We should have been journeying down there today, stopping over with some friends outside Bath to break the drive. She sent me photos to compensate. She looks delighted with the present. A good thing. My heart breaks at the loss of the joy of seeing them. But it cannot be helped. What is that quote from Hotel du Lac? ‘Think Edith, this is when character tells.’ And the word she gave me yesterday, fortitude. Plans go awry. All good intentions¬†can and will be broken. There is another plan. A greater knowing. A greater wisdom. I must yield to it. He needs my care. I wanted to help. I saw myself sitting in peace, offering calm. A fantasy, I think. The reality is much murkier than that.

I watched the moon be eclipsed several times this morning, though I didn’t see the ‘blood moon’ that they promised. ¬†It was lovely to walk in its light, for all the discomfort of my back. I shrink it all. Troubleshoot, trying to weigh up what is possible and what is not. No early morning shop, out with the lark before the crowds. No more night-time driving. He must feel safe.

The woman in the sweat shirt top who carries a plastic bag and smokes was out again this morning. Is she an insomniac? She doesn’t give eye contact, just trundles along in a rolling kind of walk. Is she doing it for the exercise? My back has marks on it, is it bleeding inside? He isn’t sure.

I saw lots of bunnies at the University when I walked up to work, I told him in the car on the way home from coffee. Did you, he said? Then a moment later, he said, what do you mean you saw lots of Brummies? Bunnies, I said, bunnies. There’s no need to shout, he said.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.