Writing 101 – Place



The bus journey to school was a time of transition for me. I got on at the stop immediately opposite our house. (we referred to it as “our stop”) and I could feel a subtle change as the bus got nearer to Manchester, the buildings were bigger and closer together and once we got to Piccadilly it was definitely a City rather than a Town or Suburb. The large green square of Piccadilly Gardens was very different from the tiny parks near home, small enclosed space with a few seats, some flowerbeds and a few children’s’ swings.

At Piccadilly I changed buses from the smooth quiet trolley bus to what we called a “petrol” bus, a different vehicle altogether. I felt as though I were moving into a different sphere, encountering different people with new ways of thinking and even different speech patterns. My friends were divided into those I knew at home and those I met at school. There was practically no overlap. At school we were expected to use something nearer to what was called “received pronunciation” and I remember my cousin being reprimanded for enquiring about a “buzz pass” when what she should have asked for was a “bas paas”. The rules about behaviour were stricter than at home. No eating in the street, school uniform – with a particularly hideous form of headgear – to be worn at all times when travelling to and from school and such matters as giving up your seat to an older person on the bus was taken for granted – they didn’t even need to have a specific rule about it.

The journey home was somehow different. For one thing once a week, most Mondays when it was her day off my mother would meet me where I changed buses in Piccadilly and we’d go round the shops, usually no more than window shopping and then have tea in Lewis’s.

On other days I’d sometimes do my homework on the bus. The trolley bus was the best one for this; it was smooth and fairly quiet, perfect for reading a set book or learning something by heart. In fact on one occasion I get so absorbed in the book I was reading that I missed my stop and had to walk back from the next stop.

I’m not sure if this is really the sort of thing wanted ie a background/setting/place for a story 







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