Our postman wrote us a letter. We found it in our little green postbox yesterday. It was in one of those windowed envelopes, our number and block name written in pencil on the front. Hello, it began and then went on to explain how ‘there’s been some changes at the office and I won’t be doing your round any longer’. He wanted to thank us for being such, and I can’t remember the word he used, for being such ‘nice’ customers? Are we his customers? What is our relationship? We were touched. And we’ve kept the letter. You’ll still see me around, he wrote. I hope so. There is a sweetness to him. He’s young with a young family. Always in shorts, naturally. He wrote the letter in capitals but so neatly. Bless him. He reached out beyond what is expected. Such relationships are small treasures, gifts to be savoured, I think.

Three students walked past me this morning along the north end of the Prom. I caught the tail end of their conversation. One was saying, when she isn’t drunk. When she’s a fucking bitch, another replied. No, no, responded the other.

On the shoreline a cluster of oystercatchers called through the dark. There was a fluster, a blustering of bobbing black and white bodies and a high-pitched peeping. They’ve massed on the beach and on the rocks these last few days, oystercatchers and gulls. Is it a portent of some change in the weather, or is it a protective mechanism? Sometimes they are totally silent, just pointing with their heads, either inland or out to sea, other times they fuss and call.

It was a mizzly morning, but mild. A mist hung heavy, though I could still see Aberdovey. The war memorial is still lit blood red. Is it to be so through all of November perhaps? There is a Christmas tree in Waterstones’s window. I missed my coffee yesterday. Tea is not quite the same, unless from a metal pot in the hotel in Aberdovey, then it is a real treat. He is to buy me some today. I yearn for Christmas coffee, just the thought of it, a special blend. But I know it’s all bollocks, just marketing.

All was chaos at work yesterday. They are putting in a new POTS studio. Boxes and crap and men in striped shirts on laptops everywhere. God knows how it will be today when I have an actual guest. Ho hum.

A real November day yesterday, the rain didn’t cease and then came the dark. At least with December you get the lights, I said. I’d happily dispense with the lights if it meant no Christmas, he replied. I know what he means. All that fuss, all out of proportion. All those expectations and yet, I get these little bursts of anticipatory delight at it all. It is just childhood programming, I know, but I love it. The snow scenes, the carols, the Xmas songs, the decorative lights, the smells, the cosiness. I think about just pleasing myself on Christmas morning. Will we have it to ourselves? The invitation is out there, if she wants it. She would be most welcome. It doesn’t matter, the important thing is to let them know, all of them, that you are there. That’s all.

I wrote it. I sent it. I don’t know if it is what he wants or imagined. It is often the way when I write something, it takes on a life of its own. So be it. I wrote what I needed to write for myself. It is enough. We shall see.

She smoothed out all the tension, my head filled with the held-fast toxins only for them to dissipate, just like that. She is good. And then, bit by bit it creeps back in. My default. To be tight, stiff, afraid. So be it. Let it be. Let. It. Be.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.