My seniors were doing some peer assessment of their travel writing today. They just started to write yesterday after a week of reading articles by, among others, Paul Theroux (my favourite) and Bill Bryson (far from a favourite). The class loved Bryson and hated Theroux. Boooo, I said. Booooooo!
After reviewing the conventions of travel writing (for example, the mixture of personal experience plus facts) the pupils began writing their opening paragraphs. The following period the class read each other’s work and pointed out what was working well and what required improvement. I had a peek at the paragraphs too and I must say that, despite their shoddy choice of role model, their efforts were superb, especially considering these were the class’s first drafts. A few extracts that made me smile:
• Some people say the town is a fading glory. Many go as far as to call it tacky. But to me it’s simply brilliant. From the pleasure beach to the tower, the sandy beach to the hoards of tourists; I love Blackpool!
• (On Edinburgh)
The one o’clock cannon goes off and 3,000 people have a near heart attack. The odd couple worriedly wonder where the cannonball goes.
• Being a tcheuchter, I obviously cannot comment on the modern ways of the lowlander. With their new fangled televisions and four-wheeled cars us Highlanders don’t have a hope in hell of understanding how they live. Or so they’d have us believe!
A “tcheuchter”, for you non-Scots, is a person who lives in the countryside. Who you call a tcheuchter (or tchuech) depends on where you live. Coming from a village, I would be a tchuech to a city dweller. But farm folk are tcheuchs to me. And the farmers I know have a tcheuch hierarchy too! It’s all relative. 🙂
Dinner last night was very low maintenance and very good.
Chicken with Tomatoes and Peppers
4 x chicken thighs (bone in)
300 g cherry tomatoes
1 orange, red or yellow pepper, sliced thickly
1 chilli pepper, sliced
100 ml stock (or water)
Handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
• Heat the oven to 180oC
• Season the chicken well.
• Put the first 6 ingredients into a tight fitting oven proof dish and drizzle with the olive oil.
• Cover with tin foil and put in the oven for an hour.
• Remove tinfoil and cook at 200oC for another 20-30 mins, until browned.
We ate this with some super healthy steamed green beans and some highly unhealthy garlic bread.