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Saturday April 11 8.30 pm [1942]

8.30 and the sun just setting behind Ashley’s bungalows. Can hardly realise that if the clocks were not altered it would be dark by 7.30. Ted Brown has been with Bessie today and he says he remembers clearly the first time the clocks were altered. Says it was during the last war. I did not think it so long ago. B. came in slacks today and dress cap, brown with green binding. She looks very smart as she is so tall and though very bonnie is of slim build. The uniforms are of better cloth and far better cut than the soldiers’ khaki. Rene came just before they went back. She looks quite small against B. She had got a tablecloth for Maisie. It was 6/6 and looked very nice but one cannot tell how things will wash in these days. However, it was quite sufficient money for a second cousin I think. I only gave 2/6 of it as they will be having the car. Mrs Kirk paid Father the 10s/0d owing for car, when John was last on leave, of course they want taking out again. He is on leave again. They have a neck. He has not promised yet to take them. I think it is far better to say yes or no and have done with it, no in this case I think, as we have to pay cash for petrol etc.

It has been a really lovely day with sunshine nearly all day. Ron will be enjoying it at Yeadon I expect. Jean went to Sk[egness] for ointment for psoriasis. Hope it cures her. We thought she had mumps earlier in the week and asked Dr. M[enzies] to call but it turned out to be a new tooth we think. However, I wanted to ask him about the psor. so it did not matter. He is getting stout again now. My hand still very painful – think I may have to see the bone-setter again. I paid the balance of my Dr’s bill, £2 today.

I have transplanted some Cant[erbury] bells and polyanthus today and Father some white stocks. Rene brought me 2 roots of aubrietia. She thought they were different colours but both have come the same. Perhaps some of mine will be different – it isn’t in bloom yet. My violets are in bloom now, I have just one little wild wht. one but Jean has some coming on I think too. The daffodil that used to come up in the midst of Mrs Leiver’s wild plot has come up again this year in spite of all the soldiers digging and traffic. It has 3 or 4 lovely blooms. “Fair daffodil, that comes before the swallow dares, And takes the winds of March with beauty.” Only it is April this year, all things are late. Father weeded the markery bed and it is beginning to grow. Sp[ring] cabb[age] coming along too.

Sara [rabbit] has a family, born on Thursday or Friday. All we can see is a lovely bed of soft grey fur which occasionally heaves as if breathing. Had a letter from Emmie this morning. They have got their new house. Thinks Ron won’t get these holidays as they are busy cleaning. Tea rationing is strictly enforced now. 8oz per head a month and we are asked to take the whole month’s supply at once, and the coupons are not only cancelled but removed. Tea can still be purchased at any shop. I have had 1lb this week and shall get the other ½ lb next. It turns out at 6oz a week. We use about 10 oz so shall have to use coffee for Father’s flask and let Jean have cocoa for breakfast and supper and am afraid we shall have to do without our afternoon cup before Rene goes home and all the other odd cups during the day. If we have any raids I expect we shall have to indulge. Rene brought me a bot. of Horlicks today so I shall be alright for supper while it lasts. I don’t like either coff. or coc.

We have had more thunder this week, and on Tuesday night bombs shook us up a bit. I was very nervous somehow and we got up. Bombs were a good way off though. Theddlethorpe I think. One German was brought down, think we heard it. It is a beautiful night and our planes seem to have started going out again. Lots went last night and we heard a lot come back.

In addition to their two houses in Anderby Road, Ashleys’ two semi-detached bungalows were across a small field behind (west of) ‘Lenton Lodge’(see Village Map).

Bessie Brown’s uniform was that of a gunner in the ATS (see 6 Jul. 1941).

Mrs Kirk, here, was the wife of farmer and coastguard Joe (senior). Son, John, was last mentioned (as on leave) in the diary entry of 11 Jan. 1942.

Mrs Leivers’ wild plot was at ‘Corbie’, next door to ‘Lenton Lodge’ (see 6 Dec. 1940).

The ‘daffodil’ quote is based on that in William Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale, Act IV.

Markery’ – mercury or Good King Henry – a vegetable also known locally as ‘markberry’ or ‘Lincolnshire spinach’.

‘Ron won’t get…’ – meant ‘Ron won’t get there…’

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