I always take criticism personally, I know I shouldn’t, for it mostly isn’t. People don’t know me. And, in the main, criticism, if it is creative, is constructive. She was spiky, but then again, as our discussion was a written one, it is hard to say for sure. If we had met, face-to-face, it might have felt warmer. She has left me wobbling. But then again, I have always wobbled too easily. My confidence, as he pointed out this morning, while sitting on the bed getting dressed for our bi-weekly adventure to the supermarket, is brittle. It was ever thus. Can I change? I doubt it. So what do I do now? The powers-that-be have cancelled all new funding applications, so it is halted anyway. Perhaps it is timely? Can I make this into a good thing? Why not? It was getting large, maybe too large. Possibly taking stock is the best thing I can do at the moment.

The sun is out already and it’s only just gone 8. Another lovely day is promised. There was a new manager at Tesco’s this morning warning us that next time we shop we will have to go in alone. Only one person to a trolley, he said, looking sadly apologetic. And you must keep 2 metres apart from other people, he continued, and there will be police in to enforce it. Ah, it is beginning to frighten me, this. In my agitation I assault one of the self-service tills. He shouts out my name embarrassed at my infantility. And I am soon shame-faced. He forgives me, as does S, one of the managers. Everyone does it from time to time, she says. You take care now.

And you. And you.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.