In my dream I was staring down at it. It was a bath, a white bath, quite small and narrow, not new but clean. I love roll-top baths, I heard myself say to someone and yet it wasn’t a roll-top but an old-fashioned, common-o-garden bath. It was sunk into the floor, very low. Why had I dreamt of this? And why did it feel so momentous? I must have stood looking at it for a long time. Is it because I am going somewhere where there are no baths (well I am assuming that is the case) and will have to make do with showers, when I love bathing so┬ámuch? Perhaps. Or is it more symbolic than that? About cleaning myself, my thoughts, my life, maybe. I’ve been thinking about the empty space project a lot, where I go in and prepare a space for work. Where I clean it through and through and then paint it white. I don’t make work, for the cleaning, the preparing is the work. There is peace in it, I think. All those empty, unloved spaces, I want to see their potential and make them open, clean, white, ready.

The Christmas decorations are up along Great Darkgate Street. Are they turning them on soon? I long to see the London lights. It will be fun. It will make me ready.

There’s an inset day on Thursday, she said, zapping my apples, I might put them up then. She’s already told us about her little street scene. What with elves and snow? I asked. No, real people, she said, streets and things. She is so excited. Her eyes light up. And will you let the children help? Oh, I don’t think, so, she said, laughing.

We’re watching Brooklyn again. I lap it up. It is gorgeous. And he is enchanting, as is she, but he is especially so. He inhabits the state of being in love so beautifully. That young state. I felt such nostalgia, such joy, such exuberance. I haven’t felt such euphoria of late, for a long while even. Has it passed? Has age withered it’s possibility? I do hope not. I lay in bed thinking of him and what he represents and couldn’t sleep for the idea of him and all those who have gone before. My imaginings. Not real but so tempting. So enthralling. And now I am old. So be it. There is kindness, steadiness and peace, sometimes. It is enough, mostly.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.