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Cold Shower

I catch Dr Mosley’s podcast One Good Thing on Radio 4 as I’m preparing lunch on a Sunday. Yesterday he was encouraging us take a regular cold shower. The idea horrifies me. I need warmth. I sit at my desk with two hot water bottles, not because I’m cold necessarily but they comfort me. And yet his argument was so convincing that I’ve been wracking my brains how to manage it. I don’t like showers. Could it be a cold bath instead? And if so, when? Before or after my warm one? I do the walking, and I eat fermented foods (his last two recommendations) – must I do them all?

I’d bought a series of small frames to frame my sewing trials with but they are not deep enough. It feels wasteful but I had to try. What to do with them? Well, yesterday I put an old postcard I had of Gwen John’s self portrait in a red tartan dress. How I love it. I’ve leant it against the window to hide the paint that is chipping away on the windowsill. It looks perfect. What a fillip it gave me. Such a small thing and yet so transformational. Joy comes in tiny packages, I think. The real stuff, anyway.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.