It always throws me returning home. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been away, a week or a night or a couple of days, it’s the leaving of one place and the returning to another that I have also left. I inhabit spaces so completely – not always a comfortable thing. He doesn’t. He is never as at home as when he is at home. I make home wherever I am which makes the wrench of leaving, whether it is my real home, or my temporary one, hard. It fitted me that little space. A glove, a coat, a cardigan – it fitted me and knew me. I liked it’s rhythms, it’s nooks and crannies, the way that the smallness was turned to an advantage. See how near everything is – it was the smallness of my childhood, a doll’s house kind of smallness. It asked so little of me. I needed that, though the grief still surfaced. Was that such a bad thing? Everyone seemed to welcome me, or perhaps it was just that I was happy to be there. In that simplicity. A simple life, modest. I lived on yoghurt, fruit, spinach and porridge. Simple. And I read and read. Almost all the six books I took with me, their maternal stories weaving into my dreams. And I wrote and wrote – longhand, trying not to think, trying not to compose but to write automatically to see what comes out. I am tired. Yet I have to clean, to make the house ready, neat. The journey was long and with yet another Friday debacle. A train on fire apparently that virtually brought the network to a standstill. The carriages took onĀ  wartime spirit. Nice. And in the end they got us a taxi all the way from Shrewsbury. We chattered, mostly of Norway. Small world. She’s going to see if she can find someone to ‘talk’ to me. I’d like that but fret about when and how. It’s tiredness, as is our niggles with each other. He too wants changes. Small ones, tweaks as to how we manage our life together. The rest, the break from me has done him good. He looks positively rosy. So much to do and I want to do it all at once. And I can’t. Breathe. One thing at a time. Another prize. Such childlike delight. I feel looked after each time. Like finding a coin or a feather. I met such kind people on my journey yesterday. They opened me.

You look lovely, he said as he met me at the station. I feel like shite but thank you, thank you.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.