I am cross. I woke up cross. I don’t know why. Is it something that happens in sleep, a residue from a dream? I try to fight it, to keep it in check, to contain it but it leaks out. Should I just let it be? Should I allow it room like other more pleasing emotions? Did you know that anger was one of the seven deadly sins? I didn’t, at least not until it came up as a crossword solution yesterday. These days anger is not seen as a purely negative force but a source of energy that can be tapped and put to good use. However, I’m not angry merely irritable, which isn’t attractive or useful. If I let it be will it dissipate sooner? Or should I spend time trying to find its reason?

He has gone out already. He says he will walk before his coffee.

I think I am cross about what is happening to my body. Pockets, pouches of water keep building in odd areas. Is it age? Is it the menopause? But I’m also cross about having to write today. You don’t have to, he says. And he’s right, I don’t but if I don’t I will be less at ease with myself then I am now. It has to be written, all of it. When I’m in it it is not so bad. I’m encompassed by it, lost in it. Trying to find a way of saying what I want to say. It is interesting reading another author’s work when one is writing, for one’s critical faculties are heightened. I finished one book and went straight onto another. And I’ve been so immersed in Ann Tyler’s writing after having read two in quick succession that to move onto another, so entirely different, was a challenge.

There was a dead seagull just off the pavement along Mill Road. It was lying on its back, its wings splayed out as if crucified and blood, a deep red, had oozed from its nether regions. What had killed it? The red against the white of its plumage was stark, almost beautiful.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.