I can hear it in my right ear. It’s a kind of irregular pulsing. It must be my heart. It’s not a pounding or a thumping but a throbbing. It sounds like a moan, a dull complaining sort of noise, almost a wheeze. Why am I hearing it now and not before? I will have to get used to it. For maybe it is here to stay. Always these little changes to get used to. That’s the thing with getting older, with dying, which is what we are effectively all doing. Is this the sound we hear in the womb? Or are all heart beats different? Is this what a doctor hears through a stethoscope? It’s a sound of life, I suppose. A reminder of its force and fragility. But do I want it forever in my ear? Perhaps I have no choice. It will be heard it seems.

A long journey yesterday, over 300 miles there and back. It wasn’t unpleasant. We talked, I dozed, we stopped to rest, pee, do crosswords and drink coffee and tea out of flasks. We hardly stepped foot in Bath, though it looked magnificent in the sunshine. The work is delivered. And I took myself out into the world once more. She remembered me, she said. Sadly, it wasn’t mutual. It is hard to return to a place once known and loved, different.

He is out on his walk and it has begun to rain. Poor love I hope he isn’t too wet.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.