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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Full blast

Friday, January 25th., Comarques, Thorpe-le-Soken.

I am now on the last week of "The Pretty Lady", and really in full blast. The publishers have seen the first half of it and are deeply struck by it. In fact they call it 'tremendous'. It is usually a bad sign when publishers are knocked flat by a novel, but this publisher is a writer himself, so it may be all right. 

It strikes me that this war is rather like an operatic performance ill-rehearsed. It ought by rights to come to a dead stop through some horrible blunder, or ill-will. But it never does. Except in one of my novels, I doubt if any operatic performance ever did come to a stop through stage inefficiency.

The weather in London was marvellously awful last week. Olive (Ledward that was), Marguerite and Captain Mason went with me to see "Sleeping Partners" with Seymour Hicks in it on Tuesday last. I have never cared for Hicks, but the play was most funny and improper and he was simply great in it. I had to go round to make his acquaintance. I thought I could never stand that man, but I liked him and he is lunching with me next week. 
Additionally for Seymour Hicks see 'A little dissipation', January 9th. -

In "Sleeping Partners", an early talkie, a philandering wife plays around with her lover while her equally philandering husband plays with his. When she and her lover decide to get physically involved, he takes her to his flat. Unfortunately, he accidentally gives her sleeping powder and she is forced to spend the night. Suddenly her husband appears to get some advice from the fellow. He has no idea that his wife is there. Romantic mayhem ensues until the married couple has a blissful reconciliation. Originally a successful play, the film was written, directed and starred in by Seymour Hicks.

When we came out of the theatre there was 3 inches of slush on the streets and snow driving in every direction. No taxis of course. Women, equally of course, in satin shoes. I, sensibly, had my snow shoes on and paddled Marguerite back to the flat. 

I have now finished touching-up the last of the eight full-page colour illustrations that I have done for Johnny Atkins's book on the Thames Barge. It will be priced at 10s. 6d. on account of my drawings. At present I give half a day a week to art.

Additionally for January 25th., see 'Winter holiday' -

Today the first full, empty day of the holiday. We met Aldous and Maria Huxley, who had been ski-ing. I stood about till I could risk the cold no longer, and then went for a walk, breaking often into a run. By this time (4p.pm.) all the tracks around here were in shadow. The Aldous Huxleys came for dinner and stayed till 11.55.

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