Tag Archives: Writing 101

Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You

This is the assignment I have been putting off because I really don’t know what I am being asked to do.  The assignment from October 2 is:

Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. How does that make you feel?

The plaque at the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The plaque at the entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice

For several months I didn’t write a post.  As John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”  But what exciting and fun filled months they were.

I did pen a post when I was in Italy. We had been to Venice and were looking forward to going to Spain with our Italian friends who live in Como.  We started in Madrid and just happened to be there when the two local soccer teams played each other in the football Champions League semi-final.  Real Madrid won but we were assured by almost everyone we met that the other team Atletico de Madrid was the better team and should have won. Anyway, the excitement was felt by all even those of us who are not soccer fanatics.  I made the mistake of buying a Real Madrid scarf when our guide took us to see the stadium – my son quickly put me right on that score, but my soccer-mad grandson graciously accepted the scarf on our return to NZ.

Then the next day we went to Toledo a fantastic town built on several levels and dating back to Roman times.  We saw mosques, churches and synagogues and were told that the three cultures lived peaceably side by side for many centuries.  We wondered aloud what has happened to our world to make this impossible today.  Are we all too caught up in ourselves to consider the next person?  Is it possible to return to those more peaceful times or is it too late?

We went to the Prado museum and saw a wonderful display of modern and ancient art.  Here we saw the Hieronymus Bosch “The Garden of Earthly Delights” – truly amazing.  This is a triptych with so much in it that I stood transfixed until my companions called to move me on to the other fantastic paintings housed in the   I hadn’t heard of Hieronymus Bosch until I started reading the books by Michael Connelly with Harry Bosch as his protagonist.  Good reads by the way.

We saw many other paintings including Diego Velázquez’ ‘ “The Family” that I had seen shown in books but here was the original.  Obviously, it was so much better than any reproduction I had seen.  I now have a mouse pad at the side of the computer showing The Family.

After lunch, we went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum which is very close to the Prado.  More art. We were told that this was the collection of the Baron’s wife.  With over 1,600 paintings the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection.  Here was a dazzling display of Old Masters, 14th and 15th centuries Italian, Flemish and Dutch painters, and among other things a collection of North American art from the 18th and 19th centuries.  This last we were told is unique in European Art Galleries.

We spent several hours there and I could have stayed all day.  I wanted to return but we had only a few days in Madrid. We really enjoyed our time in Madrid.

 The next stop was Seville. We took a boat ride on the river on a lovely spring evening and oohed at the sights. One afternoon we spent several hours wandering around the old part of the city, getting lost and found again.  We came across an old market where all sorts of fresh food was on sale and we stopped for coffee and chocolate cake at a very small bar inside the market.  The owner came and insisted that my partner try a Spanish wine from a local winery and I had to try Manzanilla (?).  A very pleasant half hour was spent there talking with the owner and his son.

We went to Cordoba and again marvelled at a town that had been in existence since pre-Roman times.  And again we saw how the three cultures managed to live side by side in peace and harmony.

Then Granada which has to be my favourite of the cities we had visited in Spain.  Of course, we had to visit the Alhambra – a 3-hour walking trip that wasn’t nearly long enough to see everything.  We managed to get left behind the group as my companion was busy doing what he does on holiday, taking pictures.  Never mind we managed to connect with the bus before it took off for the city again.

And then when our friends had to go home, we left for Barcelona.  But this has to have a post to itself.  The buildings, the food, the people all were exceptional.









Writing 101: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

This was the challenge for October 8th and it’s now the 12th.  But after this I have only one more to catch up.  So –

On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning The Daily Post into an Anne Lamott fangirl blog, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge.

Four-hundred words. One at a time. Go.

Rain on leavesThe sun is shining and summer most certainly is on its way. But each day this week I have thought that only to have the day “ turn to custard”. Large black clouds suddenly appear in this fantastic blue sky. I scurry out to retrieve the washing before it rains. And then, having got it all in the sun reappears and I could hang it out again if I wanted to. I choose not to and pop it into the dryer for a final dry off.

Lunch can be eaten outside. There is no wind and the sun is really warm on my face. I consider going inside for some sun cream but decide that as I am only going to be sitting for about 30 minutes I can just relax and enjoy the sun on my face.

Lunch is eaten and the daily newspaper beckons. I turn to the World news and see there is more mayhem, killing and abuse around the world. But what’s this? The new Mrs Clooney wants to help the Greeks bring home the Elgin Marbles. The Marbles have resided in the British Museum for many many years. It seems to me that they have always been there but I know this not to be the case.

