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Novel | Times

The people who made this issue happen Editor

Sapphire Mason-Brown

Contributors Shannen Shayne Ambrosio, Charlotte Aucutt, Rebecca Bamforth, Linda Bryan, John Conway, Ali George, Karl Hobbs, Wasima Islam, Yasmeen Khan, Rosemary Lynch, Mercy, Greg Needham, Brandon Seager, Hannah Sharland, Holly Standfast, Isabella Steel, Kate Tattersfield, Peter Wysocki Many Thanks

Ali George, IdeasTap, V Inspired,

Contents 1 2 Books in 1 2 Months

3 6 7 10 13

1 After her success with National Novel Writing Month, Ali George set herself a bigger task; one novel a month during 201 1 . Ali gives us an insight into the project thus far and what she plans to do next.


16 20 21 23 24 32 33 35 36 37 38 39

1 1 On Cuts to the Arts by Linda Bryan 1 7 Graffiti in London: Creativity or Crime? by Wasima Islam 1 9 If You Were Really Heartbroken, You Would Be Dead by Wasmia Islam 29 The Prejudice of Tattoos by Karl Hobbs

A Vase of Daffodils by Hannah Standfast Autumn and Silent Light by Linda Bryan The Broken Promise by Charlotte Aucutt Clockwork and The Invisible One by Kate Tattersfield The Girl Who Never Slept by John Conway The Glitter Globe by Hannah Sharland My Light by Linda Bryan The Marble Boy by Rebecca Bamforth Nature's Embrace and The World of Water by Greg Needham Our Mistakes by Brandon Seager Reminiscing by Mercy The Scarlet Thread Anthology: Cinders and Cobbelstones by Peter Wysocki Tesselating Truth by Kate Tattersfield Unborn Ghazal by Linda Bryan Untitled and Storm by Isabella Steel Volumes of Revolution by Rosemary Lynch Wind Turbines and Words by Isabella Steel

The People's Supermarket Shannen Shayne Ambrosio and Yasmeen Khan explore the London food co-operative

1 2 Books in 1 2 Months Ali George

J.G.Ballard once said, ‘any fool can write a novel’, and that was before the Kindle was even a glint in Amazon’s beady eye. How spookily prescient of him for, in 201 1 , this statement has been tested beyond reasonable doubt – quite literally anyone with access to a computer can write anything they want, insert some page breaks, and call it a novel; uploading it for sale in various formats to an unsuspecting public. In spite of this, if I had a quid for every time I’d met someone who claims that they’re a writer, , only they don’t have time to actually write anything, there’d be a hefty collection of change for the bus jangling in my socks. The perceived wisdom seems to be that writing a novel is easy - a child of ten could do it given enough paper and felt tips – but sitting down and making the time to follow through is regarded as a luxury. dah lin g

After all, who has that kind of space in their life between working a job they hate, trying to eat sensibly, going out at the weekend, reading the news, walking the dog, feeding the kids and polishing the thigh high boots for this evening’s burlesque class? Except actually, it’s not as hard as you might think. It’s more a question of priorities. If you write for an hour a day, you can have 30,000 words of a novel on your hard drive before a month is through. I’m not plucking this out of the air, incidentally; I’m basing it on experience. This year I have dedicated myself to writing the first drafts of 1 2 books in 1 2 months and so far I’ve written 1 91 , 659 words. That’s on top of working two fairly full-time jobs (freelance journalist and admin temp), and doing my best to lead some kind of normal 20-something social life as well. 1 2 books in 1 2 months was kick started by National Novel Writing Month, which I completed in November


201 0 two days ahead of schedule. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50, 000 words of a novel in one month. Success made me arrogant, and I decided to spend this year writing 50k of a different novel in a different genre every month. Oh, and I’ve been blogging about it too. The first lesson I learned was that my word count target was massively optimistic. I’ve been averaging something closer to 30k a month, whilst in June it was a struggle to reach 20k. It turns out pushing yourself to write this much without a break for six months makes your brain hurt. Who would have thought it? Still, the positives have so far outweighed the negatives. My brain may have melted a little, but I’ve met lots of interesting people and had some great feedback and support, particularly from the online community. I also got to guest blog for Mslexia Magazine for three months. And because I’m writing in 1 2 different genres I never have the opportunity to get stuck, or bored, or crushed by my inner editor – frankly there isn’t time. Next year I intend to return to these books and begin the laborious process of re-writing and editing. They are currently first drafts, full of holes and errors and occasional random streams of consciousness, and they will need a lot of work before they can be unveiled before the reading public. But you can read excerpts and listen to readings on the blog in the meantime. When this is over I’ll also be writing a thirteenth, non-fiction book about the process of writing 1 2 books in 1 2 months. The chances are with thirteen finished books under my belt, at least one will be of interest to the allegedly flaky and hard to please publishing world. And if not, we’ll finally have proof there is some kind of conspiracy afoot to keep new writers working in retail and offices with nary a rug on their garret floors. Well, that or a quivering pile of jelly that once answered to the name of Ali George, the idiot who tried to write 1 2 books in 1 2 months. You can find the blog at www.1 2books1 | Follow Ali on Twitter at @1 2books1 2months


