Jonathan would often visit me at Hilldrop Crescent, bringing flowers. He was usually in a ‘low mood’ because his feelings for Lorna Sage were so intense, and I would do my best to comfort him. We continued to go out together from time to time.
However, my social and professional life was a whirlwind of job-searching ( looking at the ‘Jobs’ section of the New Statesman); net-working at parties; and,most importantly, writing.
I’d had a poem accepted ( The Ophelia Syndrome), by Michael Ivens (the editor of Twentieth Century magazine) ; and from then on beloved Michael gave me books to review and articles to write for him.
Meanwhile, he decided to make me his protege, to educate me in all things literary and gastronomic; introduce me to this friends: William Gerhardie, Michael Holroyd and Olivia Manning. and to wine and dine me across London at The Wig and Pen club, L’Escargot, and L’Epicure in Frith Street.
He gave me an extensive reading list, too: Ivy Compton- Burnett’s novels; Heaven’s My Destination by Thornton Wilder; and Max Beerbohm’s The Happy Hypocrite, and many review copies to read. The poetry of Verlaine , Rimbaud, and Baudelaire.
I wrote a long piece on the poet, ‘In Retrospect:Wallace Stevens’ in a series on ‘Twentieth Century Reputations Revalued’, and another piece entited: ‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair or ‘Has the ‘exotic’in poetry gone out of fashion.
A typical day with Michael would start with lunch at the Wig and Pen; afternoon tea at the Waldorf hotel; and end with gin fizzes at Bentley’s. En route, Michael would buy me dresses – and books!
We would stay at Howard’s hotel or go down to Rye for the weekend. Reading and writing poems; eating delicious food; and talking and gossiping the whole time. They were good years .