Monday, 14 December 2009

Writer's Group Collaboratively Composes Two Poems With Help From Budgens Value Jaffa Cakes And Dedicated to Mentor Jacob Sam La Rose

On Friday Kristian Wightwick, Kat Quill, Stephanie King, Beth Grew, Jess Bone and Mr Docherty met as the Writer's Group to perform a creative experiment. We dedicate these poems to Jacob Sam La Rose whose website of intriguing images,, inspired us line by line. We couldn't fit the really good phrase, 'mathematical migraine' in anywhere if anyone would like to make use of it...

Thanks to Buckminster.

An average joe
Waiting for an average load.

He doth keep the machines custard bright.

Putting your life
Out to dry,

Uniformed lines
Of linen.

Bom bom bada
bom bom bada

There’s no such thing
As dirty skin.

Climbing from word to word

Stairway. A stainless steel
Promise of mundanity.

Even the red rose
I suppose.

Forgotten beauty grown cold
Do you like them? We did this by looking at the pics on 'before it disappears' and trying to write an image, phrase or line on each. These were ripped without a care from the page and tossed into a huge mug. We then muddled them up and split between two groups who put them into the order you find here. The strips of paper were ceremonially taken away for typing in the plastic tray bits where our value jaffa cakes had once sat and were protected from the elements by the box itself.
Yes, I do need a holiday...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

From Jacob's/Y9's September workshop: Mathew Payne and Isobel Refoy.

The Man I would have liked to meet

Forgotten and alone,
Losing colour and tone,
Lies my only fact about him,

But when I peek inside,
I see the glint in his eyes,
And I wish I could speak to him,

The edges are peeling,
And are revealing,
The age of this photo,

I put the lid back on,
For now, I am gone,
But I’ll return tomorrow,

That is to see,
The man I would have like to meet,
My, dead, Granddad.

Matthew Payne


Should I buy it, or not?
She would probably like it,
Since it only has raisins added.
No coconut. She doesn’t like coconut.

I am getting at least one thing for everyone.
I already know what I’m getting Adam’
And I have dad’s in my bag.
So I decide, and reach into my pocket to get the money.

When I get home,
I lay out everyone’s gifts on the picnic table.
Cheddar for my dad
Chocolate for my brother
And the much thought over
Flapjack for my mum.

Because, you see, it’s just one of my ways of saying a very, very small

Isobel Refoy

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

James Holden- New Moon Review

The Twilight Saga’s second instalment may satisfy hardcore fans, but anyone with any brains at all will realise that it is just a slow pace, excessively long movie with an ongoing relentlessly downcast tone. New Moon lacks SO much: A strong female protagonist, joy, a positive message to young women and above all, shirts.
The film opens with the 18th birthday of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), one of the most vapid and irritating leading characters in film history. While most teenagers would be more than delighted turning 18, Bella can do nothing but sulk and quiver in the presence of her dreamy, pale-skinned, cold vampire love muffin, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison).
Later on in the day, Bella and Edward are whispering to each other when Edward tells her he wished he knew how to kill himself. Happy Birthday?
At Bella’s birthday party, hosted by the Cullen family, all of whom are vampires, Bella gets a paper cut while opening one of her presents. One of the vampires smells the blood and tries to attack Bella, but Edward protects her by accidentally throwing her into a glass table thus giving her a worse injury. Bella ends up with Dr. Cullen and she tells him that she wants to be changed into a vampire. Dr. Cullen responds by telling her that his family are damned and that changing her would make her soulless. Edward, who constantly looks like he has just come from a GQ photo shoot, expresses how worried he is that he will hurt her one day, so decides to leave and never return.
Straight after the break-up we see Bella shut down completely. In the first movie, Twilight, Edward described Bella as “my own personal brand of heroin” and, in the months that follow, her heartbreak resembles a form of cold turkey whose symptoms include extreme nightmares, loud screaming and locking herself away from the rest of the world.
The female love interest in the movie has totally the wrong idea about relationships, and has little bearing on real life, or independence. Bella is displayed as not only horribly weak, but completely co-dependent on a lover. She is portrayed to have a constant need for someone in her life to make her naturally incomplete and empty soul be filled by a companion.
New Moon often makes small references to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, trying to make the movie seem like a modern version of the famous love story. Bella is reading the play at the beginning of the film and in class Edward recites a depressing monologue from a movie adaptation. However New Moon has definitely got nothing to do with love, but instead extreme teenage infatuation.
After five months of ‘dealing’ with the break-up, that should have caused hospitalization, Bella finally drags herself out of the house and decides to behave recklessly, seeing as Edward had asked her not to. This shows how Bella Swan cannot think for herself or do anything which does not relate to a dominant male.
Thankfully, Bella discovers that she can cling onto the other hot man in her life, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Jacob soon joins up with the local bad boys, who never wear shirts. No matter the weather, location, or situation, these men will not wear shirts, a torrential downpour doesn’t even stop them from being topless – the movie is filled with more six-packs than Kerry Katona’s fridge; grotesquely exploiting the hormone enraged teenage girl audience.
Bella continues behaving recklessly, trying to escape from her pain. She eventually tries to kill herself and then covers it up with the excuse that she was cliff diving. The characters in the film are built up to be so lost in one another that one of them feels the need to “no longer go on living”. The glorification of suicide in this film is so strong it is almost sickening, especially as the target market is impressionable teenagers having a hard time figuring out their place in life.
After Jacob finds out about Bella’s suicide attempt, he confesses to her that he is a werewolf and just a split second of anger could cause him to lose control and seriously hurt her. Her response: “That will never happen because I will always tell you how special you are.” This is a girl who will never argue or question the man she loves because otherwise he may lose control and beat her within an inch of her life. However it won’t be his fault; he just has a monster inside him which he can’t control.
The author, Stephanie Meyer, is a Mormon and her religious beliefs are blatant in the whole story. Meyer believes that sex before marriage is wrong, even if the female wants to, is over 18 and her boyfriend isn’t pressuring her. Meyer gets this message across subconsciously to the audience by painting the ideal man as an asexual protector who treats his girlfriend like a small child, enforcing that if they have sex before getting marriage, “changing” her will make her lose her soul.
I am appalled that there’s not even a hint of a moment where Bella has an interest of her own other than whether or not a man can protect her and what she can do to serve him. I also find it offensive that Bella is so selfish that she doesn’t seem to even care if she hurts her own devoted father or pulls away from the people who are supposedly her friends.
Twilight: New Moon strongly promotes: Weakness, Co-Dependency, Objectified Sexual Tension, Suicide, Contrived Romanticism and Parental Abandonment. All of these messages are poison, and perpetuate the very fundamental flaws of society’s direction today.
Two questions about this movie remain at the forefront of my mind: How troubling is it that this movie will most likely gross way over $200 million while having such repulsive messages? And why won’t someone give these hot Native Americans some shirts?

