Not sure why, but I’m always more comfortable using black and white images for these posts. Colour is almost too much for me. (This brings to mind a programme I was listening to this morning while preparing breakfast. It was based on the letters of the Impressionist artist Berthe Morisot. Her mother had encouraged her artistic talents and arranged for her to be tutored. Her tutor had taken her to the Louvre to ‘copy the masters’. But I want to be out in Nature, she cried in exasperation. Nature will be too much for you, her tutor replied.)

So many questions. My back and the rash on my arms are alive with it. The heat of it, the discomfort of it.

Today we are off to talk. To sit in the hotel, pray it is open, and talk it out. Talk it out. Get it out. Whatever it is. This fight inside. I’ve never really accepted what I am. I don’t have a shining skill, I can do lots of things moderately well. Isn’t that enough? I don’t know. I want the glory of being a master at something, and yet I don’t want to be confined, to be restricted to just one thing, one kind of creator. I want to write and make. Make and write. And to be a good wife, friend, mother, grandmother, sister, worker, provider, home-maker, lover, believer and being. To be good. I want to be good. I WANT TO BE GOOD. Ah, but will you recognise it when you are?

I worked on the quilt for my darling H. It is getting there. Lots of mistakes. Well, not lots, some. But it is taking shape.

The clouds bubble up in the sky, gorgeous, white fluffy ones. What is that a sign of?

What’s it like out? He asks each morning. Colder, I said.

I dreamt deeply, lots of layers. At one point I was out walking in the dark and saw two homeless men sleeping on a bench by a path I wanted to walk down. It was so cold I was surprised they were still alive. They were for I could actually see them snoring. One had something over his face (a blanket or mat) that rose and fell with each out breath. I was scared of them. They looked roguish, feral. And chose to not go that way. I was disappointed, it felt like giving in, turning back.

What shall we talk of? Embroidery comes in the post. A sumptuous array of skill. Alice Kettle to name but one. I think about having such skill, such knowing. Would that feel good? To wake each morning with a definite purpose, a thing to achieve, something huge, beautiful and crowd-pleasing. I don’t know for that is not what I am. I think about all I want to make but they are things that would please me, not others.

Will there be wisdom in our discussion? There will be tea, certainly. Tea from silver pots. So nice.

A nice old mirror. That’s what the label says. A nice old mirror, for sale in the bric-a-brac shop.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.