On this beautifully atmospheric day, a day for writers and not dog-walkers (luckily I tick both boxes hah!) my mind turns to the work ahead, beneath and above. I write this with a soaked dog running around, my red waterproof jacket dripping as it hangs off the kitchen chair and the constant pitter patter of the rain…. a typical day in August, it’s not a surprise yet everyone seems bemused and aghast when the rains come in August.
Mr Cranmer and I will be cycling in Sussex in a few week, we like our summer holiday with an essence of Autumn it seems, we shan’t be too upset if it rains too much as we’ll be cooped up in a converted stable surrounded by nature, with cups of tea, probably cake and Trivial Pursuit- the small things. I know my fingertips will itch to write and I’ll proclaim to the world and Mr Cranmer rather dramatically that I’ll be working like a tornado when I get back. This urgency to write will amplify once we visit Monks house where I will stand under the tree in Virginia &Leonards’ garden communing with Virginia’s spirit, for she is somewhat a spirit guide.
And so, here is an extract, on a day in August from a diary.
The Diary of Virginia Woolf ; Volume Four 1931-1935
Sunday 26th August (VW misdated this entry: Sunday August 25th)
Plomer & Lyn are talking outside the window. They are sitting in the walled garden, on the chairs we bought yesterday. We have left them there to read. We have supplied them with Ethel’s books, with Blind men cross the Bridge- an immense long totally absurd (work of genius the Lit Sup calls it) novel, but now they have ceased reading – indeed it is rather windy – & are talking, I catch only a word now and then. Lyn has just said that she “immensely enjoyed it”. What, I wonder? I doubt that she immensely enjoys anything. She is rather faded and suppressed & literal & conscientious wearing her horn spectacles & frowning. William I think (but L. disagrees) rather aged & disillusioned. But, against my forecast, I am enjoying the week end. For one thing the cooking has been good. Mabel ‘a treasure’. With Louie to help we live in greater comfort than any time these 5 years. Ethel came over to tea, yesterday and did her owl – who is a red wattled turkey cock- very vigorously. In fact she adds considerably to the entertainment of the week end. We sat & bawled, about God & Dulwich . She only had time for half a remark about the Prison and her complete lack of ambition.
Thursday was a horrid day though, when we took Julian Angelica & Susan to London, on a windy day &I had toothache & went to the dentist, & he says I must have 2 teeth out; & everything went as a nightmare- ending, after a bitter cold drive with a most depressing view of family life at Charleston, which I arranged into a climax of domesticity &; was thoroughly irritated with Duncan for making Nessa into Aunt Mary- cant come here, cant go to London as long as he is ill; with Nessa for her passive submission; &; with myself for being the good fairy Aunt. lord how that role can bore me – how unreal it is – & why do I act it? These were my thoughts, soothed mercifully after dinner alone by Leonard.