Ginger Chai

I tend to listen to it on a Saturday when I’m doing my yoga practice before making lunch. The writing is exemplary. And it engages me with people whose lives are often so hard, so relentless. I am moved by it. Yesterday the programme ended with a correspondent talking about he and his family leaving India to return to the UK. It was so touching, so deft. He pitched it around his daily shave in the local market. He’d go there each day for a wet shave in the open air under the trees. As he sat on the chair, a towel around his shoulders being lathered up ready for the blade he reminisced about his experiences, the stories and political events he’d covered. But he also relayed the sights and smells of the market and how the perfume of the ginger chai being sold on the next door stall would always remind him of that moment. He ended his piece with a plea that we might always live in a place as if we were about to leave it, alert, alive to every sensation as if it were our last. Amen to that I thought.

I did my 500 words and a little more. I will finish it today. A simple piece of writing. It is just about showing her voice, her thoughts and her practice. Nothing more. No flourishes, no showing off.

I go into overdrive when I am about to travel and leave home. Just a day. Just one more then home for a bit. To catch my breath and work and clean. My mind keeps writing lists over and over. Don’t forget that or that.

Town is quiet. A few stragglers. Boys with ties on outside their shirts, loose tails.

A quick sit to gather my thoughts, a pot of coffee and then work. Last stint then rest.

A bit cold this morning. I had to put the fire on. And then I remember her telling me about the new dog she is baby sitting for. She loves smoke, she said. I’d made a fire, you know it can be chilly first thing and I caught her staring up at the chimney. Funny that. I’m glad she has a new companion.

To work. Adieu.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.