During the last day or two both Marguerite and I have definitely decided that we prefer living in the country. I had settled that we wanted a small chateau, in this district if possible, where there is forest and river and all sorts of other scenery. And we were to have an auto and a small yacht on the river and to give up the Paris flat: this change was to occur in about two years’ time when my lease of No. 3 Rue d’Aumale would expire. Before dinner we went for a walk to Saint Mammès, where the water was busy with great barges. And I had suddenly the great idea of abandoning my deep ambition for a sea-going yacht, and having a barge as big as their barges, fitted up as a luxurious houseboat, with a small motor attached. This would serve as a complete moving home in summer, and we could go all over France in it, (We should keep the flat). Indeed we could go all over Europe init. This scheme took hold of me so strongly that I thought of nothing else all the evening, and became quite moody.
Journals of Arnold Bennett, July 22, 1907.