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Barbara Pym

I’d forgotten that they were going to re-air her Desert Island Discs. It was an old one for Roy Plumley was hosting it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her voice before. She sounded as I’d imagined, slightly reserved, a Queen’s English voice with her sentences a little clipped. She asked for a case of white wine, German, I think, as her luxury. I forget her book. I liked her. I felt safe with her. She said she wrote in the mornings. If I manage two pages on my typewriter I am happy, she said.

Was I unkind to him yesterday? I told him of it. I smell too. We all do. I’m a little out of sorts. She said that this full moon would be a challenge. Or am I blaming it for my bad behaviour. Another beautiful morning. Fridays are bitty days, I struggle with them. No stretch of time to achieve anything worthy. So be it. What did he say? Accept more, expect less. Wise words, my love. Wise words.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.