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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Friday, 13 December 2013

A cogitating day

Sunday, December 13th., Rue de Calais, Paris.

After buying papers and tea yesterday I lunched at the little creamery in the Place de la Trinite. Then I came home and read various papers and periodicals and "Casanova", and fell asleep, sleeping uncomfortably. Then I tried seriously to find the ideas for Chapter II of new novel; I had been more or less asking for them all morning; no success. 

Then I went out for a walk, and felt tired even in starting. I walked through the St. Lazare quarter to the Madeleine and turned along the Grand Boulevard to the Grand Cafe. I like the interior of this cafe. it is as much like the respectable ugliness of an English club as anything in Paris. I ordered a cup of chocolate because I felt empty. I thought steadily for one hour over this chocolate and I seemed to leave the cafe with one or two germs of ideas. 

I walked home, cogitating. When I arrived there was a telegram from Whitten requiring my weekly article two days earlier than usual. This upset my plans somewhat. I felt so tired - I had taken a chill - that I lay down under the eiderdown on the bed and went to sleep again, reading "Casanova".

When I awoke it was dark. I made tea and felt better. A leading notion for the chapter had now formed itself. I went to the Comedie Mondaine to book a seat for Brieux's "Berceau" and then to the Duval to dine, where I read Le Temps all through. Then I bought a cigar and had coffee in the Place Clichy. I cogitated at the cafe for an hour, and then I had the whole chapter clearly outlined in my head. This is a fair specimen of one of my cogitating days.

Additionally for December 13th., see 'Military manoeuvres' -

He told me how he had been sent to some golf links with a big mobile gun, and had put gun into a good spot where it interfered with play on first hole, the officially indicated position being a bad one. The affair was urgent as a raid was expected that night. He successfully repulsed various complainants from golf club; but next morning an Infantry officer came specially down from War Office, with instructions (positive orders) that gun must be moved. 

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