The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating
1887 - 1964
To Rée Gorer...
24 December 1942
...My beloved parent has succeeded in getting out of Italy, and making his way to Switzerland, accompanied by a nurse. There, he is teaching an unfortunate pair who scarcely knew him, before the war, what life can be. The wife is the daughter of that world-scourge, Inez Chandoes-Pole, the husband is a charming, practical, quiet Swiss. The old gentleman simply descended on them like a blight. He inhabits their house, he has changed all their modes of existence. He won't let them go to bed at night, because he wishes them to sit up with him; he insists on having a hot meal of roast chicken at 4 o'clock in the morning, so that the cook has to sit up too; and when he wants anything expensive and they say that they have no money, he makes a clucking sound, puts his head on one side, tossing it irritably, and says, 'I'm afraid I can't help that!'
Portrait of Edith Sitwell by Roger Fry