Tea & Seminar

He always helps me. He is so kind, thoughtful and attentive to my concerns. We went. There was time. And it was marvellous. How I love going there. It is nothing special, rather antiquated in fact. Slow. But it’s it’s slowness that appeals to me. The lounge was almost empty when we arrived. Just two men, sitting on separate sofas, sleeping. I love it’s quietness, no muzak, no kids, no shouting. The noisiest and indeed youngest people there are the staff. The residents are ancient. They hobble about, sleep, drink tea or stand at the windows, leaning on sticks staring out at the sea and the golf links, dreaming of younger days, perhaps. We talked, I dug it out of me. It’s like a scourging, a purging. And he understands, he pays attention and gives me back the gift of loving me, of appreciating me. I never want to leave and look with something like envy upon those who have just checked in. To stay there (though what I’d eat, God knows – they just about muster up some soya milk but anything more outlandish they would be floored) to just stay there stretched out on the sofa drinking endless cups of tea, reading, talking, doing crosswords, drawing, thinking and dozing. Bliss. Absolute bliss.

And when we get home we are both exhausted but full. I have gained a little more understanding of the need to accept what is, and that patterns can and should to be changed, as does my attitude to what constitutes work. And what I require to fire me up, to fulfil me. I’m clearly a little better for I am looking outward again, a spark of ambition kindling within. That is good, n’est-ce-pas?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.