We think it has something to do with his breathing through his mouth, either way whenever he eats there is this profusion of flatulence. And I, having this strong sense of smell (which appears to be getting stronger), find it rather a challenge. I can’t help it, he says. And I know he can’t. It’s just the stink of it that I object to. A skunk. I’m living with a skunk. I skunk I love, nevertheless. And then there is the sniffing. Like an old dog, sniffs. One of his nostrils is blocked, so he sniffs to get relief. The snoring is less of an issue, for the moment. You see, sometimes I have to get it out – all those niggly objections. Ah, but would you be without him? I hear you ask. No, not ever. I can hold my nose and block my ears. There are always ways round it (I burn essential oils and light candles against the noisome odours). But to be without his kindness, his generosity, his care, his wisdom, his patience, his thoughtfulness, his love – no not ever. Not yet. Please.

I heard a ticking yesterday, that is after I turned off my laptop and the noise of voices. It was the clock on the wall in my studio. A quiet tick, almost imperceptible. I’m glad that I’ve found it.

Will I give myself some peace today?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.