A walk on the edge of the forest-a fictional fragment

Gypsy CaravanThat summer was very hot and walking through the fields that smelled of early blackberries, I came to

the edge of the caravan park. One more stile and I descended to the enclosure on the edge of the pine trees .

I soon identified Sean’s caravan by its bright tomato red colour. A strange domicile for a

bohemian artist, I thought, or perhaps for a man like him it was absolutely à la mode. Then I caught

sight of Jean, she many not have known it, but to my certain knowledge, she was at least his fourth

mistress that summer. Perhaps she kept him inspired too; he was producing even more large figurative “heads” than ever


“Hello” she said smiling broadly and carrying a large aluminium bucket in each hand. I was perhaps a little

shocked because for back then few women would have so openly flaunted their buxom charms and her loose

rolled up trousers gave her a nonchalant almost wanton appearance ; her brown skin shone magnificently in the sunlight.

“You have timed your visit well – we are just about to have lunch. Hope you like mackerel?

Sean is in there, I just have to feed the chickens” She put down the buckets and wiped her nose with the back of her hand.

“Well, Jean, that would be absolutely lovely.”

“He hasn’t stopped working away all week you know.”

“Is it still those blue heads?” I inquired thinking myself rather brusque. More fake Modiglianis, I thought, but the prospect of lunch in Jean’s jolly

earthy company made putting up with the errant, overbearing genius just about bearable.

From Leonora Carrington’s Self-portrait (c.1937-8)
From Leonora Carrington’s Self-portrait (c.1937-8)

By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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