JUNE 16th 2014~Writing 101~Day Eleven: Size Matters

Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home?  Who lived there with you?

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

BOARDING SCHOOL AND STODGE

By John Yeo

 Twelve years of age! To me that is a very long time ago. Yet, I can vividly remember the boarding school, my brother and I attended. I was eighteen months older than brother, Pip.

We were very close, both in age and in our mutual interests.

The school was situated in a small coastal town in England, Clacton-on-sea. The accommodation was divided into houses. We were both assigned to Essex house, under the guidance of a house-master, Mr Goodman, who looked after us, with the help of his kindly lady wife.

A sports field was attached to the school, where we took part in a wide range of sports. Football and cricket predominated with athletics also a  very popular choice. I was scorer for the school cricket team and a batsman, when I was selected. I also enjoyed running. My brother Pip also enjoyed taking part in a variety of sports.

I can almost touch the wooden desks in  the classroom. A blackboard, with chalk and a dusty cloth that the teacher used to clean off the illustrations from the previous lesson. I remember the homework I would work on in the evening, before joining the rest of the boys on the playing field.

Twelve years of age, I was just beginning to notice girls. There was a girls section of the school that was situated across a busy main road. Segregated and separated. Except for the occasional glimpse and a wave, the unattainable girls became very desirable as time passed.

Although our school was near the seaside, I don’t ever remember walking down to the beach which was on the other side of town. We were taken out regularly in school parties to various places, supervised quite closely, then returned to the school in our groups.

I have vivid memories of the food we consumed and the least said the better. Suffice to say I rarely eat rice pudding, porridge, bread pudding or stodgy foods.

A short sentence. A medium sentence composed of a few more words. A lifetime sentence of likes and dislikes brought on by consuming mass catered food at boarding school that was a surprisingly interesting time in my life.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reservedwriting-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

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Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Tell us about your favourite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory. Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice

HAPPY CHRISTMAS~1950

Written by John Yeo

 This very memorable occasion took place a very long time ago in the early 1950’s. My school-friends and I had been looking forward to a huge upcoming get-together for many months. Several schools were meeting-up for an early Christmas lunch, funded by a charity organisation. We were all lively school-kids between the ages of eight and ten years old. 

 The excitement began to mount when we boarded several buses at our school to transport us to the venue. I remember how we were all cheering and laughing and how difficult it was for the masters, (our teachers), to get some order for the journey. They had a hard job on their hands looking after us.

 500 children were seated in a very large building on chairs at wooden tables, arranged in rows, with the teachers and school monitors and prefects scattered strategically around to keep an eye on things. The noise was deafening at first, with a hubbub of chatter, and much laughter resounding everywhere throughout the building. We all soon settled down as we began to tuck into our lunches of roast chicken, roast potatoes and all the trimmings. This was followed by Christmas pudding with custard, and there were crackers to be pulled with jokes and funnies to be read out loud.

 After lunch a very special visitor arrived, dressed in red with a long white beard, Santa Claus entered the building, the cheers and shouts of welcome were deafening. Every child had a present to unwrap, I got a jigsaw puzzle of dogs in the countryside. Then we enjoyed  a magic show with a real conjurer wearing a top hat, who was very mysterious and very clever. Finally we all sang Christmas carols at the tops of our voices and everywhere there was a feeling of happiness and good spirits.

 At the end of the day, 500 very tired, happy children, boarded the buses to return home, some with memories that would last a lifetime.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo, All rights reserved.writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

JUNE 12, 2014 Writing 101, Day Nine: Changing Moccasins — Point of View~

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

DRAMA IN THE PARK

By John Yeo

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The Man’s Story

We had to get away from the family and the house as Amelia whispered that she had something important to tell me in private. I suggested a stroll in this beautiful park, I always enjoy walking here among the trees and flowers, watching the birds and it was a beautiful day. Amelia hesitated, then broke the news.The hospital had telephoned to say that the tests she had undergone were completely normal and not cancerous as we had feared. I cried tears of relief and joy as the news sunk in, I couldn’t help myself, I am not normally an emotional man. I gave her a huge hug, with the tears streaming down my face. We then danced a jig together, right there in the middle of the park, laughing out loud.

The Woman’s Story

I am glad Peter brought me to this park where I could tell him the good news in private. We didn’t want the family to worry about our fears for my health, they didn’t suspect I had undergone tests for breast cancer. I had discovered a suspicious lump some time ago and my doctor immediately arranged a barrage of investigative tests, I had received the results today. When I gave Peter the good news he cried. Peter burst out crying, real tears of joy! Then we danced around the park together revelling in the sheer happiness of the moment. There was an elderly lady sitting on a bench nearby knitting, she must have thought we were mad.

The Old Woman’s Story

It was such a beautiful day, I thought I would take my knitting and sit in the park in the sunshine. I must finish this sweater for my grandson Fred’s birthday next week. It is red his colour of the moment, the colour of his favourite football team’s shirts. I noticed this man and woman walking along hand in hand, they seemed quite oblivious of everything around them. Suddenly the woman said something to the man, who stopped in his tracks and burst into tears. I thought they were going to have a row, but they were suddenly laughing, dancing, screaming with laughter and joy. I wonder what that was all about, it really is a funny old world! Knit-one, Purl-one, Knit-one, Purl-one.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved.writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2