A Vase of Daffodils By Holly Standfast

Something smells different. I reckon John’s bought me some new flowers, he always tells me they brighten up the room. I hope he’s brought along my favourite vase too and put it on my side table. The one I keep in the cupboard to use on special occasions. Or maybe they’ve just cleaned. I’m not sure, but I can just tell that something is different. But then again who knows? Days just seem to merge into one another in here. I’ve basically lost all concept of time anyway so how would I know what’s changed in here since yesterday. John always buys me daffodils. “Simple yet beautiful” he always used to say. We had them at our wedding. Mum didn’t like the idea though. “Who’d have daffodils at a wedding?” she said. But I went ahead with the decision all the same, and walked proudly down the aisle to John with a smile from ear to ear that was equally as bright as the flowers that I had clutched to my chest. I insisted on having daffodils at my wedding for the pure sentimental value of it. When John and I were younger we used to take long spontaneous ‘road trips’ to herethere-and-everywhere. John had a Mini, which I both adored and envied him for. I desperately wanted one of my own, but at the end of the day, I felt ever so glamorous being chauffeured around in it by John. We’d leave the house in the morning and return whenever we pleased. The world was our oyster, so to speak. Maps were irrelevant and of little importance to us. We’d adopt a more ‘left, right, left, right’ mentality. It made me feel young and more importantly, free. I remember this one day when after a good few hours of ‘left-ing and righting’, John pulled the Mini into a sort of secluded forested area, illuminated by the radiant glow of daffodils. Each flower stood tall, with its head held to the sun, as if soaking up the rays. It was then that John proposed, and well, the rest is history really. I thought what better way to document our wedding day than with the very flowers that brought us together. Mum thought it was corny, cheap, and made no effort to hide exactly how she felt about it. Looking back, I think it was more John than the flowers. But John liked the idea, which pleased me even more. So daffodils it was. * I can’t believe it. He’s actually brought her here. What kind of pathetic excuse of a man brings his ‘bit on the side’ to his dying wife’s bedside? I know John’s been having an affair. I’ve known for ages. He thinks I’m clueless, but I’ve read the signs. Little things give him away. I notice all of them. Regular private calls from a ‘Mr So-and-so at work’. Ironic that ‘Mr So-and-so’ likes to call at some godforsaken hour of the morning. I’d pretend to be asleep, but all the while I’d listen to lie upon lie spill out of his mouth. I wouldn’t be able to hear all of the words clearly as they’d be muffled from downstairs in the kitchen. But I knew what he’d be saying; I didn’t have to hear it. Then he’d slip back into bed and fidget for a few minutes before finally falling back to sleep. I wish the same could be said for me. I couldn’t sleep. Thoughts of John and her together were enough to keep me tossing and turning for hours on end. I’d check his phone later, but all the evidence would have miraculously vanished into


thin air. I could perhaps begin to understand if the affair had started after I’d fallen into the coma. I imagine John’s lonely. I can empathise after 6 months without a wife and much hope for the future. But prior? You know, you read about this kind of thing in magazines. So many times I’ve scanned through the letters on the ‘Dear Sue’ pages and pity the poor desperate woman who’s writing in for just a fraction of advice to help stop her world from falling apart before her very eyes. But never in my wildest dreams had I imagined it would happen to me. I felt smug. I felt that in some ways, they were inferior to me. I feel bad about it now and embarrassed that such thoughts had ever crossed my mind. But I honestly believed that my John wouldn’t dream about doing such a thing to me because what we had was real and true. How stupid I was. As I’m lying here, I’m wondering what she looks like. Is she prettier than me? A skinny-mini-blondie-boobie-barbie-girl whose waist is only a few inches in diameter, and who’s young enough to be my granddaughter? I’d always hoped that John would have a bit more dignity. * I can hear the doctors talking. I’m no expert in the area of medical jargon, but it doesn’t sound good. “Why can’t you hear me?” I want to yell. But I know no one will listen. John’s back today, alone. I chuckle a little inside at the idea of his hypocrisy. Why is he doing this to me? I don’t know the answer. But I can feel his grip on my hand. The lines of one particular poem keep coming back to me. The name ‘Miracle on St David’s Day’ by Gillian Clarke sounds familiar. That sounds about right. I think I studied it for A-level Literature years ago. God, I’m getting old. It feels like an entire lifetime ago now. The lines read “In a cage of first March sun a woman; sits not listening, not seeing, not feeling; in her neat clothes the woman is absent’”. I feel like that woman. I’m the one who needs the miracle now. I want more than anything to squeeze back so tightly. Just a small token gesture to show that I’m still here. Still alive. I can hear every word that he’s saying to me. I want to erase the past few months and pretend that they never even existed. Create a time machine that enables me to travel back to happier times. Times when there was no ‘other woman’, when John and I had the whole world at our feet and a fresh new lifetime to spend together. But those days are long gone now. Life is cruel. I’ve been contemplating it for a while now, but it has occurred to me that bad things only ever happen to good people. Take Martin Luther King for example. I’m no holy woman, but could it be true that, perhaps, God only takes the best? Those of pure heart and soul? I’ve tried so hard for so long to please others. Could this in fact be God’s way of repaying me? Being alone in one’s thoughts for such a vast amount of time can clearly change a person. I feel different, to say the least. My body feels different too. Nowadays I think of my body as an outer shell, because that’s all it is. A tough outer exterior that I am consumed, enveloped and imprisoned by. Many people’s idea of a living hell. For the record, I can clarify this to be true. I am limp and paralysed, yet my mind is more alive and active than ever before. My senses are on full alert. I imagine them to be the prison guards that are patrolling my own personal vicinity, preventing me from reuniting with my body once again. * Oh dear God. I can feel the light closing in on me. Darkness is coming. I feel for John’s touch, but his hand is no longer there. Neither is mine. My hearing focuses intently on to the deathly sound of my life support machine shutting down.


Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. Bleep. It is in these final moments that I cast my mind back to daffodils. That afternoon with John in the forest where the light of the daffodils shone so brightly. I can’t smell the daffodils that are on my bedside table anymore. Perhaps they’ve wilted. I reminisce at the relationship that John and I once had. Maybe it was never as perfect as I’d thought. I was so wrapped up in ‘us’ that maybe I never saw what he was really like because I didn’t choose to see. Maybe Mum was right. More lines are filtering through my head now. Another poem I think. A poem by William Wordsworth. I recall the last few lines ‘And then my heart with pleasure fills; And dances with the daffodils.’ I’m back there, with John, surrounded by the daffodils. I can see the light, but my light is going out. My heart is dancing slowly, more slowly...



Bruised dates sit tired on the kitchen counter Auburn leaves oscillate in the arctic wind A confetti of dandelions revel among the tanned soil As the kettle unveils its thin haze Coffee grains disperse, encapsulating the morning air The cold sun streaking through my window The crooked fence engraved in the ground Scattered pebbles make a bed in the slits of a pavement The ineffable sound of a black crow calling Crusades of birds gather around the moulded bread crumbs At the end of the wrinkled road the breeze is harsh and the skin of the earth is dry Another autumn morning

Silent Night

Silence confined the night, when the stink of incense coiled in the air. We stood abreast, Your jealous green cashmere irritating my skin Our breath entwined, our refined image stalking the walls The recitation of rhythm tic rumbling The sound of a Banjo beating ....beating Sedate me with your thorny finger tips Let us wait quietly I stare out the window, with vacant eyes I watch a bluebottle quiver in the street Stumbling upon the swirls of wind Searching for its way home.

By Linda Bryan 6

The Broken Promise By Charlotte Aucutt

The water rippled gently against the white rocks at the shore as the sun shone high illuminating the land below. It was the height of summer, a summer that let love rise as though they were the hazy heat of the mid day sun. Katherine lay against the grassy dunes, with her love of a year next to her, his arms wrapped tightly around her. Their fingers entwined and their breathing was synchronised with the repetitive movement of the whooshing tide. “I love you Ben...” Katherine smiled, exposing her gleaming and perfect teeth. She felt his touch lightly graze her cheek, so lightly it could be the gentle brush of the air.”Katherine...”he paused, a crooked smile washed over his sculptured face, “I love you so much more...” He chuckled. The time passed by and crowds of people enjoying the summer weather passed; the couple remainedn. “I can’t wait for the party tonight it’s going to be so great! Imagine all the people we haven’t seen since summer began!” Katherine was too busy daydreaming about the night’s crazy events to notice the shadowing darkness cross Ben’s face. He muttered under his breath “...Sure...” Ben sensed the brooding depression emanating from his body being scrutinised by the wonder like green eyes of Katherine... “It should be good” he quickly added. The sun chilled, sending icy fingertips brushing across the couples linking arms. “I have to go now. It takes a while to make a face this beautiful you know” the pair held onto the other tightly as though the winter gale force winds were striving to separate them. It wouldn’t Katherine thought, smiling a smile so big. Ben’s smile mesmerised her, his teeth so white, his eyes sparkling. “Now, that’s a lie. You’re unbelievably gorgeous Miss Katherine Lloyd!” He chucked and brought his lusting lips to hers. Their worlds collided and they couldn’t care less. Ben left Katherine on her porch before heading back to the Ford he was so proud of. Settling into his seat panic struck and nausea set in. She would be at the same party. Lucy! How stupid could he have been? Of all people he chose to confide in with his dirtiest, darkest secret, he chose Lucy, the arch enemy of his dear girl. Confiding in Lucy was like Jennifer confiding in Angelina before she got her nails stuck firmly into Brad. But, what could he do now? He was an idiot but it was in the past. Maybe, just maybe, Katherine would understand. He loved Katherine... So much in fact that the couple could live through anything and had. But would this make the delicate thread break? He thought to himself as the wheels took off course from his destination. He would have to talk to Lucy; persuade her to keep what had happened – what he had told her- to herself and whatever she talked about to Katherine, leave that subject out. Head bent down, Ben hesitantly rapped on Lucy’s door with nerves causing his steady hands to shake. He was


