Sunday 18 April

<This is written>

This is not written very seriously.—obviously not—to try a pen, I think. And it is now [Friday] April 
30th, the last of a wet windy month, excepting the sudden opening of all the doors at Easter, & the summer 
displayed blazing, as it always is, I suppose; only cloud hidden. I have not said anything about Iwerne Minster. 
Now it would amuse me to see what I remember it by. Cranbourne Chase: the stunted aboriginal forest trees, 
scattered, not grouped in cultivations; anemones, bluebells, violets, all pale, sprinkled about, without colour, 
livid, for the sun hardly shone. Then Blackmore Vale; a vast air dome & the fields dropped to the bottom; the 
sun striking, there, there; a drench of rain falling, like a veil streaming from the sky, there & there; & the downs 
rising, very strongly scarped (if that is the word) so that they were ridged & ledged; then an inscription in a 
church "sought peace & ensured it", & the question, who wrote these sonorous stylistic epitaphs?—& all the 
cleanliness of Iwerne village, its happiness & well being, making me ask, as we tended to sneer. Still this is the 
right method, surely; & then tea & cream—these I remember: the hot baths; my new leather coat; Shaftesbury, 
so much lower & less commanding than my imagination, & the drive to Bournemouth, & the dog & the lady 
behind the rock, & the view of Swanage, & coming home.

And then it was horror: Nelly; faced her going; was firm yet desolate; on Tuesday she stopped me on the 
landing said "Please ma'am may I apologise?" & this time we had been so resolute & implicitly believed her that 
I had written 6 letters. No cooks however came; & I had enough look into the 'servant question' to be glad to be 
safe again with Nelly. Now I vow come what may, never never to believe her again. "I am too fond of you ever 
to be happy with anyone else" she said. Talking of compliments, this is perhaps the greatest I could have. But my 
mind is wandering. It is a question of clothes. This is what humiliates me—talking of compliments—to walk in 
Regent St, Bond Str &c: & be notably less well dressed than other people.

Yesterday I finished the first part of To the Lighthouse, & today began the second. I cannot
make it out—here is the most difficult abstract piece of writing—I have to give an empty house, no people's 
characters, the passage of time, all eyeless & featureless with nothing to cling to: well, I rush at it, & at once 
scatter out two pages. Is it nonsense, is it brilliance? Why am I so flown with words, & apparently free to do 
exactly what I like? When I read a bit it seems spirited too; needs compressing, but not much else. Compare this 
dashing fluency with the excruciating hard wrung battles I had with Mrs Dalloway (save the end). This is not 
made up: it is the literal fact. Yes, & I am rather famous. For the rest, we dally about the Nation. Maynard, 
dressed in a light overcoat, is back; hums & haws about standing for the Provost of King's. We tell him Lydia 
would like it. He says it means middle age & respectability. I feel some sympathy for him. This is because he is 
going grey, I tell Clive. Clive's back; Nessa departing, & I worrying about my clothes, & how Roger last night 
upset me by saying that Nessa finds fault with my temper behind my back. Then (at Ralph's new left handed 
establishment) Inez, rather like Vivien [Eliot] to look at, searches into my eyes with her greenish pink-rimmed 
ones, & says, I must tell you two things: then she tells me that she admires me. That swallowed (doubtfully) she 
says, Did you ever have an affair with Oliver? The connection is this: she disliked me, from jealousy. I protest I 
never kissed him, & he never looked at me. She refuses to believe. So she has been refusing to believe for 
years—A queer little interview, stage managed by Oliver* & she: at last brought off. I called in Leonard, & I 
think convinced her.

* Oliver denied all knowledge of this; & said she invented it in order to have an excuse for an intimate conversation. “So 
many women are like that” said Rose Macaulay sitting spruce lean, like a mummified cat, in her chair (this is written Aug.