4 May 1921

4 May 1921

Hotel Beau Site, Clarens-Montreux, Switzerland

We reached Clarens at 7. The station clock was chiming. It was a cuckoo clock. Touching — don’t you think, darling? I was v. touched. But I didn’t cry. And then a motorcar, like a coffee mill, flew round & round the fields to Baugy. The manager, who is very like a goldfish, flashed through the glass doors and our journey was over . . . This hotel is admirable. The food is prodigious. At breakfast one eats little white rolls with butter & fresh plum jam & cream. At lunch one eats - but no, I can’t describe it. It could not be better though. I suppose, in the fullness of time I shall take soup at midday, too. But at present I can only watch and listen. My rooms are like a small appartement. They are quite cut off & the balcony is as big as another room. The sun rises in the morning vers les sept heures & it sets or it begins to set, for it takes its setting immensely seriously here, at seven in the evening. It has no connection whatever with the S. of France sun. This is le soleil pere — and shes a wanton daughter whose name is never mentioned here. The air, darling, is all they say. I am posing here as a lady with a weak heart & lungs of Spanish leather-o. And so far, I confess, I hardly cough except in the morning. One mustn’t be too enthusiastic though. Perhaps its the hypnotic effect of knowing one is so high up. But the air is amazing!

[To John Middleton Murry in Collected Letters, 7 May.]