The year 1934 saw the commencement of a curious psychological contest between Stanley and Patricia. His male creative instinct demanded that in order to transform her into an emblem of his longed-for creative feelings, he needed to absorb her personality into his metaphysical outlook, in the way his Hilda had been so willingly subsumed. There would need to be affinity between them, a unity, comparable to that between himself and Hilda.

But Patricia had no intention of allowing herself to be subsumed, and certainly not by Stanley. She was
secular in outlook, self-centredly pragmatic, and scornful of Stanley's visionary ideas on art, most of which she saw as outlandish. In other circumstances, their relationship might have withered into the straightforward acquaintance with which it began. But Patricia needed money, and decided that Stanley might be induced to provide it. To keep his interest in her, she adopted a policy of exciting the sexual fantasies she found she held for him, while teasingly diverting his attempts at mythologising her. So their strange contest began.

During the long spells when Hilda was away in Hampstead, the pair frequently met for lunch at Lindworth or, when Patricia was not well, at Moor Thatch. Stanley's 1934
daybook (a Boots' annual foolscap desk diary given to him as a Christmas gift from Patricia) frequently records his frustration when his earnest attempts to rate her, as he put it, continually ended in bafflement. His entry for Wednesday January 3rd. for example, reads P comes with fresh chop for lunch. Cannot fathom her system [of thought.]
The intriguing chop and leg of lamb which Stanley incorporated as detail in his 1936 Double Nude of himself and Patricia, sometimes called The Leg of Mutton Nude (Tate Gallery), must play a significant part in an interpretation of the painting, the foreground meat perhaps representing memory-feelings which associated their lunch sessions with his vain attempts at absorbing Patricia's system into his own. The isolation of the two figures in the painting (they were no doubt drawn separately, an oil stove lit to keep her warm, and later coalesced into a single composition) suggests that by 1936 Stanley had been forced to recognise their incompatibility on the up-in-heaven level he had hoped for.Yet the almost clinical content of the imagery surely indicates that her sexual invitation remained strong enough to excite him to continue a relationship with her which, although not leading to new Cookham-feelings as he had hoped, offered pictorial possibilities he had not foreseen.

At the same time as Stanley was paintings these nudes, he was also producing works in a series on the up-in-heaven-love aspects of marriage, incorporating memories of
boyhood Fernlea in The Marriage at Cana series and of his life wth Hilda as the Domestic Series. It seems at first sight odd that while producing the latter, he was actively persuading Hilda to divorce him so that he could marry Patricia. But we should bear in mind that his up-in-heaven aspirations always took precedence over his down-to earth life (my behaviour [as seen by others] is quite difficult) and that in fact he was engaged on the strange and complex plan to coalesce them described in the next webpage.