I’ve only just found out that he died. Two months ago. Why should I assume that anyone would’ve let me know? And yet, I would’ve like to have known, even gone to the funeral. There was a time when I was almost part of their family, or perhaps that was in my head. We were never close, he and I, I didn’t really hold much interest for him, other than my Englishness and the opportunity I gave him to tell and retell l the anecdote about Summerville College in Oxford. Nevertheless, he played a part in my life. He was kind. He was generous. He welcomed me in. Towards the end he looked so scared. I hope the fear went and that he welcomed death peacefully. And she? I will try to call her today. She still has a part of my heart and will do always. Rest in peace, J., and godspeed.

Lots of dreams again. Near the end of the final one I was attacked by a blackbird. A fierce little thing it went for my face. I held it back with some kind of weapon, though only to block it, I didn’t harm it. Then it changed, shrank and smiled at me (yes, with its beak). You worry too much, it said, looking me in the eyes.

In an earlier dream I was told I was going to be someone’s secretary and I wasn’t displeased.

I wish I could’ve helped her more but she has her family. It is enough.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.