A dear friend sent me some blackcurrants from her garden. She’d wrapped them with such care. First they were enfolded layers of kitchen roll, then enclosed in a Tupperware box, sealed with gaffer tape and then finally in brown paper. They got here in one piece. Nothing squashed, just a little warm. What a lovely thing. A gift from her garden, smelling of summer. I love that taste, the tartness and they way they coat the tongue.

I keep asking that I remember my dreams. It hasn’t worked so well recently. I get glimmers, I know that so and so has featured, and I have a sense of place, but the details, the meanings are lost. I have a recurring one. A dream that I seem to revisit, or at least I believe I have most nights. Its about me trying to find a restaurant. I’ve been there in the past and they gave me what I wanted but each time I look for it (and it is in this kind of open-air market/mall with white painted floors) it is either gone, closed or I can’t find it. It is foreign, unfamiliar yet familiar. Small and intimate. Its also on an upper floor. I have to climb to find it.

Two large groups of gulls gathered on the shore line. Evenly spaced, all of them had their heads turned to the North.

On South Beach a man was bending down over the embers of a fire blowing them into life. His dog was tethered to a rock, sitting waiting on the sand to be called for.

Most of the students from the Alexandra Hall have gone home for the holidays. One window was alight as I walked past. It was shimmering, alive with brightly coloured spots spinning around inside the room. A mirror-ball effect, a rainbow of colour. It lifted me.

My foot is kaput. I still walk but I have to consider every step. Something is misaligned. I think of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid and how she felt she was walking on knives after exchanging her tail for legs. Pain is a great leveller. It is wisdom-bringing. I need to harness it. I think of my gait, my posture, each step is felt. I will improve.

A beautiful morning, the sea was a millpond. The stink of fish hung around the harbour. Work now. Sit, then tea, then work. Bonjour.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.