28th December 1943

Up early, and got in by 10 past 9.  Brilliant day, pale blue sky, fog in the valley.  Carting off beet at Higham, and two horse-teams ploughing near Stratford.  One of the ploughmen was setting his coulter as I went by, the Suffolk horses standing in a cloud of steam.

Received a Christmas card today from the Penroses in Canada – posted in London, Ontario, at half past eleven at night on Nov. 1.  That’s about 6 hours earlier than our time, so at the moment one of the Penroses went through the lamp-lit streets of the city to the letter-box, I was fast asleep in this lonely cottage, at 5.30 in the morning.  It was then the day before Mother was taken ill.

Committee at Birch, very short.  We got through the business well, and I was back in Colchester by 5.  At tea everybody talking about the sinking of the “Scharnhorst”, the Chairman laughing because somebody had sympathised with the drowned Germans.

A lot of talk about the review of all agricultural labour which is now to be made, as the Executive Committee have powers to take men from one farmer and send them to another or take them into their own employment.  This has already caused a good deal of hardship and indignation.  Saw Joanna in Birch Park with baby.  Tritton gone to sea.

When I got back to Colchester saw Diana going across the top of North Hill, so I ran after her and went to Balkerne Gardens.  The play, “Lady Precious Stream” is going very well.  Left at 6, when she went back to the theatre.  A lovely golden evening, faint stars, mist and the last traces of the sun.  No planes about, and went off to Thorington Hall to see Mr Tricher, wondering if the beacon would be lit, but it was not, although several times I imagined I saw the flash of it.

Both the Trichers very friendly.  Spoke of Penroses and Sissons, and emphasised I had known them both for years.  I suggested I should have one room upstairs and left him to get in touch with Sisson.  It is a glorious house, and I should love to get in there.

To Higham, 8pm.  Very thick and cold.  Freezing hard.  Early bed.


Dan said...

Good evening, just wanted to let you know that I love this blog ! and think you are doing such a great job.

I am a Colchester resident so feel a real connection with Mr Rusdale.

I was lucky enough to get the book for Christmas, looks fantastic, cant wait to read it all

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks for your very kind comments, Dan - I really appreciate your support for the blog and I do hope you enjoy the book. Working on Mr Rudsdale's Journals gave me a such an insight into Colchester's past and I am so glad to hear that his words have made this connection for you too. Thanks again and best wishes, Catherine