Eat Life to the Full

Bedtime Stories, 2009 - detail (2)

As I walk I notice that the Pier Pressure nightclub’s lights are on.

Three lads stand about at the junction for Terrace Road. Here, one of them says, pointing to the small dark-haired one, why don’t I carry you on my back. He bends over and gestures to him. Two girls and boy are walking towards me as I pass the Bandstand. The boy is giving one of the girls a piggy-back. She says something in his ear and giggles. He drops her to the floor. You knob, he shouts, laughing, you knob head. She turns her back to him, still giggling. He slaps her hard on her bottom. Her large buttocks, tightly held in white denim, judder with the force. Come on, says the other girl, let’s do this at home.

The giant security man from yesterday is standing in the doorway, smoking a cigarette. A paper coffee cup rolls on the pavement.

Coming down Great Darkgate Street I notice what looks like woman in the doorway of Thompson’s Travel Agency. She has shoulder-length permed hair and wears a dark navy fleece. We make eye contact. Take a message, Sergeant Major, sir, she shouts at me. Is she talking to me? I smile as I walk past. She continues to shout. I can’t make out what she is saying. Her voice echoes through the dark.

There is a Cornish pasty wrapper on the ground. Eat life to the full, it reads.


I feel privileged to have been a thinking being on this beautiful planet, Oliver Sacks is said to have said when he knew he was dying.

Rest in peace.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.