I baked him shortbread and made the house and my clothes smell of it. They smelt of butter and brown sugar. It pleases him. I like to please him. A poet comes on at the end of a programme about Josie Long and talks about stealing things. He meant words and the sound of people talking, like John Humphrys reading poetry. When he gets depressed, he says he needs to keep his world small, to shrink it so he listens to the same thing over and over again till the words lose their meaning.

My night was full of dreams. I tried to write the first one down in the dark. I can hardly read my scrawl. It is something about a policeman being jumped by a terrorist with photographs and pills and he has a bomb. I cannot remember it. The images don’t come. Then I wrote a sentence that came at the end: ‘Besides after being plain magisterial is simply a bonus.’ The second dream is clearer. I’m with my friend and her. We are in a house I don’t recognise preparing for a journey. She has found me a job one day a week in Huddersfield, teaching. Prior to that she and her partner have sold me some of their clothes. Then we are at her workplace, in the office with her secretarial staff and colleagues. She looks unwell and they are poo poohing it. I grab her face in my hands. Look at her skin, I am saying, it’s going green. I shout at them. Turn away from your computer I say to one of them, and look at her.

He has gone for his walk. And the plumber has taped up the loo, it should do for a bit. A misty rain is coming. Work now. First tea. Then get down to it. It is fine. It is.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.