I spoke to her today. She wasn’t asleep but sitting up in the middle of the pavement with her bags of stuff around her. There was a opened umbrella too and some sunflowers poking out of the top of one of the bags. She’s a tiny thing, as I’d surmised from her sleeping form. She’s white and British. Her face is freckled brown by the sun. She wears a wooly beret. I asked her what brought her here, there, to that pavement. She struggled to find words. I waited. It’s quite random really, she said. I didn’t press her. It isn’t my business if she doesn’t want it to be. I asked her if she felt safe, had enough food. There was a little pile of silver coins by her feet. He said he’d seen her. Yes, I’ve seen loads of people talking to her, he said. I saw one bloke give her a fiver. It still doesn’t make it OK. No, he said. I will take her something tomorrow.

The sun is supposed to come out today. He’s just off for his walk, his postman-like bag across his shoulder.

I wrote it. I did the required word count. I will do re-writes this morning. There is always a sense of anti-climax and indeed loss. It was so much in my head and has been for the last three days.

I’ve finished John Berger’s book. The Afterword made me cry. He said he loved him and that he shot himself but that that doesn’t make it dark. He said that he lived as much as he could endure. Yes. That is fair enough. It is.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.