There is a figure in white, standing, Christ-like by the water’s edge. It is not yet, 3.30 am. It is cold. The roofs of the cars are frosted. The water will be ice. I walk closer and peer down onto the beach as I kick the bar. One, two, three. It is a girl. A young student in pyjamas. She stands immobile, letting the water run over her soft soled shoes. Turning to continue my walk, my heart jolts when I look again and she has gone. Don’t make me go into the water, I plead. What to do. What to do. Do I intervene? I stop and look again. There she is. I hear the crunch of pebbles and watch her return to the Halls entrance. Her arms are bare. She shivers. Her hair is lank by the side of her face.

They seem immune to the cold. The young. I see them coming out of the clubs in the early hours, t-shirted or short-skirted. The girls skittering in heels.

My coffee is percolating and I stand at our living room window looking down onto the quadrangle below. The man with the basement floor flat is cutting his nails, letting the parings drop onto the pavement. A fastidious man, I think. He washes continually. It is always out with the sun, hanging from a line or  an airer. A welshie, he would call him. He works for the Welsh Books Council. A Welsh flag is suspended from a rod outside his door. I thought it was just for the football, but it is still there.

Later I watch the cat, the one who lives in the ground floor flat above the welshie. They leave a window open for her. She jumps in and out with ease. I watch her pouncing on leaves, stalking flies. A pink label has recently been attached to her collar. She doesn’t wander far, is nervous. The children across the way play with her, she shows them her belly, sprawling, legs akimbo.

He came into the studio early. His hair, grey, was a mighty quiff, gelled sticky. His trousers were baggy and he wore over-sized walking boots. Nervous, edgy, he shook my hand. Water, I asked. No, thanks, he said, shaking a bottle, I have this. I asked what he’d come to talk about. Meteors, he said, meteors hitting the moon.


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.