Returning to the idyllic moors the following morning, there was a large white van parked by our painting spot, with a dune buggy thingy beside it, all big tyres and engine, and a young shirtless man smoking reefer. He was very friendly, and as we set up our paints and settled in, he revved his engine and careened up the track once or twice, but the noise wasn’t an issue as he seemed to prefer to lie on the grass and take in this blissful place.
After an hour or so I heard more young male voices, all thickly accented and cussing away good-oh, an endearing Irish-ism. I looked up from deep within the heather beds and saw another three of them, not far from my mother, but she was deep in painting focus, and a bit hard of hearing, which in this case served her well. It transpired that one of them had driven his car into the ditch as he was coming up the track, a track littered with large stones and bordered by ditches – more like massive moats really – dug by farmers to keep the likes of these joy-riders out. Being high, into the ditch he went, hence the profusion of profanity, and the subsequent smoking of more reefer to come up with a solution.
Before too long they called a mechanic, and then asked us if we were planning to leave, as they had blocked the little track with the car half in the ditch and half out, but we weren’t going anywhere… It was they who had to leave, going up the track in the opposite direction in the big white van when the munchies struck, so took off to go to the shop, asking us if we wanted anything before they left. Remote as this place is, the shop must be very far away…but munchies are munchies, and within the hour they had returned with bags of crisps and sodas, and they lounged around on the grass contentedly.
Not long after we heard the sound of a racing car, looked up to see a dust cloud and a little car bouncing over the horizon, and speeding in our direction. It was the mechanic, shifting gears and squealing tyres and narrowly missing the ditch himself. He came, hauled the car out, and left. The boys relaxed in the sunshine again, no longer interested in the dune buggy, or the wrecked car now parked beside the van, and attempted to kick a ball between themselves… but so high were they that none of them could manage, and before too long they left it sitting in the grass by my painting mother’s feet.