It’s one of his. A top, a black top with casse pieds written on it in white that he bought from agnes b. in Oxford years ago. He would have it. As he would have the black leather coat we saw in that market in Amsterdam. He hasn’t worn it for ages so I thought I might. I’ve washed it in readiness but I don’t know now, not now I know what casse pieds means. It should be hyphenated. Casse-pieds. Something to do with feet, that much I did know. French always sounds and indeed looks beautiful. What did I think it meant? Something positive, up beat. No. Casse means broken. Broken feet. Put them together and it means boring, a drag, a pain in the ass. Will I still wear it? Possibly.

No rain again this morning. Still so pitch black though. Driving North yesterday morning towards Ruthin we watched the morning come. I love that blue sky. A mellow, yet deep blue that slowly lightens as dawn breaks. The world is still in shadow but there is life, a promise of light. Not that dulled, coating of black that is the early, early hours. I came upon a couple talking in the street. He was standing at her front door. Had they just met? Was this a date? He stood on the pavement, she was in her doorway. I observed his body language. He stood some way away, his hands in his pockets. She was talking. She was animated, And it took like…., she was saying. I walked past the 24 hour garage and saw the smoking woman with the plastic bag coming out. This is clearly where she does her shopping but at 3.30 am? Her bag was full and there was the usual light cigarette between her fingers. Earlier, down by the harbour I’d walked down the ramp, shining my torch to light my path and had come up a figure emerging from the gloom. It gave me a start. My torch caught a glint of a row of buttons. An old army coat, headphones and long, lank hair. Was it a man or woman? I couldn’t tell. The house on St David’s Road where the woman who comes into work to do paper reviews lives was lit up. At least the front porch was. The door glass is stained and bejewelled, it’s window orange in the blackness. A police van drove up to the Pier Pressure night club and deposited an officer on the ground. He was wearing a short sleeved shirt and smiled as he jumped down. Trouble? Behind Alexandra Halls a male student got out of a taxi and a girl got out after him. He took her hand and they walked a little down the hill to his door. He opened it and stood aside ushering her in. A gallant gesture that seemed old-fashioned, a little overblown. Is this a first date? Are they first-time lovers. She walked awkwardly in her cheap shoes with their cumbersome, clumping heels. They weren’t beautiful, weren’t special but to each other perhaps they are.

Its the white page, or in this case screen that scares me. Trying to find something out of nothing. A nothing. And to make it alive, potent, worthwhile. The gallery was busy. Two big men in fleeced jackets wandered around. It was a while till I realised who they were. Guards. They were there to guard the silver. I liked the work. It is quiet, peaceful and simple, un-egotistical.

I think about it all the time. The rage of her grief, how am I to manage it? I have enough trouble regulating my own. But I do believe in talking, in ironing out through talk. It has to be done. Let me be kind. Let me be wise. Let it resolve itself for the best. The best for all.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.