Their scent is intoxicating. And it’s only just come. We catch it as we walk along the back path to where we sit (our garden).

There was a man sleeping on the beach. A young man. For a brief moment I thought he might be dead, but he looked peaceful, his hands laying on his chest. How nice, I thought to fall asleep to the sound of the sea. A peaceful sea, that is. When I told him of it at breakfast, he said, he wasn’t dead was he?

There was a notice on the window of the bike shop saying that they had to close because the staff were self-isolating. I’m sorry. It’s not their fault.

We talked about my obsession or should I say, idee fixe about the early 19th century. A very particular part really, well, the part that Austen writes of. I tried to explain it to him. It helps to do that. It’s got something to do with roles. Women’s roles specifically. And a lack of a bigger expectation. The domestic life. You see, I am not longer articulate. I am watching myself too closely. I’m searching for something and when I listen to those fictions something clicks. A yearning is made manifest. A romantic notion? Perhaps. He understood. Then.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.