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.


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

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


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.


By John Yeo


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

Writing 101 Day Seven~Rustic and Flash

Give and Take ~Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!



By John Yeo

Hallo Rustic, my friend the ploughman. Pleased to meet you!

Likewise Flash, Moi pleasure you well-suited city-slicker!

Look Rustic, we city dwellers have all the fun and thrills of metropolitan life.

Arrh roight Flash, but we folk in the countryside have the benefits of the peace of Nature.

In the city we have the choice and convenience of many different shops and stores.

Here in our rural paradise we grow fresh food and enjoy the pleasure of real natural taste.

Listen Rustic, city life is fast and furious and we can get to the office easily and network.

Arrh but Flash, here on the farm we get up early, work hard, and commute by tractor.

You country bumpkins rarely get the chance to appreciate real art or the theatre.

Yes but city slickers choke on exhaust fumes all day and get real nature, second-hand.

We have the pleasure here in the city, my rustic friend of mixing with many different cultures and sharing the lifestyles of people from all over the world.

Flash moi over cultured, stressed-out nine-to-fiver, the rural life is very peaceful with low crime rates and the luxury of a slow pace of life.

Rustic you stuck-in-the-farmyard-mud fool! I would not swap my network friends and excitement to live in the countryside.

Flash, you are a close-minded, idiotic, unenlightened twit!  I would hate to be you, living among thousands of city people and still manage to feel very lonely in your concrete apartment.

Copyright (c)  Written by John Yeowriting-101-june-2014-class-badge-2

Writing 101~Day Six~Modern-World Gypsies

Who’s the most interesting person/people you’ve met this year

Today’s twist, turn this post into a character study

Around the World in Words

By John Yeo

We were aboard a medium sized cruise ship visiting ports along the Adriatic coast of the Mediterranean sea. A wonderful itinerary with some interesting ports to visit along the way.

Between destinations, when our ship was at sea, we attended presentations in the form of lectures on a wide variety of subjects.

This is were we came into contact with one inspiring presenter, David who travelled with his wife Janet. An interesting lecturer who gave some sparkling lectures on wildlife and photography, David had a way of presenting his subject, in a very loud enthusiastic voice, backed up by some brilliant examples of his photography, he brought the subject of his lectures to life. He held his audience by virtue of that very loud voice, which he used to good effect to accentuate the flow of his lecture.

We had the pleasure of having dinner with David and Janet allowing us a very good opportunity to meet and converse with the man behind the lectures with his very supportive wife. The conversation flowed, punctuated with much repartee between husband and wife, one of David’s favourite expressions is, “I’m a Cockney, London born and proud of it!”. Between them, both David and Janet had a fund of stories about their previous cruises together, with David remarking “ What other wife enjoys sailing the world with their husband as he lectures on the work he enjoys doing very much?” Janet smiled benevolently obviously enjoying her role as the supportive wife behind the man, although it was obvious to us that she played a very important part in cementing his self-esteem. They have travelled together to many parts of the world, one of their habits was to collect a pebble or a small stone from every port they have visited and take it back to place in their garden in England.

When they were not travelling the world, David had many other ventures on the go, lecturing and teaching photography. He would produce highly-valued large photographic books of country houses for their owners, very individual works of highly illustrated photography with a historic description of the property. Another venture was organising wild life safaris to Africa, where he would extend his photographic library and portfolio.

Yes, this man who travels the world visiting many countries with his supportive lady wife is probably the most memorable character who has crossed our path so far this year.


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


Writing 101, Day Eight~Adverb-less writing


Go to a public location and make a detailed report of what you see. The twist of the day? Write the post without adverbs.



The sun appeared with rays and shadows. I sit at a table overlooking a lake with flowers and reeds along the banks. Birds sing and ducks quack, the peace of the early morning, shattered by voices. Tables, trees and grass with flowers on the banks. A heron hunts then flys away. Sunlight is on the leaves of bushes nearby.


JUN 6, 2014 Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.


The wind blew a letter that landed on the path.

It was from my six year old  child.

Dear Santa,


I cried bitter salty tears.

Letter to Santa


JUNE 5, 2014 Writing 101, Day Four: Write about a loss. The twist: make this the first post in a three-post series.

Write about a loss something (or someone) that was part of your life and isn’t any more. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.