Each time I go to London I head to the Museum and one of my first stops is the Marbles. I marvel at the intricate work of those long ago carvers. All now moved into the bounds of history.

My next port of call is always the Rosetta Stone. What another marvel this is. I stand among the crown just looking at it. Around me there is a cacophony of voices in so many languages and I wonder what they are all saying. Are they as mesmerised as I am at this ancient piece of writing on a stone?

I turn to the crossword section of the newspaper. This is where I relax. So with pen in hand I start, but true to form of the last few days, the sun goes behind a black cloud, the wind suddenly picks up and the first spots of rain appear. So that’s the end of lunch and as I pick up the newspaper and pack up the lunch things I muse that this will no doubt be the way of the weather for the next few weeks. We are not into summer yet.

Writing 101: Hone Your Point of View

I am now so far behind that I am just writing working my way through the Challenges.

This is the Challenge for October 7.

The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.

I was sitting on the stoop waiting for Charlie and Joe to turn up so that we could go fishing.  As soon as we had finished our chores that our parents set for us, the three of us would get together and go out to our special fishing hole.  As it was an overcast day I thought it would be good for fishing.  I thought if the others didn’t turn up soon, I would just go off on my own.  I really quite liked it when there was only me.  I could think about all the things that were buzzing around in my head without having to explain them to the others.

There was no sign of the others and I was just deciding to go without them when I looked across the street and saw old Mrs Pauley standing on her stoop staring down the road. Maybe she was waiting for somebody to turn up too.

Then there was a screech of brakes and a large car drew up, followed by a police van. All the car and van doors opened. There must have been 10 or 12 men altogether. I wondered why they were there.

A rather tall, fat man went over to Mrs Pawley and handed her a paper. Whatever he said to her made her cry. I could hear her saying “No please don’t” but the man only said “I’m sorry. It has to be done” and he turned his back and went to talk to the other men.

Then a strange thing happened. The men started to move all Mrs Pawley’s furniture out into the front yard. There were a table and some chairs, a couple of armchairs and a sofa and a bed. The men kept going in and out of the house while Mrs Pawley stood crying quietly on the stoop and watched them.

This coming and going seemed to go on forever. Charlie and Joe arrived and stood beside me as we watched what was going on across the street.

I knew Mrs Pawley. She had always lived across the street. I had heard my mother and father talking about her one day. About how her husband had died suddenly; how her six boys had all moved away and how she was finding it difficult to survive with no money coming in. They also wondered where her boys were and why they weren’t helping their mother at this time.

We didn’t have much ourselves but Mother and the other neighbours took her food when they had any extra. I had been with Mother one day to take over some bread she had baked the day before. Mrs Pawley was grateful but also embarrassed at having to take the offered bread.

The men continued to bring out Mrs Pawley’s things. They looked a poor collection sitting in the front yard. And then it began to rain. Charlie, Joe and me, we ran across the street to help her cover her things. She had some blankets but nothing that would keep the rain off. So we covered what we could with the blankets.

When the men finally had everything out of the house they nodded to Mrs Pawley and left her there standing on the stoop, still holding the paper that the tall fat man had given her and with all her possessions sitting in the rain in the front yard.

At that time, Mother came home from visiting her own mother. She saw what had happened across the street and ran over to Mrs Pawley. I don’t know what they said to each other – Mother spoke very quietly and Mrs Pawley continued to cry. Then Mother took Mrs Pawley gently by the arm and brought her over to our house. I am sure she would have made tea as that was Mother’s answer to everything. “A nice cup of tea will help us sort this out” she was always saying. Probably she said the same to Mrs Pawley.

But on her way into the house, she stopped and said “Off you go, boys. Go fishing. See if you can bring something back for dinner.” She then closed the door into the house and we took off. We couldn’t stop talking about what had happened and why Mrs Pawley’s furniture was put out of the house. We also talked about what would happen now. Where would she live and what would happen to all that furniture.

It had been a good day for fishing and we had caught enough fish to be shared between the three families.  By the time we came back with our catch, the furniture had been removed into a neighbour’s garage and Mrs Pawley was sitting in our kitchen talking quietly while Mother made dinner. Mrs Pawley stayed with us for a few days until one of her sons came to get her and take her to his home.

The last I saw of Mrs Pawley she was walking down the path towards a car with her son who had his arm around her. I did hear him say “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have come sooner and helped you sort out this mess.” And she said ……

Writing 101: Third time’s the charm

Had I been keeping up instead of catching up I would have posted this on Monday.  But here it is Wednesday and the Challenge is: – On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something.
So, today’s twist:  If you’d like to continue our serial challenge,
also reflect on the theme of“lost and found” more generally in this post.

