They came, the two of them and the book. The skill I wish to acquire is a daunting one to pursue. I’ve never really been trained at anything, everything I have made and done has been by trial and error, a kind of borrowed, hot-potch of things mostly using inappropriate and impossibly fragile materials. I have no recognised skill. Now I want some. I want to do things well, with finesse and then use that finesse to subvert to make small things that upend expectations. Mine mostly. For I make, write and work for myself now. I have no (or at least try to smother) any further pretensions to fame or fortune from what I do. I am content to languish in this far out place and turn inwards.

I walked out alone yesterday afternoon as he was out seeing old friends. I lay on a bench on the Coll fields in my underwear and tried to fight of sleep. I could hear the children in the primary school playground next door. Two women sat on the steps, one of them eating her lunch. A butterfly fluttered above the grass. A man walked past me, too close, as I dozed. I woke at the sound of his steps on the gravel. Had I been sufficiently covered up? I felt a little exposed alone. I’m used to him being there. A protection. A guard against the outside world. The sun was glorious. It heals me. I need some healing. I went to far. ‘Bull at a gate’ he calls me. I need to let it rest. Not do too much. So be it. This morning I can acquiesce, yesterday I couldn’t. Work times two today, so I will snatch some time preparing the samplers.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.