Last Photographs - Cloze

A video activity by William Christison

Fill in all the gaps with the missing words, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Click the this button again for another letter. You can also click on "[?]" for a different hint. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints or clues!
Rellena los espacios en blanco con las palabras que faltan. Haz click en el botón "Check" , que aparece en la parte inferior de la página, para comprobar tus aciertos. Si te resulta difícil la respuesta utiliza el botón "Hint" y te revelará una letra de la casilla en la que te encuentres, puedes clickear varias veces en "Hint" y te dará cada vez una letra más de la palabra. Para obtener ayuda también puedes clickear en el botón "[?]" y te dará una pista. Perderás puntos con las pistas.


(Right-click and select "save target as" to download: MP3)



It had rained hard for most of the night but Marion, seeing patches of blue outside their Mansfield , finally gave in. “Don’t worry, Mum, only as far as the park,” Willie said watching her, in fox pelt, straightening her hat in the mirror. There was no getting film on a Sunday even in Glasgow, but the young man took his camera, a gift from his sister in Canada, anyway. A click of the showed maybe one exposure left and Willie hadn’t taken pictures of his old mum in ages. As he the day's paper on a damp bench, he on how well she looked. “Sit down here, love,” he said, “this is a nice .” It wasn’t, but Willie wasn’t about to make his mother walk any further either. There were just two street benches on their side of the park. At the opposite end of the bench where Marion had , a young couple embraced, to her right stood another left half-charred by vagrants. As he the woman in the viewfinder, Willie took care to compensate for the displacement of the image as it would actually appear; he wanted the hill in back and perhaps the trees and sky as well. Then, if he got it right, he might even . Marion slipped off her gloves and sat patiently watching her son as he , then knelt on the rough pavement. Taking pictures was no now. She remembered the day she and William had to stand like statues in the studio on Sauchiehall, how Em and Susie had , and how when William, spotting the blurred figures on cardboard, insisted, cost be , that they be retaken. “The wee ones are growing so fast,” his voice rose, “they’re disappearin’!” It had been seventeen springs and there wasn’t a day the woman did not miss him. Marion had out the morning in Corrie that she had awoken next to her husband’s lifeless body and her loss of speech; only the good times remained, and dear Willie, the one who’d stayed behind. A passing cloud darkened the sky. The couple rose and left and, as her son turned to change , heavy drops began to fall. Willie paused, looked upward and then back into the . Just over his mother’s hat a man had suddenly appeared on the bench at the top of the hill. He wore a blue cap and moustache and, hunkered forward as he was, seemed to peer out at them from beneath his lowered . Willie squinted at the figure for several moments as drops splashed onto his . In a photo taken in the garden behind the Corrie Hotel shortly before his death, Willie’s dad had worn a similar cap. He lowered the camera to his eyes; when he looked up, the man in the viewer had gone. Only Marion remained now, beaming, hands folded, to the rain as it spattered upon her hat and fur. She nodded and Willie, rubbing the lens on his elbow, raised the camera again and quickly pressed the . As he threw his coat over his mother’s shoulders and helped her to her feet, the sun once more emerged a pale arc upon the receding clouds.
Three quarters of a century later, a young man sits at a gentleman in cap and shirtsleeves. The latter leans forward stiffly, his rugged face in turn-of-the-century whiskers, a garden hoe in his hands. Could that be him? He gently bends the cardboard image till it from the four corners glued to the page of a black, leather- album, one his grandmother received from the old country and lay unopened for years under her bed. Not so much as a date. Several loose photos have out and when he thrusts them back between the pages, a snapshot catches his eye. It is , and meticulously hand-coloured. He studies it for a few moments. It must have meant a lot to somebody, he thinks, and then, for safety, it behind that of the gardener. Later, in darkness, as water down the gutter outside his window, he thinks of the old woman on the bench in the rain. He that despite her smile she is intimate with loss, that the picture-taker is someone dear to her, that she once wrote a poem about a moth and a spider and that (he feels now) she knows there are no more photographs to be taken.
The young man rouses with a . Instead of predawn shadows, sunlight floods the room. Late again! He pulls on his clothes, pours tap water into a of powdered coffee, and races out the door to his van. It isn’t until he is reversing down the drive that he begins to remember his dream. Above the letters “Warning: objects may be larger than they appear” a landscaper in shirtsleeves is dirt. The young man pulls out and, shifting gears, is quickly on his way. At the edge of his neighbour’s garden, the landscaper, unseen now in the side view mirror, raises a hand to his blue cap and .