Sherborne House - sign

I like it. I like it when things seem to connect. A crossword clue first in one paper then another. A word heard on the radio that comes up in a sentence in a bed-side novel. It makes me feel connected, wrapped-up, held, attached to something other, something bigger. It may be fanciful. But sometimes, just sometimes serendipity is almost like faith.

The rain has begun again. I remember meeting a Catholic priest in Spain. He was the brother of a friend of my mother’s. Paul was his name. A gentle man. He lived and worked in Ecuador. It had rained, he told, non stop for five years. It must feel like that for those stricken by floods up North. My window runs with it. The windows can’t keep it out. On days like this I must put cloths under the frames. It oozes through.

Storm Frank. The residue. The other morning there was sea debris all over the road. Sharp pebbles, grit, blackened sand make me unsteady under foot. A mess. Cars are moved. Away from the sea front, pavements are peppered with wheelie bins capsized by the wind, their lids gaping wide. On South Beach a fringe of the sea’s jetsam. Twigs, tree trunks, plastic bottles, oil containers, string all twisted up, edging the beach. People forage, dogs snuffle. I even saw two men with metal detectors. We could see them from the Prom. What are they going to find on the beach? he asks. We watch as one of them stops, rolling his detector in a circle around a particular spot, his spade in readiness in his other hand. His companion joins him, doing the same with his machine. Twats, he says, and we resume our walk.

We’ve bought a tiny bottle of Prosecco. I just want a taste. A taste on my tongue. A fizzing of something like celebration. A New Year. Will you join me?

Have a happy one. See you next year. 2016. I wish you peace.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.