10th June 1943

Up late, (not unusual!)  Thick fog, which cleared gradually, and the sun came out about 9.  A strange mysterious silence in the little valley, as it lay under mist, then the sound of a man and a pair of horses coming out of the buildings on the hill.

Nott and Dyer had quite a quarrel this morning about an elevation which Nott borrowed for Wigborough and refuses to send back.  Went down to Mersea with him, to see the pea-picking at Cross Lane.  

Back to Colchester on a bus.  The country looks wonderfully well, the crops ripening.  Noticed a pie-bald horn sheep among those grazing on the Government land near Ball Farm.  Soldiers marching to and from barracks and the ranges.

Poulter told me with a great air of secrecy that ‘planes had come in and landed at Langham this morning, and that Earls Colne is to have fighters instead of bombers.  Hull told him this.  He also said that Orchard, Richardson, and Willi Blackmore are to be called-up at once.  He is very fond of making these sweeping statements, which are generally incorrect.  Hope this is not true, for what is to happen to me if such men as these are taken from a Borough Engineering office?  However, Harvey was expected to go from the Town Clerk’s office 6 months ago, but is still here, and I have managed to survive in a “de-reserved” state for 18 months.
Wonderful crop of hay in a field at Whitehouse Farm, opposite Severalls’ land, the field so full of enormous haycocks that it looked impossible to get a cart between them.

Just as I got to Park Lane [near Langham/Boxted aerodrome] 6 ‘planes came in from the north, circled round a few times and landed, or rather 5 did, the 6th making off towards the north again.  A crowd watched from the barrier which has been put across the lane near the thatched cottages, as each ‘plane roared down the runway just in front of them.  As they touch the concrete, their tyres set up a high scream and little columns of blue smoke appear from them.  I suppose they must be landing at about 140 mph.

Wonder how long these little cottages in Langham and Park Lane will survive?  Will they be wiped out by German bombs or by crashing aircraft?

Such a nice evening I decided to go round by Margaret’s Cross to Dedham Gun Hill.  Noticed that the old barn at Langford Hall is quite down now, just a heap of timbers and dirty thatch, blown over in the recent gales.

Went cheerfully on to Lawford, whistling and singing.  Feel though that something dreadful if shortly going to happen.

Chased the calves in, fed them, had supper by myself, and to bed.  Lovely golden evening.

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