I get so easily wobbled. It has always been so. I wish it weren’t. He steadies me. Always. It began with the washing machine. We were sitting quietly at breakfast bemoaning Catriona’s usual eclectic choice of music on Radio 3 when it started. A kind of rumbling then a wild clanking. Something had obviously dislodged inside. Do they keep bricks in there? The dryer seems to work but the spin cycle is clearly f****d. We’ll have to get a man in. I’ll sort it, he says, giving me a hug. And I am grateful not be alone with it.

It is still pitch out there. He ums and ahs about whether to go out on not. Best not, eh?

More lights for my delectation as I walked. I take the Buarth route on a Sunday as there is no bakery with its smells to enjoy. One of the terraced houses opposite St Trinity had a wonderful garland of lights draped all around its hedge at the front and another house had a lit tree behind a net curtain. I can’t tell you how it lifts me, albeit only for a moment. But it is something. It is something.

I need to love her. To know her. That little one inside. She was a gentle being, still is. A worrier, Nanny called her. And I loved her too. Didn’t I? I felt safe in that flat of hers with its stone steps, huge bath (or so it seemed to me) with a tray across it and the blue and white striped biscuit tin. So neat, so clean, so steady. My love. My loves. So many of you have gone.

He comes in to say he’s going out anyway.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.