Blackberries (2)

The ground was still wet but I went to pick some anyway. There were loads of them, some still small but very juicy. They came away from the stalk like a dream. It became quite compulsive, though many of the best ones were too high for me to reach. The sun shone quite unexpectedly. The damp soil smelt strange. I can’t really describe it. I didn’t really like the smell. It smelt of clay with a hint of dog poo. It stuck to my shoes. My footwear wasn’t appropriate.

I had to bring the call to a swift conclusion. I felt bad about it. She’d been talking about meeting friends in her conservatory to do some painting. Her son was due to visit that evening. She is lonely. She is a gregarious, social being. It will be nice to have someone to say good morning to and good night to, she said. Yes. It is as simple as that sometimes. Poor love. She does well. That is, she manages. But I suspect she is lonely and sad sometimes. And she is too smiling a woman to be sad. I didn’t give as much of myself to her as I ought to have done. I am sorry. Next time I will be better. I promise.

I found a piece of blue and white in the soil. An old piece, I think. Not a transfer, certainly. A small treasure.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.