We had a contretemps about my fear that there might be ice when I walked. Just take your phone, he said. And I said no. It’s hard to explain, it isn’t rational, I just like to have that hour or so incommunicado. What if you fell and hit your head? he said (his friend’s recent catastrophic fall still in his mind). Well I wouldn’t be able to call you anyway then, would I? I said. I understand him and I understand me. He let it go but not before adding, ‘you’re pig-headed by the way, not pig-ignorant’.

I listen to a request show on the radio in the afternoons, not wanting to turn on my laptop again. Yesterday a man called Nigel from Keynesham called in asking for a something from The Barber of Seville by Rossini as he and his partner Ruth were making marmalade.

On my way home I hear two young lads talking from the pavement across the road, their heads close together, deep in conversation. ‘Sounds like she had her own stuff going on,’ one of them said. His friend nodded.

There was an alarm ringing from one of the shops on Great Darkgate Street. I heard it when I began my walk and it was still going when I made my way home. The shop that it was coming from was all boarded up. There was a distinct smell of soap or was it shampoo as I walked down the hill. Someone had just been there before me.

I heard a bird as I walked the Prom. Was is a blackbird or could it have been a nightingale?

They’ve turned the lights off at the Pier, no more intermittent red, yellow, blue and purple. It makes for a more dismal blackness. And there’s no moon.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.