25th August 1942

Three glorious free days.  Drove Parrington over to East Bergholt this morning, by way of Dedham.  The village looked very busy, many cycles and several pony traps, people going in and out of the shops.  Called at the Post Office, the grocer’s, and the Mill, then on to Gosnell’s Farm, a very pleasant little place, with a charming little whitewashed house and a good set of buildings. 

Came back by Cattawade, where I have not been for years.  How desolate the Stour estuary is, grey-green marshes, barbed wire entanglements etc.  Drove up through Lawford Park.  Robin went very well indeed.

This afternoon writing, and after tea down to Dedham again and called at Sissons, and had supper there.  Mrs. S’s brother, Matthews, was there, very nice, most interested in museums and agriculture.  We had a long talk, in fact I did not leave until after midnight.  Cycled back in moonlight with no lamps, but luckily the Dedham policeman was nowhere about.  There was a German plane over just after 10, and the Bromley guns fired several rounds.

Sisson was very despondent tonight.  Among other things, he said that an official of the War Damage Commission had told him that there were 26,000 houses damaged at Norwich, [in the Baedeker Raids on the city] out of a total of about 36,000.  This seems quite incredible, and I suggested that it must refer to every case where there was a tiny crack in a window, but he replied that only cases where the damage amounted to more than £5 came to the notice of the Commission.  Much talk about the “impending collapse of Russia”, but it has not collapsed yet.

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