Some more amazing Creative Writing work from our learners:
A New Beginning
By Philippa Willis
February 12 in the year of our lord 1781
After a long and gruelling two-day journey from our old home at The Mitre Inn, Barnet, Isabelle and I have finally arrived at our new place of residence; a coaching house on the outskirts of London, in a little place called Highbury.
The last 24 hours of our journey have been difficult. As we were descending the hill just beyond the coaching house at Highgate, our coach hit a snow-covered rock and juddered into a frozen rut shattering its rear axle and wheel, throwing our luggage, and us, into the crisp snow. The coachman sent his boy scampering back to the gatehouse which stood at the top of the hill, but he didn’t hold out much hope of him returning with a replacement coach before sundown.
As us travellers huddled together, for warmth and tried to decide what we should do, I caught sight of the most wondrous vision ever. From our vantage point halfway down the hill, I could see for miles. The snow-covered fields appeared ethereal with the mists shifting and gathering over them. A shimmering body of water drew my attention to the distance, where, the pure white walls and pale green spires and dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, rose ghost-like from the dowdy browns of the surrounding buildings.
London at last.
The river flowed directly towards the town before being swallowed by it. This must be the Fleet. Although I had heard from the many coachmen who had frequented my inn that it was filthy and contained the detritus of the town, from my viewpoint it looked clear and inviting.
Rather than wait, in hope of rescue, in the freezing winter air, where the possibility of us both gaining illness were great, Isabelle, my brave little girl and I decided to take to our feet for the final part of our journey. As we walked towards the town laid out before us, I allowed my mind to wander.
Oh, it feels like life has let us down of late, losing not only my beloved Jack to the pox, but also my home and livelihood to that traitorous thug Daniel and his men. Who says that a woman cannot run a coaching house? Whom is it that states that without my husband I am easy pickings for the men of our village? I am just glad that I was informed of the new position at the coaching house at the Highbury Barn by one of our regular drivers.
After walking for what seemed like hours, our bodies wrapped up against the biting wind, which howled unfettered across the frozen fields, to buffet against us as it sought entrance through seams and wrappings to chill our skins, we finally caught sight of our destination through the trees and bushes.
As we stepped into the bustling courtyard, the hard, frozen earth turned to sticky mud under our feet, its surface churned over by the continuous comings and goings of many hooves. The sharp bark of a male voice demanded my attention as a well built, short, stocky man dressed in thick woollen breeches and a cloak, stepped before me. I froze, gathering my darling Isabelle behind me as if to protect her, but I felt myself relax after stating my name and business. He smiled and thrust his hand forward, declaring himself to be the inn keeper and my new master.
Isabelle and I could now safely embrace our new lives as Londoners.
By Susan Higgs
Letter Home 1966
Well, here I am in London. I can’t quite believe it and of course, it’s very different from home!
I’m sharing this flat above a pub on Commercial Road with a hirsute Polish guy, Voytech, Ray, a Cockney stall holder and Martin who’s Jewish and a fellow student at my Art College. I quite fancy him actually; he’s the proverbial tall,dark and handsome. His parents and Uncle Maury live just down the road near the London Hospital.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Petticoat Lane? I went there for the first time last Sunday with the Boys. The whole street is bustling and full of stalls selling, well everything you can think of really and people loudly shouting out their wares. Whitechapel is a very Jewish area and so are a lot of the stall holders. There are lots of little, dark,cave like shops selling salt beef sandwiches, plucked chickens, fat, green Wally cucumbers and bagels, which are delicious! The Bagel shop is famous and stays open all night. What’s a Bagel you say? I’ll tell you, it’s a sort of steamed roll with a hole in the middle and theyll fill it for you with salt beef or, my new favourite, smoked salmon and cream cheese. Yum!!!
I bought myself a mini skirt from one of the stalls, quite a bit shorter than anything we’ve been used to but all the ‘Dolly Birds’ are wearing them. I still love my old frayed jeans though.I was wearing them the other day when an old Romany Woman accosted me outside the Whitechapel Gallery and tried to sell me some Lucky Heather which I declined. “Ragged Arse Ranger” she shrieked at me at the top of her voice.
Everyone turned to look. London is full of characters. I’m not sure what you’d make of it Lolli but I am fascinated .
Theres so much more to share and I could go on for ages about all the new tastes and experiences but I’ll stop for now, maybe you could come and visit me in my new ‘Swinging London’ home in the hols?
Next time I write, I may have something of a romantic nature to impart, fingers crossed.
Lots of Love, write soon with your news.
My Secret Pleasure
The Rabbit Hole is on Holloway Road with wicker chairs outside and small round tables. Just inside the door stands a small figurine of a waiter holding the menus.
On the front of the menu is a picture of a rabbit. As you go into the café, there is a striped padded bench on the right hand-side. The counter is at the back, where there are rabbit statues and piles of cakes. The coffee cups have small handles, and there are long glasses for latte. But the highlight is the rabbit shaped plates which you get with your toast.
There is a big round clock above the counter, the walls are cream coloured, the owner and staff are nice and friendly. They wear black uniforms.
I enjoy the fry up. I always get bubble, two sausages, egg, turkey bacon, beans, a latte and two pieces of toast on a rabbit shaped plate.
This is the description of my favourite café I share with my writing group of 30 people. Everyone commented on the rabbit plates. The next time I turned up at the café there were lots of familiar faces. This made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to go into my favourite café and indulge my secret pleasure in front of all these people. I peered through the steamy window and saw rows of bubble, two sausages, egg, turkey bacon, beans, a latte and two pieces of toast on a plate shaped like a rabbit.
By Peter Rabbit