22nd March 1944

Hear that a canister of incendiaries fell in Goring Road just missing the wardens’ post there, but no damage done.

Am now quite determined to go.  Told Father I shall be away “about a week”.  How long shall I really be?  Bought another haversack, cost 6/3.  

At lunch today in the cafĂ©, we heard a broadcast of some organ music, from Birmingham, I think  it was.  The old Jewess from the fruit stall was sitting drinking endless cups of tea as usual, at the same table as two shop girls.  I heard her say, indicating the wireless, “Ain't half as good as the man at the “Regal”, is he?” and one of the girls replied “You’re right.”

Noticed that one of the girls in the brothel opposite our office is now wearing a pair of American khaki trousers, and one of the children wears those curious breeches affected by American boys, no doubt gifts from an admirer.

Evening papers say 8 ‘planes brought down last night, and it was obviously a big raid.  After tea went over to Dedham to get some papers to take away with me, and stayed there to supper as I was able to provide some tinned soup.  Pleasant evening talking, but gave no hint about my going away tomorrow.  Left at 11, and walked very slowly all the way.  About 11.30 a large number of aircraft began to come over, several hundred I should think, coming in from the east.  At first I thought they were Germans, but soon saw that most were carrying their riding lights.  They were flying very low, and some were obviously in trouble from the sound of their engines.  Must have been a big raid on Germany.  How much longer is this to go on?

Bed about 1a.m., very tired with so much walking.  Father’s birthday tomorrow – 72.  Poor old man.  Miss Payne seems to make him happy.  Bought him the usual half a pound of tobacco, the best I could get.  Wonder how much he misses Mother?

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