Plus Fours

Is he the one that I’ve seen sitting by the loos down by the harbour?

What is it about eccentric dress? It is often just teetering on madness.

He was coming towards me. His gait was stride-y, with long steps and a little over-jaunty. It was three am and he had on a big bobble hat, a tweed jacket, walking boots and matching plus fours. You don’t often see them, except on a shoot or sometimes on a golf course. He raised his hand in greeting as he walked by. Was he the one who offered me chips a few weeks ago? He said hello. He had a large bushy, grey-ish beard. I was glad that we spoke. He was coming back towards me ten minutes later. Where had he been? No greeting this time.

There was a police van outside the clock. I thought the police man was holding something like a water pistol. I couldn’t quite make it out as I walked past him. Then he called out to me, Water?, and offered me a bottle. No thanks, I said, touched and yet a little perturbed that he thought I might need some. The students milled around, drunk and loud. It’s sweet, and almost paternalistic, a nice gesture, looking after the freshers, dehydrating their drunkenness. Is this just an Aber thing?

Flat cleaned, emails done. Time for work. Did I tell you about the royalties? I am so pleased. It’s come from me. All of it. And it’s proof that people read it. My words, my thoughts. That has to be good. Doesn’t it?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.