Up at 7. Washed and shaved at the Holly Trees, as I can no longer get hot water in the Castle since Poulter had the electric plugs changed. Opened letters and went to breakfast. Saw an American soldier standing in
High St. in his shirt sleeves, smoking a cigar.
Duncan Clark phoned this afternoon, and asked me to have tea with him at Jacklin’s, which I did. We discussed the hopelessness of the situation at the Museum, but he insisted the Committee would make a change as soon as ever the war ended. I was still not convinced, but he told me definitely that the Committee relied upon me for the future.
When I got back to Holly Trees I found Poulter sitting on the steps, reading, so I sat with him. He told me that Christopher Hawkes was coming down at the weekend to see some “excavations” which Hall is apparently doing on the line of the triple-Rampart at Lexden. I am surprised to hear that Hawkes can find time to waste on these extraordinary burrowings.
Having put my cycle lamps right I went along to the Town Hall to see Councillor Sam Blomfield in the Soldier’s Canteen [to discuss the future of the Museum]. He said very much the same as Duncan Clark, maintaining all the while an attitude of official ignorance concerning the state of affairs at the Museum. This attitude rather annoyed me. However, he spoke firmly of dealing with
“when the time was ripe.” Yes, but when will it ever be ripe? Not in my lifetime, I fear. I brought forward my suggestion about making each member of the staff responsible for one department of the Museum, and directly responsible to the Committee. He thought about it deeply, and I could see that he was impressed. I believe this is definitely workable. We should all have distinct duties, and would submit monthly reports of our work. I left the Councillor on the best of terms. Hull
Fed Robin, and then cycled to Lawford in the dark, arriving just as an attack began on Wattisham or thereabouts. For about half an hour guns were firing hard, and about a dozen planes crossed over from the coast. I have never seen so many searchlights, which seemed to worry the enemy quite a lot, as we could hear them diving and climbing continually to escape them. Went up to my favourite stand behind the farm where a fallen tree provides good cover, and had a clear view, right across the [River] Stour. I believe one plane was hit, as the noise of it died away to the N.W. in a very peculiar manner, ending with a flash and a dull distant thud.
In a lull in the firing I heard the church clocks at
, East Bergholt and Manningtree, unperturbably striking eleven. Soon after the noise of battle died away and I went to bed. Dedham
Not quite so warm today.