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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Almost idyllic

Saturday, May 2nd., Villa des Nefliers, Avon.

Today I finished the death of Samuel Povey in "The Old Wives Tale". Thought it perhaps a shade too stiff, too severe, as a narrative; no little dodges to divert the reader on his way. The fact is: I have been influenced by Beyle's scorn of ornament and device. See also, 'Living for today' - April 3rd. <http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/living-for-today.html>

I haven't arranged my days here. I am doing no reading, no fine writing, no disciplinary thought of any kind. It is true that I still spend about two hours a day in working at the arrangement of the house, but then I get up at 6.30, and before 8 I have had my tea and read newspapers and correspondence. I am still hoping to keep this journal more fully; but I shall never do it in this format which is too small. I dream of a folio double-column page, and I will realise that as soon as I have finished the present volume, if I can find a good paper that is not too opaque. That is the sole difficulty.

We both enjoy ourselves tremendously here. I take pleasure that may positively be called 'keen' in walking across the park, getting a shave in a picturesque talkative barber's shop, and then strolling about the town. Our surroundings are certainly almost ideal; and the weather now is ditto. The fruit trees are in blossom. Lilac and peonies are coming. I startled a lizard yesterday in the forest. And there is a general cloak of thin green on the branches. We have tea in the kiosk, and eat our other meals with the door open. Today I had to close the persiennes of my study against sun and heat. And this month I shall be 41!

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