Business as Usual

There is an estate agent’s sign on the wall of The Shoreline guest house on South Marine Terrace. It doesn’t say if it is for sale or not just that it is Business as Usual. Business as usual, everything carrying on regardless. Gwesty Cymru, as far as I know is still for sale and has been for a couple of years now. How long does it take to sell an hotel or a B&B? Are there that many people on the look out for them? I’ve only seen the No Vacancies sign in the Shoreline’s window once this year and not at all at the Yr Hafod B&B at the end of the terrace. Making a living must be tough. Isn’t it tough for most of us? I thought about abundance as I walked this morning, and how to afford a trip to London to see a friend, and how, if we didn’t go to explain that there isn’t the funds. And then I saw it on the ground. A piece of paper with brown markings and shiny metal circle. A ten pound note. It was lying on a cellar grid. Someone had clearly lost it from their pocket. I picked it up, folded it and place it in my pocket. I felt uncomfortable, someone else owned it and was probably looking forward to spending it. So I gave it to him. It can go towards my haircut, he said.

I’m back in Tess Lohan’s world. It is a beautiful book. The sentences are short, spare. Almost of list of things, of sensations, they are treated discretely, separated. Each with its own integrity.

I always have a frisson of dread before I begin writing. Do I really want to go back there, to be in that world, do I really want to struggle once more with creating something from scratch? Wouldn’t I rather tread water and do something humdrum? And yet, when I’m in it it takes me over, then it is my world, my work, it is truly.

The wind has died down and no proper rain just yet. A lovely walk if a little hot. I took my MP3 player and walked to a reading of  Mary Oliver’s The Wild Geese, and the playing of The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, Joni Mitchell, Teach Yourself Norwegian, Boz Scaggs and James Morrison.

The moon was as full as my heart.

I need to climb into the story, to be it. To tell the truth of it as I see it, for it is mine.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.