(first day of winter time). Why is life so tragic; so like a little strip of pavement over an abyss? I look down; I feel giddy; I wonder how I am ever to walk to the end. But why do I feel this? Now that I say it I don't feel it. The fire burns; we are going to the Beggar's Opera. Only it lies about me; I can't keep my eyes shut.It's a feeling of impotence: of cutting no ice. Here I sit at Richmond, and like a lantern stood in the middle of a field my light goes up in darkness. Melancholy diminishes as I write. Why then don't I write it down oftener? Well, one's vanity forbids. I want to appear a success even to myself. Yet I don't get to the bottom of it. It's having no children, living away from friends, failing to write well, spending too much on food, growing old - I think too much of the whys and wherefores; too much of myself. I don't like time to flap round me. Well then, work. Yes, but I so soon tire of work - can't read more than a little, an hours writing is enough for me. Out here no one comes in to waste time pleasantly. If they do, I'm cross. The labour of going to London is too great. Nessa's children grow up, and I can't have them in to tea, or go to the zoo. Pocket money doesn't allow of much. yet I'm persuaded that these are trivial things: it's life itself, I think sometimes, for us in our generation so tragic - no newspaper placard without its shriek of agony from some one. Unhappiness is everywhere: just beyond the door; or stupidity which is worse. Still I don't pluck the nettle out of me. To write Jacob's Room again will revive my fibres, I feel. And with it all how happy I am - if it weren't for my feeling that it is a strip of pavement over an abyss.