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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Feeling reflective

Sunday, January 22nd., Cadogan Square, London.

I read more of "Faust" and spent a lot of time in loose reflection - vaguely on a play and on my next Evening Standard article. I went for a walk right down over Chelsea Bridge and along Battersea Park Road, and home by Albert Bridge Road, and King's Road home. Then I filled up the time in writing to Phillpotts about Hardy's funeral.

Battersea Bridge - Norman Garstin
Battersea is a different world. I saw on a Sunday Express poster: "Hardy's last novel, by Sir Edmund Gosse." It seemed terribly absurd there. How many people in Battersea Bridge had heard of Hardy, or of Gosse, or could get up any interest whatever in a last novel though it were written by God himself?
It is a gloomy drab street, with most repulsive tenements, a big technical institute, an open gramophone shop (with a machine grinding out a tune and a song) and an open "Fun Fair" sort of place (a shop with the front taken out) and a few small boys therein amusing themselves with penny-in-the-slot machines.
We dined at Mrs. Patrick Campbell's, across the Square.
I don't know if it is my age, the state of my liver, or the weather (there has been snow on the ground for the best part of a week now) which is causing me to feel more gloomy than usual. Walking does me good, and I like the stillness of a snowy landscape, as well as the magical transformation from a place well-known to somewhere rather mysterious. We are all more or less at the mercy of our body chemistry when it comes to mood, and I am consoled by the thought that Spring will come again.

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