Ellen in Recording Studio - Oubliette project - Jan 2017 (6)

As I walk back home along Llanbadarn Road I can see through a window in top floor flat a Christmas tree still lit and dressed. Twelfth night is long gone but I understand. The lights are a joy in all this terrible dark. On North Road too windows are decorated with garlands of fairy lights.

Sunday morning early and I see a white dog running into the entrance of the Pier Pressure. A girl is shouting, I can’t hold him. Several people crouch down and try to corral him into a corner. He wags his tail joyfully. A man arrives, lead in hand, the dog bouncing up to greet him. A couple are ahead of me making their way to their parked car. Behind them is a girl. I watch her. A large, rounded body of a girl in a sleeveless dress. Her feet pronate outwards, the heels of her shoes worn down either side. She rolls as she walks, struggling, slow. I pass her with ease. Don’t overtake me, she implores, turning her lovely big-eyed face towards me, I’m going so slow. I smile and notice the sprawling spider tattoo on her arm.

A sign in the window of Harry Daniels Funeral Directors on Mill Street reads, this business will be closed from January 6th 2017 due to retirement and unforeseen circumstances.

A robin jumps in front of me, a flash of black.

A man with a beard lumbers down the hill, walking in shadows, headphones clamped to his ears.

The tearings of a green fishing net lies as jetsam on the promenade.

Storm remains. Christmas remains. What remains.

The old man in double-breasted suit and watch fob talking passionately about a bill nobody cares about. He too rolls as he walks, his shoes, curling at the toes. Later a neat little body of a woman in tight zipped-up jacket with pink collar is hoisted onto the stool to face the camera.

No wind this morning. A light misting of rain. I stop to hear the sea. What remains?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.