scared that Lucy wouldn’t be in. What am I going to do? He pleaded with his mind to give him the answer he wanted. To go back in time. “Ben! Hey!” the girl at the door was Lucy alright. Her blonde hair curled back into a ponytail, those green eyes more aggressive than Katherine’s. “Don’t tell her Lucy!” he implored. Evil swept over Lucy’s face. “Come in Ben...” she beckoned. Her fun had begun. Once inside the toasty warm front room of Lucy Hyde’s house Ben’s fear had reached its peak. “Lucy, please, it’s not fair on Katherine... It would break her heart if she knew...” His brow frowned as his mind was demolished by a hurricane of thoughts. “If she knew what Benjamin? That in both your hours of need her dear boyfriend came to the enemy for a shoulder to cry on?” she grinned as she spat out the words. God, how she hated Katherine Furnell! “If you don’t mind Ben I have a party to get ready for... Will I see you there?” She winked, leaving a dazed and panicked Ben quivering on the porch. “Lucy please!” He called trying to melt her frozen heart. Katherine looked incredible. Her fair hair hung casually over her shoulder and her violet dress flowed behind her as she giggled coming down the stairs like the bride Ben would want to see approaching from the church aisle. But, tonight, there was an objection. Lucy. Katherine’s sweet smile blocked out the vicious acts of Lucy; as Ben clasped his hand to hers and kissed her softly. “Ready?” he sighed as though he had no care in the world. “Ready” she replied definitely with no cares in her world. The hall was enormous and decorated with white and deep purple lilies. Katherine gasped as she saw the sophisticated and modern décor that converted the old church into the hall for the start of school party. “Wow! Isn’t this just amazing?!” A high pitched voice came from behind Ben and Katherine. Lucy. They both sighed and Katherine forced a fake smile. “Leave it Lucy” Ben spoke in a firm cold voice. Katherine shot him surprised glance but Ben only stared at Lucy showing her that he didn’t care for her games. He was too scared to play. “Oh Ben!” she shouted across the loud music which was now emanating from the huge black monster speakers in front of the square dance floor. “Don’t worry...” Lucy soothed in a menacing voice “Of course I won’t tell Katherine that you came to see me today to beg me, like a puppy, not to tell her of our night sharing.” She laughed “Oops! Dozy me!” she turned her hair flying back wards and walked towards the door to meet her date. “KATHERINE!” Ben shouted so loud that even over the music his fellow school students stopped to see the commotion. Katherine was running out of the church, her dress hoisted up so she could easily escape. Ben stood frozen. He had had the best thing in this stupid town and he had ruined it by trusting the witch of Wells Ville Town – Lucy. Katherine sobbed her hair blowing into her face; as though wiping away her tears. The icy moon illuminated the scene. The eyes of the happy couples glancing down at the mess sobbing on the church steps. “Katherine?” a voice she used to trust softly echoed from behind her as she stood up , straightened her dress and started to make her way down the stone steps. “Katherine, please!” He insisted, taking her arms in his warn hands. “Please...” he added with a desperation she had never heard before. Katherine turned reluctantly, not meeting


his tearful eyes. “Ben, let go of me, please” she asked in a voice that sounded as though at any second she would let out a huge sob. “Not until you listen to me... I’m sorry Katherine! I didn’t know why I went to her, if I had knew it would hurt you so... I... I would of just...” He couldn’t finish. The hurt that was radiating from Katherine was like tiny stabs in his heart. How could he have done this to her? He felt his arms slump heavily to his side, expecting her to turn and walk out of his life without looking back. “Ben, why?” she asked with tears streaming from her emerald green eyes. Their hearts were breaking. Katherine was determined for answers, her heart breaking apart, but she needed to know. How could she go on not knowing the whole truth? No matter what that truth was. “Ben?” she called and met his eyes for this first time since they had entered the party. “Why did you go to Katherine?” she sighed and bit her lip before carrying on, “Do I mean that little to you?” She cried and put her arms folded across her chest, part because of the icy chill in the air, part because of the hurt she was keeping inside. “Katherine...” He nervously took a step towards her. She didn’t back away but kept her eyes burning into his, as though she was searching his soul for her answers. “I love you. You mean everything to me. But, that night, I thought I had lost you. Forever... I couldn’t bare the pain. I just saw Lucy and she manipulated me. I didn’t even know who she was. I just thought she was concerned. But I was wrong...” Katherine closed the gaping distance between them, lacing her fingers around Ben’s. She smiled. “We’re being stupid aren’t we?” Ben’s brow folded in confusion. “Katherine...” He smiled as Katherine’s finger slowly reached to his lips, keeping him silent. He kissed her fingertip holding her hand in between them. “Ben. I love you... I don’t want to have to face school without you...” She bit her lip. “Please let’s just forget this?” Ben sighed. There was a happy ending for him and Katherine, but, he didn’t deserve a happy ending. He knew he had hurt her and he could have stopped all this, he could havre turned to somebody else to talk to. But, he turned to the person who Katherine hated the most. “Sweetheart, you know I love you to.” She closed his eyes, trapping the tears inside “But I broke our only promise” The tears escaped as he felt the tear in his heart deepen. Katherine smirked, “I’m not letting the broken promise excuse ruin us Benjamin!” The broken promise was buried and that was that.



Seek solace in the solstice, the cold economy of numbered time. Always seeking the grails, The word bound scripts, Brutally but beautifully nuanced, And feline to the touch, That are meshed in the chrysalis Of momentary time Until the solstice ceases to be. And like clockwork Thunderbolts fling us Into a new Existence.

The Invisible One Backbeat broken boardrooms

And the grey interiors Of smooth sick deadened minds. Meanwhile, Away from the City And its catatonic cries of chaos, The weather beaten mind of the unnamed prophet Soldiers on. Illuminating dark spaces, Creeping into the smallest corner of the room Taking notes.

By Kate Tattersfield 10

On Cuts to the Arts By Linda Bryan

‘Education, Education, Education’ were the words that Tony Blair once chanted as Labour campaigned to make education its number one priority. Years on, during the period of election, it seemed nothing had changed and the majority were still against the notion of tampering with education. Now university fees have rocketed from £6,000 a year to £9,000 and as if this wasn’t enough to raise questions of inequality in society, cuts to funding the arts have also been enforced into the Governments plans. The Tories spoke these words prior to the elections; ‘That every child in school will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; that every child has a chance to sing; that every child is able to receive a cultural education.” Government plans to slash teaching funds for the arts, humanities and social sciences showed a lack of appreciation towards the arts their contribution to society. Subjects such as English literature, law, history, foreign languages, social studies, art, music and drama have been illustrated as insignificant to the economy and society. How they fail to see that culture, history and the arts help with the development of our society I don’t understand. History is what defines who we are today and is a record of our existence. Wiping out such subjects could be detrimental to our society and young people as it allows them to explore and recognise their talents that could be beneficial to the economy. The decision to prioritise band A and B subjects (science, engineering, technology and maths) has shown us what they class to be a necessity in regards to education. The withdrawal of funding will hit the creative industries hard and the growth of culture, music and all forms of creative expression will suffer in Britain compared to other countries. I/m sure that with the rise in fees and the cuts to courses we will see a major decrease in the number of students studying in Britain, less young people wanting to further their education due to expense and an economic failure culturally and socially. Through that a rise in unemployment I’m sure will visible very soon. When Government originally made plans to raise fees the National Union of Students claimed the idea to be “An outrage”. Hundreds of university and college students collided with others to make


