Grocery Shopping With Virginia Woolf

 I like Vita Sackville-West and being with her and the splendor–she shines in the grocer’s shop . . . with a candle-lit radiance.

Virginia Woolf, quoted in “A Madwoman and Her Nurse,” Cynthia Ozick


“You’re not really going to pay £3 for a 1.5 litre bottle of Diet Coke, are you?”


Dear Diary:

Went to Marks & Spencer this morning with the rest of the Bloomsbury Group.  Lytton Strachey purchased mango-chutney bubble gum for us all, quite a treat.  I get so flustered at the check-out counter, where there is such a fecund array of candies.  Leonard says I must not bring home any more jujube’s, I am “sweet enough already,” he is too kind.

Vanessa Bell is living apart from Clive, she and Maynard Keynes performed the beast with two backs coram publico on the aisle three conveyor belt.  They were going at it like hedgehogs in heat when the sales clerk called for a price check on blanc mange.  Apparently it threw her off her game and she left the market unsatisfied, except for the 2-for-1 special on tinned meat.

Must remember to pick up McVitie’s Digestive Chocolate Tea Break Treats tomorrow, or this world will be too much for me.

Diary Dearest–

I seem to have brought home the wrong tabloid from the market.  It says that Queen Mary gave birth to a two-headed baby, I wanted the one with the alien spaceship crashing into the Tower of London–that’s something you don’t see every day.

Slow but steady progress on the novel, stuck for a name.  To the Garage, To the Dock, To the . . . something.  Will let you know tomorrow if I survive the night.

“Oh my God–a single bag of Walker’s Prawn Cocktail Crisps is 185 calories!”



Roger Fry has apparently put his wife in the looney bin and is now living with Vanessa Bell.  Leonard says he drove poor Helen mad with all the junk food he stuffed her with–Ho-Ho’s, Ring-Dings, and Twinkies, the whole bloody sugar-saturated mess.

My madness feeds me at the same time that it devours me.  I should listen to the voices in my head that tell me not to go shopping on an empty stomach–how else did I end up with three frozen bangers and mash with onion gravy radio dinners?

*Sniff*  Do I smell Jiffy-Pop?


My dearest diary,

You have warned me about Vita Sackville-West and her Sapphic tendencies, but oh!  How beautifully she shops at the green grocers!  Brussel sprouts, endive, rutabagas, the most erotic purple eggplant!  The splendor, the radiance with which she squeezes the to-mah-toes!

Our friendship is tinged with amorosity, which by the way is on sale at 69p a head, two for one pound twenty tuppence.  That’s a good price, idn’t it?

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