Saturday 5 September

And why couldn't I see or feel that all this time I was getting a little used up & riding on a flat tire? So I 
was, as it happened; & fell down in a faint at Charleston, in the middle of Q.'s birthday party: & then have lain 
about here, in that odd amphibious life of headache, for a fortnight. This has rammed a big hole in my 8 weeks 
which were to be stuffed so full. Never mind. Arrange whatever pieces come your way. Never be unseated by 
the shying of that undependable brute, life, hag ridden as she is by my own queer, difficult nervous system. Even 
at 43 I dont know its workings, for I was saying to myself, all the summer, "I'm quite adamant now. I can go 
through a tussle of emotions peaceably that two years ago even, would have raked me raw."

I have made a very quick & flourishing attack on To the Lighthouse, all the same—22 pages straight off 
in less than a fortnight. I am still crawling & easily enfeebled, but if I could once get up steam again, I believe I 
could spin it off with infinite relish. Think what a labour the first pages of Dalloway were! Each word distilled
by a relentless clutch on my brain. 

I took up the pen meaning to write on "Disillusionment". I have never had any illusion so
completely burnt out of me as my illusion about the Richmonds. This they effected between 4 & 6 yesterday.
But Elena has no beauty, no charm, no very marked niceness even! Any country parsons wife is her match. Her 
nose is red, her cheeks blowsed: her eyes without character. Even her voice & movements which used to be 
adorable, her distinction, her kindly charm—all have vanished; she is a thick, dowdy, obliterated woman, who 
has no feelings, no sympathies, prominences & angles are all completely razed bare. Seriously, one has doubts 
for her complete mental equipment. The conversation was practically imbecile: for instance: (E). I think I could 
get very fond of a house. But we are so lucky. There are some delightful people near. People who like the same 
sort of things we do. (B). We are very lucky. There are two fellows within 4 miles who were at Winchester with 
me. One went to Ceylon as a tea planter. They both farm now. Are you lucky in your clergyman? So much 
depends in the country on one's clergyman. (E). I really forget anything more from the lips of E. I believe it was 
all the same: how she would like a house with a piano: & they mean to retire & buy a house with a piano. She 
sees flowers, dogs, houses, people with the same quiet, stolid, almost coarse, at any rate dull indifference. Her 
hands are thick. She has a double chin. She wears a long American looking blueish coat, with a nondescript 
dowdy scarf, a white blouse, fastened with a diamond lizard—oh the colourlessness, drabness, & coldness of her 
personality—she whom I used to think arch & womanly & comforting! She is white haired too. Bruce is 
completely circular: round head, eyes, nose, paunch, mind. You can't stop him rolling from thing to thing. He 
never stops, he glides smoothly. It would shock him to mention writing, money, or people. All has to be 
dissolved in slang & kindliness.

Now the curious thing was that these qualities infected us both to such an extent that we were acutely 
miserable. I have sometimes felt the same when walking in the suburbs. Castello Avenue made me angry 
like this once. As for L. he was indignant. That human nature should sink so low, he said; & then that people 
should lead such aimless evil lives—the most despicable he could imagine. They took the colour, the sting, the 
individuality out of everything. And to think that I have ever wasted a thought upon what that goodtempered 
worldly little grocer thought of my writing! But E. is the great disillusionment. Partly on Thoby's account, partly 
through my own susceptibility to certain shades of female charm, I had still some glow at the thought of her. 
Now that glow is replaced by a solid tallow candle. And I feel, this morning, having pitched into bed exhausted, 
physically worn out, mentally bankrupt, scraped; whitewashed, cleaned. An illusion gone.