She told me about it in her email. Her daughter. Her daughter throwing a party and burning her wedding dress. I’ve only met her once. We stayed with her on my last night in Washington. A seemingly cheerful woman who appeared to make the best of things. I didn’t know then that her marriage was troubled. He was a little distracted, took himself off to watch the TV alone, but I just put that down to a wish for solitude. A bright man, I’d enjoyed talking to him. It was a freeing thing, obviously, that ritualistic burning. Neither of her sons were present. I believe she did it in front of members of her divorce support group. Did they clap and whoop? It feels out of character. But who am I to judge? She is clearly hurt. May it bring her catharsis.

Another bird of prey, this time a red kite. I was circling the sky above our flats and as before the residents birds, the rooks, seagulls and magpies were going berserk. It is nesting time and no doubt the kite was after the eggs. It resembled a WWII dog fight with spitfires. The seagulls cawed and dived at it chasing it from the sky. They are super-brave in their defence of their nests. They don’t have the kite’s vicious hooked beak or sharp talons but still they saw it off.

She wrote back to thank me for my understanding and the promise of new work. It’s OK. I am still wanted.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.