Do all writers struggle with editor’s ‘suggestions’? I must take a deep breath and deal with it, but not now.

Uglow writes of a happening when Charlotte Bronte was staying with Elizabeth Gaskell. Painfully shy, Bronte was always reluctant to meet a ‘strange face’. Gaskell’s friends the Winkworth sisters wanted to meet her. She met one and got on well but when asked if she come over to be introduced to the other, she’d hesitated. Gaskell and she had walked over there only to loiter outside the door, go for another walk, loiter again and then to give up and return to Gaskell’s Plymouth Grove home. I understand it completely. How difficult it is with other people. A friend writes that she is all alone in her family’s winter cottage in the mountains, that is excepting the sheep and the mosquitos. My heart yearns for such solitude and space, though this is no comment on my love, I love his company but it is escape from obligation that I seek. It is that, that obligation that another person sets up. Not their fault but mine. (My stomach is growling away as I write this, God knows why.)

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.