Burnt Out

This morning I scanned three more of Charles Keeping’s excellent illustrations to ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

‘Conveniently elevated above the level of the living, were the dead’

‘Tippins the divine’

The artist’s inspired evocation of Dickens’s ‘The whole metropolis was a heap of vapour charged with muffled sound of wheels’ prompted me to post https://derrickjknight.com/2021/09/11/a-knights-tale-32-the-great-smog/

On a still sultry afternoon we took a drive around the forest.

Dumped beside the entrance to the paddock on Braggers Lane was a burnt out Daihatsu Fourtrak.

Whoever left it there did not destroy the number plate.

Looking over the landscape at Rockford End. we could see a sunlit distant marina.

Jackie parked beside the very narrow lane while I wandered about with my camera and photographed

a grassy verge; tumbling farm buildings in an overgrown field; a dappled bank; and a gate into a similar field

From the lane up to Gorley Common and Hyde we observed a basking herd of deer.

At the top of the hill ponies shared the pasturage with cattle. One pony found its tail in a tangle; one cow stopped the traffic.

At North Gorley three donkeys were employed clipping a hedge, and

a huntsman and hound took note of the wind direction.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie; crunchy carrots; tender cabbage and runner beans, with meaty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cepa Lebrel Gran Reserva Rioja 2011.


  1. Oooohhh your dinner sounds delicious! Beautiful photos, Derrick, but who would burn a vehicle like that! Why? Not removing the license plate as we call them will help the police track the owner. Terrible.

  2. Yikes on the burnt-out car! But, you captured some artistic photos of it!
    Love, as always, the textures, shapes, patterns, motion, character, etc., in Mr. Keeping’s illustrations!
    Looking at your photos of the animals it comes to my mind that they might say, “Hey, Human-Beans, it’s okay to slow down and enjoy the simple, basic things in life!” πŸ™‚
    Oh, poor tangled horsey tail! Maybe he needs some hair conditioner?!?! πŸ˜›
    HA! on the donkeys employed to clip the hedges! πŸ˜€ Do they work for The Bray and Kick Landscaping Company?! They’re doing the donkey work! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  3. I adored your wonderful photos of the deer in the field Derrick .. Oh .. I used one of your photos from your “Greener Graveyard Grass” article, as my featured image for my poem/senryu today .. Again thank you kindly for allowing me to do so …

  4. I love these photos from your forest drives, especially the animals!

    I hope burned out vehicles are not something you see very often there. At least it is traceable, and I hope no one was hurt.

  5. Mr Keeping’s inimitable fogged up illustration across two pages neatly coincides with the current installment of your story, Derrick.
    Why would anyone dump a burned out car in public space? Isn’t it illegal, taking littering to a ridiculous level?

      1. The license plate made me think of a crime (I guess I have watched one too many Russian criminal news), since nobody in their right mind would leave an easy identification, asking for a fine.
        You are very welcome, Derrick.

  6. Conveniently elevated above the level of the living, were the dead. That is a thought provoking piece of black humour. Keeping has captured the soul of smog laden metropolis ably. You have captured engrossing landscapes today. The burnt out vehicle has a surprisingly intact number plate and stepney wheel. The fallen farmhouses have nothing to display however. Perhaps their souls are as free as the deer that roam the sparse woods.

  7. You know just how to shock us out of a routine, Derrick. By taking us through the illustrations of ‘Our Mutual Friend’ to … a spectacularly burnt out vehicle … you have made your readers sit up and take notice. The photographs of that are interesting in their details. What I find intriguing is your description of it as being ‘dumped’ as if the vehicle was no longer wanted. I agree with Jill that the first photograph would make an excellent prompt for a story: the vehicle is parked correctly … was it burned by accident (how?) or by design (why?) …

  8. I’m guessing the vehicle was stolen and that’s the last place I would expect to find one.

    I hope someone helped the pony with its tail hair caught.

  9. I think this post’s photos is a very atmospheric mystery novel in the making. I wonder about that burnt car–with the license tag left on.
    The tree and the gate are lovely landscape shots, and of course the animals are always fun. The weathervane is beautiful.

  10. I wonder how the pony’s tail got stuck up that high. haha Those donkeys actually do look like someone hired them to trim the hedges!

  11. What dramatic pictures of the burned out car. They are strangely interesting. I like that weather vane picture. It would be nice to have that on top of something near me.

  12. I doubt crime was involved in the burning of the car. Anyone who set it on fire purposefully would have removed the identifying plates. Beyond that, the damage to the body of the car suggests a roll-over accident.

    Car fires aren’t that uncommon around here. Unfortunately, they seem most often to happen on the freeways at the height of the rush hour. Drivers and traffic reporters even have a name for them: Car-be-ques.

    1. Thanks very much for that perspective, Linda. I imagined that if you had a grudge against the owner you might leave one identifying plate. However, it is a scene upon which to speculate.

  13. The art work is mind boggling! So magnificent! And your photography is so appreciated, Derrick. I love that pony with the tail tangled in the hanging weeds (branches?). How kind of Jackie to be so patient while you meander with your camera. Does she bring along a good book??

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