The first word that entered my mind was “why”. Why on earth would someone take a car and drive it into the middle of nowhere to dump it and then set fire to it. I had spotted this on our way home from work one evening – we had collected some medication from the vet and so were driving in from the other end of the lane. I was appalled and fascinated at the same time and thought it would make an interesting subject to photograph with my new lens. Standing in front of the wreckage the following morning, I realised there might well be more questions than answers. There was the “why” of course, rapidly followed by “how” as I couldn’t figure out what it was doing in the small clearing on the other side of a barrier. The area had recently been coppiced and to prevent any unwanted access, a large section of tree trunk had been laid next to the road. Maybe it had been done after the fire, but that didn’t make any sense either as it would need to be cleared away before too long.
The whole mess was at odds with the peaceful surroundings. I had walked up early the next day. The first leaves were beginning to show in the bushes – it was still too early for the larger trees. Scattered down the hill I could see patches of wood anemone mixed with pale yellow primroses. Not far from where I was walking there were a few tiny little violets nodding gently in the breeze and I could hear sheep in a neighbouring field. Now I was standing in front of this tangled mess with the stench of petrol assaulting my nostrils. Fire risk, warned the tape I had ducked under and I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take for anything to grow here again. I almost felt guilty for wanting to take a few photographs, as if I was getting some benefit after the crime.
I took the pictures anyway and for that I have to thank a very dear friend who sent some money for my birthday. A second lens for the Sony had been on my wish list for the better part of six years, but she finally convinced me to do something about it. The lens performed very well and I’m looking forward to taking it with me to Exmoor later in the year where I plan to use it on the beach. Hopefully without any abandoned and burnt out cars.