15th March 1944

Up early.  Brilliant morning, but cold.  Very little breakfast, only a small bowl of porridge.  Got to the office in good time for once, ‘planes going over as I went in.

Chairman in this morning about M. of Tiptree and the “black market” case.  Has been decided he must no longer be the Committee’s representative in that area.  Poor devil, everybody is against him.  Our organisation at Tiptree is in a terrible muddle, as we don't seem to know whether we are dealing with the new civil parish or with the old parishes of Layer Marney and Messing.  Capt. Folkard seems disinclined to take the matter seriously but I think it should be cleared up, as we shall never get our records straight until it is.

Home to tea, and then called at Holly Trees, where Poulter told me that Hull was now F.S.A. and had been appointed to a panel which is to deal with post-war Romano-British archaeology.  This should be a great boost to his morale.

A fog coming up in the town, and I had some hopes of a quiet night, but in the country it was quite clear.

Looked at the “Gazette”, and saw that Ivor Carter had been drowned at sea.  I was at school with him, and hated him as a vicious cruel bully.  He was a very dull scholar, and was always much the senior in any form in which he happened to be.  All the little boys went in fear of him.

To Lawford this evening and returned a map I had borrowed, leaving my old police saddle at Clayton’s on the way.  Bob has now gone over to the Lyons family at Collier’s Wood, and I am sure he will be happier there.

Left Lawford at 9, just in time to hear three all-clears over in Suffolk, one after another.  Heard no alarm.  The sky was hazy, the stars twinkling dimly.  Walked back to Talbooth, listening to all the little night sounds, birds twittering, cattle in the distant byres, things creeping in the hedges.

About half-past ten, as I sat writing in this ridiculous fake-antique room, I heard many planes, very low, and looked out to see dozens of yellow flares floating over Ardleigh, mingling with the stars so that one could scarcely see which was which, and the noise of planes receding towards the west.  I suppose they were coming back from across the sea.

Sent two drawings to the Museum and Art Gallery at Bangor today, one a little 18th century water-colour, “Snowdon from Capel Curig,” perhaps by Daniel, and the other a view of Beddgelert by a Florence Spiers, 1866.  Wished most heartily that I was going with them.

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