1st February 1943

The first month of the New Year gone almost before we are accustomed to writing “1943”.

Awake almost all night by the violence of the wind.  Up at 6.30, and caught the 7.30 bus.  It was pitch dark, and the wind so strong I could hardly stand.  To my surprise, the clouds cleared, and by 8 o’clock the sun was coming up in a yellow haze.  Went to Holly Trees, but could not find the Castle keys.  Noticed that one of the front windows of the Castle had been left open all night, so that there was a pool of water in the Pre-historic Room.  Went on the roof, but could see no sign of any damage.  Went to office and opened mail.  Told Poulter that keys were missing; he expressed no surprise, but said that Attendant Rising had been unable to get in yesterday afternoon.  Hull apparently opened the door at 5a.m. yesterday, when he came off Observer Duty, and neither he nor the keys have been seen since.  He was doing Harding’s morning duty, and should have remained until 2 o’clock, but he was not there when Rising came, and was seen by Draycott drinking in the Cross Keys sometime after midday.  Draycott happened to meet Poulter, and told him.
Came out on the 5.15 bus.  It was a very old type, much more comfortable than modern buses, with fine, large windows, which gave a fine view.  The seats were not sprung and were flat, like carriage seats, so that there was none of the awful discomfort by vibration.  Also, the rear seats were made slightly higher than those in front, so that all the passengers had a view.  In modern buses the seat backs are so high that it is impossible to see over them, and the windows are so tiny that one can see nothing out of them.  Public-vehicle designs have got steadily worse every year since horse-buses were given up.

There were three or four Poles on the bus, one reading a Polish paper.  

Lovely clear night until 10, then heavy rain and high wind again.  The winter corn will begin to go off very soon.  Spent some while this evening on the hill behind the house, looking for the comet which is now near the Plough, but could see no sign of it.

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