[1] As a young child one of my happiest times was when maybe every two weeks we would have a small tour of northern Lincolnshire as we did a round trip which included visiting many relatives who actually were a bit of a blur and it was difficult to keep up, there was Uncle Henry with his pigs and Uncle John and Uncle Peter (who I often confused!) and there was Shirley and Iva and Joyce and even occasionally Rex. Such was my confusion I did not sometimes even know where we were until we saw the family members open the door. The highlight of these days was always the same though – when our day ended at our grandparents’ farm.

[2] The farm was an amazing place, it was located in a place which only comprised of three houses and one of those others was Uncle John’s or Uncle Peter’s. It was made up of a series of buildings, including the farmhouse an old barn, smaller buildings that in their day would have had chickens in them, a large wooden building next to the barn which apparently used to house pigs and behind this was yet another building which housed an old trailer that probably had not moved for at least 20 years. All of these buildings were around a central yard which was grassed over and to one side of the farm buildings was the paddock, a small field and behind the barn but not directly connected to the yard was an old Nissan hut.

A nissan hut, very similar to the one on my grandparent’s farm

[3] The farmhouse was a spectacle to see. Outside was an old, green water pump to one side of the main door which when opened was a portal to another time. I remember hearing once electricity was only installed in the 1970s so grandma could watch the wrestling! The hallway which greeted you on entry was dark with black and terracotta coloured tiles and doors going in different directions that I recollect as having a lot of yellow on them. To the right was the farmhouse kitchen which I only probably went into twice, but in front of us through one of the other aged doors was the room where we would spend time with our grandparents. This room – a long thin space – was amazing and if it is possible it was dominated by three major features, the first was a large glass case on a sideboard, which was full of a whole range of stuffed animals, then your eye would be drawn to the large wooden table before finally your eyes would turn to the glowing fire that was burning in a large range at the far end of the room. Leather sofas and grandad’s chair were along the sides of the room.

[4] However the house was not the true joy of the farm. It was a retired farm, although I remember grandad still kept some sheep. For children, like my brother and I, it was an adventure playground with so much to explore. We would go exploring in the barn and even go through the special trapdoor into the space above or we could run in the paddock or venture away from the farmstead itself. When we did this we usually went along a dirt track to the nearby river which at this point nearest the farm widened, and there were two small elongated islands in the centre which could be accessed by a bridge onto one of them and a second bridge which connected the two islands together. I remember when I was quite small one of grandad’s sheep decided it did not like me and it knocked me to the ground near the river. It ‘butted’ me quite hard but I do not remember it hurting. I was quite a resilient boy.

[5] As my brother and I grew older we began to take some responsibility and do some small jobs around the farm to help our grandparents. I particularly remember being given freedom with an axe to chop kindling for the fire and in the days before I became afflicted with hay fever I used to mow the grass in both the yard and garden which was at the front of the house.

[6] In the late afternoon we would always have ‘tea’ together during which grandma would lay the table and it would be covered in plates of sandwiches and what I thought were homemade cakes (I found out later they actually weren’t – but at the time it added to the experience) and we would also have a nice cup of tea and unlike at home I had to be careful when I drank it because grandma always made it with loose tea (rather than with tea bags) and if you drank all of it you would end up with a mouthful of tea leaves. On rare occasions we would have ‘tea’ in the parlour, which was a smaller room to one side of the main room and it always felt especially privileged to be able to go in there.

[7] Finally with darkness rapidly approaching we would drive home and it was not uncommon for me to fall asleep in the car only to be woken up by the bright lights of the city as we neared home.

Source: Horton, R. (2016) Omega Support Services

Pre-Reading

1. What were your favorite places as a child?

2. What kind of memories do you have of these places?

Now read the article before answering the following questions.

Comprehension

1. Explain the following words / phrases which appear in the text.

a. highlight [1]

b. comprised of [2]

c. aged doors [3]

d. sideboard [3]

e. range [3]

f. ventured away [4]

g. elongated [4]

h. resilient [4]

i. kindling [5]

j. become afflicted with [5]

k. mow [4]

2. Why was the house not ‘the true joy of the farm’? [4]

3. What does ‘ it always felt especially privileged to be able to go in there’ [6]

Analysis

Match the Paragraph Heading with the paragraph

[a] Making a contribution

[b] Into history!

[c] Confusion

[d] Tired

[e] An adventure

[f] The farmstead

[g] Time to eat

Writing

Now using the above article as a template write an essay of 500 words on the following subject. Include a description of the place, what you did there and why you liked it

“My favorite childhood space”

Include a description of the place, what you did there and why you liked it