It had felt like ours. It had been left as it was for such a long time, undisturbed except for the occasional visit from our Chinese neighbour who wandered over there with her little son to let him paddle his wellies in the mud ponds and generally poke about with sticks, or from H who’d stride across to ‘the Dell’ with garden waste, all hail and hearty. It’s gone. That little haven of messy peace has gone. A digger has begun to flatten it. They’re to build a block of flats, apparently. So he’s bought some chairs, you know the kind – light-framed, metal with stripey covers. And we’ll try sitting in the car park instead. It’s a case of making-do. I need to get out and I need the sun. So we make do. Those of us who don’t have gardens. One day. One day I shall. Then I’ll plant sweet peas, lavender and rhubarb. I’ll grow thyme and mint and parsley. I cast seeds of cornflowers and poppies and cross my fingers that they sprout.

She absorbs me as I walk. Is she to be a modern incarnation or true to her time? Who would the book be for? How would she speak? She comes and goes, sometimes I know her sometimes I don’t. I just have to try. That’s all. Simple, isn’t it?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.