Daylight scrumping is unusual. There’s a spot on the M4 where a lone apple tree sits among the other trees. One day the fruit was just too tempting. A white van parked on the hard shoulder area in broad daylight had on the roof four guys scrumping.
As I drove on carefully, slowing down, as many of the drivers going by were distracted by this sight, there was another car driving along that hard shoulder. It was a white car with fluorescent stripes. My brain switched to cartoon mode. The police car seemed to be slowly prowling along lifting one tyre at a time as it crept forward.
I have moved the location of the tree for my painting. The early sketches were just of a line of grey roadside fence. The final painting includes the beautiful grey-pink hand-crafted stone walls that are noticeable in different places along the route. These walls snake along the side of the road – solid and dependable.
Daylight robbery aside …
After I told my mother this tale, she reminded me that one of her favourite things used to be a sugary toffee apple. Her eyes were bright as she recalled a fair from her childhood on a green in London (Tottenham or Lambeth most probably). Toffee apples were also a post-war treat that my father bought for her when they went to the beach in Kent. Happy memories.
Also, I recalled the intense light of the bright blue skies with airplane trails from when my two sisters and me would play in the orchard part of the garden. Apples and cherries from the four trees there tasted like no other fruit ever does. The skies in the Summer holidays were always so so clear blue and it was so hot. We played out in the daylight without a care in the world.
In conclusion, it would be lovely to think that the four guys went on their way with the ability to make an apple crumble when they got home. Perhaps with lashings of custard or a dollop of clotted cream to reward their blue sky thinking.
50 x 40 cm canvas
This painting is part of the “Light” series. More tales in the previous blog here.