So my day of rest (most days) was ruined by visiting the Record Office. The 10:26 bus left right on time at 10:32 but made it to the bus station dead on time. Then the problems began. Do I walk to the right along the long canal path or go through town and cut through the big shop? Town it is, this is quicker and I always go for the quick route.
Once through the big shop, past the unsmiling painted faces at the perfume counter, avoiding 'women's shows' and squirming at the prices on the men's jackets I came out almost on top of the path by the canal. My poor knees and I limped along the path past the huge shopping centre, over the bridge and then the doubts began. Once I had gone miles along I found a board with a map and details on it. No one had told me that while the River Cam runs through Chelmsford the River Chelmer does also! No-one told me that turning left took me to nowhere and turning right took me to the Record Office! My knees muttered loudly under their breath as they took me all the way back, over the bridge and to a place where I could cut through to the back entrance of the said Record Office. If I have not lost several pounds in weight by tomorrow I will wish to know why!
Passing through town I stopped of for a moment in the cathedral. This is a nice place to sit and ponder, unless some event is going on, and I always stop of for a moment. Much altered in recent years it has not replaced the Victorian stained glass windows and here is one of St Cedd, the first Bishop of the East Saxons. Not that I can remember much about him, nor that he would look anything like the Victorian ideal, indeed he would not have fitted in well with them I doubt, but he was a strong efficient man in his day. The sun was not bright enough to reveal the depth of colour in the window.
I spent hours in the Records Office, mostly looking through incident reports of WW2 bombs and V1 and the like that fell in this district. These reveal the confusion when an explosion of some kind occurs in the dark 'over there somewhere.' This has to be investigated, damage or casualties reported, and few if any of these men were professional. However they dealt with bomb damage, individuals made homeless or wounded, and a hundred other events including being shot at by passing German aircraft.
I was left with something of the lifestyle the man in the street endured as each day he risked passing aircraft, bullets and bombs while going about his everyday business. These were the men at home, often with family members away on service, 'carrying on' and 'muddling through' while this great event erupted around them. We are lucky we do not have that situation daily as they had.
Naturally the bits I really wished to read about came late on when I had lost my mind by reading all the comments and struggling through a mass of carbon backed paper. I will haven to go back next week and look at some of these again.
Naturally the bus home met with the 'rush hour,' streams of red lights ahead of us, yellow ones to either side, and roundabout after roundabout hindering our advance to home. Now home, fed badly and watered just as badly I ache all over, await the pains in the knee keeping me awake, and worse still there is no football on the TV!