Evidently a good deal of rain last night. Today overcast, not cold, a few spots of rain in the afternoon. Leaves coming down pretty fast now.
Today went into Baldock. Bought small sieve (2/-). Impossible to get iron stakes for wire netting. Timber almost unprocurable. Managed to get 2 very poor 6 ft. stakes for gate-posts of hen-run. Put them up this evening & shall shift wire tomorrow if not raining. Tried to mow grass, but the machine in its present state makes no impression. Shall have to leave it till the spring, then get it scythed. Mr K. mended the spade by using the handle of the broken fork. Quite a good mend but leaves the spade a bit short. Paid 1/-. Impossible to sow broad beans yet as the ground will not get fine. Clarke’s sent shallots today & shall plant them by way of experiment when I get time. NB. That 2 lb. shallots = about 60 bulbs (say 2 rows). There are now 2 barn owls which live in the stumpy elm tree, & evidently it is they that make the sawing noise. I suppose these are the ones that used to be called screech-owls, & the ordinary brown owl is the one that makes the to-whoo noise.
6 eggs. Started hens on course of Karswood today[a]. Also giving them more shell-grit.
[a] Lasted till 14.11.39 (26 hens). [Orwell’s note]
 Unidentified neighbour. Peter Davison