Doll’s House

They’ve been working on the house for the last year. Renovating it completely. The new inhabitants moved in last month and in the front room, just by the window they’ve placed a doll’s house. I can only see the side of it. A wooden structure, crisp, unpainted, shaker-style. It looks like its standing on a table, but even so it is of an impressive height. How lovely to have a doll’s house. I always yearned for one as a child, but not one of those plastic ones that became all the rage in the 80s and 90s, my desire was for an antique, wooden one. Classy with all the correct furniture, beautifully made and absolutely to scale. Lauren Childs is hosting a programme about dolls houses on Radio 4 Extra on Friday. I’ve heard it before. It is a repeat and they keep playing the trailer for it. The curator at The V&A’s Museum of Childhood is one of the talking heads. I’ve met her several times when I went in to draw the houses there and various games. I even when on a behind the scenes tour. It was delicious, all those boxes and drawers of precious things wrapped in tissue. I love the care, the reverence they have for things that were often considered trivial at the time of their production. The past in tissue. Wrapped in tissue and unpacked with white gloves.

I missed something out. Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle, and it should have followed, that’s the way the money goes…then pop goes the weasel. That’s the way the money goes. Yes. I walk asking for help. Help me find, open, release my abundance. Don’t we all have it? That potential for success, for wealth and abundance. Just by being authentic. I thought it would happen. If I can be brave. It will come. If I give up my teaching job and become a full-time artist it will come. And it didn’t. I was profoundly disappointed. I still am. I thought it was right. I wasn’t avoiding, I was going towards, open to my fate. Where is it? Where is my metier? Don’t we all have it? Don’t we all have something that we can do that will support us? It saps my energy this fear, this fearing. Is there enough? Do I work hard enough? Do I earn enough? Is there anything more you can do? he asks. No. Well, then, he says, be patient.

Town was quieter this morning, just a few kids spilling out of The Angel. One, a girl, lent over to spit something out of her mouth, she looked up and saw me watching, a trail of spittle hanging from her lips. Later, along Llanbadarn Road, three boys walking towards me, one was holding up a bottle to the glare of the street light. I think I’ve killed it, he said.

I want to learn acquiescence. To do all I can then leave it be. Work is coming. It is slow. But so be it. I have much do, though nothing that brings in much money. I am busy, busier than I’ve been for a long time and yet… Perhaps my wealth manifests in other ways. I need to see this. A seagull suddenly takes flight from behind a car. A flurry of white. They’re hosting Board game Nights in the Crimson Rhino Café, from 6.30pm on every other Wednesday. I’d love to go. Too late. Way past my bedtime. And he wouldn’t go. At least I don’t think so. A home bird, as indeed am I. We sat yesterday afternoon and then walked to the library. Two books. Two gorgeous books. There is richness there, undoubtedly. A mine. A gold mine. Let it be. Enough.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.