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Woman with the bag

I saw her this morning but she was sans bag. She walks slower these days and the rolling gait has become more of an amble. She never wears a coat, even when it rains, just that sweat shirt top. Her hair is lank and greasy. Where does she live? When she senses me walking behind her she often takes a detour up a side road. I don’t take it personally. She is shy, private, inward. I wish her well.

There were lots of birds about as I walked. I could both hear and see them. They flitted about from tree to road, swooping just in front of me. I saw sparrows ( I think, hard to say in the gloom), robins and a single pied wagtail. They must be hungry, it is colder this morning. Should I bring seeds next time? And what is that song that I hear, that kind of clicking metallic sound, is it a blue tit?

I saw two cats too. One circled around me as I climbed the little hill to the castle. It meowed and chattered clearly trying to tell me something. I fussed over it a little then walked on. What can you do?

The smells from the Pelican Bakery were extra gorgeous this morning.

She died yesterday. Her mother sent an email telling me. I am so sorry. Sorry for them all, they were such a close family and she had been ill for so long, going in and out of hospital. She was younger than me. It is heartbreaking for them all. Gone, just like that. She’d had enough, clearly, enough of the pain of the indignity and the bodily intrusion. I wish her peace.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.