If there wasn’t such a fuss made about Christmas would being alone at this time be so acute? I don’t know. I know many who are and will be. People who are usually with at least one family member, for better or for worse. Some are choosing to remain solitary for safety reasons, others because they have no choice. I am sorry for the sociable ones, the ones for whom their own company has begun to pall. I am not alone, though I’ve had Christmases when I have been. It was strange and a little melancholy but it was certainly made worse by my memories of noisier times and of a sense that there was a perfect Christmas to be had somewhere.

Town is bleak these mornings, only a few lighted windows and with so many shops with signs in the door saying they are closed and will open again soon. It is a sorry time.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.