Peer Review by Ash (United States)

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Zooming In

By: Helen Grant


Go to the flat, marshy tail of the British Isles rabbit and zoom in to Cambridge, still flat, with a distastefully prominent hospital cremation tower but otherwise very lovely buildings. Head south, past fields of pungent, yellow rapeseed.

     And here is my village. Skim down the high-street, past squidgy marzipan cottages, and up the hill that is really more of a small lump than a hill, until you reach my own humble road. You’ll know you've found the right one because the council recently bequeathed us a marble headstone. It has our street name on it in gold, and an inspirational message, which is charming, and not at all patronising.

     Go up the road until you arrive at a badly-signposted fork. Take time to admire the water tower on the horizon, providing the day is clear and the highest hill in Cambridgeshire is not wearing its favourite foggy beanie.

     Rotate ninety degrees left and look at my house. Our self-sown tree will probably be peeking over the top from the back garden, like a shy child, and if it is spring it will probably be spouting strange furry catkins, which we still haven’t identified and which are probably a miracle cure for cancer.

     Admire our front door and try not to focus too much on the scratches around the keyhole. If the door happens to open, please catch the cairn terrier before he escapes.

Peer Review

"up the hill that is really more of a small lump than a hill." It's very wordy, but it creates a very vivid image. The line about the foggy beanie is a good one too.

You did a great job appealing to sight: the images you describe easily come to mind. However, you didn't really appeal to any of the other senses, but you have opportunities to explore the other senses in the existing piece. Do the fields of yellow rapeseed have a particular smell? Do they remind you of the scent of a different flower? Is the headstone flat and smooth or more rough?

You gave a very honest, detailed description. I could tell this was your home just by the tone of voice: you highlighted the nice features, like the marble headstone, but weren't afraid to point out the flaws, such as the badly-signposted fork. You had a very humorous and sincere attitude.

Reviewer Comments

You did a great job on this prompt, just some minor grammar issues and such. Overall, a very good read.