23rd February 1945

Dull damp day.  Began to rain.  Had an excellent night.  Dull roar of ‘planes all morning, going out above the rain-clouds.

Am becoming more and more engrossed in the Library, but managed to break away to write a few letters.  Edwards in again, talked vaguely of how many years ago he either destroyed or sold (he didn’t seem to know which) a lot of novels – “hundreds” he said.  Found a lot more novels today, at least 50, including another set of Dickens.

Rain kept on.  Have arranged to go to Cambridge on Monday, and was going to Colchester first.  Weather so miserable have now decided to go down to Colchester on Tuesday, after Cambridge.  Wrote cards to this effect, and ‘phoned Mary Ralling tonight for her to tell Father.

Going in to dinner tonight, saw six heavy lorries (civilian, not army) going along South Brink full of either shells or bombs, each flying a red flag on the bonnet.

Noticed tonight that the clock in Bridge Street was now lighted for the first time for 5 and a half years.  Unfortunately it was not going, so the effort was rather wasted.  First time I’ve seen a clock lit up since 1939.  Another gas-lamp has been put on in the Crescent, on one of the old original wall-brackets of 100 years ago, and the light now sheds a gentle radiance along the grey-green brick facades.  How important lighting is to architecture, and how very little considered – everywhere hideous and unsuitable lamps put up against the very best buildings.

Worked until 9.30, then to Art Club Room in Old Market, with a note for Mrs. Swift about my moving.  Met Mrs. Day Shuker and her young daughter coming out on their way to the Caldonian dance, and walked back as far as the church-yard with them.

Back to “Lion”, had the lounge to myself for half an hour, so listened to the music of Les Sylphides with great delight.  News at 10 said that Turkey had declared war on Germany and Japan.  The great fat Smith, the potato buyer came in, very drunk, talked filth, and gave me a couple of eggs.

No comments: