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Yr Hafod

The Yr Hafod B&B have a big Christmas tree in their breakfast room. There is more room for one now that the restrictions are in place and several tables have been removed. It wasn’t switched on when I walked by. I stayed there one Christmas many moons ago when he was still living with his mother. I don’t know why I didn’t stay with them. It was a little bleak, the owner was away, and being a friend of his he’d agreed that I could stay sans breakfast. I think I got yoghurts and things in. I found the room cold and the rather garish pattern of the quilt a little unsettling. It was good to look out at the sea but the overhead light and lack of cosiness heightened the bleakness I felt. And before that an old friend of his, and for time mine, lived there in a flat before it was a B&B with his young family. So it is living in his home-town, memories of his abound. I live amongst them but without them.

Padarn Estates had a lit tree and lots of lights and G-one Fish & Chips and Kebab shop had flashing lights. The notice ticking them off about not obeying Covid-19 regulations and instructing them to try harder has gone. As has the one in the window of the pub on the corner of Thespian Street. Are they better? Have they been exonerated? Summit Cycles have a tree strapped to the back of one of the bikes in their window. Most festive. It looks sweet – like an American-style 50’s movie with Doris Day. She with the pointed breasts and usually ice-skating. How I loved her then. I stepped in something while out walking. It was mushy but not stinky so I ruled out dog and cat, could it be fox? A pair of black woollen gloves lay forgotten or lost on the pavement as was one trainer, size 11 I’d say. I took a turn off from the Prom to get out of the wind and saw a beautiful tree in one of the small terraced houses, what a sight for sleepy eyes.

Our neighbours have replenished their column of fat balls but so far I’ve only seen a pair of blackbirds pecking away at them. Or where they rooks?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.