Ground Flower

I was hoping to find some empty rocket holders, or at least something that looked vaguely like a spent firework but there were only a few cardboard tubes that reminded me of tampon inserters and some other labelled tubes with the name ‘ground flower’ written on them. I presume they are the kind you place of the ground and they spout a coloured sparkling mist. They were scattered along the Prom down by the harbour. Though there were two still lit tree lights in holders at the Bar end. There was kids everywhere, with Pier Pressure still spitting them out from its doors, rather worse for wear, coatless and stumbling. Two of them arrived here in a taxi just as I was leaving for my walk. She wore a sleeveless dress cut up the thigh, and there was I in my thick coat, rainproof trousers, hat, gloves and hoodie. Good morning, I said to them as they tripped in through the shared-hall door. Hello, he grunted in reply and kept on walking through. I heard the fireworks going off at 12 but soon returned to sleep.

I’ve enjoyed listening to the radio once more, I am out of step with it all, there has been so much disruption. There was a delicious programme about Mr Pollock’s Toy Theatres hosted by Simon Callow. How I used to love nipping into their shop in Covent Garden, though sadly I think it has long since moved. And then there was one about Sooty and Matthew Corbett, this time presented by Jack Dee. Wonderful memories, though as one of the contributors said, it was all there was, you had no choice but to watch it. But nostalgia is often unconditional, the past is sacrosanct and rarely stands up to much investigation. It was puerile, even as a child I thought it silly but it was intended just for us and that meant something.

Someone from the past got in touch. I cannot remember her. I’m sorry for that for it seems we may have a lot in common. Maybe it will come back. She gives herself two different names which doesn’t help, and her surname which is most unusual I cannot for the life of me recall.

May I wish you all a happy new year and may the fires burn out in Australia. Keep safe and well. x

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.