By John Yeo

 The forest stretched for miles, a sea of pine trees with thick undergrowth. There was a large variety of wildlife in the forest and my wife and I would ramble for hours, just enjoying the sensation of the natural world. The birds fluttering and calling in the tree tops with squirrels scrambling up tree trunks in their haste to get away from the intrusive humans. Many times we have been caught in a shower or a storm and exactly against the universal advice we took shelter under a tree. The woodland flowers were colourful, blooming in profusion during their season, and we would enjoy wandering through stretches of ferns into the forest. One day we spotted a faun, shyly strolling along a woodland path through the trees, we quickly followed this beautiful little animal for a long way into the depths of the forest.

 Suddenly we realised we were lost, hopelessly, totally lost. We pressed on hoping to come to an inhabited property where we could get our bearings and some directions back to where we had started our ramble. We came upon a clearing with a pretty little cottage and knocked hard to alert the inhabitants of our arrival. There was no response to our urgent knocking and we entered the little house to explore. Inside we found a large amount of blood, all over the place, some dried up and to our dismay what looked like a puddle of fresh blood. We assumed that an animal had been slaughtered and put the whole thing out of our minds for a minute. We then went through into the back yard, where there was freshly disturbed earth with mounds of earth piled every where, My wife, Margaret nervously remarked that they looked like a series of graves.???????????????????

  Then there was a noise as a large animal or a man was heard crashing and running through the forest~~~~

Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo


JUNE 4, 2004 Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice

Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.


 Three songs that have made a huge impact on me during my life? Obviously the songs that come to mind are the important songs that have made an impression on my life. All music that I have enjoyed,has come in phases, during the popular phase I remember, “Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be will be” sung by Doris Day. I was a young man during the time this song arrived on the scene, and her voice and the words made a big impact on my mind. It was also a firm favourite of my late wife, Sophie.

 The next song I can distinctly remember was linked to a girl friend who lived in the USA, I live in the UK and we last met when she was on a holiday here. This song is, “A bridge Over Troubled Water” sung by Simon and Garfunkel, I love the words and the tune to this.

 The final song would be an Operatic Aria, “One Fine Day” from the opera Madame Butterfly, This turned my tastes firmly in the direction of the music and production of Grand Opera. My wife, Margaret and I both love this type of music and we have enjoyed several Operas together.

 I find this selection of my favourite songs, very mysterious as they are all songs that have had a significance in my life and they can all be linked by circumstances.

 “Que Sera Sera” is a philosophical song, that is a direction to follow in the future.Image

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”, is also a reminder that I met my wife Margaret on the water during a cruise, at a very troubled period in my life.Image

“One Fine Day” is the finale of this troubled period when Margaret and I decided to get married. We have enjoyed a second chapter of our lives for the last ten very happy years.Image

 I will now download and put these three songs together on my computer as I never realised they had such a significant impact on my past and present life.


Written by John Yeo (c) All rights reserved

JUNE 3, 2014 Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

JUNE 3, 2014
Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)
We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.


Woodland in the light of day

The house in Bridgeman downs in Brisbane was situated on the side of a steep hill, indeed walking up the drive was a struggle for my wife, Margaret.

There was a balcony that stretched around the house overlooking a valley with wonderful houses screened by the typical Australian tropical vegetation.

High Palm trees mingled with Eucalyptus trees in the woodland in the middle distance and this was backed up by a range of mountains on the distant horizon, often shrouded in cloud and mist.

Daytime view of the mountains

The view from the balcony and the dining area was stunning at any time of the day. In the very early hours of the morning at daybreak there was a cacophony of sound as the local bird-life awoke,

with the shrieking of Cockatoos mingled with the distinctive sound of Kookaburras, with  many more birds contributing to the wonderful dawn chorus.

The very colourful plumage of many of these birds is stunning and it was a joy to sit and watch the huge variety of birds flying around the treetops in the distance.

There were some very colourful Rainbow Lorikeets feeding on the nectar from the flowers on a Golden Penda tree at the bottom of the hill at the end of the drive, during the flowering season.

Rainbow Lorikeet in a Golden Penda tree Cockatoo's

Many a  morning when we visited, it was just so relaxing to look out over this ever-changing prospect, just to sit and ponder as the morning broke.

The evening view was the crowning glory of the day as the sun went down and the beautiful all too brief sunsets would descend.

Sunset over Bridgeman Downs

Copyright© written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved