10th September 1944

Got up at quarter to 10.  Lovely morning, cool and sunny.  Bath, breakfast, writing, sorting papers. Great squadrons of ‘planes passing over, going East.  Took bread and cheese and went to Dedham.  Went into Suffolk, looked at Stratford St Mary Church.  Came back to Brookside farmland, and privately explored it.  No crops have yet been harvested, fields of barley rotting in the traves.  Very serious, particularly as we are ultimately responsible, having taken the land and let it to Garner.  A job for Captain Folkard’s tact.  We had an anonymous letter about this on Saturday which is why I went.  Ate lots of blackberries and came away.  Saw three smart little traps trotting down Dedham Street, wheels and harness glittering in the sun.

Glorious evening. Clouds of rooks flapping their way home along the valley to Gunhill rookeries. 

Went back by Blackbrook Farm.  A “diver” had dropped on the edge of the road, about 30 yards E of the house, which is a total loss.  Walls cracked from top to bottom, every window and door gone, all the tiles off the roof.  Fortunately, empty, so nobody hurt.  Curious how ruins look so old already.  A young man with his wife and little girl came along on bicycles.  The woman was anxious to know “where the people where at the time”, and said, looking through a gaping window, “Well, if you can survive this, you ought to be safe anywhere.”  Her husband said “Careful, dear, I shouldn’t go too close, it looks as if it might fall over.”

Another house on the other side of the road had part of the roof shaken off.  Noticed a small corn stack in Freeman’s field, 100 yards from where the “diver” fell, was quite unmoved, confirming my opinion that stacks are nice stout things to have about the place.  Did not see where the “diver” fell near Godfreys, but hear it did some damage to Langham Rectory, and shook up old Bensusan.

Went along to Lt. Rivers, but Dodo not well again, and the baby ill as well.  Read “New Statesman”, “Time and Tide” and the Sunday papers, all full of peace and plenty, no more air-raids, what shall we do with Germany etc?

To Post at 9, on with young Carter.  The four hours passed quickly and pleasantly, talking ghosts and witchcraft.  Carter told me that Woodside is said to be haunted by an old man with a long beard, dressed in a night shirt.

Bed at 1.15, feeling oddly disturbed.

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