I fell to sleep quite quickly, breaking the habit that had set in of my lying there unable to drop off. Then I was woken around 9ish by some voices beneath my window. I heard the name David and tried in my now wakefulness to ascertain who was speaking. One of the voices was American, or Canadian. This must be one of our near neighbours I thought as I lay there, he and his wife are living here, we don’t know why, perhaps one of them is studying at the University. They are both quite round and small, he has a rolling walk and breathes quite heavily. She always dresses very well, lots of flowing linens. I think he has some health condition. Who was he talking to? Perhaps it was the Chinese man from the flat on the corner. They’d woken me from a dream about deadly deeds concerning the securing of a role in an important role. At least that is the interpretation of the dream that I wrote down when I went for a pee. I think the play was a Shakespeare one. How I was involved, or where the phrase ‘deadly deeds’ came from I do not know. I did return to sleep when the voices ceased. And then didn’t wake until the alarm. I’d been dreaming about my forthcoming marriage. I was sitting on top of a vast moor, in Victorian dress, waiting and crying. I could see the wedding guests advancing towards me across the heather and scrub. It was very cinematic, I was high high above them. One couple had a dog that bounded ahead towards me. Then my sister came. She was looking very beautiful in an Empire Line Dress, dark blue with a ruched midriff. I was in grey. She tried to cheer me (without success), hugging me and saying ‘Do you remember when…’ I continued to cry thinking to myself, surely I am not supposed to be alone on my wedding day. Then I woke.

The blackcurrants arrived in one piece. What a pleasure, though I fear I have eaten to much for breakfast.

I’ve an interview to do today. I always get a little nervous. I know she will be lovely. But I want to hide under a stone. This is the problem with staying in and seeing no one, one gets a little scared of encounters. Though I long for escape too. Just to sit somewhere in a hotel or cafe and empty myself of all thought. That would be good. Wouldn’t it?

I wrote out the brief ideas for the short stories and let him read them in the sun in the afternoon. He was kind and encouraging. I’ve made a start. It’s such a leap. Can I do it? I want to know them, to grow into them and to find my voice. Can I do it? How about if you try?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.