They’ve mended the deckchair, the giant deckchair that is sitting in the Prom paddling-pool-now-sandpit. The locals were in uproar, apparently, when it was vandalised. There were letters in the local paper and a picture of a group of children perching, rather precariously on its torn seat. The company behind ‘Advancing Aberystwyth’ were contacted but there was no reply. And now, there it is, mended. All is well with the world. N’est-ce pas?

It was very mild when I walked this morning, even the coat had to come off. Teenagers milled about, one lay asleep on a bench and another hobbled about in a ankle brace. Down along South Marine someone had left the fairy lights on in the  Shoreline B&B’s  breakfast room. A great chaotic flickering of lights in blue and green. And the sign up saying SORRY NO VACANCIES. Not so with Yr Hafod. He hasn’t been full all year. Why, are Shoreline’s rates a little cheaper? He takes such great care with it, always up and down with a cherry picker, painting. Towards the station I heard a woman’s voice shouting into a phone. An Amazon of a woman in a long summer dress with a kind of Aztec print. I was waiting outside The Angel for the both of you, she was shouting ( her strong Birmingham accent making the both of you sound like the both of ‘cha’), and you left me. You left me stranded outside The Angel.

I passed a young lad sitting on the kerb. Are you alright? I wanted to ask but then caught sight of his phone, he was reading messages, seemingly content. Shapes, bodies move around before me in the dark, sometimes there is eye contact, like the man with the glasses as I turned to go up the hill. A flicker of fear ensues after these encounters. Don’t follow me, please don’t follow me. I check to see his light is on when I reach the top of the hill. Yes. I stand for a moment, stilling my breath. Someone is watching me. I open my eyes. It’s a cat. She bounds down from the wall as I turn to face her and takes refuge under a bush. A pretty cat, black and white. The girl is on her computer again in the house on Llanbadarn Road, the overhead light in the room making it stark, cold. She is alone this time. I’d thought that they were running a chat line or something. The late hour, the fact that she has a telephone headset on her head, and that they were working together, side-by-side. They could be completing an MA or a thesis for a PhD. Who knows?

I saw two spiders, enormous ones. One was by my walking boot and the other by the front door, hiding behind Bry our draft excluder. I don’t shriek like I used to. I don’t want to hurt them. Off you go, I say, run along, you freak me a little, but your life is safe with me.

He was cooking bacon for breakfast downstairs. It is an overwhelming smell yet, for all my veganism/vegetarianism it isn’t unpleasant. I like the other life-ness of it. Life is going on, separate to mine. There is comfort in that.

The walking eased my anxiety. Clarity came through. Just finish them. Finish them all. All those hidden in the drawer projects. And write. Sew and write. Write about Mum, about Norway about being an au pair for the second time and sew. Sew and write. Finish some. See how it feels. Then judge, if you must. Though better to just do the work.

She doesn’t want a review, there isn’t space for it. Shall I leave it then? But then, I thought as I walked, I want to write about it and I like writing for her blog. So I’ll offer it. And another thing. I thought about what I loved, what I have loved during this barren period. Performing. I’ve loved performing particularly in the NG. So I shall persevere. I could go every year. Why not? A tapestry a year. And stay a day. See what comes.

What of today? Order the pieces, those straggly pieces then sew. I want to see it through, leaving a few stitches left to complete before the painting. It is a plan. It is enough, for now.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.