Exercise 1.1 People passing the window

Exercise 1.1 • Allow your notebook work to build up for a few days and then read through what you have already written. What you might have thought no good at all as you scribbled it down may prove very readable indeed. • Choose one passage that particularly attracts or excites your interest. Now move to your screen and keyboard. Take your time, adding or inventing anything that didn’t occur to you at the time. • Clearly name and file this work.

This exercise should take you approximately an hour


People passing during breakfast

He was small for a bloke, elderly. He had a long, long stride looking like he meant business. He walked with intention, ramrod straight, even leaning back slightly. He moved very quickly with the gait of a marching wooden soldier.

I poured coffee into both cups.

She ran slowly, laboriously, into the gale, each step an awkward movement as if she was reluctant to take it. This was a young woman, not a runner but running as if she felt she should on a wet and windy Saturday morning.

“Do you want more toast”, I asked.

“Just another slice, please,” he said.

She was limping – a left hip problem, maybe. Her eyes were down oblivious to the stunning scenery – perhaps she sees it every day. She stooped forward, troubled by more than the strong wind. Her dull face, wet, red and frowning echoed the body language and spoke of problems. My husband looked across, “That’s Carol”, he said, “she has cancer”.

I finished my coffee in silence.

Two young men, going the opposite direction this time, athletes in hi-vis trainers, running with the same sinuous flow as the water now pouring down the window. Their liquid movements in total harmony, they drift by effortlessly, the wind on their tail. One turns and laughs, they are brothers, you can tell. He draws his arm across his wet face to wipe the rain into the crook of his elbow.

“I think the rain is easing off, shall we take the dogs out now? “I say.


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