My Days in the Mountains

You are stuck in a snow storm (or a sand storm), or you are lost in the bush. Describe your last moments. How will you react?

I took a drive by myself to the mountains. When I got there, I decided to go for a bushwalk to clear my head. I went off the track to see a beautiful view from here but lost my way back. I have been lost for hours now; the sun is beginning to set, which indicates that I have been out here alone all day.  Soft pink and orange light dance across the Australian terrain. When the sun was hung high in the sky, I had walked to find the way back to my car. As the daylight burned out, the hope of being found out here in the bush fading. Now the blue glow of the moon blankets the earth.  I am frozen with fear as the cool breeze makes me shiver. My anxiety is stopping me from continuing my search for help. I feel a panic attack gripping a hold of the last of my courage. My breath is quickening; my hands begin to tremble. I wrap my arms tight around myself, crouching in a ball on the due damp grass. The temperature has not dropped dramatically, but my body is shaking from within. Thoughts of never seeing my family again fall like heavy stones on my heart, weighing me down even further into the ground. Oh dear god, will I ever see my family again?

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Victorian Woman


* Imagine you are a Victorian woman. Describe the things you value most in life.

My name is Lucinda Godwin; I am a devoted wife and mother. My husband, Henry, owns the railways in London. I have two children: Henry Jnr, four, and Anne is two; they have a nanny called Emily that looks after them. This leaves me to enjoy the finer things in life. I love to get my dresses and my hats imported from Europe. I feel so pretty showing off my new outfits at the grand social parties. I love to dance.  Once mouth on a Sunday after church, I put a tea party on just for ladies. We sit around talking while we drink tea and eat cake; it is always in my beautiful yard. My husband Henry takes me to dinner, and then we go to the theatre, which we both enjoy. Every night after we have dinner, Henry goes to the office while I go to the sitting room with the children to have quiet time with Henry Jnr and Anne, then Nanny Emily take them off to bed.  I sit and read before I call it a night.

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Walking through the Art Gallery, I enjoyed all the paintings. One stood out more, as it was different to the rest. I noticed that during the enlightenment era, the portraits were stiff and lifeless. The artist John Hoppner had made a change with the full-length portrait of Madame Marie-Louise Hilligsberg in 1791. In this portrait, the background is dark, but Marie-Louise is in eye-catching colours, and your eyes are drawn straight to her. Hoppner can bring the Romantic Era into his work. The painting shimmers of white and gold in the dress. This gives a transparent artistic movement to the painting. These qualities capture the life of the Romantic era. The light reflects on the dress. There is an illusion of the dress moving, and she is dancing. Marie-Louise became a ballet dancer in Paris. She travelled to London in 1787 and joined the King’s Theatre. In December of that year, her first performance was in the Noverre’s ballet. After the 1802-1803 season, she retired and moved back to France with her husband. Her retirement was a brief one as she died in January 1804, Probably from “extreme exertion. I love the way Hoppner made the painting come alive and caught her the story through with her posture and expression.

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TINTERN ABBEY- William Wordsworth

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Find out some more about the monastery Tintern Abbey and its location and describe why and how you think Wordsworth was so inspired by the place.

Tintern Abbey is a wonderfully romantic place, lying on the Welsh side of the River Wye winding valley between Chepstow and Monmouth. Over many years, the Abbey was home to hundreds of monks until King Henry VIII closed it in 1536. Tintern Abbey has a very spiritual history. Wordsworth’s love for Tintern Abbey started five years before. Back then, he saw the beauty of the place, making him feel like a young boy running around the fields. At that time, the peace and quiet of the place also allowed him to reflect on his life. He brings some of that experience with him now as he revisits the Abbey five years later. The countryside inspired William Wordsworth to write a deeply personal poem about his feelings while sitting up on the cliffside under a sycamore tree, looking down on Tintern Abbey and being surrounded by nature. While the warmth of the sunlight shines on him, he also smells the forest and feels a soft summer breeze, you can see in his poem the love that he has for Tintern Abbey. In July 1798, Wordsworth brought his sister Dorothy along to share the love he has for the Abbey and the beauty it holds within. The description he gives of the landscape around the Abbey also shows how nature has taken the Abbey back into itself.

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sycamore tree – Bing images