Category Archives: Quotations

My favourite Quotations

There are always those sentences, or those quotations, that make you stop reading, put your book down and just stare at nothing for a minute or too. Those words that you find incredibly clever and make you wish that you had thought of them first. These are a few of my personal Virginia favourites, in no particular order ….

But, before I start with my fave Virginia words, do you mind if I sneak a Thomas Hardy one in? This one is from Far from the Madding Crowd, chapter 19. Sorry Virginia.


The outskirts of this level water-meadow were diversified by rounded and hollow pastures, where just now every flower that was not a buttercup was a daisy.

‘every flower that was not a buttercup was a daisy’

‘every flower that was not a buttercup was a daisy’

… oh don’t mind me, I’m still staring at nothing.

Right, back to Virginia,


Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own




 Photo: my own, taken on South Downs September 2015

I am extremely happy walking on the downs […] I like to have space to spread my mind out in.

(Virginia Woolf’s diary, September 5 1926)

Virginia was aware that some of her days were what she called ‘non-being’ days. Or, more accurately, she acknowledged that some parts of every day were ‘non-being’. I believe that she meant those periods of time that were taken up with the minutiae of living; the domestic, the forgotten conversations and the background of ‘nondescript cotton wool’ – those parts of the day not lived consciously.


This lovely photo: courtesy of

Regarding the ‘cotton wool parts of her days’ , Virginia likened them to:

being trapped inside a grape

(A Sketch of the Past)