Thursday 23 June

This diary shall batten on the leanness of my social life. Never have I spent so quiet a London summer. 
It is perfectly easy to slip out of the crush unobserved. I have set up my standard as an invalid, & no one bothers 
me. No one asks me to do anything. Vainly, I have the feeling that this is of my choice, not theirs; & there is 
a luxury in being quiet in the heart of chaos. Directly I talk & exert my wits in talk I get a dull damp rather 
headachy day. Quiet brings me cool clear quick mornings, in which I dispose of a good deal of work, & toss my 
brain into the air when I take a walk. I shall feel some triumph if I skirt a headache this summer.

I sat with Nessa in the Square yesterday. Angelica sends Pinker after a ball. Nessa & I sit on the seat 
& gossip. She is to see Mary; she is to go to old Bell's funeral. She is learning to motor. She has sold a picture.
The point of Clive's affair is that Mary is in love with another. This point was carefully hidden before Easter. 
His vanity was careful to hide it: her discretion. So I got my version out of proportion. The truth is odd enough 
though. Unless she will bed with him he is distracted. That she will not do; yet, for lack of him, is distracted 
herself. The love affair rather increases on her side. It is said to be for someone low in the world. This inclines us 
to think it Lord Ivor. But the point is one for curiosity only.

Vita's book [The Land] verberates & reverberates in the Press. A prize poem—that's my fling at it—
for with some relics of jealousy, or it may be of critical sense, I can't quite take the talk of poetry & even great 
poetry seriously. But the subject & the manner, so smooth, so mild, may be what I dislike; & perhaps I am 
corrupt. I wonder what I should think if I could get a cool look at some writing of my own.

Oh & Sibyl has dropped me: & I don't feel the fall.

What is then the abiding truth in this phantasmagoria, I ask myself, seeking as I often do some little 
nugget of pure gold. I think, often, I have the happiest of lives, in having discovered stability. Now one stable 
moment vanquishes chaos. But this I said in The Lighthouse. We have now sold, I think, 2555 copies.

I am distressed by my failure to make cigarettes. I had a lesson from a man in Francis Street—cant do a 
thing with my fingers. Angelica is expert with hers already. Nessa says all painters are: this is a perquisite they 
get thrown in with their gift.

And Adrian came to tea on Sunday, & fairly sparkled. At last I think he has emerged. Even his analysis 
will be over this year. At the age of 43 he will be educated & ready to start life. I remember Harry Stephen 
saying that he had his fingers on the gear—the Indian judgeship that is to say—about then. So we Stephens 
mature late. And our late flowers are rare & splendid. Think of my books, Nessa's pictures—it takes us an age to 
bring our faculties into play. And now I must write to Ethel Sands, & perhaps, go to the Ballet.