Loose Leaf

Was it the tea? I cannot be sure. Whatever it was I felt distinctly odd. My head was light and woozy and I was so very agitated. It was the agitation that was the worst. You can see or think clearly when you feel all edgy. Small problems become giants. And it get snappy. I can sense it building up inside, like a volcano about to erupt. I can’t like myself then. Or indeed anyone else, much. Poor love, he gets the brunt. So it’s back to tea bags today, though the loose leaf tastes so much better. Can it really have such an effect? It is a drug, he said, sagely. He thinks it’s because I’m so ‘clean’ inside that I am so easily effected. He also says tea makes me gobby.

I’ve much to do and a problem to solve. You will do it, he says. Will I? I always seem to get myself to this point with every commission. So full of fear and uncertainty. Onward. The flat has been cleaned. And the space is ready. Onward my lovely girl, be brave.

‘Romantic notions’ the character called them. I have them too. I can’t help it. Those high, virtually treeless islands are beautiful to me. The simplicity of the cottages, the lack of ornament. Yes, I know it is cold, harsh, windy all the time but a soul could breathe there, accept the nothingness and not try to fill it. A place to think, whilst one survives. No distraction. Will I go?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.