Page 1

ught o h t for food


3, win t

er 200 6


woman of the year?

jasvinder sanghera interview

turning japanese issue l a c i t i l the po

real-life stories

terror attacks 7|7 student recipes

addicted to grub

02: stretch

UNUSUAL SUSPECTS ‘A fascinating look at the world of Journalism and Media has produced Issue 3 of the dynamic instrument that is Stretch! Once again, we thrived amid a week where teamwork was vital, punctuality valued and writing/ interviewing always under pressure. I hope you enjoy this magazine as much as the team that created it did’

the students

This issue was made by

Katie Weeden – Editor General Chief Claire Baldwin – Writer Chief Richard Smith – Technical and Photographic Chief Imogen Hill – Political Chief Sarah O’Donnell – Headline Chief Rhea Morgan – Ranter Chief Fiona Brown – Common Sense Chief Laura Treharne – Chef Chief Beth Mills – Interview Chief Chloe Jones – Art Chief Emily Whitmore – Research Chief


8 hours in a minibus 6 painfully slow computers 1 Coca-Cola fridge Countless papercuts 11 hardworking elves A pair of pink clogs Several hectares of rainforest 5 nervous breakdowns The Benny Hill theme tune Yoga balls Smithy’s mp3 player 1 pensioner in a predicament Hot, hot heat Thunderbolts and lightning (very, very frightening)

Stretch is a student magazine produced by 6th formers at Bablake School. Opinions expressed in its articles do not necessarily represent official school viewpoints.

Mark Woodward (Editor) Fiona Sibley (Online Subediting) Mustard (Design) Chris Scott (Team Driving)

Mark Woodward (Editor)

Bablake School :03

etc. Claire Baldwin

We were keen to discover more about life as Editor of one of, arguably, the most influential student magazines, Etc. Russ very happily obliged ‘When I was younger, I fancied being an astronaut but they expect you to be able to add, subtract, and generally know about maths – which I’m shockingly bad at. Happily, that made me the perfect candidate to be a writer, so I thought I’d do that instead. I studied English and American Literature at Warwick Uni, which was ace. It’s not a formal qualification in Journalism, but it taught me to love words and how they can be used, which I suspect is just as important. I was lucky enough to get involved with Etc. right at the start, about four years ago. It meant I was part of everything, from the name of the magazine to the way Etc. speaks – so it’s a big part of me and vice versa. I’m the Editor, so I’m responsible for what goes in (and more importantly what stays out), coming up with the features, writing some pieces, working with the sales team and working with students to make sure we have a product they like. I also supervise our team of writers, so every single word in the magazine comes through me at some point.

From Harrogate withLove At the moment I’m researching pieces and conducting interviews, and going to press conferences for movies and so on, gathering all the material to send to our designers. Every day is different, depending on where we are in the magazine. The best thing about this job is getting to create something new from scratch that will hopefully help and entertain people. Well, that, and getting sent free music, of course. I really enjoy spending time talking to interesting people so I love doing interviews. KT Tunstall was a very nice person to talk to, but my favourite was Graham Coxon, who was very friendly and funny. I’ve also interviewed Kevin Spacey, who’s a bit of a hero of mine, so that was great.

If you’re interested in Journalism, bear in mind that it doesn’t always pay well. It also doesn’t come and find you. You need to get out there. Lots of people think they want to be writers, which is great, but the only way you’ll become one is to write stuff, all the time. Also, read loads of magazines, newspapers and books to see which writing styles you like and to compare how people write differently for different audiences. Just do anything and everything you can to keep your brain flexible and get used to working with words.

Russ is Editor of Etc. magazine, which is distributed nationally four times a year to secondary schools. Their careers guru, Woody, is Bablake’s very own Head of Careers, Mark Woodward.


04: stretch

former students report on london’s terror attacks

news emma walden

After leaving Bablake in 1993, Emma gained an English Literature degree at Sheffield and a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism NCTBJ in 1997. She is now a correspondent and presenter for London Tonight, based at ITN. ’Crossing Waterloo Bridge should have been exciting. I had spent the previous day reporting from Paris, following our victorious Olympic bid. Our programme was broadcast live from Singapore – we were on a high.

‘Newsrooms are never dull places, but before I even stepped through the glass doors at ITN, I could see the anxiety on faces and feel the adrenalin that was to keep us all reporting the most shocking of news for hours to come’

But as I walked across the river towards the ITN newsroom it became evident that this day would not be memorable because of London’s 2012 celebrations, but because of the utter devastation four men were to bring to the capital. Power surges had been reported on the underground before I left for work. Arriving at Waterloo station it was all too evident – with tubes cancelled, thousands of commuters struggled to catch buses or taxis to their offices. I decided to walk. As I neared the Aldwych I received a text message – a major incident alert from my boss asking all staff to come into work. It appeared that the electrical faults being reported on the underground were something else – something

unthinkable as it turned out. Walking up Kingsway, I noticed scores of people crowding around televisions in shop windows and pubs. The rolling news programmes had begun to report what Londoners had feared since 9/11. The sound of sirens as I got closer to King’s Cross was confirmation. Hundreds of people were walking up Gray’s Inn Road, some with blackened faces covered in soot. They had survived. It was now clear that many would not be travelling home that night. Newsrooms are never dull places, but before I even stepped through the glass doors at ITN, I could see the anxiety on faces and feel the adrenalin that was to keep us all reporting the most shocking of news for hours to come. ITN’s coverage went open-ended on ITV1. The images broadcast during those hours were unforgettable. I reported live from the emergency services press conferences in Westminster, interviewing police, fire officers and a motorcycle paramedic who was one of the first to attend two of the blast sites. I can’t imagine what they saw that day or the impact it had on their lives and careers. With counter terrorism operations making headlines every month, over a year on, the impact of 7/7 on the capital continues.’

7|7 ‘When I look back on that morning, I’m surprised that my daily commute was so eventless’

Fiona left Bablake in 1997 and studied English at the University of London. Former Editor of London Student, after freelancing for the national broadsheets, she is now Deputy Editor of Channel 4’s Grand Designs magazine. ‘When I look back on that morning, I’m surprised that my daily commute was so eventless. Two days a week I write articles at home, but on July 7, fifteen minutes late, I was jumping on the number 8 bus from Bethnal Green, heading through the City towards Oxford Street, to my magazine office in Soho, in the centre of London.

