Exercise 1.5 Descending a footpath

Exercise 1.5 • Close your eyes and visualise a scene you experienced fairly recently. It could be as simple as your local shop, or a room in a friend’s house, or you could visualise a beach or church you loved on your last holiday. • Make this a stationary experience, rather than a busy, moving one. Don’t make things too difficult for yourself at this stage. Don’t bring dialogue or action into this writing. Again, create a list that starts simply, but becomes as imaginative as you can make it.


The scene – in the Yorkshire Dales, a descending footpath through a mowing field close to home at the end of a long walk with the dogs.

My descriptions written under the word in the list


Sizeable, almost rectangular with three gates

Long grass

June green grass, fresh and strong, not ready for sileage yet but rippling tall enough to hide a dog.


Coloured punctuation marks dotted through the field white, pink, blue and yellow.

Diagonal downhill path

An invisible line to walk along cutting the field in half with invisible feet.


Bright June sunshine kept cool by the blustering cold wind.


A winter wind, confused and cold under the summer sun.

Distant views

Pen-y-ghent rising up from the blue horizon of lesser hills.

Heading north

Going north into a north wind ploughing knee deep in drifting green snow

2 dogs

Two bouncing shapes surfacing in turn like dolphins in a waving green sea.

Farm house

The rough-stone gable of the house where Roger died last week.


Eyelashes to die for and eyes that melt transfixing the unwary.


One moss coated gate, soft, five-barred, wooden and quiet, two hard, mettalic and  heavy gates,  screeching to the silence when their latches are drawn.


A single track lane edged with long grass and meadowsweet, lacing the air with perfume and hiding a million insects whose orchestrations oscillate and waft in the wind..


Four cars

Four cars on a country lane – four funeral cars, black, unfriendly, alien, there to follow Roger to his final meeting, one where he will fail to take the chair.