Tuesday 23 November

Here I must resolve first of all to find some long solid book to read. What? Tristram Shandy? French 
memoirs? This is on top of a discussion, at tea about Angus. He dont do, L. says: will never make a manager. So 
then shall it be another attempt, or Cape, or Secker? These difficulties recur. I should not much like writing for 
Cape; yet if the Press is sagging on our shoulders, there is little sense in waiting on. Next year L. thinks we could 
sell to advantage. It gives one a full life: but then life is so full already. Colefax complicates the scene—Colefax 
is the death of this book. Aren't I always reading her scrawls or answering them. This culminated last week 
in her dining alone with me, off cold chicken. I found us talking socially, not intimately, she in pearls (shams 
Vita says) popping up one light after another: like the switch board at the telephone exchange at the mention 
of names. Geoffrey Scott, Percy Lubbock[,] whoever it might be. Perfectly competent, &, for her purpose, 
efficient. She is, I maintain, a woman of the world: has all her senses tuned to that pitch. The machine doesn't
work in private, though she was very anxious, poor aspiring, slightly suspicious & uneasy woman, that it should. 
She told me how she had lived till she married running after old ladies with their knitting. So, on marriage, but 
she was only 19, had kicked her heels up: determined to live, like Violet's mother, who leant out of the Palace 
window at Auckland & said, to an old man selling kippers, Is this life? But now, aged 50, she asks, Is this life? 
again—rushing round, dining & giving dinners; never able to concentrate in a corner, & secretly, in my opinion, 
not desiring it but pretending it, as she has the habit of pretence. This is all right in her, but wrong in me. So we 
don't altogether amalgamate; but I have my reservations, she hers. In came Dadie, to our relief, somewhat; then 
Sir Arthur, breezy, cheery, competent, patting her, controlling her, petted by her (she reverted to her arch girlish 
days, when she could eat soup & potatoes without any thought of her figure) sitting on the edge of my shabby 
dirty down at heels arm chair.

All this rushes on apace. Fame grows. Chances of meeting this person, doing that thing, accumulate. 
Life is as I've said since I was 10, awfully interesting—if anything, quicker, keener at 44 than 24—more 
desperate I suppose, as the river shoots to Niagara—my new vision of death; active, positive, like all the rest, 
exciting; & of great importance—as an experience.

'The one experience I shall never describe' I said to Vita yesterday. She was sitting on the floor in her 
velvet jacket & red striped silk shirt, I knotting her pearls into heaps of great lustrous eggs. She had come up 
to see me—so we go on—a spirited, creditable affair, I think, innocent (spiritually) & all gain, I think; rather a 
bore for Leonard, but not enought to worry him. The truth is one has room for a good many relationships. Then 
she goes back again to Persia, with Leigh Ashton—that putty faced low voiced rather beaten cur, who is always 
slinking off with his tail between his legs, but gives, they say, oyster suppers.

I am re-doing six pages of Lighthouse daily. This is not I think, so quick as Mrs D.: but then I find much 
of it very sketchy, & have to improvise on the typewriter. This I find much easier than re-writing in pen & ink. 
My present opinion is that it is easily the best of my books, fuller than J.'s R. & less spasmodic, occupied with 
more interesting things than Mrs D. & not complicated with all that desperate accompaniment of madness. It is 
freer & subtler I think. Yet I have no idea yet of any other to follow it: which may mean that I have made my 
method perfect, & it will now stay like this, & serve whatever use I wish to put it to. Before, some development 
of the method brought fresh subjects in view, because I saw the chance of being able to say them. Yet I am now 
& then haunted by some semi mystic very profound life of a woman, which shall all be told on one occasion; & 
time shall be utterly obliterated; future shall somehow blossom out of the past. One incident—say the fall of a 
flower—might contain it. My theory being that the actual event practically does not exist—nor time either. But I 
dont want to force this. I must make up my Series book.