I love what I learn from crosswords. Did you know that a Talbot was a hunting dog. Extinct now, apparently. Nice, eh?

What a lovely day it was yesterday. And I’d sunk a little in the morning. All that mizzly rain and dreary grey and yet when we got there the sun came out and we sat in it. Gorgeous. Everyone else there was about a hundred and five. Suits me. Suits him. Gentle lounging. And those silver coffee pots. As we left I saw a kitchen porter outside the back kitchen door polishing them. Silver pots on a white doilied-tray (should be linen but I’ll forgive them). Though one of the waiters left something to be denied with his, ‘well, that’s you done!’.

We did crosswords, with the woman doing the hotel puzzle (laid out on one of the desks in the ‘adult lounge’ (think of that, what a bliss, no muzak no kids)) once interjecting. It’s the only one I knew, she said. I watched her. She tutted when she tried a piece and it didn’t fit. I’ve only managed three, she said when we left to go. Me with my hand on her shoulder. I’d watched her. Her jowls, the bracelet of semi-precious stones around her wrist, the elastic-waisted jeans with her ‘pretty’ flowered-print blouse tucked in. Her eyebrows with their black tints (mannish) and the curls at the back of her head. And her husband on the sofa in the corner doing the Daily Mail crossword before throwing it down. I’m going to get my book, he said, as he hobbled towards the glass door, there are too many pop stars. Do you want anything from the room? His ankles were tiny (I have an obsession with ankles due to the fact that I’m frequently losing mine) and he wore beige socks in deck shoes. Many of the guests sat in the sun reading papers and drinking coffee. One of the waitresses, a sweet tall girl in black culottes, had the word ‘trainee’ emblazoned on her chest. She blushed when she made an error. It takes me back.

The moon was joy this morning. It lit up the Perygl and the roofs as I returned. They looked like mother-of-pearl. Nacre. It shone in my studio. A blessed silver light.

A day in which I felt something akin to joy. Thank you.

And all the way home I kept thinking about those red stitches.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.