and do cooking for Mrs. S. in the evening. I said I thought she would be alright, but that she should get work on a local farm first, so as to be able to present the Labour Exchange with a fait accompli.

Went back to Sherbourne Mill, harnessed up, and drove over to Holly Lodge in the wake of the Parrington’s car, arriving within a few minutes of them.  The country looked well, crops good, especially on Girling’s land.  I noticed he has had all his gates made double width, so as to allow for the passage of large tractors.

Had tea.  A Capt. Dalgetti was there, of the R.A.S.C., [Royal Army Service Corps] who apparently has charge of the licensing of fishing boats and that sort of thing on this part of the coast.  We talked about the Colchester Oyster Fishery.  Frank Girling had a very nice paleolith, recently found at Badley Hall.  I left at 6.30 to go back to Colchester, and had a wonderful run, in fact we were going up Hythe Hill at 10 past 7.

Near the “Trowel & Hammer” I saw a charming little turnout in a tub-cart with a little grey pony, a lady, gentleman, and two children in the trap and another cycling behind.  I gave them a gracious salute as we swept past.

This evening I went down to Bourne Mill, and although the clouds looked threatening there was nothing unusual in their appearance.  Suddenly, at about quarter to 8, a tremendous storm burst without the slightest warning.  The thunder claps were earsplitting, and great sheets of lightning tore across the heavens.  This kept on until about 8.15, and then eased a little, but the pond, much swollen by then, came over in three places so that a great pool formed in the lower part of the field.  Pulford is much at fault for not allowing me to have a key to open the overflow on such an occasion as this.

I went home [to EJR's parents] wet through, changed, and hurried to the Castle, only to find that I had come unnecessarily, as Simon had arrived thinking I was there last night!  This is the second night since October 1940 when there has been nobody at the Castle.

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