A Picture of Where You Live: a writing and conversation starter by Dean Parkin

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Think of a picture of you in your village. It could be a real photograph or somewhere you know well, where you see yourself. It could be a footpath where you like walking, a shop you know or remember, or the road you think of as home. You might think of it at a particular time of day or a favourite time of the year. Here are six questions about the place you have in mind. You could either write down the answers to each question (make them a sentence rather than one word) or phone a friend in the village and ask them these questions about their favourite place…

1) Where are you & when?

Are you walking up the hill to your house? Are you wandering down the footpath with your dog? Are you cycling to the shop to post a letter?

2) What you look like?

 What are you wearing? What’s the expression on your face?

3) What’s around you?

Are there apple trees or do you stop and pick some blackberries?

4) A particular colour that you notice?

What colours do you see? The green front door at no.4? The yellow of the fields down the lane? The red nose of Mr Beamish walking his Labrador?

5) Describe a noise that you usually would hear in this place?

The blackbirds busy chattering away? The wind clanking a gate? The sound of children in the playground at the school?

The dog pulls at the lead when it sees your neighbour’s cat on the fence? You hurry home with your Bakewell tarts to put the kettle on? Or you forget to post the letter and have to go back to the postbox?

6) What happens next?

If you use these questions as a conversation starter, perhaps it will lead you to other discussions about your village.

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