I get to work without a hitch, although the streets around Carnaby Street seem a bit quieter than their usual buzzy self. I arrive at 9.45am – last in the office as usual – and go into a quick meeting, when someone mentions news of a ‘bang’ on the underground. At this point there’s no indication what has happened, but before long, the story unfolding on the news websites is ominously veering from one theory to another. Their vagueness encourages speculation, and predictable whinging about the state of the transport system every Londoner relies on, until the shockwave finally hits. Suddenly it’s all too clear there’s been a major evacuation and a series of explosions. An innocent power surge turns out to be a terrorist attack – what everyone has been praying would not happen since 9/11. And not one, but several, twisting the knife further. (Just how many will there be, we wonder silently?) I’m sickened by the news that one in Aldgate was barely off my route through the East End. Yet I don’t recall seeing panicking crowds in the streets – quite the opposite. It reminds me that I’m one of only 8 million people tracing a zigzag of lines through the city. Your route and someone else’s are so close yet you never realise it. I send a few text messages to my parents, then return to my meeting, without thinking that I should start checking in with all

Bablake School :05

‘Debris is strewn near the scene of an explosion near Russell Square in London, July 7 2005’ Image supplied by kind permission of Reuters/Mike Finn-Kelcey

my friends. What do you say? ‘I’m fine!’ seems a bit dramatic, even callous. But I want to know they’re safe, too. My landline rings and it’s Sam, my boyfriend, who works down the road, to check I’m ok as he can’t reach me by email or mobile. I realise I should have contacted him straightaway. Then the texts start flying in. ‘R u ok? Em x’ says a friend who works at home in South London. Then another: ‘Just heard the news. Please tell me you’re safe.’ This is really horrible, the realisation that I’m in a danger zone. Then the mobile networks become so blocked (or, as we later find out, turned off to prevent more bomb detonations) that we desperately resort to email, making sure all our friends are safe. It’s a heartwrenching process, with no relief until it’s complete. Work gets put aside, but live news reporting is making the anguish more unbearable, the tension tightening as we wait for more information or announcements. They are telling people to stay off the streets. Outside, the hectic world of London is deserted. It’s chilling. By the time it feels as though the bad news has stopped coming through, there’s the matter of how to get home to think about. I can’t bear the thought of getting on any of the buses that have started up again. Nor walking back to Bethnal Green through the City, because it seems far too much of a potential target. So I meet my

fiona sibley

boyfriend, and we join the hordes walking through Green Park to Victoria – a peculiar sight. There, we manage to get on an overland train to Streatham, where he lives. There’s a strange mix of fear and determination that I can feel and see in practically everyone on the train. Strangers are telling each other to take care, and that never happens in London. The process of London emptying itself tonight is beyond comprehension, so distorted, you marvel at how it ever happens, this vast movement of people. And you can’t think of this without remembering this act that has threatened every one of us today with death, because it could have been any one of us. It’s a horrible thought to consider. In some small way, I feel relieved I was working in town that day, not at home, because friends further from it were reluctant to come into the city for ages. And the feeling of getting through the day right in the heart of the city was cathartic – something akin to blitz spirit, I suppose. Over the next few days we hear so much about London being so resilient, just getting up and carrying on. The papers are right, but the point becomes weary so quickly and actually it was really hard getting on a bus again, let alone abandoning yourself to the enclosures of the underground. Yes, life goes on, but not without the memory that after this terrible day, for some it simply didn’t.’

New Apprentices

06: stretch

fiona brown

We asked Sir Alan’s PR wing if he had a few pertinent maxims for young students to latch onto on their journey to a fulfilling career. The following words of advice and more are to be found in ‘The Apprentice: How to get hired not fired’, the excellent revised book accompanying Sir Alan’s most recent quest to find a new apprentice

• Effective networking is important in business and maintaining good contacts is invaluable • To succeed, you need to be hungry for new experiences • You need to start progressing from where you are, not from where you’d like to be or where you think you are • You need to start a business as young as you possibly can. Be bold! • But remember… it’s not going to be easy The revised edition of the book accompanying the BBC 2 series contains some super advice for the young businessman or woman. We challenge our readers to suggest other advice. Just email us what you feel to be the key to success.

Bablake School :07

The popular TV Series ‘The Apprentice’ has something for everyone: business skills, reality TV, tears and tantrums and the occasional bitter rivalry

In its final transmission, the 2006 show received 5.7 million viewers, to see Michelle Dewberry beating Ruth Badger to earn £100 000 a year in a job with multi-millionaire Sir Alan Sugar. Jo Cameron, originally from Coventry, was one of the twelve hopefuls on series two of ‘The Apprentice’ and she kindly came to Bablake to talk to us. Right from the start, Jo was very friendly and relaxed as she sat down at the table with us while a photographer took pictures for the Coventry Evening Telegraph. She told us that she had entered ‘The Apprentice’ because her friends had said that she would do well. ‘It was an intense adventure,’ she told us. ‘I really enjoyed the noodle task. I love dressing up! It was great fun, wearing a silly Chinese hat and trying to sell noodles on the banks of the River Thames at half an hour to midnight! Plus we won it!’

an audience with jo cameron However, it wasn’t all fun and games. ‘It was definitely an emotional strain, which they did on purpose with tight deadlines to test us.’ The most nerve-racking thing was the Board Room – especially waiting outside. ‘I would constantly pace up and down for hours. They only show a few minutes of it, but it’s much longer. You’re so pumped up on adrenalin that when you come back out you can’t remember anything that happened.’

Jo told us that she was glad that she entered ‘The Apprentice’, but she did have a few regrets. ‘If I could do it again, I wouldn’t bow to any pressure. I would have stood up for myself more. I wish I’d had a big row with someone!’ She went on to say that she got on really well with Michelle. ‘She deserved to win because she’s pragmatic and not too emotional. Plus she wouldn’t stab you in the back!’ she added with a laugh. ‘We made a really good team together.’

When we asked what Sir Alan is really like, Jo told us: ‘He’s a very charitable chap. It shows that you don’t need to be nasty to get on in business. He’s genuine underneath but got a bit cranky with us when we made silly decisions under pressure.’ Having been featured – and voted off first – in a celebrity edition of ‘The Weakest Link’, we asked who was scarier, Alan or Anne? After much thought, Jo eventually decided that they were equally matched.

She said that her game plan for the show was simply to be herself. ‘That’s the most important thing in business, always be yourself and be the best that you can be. There is room in the world for everybody, just never give up.’ Jo also mentioned her interest in politics. ‘I really look up to Mo Mowlam and Anita Roddick,’ she told us. ‘They stick to their morals and don’t back down to political pressure.’ As our interview drew to a close and Jo was looking back over the experience, she said: ‘I want to do it again! Should I apply for series three? The closing date is today…’

Jo is currently planning a career in politics as well as developing her website www.urhired. which focuses on finding employment for professionals over the age of 50. She very kindly gave us an hour of her time in a most hectic summer.

