7th March 1944

Slept well in the fake four-poster.  Woke about 7.  Could hear the Americans and their girls murmuring in the next room – apparently all four were in there together.  Nobody seemed to be getting up.  Went down at 8, found the handsome, dark woman getting her own breakfast.  Did not feel competent to rummage in a strange pantry, so went off without any, and stopped at the lorry driver’s place on Gunhill for a cup of hot tea.  There was a farm labourer there playing with a pin-table, at that hour in the morning.

Some talk about the “invasion”.  In some quarters it is suggested that there will be a serious counter-invasion.  Hadleigh is already preparing to take in persons evacuated from coastal towns.

A fire broke out at the “Regal” this afternoon, through a fuse, and quite a lot of damage done.  When I went by about 6.30 there were several fire-engines outside and the street was flooded with water.

Today has been fine and sunny, as warm as spring.  Great armadas of ‘planes coming and going all the time.  One never hears a word of sympathy for the wretched Dutch, Belgians and French, who must be suffering frightfully.  Tonight a brilliant moon, almost full.  Walked from Dedham village to Stratford Bridge.  Huge black shadows across the road.  Church clocks at Dedham, Stratford, E. Bergholt and Higham sounding across the valley as they struck 10 one after another.

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