18th March 1944
Clear sky this morning, but fog in the valley. Took one of my kitbags to Boxted on the way in. Saw a fine cob in a trap on Gunhill, exactly the same as Robin, but a mare. The owner was walking beside it so I spoke to him. He was a Scotsman, and said he had driven from Somersham, the other side of Ipswich, was going to Colchester to Market, and then back by way of Boxford, about 50 miles in all. A lovely cob, only 5 years old.
Poulter phoned to say that Kenn [of the Borough Engineer's Office] had now condemned Middle Mill [in Castle Park] as a dangerous building. Fantastic. The man must be mad.
‘Planes over in hundreds all day long. Went to the library, then saw Hampshire about some hay. He has another fresh pony, so I drove it, the first time I have driven a pony for months. Dear old Hampshire full of what a “deal” he had to get this pony, and how he “chopped” his other one away, but I don't suppose more than 5/- and some drinks actually changed hands.
Bought rations, had a good tea, and went to Dedham to collect various things. Talk about affairs of the Dedham Parish Council, which seem very extraordinary. Went along to the Talbooth to collect the rest of my belongings and to pay. They charged me £5 for less than two weeks, a most extortionate amount. Had quite a shock when I was waiting to pay – the local policeman walked in, and told the house-keeper he “wanted to make some enquiries”. He looked at me very suspiciously and said “You been called up?” seeing my luggage. I said no, feeling very foolish.
Keep thinking about Wales. Feel in half a mind to go tomorrow. If only the weather would break I should stay here happily.