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Docile

She used the word often in Jane Eyre so much so that I began, as I listened to a reading of it, to believe in docility as a merit. It appears that she thought so, though in Jane’s character there was also resolve and courage. And the desire to serve. How she fires that up in me. Oh, I know it is a fiction, as is Dickens’ Edwin Drood, but how they get under my skin these characters. Is it a lockdown thing this inward-looking, this melding of the real and the unreal?

It woke me. I couldn’t work out what the noise was. A crash. Then I looked up and the lid from the flue – the thing that had leaked a year or so ago – had come off. Was it the wind? It was certainly raging outside. There was plaster all over the floor. No help for it but to get out of bed and get the hoover. Ugh! In the end brown parcel tape had to suffice. This morning I tried white insulating tape but the ended up coming away. How I hate to botch things up. I tried masking tape just now but I’d better go and check whether that has worked. Some mornings are like that and I long to just get on. No, so far so good.

I’ve finished it, hearing those words, ‘Reader I married him.’ I shall miss it. What next? And Sanditon is a joy, if I can forgive the shabby library book. Why do adaptors miss with such delights – supposing what we modern audiences will and will not like?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.