thousands on the 24th November and 1 st December 201 0. They protested through the streets blocking roads and some means of transportation. Angry students stood their ground, marching down the slippery iced pavements. A school boy age 1 2 years old who attended the march on one occasion said “I will be on the front line. I’m not scared. We’re told in school nothing is more important than education”. It’s clear to see that these changes are not just affecting the students but the students to come and they are the future who we rely on to better our economy. Tory MP Bob Blackman said in the evening standard “My key concern in all of this is the people who are ordinary income families in London who may be deterred from going to university because of the higher tuition fees.” Music, art, performance, dance, English literature, history etc are all subjects that enrich and bring colour to our country. These subjects allow students to enhance their knowledge and skills artistically and emotionally. It allows them to express freely their inner feelings by investing it into something they are passionate about. Limiting students choices and stripping away there opportunities will destroy the chances of self-employment and will close many doors.


The Girl Who Never Slept By John Conway

Out in the wilder end of Northumberland there once lived a farmer’s daughter who never slept. She cost her dad a good deal in light bulbs and heating, but more than made up for it in the work she did in the lonely hours, when her family rested. She had so much time, and yet never wanted for things to do; because others were always happy to give her the tasks that fell fall to them. So when her mam got up, some time before first light, the breakfast would be mostly done, the kitchen cleaned and the dogs fed. When her brother Mark got up, just before first light, the troughs were full, the milking machine was ready and the animals were already out. When her dad got up, at first light, the tractor was filled with petrol, the rotas for the lads were ready, and his bacon would be crispy. And this was aside from the other things she did. She washed and cleaned, she mended clothes and farm equipment with equal skill, she saw to the occasional birth or death of an animal at inconvenient hours, she fetched in the wood and fiddled the ac-counts better than even her Uncle Larry could manage. All this she did all night, every night, except for the one hour she allowed herself to read. She had been doing this since she was four, when she had become increasingly puzzled at sleep, and had decided not to go in for any of that nonsense. She started with the few books in the house, but these were few and simplistic and tended to feature an-noyingly gung-ho males who did things like fly planes and drink whisky, or go into distant fantasylands to free the exotic populace with the aid of only a talking goat and a magical slipper. So then she started getting books from the library, on the sly of course, this was her secret. But that was an hour of her life, the rest of her unsleeping time belonged to family and farm. Now word got out, and a few of the local boys perked up at the idea. The girl was known to be quiet and a little shy (good qualities in a lass, they were sure), was decently pretty, was the daughter of a well-off farmer and allegedly never stopped working. Quite the prize. So they began to court her. First was William ‘Billy’ Avers, whose family was from up Ashington way. He came to the girl one day and decided he would act like a real man, because he knew that’s what all girls liked, especially her sort. “Morning pet,” he said as she stitched her brother’s shirt in the back yard, “I’ve been seeing you about like, and I reckon you could handle me, and there’s not many birds I’d say that about.” The girl smiled, and said she would indeed handle him, if he could guess her favourite book. “Book?” He sneered. “What’s a lass like you want one of them for?” And so the girl lost her temper with the uncouth youth and strangled Billy, and left his body in the pig trough. They fed well that day. Next was Abdul ‘Abbers’ Carter, whose family was ‘not from these parts’, which is what the locals said in company when trying not to look racist. He decided the way to woo the girl was to act like an old


fashioned gentleman, and charm his way into her affections, sure a friendly smile and polite words would be just what such a quiet, hardworking girl would fall for. “Good morning Miss Handler,” he was wearing his best jacket and shiniest trainers when he approached her outside the Post Office, “what a fine day this is. Would you care to take a turn about the graveyard? It is uncommonly pretty since the litter pick.” The girl smiled, and said she would take a turn with him in the graveyard, if he could guess her favourite book. “Why,” he said after some thought, “for a genteel lady such as yourself, I would as-sume the works of Mrs Stephanie Meyers.” And so the girl lost her temper with the boy who saw her as such a stereotype, and beat his brains out with the hardback copy of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy she kept in her handbag for emergencies. She later deposited his body in the freshly dug flower-bed of the vicarage, as there were some useful rumours about the vicar. The Rhododendrons did uncommonly well that year. The third boy to try his luck was little James ‘Jammy Dodger’ Atkinson, whose family was local and had been local as long as anybody cared to remember (and they certainly cared to remind other folk, sometimes twice a week). He decided honesty was the best policy, and decided to tell her exactly why he would like them to plan a life together. “‘Ello Sonya,” he said as she untangled the remains of a sheep from the wire fence that sat between their field and the gorge, “I’ve been thinking, ‘n my dad sez I ought to get married, ‘n I reckon your dad would want you to marry my dad’s only son, bring the two farms together sort of thing. Up for it?” The girl smiled, and said she would marry him for his massive endowment, if he could guess her favourite book. “The Bible?” he managed after several moments of hard thought, delving for the name of something he had once read, in the distant time when he was required to do such things. And so the girl lost her temper with the boy who didn’t even pretend to like reading, and whipped him to death with a length of barbed wire before allowing his body to sink into the bogs on the far side of the gorge. The tadpoles did reasonably well, that year. For a time there were no further attempts to court, seduce or marry her, the village was far too interested in the mysterious disappearances to think of such things. The girl continued on as she had, deep at night working her way through one of the more readable greats of Russian literature, and otherwise just generally working. But eventually there came attention from another boy, the slightly drippy boy on holi-day with his parents despite being a little too old to be doing so. They were staying in a caravan, rumour had it the three of them shared a bed. He was staring at her one afternoon in the library, he sat with a hardback bedecked in fake, black leather, with a silver skull on the cover. Hers was in shades of green and brown, and published by Faber & Faber. She felt uncomfortable with his gaze on her neck, not because she was unwelcome to such attention, but just because she didn’t want word getting back to her family that she wasted time in the library. They could get very snippy when she rested, they feared the disease would become terminal.


