I used to spend the weekends in a first-floor flat in Ashton-Under-Lyne. It looks onto a narrow cobbled street for foot traffic only. It was a convenient rabbit run for people returning home from socialising at weekends. One Friday night I was in bed listening to music when I heard a couple showing (so loudly I was forced to turn up The Carpenter Greatest Hits to number 8 on the volume knob.) Worried about my car I eventually peeped out of the window and but the moment had passed and the couple were walking away with a frosty distance between them.
On Sunday morning I was leaving the flat when I saw a woman stuck on the stone wall. She was face down on the wall, not moving much. Why was she up there? Over the wall is a steep embankment down to railways tracks. You’d only mount the wall to walk around it to jump in front of an oncoming train (in the fifteen years I’d owned the flat there’ve been four suicides that I knew of.) She’d knocked my bin on its side to help get herself onto the wall.
I made sure she could see me and she said hello without embarrassment.
“Its only beer cans and dead cats over there,” I said. This was true - someone had once thrown a dead cat over the wall.
It worked out she was the woman who I’d heard arguing in the early hours. She been out to some pubs with her partner but she’d spent so much time on her mobile phone he’d furiously snatched it from her and tossed it over the wall.
I fetched some ladders from the flat, climbed over the wall and retrieved the phone from the foliage (still working.)
So here is a painting of woman stuck on a wall. While painting it there were I saw some crimson sunsets out of my bedroom window so I thought I’d put in the painting.
The woman in this painting has some shapely legs and is wearing stilettos and is stuck on a fence. In reality the woman was built like a baby hippo, was wearing cheap trainers and was stuck on a stone wall (I doubt a flimsy wooden fence would have held her weight.) Stilettos are not easy to paint from underneath. It would have been easier if I’d made it look like the woman had taken them off the get over the fence. I painted the cat in remembrance of Twinkle my cat who I still miss.