I woke to the sound of heavy rain. That, and the fact that I remembered the review I had to write, brought me low. Should I walk? I decided to borrow his huge umbrella from the car. And it was alright in the end. The rain came and went but there were smells, perfumes intensified by it. And it was warm. I felt cosy under the umbrella, protected. Kids milled about. Three were sitting in the shelter out of the rain. One was shouting and gesticulating with her arms. Phones, credit cards, she exclaimed, I look after all of their shit! One of her companions tried to placate her. That’s cos you’re such a good friend, she said. Later, along Mill Road, I passed two boys talking earnestly, voices slurring, on a doorstep. Then there were lights on in the new Council flats opposite M&Ss loading bay. I could see the form of a woman in the window. Change, always change. And I’ve only been away two weeks. This time last week I was still there, in that heat, that lovely strangeness. Waiting, waiting for the journey.

The first few walks felt odd. I felt exposed, a stranger at home. The homeless man who sometimes sleeps under the castle was peeing into a drain when I walked past. And later, when I was returning home along Llanbadarn Road a taxi drew up to the kerb. A girl got out and then the driver also got out and rushing round to the passenger door to pull out a boy. The boy was promptly sick. I heard the retching. You follow the road to Llanbadarn village, the taxi driver was saying to the girl, and then turn right. Good luck, he said, bye. Did they still pay him? I thought as I turned the corner.

Yesterday was a wash out. We got drenched. And the work brought me low. What shall I say? How to be true but kind. Will she want it? Enthusiastic amateurs, it probably means the world to them. Guide me. The weight is heavy.

Must go. Work. Must begin. 250 words. A start. Make it less daunting.

I found a grasshopper on my bathroom wall. How did it get there? I brought it to him to put out of the window. He tried. I’m sorry, he called out to me, one of it’s legs has come off. Later. It died, he said. It was in trouble, I had to kill it.

My love, watching you walk behind me in the rain filled my heart.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.