24th October 1942

Dull, cloudy and raining when I woke, but as I went up the hill the sky became a delicate pink, with bluey grey clouds moving swiftly across it.  The roads all covered with leaves.  Caught the train at Ardleigh.  The pink became golden, and I had great hopes of a fine day, only to find immense black clouds at Colchester.  You could see the [bomb] damage at Mason’s from the train – just one shed.  About the middle of the morning the sky really did clear, and my nervousness subsided as the sun came out.

This afternoon carting with old Bob, then harnessed Robin and went to the “Bull” to meet Penelope.  Drove her to Dedham, and met Joy on Roger in Bargate Lane.  Went down the long drive to Humberlands in the dusk, and put Robin in the farm buildings.  I think I shall leave him here for a while.  As I finished feeding him, the moon rose huge and ruddy in the east.

After tea, we heard planes going out for some time, and then at 7 I heard sirens at Brantham.  I looked out in time to see two enormous red flashes to the east, which I thought must be two land-mines, but there was no explosion.  Joy thought so too.

The rest of the night was quiet and peaceful under a dazzling moon.

Capt. Folkard told me this morning that the Chairman [of the District War Agricultural Committee, Captain Round] is now a Colonel (in the Home Guard).

Just before I went to lunch today, little Mary Tovell suddenly appeared, here for her brother’s wedding.  When I last heard of him a year ago, he was very ill with pneumonia, but he is now in a Royal Artillery Officer Cadet Training Unit on the South Coast.  Mary is now continuing her training at Gravesend Hospital, and will be there another 18 months.  Mary Tovell had worked at Colchester Castle as the Bookshop Attendant before the war.
More wind today, and the leaves falling faster.  Full moon, but cloudy.

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