It was so hot that day, and the sense of desolation was only fueled by it, like a desert, slowly baking bricks, under a sky of pure blue. No shade. No bird song. For hundreds of meters around me, a wasteland of rubble and weeds, a few rows of abandoned terraces. The shell of a Victorian pub. And there is that smell, a dampness, rotting wood, and a heady perfume of wild flowers, poppies and cow mumble and hot tar. I decided to paint the scene.