I am a serial loser of such things as gloves, umbrellas and car keys.  Of course, I can usually find the car keys again after hunting around the house, looking in all the usual and often unusual places.  But one time the lost car keys created an almost unsolvable problem.
At that time I was driving a Nissan Micra., which I understand is not available in the US, For this car one doesn’t need a key to start the engine.  Just the turn of a plastic ‘knob’ starts the car.  You do have to have the door key with the fob attached to open the car but no ignition key.
On this particularly beautiful summer day here in Wellington, with a friend, I went to visit my son and his family some 50 kms away.  We were early and knew that my son would be picking up his youngest son from school so we decided to take a stroll with Miss Lotte through Queen Elizabeth Park a large area of open space close to where he lived.  Miss Lotte loved the freedom of the park and we enjoyed the leisurely stroll taking in the scenery and eventually arriving at the beach.
When it was time to go to my son’s house I realised I had lost the key.  Obviously, I thought there was no way we could recover the keys although of course, we retraced our steps without success.
In desperation, I called the dealership and a very helpful man checked the records.  Everything was there except the key number.  He suggested that I get a local locksmith to open the car but that wouldn’t have solved anything I needed the fob to start the car.  He then arranged for a transporter to pick up the car and take it into them at which time he would attempt to get a replacement key.  He suggested that I travel with the transporter and they would lend me a car while they tried to solve this problem.
I phoned my son to tell him what happened and why we hadn’t arrived at his house.  He promptly got into his car and drove to the park.  Meantime, my friend decided to have another look around the area where we had been viewing the Memorial to the US Marines who had been camped in the area during the Second World War.  Suddenly there was a loud shout.  Hands waving in the air as in a one in a million chance, he had found the key and fob nestling in the long grass in front of the memorial.

So the day was saved; the transporter cancelled; the helpful young man at the dealership could go home at his usual time and so subdued and with egg on my face I went to my son’s house for dinner. We had lots of laughs over this.  Oh, I did try to get another fob for the car but was unsuccessful and so very shortly afterwards, and as I was going away for an indeterminate time,  I sold the car.









Writing 101: Personality on the Page

Today’s Challenge and I still haven’t caught up but decided I should like to do this one now.- The Challenge is: – We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

This looked like a real challenge.  Where to start?

I have breezed through life with very few fears but

  • I have always been afraid that something bad could happen to one of my loved ones
  • I have been anxious about my aged parents on the other side of the world; both now dead
  • I was afraid of cats until I took a course of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping as it is sometimes known.  Now I am no longer afraid of cats and have even been known to stroke one but
  • My worst fear was realised at 2.28am on April 22 1998.  My Dashing (not so) Young Scotsman died.

I wondered/ feared :

  • How would I live without him
  • How could I live without him
  • Where would I live without him
  • How could I go through each day knowing he wasn’t waiting for me at home
  • How could I smile and pretend that life was “normal”
  • What was normal anymore
  • When would the “time heals” kick in
  • When would I stop counting the hours, days since he died and move onto the months and years

And I found that while my worst fear had been realised on that ghastly day, I could:

  • Live my life without him though I missed him madly
  • Move house and so find where I could live without him
  • Go through each day with his memories to help me
  • What became normal was different to anything I had expected or experienced
  • Time didn’t heal although the hurt was lessened as time passed
  • Now I say he died 16 years ago.

And now after so long, my whole life has changed as I have a new partner and we are making a new life together.

Note: I don’t know if I have met the challenge in the way in which it was designed.  


Writing 101: To Whom It May Concern

I have given up on playing catch up and have decided just to complete the assignments in my own time.

The assignment for October 2 was : Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.  Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

I have just received from Amazon the book “Loving Frank” based on the lives and love story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney.  I have been intrigued by the architect for some years and this has been fed upon by my now living with an architect whose inspiration has often been Frank Lloyd Wright.

As suggested I opened the book on page 29 and the word “Stetson” jumped out on me.  So here goes:

Dear Mr Lloyd Wright, or may I call you Frank
I recently met Mrs Cheney when she came into the shop to purchase a hat and later found out that the hat was for you.  I am now aware that you two are cohabiting outside the marriage union and I must place on record my objection to your flouting the common courtesy rules of our society, not to mention the precepts of the Church.
I strongly recommend that you send Mrs Cheney back to Mr Cheney and her children without delay.

