Barbara Pym (1913-1980) was een Engelse schrijfster. Dagboekfragmenten van haar zijn opgenomen in A very private eye. An autobiography in diaries and letters.
1 June. The last day of being sweet-and-twenty. And very sad it made me to think so. In fact at about lunch time I could have been in tears about it. In the afternoon I went with Harry to the Bath and West Show - it was lovely, though very hot. The fine bulls and pigs took my mind off Schools for a while. Among those present (also looking at the pigs) were Mr Barnicot and Count Roberto Weiss.
Supper with Jock and Lorenzo was lovely - they said I looked blonde and Aryan, like something on the cover of Die Woche! We drank sherry and Liebfraumilch and I feit a little dazed and amorous.
2 June. My 21 st birthday - and in many ways not a happy day. Was excited in the morning waiting for Links and Hilary to come. We had a good meal at the Cadena and tea in my rooms - it was very hot. They went quite soon afterwards and down the Banbury Road too. They took me with them some of the way. And I called on Henry on spec. as I was rather depressed by then. He was in, as it happened and iust going to have his tea. Then he had a bath while I read Spence's Anecdotes to him. The bath put him in rather a bad temper though. I retired to the other room and was sitting on the floor reading Goethe when Jockie came in and he was very pleased to see me. He was frightfully funny imitating Bodley's Librarian with whom he'd been to tea. I had supper with them and slipped away before 10.30. Jockie read Jane Austen to me and Barnicot played chess with Henry. When I got back I felt miserable and conscience stricken - so that I cried much in bed. Silly Sandra, but I suppose it was a relief.
4 June. I did 7 hours revision today - Wordsworth and Beowulf. It was rather cheerless. After dinner, at about 9.15, I got into a panic about Gawain and longed for congenial company. So I rushed to 86 Banbury Rd. Henry came to the door but seemed bad tempered and not pleased to see me. But Jockie was sweet - also Barnicot in his silent way - and together they managed to calm me. Henry drove me home, and was surprisingly sweet. He told me to try and get to bed early and said I was to come and see them whenever I liked. I loved him for being a little kind - it made such a difference.