A sunny Sunday afternoon

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The sun shone over Emily’s face as she sat basking in the high midday sun. It was warm and soothing, and made a brilliant orange colour when mixed with the pink skin of her closed eyelids. Beside her, she could feel ToTo panting gently, his tight, soft curls tickling her calf as they brushed her with each breath. Emily was thankful for the blanket that her mum had laid out for her and her sisters to sit on late that Sunday morning, as she could feel the spikiness of the grass beneath it that was trying, and failing, to scratch her bare legs. Around her, a busy bumble bee buzzed closely past her ear and into mum’s white butterfly bush and the tuneful whistle of the birds was the only thing audible in the still, summer sky.

For most of the morning, her and her younger sisters Mya and Jodie had spent their time running about the garden playing chase and hide and seek. When Mother had brought baby Beatrix out and placed her on the blanket for them to watch for a while, they lounged about beside her making Daisy chains and periodically cooing over the cheerful babbles and excitable legs kicks that the tiny human was emitting. Sitting down was a welcome relief to Emily, who was pleased to get the chance to catch her breath after this morning’s rather active shenanigans and play. 

Emily was having such a wonderful Sunday that she did not want it to end – the thought of school tomorrow loomed over her head as it did most weeks, and although she didn’t mind school that much she supposed, it was definitely more favourable to play with her sisters all day in the glorious sunshine. There was something about being outside that made Emily feel free and happy – she’d always enjoyed the great outdoors since she was very young and understood just how very lucky she was to have such a large garden in which to play. She remembered fondly about the times that Daddy swung her around by her arms in big circles, as if she were flying, and the times that the two of them both went out butterfly hunting with a paper and pen so as when they found one, they could both sit as quiet as possible whilst drawing the pretty little thing. Nowadays, Daddy seemed much busier – too busy in fact to even look at Emily’s drawings let alone partake in such activities. Luckily for Emily, she had her sisters to keep her company, and there was no denying that they kept her very busy indeed. Mya, with her signature hair bow was always full of beans – and being the youngest (not including the baby) this was no surprise. She would always be the one that was running about the garden at such speed she would oftentimes be transformed into a giggling blur. Jodie, the second oldest, was much more reserved and laid back, always following along with whatever crazy plan Mya had concocted that day. Emily felt as if she were a comfortable balance of the two girls – she enjoyed running around, causing mischief and exploring her surroundings, but she also enjoyed sitting down with a nice book, or drawing with her coloured pencils when or if she got a spare five minutes alone.

Emily was keen to make the absolute most out of the remaining time before her and her sisters were to be called in for their early tea and made to sit at the dinner table until everyone – even the adults – had finished their plates. Aunt Maggie especially took such a long time to eat – as most of the adults did – usually spending such an inordinate amount of time just chatting about boring adult things. One would think that they did not have anything better and more exciting to do such as play chase and make potions out of lake water and blossoms. How boring it was to be an adult, thought Emily, as she saw the curtains of the back window flicker and her mums face peering out about to summon the four of them – five counting ToTo – to the dining room.

Commentary:

I chose this picture because of the serene atmosphere it gives off. The sun is shining and the girls look calm, content and happy. Plus the dog and baby are sweet as anything!

With this passage, I wanted to close my eyes and put myself right there in the picture, feel the sun on my face, and really experience what it would be like to be one of the children in the photo – to be carefree and full of adventure and curiosity.

I didn’t do too much research for this one, instead reverting back to remembering how it felt like to be a child. The social context didn’t feel all that important to me as I wanted to focus on what was going on in that garden, at that very moment in time, and to live in the present, not the past or the future, which children are very good at doing and adults less so.

In terms of challenges, I needed to be careful not to be too self aware or older than my years, as I was taking up the role of a character who is much younger and less informed than myself. I have attempted to look at the world with fresh, curious and untainted eyes, whilst still introducing an element of conflict – a distant father figure. I have made sure to tackle said conflict in a naive, carefree and untroubled manner rather than anything too serious so as to avoid an unbelievable character who is too emotionally developed for her age.

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