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Ronnie not Reggie

He told me I was wrong. It is Ronnie not Reggie who is on the run, or captured, or ransomed or lost or dead. He told me that for a time she had one of the padded ‘cages’ she straps to her body to transport them about or collect them in when they go walkabout out by her front door. Perhaps she was hoping she’d wake up one morning and he’d be snug inside it. It wasn’t there this morning. Has she given up hope or has the prodigal returned?

I think of such things as I walk and of work and today the piece I’ve just written. Are they ever good enough the things we give our time to? I’m weary this morning, my hips ache and walking was a chore. I took a detour to the Market Hall to see if there was a cobbler there. I’d thought there was but it seems we are bereft of one here. How can that be? Don’t people still need their shoes attending to? Or do we just throw them away when they become a little down at heel? Shall I learn and take up the trade? I still fantasise about being a baker. Silly, I know. I saw the baker stride across the darkened road to go to work this morning at 4 am. The girl with the ponytail is usually in there before him and the smells are there too. Does she switch the ovens and machines on? Is she a baker too? What is his role then – a master baker applying the finishing touches? Today the smells were of fruit loaves and hot cross buns. Yummy. My soul is comforted by such scents as it is by the lit Christmas tree twinkling in Sophie’s Cafe. He will have to take my shoes to Mach and I shall have to manage without them and clump about in my walking boots. So be it. At least I have a choice. Are you well shod? she asked the maid servant. My parents keep me well-shod, my lady, she said lifting up her skirts to reveal her boots.

I’m re-reading Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. I tried to read it in Norwegian all those years ago, translated it word by word. This is clunky translation. How could you let your child be raised by strangers? Nora asks her nurse. Surely your daughter has forgotten you. No, Anne replied. She hasn’t, I heard from her just the other day.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.