claire baldwin & fiona brown


08: stretch

venue imogen hill

It’s been a long time since there was a decent music venue in Coventry – a very long time. For ages, the principal live music venue in Coventry has been Warwick Arts Centre, which has hosted the likes of Eels, Imogen Heap and Martha Wainwright over the last year Unlike the 60s and early 70s when bands as big as The Who played at The Lanchester (now Coventry University), in order to see more mainstream acts we have all had to traipse over to the NEC and the Carling Academy in Birmingham, while alternative music could be sought out at The Coliseum. Not so anymore. The new Ricoh Arena has provided an enormous live music venue that has already hosted Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The stadium has proved to be a big hit with visitors – Melinda Anthony, 34, and Leanne Willson, 36, both from Coventry, first saw the Ricoh when they went to see Bon Jovi. Melinda said, ‘It was outstanding – the perfect place for gigs like that and much needed in Coventry,’ and described the arena as a ‘friendly, well-managed establishment.’ Leanne also praised it, saying, ‘I couldn’t fault it personally, although some people said the sound was not quite 100% and the parking wasn’t very clever. Otherwise a brilliant venue.’ The issue of travel and parking is a recurring complaint with regards to the Ricoh. A part of the original plans for the stadium that seems to have fallen by the wayside was a train station,

RedHot Ricoh and in the opinion of many visitors to the Ricoh, a properly integrated transport solution will be vital for the success of the establishment. Following the Red Hot Chili Peppers gig last summer, the Coventry Evening Telegraph published a number of letters complaining that buses were not only insufficient for the number of people, but also an hour and a half late. There has been nothing but praise for the venue itself, but travel and parking must not remain a problem, particularly when leaving an event. After the Celtic versus Coventry football match, it took some people up to an hour just to leave the car park at the arena as a direct result of the sheer number of vehicles there. This, in many cases, is because people feel compelled to drive because of the inadequacy of the public transport up to the stadium. One Ricoh ‘solution’ was a £10 parking permit which allows visitors to park their cars elsewhere and then catch a bus to and from the arena. However, many will argue the price of the parking permit is extortionate when added to the £40-plus price of the tickets for an event, particularly if the park and ride service has proved to be less than satisfactory.

The arena is an extremely valuable facility, both for music and sporting events, which has long been lacking in Coventry, a city with a population of 350,000, a million people within half an hour’s drive and almost 75% of the UK’s population within two hours’ drive, but the transport problems faced by visitors must not prove to be a deterrent – there is only so long visitors will put up with the queuing and expense of parking.

Bablake School :09

womanof theyear? imogen hill

Jasvinder Sanghera is the director of Karma Nirvana, an organisation dedicated to helping South Asian women, British Asian women and European women who have converted to South Asian religions like Islam or Sikhism

Jasvinder set up Karma Nirvana in order to ‘give something back’ to her community and girls in a similar position to hers. ‘It took a long time to gain people’s trust, but now we deal with people from as young as 10 to as old as 60 and 70 years old. First and foremost we offer women choices. We are all about empowering women, encouraging them to make independent decisions.’ However, Jasvinder’s own ‘independent decisions’ have caused much of the Asian community to reject her. ‘In their eyes I am a woman with no honour, but in fact I am a very honourable person. My honour is their shame.’

There has recently been a national consultation debate regarding the laws concerning forced marriage, as although crimes such as murder, child abduction and even rape are often linked with forced marriage, the marriages themselves are not illegal. However, no legislation was passed against forced marriage. ‘I was appalled that the legislation wasn’t passed, as we are supposed to be a civilised society. I think this allows people to get away with it.’ And people absolutely do get away with it– there are 1000 cases of forced marriage a year in Britain alone, and there hasn’t been even one successful prosecution. Jasvinder also says she thinks that if the law was passed in Britain, it would put pressure on India and other South Asian countries to reconsider their position on the matter. ‘There’ll always be a gap between the two cultures. A lot of Asians see the British way of life as a threat, and I think that faith leaders are not doing enough to educate their communities. There is a very high level of denial within the Asian communities.’ This denial is being challenged at the moment, as the government is investing a lot of money in national projects to spotlight the issues related to forced marriages.

Karma Nirvana is currently in the process of training up 19 mentors for Jasvinder’s new project, a National Friendship Network for victims of forced marriage, which will be a helpline. ‘It’ll be like the Samaritans, but for women going through specific issues. They’ll be able to tap into a person trained in these issues or they’ll be able to tap into a survivor. Friends are so important when you’ve lost your family. Your friends become your family.’


‘I set Karma Nirvana up in 1994 because I myself was a victim of forced marriage. When I was 14 my parents showed me a picture of the man I was going to marry, and when I was 15 I ran away.’ Through this decision to defy her parents and run away, Jasvinder lost her entire family, and even to this day, 25 years down the line, they don’t speak to her. ‘A lot of Asian families are very concerned with the idea of honour. They will do anything to preserve their honour. The Metropolitan Police is currently reviewing 118 solved murders to identify links with honour killings.’

’Shame’, the moving account of Jasvinder’s life, is now available, published by Hodder and Stoughton.

10: stretch

coventry Richard Smith

chic or

With thanks to for Millennium Place photography



Bablake School :11


1981 ghosttown

‘This town is coming like a ghost town. All the clubs are being closed down. This place is coming like a ghost town. Bands won’t play no more. Too much fighting on the dance floor. Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang as the music played in any boomtown. This town is coming like a ghost town. Why must the youth fight against themselves? Government leaving the youth on the shelf. This place is coming like a ghost town. No job to be found in this country. Can’t go on no more. People getting very angry’ The Specials ‘Ghost Town’

12: stretch

addicted to grub Laura Treharne

Jacket Potatoes

Greens Alert!?

If you have a microwave in your hall of residence, these can be very quick and easy to make.

Just because Mum or Dad aren’t there to pester you, it doesn’t mean you should stop eating your greens! So they may not actually give you night vision or super muscles, but vegetables contain valuable vitamins to maintain your health, strengthen your immune system and keep away those dreaded spots!

• Just stab the potato a few times with a knife to allow steam to escape and stop it from exploding. • Pop it in the microwave for ten to fifteen minutes while you nip off to watch some TV. • Jackets go with an amazing amount of fillings: why not try crispy bacon and cottage cheese, coleslaw or even the old classic cheese and beans? Omelette Great for a snack because it’s quick to make and can be flavoured to suit your mood. Basic ingredients: 2 eggs, a splash of milk, 30g grated cheese.

University, the word synonymous with thought, education and freedom? However, this impending freedom means that you may have to, horrific as this may be, cook for yourself or worse, others! We know that you may never have touched a saucepan before let alone used one, so here are a few simple recipes, requiring little to no skill, to get you going when you first step into that foreign world: the kitchen

• Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk. • Add the milk– this makes the omelette fluffy but too much will drown the eggs and stop it from becoming solid. • Add the cheese. • Now put the mixture into a pre-heated wok or frying pan. • When the omelette can be easily lifted from the pan without sticking, flip it! • Cook until golden brown on both sides. Laura’s Top Omelette tips • Why not add mushrooms, onions or cooked bacon to the mixture before cooking, for variety? • The stronger the cheese, the less you need to use, cutting down on cost and calories.

