The heat has come, bringing with it the inexplicably disagreeable memories of parties, & George Duckworth; a fear haunts me even now, as I drive past Park Lane on top of a bus, & think of Lady Arthur Russell & so on. I become out of love with everything; but fall into love as the bus reaches Holborn. A curious transition that, from tyranny to freedom. Mixed with it is the usual "I thought that when you died last May, Charles, there had died along with you"-death being hidden among the leaves: & Nessa's birthday among the little hard pink rosettes of the may, which we used to stop & smell on the pavement at the top of Hyde Pk. Gate & I asked why, if it was may, it did not come out on the 1st; it comes out now, & Nessa's birthday, which must be her 47th, is in a few days. She is in Italy: Duncan is said to have "committed a nuisance" for which he has been fined 10 lira.
L. has been having Nelly's poisonous cold, brought by Lottie-Do I hear him? Grizzle says Yes: stands tail wagging-She is right. Vita has it; or I should be dining-
Now we have been sitting in the Square. L. is better. I am happier. Tomorrow we go to Rodmell-to find the bath & the W.C. & the drawing room with the wall pulled down. This cherry has been dangled & withdrawn so often that I scarcely believe we shall now munch it. And I must notice that the Strike still makes it necessary for me to find out trains at Victoria.
I have finished-sketchily I admit-the 2nd part of To the Lighthouse-& may, then, have it all written over by the end of July. A record-7 months, if it so turns out.
So Vita came: & I register the shock of meeting after absence; how shy one is; how disillusioned by the actual body; how sensitive to new shades of tone-something 'womanly' I detected, more mature; & she was shabbier, come straight off in her travelling clothes; & not so beautiful, as sometimes perhaps; & so we sat talking on the sofa by the window, she rather silent, I chattering, partly to divert her attention from me; & to prevent her thinking "Well, is this all?" as she was bound to think, having declared herself so openly in writing. So that we each registered some disillusionment; & perhaps also acquired some grains of additional solidity-This may well be more lasting than the first rhapsody. But I compared her state, justly, to a flock of birds flying hither thither, escaped, confused: returning, after a long journey, to the middle of things again. She was quieter, shyer, awkwarder than usual even. She has no ready talk-confronted by Nelly or Mrs Cartwright she stands like a schoolgirl. I think it quite likely she will get Harold out of his job. But then, as I always feel, with her 'grand life', Dotties & so on, whom I don't know at all, there may be many parts of her perfectly unillumined. But I cannot write. For the most part I can write. Suddenly the word instinct leaves me. This is the permanent state of most people no doubt. Maynard met George & Lady M[argaret]. at the Darwins. He is a humbug & she a fiend,he writes. She now walks with a stick. What a dreary world it is-these bubbles meeting once in 20 years or so.