Town was a din. Kids in shorts and mini skirts, bare-legged and noisy. It’s mayhem. They shout and bluster across roads into the path of mini-cabs as they duck and dive. The debris of half-eaten pizzas and burgers and their containers litter the streets. Gulls fly overhead, swirling and screeching or swooping down to scavenge on the scattering of chips outside ‘Finger Lickin’. They seem perturbed, unsettled by the clamour. Or are they joining in, participating in the chaos? We talked about it over breakfast. He thought it might be to do with their nests. They nest in the roofs above this particular student drinking ground. Maybe they are being defensive, warning off rather than merely adding to the melee. One gull’s wing whisked past my ear as it landed. So near. I felt the power of it, it’s force, it’s might. You have to be careful, he said, they can attack. There are all sorts of tales, some tall no doubt, others apocryphal, of seagulls dive-bombing people to protect their young or to steal food. Some call them ‘flying rats’. I don’t know. Everything has it’s place. In those early mornings they are more like a mirror – the madness on the ground being reflected above.

I listen to William Trevor’s writing with such pleasure.

I am scared they don’t want it. Give me the strength to resolve this. Amen.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.