He read from The Times’ Nature Diary at breakfast this morning and apparently this week is the last time we will hear blackbirds singing till next February. How sad. But the robins will be starting their chorus soon and, as the writer says, it is beautiful. A rook was perched on the roof outside my studio window when I came in just now to begin work. It is a struggle to start. I long┬áto play truant, to go on a trip, to fly away. But I cannot. I need this regimen. Write every day, five days a week. It is the only way. The only way to get it written, to get it out.

He seems perkier this morning, and went off for his walk with something like enthusiasm, wearing his bag and his shorts and looking like a young lad about to begin a paper trail. Is that what they are called? I seem to remember they featured one in The Railway Children.

The Midwife was harrowing last night, with such an unexpected twist. Inevitably I dreamt of it, my subconscious trying to making sense of it, ironing out the conflict.

All has gone quiet. Work had tailed off. It is good. I have no choice but to focus on my own work. Yesterday’s writing was a turgid, but I kept going. It is my job now, at least for the next twelve months. No genius required, just the turning up each day to write and tell the story. Am I being disloyal? I think of this all the time. What would she have thought? Perhaps she would’ve been flattered. Somedays I get lost with it. Will today be clearer? I only woke once last night. Good-o.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.