The funeral of a not-so-old man is all over the papers. A killer turned peace-maker they are calling him. One man wished him to hell, another, the son of his rival recognised he’d changed. Redemption, forgiveness. I remember his face from childhood and how it was recently. He had warmed, grown softer, kinder it seemed. Rest in peace.

He keeps parking his big green van in the driveway. Aled, one of the town butchers. He knows him. Not well but to say hello to and banter with. That fucking van, he says. I bet it’s Aled’s. It is. I saw him getting into it this morning, he says. They laughed about it. I bet you think I’m real trade, he said to him. An energetic man. He and his wife have just bought a large house in St David’s Road, hence the parking of the van around the corner. Butcher and entrepreneur. All sorts are put on display outside his shop. Plants, Christmas trees, cut flowers, fruit, vegetables. He had a short spell in prison for fraud. It was years ago. He’s open about it, sanguine. A resilient man. A cheerful man.

Two sessions at work yesterday. A chance to return to Jenny Diski and her fear of spiders and how to write about real people without offending them. She calls her the Farmer. The woman from whom she is renting the cottage in he Quantocks from. How do you write about someone without undermining their privacy? It is something I wonder about to. I need to write about things that happen to me. The real is so much more potent for me than fiction. I need to tap into the sensation of it. What do you do? Change names? Or use titles like the Farmer. I don’t want to hurt. It’s just that it is my life too, my experience. Can I own it in print?

Walking past the Why Not? club at four this morning there was a sprawl of students, one of which was in a Spider-Man outfit. He head was uncovered. I’m Spider-man he was saying to a girl who wasn’t listening.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.