2nd January 1945

Wakened by Bella’s voice saying “It’s five-and-twenty to 7” so turned over and went to sleep again.  Bombers going out in the dark.  Breakfast 8.30, a cold, damp morning.  To the Museum at half past 9.

Wrote a few letters, then poor old Edwards came doddering in again.  Managed to get the safe keys away from him, and he insisted on showing me how to open it, only to find that he then could not get it shut, having left a drawer open inside.  It took him several minutes of anxious fumbling to discover this.  Poor old man, his presence is like that of an indefinite ghost, an anxious, worried, ghost that cannot leave its earthly scene, and makes me feel as if I can do nothing while he is there for fear of giving him offence.  He seems to want to tell me things, but is somehow unwilling that I should wholly take charge of the collections.

After lunch Mr Girling came in for a few moments about my agreement, but could not stay long.  I mentioned how ill old Edwards seems, and he agreed.  Asked him whether there was a complete catalogue of the collections here, and he said “No,” so it is up to me.

Then sat writing in the office, the sun shining, and the church bell tolling solemnly for a funeral.  Not a sound of wheeled traffic, nothing but the footsteps of a few people hurrying across the square into the churchyard, I suppose going to the service.

Heard the “commercials” chattering at dinner tonight, and discovered that the diver attack on the North was at Manchester at 5.15 on the Sunday morning before Christmas.  They said there was no warning until 10 or 15 minutes after the first one fell.  One was at Didsbury, which “did tremendous damage – awful”.  Most depressing, as this means, I suppose, that there were warnings at Alderley and Gt. Warford.  Only to think that when I heard Daphne’s voice in the starlight that night, I envied here and thought how wonderful it would be to spend the winter out there in Cheshire, far from dangers and alarms.  Who can tell what will happen now?  Perhaps they will send them as far as Chester, or even Liverpool.

Had a letter from Miss Flood, the London teacher who as here last time, suggesting a possible billet for me.  Very kind of her.  

Went back to the museum tonight.  Opened my journal boxes, as the books smell of mould.  Looked in the 1925 volume, to see what I was doing 20 years ago – working with Captain Laver on the Tumulus material, finding part of a grey-ware cover in Ryegate Road.  I can see the thing now.

Miss Thompson [the Museum Caretaker] obviously very shocked at my working at night, such a thing never done before.  Fear she must get used to it.

Bed at 11.30.  Very cold.

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