Helping to move the furniture

This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the OU. It involves writing a passage that ‘TELLS’ us facts about a given situation, while still holding some information in reserve (to maintain interest). The second part is an exercise in ‘SHOWING’, rather than telling’  – it ‘shows’ the effect of Bob’s actions in part 1 (Activities 9.3 and 9.5).

‘He went to see his father to make arrangements to move the furniture.’


Bob Clement was, to all outward appearances, the happiest man in Surbiton. He was blessed with attractive features, perfect health, the love of a very attractive wife (the envy of all his friends), and some of the best mates anyone could wish for. He was also the captain of the Surbiton over 60s football team, having been a semi professional at Darlington Football Club in his younger years. His rock, however, was his son Brian, a social worker and all round top fella.

What the good folks of Surbiton didn’t know was that Bob had a secret past: some 30 years earlier he had enjoyed a three year extra-marital affair with one of the secretaries at Hartlepool United, unbeknown to his then and still current wife. Unfortunately for Bob, his youthful indiscretion had reared its ugly head and he was struggling to come to terms with his newfound change in circumstance.

A week later, as he sat in his rocking chair, obsessing over his wife’s large bookcase, a melancholy expression imprinted itself on his face as he recalled the irony between his favourite song, Edith Piaf’s, ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ – and his current situation.


Bob gazed anxiously at the clock. He’s late, where is he? Ah, the doorbell, he’s here!

‘Hello dad, I’ve brought your grandson, Paul, to help. How are you bearing up?’

‘I’m coping. Follow me lads.’

They followed him in single file down the dimly lit hallway into an equally dingy living room, come kitchen area.

‘Okay dad, where is it?’ he asked, not realising that his old man had anticipated his question, and was pointing towards a dark wooden book case in the corner.

‘I won’t be needing that anymore, now that she’s gone.’ He said, as tears welled up in his eyes.




About Sean

I live in my own thoughts, chat to imaginary friends, and survive primarily on Snickers and Nescafe. I work full-time and study part-time for a BA in English Literature with the OU. Home is the North West of England, and my heroes are those authors that can make miracles out of paper and words…… “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain.
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