Interactive Writing Session #3: October 9th, 2009

  1. Editing symbols worksheet
  2. Complex sentences worksheet (run-ons, fragments, comma splices)
  3. List of editing symbols (reference)
  4. Read most of chapter 1 of “Little Plum”.

You will need a notebook to take notes about vocabulary, British customs, history, etc., that come up in class as we read the “Little Plum” story.


  1. (from last week) Type a self-introduction letter using MSWord and using the letter format in the handout from last week. Send it to me by email as an attachment 添付ファイル
  2. Finish reading chapter 1.
  3. Read chapter 2 and prepare for next week:
    1. look up the words you don’t know
    2. make notes about things you learn

Today we read almost all of chapter 1 of  “Little Plum” by Rumer Godden. In order to get an image or understanding of what kind of place Britain is, if you have never been there, let’s use the Internet to do some virtual travel.

First, here are some pictures of a High Street:

  1. in Lincoln
  2. in Chelmsford in 1895 (over 100 years ago, but you see what a long history the “High Street” has)
  3. in Scunthorpe in 1973 (“Little Plum” was published in 1962, so this photo shows you what England looked like at about that time)
  4. in a pretty village called Pinner (don’t know where it is!), which shows some “listed buildings”, which means they are protected by law because they are old and beautiful,
  5. a high street in London.

What is a “market town”? It’s a town which is allowed to have a market (in the old days, the king’s permission was needed to have a market). Wikipedia tells us:

In pre-19th century England, the majority of the population made their living through agriculture and livestock farming. Most lived where they worked, with relatively few [people living] in towns. Therefore, farmers and their wives brought their produce to informal markets held after worship on the grounds of their church. Market towns were an important feature of rural life…  Market towns often grew up close to fortified places such as castles, to enjoy their protection. Framlingham in Suffolk is a notable example. Markets were located where transport was easiest, such as at a crossroads or close to a river ford. When local railway lines were first built, market towns were given priority to ease the transport of goods.

So, “market towns” are usually old towns with a history of people bringing things to the town to sell them. Here are some pictures of some market towns in England:

  1. Market Drayton
  2. Market Harborough
  3. Chipping Norton (“Chipping” comes from a Saxon verb meaning “to buy”)

Here you can see how hedges separate people’s property. Here’s a very old and pretty hedge. Here you can see how hedges are used in England to give privacy from the street, and here you can see how a hedge is used to give privacy from the neighbours.

Here’s an ilex tree, a kind of oak tree, in Chichester, UK. Maybe Belinda’s ilex is big like this? Here are some more ilex trees.

Here’s a picture of a gravel drive. This house is very old, much older than “The House Next Door”, I think.


  1. Here’s a picture of a house with a lawn and a hedge, and a “house next door”.
  2. Here’s another picture of a lawn and a garden, and
  3. here’s another one (this house is very old, from Shakespeare’s time!).
  4. Here’s a more modern one (notice the hedge)
  5. and another modern one in the university town of Cambridge

Some houses for sale in this photo. This house has been sold. This photographer would like to buy this house. How about you?  It has a garden, a hedge, a stream, paddocks (fields for horses)!

I found this photo of two “maiko” by searching for “little plum” on Flickr. Are these two “Miss Happiness and Miss Flower”?

The word “plum” has very different associations for English people than the word “ume” 梅 has for Japanese. Here’s a picture that shows you what many English people will think of when you say “plum”.

17 thoughts on “Interactive Writing Session #3: October 9th, 2009”

  1. I saw those pictures.
    It was so beautiful =)
    I like Britain building.
    London’s traffic sign look like Japanese one .

  2. I saw these pictures. These are strange for me.
    Especially it is pictures of hedges. I never seen to the landscape. So I like it. There are no such landscapes in Japan. I envy the British!!

  3. someguy :

    It should be noted, though, that the photograph showing “how a hedge is used to give privacy from the neighbours” is not quite british, given that is it taken in Denmark (by me).

    Quite right. However, a very similar picture could easily have been take in Britain. Yours happened to come up first in my search and I was too lazy to try and find a truly British one! Thanks for posting here and for sharing your photo.

  4. These beautiful pictures were quite plain. I could picture the scene of chapter 1. Thank you, Mr. Sheffner.

  5. I love Britain’s atmosphere since I went to Britain because there are many classical buildings. I think that a building in Britain makes cloudiness beautiful.

  6. Every highstreet and houses in Britain are very similar. Many flowers and trees are very beautiful. I want to study about England more.

  7. It should be noted, though, that the photograph showing “how a hedge is used to give privacy from the neighbours” is not quite british, given that is it taken in Denmark (by me).

  8. Interesting was that hedge is used sometimes as partition (<-a useful word.. I’d like to remember) between houses and other times as frames of a grazing land.
    One picture of rectangular hedges reminded me of The Queen’s Garden in Alice.
    Ume is translated as plum, but if I say plum in katakana (pulamu?), people would think of the plum of fruit, I believe 🙂 Also, we call it sumomo.
    I thought one thing about their name. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower are in Japanese Sachiko and Hanako?

  9. The street of UK are so classic.
    It’s so beautiful and I’d love it.
    I do want to live there.

  10. It was very beautiful. I’d like to go to Britain.
    I think I have to study English very hard.

  11. R.T :
    I have never been to Britain, so I saw some pictures in your blog. I thought that British buildings were so old and tasteful. Also British row of houses and streets was beautiful. And I am surprised hedge was clean cut. I didn’t know there were hedges in Britain. Britain is such a pretty country. I want to go to Britain. Thank you for reading.

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