Monday, 17th (September 1917)

For the last 3 days I have been shaking and rattling my watch in vain endeavours to make it go.  Today I wound it up and it went.  This morning two or three of us were on a leisurely job in a shed where there were a couple of white-wash buckets, when a rather timid new chum asked if he could borrow one of the said buckets.  The reply from one of the old hands, without flinching a muscle, and which the enquirer took quite seriously was: you can have it; one of the diggers was “going to whitewash the nose-bags but there isn’t time to do it now”.

8 p.m.  The official end of summer has come and the clocks were put back an hour this morning.  It is now dark by about 7 p.m.  Fields are often dotted with mole-hills – small heaps of loose earth thrown up by the creatures.  Autumn tints are beginning to be noticeable.  An interesting feature of Farnham is the Almshouses – often very handsome comfortable-looking buildings.  Everywhere are cottages and houses with Virginia creeper climbing over them, now a blaze of colour.  In England one is struck with the stability of things – where we would have a wooden culvert or length of piping they will build one of bricks or stone like a complete little bridge, – a cow-byre or piggery will be, as often as not, a solid brick building.  So much more care is taken and economy exercised.  Instead of turning a mob of sheep helter-skelter into a field of kale or rape or turnip, they put half a dozen at a time into a movable pen about 5 yards square until they have eaten every scrap enclosed by it, then move it on, until the whole field has been eaten, not trampled into the ground.  How good are the cloud and sky effects here.  This is no doubt accountable from the fact that England being nearer the pole the sun is at a lower angle than with us and strikes the clouds more in the flanks.

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