Vegetable Crumble Basic ingredients: 2tbsp olive oil, 1 diced aubergine, 1 diced courgette, 1 sliced red pepper, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, 150g breadcrumbs, 175g grated cheddar cheese. • Fry the aubergine, courgette and red pepper in the oil until the aubergine turns brown. • Add the tomatoes and garlic and stir well before transferring into an ovenproof dish. • Mix cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly on top of the vegetables. • Bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for 25 – 35 minutes. Hangover Cure You know it will happen, so here’s something to help get rid of that pounding headache. Basic ingredients: 1 chopped banana, juice of 1 orange, 1 tsp clear honey, pint of milk, 8 ice cubes, a pinch of ground cinnamon. • Put the banana, orange juice, honey and milk in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. • Tip the ice into two glasses, pour in the drink and sprinkle with cinnamon.

CakeMe Out

Bablake School :13

The fairy cake is a foodstuff of beauty. Its light, spongy cakeness provides a slight amount of comforting sustenance, which leaves you pinching more. The cake, when smoothly spread with glossy, profusely coloured icing brings happiness to many and the final factor which makes the fairy cake so memorable, and which has created such fondness, is the scattering of penny sweets on top, reminiscent of so many people’s childhood. Everyday worldwide, cake sales are being held in schools, at country fairs and fetes, farmers’ markets and thousands of other events. These sales rely on adults and children alike to bake, decorate, sell and eat the wonderful concoctions made in the kitchen late the night before, using the sweetest ingredients available. The purpose of a cake sale is to raise funds for up and coming events, as well as for charity. A cake sale may seem an easy way to fundraise, but behind its simplicity, lies a game of popularity and rivalry between its contestants – the cooks. The contestants battle it out to see who makes the most decorative cakes, who makes the most delicious cakes and more importantly, who sells the most. All in all, it’s a competition with perfection and fame in the fairy cake stakes as first prize. Nigella Lawson clearly understands the competition involved in what seems such an insignificant event. As a result, she has shared her wisdom and her experience with cake sales, in ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ in the children section, whereby listed are her ideas for future success in the political game of cake sales for all cake bakers.

Cake sales are a popular way to fundraise within Bablake. This year alone, 20 cake sales have been held and more than £300 has been made. This clearly shows the power that cake has and demonstrates its popular reputation within the food consuming public. Our survey says the general consensus is that people buy from cake sales primarily because of ravenous hunger rather than charitable purposes and the clear-cut favourites are: Victoria sponge, lemon cakes, and the legend, that is… the fairy cake!!! Fairy Cake Recipe Failsafe recipe, for a failsafe idea for huge success at a cake sale or… just for general consumption! Basic ingredients: The cake – 100g self raising flour, 100g caster sugar, 100g margarine, 2 medium eggs. The icing – food colouring(s) of your choice, a variety of sweeties (inc a few extra to nibble in preparation), 225g icing sugar, 3 tbsps water. Equipment: mixing bowl, wooden spoon/electric hand whisk, 12 cake baking tray, paper cake cases, variety of teaspoons, knife/skewer, tablespoon, sieve. • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (180 degrees C for a fan assisted oven). • Put the flour, sugar and margarine in a large bowl. Carefully crack the eggs in the bowl and whisk together until a smooth, pale mixture is formed. • Using two teaspoons, carefully put a teaspoon full of mixture into the cake tray cases, ensuring that each cake has approximately the same amount of mixture in it. • Transfer the cake tray into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. • To check that the cakes are fully cooked, insert a knife or skewer and if it comes out clean, then the cakes are cooked! • Leave to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack for further cooling time. • For the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and then gradually add the water, adding more if needed. Mix together and add the food colouring, together with a bit more icing sugar. • Spread or drizzle onto the top of the cakes. Scatter or ‘carefully arrange’ the sweeties or desired topping and then leave to set, before eating!

14: stretch

Claire Baldwin


‘world in shock as death ceases to exist’

Bablake School :15

acreativepiece A sudden gust of wind causes me to grab at my hood, pulling it back down over my head as I watch your auburn locks spill out into the sky. I am fixated, drawn in by the rippling waves streaming out like a flag, hypnotising me with its beautiful swirling movements. You reach up with a pale, perfect hand, taming the redbrown pennant and stealing me from my trance. I feel suddenly cold and lost, as you bring me back to the real world

Oh how I hate this reality. The cold, poisonous feeling of the world. I despise knowing the painful truth that I can never be happy. I need to be with you. It’s almost more than I can bear, restraining my desire to take you. You move away, walking down the street at a brisk pace. I mirror your motions, stalking a little way behind, still encased in shadow. I don’t care who sees me, just as long as I remain hidden from your eyes. I know that I am unworthy of your innocent gaze. I don’t know what I would do if you saw me. I have imagined the moment countless times and yet nothing ever happens, even in my thoughts. I watch the alluring way your hips sway as you walk. Everything about you is perfect. Every line, every curve, every deliciously plump ounce of flesh. I ache to run my white fingers over your skin. But I know that I wouldn’t be able to feel it. I want you. All of you. Always. Nothing matters to me but you anymore. i Don’t need to eat, I don’t need to sleep, I don’t need anything but you. It’s been months since I first saw you… since my life and work were put on hold, plunging my world into chaos. You sit down on a bench, your black skirt riding up and tightening around your thighs as you cross your legs. The image is almost too beautiful to bear. It’s so hard to force myself to stay in the shadows where I belong. I want you now more than ever. I don’t know how long I can control myself. Not that time seems to matter any more. This is driving me crazy.

How can I love you when I don’t even know you? I thought I was incapable of love. And yet here I am, unable to take my eyes off you. There’s nothing I can do but love you. And it hurts. This has been going on for too long. I have to do something. Something drastic. I watch you unfold a newspaper and I shudder as I let my gaze fall from your perfect eyes to the bold, black headline: ‘WORLD IN SHOCK AS DEATH CEASES TO EXIST’. It still existed all right. It just wasn’t happening. I had seen it myself. A man hit by a bus right in front of me. I wanted to do something, really I did, but I couldn’t. And he just didn’t die. Maybe it would have been better had he died. But instead he lived on, body and bones crushed, damaged beyond repair. Endless torture with no way out, until the world begins to make sense again. During these times, there is no escape with death. If Death refuses to come to you, there is nothing that can be done. There is no death without Death. I am torn from my daydream as you shake the newspaper, folding it away and clasping it tightly in your hand as you rise to your feet. And I am back to needing you. Surprise creeps into the back of my mind as I realise that that was the longest time I had spent not thinking about you for months. The only time since I first saw you. It feels as if something inside me has been crushed, as if you are punishing me for even forgetting you for a moment, though I know that you are not. It is simply my own guilt for getting lost in the chaos of the world. Oh why do I torture myself thus? I know what I need to do to make things right. To make me right, complete, happy. To make things right within the world. But it isn’t fair on you. How could I bring myself to do such a thing? There must be another way. But I know there is not. I have spent endless hours turning it over and over in my mind. I continue walking after you, despairing as I come to terms with what I need to do. But I honestly don’t think that I could do it. It would destroy your world and those around you. it would end everything that you know and love. But what if you could love me? What if this would make all right within the world? I drop my head, tearing my gaze away from you, as I resign myself to the fact that I could never do such a thing. The situation is not yet that desperate. A sudden, strong gust of wind whips my hood back, exposing my head and face. I see a newspaper land on the ground at my feet and as I look up I realise that you are standing before me, eyes wide with fear. You have seen me. It all happened in a split second. Panic, confusion, fear and love all rush into my mind as I do what I swore that I would never do. As I open my eyes I see you, barely standing, an almost delicious look of terror upon your perfect face as the blood begins weeping from your chest, trailing down your body and dripping onto the pavement. I look into your fearful eyes and see my reflection, as I stand above you, both hands gripping the wooden handle of the scythe which burns into your soul. Your mouth moves, as you utter an almost silent word before slipping away to the Netherworld to await your eternal life with me. The word rings in my mind: ‘Death.’

