He tells me of the people he meets when he walks. Yesterday it was an old friend who told him about his wife and her MS. She is in a lot of pain. In some ways, he told, I wish she could just die. It is difficult for both of them. For her because of her excruciating discomfort and for him because he has to watch, unable to help. I sat at the dinner table last night, answering crossword clues and thinking how I could heal her. Do we have that power to heal remotely. I’ve met people who believe that we do, and I’ve tried to do it. Some would call it prayer.

I was reading about marriage in Jane Austen’s novels and more generally in the late 18th and early 19th centuries yesterday. It was fascinating. After finally accepting a man she’d refused to please her family and seeing that after time she had grown to love him, a woman had written in her diary: ‘but oh the sunshiny morning of youth…’. Yes.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.