21st April 1943

Up very late, but by doing without breakfast got in by 9.5.  Lovely morning, cool S.E. wind.

Went to Mersea by bus.  Saw a black lamb, obviously dying, near Rock Farm.  One of Harker’s.  Almost all his sheep are diseased and starving, but nothing is ever done about it.

Met Charlie Baldwin in the van, and went off to inspect wagons and carts.  We went to North Farm, Bower Hall, and Mortimers.  Land looking well, but buildings and yards all very bad.  Discovered that the best trolley I bought in London (the pair-horse) had never been used, as they thought it was too heavy for horses!

Then went down to Copt Hall, Abbot’s Hall and Abbot’s Wick.  Lots of magpies flying about.  Back to Peldon ‘Rose’ and caught bus to Colchester.

Meeting at Town Hall this afternoon on Emergency Labour Corps.  Complete flop, only eight people came.  Farmers prefer to make their own arrangements.  

Rushed home to tea.  Mother seemed rather tottery.  Wish she would go away again, but Father stubbornly refuses to go.

Left Holly Trees at 6.15.  Before I went heard on Poulter’s radio that 30 bombers were lost over Germany last night.

Came out by Crockleford.  Stopped at the stile at the top of the hill, and sat there reading Barbellion’s Diary, which I have at last managed to get.  Most depressing, so feeble, and so very like my own. 

Sat reading half an hour, to the sound of a chaff cutter working in the farm buildings below me.  Heard a horse and cart going towards Bromley, and a cuckoo calling somewhere on the right.  A train went by, and I could see the smoke beyond Shaw’s Farm, where the cows were just coming out of the sheds and going down to the water meadows, a slow procession of tiny figures.

After supper, fed calves.  Clouds came up, and about 10 it began to rain.  Overjoyed to hear it, because it is badly needed and because it may save us from a raid tonight.  Heard one or two planes about, above the clouds.

Just a year ago today since I bought Robin.  Cannot make up my mind whether to sell him or not.

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