16: stretch

interview Claire Baldwin

Miura Yoshiko If you wanted to learn Japanese, who better to teach you than Yoshiko who teaches a Japanese course at City College in Coventry and has recently started writing an article for the Japanese popular culture magazine, NEO?

I asked her a few questions about herself and Japan… How long have you been teaching here and why do most of your students want to learn Japanese? I was a student studying English at the college and in 1997 I took over the course run by another Japanese student. When I first started, students wanted to learn Japanese because of work or an interest in Buddhism and traditional culture. But recently the students’ reasons to study the language have been because of pop culture such as anime, manga and music. How does being in Japan differ from being in England? I think that the people here are much more polite than in Japan! In the UK, customers have to be polite to the shops – it’s other way around in Japan. Also I don’t need to wear this year’s trend and no one seems to care if you are wearing the same clothes for a couple of days. But why are mobile phones so expensive here!? If you could ‘cosplay’ any character, who would it be? Queen Emeraldas– she’s so cool! Maybe Cutie Honey or Fujiko Mine from Lupin III if I had the figure! What sort of music do you like? I like lots of different types of music but if I had to choose one CD it would be ‘American Made Music to Strip By’ by Rob Zombie. I don’t listen

to J-Pop much, but I love Jun Togawa & Yapoos (kind of lolita-punk) for karaoke and Denki Groove for a good party. How did you come to write for NEO? I planned to run a short course titled ‘Japanese for Pop Culture’ in May. About the same time Ottakar’s bookshop was hosting a manga evening. They were interested in my course so they rang the college and the message was passed on to me. I went to the event and met a person from Tokyo Pop, the event organiser. He was interested in my course too and he passed on my address to one of NEO’s editors, who contacted me a couple of days later for some more information about the course. I asked her if the magazine wanted some articles about Japanese language, so that’s how I got to write for them. Why do you think that over recent years Japanese culture has become so popular? I blame ‘Tarrant on TV’, ‘Banzai’ and ‘Takeshi’s Castle’! Do you think that Japanese culture should receive more coverage in England, such as in magazines like NEO? I’m glad to see Japanese culture being popular, but at the same time I want to keep it secret. But the culture getting more attention means more people being interested in the language and more students for me! It’s brilliant!!!

Bablake School :17


A lot of people seem to be interested in Japanese culture, such as music, food, anime (animation) and manga (comics). Bar magazines like NEO, there doesn’t seem to be enough ‘everyday’ coverage. Visual Kei singers and bands have elaborate costumes, make-up and striking hairstyles, often with a gothic theme. Here are a few of my favourite VK artists and essential tracks to download:

GACKT Once vocalist in the popular VK band Malice Mizer, Gackt left in ’99 to pursue a solo career and is very popular in Japan. He has an amazing voice and plays many instruments, inc guitar, piano and trombone. Essential tracks: Vanilla, Oasis, Hoshi no Suno, Orenji no Taiyou (duet with Hyde). MIYAVI Originally Miyabi, ex-guitarist for VK band Due le Quartz, he is well known for his tattoos, hyperactive behaviour, amazing guitar skills and extremely individual style. Essential tracks: Papamama, Jibun kakumei, Are you ready to rock, Requiem. ALICE NINE Relatively new 5 piece band on the verge of making it big in Japan. Essential tracks: Red carpet going on, Armor ring, Akatsuki, Q. GAZETTE Popular 5 piece band who mainly focus on guitar-based rock which often falls into the hard rock category. Essential tracks: Katherine in the trunk, Reila, Sugar pain, Shadow VI II I. PLASTIC TREE This quartet has been around since the mid 90s and is still going strong. It is often compared with Brit-Rock bands and Ryutaro’s distinctive voice gives them a very individual quality. Essential tracks: Dance macabre, May Day, Psycho garden, Sanbika.

18: stretch

politics Laura Treharne

Anyonefor atop-up? Today’s younger generation often seems oblivious to the world of politics and ignorant about the current state of affairs

whowillyou votefor? Labour: Implemented top-up fees 2006-7. Huge financial implications for young people early in their future? Conservatives: Agree with Labour’s new initiative concerning top-up fees and agree to inflict financial misery upon the young? Liberal Democrats: Want to scrap top-up fees and increase direct tax on education instead?

However, with many pupils and students contemplating university and becoming of voting age, there are certain reforms we should take notice of. By paying some attention to reforms now, it will help us to determine which party to vote for and which party will benefit ourselves, as students, the most. The main issue affecting students is the educational reform of topup fees. Top-up fees are a new Labour initiative, led by Tony Blair, with the aim to make education more affordable. Top-up fees allow an increased access to education to all classes and involve paying student loans back after graduating. This new initiative will directly affect students, especially

students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This therefore means a young person entering adulthood will have to pay an extra tax on top of national insurance, council tax and income tax and will most likely bog us down when we enter full-time employment. Therefore, the student vote in the next General Election (2009-10) is crucial for the future of young people. Thinking point! What do you think about the EU, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly approaches to fees?

Bablake School :19

richard smith

nu clear energy The government has been forced to face facts over the future of our electricity supply here in the UK. Within our lifetimes, the world’s fossil fuels that are accessible will be all but exhausted. Already, North Sea natural gas along with the UK’s own coal reserves are virtually gone, leaving us reliant on imports from countries such as Russia, China and a number of nations in the Middle East. Not only does this have the potential to increase energy bills, but also it also potentially reduces the security of our electricity supply. So what is being done about this?

British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) which works to promote renewable energy sources, and in particular wind power, in the UK, is of the opinion that wind energy will provide a considerable slice of the proposed 10% of the UK’s electricity to be generated from renewables by 2010. They also claim that wind energy is ‘one of the safest energy technologies’ currently available to us. BWEA has now also begun promotion of wave and tidal energy; something it believes ‘has the potential to provide a considerable proportion of the UK power market in years to come’.

