Seasons in the Sun She lived in a net-curtained house with anaemic pot plants and china figurines of big-eyed animals and ladies in long dresses. There was always the smell of stale sponge cake and a scattering of doilies, a brown flowered carpet, drab furniture with crochet antimacassars. She only spoke the island Welsh, always with a twinkle in her eye. We were no angels: girls that slipped melting ice lollies through the dark mouths of post boxes, stuck out our tongues at strangers, danced the can-can in her bloomers and best chapel hat rummaged from her bedroom while she spoke to our mother. In a hot summer that reverberated to the sound of roller skates tearing up concrete she took us in her shiny black Morris Minor, speeding past farms and fields of potatoes, to the candy floss paradise of Benllech with its wide apron of sand and donkeys. Me in my beloved yellow towelling hot pants, while Seasons in the Sun played from everyone’s open door. Sometimes at Twilight . . . I open my back door to the high clean ozone of the tide, when the chill small evening clinks with sounds of crockery from the beach-side bistro and wine-hazed banter. And I’m glad of cormorants that dry their wings on the jetty’s end, sloe-dark eyes of a surfacing seal, plants that grow despite the wind’s salt charge. Glad that in spite of poverty there are watery days of soft rain and poetry, the past that is always present beneath the surface of earth and our skin, the lost graves of my peasant ancestors. Glad of the balm this place brings to a frightened rescue dog who now calls it home, for being able to stand on my step at night, sniff the air like a fox, for what the wind brings. inspired by Glad of these times by Helen Dunmore Bio: Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. Annest has been published in various literary journals and anthologies, both online and in print. She has been placed in writing competitions, winning one. She lives on the coast of north west Wales with her rescue dog.