Wed. May 12. 10 o’clock pm. [1943]

It has been a stormy day with a soft “torn-down” wind and occasional flying showers tho’ we did not catch many. It has calmed down at last. I hope it does not rise in the night. Last night just after putting out my light about 11.30, there was a rumbling explosion and the windows and doors rattled then the rumble came again and the house and bed seemed to heave as if a wave passed under from west to east. It reminded me of the earthquake shock we had nearly 12 years ago now. A plane was shot down on E. Coast, it may have been that. J. Kirk thinks it was gun practice on Norfolk Coast. He says there were several more explosions after 2 a.m. when Father came home. Fa said there was a very heavy one about 10. I must have gone sound asleep as I only heard the one between 11 and 12 pm. There have been a few more bumps or explosions tonight, the last ½ hour. Hope there won’t be any more as it’s time Jean and I were in bed. Having no siren we do not know if enemy planes are in the vicinity. I am often pleased we have not, but when alone and there are explosions about it would be nice to feel secure when there was no warning. Jean has had toothache tonight. It has eased a bit now after applying some of Heely’s embrocation. Expect it is these cold winds.

We continue to take a lot of prisoners in Tunisia and have encircled Cape Bon enclosing enemy in centre so there is no chance of him getting away by sea. It seems a pity they do not surrender and save unnecessary blood-shed. They drove 17,000 sheep into the peninsula with them so do not mean to starve. Some of the others are still fighting desperately. Winston C. is in America. We were wondering where he was. He arrived Wash’ton about 1 a.m. our time this morning.

I have just read a book by “Alyce Simpson”, “The Convent”. It is a true story I think of a young girl going into a convent intending to be a nun, but after staying part of the 3 years she runs away. It tells how some of the young women go mad in time and some just go silly. Some of course really do seem to have a “vocation” and to be saints. A great many get tuberculosis owing to bad air and bad food and lack of hygiene and cleanliness. A.S. is a woman who lived here at one time and still has a wood house or houses down Landseer Ave. They are after the style of Swiss chalets. She is a Swiss lady. Her husband built them. She has two daughters, don’t know if she has any more family. They are called “Swiss” of Chalet Simpson to know them from the various Sims in the village. When we were children we were the only Sims in C[hapel village] but now there is just Fr[ank] to represent our family, then there is farmer F Sim. Josh Sim. and a family from Boston semi-retired besides the Swiss people. I wonder if it is part of her own life. Later – It is. I read it thro’ very quickly as it was very interesting, not thrilling, more in the nature of a “human document”.

Wind keeps rising in gusts, but it seems quiet in other ways so must retire. Father on watch until 2 a.m. He will be tired as he came off at 2 a.m. to-day, and has been to Boston with Granthams, then took milk to pigs from J Kirks. Our potatoes (Divernous [? unclear]) and peas are up, and eshallots doing well. Rest of garden not planted yet except onions.

Alyce Simpson, unrelated, Swiss, an author, previously lived locally, in Landseer Avenue. Two ‘chalets’, ‘Alpha’ (occupied by Mrs Blakey – see 10 Jan. 1943) and ‘Beta’ were semi-detached and another, ‘Gamma’, was detached.

Josh (‘Jos’) Simpson was the son of farmer Frank Simpson (see 10 Sep. 1941), whose farm he took over. He was a Home Guard member.

Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?

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