Everything in Suffolk is much more dried-up than in Kent. Until the day we arrived there had been no rain for many weeks & various crops had failed. Near S’wold saw several fields of oats & barley being harvested which had grown only 1’ or 18” high. Ears nevertheless seemed normal. Wheat crop all over the world said to be heavy.
A bedstraw hawk-moth found in our back garden & mounted by Dr Collings¹. Evidently a straggler from the continent. Said to be the first seen in that locality for 50 years.
Little owl very common round here. Brown owl does not seem to exist.
Dr C. says the snake I caught was the “smooth snake”, non-poisonous & not very common.
Today hot again.
Gipsies beginning to arrive for the hop-picking. As soon as they have pitched their caravans the chickens are let loose & apparently can be depended on not to stray. The strips of tin for cloth-pegs are cut of biscuit boxes. Three people were on the job, one shaping the sticks, one cutting out the tin & another nailing it on. I should say one person doing all these jobs (also splitting the pegs after nailing) could make 10-15 pegs an hour.
Another white owl this evening.
¹The Blairs’ family doctor at Southwold from 1921. His son, Dennis, was a friend of Orwell’s; see 109, n. 1. Peter Davison