Gluten-free Christmas Pudding

I wish I hadn’t said I’d go now, she told me when I called her. I know how she feels, he said. She is a home-bird, like the farmer on the podcast who’s never lived outside Lincoln. She is the same. She has no curiosity, seemingly, to know of other places, to find herself somewhere strange. Her daughter is unwell. They are both a little sickly. And yet, she walks and walks as I do. I asked if it was her church that had organised it. Oh, no, she said, it isĀ for the over sixties of the neighbouring villages. They organise trips, she said, though I never go. I don’t like the coach journeys. And they have this Christmas lunch every year. She said the name of the place but I didn’t catch it. The food is meant to be good. A three-course meal, you order it beforehand, she continued, I’m having the melon to start, then turkey and then I’ve ordered a gluten-free Christmas pudding. I don’t normally have pudding but I thought for a change.

The clue was fruit. Six letters beginning with f. F something e then something r something. I thought about it as I walked. Nothing.

They were ahead of me as I walked home. He had an eagle tattooed on the back of his coat. She wore a tiny mini skirt, ankle socks and ankle boots. On the back of each of her thighs was tattooed a ribbon.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.