Saturday, 1st September (1917)

An interesting gathering in the old pub last night.  The landlady, a pleasant enough woman, chatting with her guests: an intelligent man of about 35 buying some bottled beer and having a yarn with us; a middle-aged chap dressed like a city clerk or business man; a jolly old chap with a bushy beard who cracked a few jokes; two typical old hay-seeds who omitted little sound other than an occasional dry cackle and who were decorated with what R. calls chin-weed, and who both smoked tiny clay pipes; and lastly, we two antipodean artillerymen.  It seemed to give the beer a good taste.

6. p.m. “Runnymede” – the name of the cottage in Crondall where we feed.  The good wife is just frying the eggs.  Ate innumerable ripe blackberries and did a sketch showing Farnham in distance – hay stooks in foreground.  The Crondall Church is of Norman architecture built about 1150, the tower being added some 5 or 6 centuries afterwards.  The pub is about 200 years old.  This village was once the most important centre hereabouts, more so than Fleet or Aldershot, that is why it has more historical interest.  This information from the village grocer, from whom R. purchased some very nice cakes called Parkins, crumbly things browned on both sides flavoured with coconut, and full of raisins.  Kapai!

Wet weather is menacing the crops throughout the district.  In many fields the stooks appear to be going rotten and where grain is still uncut it is getting sodden and broken down.  There are many large fields of clover which look pretty and smell better.  Tore a hole in my unmentionables climbing a fence – so to the end of another day.

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