Do you mind if I tell you of my dreams? It helps to write them out. They are prosaic mostly. Last night it was principally about my sister, my youngest sister. I was staying with her and moving through the house. At the far end by a winding staircase were lots of babies, at least five, babies, children whom I didn’t recognise. How could I not have known she was pregnant? I asked him later, when he eventually turned up. I’d tried calling him to say that I was no longer at work but either my phone wouldn’t work or I couldn’t make it work or he wasn’t answering. My sister was tidying up, taking things out of cupboards and rearranging. She was busy, distracted, unwilling to talk. I woke in the night with a sore on my leg, the wound was open and seeping through the cotton wool and bandage I’d wrapped around it. I heard voices in the landing. My sister was still sorting out even at that late hour and had handed my other sister, who was there suddenly, a present. I felt a pang of sibling jealousy about being left out. I told her of my wound. It’s better now, she said, looking at it. It had gone, my leg was healed. She asked if I too would like some perfume, for that is what she’d given my other sister. So you have bottles of perfume that you’ve never opened? I asked. Yes, she said, unphased by my suggestion at her profligacy. The cupboard in front of her was full of sealed up, unopened bottles of perfume. She handed me one. It was a Chanel No 5, I was delighted. And then I woke up. Is the symbolism worth investigating? I miss her. I miss them both. I long for a closeness and yet I run from it too.

It rained a little, as I predicted. The earth gave up its scent to the rain. A lone police car roamed the streets. Will they stop me? No. The EG book is stuck on Mary Barton. I will read it. Has much changed? No TV or film adaptations. Strange. The same with Ruth. Is she out of favour? North and South grips us of an evening. A classy adaptation. Tim Piggot Smith is glorious. Much work to do today. I will master it, and find the words. Onwards. Tea first, I think.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.