It’s been a while, again. I’m busy, caught up in internal stuff. Not at peace, yet longing to be. It is in my gift, I know this. And there was a brief moment, as we sat on those sofas in the hotel in Aberdovey in the sleeping lounge. Peace then. Lovely nothingness. I can call on it any time. I know this.

So, the notes have stacked up. The unicycle I saw chained to a lamp post. The snail I stepped on in the dark. I heard its crunch. I’m sorry. Rest in peace little thing. Then, his meeting John in the supermarket and them talking about my knee and other stories. He tells him what I do. Oh, said John, I thought she was a business woman. La di da. A business woman. Well I never. Whatever next. Me?

Our estate (for want of a better word. It is actually an old school) is full of cats. There is Betty, Ronnie and Reg (the Krays) and various others. All good mousers, it appears, except perhaps for Betty who seems to spend her time greeting people as they drive up. There was a dead shrew on the step the other morning.

Work, real work, paid work, has been busy. L.A. was a highlight. Reality TV star complete with face-lift bandages. What a sweetie. Outer skin tough but such a soft one. I ached for her. Don’t give so much away. Keep something back. She came with dog. Hackles were raised but, I’m here on holiday, I’ve no one to leave him with. A few days before there was Jack, the newly trained steam engine driver. Chuffed with his own success.

I’ve kept walking, even though she told me to cut it down. I can’t, won’t. I need the air, the space, the freedom. I hobble and try to act normal. The stick has been left behind the door though. That’s something. The rain has kept the Prom quiet except for one morning – a figure down by the harbour. I saw the red circle of her cigarette first, then the furry edged lining of her parka.

I am distrait. All a wobble. My confidence is so brittle. Longing to hide to run away like the painter in the French film we’ve watched over the last couple of nights. A gentle one. They explain little the French. But how I delight in the details.

I am low. I know this. It erodes all that I try to do. And then I walk and see the homeless man and his dog sleeping in the Prom shelter. Last week it was so hot he was in his boxer shorts. Good morning, I called. Hello darling, he replied.

It’s an opportunity not something to be frightened of. Just try it. Try it all. There is much to be learnt in the process. It’s an avoidance of decisions, so much┬ánicer to be in the middle of something, flanked either side by something done, something concrete. This hurling oneself out into the blue into that white space of nothing is sometimes so terrifying. Everything must come from me and sometimes, just sometimes I have nothing to give. It will pass. I know this too. Until it does I must remember to be kind. Good and kind. It is the least I can do.

Rain, rain and rain. And the washing machine, despite Andrew the mender best efforts, continues to sound like a helicopter taking off. Just when you need everything to be alright. So be it. Little inconveniences. I think of that German girl on the front of the Times yesterday. Caught, trapped, her fingers playing with her scarf. All sadness, all fear in that gesture. I hope that will be kind to her. We know not what we do.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.