5th November 1943

Strange to wake up in the middle bedroom at home.  I have not slept there since I was ill in 1920 – 23 years ago.  Mother was asleep when I went down, and pulled the curtains.  She woke, and spoke to me very sensibly, and asked what was the nurse’s name.  I told her Mrs Low, and she said “She’s got a nice face”.  A grey morning but signs of the sun behind the clouds.  Nurse Horwood came over, looking very glum, and said she thought Mother was worse, yet her colour is better.

A lot of bombers went over this morning, above clouds. Went up town to lunch, at Rose’s.  She was most friendly.  At Headgate, saw a great confusion of traffic, and then through the middle of it came Mr and Mrs Law from Horkesley, with a beautifully painted Suffolk cart and a young bay horse, which they were breaking, he running alongside.  Some Americans passing by stopped and stared.

Saw Mother again.  She seemed fairly comfortable.  Went off early to Ministry of Labour to try for a housekeeper.  Then to Higham, alarmed to see the sky clearing of clouds, and the moon shining out.  Feared another attack tonight.  

Spent a few hours at the cottage, writing and thinking. Pleasantly bilingual touch in the Essex County Standard, an advert for a tin bungalow at Tiptree called “La Clacham”.
Listened to the radio, mostly to hear if it faded, but nothing happened until after 9 when Home Service died away.  I had to go then in any case, and as I hurried away a great scarlet light was still flashing on top of the hill, although planes were about.  The moon was misty.  Called at the pub. and saw George, who told me this apparatus was permanent.  Most alarming.  Can't even lock up the house.  All my stuff and Conran’s in there.

The All Clear sounded as I went by Ardleigh Crown.  I felt horribly nervous and depressed as I neared Colchester, wondering about Mother, but when I got in she was sleeping peacefully, and they said she had slept since 6 o’clock.  She woke for a few minutes and talked sensibly to me, although she did not know Rowland had been.

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