25th December 1944 - Christmas Day
Wakened at about 7 by noise of aero engines warming up, but dozed off again. ‘Planes began to go out before light. Brilliant sunny morning, but freezing cold. Voices sounding clearly through the frosty air from distant cottages.
Did a few jobs, wrote several letters, packed nearly all my books which I am taking. The main bulk of course will be left at home. Am taking all the Journals and notebooks.
Went in to Colchester for Christmas dinner at home. The streets were very empty, just a few lonely Americans slinking about, no doubt thinking of Christmas in New England and California and Texas and wondering if they will ever see another, just as I am wondering if I shall ever see another in Colchester. The empty streets, in winter sunlight, long vistas of pale light and shade, looked very much like the old “primitive” photographs of the town.
Miss Payne laid on a royal spread, and enjoyed herself enormously. After dinner went upstairs to my little room, and sorted books. Packed one of Father’s old wooden trunks.
To Holly Trees again for a couple of hours, in the Muniment Room, and then back to Boxted. A few ‘planes about, floating like little beetles under the light of the moon. Owls crying in the woods, the farm horses rustling in the straw yard. Bed at midnight.