21st December 1943

Shortest day.  Got in early, fine morning, bright and sunny, cold wind.  Busy all day, but nobody wanted to do much work – Christmas.  Clouds came up later and it began to rain.  Went to tea with Diana Davis.  There is no theatre production this week so she has her evenings free, and suggested going to the Regal Cinema.  It was such a filthy night that I agreed, feeling sure there could be no alarms in such weather. However, the alarm was on for about three-quarters of an hour, during which time we were treated to fantastic scenes of Brazilian Jungle life, and an even more fantastic English spy story.

Suggested we should walk through Sheepen Fields, which we did, in the mud.  Thought of how many times I had been through these paths in the dark winter evenings, with Bessie, Dinah, the girl from the hat shop.  In those days the town was a glare of light to the east.  Now no lights except cars on the road and the lights in the railway yards.  Back past the Workhouse and Infirmary.  Thought of little Mother.

Diana then suggested supper at her lodgings in Balkerne Gardens, to which I agreed although it was now 10.30pm.  She made a lovely omelette and some tea, and we were very comfortable and cosy.

At last at 20 past 12 I said I must go, so kissed her and went out into the dark.  Clouds gone, bright starlight, and about a dozen heavy bombers going east, rather low.  Policeman in the Wagon and Horses Yard said “Goodnight”.  Wished I could have stayed in Colchester, but have no bed anywhere now.

Went past Mile End Church as the clock chimed half past 12, speeding along with a strong wind behind me.  Through Boxted, Langham, and Stratford.  No light at Higham tonight.

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