Ipso Facto

I can’t stop singing it in my head. That song, Ipso Facto by Badly Drawn Boy. He’s been doing the same. An ear worm. It’s stuck.

I’ve looked up the meaning but I still don’t really understand it.

What a beautiful morning. The sky is cloudless, cold but clear. And the blue is being turned yellow by the sun. Shall we walk this afternoon?

I haven’t checked my emails yet. Has she responded? I have a stomach-ache as a result of writing it. It had to be done. Get it out. Not unkindly, but it has been eating away at me. A stillness. A Sunday kind of stillness. I love skies like this. They are hopeful. A clean-slate of nothingness to be filled with bliss.

Ah, bliss. What is that? Sun. Sun is bliss to me. Lying in the heat of it, feeling it warm my bones.

The clocks went forward this morning. Twelve jumped to two. I waited for it but the announcer made little of it. I hope you’ve remembered to put your clocks forward, was all he said. And I missed the whirring of our one upstairs. Well, it’s not strictly ours. It was here when we came. It’s radio controlled and suddenly starts whirring as if being worked by a far-off Wizard of Oz.

A struggling day yesterday. So tense. But I saw the day through. And went to buy the material. We bought her this old till in an antiques market when she was small, the woman in the shop told me. She’s wanted to have a shop ever since. And now she does. I watch her cut the fabric, loving that sound of scissors against wood. I chose buttons. Better to get the elastic from Clare’s, she says. The till makes a bell sound when you open it. See, she says. I think about possibilities. I hanker after this making thing. What is it about? It’s so much cheaper just to buy something ready-made. But I want to make this, a gift of my time. If you want something done ask a busy person. And I am. Always. Always busy. There were some of her capes in the shop. Is that your daughters? I ask, thinking that would be too much of a coincidence. No, she says, my daughter is a…., what is the word? Dressmaker? I suggest. No, she replies, a tailor. A tailor. Hmm, another one for my tapes, perhaps. The bell rings above the door at Clare’s Wool Shop. Lucky you can read patterns, eh? she says. Can I? What is this mix of comfort and dread that I get from such shops. Crafty, she kept saying on Wednesday night. Crafty. Ugh. And yet, why such snobbishness? It’s just making. The aesthetic is neither here nor there. Try non-judgement. What is it is about? What is the resistance? It’s the stories that interest me, mine and theirs. The stories that take us to the needle. Brown paper bags. They both used brown paper bags. The ones with the crinkle-cut edges.

Do you know where the Castle Hotel is? A couple. She looks worried. Isn’t that the Pier we came down before? she’d just asked her partner. Are we lost? It’s just down there on the right, I reply. Oh, thanks, love, she says. Love. A young girl calling me love. And I am lightened by it. I meet such warmth. Unexpected warmth. Sometimes it is just enough to carry me on my way.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.