3rd January 1944

Woke at 7, very dark, low clouds, strong wind.  Felt stiff and tired.  Our new housekeeper, Miss Payne, arrived by bus just after 1 o’clock.  Met her with a taxi, which I was lucky to get, just forestalling 2 Americans.  Had lunch at Rose’s.  A big dark very Jewish man came in, and I realised it was her brother Archie, whom I met five years ago.  He took no notice of me.

Went out to Fordham Aerodrome [Wormingford Aerodrome].  At Fordham found all the roads for miles around the aerodrome thick with mud, which made cycling very dangerous.  Lorries rushing about in every direction.  Had to report to the Watch Room before going on the flying field, and was invited to walk upstairs into the Control Room, which was marked in large letters “No Unauthorised Personnel Admitted”, but nobody seemed to resent my presence in any way.  Showed my authority card to a very pleasant young lieutenant, and then cycled off round the taxi-way.  Saw a single-engine plane starting away from the dispersal site.

Hutton’s men have begun dismantling the old farm house [Harvey's Farm], and have stripped all the tiles.  Explained how I wanted to preserve the moulded ceiling, and they were all very helpful.  Most of them I have met on various jobs in Colchester.  The main trouble now is that owing to the depth of mud it is impossible to get a lorry up to the site until the ground freezes, and there is no sign of that at the moment.  

Had to call at the office, and then away through Wormingford, Lt. Horkesley, Nayland, and Stoke to Higham.  I should like to live in Stoke, but it is rather too far from Colchester.

Called at Thorington Hall, and saw the Trichers. They are not very keen to let me go there, as they fear trouble with Penrose’s housekeeper, who also lives in the place.  Disappointing. 

Got to Higham at 6.15.  Very dark and wet.  No beacon.  Writing, supper, and early bed.  No planes about tonight, but the moon was beginning to shine through the clouds at 10 o’clock.

No comments: