Ellen in Joyce's garden (3)

When the air is warm like this smells become distinct, particularly in the dark. And the mornings are becoming dark. That opening of blue is no more. This morning there was a smoky mist. It smelt. It smelt of wood smoke. The air was heavy with it. Further on I walk through of heady fog of first honeysuckle and then buddleia. Sticky, honey-ed sweet, their perfume hangs in a cloud, unmoving. The wind of yesterday has gone. On North Road there is the lavender. Garden after garden has it. I draw my gloved hands through it, bringing my leathered fingers to my nose afterwards. Salty, sweet, musky lavender. It always makes me think of dusty linen cupboards. A sharp, almost acidic smell with undertones of comforting soft sweetness. I remember the rows of purple in Norfolk and in Provence. On the Prom the brine of the sea is warm and salty. I taste it on my lips. And later by the harbour I remember the stink of the lobster pots. Today there is none. The sea laps, the fury of yesterday forgotten. Later, much later there is the smell of bread.

Listening to the reading of Craig Brown’s One on One on the radio – I think about fictional meetings, fictional conversations. I think about traces, what we leave behind of our thoughts, our musings, our sayings. So little is left. Mostly gone. Gone.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.