One of the more controversial solutions suggested is that of increasing the amount of nuclear power we use in this country: currently we rely on nuclear power for 20% of our electricity needs. Many of the nuclear power stations we have at present were built in the 1950s and are now reaching the end of their lives. This, along with increasing cost and dwindling supply of fossil fuels that we have relied on for so long, will leave a gap in our electricity generating capacity. Having said three years ago that nuclear energy would be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the government has changed its mind, saying that it did not think that our shortage of energy was ‘curable’ by previously favoured renewable sources alone.

While the BWEA advocates wind energy, as a solution to a considerable slice of our electricity needs, other energy companies disagree. British Energy, which owns eight nuclear power stations plus a large coal-fired plant, sees that ‘increased reliance on foreign gas and intermittent renewables… could increase our vulnerability to supply interruptions and gas price volatility.’ All of the companies operating nuclear power stations in the UK claim that safety is their primary concern, but memories of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, which occurred as a result of a series of errors on behalf of both the operators of the power station and the Soviet government of the time, linger in people’s minds. The nuclear industry insists that there is no danger to the UK population from their plants and that the building of new ones would be beneficial, primarily on the grounds of nearzero direct carbon emissions but this is a hotly debated topic.

So is nuclear energy the only viable option? It would seem that the answer to this question varies depending on whom you ask. The

is this the end of the world as we know it? Who is right? The answer to this question is, at best, blurry. The fact that the government itself seems unable to make a clear decision does little to help. An increased dependence on gas shipped in from the Middle East and Russia is not an attractive prospect, especially as this is a short-term solution at best and parts of these regions are so politically unstable. At the same time, it is likely that very few people in the UK would support any great move towards nuclear energy: the cries of ‘not in my back yard’ take very little time to materialise. Alistair Darling, the UK Trade and Industry Secretary, said of the situation that ‘no solutions are easy.’ However, in his view, ‘if you want to be frightened about anything, you want to be frightened about the impact of climate change… it’s even more worrying for the generation coming behind.’ The number of different issues involved, from pollution and global warming to safety and environmental impact, lead to considerable complication of the situation. The arguments, claims and counterclaims are likely to go on for some time to come, but unless something is done very soon, in the words of Mr Darling, ‘we run a serious risk that someday someone will go into the living room, flick the switch and nothing will happen because we do not have the capability to generate any electricity.’

20: stretch


don’tjudge abookby itscover... ohwhatthehell! katie weeden

First Years: We were all like it once, don’t try and deny it. Just look down the next time you stroll through the corridor and you’ll see the girls with their little frilly white socks, appropriately long skirts and flat shoes. Then there are the boys, the mini businessmen drowning in their oversized blazers. Gender aside, they all seem to support humungous backpacks pulled as tight as their straps allow, filled with everything including the kitchen sink…probably. Fourth Years: Gender doesn’t seem to be a boundary when you get to the fourth year: everyone has huge side fringes, drainpipe trousers, Converses and copious amounts of eyeliner. You see hordes of them ambling around, occasionally bumping into each other when their fringe becomes out of control. Sixth Formers: Sixth form is ‘the most important two years of your life’ apparently. However, by this time students seem to have abandoned all sense of etiquette. The boys discard their razors, soap and scissors, making them scraggy haired, bristly and generally not too pleasant to go near. The girls also seem to have become scruffier, although obviously to a lesser extent. Most have finally managed to part themselves from their hair straighteners and toned down the makeup, opting for a more ‘natural’ look. Overall the sixth formers are like mini uni students; unclean, lazy, but still cool to be with!

Bablake School :21


it’syour shout

Beth Mills, Katie Weeden & the team

mediamanipulation Many of you tried to argue that celebrities should expect this treatment as it comes with the territory. Kimberly, Amy and Heather from 2A said ‘I would hate to see a picture of me being called ‘too fat’ or ‘disgustingly skinny’ but at the end of the day celebrities get paid enough so should expect it’. However many of you were more concerned about the readers’ welfare. They could be influenced by some of the extremely skinny stars. Sarah O’Donnell of the Upper 6th said, ‘I don’t think it’s celebrities promoting a bad body image, it’s the media forcing them to look that way’. Similarly the school librarian said: ‘If that’s just how naturally thin they are then that’s fine, they can’t help it, but if they starve themselves that’s wrong as they are in the public eye which makes them influential’. However on the other hand Frank from 2M said ‘I think celebrities like Nicole Ritchie are far too thin. They promote anorexia’. Whereas Sam and Tom from 2M said ‘I don’t think anyone should listen to anything the gossip magazines have to say. It’s all rubbish’. This is a topic that a lot of you obviously felt very strong about as you all had a lot to say!

Do you think some Hollywood celebrities are promoting an unhealthy body image? YES-91% NO-9% Do you think celebrities like Nicole Ritchie are irresponsible for being so thin whilst in the public eye? YES-61% NO-39% Do you think the media places too much pressure on celebrities to look a certain way? YES-54% NO-46% Have you ever felt pressure from the media to look a certain way? NO-78% YES-12% a little-10% Do you think magazines are over obsessing on celebrities’ weight issues? YES-90% NO-10%

Over the past year the ‘gossip’ magazines have become increasingly obsessed with celebrity body image. In this area of the media it is almost impossible for a week to go by without half naked degrading paparazzi pictures appearing in the magazines labelling the celebrities as ‘too fat’ or ‘too thin’

22: stretch

rhea’srants rhea morgan

Have you ever read a book? I have and I enjoyed it! With the growth of the internet, the book seems to have become redundant. The virtual word has now become more influential than the traditionally written one. With newspapers also under threat, is a certain type of written word quickly becoming extinct?

If I mention literature, almost everybody can tell me the name of at least one recent bestseller, even if it’s just because of a film! But what concerns me is the disappearance of our classics. The likes of Austen, Dickens and Shakespeare are quickly becoming a footnote in history, completely forgotten by the illiterate masses content to skip through the latest autobiography ghostwritten by the season’s most recent wannabe. If you were to ask everybody you met to name two Dickens or Austen novels, I fear you would be sadly lacking in people ready to continue to a bonus round.

Still, maybe there is hope, with programmes such as ‘The Biggest Read’ getting more people involved in reading the greats and helping them just to recognise them. In a culture where everybody is rushing around, maybe we just need to stop and give ourselves time to broaden our horizons and immerse ourselves in our literary culture. If I were to suggest anything for you to do to rectify this deficiency, it would be to change your reading habits. Next time you are in a bookshop, pick up something that you had never considered reading before. You never know it may just make your day!

reada book

Bablake School :23


Al Qaeda plan to infiltrate MI5 revealed Former US soldier ‘killed Iraqi woman’ Police hunt man in pirate garb over double murder Cadbury’s safety check ‘unreliable’ Genetic tweak allows HIV drug to be harvested

In that work experience week. I could see a trend appearing in the type of language used: ‘Terror’, ‘Warning’, ‘Abused’, ‘Death’, ‘Murder’ and ‘Doomsday’. For the ‘bad’ news headlines they were alarmist, painting the picture of a world gone mad. However for the ‘good’ news headlines the language used was designed to produce an emotional response, ‘Poverty’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Pride’. I also worked out a headlines ratio, estimating this to be around 6:1 with the ‘bad’ outweighing the ‘good’. This imbalance of news is quite alarming and asks the question: ’Is it all bad news or is this just what we want to hear about?’

