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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Geneva is full!

Monday, September 10th., Hotel Beau Rivage, Geneva.

Lunch with Duff Cooper and Diana at the Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives, Geneva. Apparently Geneva is 'full'. Flags of strange new designs, of new nations, hanging about on all the big hotels. At the Beaurivage the clientele seems to be rather earnest, movement-y, and narrow-minded. The other guest at the luncheon was a middle-aged Italian flaneur, named Piacci (or some such name) who knew everybody in Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland and England (except Beaverbrook whom he tought was a brother of Rothermere). He is a type one meets in Paris; apparently kindly, broad-minded, a bit cynical, with no ambition. Friend of many authors, statesmen, princesses, etc. The Queen of Belgium has done his portrait three times. Ojetti has written his portrait in "Cosi Viste", etc., etc. A good talker but a bit too much of a solo performer. Still it was all very good.
See also, 'Alpine heat' - September 8th.,

We then drove to the hotel and Dorothy and I walked back to the Hall of the League of Nations for the afternoon session. It is a biggish hall, absolutely awful acoustics, in the ex-hotel Victoria. Atmosphere (mental) rather like the House of Commons. Physiacl atmosphere simply terrible; hot, stuffy, odorous of people in the premiere gallerie, for which Duff had got us tickets. Briand had orated in the morning, and they all said it was marvellous. But in the afternoon we saw nothing marvellous. We saw him record his vote - he is now a hunchback - on the admission of new nations to the Council. These were Persia, Venezuela - I forget the third. This business of voting on new admissions took a long time. Before that there had been statements about new rules. At the end of the declaration of the vote, the Chairman declared an interval of ten minutes. On the floor of the big Chamber, delegates and secretaries moving about and coming in and going out (especially at the back of the platform) the whole time. My general impression of the League was that something is being done there, despte the appearances of tedium and slackness.

Additionally for September 10th., see 'Beauty of Burslem' - http://earnoldbennett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/beauty-of-burslem.html

During this week, when I have been taking early morning walks with Tertia, and when I have been traversing the district after dark, the grim and original beauty of certain aspects of the Potteries, to which I have referred in the introduction to "Anna Tellwright", has fully revealed itself for the first time. Before breakfast on the heights of Sneyd Green, where the air blows as fresh and pure (seemingly) as at the seaside, one gets glimpses of Burslem and of the lands between Burslem and Norton, which have the very strangest charm.

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