I have these recurring dreams. They usually involve walking up a hill. I am in a hot, foreign country. It is busy, the climbing street is flanked either side with stalls, cafes and restaurants. It is busy. I am generally in company and we are deciding where to eat. A seemingly prosaic dream. But the choosing is complicated. It is hard for us to make definite decisions. I am aware of white heat, of exotica, of food that I both know and do not know. The restaurants we go to are outside, without walls, open to the world. Last night I was aware of the waiters. They were mostly women in trousers, black and with white shirts, like the male waiters, but they were the Maître D’s not the men. I noticed one particular woman, large-breasted and officious.

But it was the dream I had the other night that stuck with me. I was talking to my sister. She told me that she kept seeing my face reflected in her window. She was living abroad. She asked me to come and see. I got there, I know not how, and looked at the face in the glass. It was dark and this image shone out. A woman’s face, framed with dark hair and with her lips a deep red, moving, animated. It doesn’t look like me, I said to her, but I recognise it.

Such things stay, stay in my mind. The meaning is deep. A gift.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.