The onus for this imbalance rests solely on the newspapers. Surely they should be able to balance the news, so that we’re not constantly bombarded with ‘bad’ news. After all there’s only so much ‘bad’ news a person can take! Maybe the newspapers are trying to create some sort of Paranoid State? It’s no wonder we face crime rise and a rise in aggressive behaviour when the newspapers are showing us the darker side of human nature, promoting the idea that everybody is out to get us! If Radio 4 can manage to intersperse whimsical, lighthearted stories with the more important news of the day, then why can’t the newspapers? They are steadily adding to the ‘Climate of Fear’, turning nation against nation and neighbour against neighbour. This has been particularly shown in the aftermath of 9/11 and the London bombings. The newspapers show harrowing stories of yet more death in Iraq, more bomb scares in London, as well as a continued undermining of the British Government and politics worldwide. We have to wonder if the newspapers aren’t trying to take over the world. Maybe that’s a little extreme, but next time you pick up your morning paper, just think about the news stories you are reading and think about why they are the big features of the day.

thenotso goodthebad andtheugly

It’s that age old question! Is it all bad news? According to my findings it is, but why should you take this on faith? Let me show you how I came to this conclusion. Here are some of the news headlines from one day last summer:

24: stretch

tv sarah o’donnell

You can’t escape it. Wherever you go, whatever you do, it’ll be there. It invades your thoughts, fills your head with that instantly recognisable music and captures you with that allseeing eye. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re one of the lucky ones. I’m referring to Big Brother. It’s the most talked about house in Britain, apparently, and I’m not going to disagree. In fact, that is exactly the problem

big brother: orwellwas right I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Well, if you don’t like it, just don’t watch it’. Oh, if only it were that simple. Avoiding the programme itself is easily done, even if there are the inescapable adverts that suddenly ambush you whenever you watch Channel Four. But the fact that the ‘people’ (and I use the term in the loosest possible way) on this programme are all anyone seems to talk about is what really drives me right to the edge and over. In the early days of the show, the willing members of the public that came forth were distinctly average people, who had no interest in fame or becoming a ‘celebrity’. Back then, the

premise of the show was to focus on the psychoanalysis of the contestants and their behaviour, rather than just who got sickeningly drunk last night or who indulged in the latest act of drink-fuelled debauchery. But later on in the series, something changed. Watching this programme now is not unlike what people in the 18th century did when they paid pennies to gawk at the inmates in Bedlam psychiatric hospital. That was classed as entertainment too, funnily enough. The ‘dregs of society’ that have surfaced on the show are all pathetically desperate for fame, money and attention, and

are willing to do anything to get it, which is why I sincerely doubt that anyone who has been on this programme entered ‘in the name of science‘ (possibly because they just didn’t sit the exam at GCSE). And the only reason any of them are selected is because they are so outrageously behaved (or in some cases, proportioned) that Endemol – the company that produces Big Brother – is under the impression that that is what the ‘unwashed masses’ want to see. The participants are aware of this fact too. They know that if they appear on Big Brother they’ll get their fifteen minutes in the limelight, which shouldn’t

be the case. What have they done, exactly, that makes them worthy of being paid £50,000, or if they win, £100,000 plus for an interview? They lived in a house for two months, where their every whim was pandered to by a higher power. What an accomplishment! If it has reached the point where society values these ‘plebeians’ enough to pay them an obscene amount of money for partaking in this televised spectacle of human stupidity at its most exquisite, it must mean that Big Brother’s fifteen minutes are up. It’s time to end it, for the sake of our sanity, our society, and humanity in general.

Bablake School :25

TheText Offenders’ Register

Imogen Hill & sarah o’donnell

Is coming up with your own ideas getting you down? If so, don’t despair! We have the answer right here – Plagiarism. What a fantastic invention – no hard work, good grades, and all for free. Actually, no. You can spot plagiarised work a mile off. So we’ve come up with these pointers to help you on your way. Text copied off the internet is often in a different font or colour, and some even forget to remove the hyperlinks, which are shown in blue. Your teachers will also be able to tell if it’s not written in your style. Also, it can be checked painfully easily– it often comes from a well-known site that your teacher will probably already have seen. Maybe when you Google the topic of your essay next time, don’t choose the first result. It’s vital to research the topic of your plagiarised essay, just in case you end up deleting chunks of necessary information, or misunderstanding the meaning of a paragraph entirely. Otherwise, when you come to reword it, you may get the gist of it completely wrong. Research is also important in the event that your teacher asks you about the subject after you’ve handed your essay in. So, it’s best to come up with a paragraph of information (lifted from another site, of course) that you can reel off in emergencies. Rewording is the plagiarist’s best friend– it is a supreme method of covering your tracks. Instead of the baffling erudite jargon found on websites, it’s better to replace big words with slang or at least words with a maximum of one syllable. Therefore a good dictionary is a ‘musthave’ to look up the meanings of all those pesky terms. For the hardcore plagiarist, you’ll need an online thesaurus facility. If you can’t find the facts you need on the internet, try making them up off the top of your head. However, you have to make them sound believable: e.g. don’t say you’ve gained your information from someone who died 50 years previously. In order to get away with your plagiarism, it’s crucial to follow all these guidelines to the letter… but I bet you can’t be bothered. One day you will find it’s far easier, and more rewarding, to do the work yourself.

