‘She wasn’t a giver,’ said Aunt Helen about Calypso in Mary Wesley’s The Camomile Lawn. The beautiful, bewitching Calypso. I’d always thought that of the very beautiful. They don’t need to learn the art of giving, just being is enough for them. Their shimmering is gift enough, perhaps. It stuck with me, that phrase, as I made breakfast. Helen was telling Calypso’s son this as they were driving together decades later. ‘She couldn’t help it’ she added. To soften the blow?

I’ve thought over our contretemps. Over and over. Playing it out in my head. In the end I just told the truth. An unpalatable thing to do under the circumstances. Just imagine what would come out. It still doesn’t make it alright, but sometimes I have to step away from the mistakes I make and just be peaceful with myself. There are my misdemeanors and this experience I have with myself. They don’t have to be one and the same. It makes me tired. She hasn’t replied. Will she?

An overcast sky. I have to go into work soon.

We agreed to have a word to say. We’ve been snappy with each other, he and I. His medication makes him a little more short-tempered but I too have been at fault. We could both try harder not to indulge in tantrums. So we’re agreed, we will say this word if it starts to get a little out of control. He’s already said it once today. I was narky, cross. Fair dues.

The peace has to start somewhere. I will let it go now all that self-castigation. Over. Gone. Clean

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.