Week 10: Words from the Wild….Looking to the Spring.

Hello Everyone 🙂

This week we chose an extract from The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021 by Lia Leendertz. Every year Lia publishes these fantastic pocket guides to the natural world, giving information on what’s happening in the seasonal calendar and what type of things to grow in the garden or allotment. Each year there is also a theme, last year she looked at what was happening in the hedgerows, this year has focused on Romani culture and the languages for the seasons.

In the book club extract that we chose we looked at the Romani word for March which is Bavalyakero – Month of the Winds. The information that we found will inform today’s writing tasks. I hope that you enjoy them.

Task 1: (5 mins) Lia Leendertz describes March as a transition month when the days start to grow longer and we get pockets of warm air forming, when the warm air rises the cold air rushes down creating wind. Our starting task is to think of as many words to describe wind as possible. For example: as well as words such as blustery and breezy, you might like to think of words that describe what it does to the things that it touches; leaves flutter, grass swishes etc.

Clouds, Sky, Sweeping, Swept, Plumes

Task 2: (5 mins) A natural scene on a windy day. Think about a place that you love outdoors. Perhaps the woodland, or walking around the edge of a lake. Describe in detail what happens to the setting when the wind blows. Perhaps the surface of the lake dances, or flowers bob and sway. Trees rustle and branches knock together. See if you can bring movement to your writing using some of the words from task 1.

Poppies, Poppy Field, Cornflowers

Task 3: (10 mins)Lia Leendertz describes how the wind can cause havoc for a Romani camp, overturning wagons and blowing away feed for the animals. She also points out that it’s very difficult to cook over a campfire on a very windy day. Can you choose one of the tasks below and write about completing it on a blustery and windy day – describe the challenges! If you can use some of the words that you found for task 1.

  • Cooking over a campfire.
  • Walking with an umbrella open.
  • Playing badminton.
  • Sailing a boat.
  • Putting up a tent.
  • Delivering leaflets.
  • Walking home from the hairdressers!
Bunting, Flags, Blowing, Breeze, Wind, Party

Task 4 (5 mins) The say that March is ‘In Like a Lion – Out Like a Lamb’ meaning that the weather starts off harshly but by the end of March we can expect much warmer sunny days. Tell me about the thing that you are most looking forward to when the weather changes….

Rottnest Island, Island, Australia, Rottnest, Weathered

I really recommend The Almanac guides, they are absolutely brilliant at inspiring a deeper connection to the natural world and encouraging us to participate in it. I hope that you enjoy getting outdoors today.

See you next week,

Best wishes,

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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