But he solved his dilemma and, for the first time in his life, asked a girl out. The way she handled her hardbacks left him unable to resist. She smiled, and told him she would indeed go round the back and “fuck like bun-nies”, if only he could tell her what her favourite book was. He did not hesitate, merely wrinkled his brow in confusion and asked; “You mean you actually have a favourite?” And that was it, she was in love. She was not a girl to wait around, and he was not a boy to blow such a chance. Seventeen minutes later they were engaged, and slightly out of breath. Neither family were pleased with the news. His mother wailed and screamed and mourned the passing of her baby, she did not make it sound as though he were dead to her, she made it sound as though death would have been the preferable option. Her dad shouted and raged, asked what they were going to do on the farm. Who would strangle the unwanted kittens now, he wondered. Did she expect her brother to do it instead? It was all very tiresome. Happily their dilemma was brought to an unaccountably fast end by the police storming the farm; the bodies had been found, and it was common knowledge all three had been going to ask out the peculiar girl with the bags under her eyes. Her dad was not known to be a gun-shy man, nor to be the kind of man who would allow his daughter to do something so selfish as choose her own husband. Their cars had flashing lights and rattling engines, in her father’s head came a flashback to that tragic night he had watched Full Metal Jacket, Black Hawk Down and Apocalypse Now back-to-back; the bang of a faulty exhaust completed the feeling and out came the shotgun, with which he retreated to a makeshift barricade consisting of the fridge, two sofas and the kitchen table. From that spot he peppered the invading filth with antique lead, accompanied only by a succession of equally matured terms of abuse. An armed response was sent, and in the ensuing gun battle the girl’s mam and brother were both killed, and her dad eventually subdued and arrested, after a good kick-ing in the police van. The two lovers escaped through the field, and soon reached his caravan. He had already taken care of his parents by placing a sheep’s head (the same who earlier had to be freed from barbed wire) in the fridge, leading his mother to panic and accidentally smother her much smaller husband in her colossal bosoms while she clung to him in fright. She then killed herself, thoughtfully saving her son the effort. Their corpses were weighted and dropped into the town’s famous Deeping Well, according to entirely fictitious local folklore the one remaining path to the death courts of King Arawn, which the girl felt to be a happy irony. The two then departed in the blissful malaise of first love, and planned their life together. They found themselves opposite enough to be interesting, and similar enough to be compatible. He did sleep, but mostly through the day, which was ideal for her because she was never lonely when it was light. More importantly he did not call her pet, did not wear shiny trainers, and did not have any intention of ever owning a farm. Instead he had a caravan all of his own, she’d never met anyone who could offer her the open road in such a way. The marriage lasted half a year, but it was certainly fun for most of that.


The Glitter Globe By Hannah Sharland Catch a star, And twist it's light, Into the corrosive shadows, Of this creeping night. Concoct a cloud, And whisk it round, The crevices of the screaming sky, Like acid pebbles, Writhing from the eye. Can we find an alkali, Just in time to neutralise? Destroy our sacred glitter-globe, This all protecting ozone. But trapped inside our own world, We can't escape from our mistakes. String up a bouquet of lights, Those twinkling freckles are a lie. Cleanse crimson hands among us, But blacken, tarnish Values we do not encompass. Just a passing swarm of devouring dust we vent, Into this thick, dense air, Yet simply we pass judgement. Industry our new recruit, An untamed, unrivalled catalyst, A reaction one cannot dilute, Pollution the ally we did not enlist. Such a world built on illusion, A place of nocturnal confusion. How much terror are we willing to create, Before finally; our dying dreams dissipate?


Graffitti in London, Creativity or Crime? By Wasima Islam

It’s ironic how the majority of the society views graffiti as nothing more than a form of vandalism when in fact, graffiti dates back to the times of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Graffiti is merely just a form of art expressed through the use of spray cans in vibrant colours on walls and other surfaces. So how can someone object to the expression of art? How can London, one of the most multicultural and diverse cities in the world object to the expression of art? A place where different faiths, cultures and religions are expressed freely, where mosques and temples are built for the worship of many religions, where culture festivals such as London Mela are held and yet London wants to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on graffiti. How can Britain hold Britain events as Glastonbury for worshippers of music, and then completely ignore the needs of people who express themselves using Graffiti? Admittedly graffiti can look much too colourful at times, and to be fair, some graffiti artists lack artistic flair; I’m referring to the graffiti I came across on my neighbour’s garage that said ‘I like cheese! Deal with it’. I don’t understand how this expresses any form of art. Nevertheless, to take it away completely would be preposterous. You don’t see music lovers holding a festival the size of Glastonbury in the middle of central London. They have their place so graffiti artists should have their own. Of course, it wouldn’t be tolerated if music lovers brought their drums out onto the streets and started marching for their own entertainment. Similarly, graffiti artists shouldn’t be allowed to express their form of art just about anywhere, but there should be a place, a legal site that’s sole purpose is to serve as the graffiti den, the place where all the graffiti artists can wholly express their devotion to art on the walls of the streets of London.


