29th November 1944 - Colchester

Up late, and did not get away until 9.30.  Miss Bentley showed no surprise whatever.  A lovely day, bright sunshine, thousands of ‘planes going out.  Cycled in very slowly, guilt personified, going around the back steets. Went to the Repertory Workshops, but Diana was not there.  Walked round by Stockwell Street, only to run into Mrs. Folkard, just outside St. Martin’s House.  What on earth she was doing there I can't imagine, nor what possessed me to go up that particular street at all.  She looked pale and ill, and stared at me almost uncomprehendingly. Felt quite stupid, and said feebly “Why, it is Mrs. Folkard, isn’t it?”  She asked me how I was, with a slow, curious smile.  I said I was better, and asked if it was true that all her windows had been blown in?  She said yes, all the windows and a ceiling down, but it might have been worse, and they were thankful to be alive.  Made some vague but appropriate reply, and she walked on.  Felt an utter fool, and realised that I had not even spoken of Capt. Folkard at all.

Went down to Bourne Mill, which looked very sad and desolate.  Read some letters, and ate blackberries, deliciously ripe.  Called at home and dear Father welcomed me calmly and pleasantly. Told him nothing about health.  Stayed for lunch, Miss Payne talking all the time.  Spent the afternoon in my room, sorting books and papers.  Left before tea, and went up town.  Saw the lights on in the streets – bringing memories of 1939.  Fine evening, the moon nearly full.  Had a meal at Winnie’s, and then went up to Lexden Road to see old Peck with a message from Uncle Jim.  Never met him before, a dear old man.  He told me about his boyhood in Colchester 70 years ago when he and Uncle Jim were boys together.  He has memories of the Franco-Prussian War, reading the papers, and hearing people talk about the war and the battles.  Stayed there an hour or so, talking to the old man and Miss Peck.  Remember her from the days of teas in the Head Street café.

Went out to Boxted, and called at Lt. Rivers.  Talked about my going back to the Museum, but feel so bad I don't think I can face it.  I must go and see Poulter, and the War Agricultural Committee.  Am quite terrified of the prospect of having to talk to Capt. Folkard.

No comments: