Nothing is ever a mistake. Is that what she said? I paraphrase perhaps. It is a line from a film we’ve just finished. It’s called Evening. An oblique title. A movie choc-a-bloc with female stars – Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Toni Collette and Glenn Close. It had its schmaltz certainly but also some really moving moments. Such as the all but last scene when Ms Streep arrives and lies next to the dying Ms Redgrave. Such class. Not another Meryl Streep film he bemoans, jokingly. For we both recognise the safety of being in her hands. Nothing is ever a mistake, says La Streep as she cradles Toni Collette’s face. Nothing is ever a mistake, she says to Ms Redgrave as she strokes her cheek. She had a whole life. A whole life. I am communicating this badly. The cinematography was luscious, colourful and it played into my dreams. Colouring them differently. I am a sponge. So open to the influence of others. The boundary between what is myself and another loses definition. And the gorgeous Harris, so cool, so enigmatic. I’m a sucker. I remembered our stars, he told Anna when they met by chance in the rain, his head turning to check his wife and child hadn’t noticed. Ah, let it go. Schmaltz, schmaltz. Anna was too perfect. Sometimes I cannot watch such bodies. I want the normal, the real. All those perfect teeth. He was once voted the most good-looking man, said the radio announcer about Terence Stamp during a programme about his school reports. He used to go truant, slipping out to go to the cinema. Class times two. He is and was. Still. I like to see age on the screen. The lines on Ms Redgrave’s and Ms Streep’s faces. Gorgeous. Enough. What about work?

We waited for a train. We waited in the café. Doing crosswords and drinking coffee till it was time. Sewing in a damp train station. Working the canvas. Some people noticed. He got some good photos. He is so generous. I like working with him. To direct, to show, to make manifest what I imagined. What will I do with them? A work in progress. Sequences. I like the sequences. And making it live. The sewing goes to pot. It is hard to see, to concentrate. Performing art is so often uncomfortable, but that tension, that dis-ease is good, I think.

Try not to get obsessed with it. I know they are in there. Let it be, even if I do have this hard ball of stomach. I’m on the way to getting better. That’s something isn’t it?

The rain was coming down so hard. My heart sinks. But I still go out. And then it is magical. Up goes the umbrella. It is warm. The rain is lines of light. The rush of water into drains, sparkling drops on leaves. The patter on my umbrella. No one is about. The wind gets up on the Prom. Down goes the umbrella. No Perygyl, too wet and slippy. Yr Hafod is still full. That’s nice, even though it will be pissy-downy all week.

We go soon and I find it hard to focus. So many bits to deal with. I am unsettled with leaving. More than ever. An age thing perhaps? And yet when we get there it will be difficult to pull ourselves away to return home. I am so blessed. Two weeks of rest and his company. A gentle time. The ebb and flow. And warmth and the light. I need that. Winter approaches. The leaves are turning. So be it. I will embrace the dark. Have I told you I am less scared in the morning? He told me he has a remedy for anxiety. Shall I try it? Herbal, its all herbal. He suggested Dandelion Root for the water retention. Maybe.

I don’t know where it is leading. An investigation with no real final outcome, perhaps. Would that be so bad? It is the doing it that matters, the being there, doing it. Like this morning. It feels alive, particularly when it captures people’s curiosity. Keep going onward. It will come. It will come.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.