Yours faithfully
Ezekial Butler

 Dear Mr Butler
No, you may not call me Frank.
Mrs Cheney and I are living in a loving relationship that doesn’t impinge on your world and should not impinge on your conscience.  The fact that you chose to write to me in this fashion deeply offends me.
If Mrs Cheney and I choose to ignore the rules of society and those of your Church it is our own business. We do not intend to bow to your request.  Mrs Cheney will now stay with me and we look forward to many years of being together, married or not.

Yours faithfully
Frank Lloyd Wright

Note – I like this challenge and I may continue with this exchange of letters.  Maybe there is another challenge where I can use this.

Writing 101: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Still playing catch up.  Here’s Day 12’s challenge

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction. Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.”

So here goes.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday had all been perfect spring days.  Sunny and warm the house was opened to the outside and our visitors and workmen were passing in and out of the garden easily.  Several seating and eating areas had been set up and we used one of these eating areas for lunch.

Sunday was the day on which we were giving my partner’s father in law a party for his 99th birthday.

Rain on leavesSunday brought the gale force winds and heavy rain as promised by the forecasters.   I have always lived in a cloud of sunshine, expecting only the best so I really didn’t believe the forecasts.  But woe is me, we had 24 invited guests coming at mid-day and they were all now having to mingle, chat, laugh and eat lunch inside.

A few of the guests arrived early and several were working away in our kitchen helping.  One glazed the ham, another made a salad and another put out plates and cutlery for the lunch.  I directed the help particularly as this is a new house, new kitchen and I was the only one who knew where anything was.

All went well.  The very wet guests arrived as did the guest of honour looking very dapper in his suit, tie and hat to ward off the rain.  He has three carers, ladies who come in and make sure he is OK and they all arrived shortly after he did.  He was given a glass of wine and ushered to his seat where all and sundry came up to him to congratulate him.  He was loving being the centre of attention.

The conversation ranged around many subjects and the guests mingled among each other as any well behaved, well schooled guests will.

I came upon two elderly gentlemen speaking, one with a marked Scottish accent “Well, how many more of these will we be going to do you think Rob” asked one man while the Scotsman replied “I really like going out to Sunday lunch, Bill. It means that Meg doesn’t have to cook”. “Well it can’t go on much longer. We are all getting older” said the first. “What will you have from the buffet?” asked the Scotsman. “I think I might be the first to go. After all I am nearing 90 and not in great health” said the other.

These two continued conversing, neither hearing what the other said and continuing in a conversation that only he could hear asking questions nobody would answer. Is this where we are all heading, I wondered.

Then I looked up and saw the two elderly gents at the buffet table each in earnest conversation with another person. I wonder what they were talking about.

Note – I found this challenge particularly difficult and had several attempts at writing it.  I still don’t know if what I have written meets this challenge.

Writing 101: Serially Found

This is Wednesday’s challenge and today is Thursday.  But the days have been so full of visitors and trips we have made that I am so far behind.  And I am cheating somewhat.  I think this is easier for me to do than yesterday’s Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon so I shall go back to that one later.

“On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something.
Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
You could pick up the action where you stopped, or jump backward or forward in time. You might write about the same topic, but use a different style, or use the same style to tackle a neighboring topic.”

Losing Lotte was a big hurt and left an enormous hole in my life and my home.  My daughter and her boys said I must immediately get another dog and in fact, the boys who were on holiday from school, took me to the local SPCA centre to look at dogs.  But how could I replace my darling with another dog?  There would always only be one Lotte and I determined that I would not have another dog.

Fast forward a few weeks and the Beautiful Miss Bella came on the scene.  This delightful little poodle wormed her way into my affections and into my life.  She was in every way different to Miss Lotte.  Lotte’s gentle nature (and wandering ways) made her an instant favourite wherever we went.  The boys (my grandsons) loved her and were very sad when she had to be put down.

But Bella was a dog of a different breed; different temperament and different habits.  Oh yes, she quickly picked up Lotte’s habit of taking her meat from the bowl and putting it on the Persian rug in the dining room.  No matter how often I replaced it in the bowl it would be taken out immediately. She wouldn’t sleep in a basket and while Lotte had to be lifted onto the bed, Bella found her own way onto it the first night I had her.  And she loved to walk.  Unfortunately, she had been born with hip dysplasia caused her to occasionally lift her back leg and run on three only.  This looked very funny and caused much comment. But she could walk for miles/kilometres and particularly loved the beach.  Poodles are water dogs so she would run into the sea at any opportunity as opposed to Lotte, a Tibetan Spaniel, who would have nothing at all to do with water.