If You Were Really Heartbroken, You Would Be Dead By Wasima Islam

To the desperate romantics sitting in their flat all alone and in despair, distancing themselves from everything but a big tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a sad romantic love story rental and a box of tissues, tormenting themselves over loosing the ‘love of their lives’, I have one thing to say, please stop! There is no point in hopelessly crying your eyes out because she dumped you or he didn’t wait around to develop the inner strong bond you thought you both shared, also known to you in the form of ‘love’. Instead of torturing yourself by reading those texts from that person over and over again, crying at the sight of every “I love you” and “I will always be here with you”, get off that bed, get dressed and party hard! They left you, their loss, or are you going to demean yourself and protect that person by refusing to belittle them because you still ‘love’ them. If it was true ‘love’, then perhaps your darling dear would have not left you at all. Would they really leave you if they meant those words that they had said to you in what seems like ‘once upon a time’? It must come to your understanding that there is a fine distinction between the ‘love’ that exists in real life and the fairytales you grew up reading. Reality is much more complicated and less romantic. Nothing is stable. Nothing is flawless. Nothing lasts forever. Perfection does not exist. One of the most highly amusing and comical things is seeing the amount of lunatic lovers that go hysterical over the mention of their exes. Why the tears? I’d like to think that if I was unfortunate enough to be in their position I could happily badmouth my ex, exploring my way through the dictionary of swearwords blissfully. This is brings closure. Delete those misleading texts that were nothing but a bunch of meaningless words. Burn the photographs of you two together that were nothing but a delusion. In fact, climb into their flat through the open window and break and steal what you can, why do this? Because revenge is sweet. Of course, you might not want to break or steal anything expensive or get into legal trouble, inexpensive vases and plates will do. Back in 2007, one of my friends thought she had met the man of her dreams, only to find out that the day before their big wedding day, he got cold feet. His excuse was the rather amusing , “I’m just not ready to commit myself to one women for the rest of my life”, of course, he would not repeat the same mistake after he was issued with a well deserved tight slap from his almost wife but not quite.


Don’t sit and mope around for a miracle of some sort, don’t wait around for them hoping they would see sense and come back to you, don’t wait for someone that purposely left you. Show them, that leaving you was the biggest goddamn mistake they had ever made! Instead of them thinking you were their biggest regret, make sure that letting you go was to be their biggest regret! Make your mark, and make it permanent. Use a Sharpie.

My Light By Linda Bryan

I see you in the crystal tear drops of rain. Your beam bounces through the water skies. Your presence is the lightness that posses like the invasion of the morning glow. The light belongs to you. Your tone, your strings a silent streak of shivers. You’re so sweet, your touch, your smell. I mould your face in the clouds that float along A long time I waited to get it right. Your face the golden stem that defeats the curtains. You come after the rain, a scene of beauty My lips were the orange butterflies that were woven with azure prints, I spoke your name and trembled. The honey that dropped amongst the rotten petals crimson. I lay to hear the orchids breathing. The collapsing sound of their buds standing on the freckles of soil. Watching the short summer from a distance. The sunrise of our tomorrow, stretched across the purple skies. The blue winds carrying my song along the fading surfaces of the earth. My desires streaming through your waterfall. There is a place where I belong in your palms where you have carved me.


The Marble Boy By Rebecca Bamforth

The house I lived in had been in my family before WWII, it had been passed down through our family since that time and now it was mine. During WWII our house was used as a hospital of sorts where injured soldiers or citizens would come. Many died here in this house; my grandma told me that she remembered one man lying in bed screaming in agonising pain due to his having his leg blown off. That is, until he died 30 minutes after arriving. She told me that she could still hear him screaming sometimes. Strange things did happen in this house, they happened even now, but I had learned to live with them and share my house with them. I often heard one of the Nun's that visited; she was only a young sister at the Nunnery and visited the injured daily. She'd walk along the upstairs hallway; you could hear her footsteps and the shuffling of her feet and the swishing of her dress on the floor. In the back room that I used as a computer room was a room I was sometimes scared to enter. I wouldn't even allow children in there until they were old enough to understand. A man had hidden in that room not long after the war, while the house was still used as a hospital but now only for mentally unstable people. One day the man hung himself, distraught that he had lost his wife and kids to an illness that they were unable to treat. Sometimes you see him still hanging there, slowly rocking side to side. I am not here to tell you the story of every ghost in my house, just one that I call the Marble Boy. He appears every Wednesday in my living room. He's about 8 years old with WWII refugee clothing and brown hair. He sits happily on the floor playing with the same 3 marbles. It doesn't matter where I sit in the living room he always looks at me and smiles before he disappears. I call him Edward and he seems to like it. He sometimes moves my things or his favourite trick...writing me messages in flour. Some of his messages can be quite disturbing to me. 'You look like my Mama.' 'I saw my best friend shot.' 'He's coming for us, for everyone.' 'He took my Mama because she was Jewish.' His messages in English confused me, why would he take his Mama if she was Jewish but living in England? It bugged me so much that I left him message hoping he would be able to read it and understand. The next night he left me another message but I seemed to have reached his limit of English. 'Ich bin ein deutscher Junge aus Deutschland, aber ich entkommen war, ohne Mama zu verlassen, landete ich


