I set my alarm for an hour later. I was nervous about doing so. I hold tight, too tight I know, to my regime. It keeps me in place, like a corset, held in, taut. But I’d had a late session the night before and knew that I’d be too tired to function well if I didn’t snatch an extra hour. But everything is shifted forward. I missed several of the radio programmes I like to listen to while I make breakfast. Though I did catch the end of one of Julia Darling’s series of short stories about the Post Office, which was nice. I must listen to the rest. And I did try to see the positive side of being later. Such as the oncoming daylight as I walked. A blue really. A lifting of night. Different people were out. I’d missed the woman with the Tesco Bag for Life who seems to do all her shopping in the 24 hr petrol station on Mill Road. A woman with a shock of white blonde hair passed me but kept her head down. A few lights were on in the houses along South Marine and someone had neglected to switch off the fairy lights in the breakfast room of the Shoreline guest house. They were flickering their candy-like colours wildly when I passed. I love looking in on breakfast rooms in B&Bs. I love the tables all laid out ready. The cups upended in saucers, the ironed napkins, the posy of flowers, the butter pats. It’s the order, the pre-planning, I think. It calms me. The walls are full of paintings of ships and ships in bottles grace the mantlepiece and window sills. The lights of Aberaeron glimmered across the water. I couldn’t see Aberdovey, the mist hid it from view. We were supposed to go there today but worked called. No matter. The earth smelt sweet, damp, cloying as I walked along North Road. Still wet with rain. 

I saw it on the pavement on one of the back streets that lead up to the little hill. A bright azure blue. A fiver. Thank you, I said. I told him of it at breakfast. Shall I take it to the police station later? he asked smiling.  He knows me so well. I am sorry for the person who lost it. But I am also grateful for the abundance, the gift, the sign of something unexpected.

I wrote. A wrote a thousand words, well almost. I like having written, said Andy Robbins on the radio, the stress being on the ‘having’. Be patient, you have to find what is lost, said the spirit guide in Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time. That is what I am doing. Writing to find it.

The comfort of smells. Old Spice. He wears its, always has. I come downstairs and its aroma permeates the fuggy air. It makes me feel safe. It is him. The comfort of him.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.