He tells me not to listen to Radio 4 on Saturday mornings. It’ll only upset you, he says. And he is right, it often does. The stories from Our Own Correspondent can be harrowing – but the writing can also be exquisite, such as Nick Bryant’s piece yesterday about New York. And then there is Money Box. A woman was featured talking about the paltry increase to the Carers Allowance. She’s a carer for her son who is autistic. She is a widow and has cared for him these last thirty years. It’s a 24hr thing and she’s had no respite or holiday in all that time. My heart leapt out to her. She wasn’t bitter, more saddened by what seems like the government’s lack of compassion or understanding. Some people have such hard lives. I need to know this, and be reminded of it whenever I fell self-pitying or cross. What else can we do but feel with them, for them? And take that walk in their shoes. So, I listen. I must.

It was a good thing to do. I think I have pleased him. I hope so. It is enough, is it not to touch others in this way. A fillip. I gave him a fillip.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.