For my ‘firm choice’ University, I had to complete a creative writing portfolio as part of the application process. The course I will hopefully be studying is English Literature and Creative Writing…
1. Write a creative piece on the subject ‘A place where I grew up’.
On the subject ‘A place where I grew up’, I recollect with fondness many memories created from countless experiences. I look back on the last 18 years, with a mind overcome by nostalgia, and am filled with excitement for the future ahead. Growth is a tender journey of development and understanding, fostered in this place I call home. My childhood was lived with a care-free mind; because of this I can now look back with an overwhelming sense of appreciation for this special place. A place where I could enjoy the beauties the world has to offer without fully recognising the complete worth of the free-will I once thought would last forever. Of course, you never truly appreciate the boundless wonder of childhood until you are no longer a child. It was with this limitless spirit, with a free body and mind that I grew up, in the place I call home.
This small piece of rural England, although insignificant and invisible to so many, was my whole world. The village playing field opposite our home was often the place in which memories of fun and happiness were made. For weeks on end, time was ceaselessly spent playing in the park, running around with all the energy in the world. No worries. This place was the heart of my childhood and a refuge for children seeking an escape, no matter what season. I remember one summers day, when the skies were covered with clouds of white and, as Grandma so often said, there was ‘just enough blue to sew a pair of sailors shorts’. My friend and I spent a long while in the park, sitting under the slide and likely talking complete nonsense about nothing of consequence. Making up names for each other and pretending we lived another life, we spent hours in that spot wasting the day away. Again, no worries. I miss the carefree days I spent as a child running stories in my head. These are some memories of the place where I grew up.
Living on the doorstep of such beautiful countryside, the place where i grew up has been a source of inspiration for many reasons. For one, it was where my love of writing was born. Keeping a diary may seem a cliche, however it was how I felt best to relate to my surroundings. Putting pen to paper and jotting down experiences of a day. They would begin with the same action of opening the curtains to wake myself up. My writing started in a very matter of fact way, before I discovered the ‘oh so wonderful’ literary devices of similes and metaphors which brought this place in which I lived alive. There was a sense of peace that I attempted to maintain, however no matter how hard I tried to preserve a perfectly gift wrapped version of what my life was, it was simply not realistic. A brother bursting in the room screaming and shouting is one senseless example of how my diary entries were so rudely interrupted. The day had begun.
When I think of this place, I am not transported to a memory of complete and utter joy, nor a specific emotion… I feel all the feelings of home. The mornings completely dominated at weekends by football matches and training, the madness of seven people getting ready for their day. In and out, in and out, in and out. People would come and go incessantly. On a Sunday, that sense of home attached with the smell of Mum’s roast dinner; each smell travels tauntingly into every room as we wait for the most important part of the day. Growing up as the second youngest of five, I quickly learnt to take as much food as you felt you possibly could devour at the time. The end of dinner time signals time for a classic brew of Yorkshire tea by the resident tea maker: Dad, in order to recover from all the food. Even now, wherever I am in the world, this unique homely goodness of a proper English brew evokes a profound sense of ‘home’.
My village was home, until quite recently, to one of the best sweet shops in the business. An old Italian lady called Josie ran, surprisingly enough: Josie’s. A typical occurrence was to gather as much change as possible during the school week and go to Josie’s on a Friday afternoon with every intention of filling the sweet bag to the brim with unhealthy sweets. A fond re-occurring memory of these times was walking down the lane that lead to the farm where Josie’s sweet shop was, to be greeted by the beautiful sheep dog: Lady. Bearing a broad smile, Josie would soon open the door, welcoming us for sometimes the second time of the same day. Her warm hearted spirit made her a dearly loved member of the village, thus her passing was felt keenly.
I find myself focusing on my family and these quintessential village things that made up this place where I learned to grow. It must be said that learning is a fundamental part of life; it begins from birth and continues through the course of ones time in this world. My growth was nurtured through this place. As a child, I would play all day long in the field and in the garden, getting to grips with the rules of the world and how to interact with the people around me. Eager I was, to develop my mind and to learn. This was fostered through pre-school and my first and middle school of which, lucky enough for me, were only a short walk away from my house. Though pre-school memories are hard to recollect thanks to my abysmal memory, I can remember the joy I felt in an environment of fun, laughter and play. In the place where I grew up, I discovered so many amazing things about the world, the people within it, and, above all, how to read and write.
If you have not already ascertained from this short piece, I love where I grew up. As I said, I recall with fondness. It is the place which taught me to fall, to get back up again and to be the best version of me. In amidst the growing conflict and uncertainty of this world, the place where I learned to grow will always be there for me, no matter how far away I am. Home can never let you down. But for now, I await with eager anticipation the next chapter.
2. Write a creative piece in response to : ‘a journey or a series of journeys’.
Inspired by ‘From a railway carriage’ Robert Louis Stevenson
↝ side note: I really didn’t enjoy reading poetry at school or Sixth form, however writing it offers an entirely new vantage point, creatively, that I hope will spur me into appreciating poetry for its depth and meaning.
Stars are alight, Stars out of sight,
Driving and turning, left and right;
Arguing the whole way you may say,
Cattle and horses on fields do lay.
All of the sights mankind can see,
Fly their way to and from me;
Soon it’s heard, Dover’s doves call,
The White Cliffs standing ever so tall.
From black skies to yellow sunrise,
To awake this early we were wise;
Birds of above and ferry sounds;
Top deck! Wind and Rain surrounds.
Now we come to my favourite part
So long ago did we depart;
See sea waves of blue and green:
Chip chop Calais- what a scene!
Trawling, hauling back to the car,
This must resume to travel afar;
A pause on our journey, sun bliss;
The picnic stop, sweet sun kissed.
Hours disappear, hours so long,
Passed the sea we are gone.
Suddenly stop. The journey is over,
It seems an age since we were at Dover.