Friday, 9 December 2011


The watercolour of Carmarthen Bridge sold this week at the exhibition. I painted this from the edge of the PC World Car Park earlier in the year. It was one of the few lovely hot days we had in May. I spent the morning with my watercolours and easel in my own little world. The only thing that broke into my concentration was the smell from the burger van parked nearby.

Many years ago when I first joined the police the pay was very poor although I had somewhere to live. The money could be eked out for 3 weeks just but the 4th week was absolute penury.

During that week I would volunteer for nights. That meant walking the streets of central Birmingham. It also meant a free beer from a grateful landlord for emptying his pub at closing time. More importantly if you stood next to a street trader selling hot potatoes, burgers, or chestnuts they would feed you. They liked the security of a police officer standing there, as it could be a somewhat rough at night. So the last week of the month was always a diet of burgers and beer.

Looking back this was not really the sort of thing a public servant should do. Times were however different then as anyone who has watched “Life on Mars” would have noted. It depicted a fairly accurate description of attitudes within the Police Force at the time. Obviously things changed over 40 years and now it is according to Judge Bean (yes that is his name) apparently all right to swear and abuse a police officer as they are used to it! Words fail me at this point.

Anyway going back to the burger van I can't stand the smell of burgers now so maybe those early years of living on then have had some effect.

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