I get in such a flurry over doing new things, however small. I fret that I’m not doing it right, or that it will make a mess (in my increasing dotage I do struggle with this – hardly artistic material eh?). Saturate the wool cloth, the instructions read, then wrap the heat source in a plastic bag, then sit for an hour holding it against you. I watched TV drama¬†as I did it, though the instructions suggested meditation. One thing at a time. I thought about my innards as I sat there. Am I doing them some good, are they happy about it? Might they be smiling? What with this, and the body brushing and the diet sans dairy I shall be a new woman. I’m such a routinous person that I do get thrown, too easily when I have to change it. And things aren’t right, just yet. Does my body miss milk, yoghurt, cheese? It hasn’t had butter for years. Will I thrive as a vegan? Some would say yes, others no. We shall see. Does change do you good?

We’re on Cranford at the moment, stopping it every few minutes to go over a beautifully crafted scene. It is glorious, though we know it inside and out. How relaxing it is go over the familiar. We are the same with this, thankfully. And Mr Holbrook’s courtship of Miss Matty was so gentle, so measured. The flowers, the book of poems, the letters. So poised, so slow.

He said that it was a shame I knew nothing of sport and that I couldn’t appreciate what something like the Ashes meant to him. He is right. I do not. But I think it is good to have some elements of ourselves that we don’t share, perhaps don’t even understand. It keeps a mystery, something to surprise at times. Besides, what is, is.

I do struggle with what I am writing. All those sensations of disloyalty. Am I hurting anyone by getting it down? I put in all the caveats. This my account and I am not claiming any particular truth for it. He sees what good it is doing me. And it is. A purging. A necessary purging if only to get to the other side. Maybe I will have nothing else to say. I could rest then and plan a garden. Yes.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.