No more blackcurrants

Blackcurrants on the list. No, the shopkeeper said over the phone, we haven’t seen blackcurrants for weeks. No gooseberries either. Tart fruit. Soft fruit. They’re still picking them on Adam’s farm on The Archers. I miss them. The blackcurrants staining my mouth, my tongue purple, the grainy, almost gritty taste of the skins. He says he will try again today. Frozen ones perhaps.

Autumn comes, I feel it. The air is cooler, fresher. And that luscious promise of warmth is gone.

All gone. Soon no films. Amazon is closing LoveFilm. I am sorry. I enjoyed the spontaneity of it. What would come? We’ve enjoyed the choices. They’ve taken us elsewhere. What now? More box sets. Safer, a known place.

She didn’t call. Did I think she would? She sent a text, no explanation, just a promise to call today instead. Does it matter? Just to know she is OK, still breathing, still here.

They were a tiring few days. It turns me inside out being with my family. It always has. I never feel good enough. My own doing I know. And yet, there is so much love and good will. The children are a delight. She smiles like a sun. A bright shining warm thing. I remember the holding of her, heavy, solid on my hip. And the way she counted the birds in the painting. She just began to do it. Stunning. And only two years old. And he too captivates. Beginning sentences he has no hope of completing just to be in the spotlight. I listen to him avidly. Watching him learn, develop before us. And her, a soft cat of a woman. Beautiful.

Sun and rain. Days of sun and rain. Autumn comes.

Butterflies all over them. Too hot, my heart beginning to race.

I must begin to write. I have to go back. I have forgotten the divorce. It is for the best, I need to find my stride once more. Always this disapproval. Take your time, he says, don’t expect too much.

I heard my name being called. A fellow writer from the MA. He looked well. He too is writing. A book, I ask, he nods. We talk of time. He snatches a few hours here and there. It needs our attention. This creating. So be it. And it is mine. No one else’s, I can do with it what I will. All is well. Just turn up at the page and let it happen.

I will. I will.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.