No matter what else I try and do, I always end up being a writer.
Today I attended a 4-hour long interview for a place on a waiting list for a PGCE in primary teaching. We were given the following creative writing task (I daresay my afternoon would have been wasted were it not for this):
“If you could introduce a friend to any place in the world which is special to you, where would it be and why?
A Special Place…
There’s a town at the bottommost part of this land,
With beaches of pebbles, not stretches of sand.
The residents here, they are quite stony too,
Though that could stem from boredom; there’s not much to do.
The high street, once vibrant, is smashed in and struggling,
With boarded-up windows, and businesses crumbling.
The sticky-floored pubs, filled with folk every day,
The one place left standing to wallow away.
But get in a car, just a short ride from town,
Roads start stretching far; there are trees all around.
Then you’ll come to a village, pubs cozy and quaint,
With their natural log fires, and cute garden gates.
And just round the bend you will slow to a stop,
For ahead is a house, doesn’t look like a lot.
Built from layers of wallpaper hiding the phases,
And sun-damaged photographs spanning the ages.
There’s a doorstep out front to avoid at all cost,
And a shed round the back that’s beginning to rot.
There’s a fence that’s encountered one winter too many,
And a house-sign, though splintered, it seems rather friendly.
Radiators inside, ‘stead of heating they grumble.
Pipes creak and groan, and the roof slats they tumble
At the flap of a gull, or a tap of a ball,
Past the windows the red ash of brick tends to fall.
The shower’s too hot, or too cold, or too light,
And the hob needs a match for a flame to ignite.
To reach for the plates you must stand on your toes.
Where the bin is concealed, well that door doesn’t close.
To open the wardrobe requires a kick,
And for flushing the toilet, it’s three pulls, quite quick.
The floorboards expose those who try to tread light,
And the barks from the dogs keep you up half the night.
But there’s more to this place than what’s falling apart,
Its value can’t match what it’s worth in my heart.
The days that it’s seen and the memories it’s made,
Increase, beyond measure, the price that we paid.
For all of its faults, it stands sturdy and tall,
Sunlight flooding, igniting the smiles on the wall.
The foundations, perhaps, built from laughter alone,
For this is the place I will always call Home.