19 Jan

19 January 1920

Casetta Deerholm, Ospedaletti - Italy

Alls Well that Ends Well. Comedy of Errors. No letters or papers. Vince came & Mrs V and Mr T. and Miss Sheila[?] in white. The trouble I've had with you Mrs Murry & the expense it's put to me - more fuss than if you had died there. The women against the flowers were so lovely - even Miss S. I had a dreadful crying fit about ‘noise & cleanliness'. It was horrible. [KM Notebooks

I am leaving here tomorrow for Menton [. . .]. This experience has been such Hell that really if I took up my pen to describe it the ink would be ashes. I have been nearly out of my mind with misery and I don't feel (one always says this but surely its true this time) that Life can ever be the same again. Its as though one had had smallpox; one could never look in the glass and see the same face.

But - to explain? There was no villa or any place to be had in San Remo (a horrid town) so I came to this small cottage on the side of a wild hill just beyond Ospedaletti. It stares, glares, gapes at the sea. It is high up & the noise of the waves beating on rocks & rushing up caverns is never still. At night sitting up one vibrates with the noise, literally. It is a pretty little house - pretty like a doll's house with a garden & terrace. I could get no maid because of my DISEASE so L.M. & I were alone here. For months I have been unable to walk - or to move at all except from my bed to a sofa or just to crawl down to a tiny room for the afternoon. Literally not a soul to talk to - L.M. very often out for hours until it is dark - the day fading, fading out here - and the dark hanging over the sea. My heart has been affected by - they say the fever. It isn't that. Its by misery. Really, I have simply wept for days. This appalling isolation - deathly stillness - great wind and sea - and this feeling that I had consumption and was tainted - dying here. [To Ottoline Morrell in Collected Letters, 20 January 1920]