15th February 1943

Got up at 6 and washed and shaved.  Poulter came down at 7, on his way to the station.  He looked ill.  Put in an hour’s office work, waiting for the post.  It was a dull morning, with slight drizzle, which became worse.  Felt I could not bear it, so left a note to say I had gone off to inspect houses and went off on my cycle, along Maldon Road and Irvine Road to Bluebottle Grove.  A very heavy shower came down, and the sky effects were extraordinary and wonderful.  The rain cloud rolled away like an immense column of smoke, mounting up and up, thousands of feet into the sky.  Above was a lovely layer of mother-of-pearl coloured cloud.  Then that too moved, split, and drifted away, so that the old adage
                                    “Rain before seven
                                      Fine before eleven”

came true again.  Back down Lexden Road I met a most charming girl, Irish, driving one of Blake’s milk carts.  We had a pleasant chat about horses.  It was so unusual to find a woman who really understands the use of a horse.

Had a look at Capt. Lockhart’s house in Sussex Road, which is now empty.  It would be a fine office, remote, in a lovely position, yet only a few hundred yards from a main road.  I am afraid it would be too large, but I shall do what I can to get it.

Went down to Sheepen Farm, and saw last year's barley in a shed there, not yet threshed.  I could hear rats rustling among it.  As I walked back up the hill, a swan flew over at a great height.

Home to tea at 5.  Lovely evening, so light, though colder.  Children playing in the streets, some shooting marbles, the season for which is just begun.

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