29th June 1943

‘Planes going and coming in the early morning, above low clouds.  Thought I heard an alarm once.  Late in again.  Went round by Bruce’s at the Hythe to see how our trolleys are going on, as we want them in less than a month.  They are almost done, and look very fine in green and scarlet.

Very busy morning.  A Mrs. Thomsett from the Labour Dept, at Writtle came about Mrs. Voake [the Women's Land Army Organiser].  They are now very dissatisfied with her.  So are we, and have been for a long time.  She does more harm than good with the girls.  However, looks as though she will now have to leave.  Mrs. Thomsett talked a good deal about the utter lack of co-operation between the WLA authorities and Writtle people, although they live in the same building.

Took the Thomas Creffield portrait up to Sir Gurney Benham’s office, to be photographed.  He had never seen it before.  He told me he had read the “Antiquities of Wheatfield” which I had lent him, and thought if “very childish”.  Apparently he had taken this 18th century joke quite seriously.
Row at the office – we all ate some cherries, thinking they were Nott’s, but they turned out to be Hull’s.  The girls ate every one, and he was furious.  There must have been 4lbs at least, so I shall have to get him some.

Heard by ‘phone that Writtle intend to requisition the house in Straight Road for an office, which will be good.  I shall give up Castle firewatching altogether, and have nothing more to do with the Museum.  This may help me to stick it out next winter.  Wonder if I can get a room at Stanway?

The Sissons came in this afternoon, so I went back with them by car.  Had tea there, then walked to Lawford over the field path along by Pound Lane.  Walked through fields of oats, barley and wheat on Dedham Hall Land, all looking very well.  Saw a mole crossing the cart-track.  It stopped when it sensed me, and lifted up it’s little blind face, wrinkling its snout.  I picked it up by the tail, and saw it was a she, with young somewhere.  It didn’t squeak, but pawed the air helplessly with little pink hands, and was so fat as to be almost tubular.  Put it down on the hedge bank, and it scrambled away.

Saw Capt. Baines working in his fields, which he has ploughed by the river edge.  Everybody said it was too wet, but he did it.  At the end of the cart track was a tall slender tree, very beautiful against the evening sky, so made a rapid sketch of it.  Felt a bit tired, so sat down at the bottom of the hill, and read for half an hour, with Moorhouse’s big black and white cows grazing in Stour Park behind me.

Bed 10.30, after a little writing.

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