Here’s Orlando fast forwarding to imagine how his blithe, slim darling might appear at 40.  I liked ‘slim as a reed’ and above all, ‘blithe as a lark’.  May you be so, whatever your age.

And he did see her again, centuries later, and she had indeed grown unwieldy.

‘And he fancied her at forty grown unwieldy though she was now slim as a reed, and lethargic though she was now, blithe as a lark.’

Source: Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, ed. with an introduction by Rachel Bowlby (Oxford: World’s Classics, 1992), p. 51

Photo credit: Vincent van Zalinge at


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