wallpaper - nightingale room june 2014

Walking. Walking along the road up close to the hedgerows. A microcosm of life. Bursting. Seething. So happy to be alone, walking. Walking in the sun. In and out of the shadows. The smell of warm earth. Alive to the darting of sparrows, the flicker of butterflies and the hum of bees. Just walking, following the road. In no particular hurry. Is this the right road for Ambleside? I asked her. Yes, but it’s a five mile walk. There’s a number 555 on its way, she said. That’s OK, I said, I like to walk. And I do.

It’s about keeping moving – through the sun, out of the shadows. Wearing the wrong shoes and doing too much. What did I tell you? he said. Always bull at a gate. Yes, I am aren’t I? I just wanted to keep moving. To be alone in that sunshine. That beauty. Then back to my room. Alone. Free. Tired. Nicely tired. Hot bath and pyjamas tired. It is good. It was good.

What was good? Remember. Earl Grey Tea in Baldrys. There you go, sweetheart, said the man with the tattoos. The early morning visit to Wordsworth’s grave and the rabbits. The birdsong outside of my window. The heron coming to land on the edge of the lake. The white rabbit. The philosophical newsagent. The Mediterranean Salad in Zefferelli’s and the Albanian waiter sharing his love for Sudoku. Philip Roth’s Patrimony. The open top bus. The Japanese gentleman fondling a toy Peter Rabbit at The Old England Hotel. The council worker saving the lamb on the road. The White Moss walks. Marinated tofu salad. Toasted pumpkin seeds. Eating tiny vine tomatoes and cottage cheese in my room. The Charley Harper puzzle. The pale green wallpaper of the Nightingale Room. Going down to a too late breakfast feeling famished. Cold orange juice. Feeling alive. Feeling open. Feeling space. Feeling empty. Feeling grief. Feeling alive.

Walking along the hedgerow, fingers trailing its complexity. So full of life.

Thank  you for it all. The grace of it all. Each moment, each day. So full.


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.