Monday 21 March

This is the kind of evening when one seems to be abroad: the window is open; the yellows & greys of 
the houses seem exposed to the summer; there is that rumour & clamour which reminds one of Italy. Almost in a 
week now we shall be starting. I dislike the days before going. I went to buy clothes today & was struck by my 
own ugliness. Like Edith Sitwell I can never look like other people—too broad, tall, flat, with hair hanging. And
now my neck is so ugly… But I never think of this at home.

How disturbing the summer is! We shall sit reading with the windows open tonight, but my mind will 
only just touch the page & float off. Something unsettled & melancholy will be in the air. Also it seems the 
threshold of that vast burning London summer, which alarms me slightly, Vita & Harold will be back; my book
will be out. We shall sit in the Square. But I shall not let things worry me much. (so I say—but it is still only 
March.) We shall have a week at Cassis—a strange resurrection of us all abroad. Many years have gone since 
Nessa, Clive & I met there. Never with Leonard of course.

My brain is ferociously active. I want to have at my books as if I were conscious of the lapse of time, 
age & death. Dear me, how lovely some parts of The Lighthouse are! Soft & pliable, & I think deep, & never a 
word wrong for a page at a time. This I feel about the dinner party, & the children in the boat; but not of Lily on 
the lawn. That I do not much like. But I like the end.

I get too many letters to answer nowadays. Edith Sitwell came to tea: transparent like some white bone 
one picks up on a moor, with sea water stones on her long frail hands which slide into yours much narrower 
than one expects like a folded fan. She has pale gemlike eyes; & is dressed, on a windy March day, in three 
decker skirts of red spotted cotton. She half shuts her eyes; coos an odd little laugh, reminding me of the Fishers 
[VW's cousins]. All is very tapering & pointed, the nose running on like a mole. She said I was a great writer, 
which pleased me. So sensitive to everything in people & books she said. She got talking about her mother, 
blaspheming in the nursery, hysterical, terrible; setting Edith to kill bluebottles. 'But nobody can take a liberty 
with her' said Edith, who prides herself on Angevin blood. She is a curious product, likable to me: sensitive, 
etiolated, affectionate, lonely, having to thread her way (there is something ghostlike & angular about her) home 
to Bayswater to help cook dinner. She said she would like to attach great bags & balloons of psychology, people 
having dinner, &c, to her poems, but has no knowledge of human nature, only these sudden intense poems—
which by the way she has sent me. In other ages she would have been a cloistered nun; or an eccentric secluded 
country old maid. It is the oddity of our time that has set her on the music hall stage. She trips out into the 
Limelight with all the timidity & hauteur of the aristocratic spinster.