At five o’clock, I walk to the park alone, without my soccer ball. There is nobody else there. I head over to the playground and sit on the swings, hiding in the warmth of my beanie.
Bernard Beagle Kicks Off, page 108
This is the swing set at Bernard and Cody's training reserve. After getting knocked out while playing his first ever game for the Tidal Waves, Bernard sits on the swing to let his emotions go. As he comes down from the highest point of the backward swing, Bernard feels the wind wipe away his tears.
When Cody finds Bernard at the park, he talks to him about the game and how Cody's first game was also a disaster.
This is actually the swing set at the local park a few blocks away from my old house. I can remember many conversations happening while swinging on these very swings, and, in fact, many other swings at other playgrounds. This particular piece of playground equipment just seems to encourage meaningful dialogue.
When I get to school I don't walk along the fence to the back gate. I throw my sports bag over the fence and lift myself right over it.
Bernard Beagle Kicks Off, page 126
This is the boundary fence that Bernard walks along and eventually jumps over in Bernard Beagle Kicks Off. The gate is further along, amongst the shadows of the trees.
The fence is a significant feature of the story. Normally, Bernard takes the easier option, walking down to the gate when he comes to school. Then as he grows in confidence, training with Cody and losing a bit of weight, he finally decides to jump over the fence instead, right before the first match of the season against Woodland Bay Primary Jets.
This is actually the fence at Reynella East College (previously Reynella East High School) that I jumped over every school day from 2004 - 2008.
You know when the corner of your novel's pages get bent or torn - Blog Ears.