It’s become a habit (I can’t really say obsession, it’s not that dramatic) for him to visit and read the graves in the cemetery near the college playing fields where he walks each day. He often comes back and tells me about the people he has read about. Initially it was people he had known, schoolfellows, friends of his parents and even distant relations. But now it is mainly children, those who died young, some not even reaching their second year. He knows that I will be interested, touched even. They are mostly from the last century though a few have been from this. One grave is marked with a simple wooden cross, that moved him and he has referred to it a few times. He takes pictures of them. One day I will walk there myself.

Listening to David Sedaris yesterday talking about chatting to checkout staff I realise how much of my journal used to be taken up with recording the speech of strangers that I had encountered. No longer. I am quite alone, mostly, inside my head. Perhaps the promise of sun will take me out. Meanwhile there is much work to do. Onwards.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.