(There's a great article exploring the psychology of 'New Moon' here:

Whatdya reckon Cullenettes?)-Mr D

Kristian Wightwick- The Love I Loved

The Love I Loved

I once had a love that I loved.
We shared, danced, talked and laughed,
All under the moon and star.
There, I thought it was written,
“Forever and ever”.
The love I loved stopped loving me.
So, I turned, I slumped,
I fell, head over heels,
Up from the highest peak,
Down to the thorny bottom.
For I found that the love I loved
Wasn’t so great. It wasn’t all cotton whites
And breakfasts in beds. It was false,
A little blind, quite sadly.

For when I found what the love I loved truly was,
I stared into the glass and let the glass demist,
I stared to other side at the love I loved,
And felt sick, disgusted and angry. Foolish, most of all.
I saw the stupid face, once lined with arrogance,
Now wrinkled with surprise and realisation.
For I saw the love I loved for what it truly was.

For you see, the love I loved was me.
Now, don’t confuse my intention
As the love I mean was not quite love as you might perceive,
This love was a love of hate,
For I hated the love I loved,
For it was me.

But then you took me by the arm,
Led me back to the mountain
From which I fell – head over heels –
And told me it was okay.
You smiled at me and said “hello”, in that way you do,
It made me feel safe and okay, just like you said.
Because, you see...well, it’s like this:
Perhaps, now I will love again, a different love,
Scary, new and exciting. Funny, pretty and witty.
Better and nothing like the love I loved before.
For you see, it’s you – hello.

Monday, 7 December 2009

My First Day At School by Beth Grew

My first day at school- Beth Grew

“I don’t want to go ma!” I pleaded. All of my mates from pre-school were going to St Michaels, but I had to go to Hill Side ‘cos it was closer. I wanted to go to St Michaels with James and Joe ‘cos then I could ride the bus! I’ve only ridden the bus once in the whole of my life and that was when I was five. I remember that I was crying so much the bus driver got all hot like a bull and said something rude to me ma on the way out.
My teacher got all hot like a bull as well today. We were all reading our books in form time and I started laughing ‘cos a boy on my table almost fell off his chair. He managed not to laugh, but I couldn’t. I burst like a balloon! Mr Jones told me to stand in the corner and face the wall.
My pa made me do that once. I had cut a bit of my little sister Kate’s hair off when she was 3 with my plastic scissors. She cried but I didn’t understand why though; I hadn’t cut her head. Oh she did look funny for lots and lots of weeks! Then my pa told me off and his shiny head got shinier with beads of sweat and went all red like a tomato and told me to stand in the corner for ten minutes. I think he forgot about me ‘cos I was there for so long.
Mr Jones made me stand in the corner for a whole fifteen minutes. That was horrid of him, but I think it went quicker than when pa put me in the corner because I had lunch after.
Lunch is the best; and breakfast, and dinner, and break, and pudding. It’s my favourite time of the day! For lunch I had a yummy crisp sandwich. I swapped my filling ‘cos I don’t like ham, for a packet of crisps off me new mate Harry. Harry’s great! He plays football for Ballyfermot and he says he’s the best in the team. He also makes me laugh-he’s the one that almost fell off his chair- and we were joking about how Mr Jones turned into a living vegetable!
My teacher told me that if it has seeds it is a fruit, so I don’t know if a tomato is even a vegetable or not. I don’t like fruit so I shouldn’t like tomatoes, but I do. I don’t like cooked tomatoes though ‘cos they’re too squishy and soggy, just like mud off me wellies after walking with me granny. She’s great she is. She buys me new footballs and bakes me the yummiest cookies in the entire whole world!
I had a cookie today for my lunch. I bought it for 20p with my own pocket money at the school canteen. They weren’t as good as me granny’s but still mouth-wateringly delicious. Harry bought one as well, but his pa gave him money to pay for his.
My pa doesn’t give me a lot of pocket money. Only one pound a week. Harry gets twice that amount! Harry says not to worry that I don’t get that amount yet. He says when he plays for United with Wayne Rooney; he will split his money with me. I’ll be a millionaire, better that, a gazillionaire! I could buy all the toys in the world and Harry and I would play Ben Ten forever.
(Beth took inspiration from the very great book 'Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha' by the Irish writer Roddy Doyle).