26: stretch

live music At Music Live, we nipped into an interview with two of today’s prime stick men, Darren Mooney from Primal Scream and Mark Richardson from Feeder Darren raved about Music Live, saying how fantastic it was for young kids to come and try out the equipment. Humbly he talked of being nervous about performing at the show but this was what he had wanted to do since being a kid. You sensed a show like this was a great distraction as once in tour mode, Darren described how you hop on the big tour bus at one end and jump off at the other day after day! His advice to young drummers was: ‘Practise hard. Practise really hard! Let the drums do the talking. Get good first rather than getting the flash gear.’ Mark was also taking time out from preparations for a 2 week charity motorbike trip across South Africa after which he was looking forward to a break from touring. He played at Music Live in 2004 but this time was just doing some signing while helping out on the London Drum Company stand. (The owner, Simon, holds a set of drums for Mark for whenever he is playing in London.) 6 or 7 songs are ready for a new Feeder album likely late in 2007 and they will be heavier as lead singer Grant Nicholas has gradually written out his anguish at the death of former drummer, Jon Lee. Personable and modest, Mark described himself as not a clinician on the drums but gave the following

advice: ‘If I can do it, anyone can. Darren is an awesome drummer and I would love to have a lesson from someone like him. For ages, almost 2 years, with back to back tours and albums, there has been no time to sit still and get any lessons – even the greatest musicians have

lessons to try and perfect their technique. Never rest on your laurels or success. Never stop learning. Concentrate on your music and write great music. Get out gigging and play in front of friends and beyond. If you have the wow factor, the record industry will find you.’

mark woodward

Viewfrom theSticks

Bablake School :27

new to review for fopp’s going on? Spend some of your Christmas cash or Fopp vouchers on some of these fine new albums

• Mr Hudson and the Library ‘A tale of two cities’ (Live at Bablake on Wed 21 Feb at 1pm)

• The View ‘Hats off to the buskers’

• The Good, The Bad And The Queen ‘The Good The Bad And The Queen’

• Klaxons ‘Myths of the near future’

• Mika ‘Life in cartoon motion’

• Kate Walsh ‘Tim’s house’ • The Shins ‘Wincing the night away’ • Bloc Party ‘A weekend in the city’ • The Cooper Temple Clause ‘Make this your own’ • Field Music ‘Tones of town’ • kaiser chiefs ‘yours truly, angry mob’ • The Noisettes ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’ • Various Artists ‘Clubber’s guide to 2007’ • little man tate ‘about what you know’

Check out Fopp in the Royal Priors, Leamington Spa, Touchwood in Solihull and now also at Warwick Arts Centre. Stop Press ‘Testicular Cancer support’ Gig Friday 23 February, £5. 7pm • Eight Legs • The Satin Dolls • Kirstie Logan • Vinni Valentino

28: stretch

music Sarah O’Donnell & Imogen Hill

competition ‘testyour musical knowledge andmatch theartist tothelyric’

Bablake School :29

lyrical laureates

The Foo Fighters ‘Breakout’ The Eagles ‘Hotel California’ Feeder ‘Come Back Around’ Ella Fitzgerald ‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’ Blur ‘Parklife’ Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Rainbow ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ Nina Simone ‘Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ B*Witched ‘C’est La Vie’ Bob Dylan ‘Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word’ Damien Rice ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ The Smiths ‘Ask’ The Goo Goo Dolls ‘Iris’ Nine Inch Nails ‘Hurt’ The Kinks ‘Lola’ The Troggs ‘Wild Thing’ David Bowie ‘Rebel Rebel’ Super Furry Animals ‘(Drawing) Rings Around The World’ Soft Cell ‘Tainted Love’ Eels ‘Mr E’s Beautiful Blues’ Leonard Cohen ‘Hallelujah’ snow patrol ‘you are all i have’

‘I’m glowing radioactive’ ‘It’s a Barnum and Bailey world, just as phoney as it can be’ ‘I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours’ ‘All the people, so many people’ ‘Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me’ ‘It seems like only yesterday I left my mind behind, down in the gypsy café with a friend of a friend of mine’ ‘Don’t you know no one alive can always be an angel?’ ‘And so it is just like you said it would be, life goes easy on me most of the time’ ‘These four walls are closing in’ ‘There is a darkness deep in you, a frightening magic I cling to’ ‘Shyness can stop you doing all the things in life you’d like to’ ‘I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair’ ‘I’m not dumb but I can’t understand why she walked like a woman and talked like a man’ ‘Therapy still scares me, putting me on my back again’ ‘There’s no new religion and there’s no real solution’ ‘I think you move me’ ‘Hot tramp, I love you so!’ ‘I’ve got to get away from the pain you drive in the heart of me’ ‘Goddamn right, it’s a beautiful day’ ‘And I don’t want the world to see me, because I don’t think that they’d understand’ ‘There was a time when you let me know what’s real and going on below’ ‘You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave’

30: stretch

comedy beth mills, chloe jones & emily whitmore

laughter... the best medicine

‘When we laugh, natural killer cells which destroy tumours and viruses increase. As well as lowering blood pressure, laughter increases oxygen in the blood, which also encourages healing.’ Discovery Health Website

Don’t you think it’s the things that aren’t actually supposed to be funny that make you laugh the most? We’ve all been in that certain situation where we know we shouldn’t laugh, but an uncontrollable bout of giggles gets the better of us! It’s contagious but regardless of how inappropriate the timing, we know when we gotta laugh we just gotta laugh. Having a good giggle is primarily great fun but what would you think if you found that a little bit of laughter each day could reduce the risk of several major health risks? The following findings suggest laughter might really be the best medicine. The benefits of laughter seem to be no joke, so literally laugh your troubles away and: • Lower blood pressure • Keep the heart healthy • Improve brain function • Ease muscle tension • Relieve psychological stress • Fight the calories with muscle work out Facts! A child of nursery school age laughs about 300 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, 17 times a day and women laugh more than men... perhaps mainly at them!

Bablake School :31

Imogen Hill

have you seen the magic man? Ash Hawkins is a magician. Not that you’d know it to look at him – he’s not wearing a collapsible top hat and there’s not a spangle in sight

Ash is a former Bablake student, but from just far back enough that we don’t know him, so we’re slightly uncomfortable when he ambles into the room and takes the seat at the head of the table. To break the ice, he whips out a pair of elastic bands and performs a trick, which soon gets the questions flowing. He tells us he’s been doing magic since he was seven or eight. ‘A mate and I both got a Paul Daniels magic set for Christmas and from there on it just… boomed,’ he says. And it certainly has. Ash currently averages one or two performances a month, ranging ‘from golf clubs to weddings,’ although he’s currently negotiating a residency at a restaurant. ‘It’s not set in stone, but it’s looking promising.’ Nice work if you can get it, apparently, when compared with the type of jobs most students end up with – shelf-stacking, that sort of thing. When asked what kind of magic he does he says, ‘You can expect some comedy magic – I like to make people laugh – some classic magic, and some mentalism. Most of it’s close-up, right in front of your eyes.’ He also shows a refreshing attitude towards his audience. ‘A lot of magicians try to trick people. I don’t do that. I try to entertain, not annoy.’ And he probably is fairly entertaining, with his favourite trick being one where he borrows a five pound note from an audience member and gets them to sign it. Then he makes it disappear and reappear inside a kiwi, complete with signature. However, although he’s a talented magician, he’s not yet a member of the Magic Circle. ‘At the moment I don’t have the time to get to the weekly meetings. There’s a convention in Blackpool that I go to every year, though.’ In October, Ash was the star of an evening of magic and music in the Bablake EDM, but he assures us that at uni, he’s more renowned for his Ali G costume. If you missed Ash this time, he’ll be back next academic year with some comedy and illusionary magic too.

available now

Listen to clips from the EP on For more info visit

Stretch 3  
Stretch 3  

Bablake's annual student magazine. The political issue!