18th October 1943

Early morning:
As I write this I am listening to a cinema organ on the radio – relayed from a cinema in Llandudno.  Oh to spend the whole winter in North Wales!  What joy, what pleasure.  The moon is rising, amid clouds, and casts long weird shadows in the yard.  The trees are black, and the owls are screeching.

Went to bed at 1am.  Was awakened at about half past 2 by a plane roaring into a steep dive, and the wail of the sirens.  Waited, breathless, for the crash of bombs, but none came.  Several fighters rushed across, and there was a sound of gunfire towards the south.  All clear sounded about 3.15.  Bright moonlight, a few drifting clouds.

Fine morning.  All sunny and warm.  The raid made me late up.  Committee at Birch.  Hugh Percival was there.  They asked him what he thought of Ireland, but he had little to say, except that he did not like the country or the people.  He said “They have rotten politics.  While I was there a policeman shot a man as he came out of a house in Dublin, and then it was the wrong man!”  They asked him what the food was like and the girls.  He said “There are no motor cars for farmers, not one”.  Then he said suddenly “You know, there’s no blackout in Dublin,” and everybody was quite for a moment or two trying to think what a city looked like with lights shining in the streets.  He does not seem to have been in the least bit impressed by the country nor to have enjoyed his week away from the war.

Joanna came out to tea.  The Chairman was in bed with a heavy cold, and I had to bring him a large bottle of medicine from Colchester.  I felt bad all day myself, high temperature, very bad throat and cough.  

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