25th February 1944

Felt terrible this morning.  Bitterly cold, and overcast.  Could not face the journey in.  Made up the fire, and crouched over it.  Spent last night in the chair.  The days seem to be spent waiting in anxiety for the nights, the nights in waiting for the dawn.

Went out at 12, phoned a house at Horkesley which takes guests, but no good.  Full.  Tried the “Talbooth”, the “Sun”, Dedham, and got a room with great difficulty, by mentioning Sissons’ name, but this is only temporary.

Cycled slowly into Colchester by Severalls Lane and Turner Rd, to avoid our end of the town.  Noticed a lot of AA guns near Upper Brickhouse Farm, and a big American encampment in High Woods, opposite the REC Institute.

Had a cup of tea at Rose’s café, and noticed two black Americans at one table and three white Americans at another.  Have never seen this before.  One of the black men was a Captain.  Overheard a lot of badinage between the waitress, Connie, and the Americans, about “Miss Browne” getting married next Wednesday.  Could not make out whether this was some stupid joke.  As far as I know this man “Bill” she has been carrying on with is still abroad.

Went up to the Cemetery to see about Mother’s grave, as nothing had been done since the funeral.  The sandy soil had sunk, and you could see the outline clearly, so tiny it seemed.  Two men nearby were sweeping up leaves, moving quietly among the sleeping dead.  A soldier came by, walking slowly, reading the inscriptions on the tombstones.  Called at the Cemetery Office, and paid 5/- to have the grave turfed.  American ‘planes came sweeping over as I left the Cemetery, and went home to tea.  Felt too ill to eat.  Back to Higham at 7.  Very dark, rain beginning.  Hope for a quiet night.

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