18th April 1944

Very little rain last night.  Thin hazy cloud this morning, then a brilliant sunny day.  Felt better, cough not so violent.

Talking to Culley, Pests Officer.  He told me that his warreners were always having trouble with keepers, who would tear up rabbit snares wherever they found them.  Arnold’s man at Layer Marney has done this.  Yet dozens of acres of wheat have been destroyed down there, all by rabbits.  Another thing he told me was that when Lake, the Chief Pests Officer, is on Committee land, he always tears up any snares which have been set by Committee workmen, as he considers such snares to be “poaching”.  

Wasps and flies have begun to come out, and a chestnut tree in Winnock Road has leaves on it nearly 4” long.  At Boxted the fruit trees are a mass of bloom.  If there are any late frosts the damage will be terrific.

Saw Hervey Benham this evening.  Spoke of Mary Ralling.  He is very dissatisfied at the way she is neglecting her work [at the Essex County Standard] so as to look after her sister.  I told him what I knew about the business, but it was a horrible conversation.  There is something very dreadful in having to imagine “Miss Ralling of the ‘Standard’” as an unsatisfactory employee, as if she was a careless typist.  Wonder whether she has to rely on the job for a living.

To Holly Trees again, and had a long talk with Poulter about future policy, etc.  It was on the tip of my tongue to tell him I did not expect to be concerned in any future policy at the Museum, but I thought better of it.

When I came out, there was a very drunk American in High Street, who accosted me with “Hey, fella!  Which is the way to the camp?” I said “Which camp?”
“The camp, y’know, the ‘drome.  Which way is it?”
I said “Do you mean Langham?”
“I dunno, somewhere near Ipswich”.
I directed him to Ipswich Road, and left him wandering unsteadily in the middle of the road.

Lot of ‘planes flying out to sea, carrying riding lights.

At Severalls, saw an American truck on the footpath with no lights, while girlish squeaks and giggles came from within. 
Brilliant stars tonight.  Fear there will be a raid.  Papers full of “invasion” theories.  Hear that the Duke of Gloucester was in the town yesterday, inspecting troops.

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