01 November

1 November 1920

Villa Isola Bella Menton, France

Its simply heavenly here today - warm, still, with wisps of cloud just here & there & le ciel deep blue. Everything is expanding & growing after the rain; the buds on the tea roses are so exquisite that one feels quite faint regarding them. A pink rose - ‘chinesy pink' in my mind - is out - there are multitudes of flowers and buds. And the freesias are up & the tangerines are turning. A painter whose ladder I see against the house across the valley has been singing ancient church music - awfully complicated stuff. But what a choice! How much more suited to the day and the hour than - and now, Im dished. For every song I wanted to find ridiculous seems somehow charming & appropriate & quite equally lovable.
I put more white wash on the old woman's face
Than I did on the garden wall!
For instance. That seems to me a thoroughly good song. You know the first two lines are Up an' down up an' down in an' out the window
I did no good at all.
Sam Mayo used to sing it. Things werent so bad in those days. I really believe everything was better. The tide of barbarism wasn't flowing in.
Oh, Bogey I want to ask you. Did you care about the Mayor of Cork? It was a most terrible shock to me. Id been reading about his appaling suffering in the Eclaireur and you know I never thought he would die. I thought he simply couldnt. It was a ghastly tragedy. Again, I feel the people ought to have rushed out of the prison and made Lloyd George or whoever it was free him. My plan (this sounds heartless; yes, but I would have done it, Im not laughing at the Lord Mayor - God forbid) was to kidnap Megan Lloyd George & inform the père that as long as the Lord Mayor was imprisoned she went unfed. Why don't the Sinn Feiners do things like this. Murder Carson for instance, instead of hunger strike.

[Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters]

Dream I.
I was living at home again in the room with the fire escape. It was night: Father & Mother in bed. Vile people came into my room. They were drunk. Beatrice Hastings led them. "You dont take me in old dear" said she. "You've played the Lady once too often, Miss - coming it over me." And she shouted, screamed Femme marqué and banged the table. I rushed away. I was going away next morning so I decided to spend the night in the dark streets and went to a theatre in Piccadilly Circus. The play a costume play of the Restoration had just begun. The theatre was small and packed. Suddenly the people began to speak too slowly, to mumble: they looked at each other stupidly. One by one they drifted off the stage & very slowly a black iron curtain was lowered. The people in the audi¬ence looked at one another. Very slowly, silently, they got up and moved towards the doors - stole away.
An enormous crowd filled the Circus: it was black with people. They were not speaking - a low murmur came from it - that was all. They were still. A whitefaced man looked over his shoulder & trying to smile he said: "The Heavens are changed already; there are six moons!"
Then I realised that our earth had come to an end. I looked up. The sky was ashy-green; six livid quarters swam in it. A very fine soft ash began to fall. The crowd parted. A cart drawn by two small black horses appeared. Inside there were salvation army women doling tracts out of huge marked boxes. They gave me one. "Are you Corrupted?" It got very dark and quiet and the ash fell faster. Nobody moved. [KM Notebooks, undated]