Harold Nicolson’s diary, this day in 1932:
There is a dead and drowned mouse in the lily-pond. I feel like that mouse – static, obese and decaying. Vita is calm, comforting and considerate. And yet (for have I not been reading a batch of insulting press-cuttings?) life is a drab and dreary thing. I have missed it. I have made a fool of myself in every respect.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights, and from life’s dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God?
Very glum. Discuss finance. Vita keeps on saying that we have got enough to go on with. But when one goes into it, that represents only two months. I must get a job. Yet all the jobs which pay humiliate. And the decent jobs do not pay. Come back to Long Barn. Arrange my books sadly. Weigh myself sadly. Have put on eight pounds. Feel ashamed of myself, of my attainments, and my character. Am I a serious person at all? Vita thinks I should make £2,000 by writing a novel. I don’t. The discrepancy between these two theories causes me some distress of mind.