* The "voice"
Events that are remembered from early childhood are the events that had the greatest impact on us at the time. Talk about the aspects of life with his aunts that are remembered in this piece of writing - why do you think they have stuck in the author's mind?
* Description and detail
In first-person writing, effective description is often written through the author's first-hand experience: we can really picture the low ceilings and the bedroom windows of the cottage. Find other examples of vivid description.
* Comments and judgments
In the last paragraph the author reflects on an incident that still embarrasses him today. "I knew it was wrong, but I had to say it." Can you bring to mind any similar incidents in your life where you were ashamed or embarrassed about something you had said?
* Conveying feelings
When the author describes his feelings at the time, he uses "blurted" and "blushed" and describes how he "looked down at the pavement going past". Do you agree that including how he spoke and moved adds to the description of how he felt? Brainstorm some feelings, and for each one think of verbs that could describe how a person would speak and move if they were feeling that way - acting out may help.
* Writing suggestions
This story may remind you of a time when you lived away from home, or make you recall a time when you had mixed feelings. You may want to tell someone else your story before you write it, or build it silently in your mind. Try drafting on a computer. Then you can add in thoughts and move text as you wish. If drafting on paper, try writing on every other line, so you can add things. When redrafting, think about how well you have used your first-hand experience in describing the setting.