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Fox

This morning felt liminal. A liminal space with more than a little wild magic. First it was the light I saw in the water. No, I think it really began with the fishing boat moored in the marina. It was a large trawling ship with a squared off back (I forget the nautical term). It was alight. Not on fire but its lights were on. Yellow and white lights and one red one. I can’t tell you what it means to me to see bright lights in all that blackness. So I was lifted by seeing it. (Why its lights were on when no one was there I don’t know.) Then there was the light in the water. It looked like it was floating. I thought it might be a reflection of a star but there was cloud. Was it a buoy lit for easy discovery? Who knows? When I looked back it had gone. Then there was the blackbird on Llanbadarn Road. It was on some railings just to the right of me as I walked. It fluttered a little at my approach but held its perch. I was near, we were eye to eye. It jumped up into the air, flighty and nervous, only to return to the railings alongside me. It seemed to want to be close. Did it have something to say? And then, and then there was the fox. I was walking up the back hill that leads to our estate. It’s steep and on the right hand side the land has been flattened ready for more flats to be built. It looks eerie and exposed in the moonlight. Well, I was hiking up the hill when I saw a black shape. It was quivering and vibrant, I knew this even in that split second. It saw me and my torch light and bounded across my path and off into the open land the flick of white from its tail all that was visible in the moon’s glare. I caught my breath and stood a moment. Could I smell him? Was there that sharp, hot stink that Hughes wrote of? No. The air was too cold. He was so fast that wild, wild thing.

More Christmas trees. There are four in the windows of Philip Evans Estate Management Consultants. They are electric things with white bulbs of light on their extremities. Lily’s Boutique didn’t have a tree but the mannequin in one window was dressed in a red and white number, a la Santa Claus and there was an array of Xmas stockings. The Cardigan Bay Guest House had one in each window, one flashing, one not. I could see one in The Richmond Hotel’s lobby but it wasn’t lit. Shame. And I could see the Marine Hotel’s line of huge white luminous snowflakes all the way from the harbour. And finally the Hot Dumplings Chinese Takeaway on Northgate Terrace had one glistening in its new white interior. Thank you for lighting my way.

I dreamt I was pushing the empty metal frame of a 1950s style pram up a grassy bank which was made into steps and a man from a crowd of people sunning themselves helped me. We conversed in Norwegian, he with a bad English accent and we exchanged smiles.

Work done for now. But then there are all the little bits to deal with that have been left undone. Bitty days are not comfortable for me however necessary. Heigh ho.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.