Bella followed me like a shadow.  From the first moment, we met she determined that she was coming home with me.  And she did.  And she made herself at home.

Now fast forward two more months.  At this time I decided that I would go away for a while.  Life was going nowhere and I needed a change.  Miss Bella would go to my friend and would be loved and cared for in my absence.  I did doubt whether I would ever get her back again.  And as things have turned out, she is now adopted by my friend and lives a life of luxury with her.

So Miss Lotte was lost and Miss Bella was found.

Writing 101: Size Matters

Day 11 and the challenge is: – “Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve.  Which town, city or country?  Who lived there with you?

London 1950.  We had recently moved from an apartment to a brand new house.  My parents’ house had been taken for road widening or something before I was born and in addition to a paltry sum of money ( (their words), they were given a Council owned apartment to rent.  This was in a low rise block in a good neighbourhood but as it had only two bedrooms it was rather cramped for a family of five.

So we moved.  Again the house was Council owned but in a different part of the borough and totally new to us.  It was in a group of ten houses five on one side and five facing them.  Each set of five houses were attached and we were fortunate to have an end one.  This meant we had neighbours on only one side of us.
The house had three bedrooms, a living room complete with fireplace, a dining room also with a fireplace.  The kitchen was at the front of the house and had a fire that heated the water.  A bathroom and separate lavatory completed this house – I think it was probably 800 sq feet in all.  At this time I shared a bedroom with my elder sister and later with my younger sister.  At no time did anybody think that I, as the middle daughter, should have a bedroom of her own.
Mother was delighted with the move and the house.  She kept this house clean, polished and shining to within an inch of its life, and even polished the copper waste pipes from the kitchen, so proud was she.
But what I remember most about that house was the love and the laughter which outplayed any tears and cross words.  Of course, with three daughters, two of whom were coming up to the teenage years, there was the occasional slamming of a door and a “no speak” phase but these didn’t last long.  Mother was the disciplinarian and father the peacemaker.  I often wonder how he kept his sanity in a house full of women.
He used to take himself off to work early in the morning but was always home by 6pm at which time, dinner would be ready and whatever plans we three girls had for the evening we had to be there for dinner.  Oh, there were some lively discussions over the dinner table.  Father usually had a funny story to tell us about something that happened at work.  And of course, we all had to tell what we had been up to that day.  Our successes were lauded and our (occasional) failures commiserated upon.
I clearly remember father singing.  Beautiful love songs to his wife particularly if he thought we couldn’t hear him.  For us, he sang Music Hall songs (Vaudeville for our US friends).  I remember Lily of Laguna and Sorrento in particular. These have stayed with me and my children and grandchildren have all been entertained with songs of that far off time.

As I have written before, this was shortly after the war ended so there were few, if any, luxuries.  But the love, the laughter and the friendship that existed within that little house have followed me through my long life and I hope that what I learned during those years has been passed onto my own family.














My rainbow

Writing 101 – Point of View

Still playing catch up.  Hopefully tomorrow I shall be caught up.

Day 9 and the challenge is:

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

The man suddenly stopped. He looked at the old woman knitting her red sweater and broke into loud sobs. “Hush dear. It is alright” said the woman who was walking with him.

“But what if he doesn’t respond.” said the man. “What if he is a vegetable for ever?” “What if we hadn’t persevered and insisted that he have the operation. He was a happy little boy, now who knows what will happen to him.”

Taking his hand in hers and gently wiping away his tears the woman said “But we had to give him the chance to live life as any other normal little boy. Without this operation he would never have run around chasing a ball, never have played cricket or rugby and would have always been sitting on the sidelines watching life go by. I am sure that we have done the right thing.” And with a smile she turned him back towards the hospital where their young son lay recovering from an operation.

The woman is much more pragmatic than the man, although she too is very concerned about the condition of their son. She has had many conversations with herself, their married daughter and their medical advisers before and since reaching the decision to go ahead with the operation.

The sick child has been born many years after their only daughter, who has since married and moved away. She and her mother are in close contact and since the decision was made to have the operation, they have been in contact daily.

While she is conciliatory towards her husband, helping him in this terrible time, she also wishes he would ‘buck up’ and perhaps support her more. Hard times are easier if there is somebody to share them with.

The old woman is knitting the red sweater for her grandson. She doesn’t know whether it will ever reach him. He is living in Algeria with his mother and his father, who is a doctor.  She is greatly worried about them.  However, she continues to send parcels to the family regularly but does not know if or when they receive them as contact with them is difficult if not impossible.

So she knits and sends presents as a way to keep some connection with her family during this scary time.