hier falsch, aber die Leute in England um mich gekßmmert.' This translated to: 'I am a German boy from Germany, I escaped but had to leave without Mama, I ended up here by mistake but people in England cared for me.' It made me smile; this little boy had been through so much and then still ended up dead 1 year after he arrived in England. He still leaves me messages in German occasionally; he asked me one night if I would be his new Mama. I told him yes if it made him happy. Though his favourite message to leave me was 'Ich liebe dich.' Which means 'I love you.' Such a sweet little boy robbed of his life when he thought he was safe. I found his Mama; she survived the war and for years after she looked for little Edward. I found one of Edwards Mum's Friends Descendants in Germany, she told me Edwards Mum died of a lonely heart when she realised she'd never see him again. She had a picture of Edward and she kindly sent me a copy. Now I can look at Edward every day and see him every Wednesday. Sometimes I wonder though if Edward's Mother’s ghost is still looking for him. What torture that must be for her; even in death she cannot rest.


Nature's Embrace

I set out this morning without a destination. Now I am here, deep within the web of the forest. With each and every step you can hear the crunch of the crisp-fragile leaves beneath your feet. It's late Autumn here, the trees are bare and the ground is covered in a collage of the red, orange and brown. All around me birds are whistling their heartfelt song, whilst the squirrels and hare dash amongst the fallen leaves. I look to the sky to be met by an untouched grey canvas, not a hint of blue in sight. The win wails through the skeletal branches of the trees bringing a frosty chill to my already too-red cheeks. There's a fresh-nature smell in the air, not the newly-cut grass kinda smell, but more of a damp woodland smell, the foretelling of an encompassing mist. In the distance I heard the gentle slosh of the rainwater stream guiding a path down the contours of the earth, cleansing as it passes. Truly purity in it's ultimate form. In every direction all I can see are tree trunks. This forest seems to be never-ending, a labyrinth of nature. I am trapped. Will I ever escape these trees, will I ever escape Nature's embrace?... I wonder...

The World of Water

As I stare out into that deep blue abyss I can feel the heat of the embracing sun above, it's celestial light and warmth extending through the surface of the cool, tranquil blanket which encompasses me. All around are the silver-rainbow fish, reflecting the spectrum of that enigmatic world above. They twist and turn as they glide through the coral reefs below. In the distance I notice an abnormal but fantastic sight. From afar it looks to be a pink candy-floss cloud, but as I drift closer and my sight acclimatises to the spectacle, I realise it is in fact a smack of jellyfish. Each one bobbing up and down as they float through this endless paradise. It soon comes to my attention that my air reserves are depleted and it is time for me to ascend. As I arise towards the portal of shimmery light above, I understand my time in this world is up, time for me to leave... for now at least.

By Greg Needham 23

Our Mistakes By Brandon Seager

The single-pane window was covered by plastic blinds, the off-white lines not quite folding all the way, and through the gaps she could see the flickering lights of the motel sign, highlighted by a weak, red glow. It was early – a quick glance at the clock on the wall informed her it was about four in the morning – yet still she could hear the constant purr of traffic travelling down the long, straight road that sat adjacent to the motel, the sort of endless highway that was never empty. It was quiet otherwise, only the gentle ticking of the clock to be heard coupled with the sound of her own breathing, and the groan of a mattress past its prime as she shifted against the rigid bed upon which she perched. Even though all the lights were off, the sickly yellow beams that crept through those cracks in the blinds were just enough to illuminate the details of the room, the basic, low-grade furniture, the paraphernalia on the desk. Clothes were strewn across the floor, a checked shirt here, in the corner a narrow tie, and a jacket had been slung carelessly over the back of the wicker-seat chair, the contents of the pocket having spilled onto the sullied carpet below. On the end table to her side, a blocky, wooden thing with a single drawer, sat a mobile phone, which, as she peered in a little closer, suddenly came to life, causing her to jump slightly. The screen lit up with the image of a woman in her forties, smiling proudly at the camera, as the phone vibrated gently against the table, probably inaudible to the customer, who had been in the bathroom for the past ten minutes. She didn’t know what he was doing – he had excused himself not two minutes after she had arrived, offered him a forcedly sultry greeting – but she did not bother to alert him to this early-morning caller. Within moments, the phone was dead again, the woman’s face no longer on the screen, and all was still once more. Feeling boredom beginning to consume her, she inspected her surroundings once again. The customer had left a book, not too far from the phone, which she pulled towards her, dragging it lazily against the hard, stained surface. Squinting in the darkness, she could just about make out the title – The Catcher in the Rye – and her fingers traced the stylised horse that leapt across the cover, swirling brushstrokes of cream languidly running across crimson. She had a vague recollection of reading this one in school – all the kids read this one in school, and, before she’d turned to working nights, she had quite enjoyed reading – but, in the early morning haze and the numbness that spread through her legs from the cold of the poorly-heated motel room, she could not stir those childhood memories. She could not even remember what this book was about, she thought, as she flicked through it idly, the running pages tickling the edge of her thumb as they flew past, until it had reached the back cover. She was tempted to read the first few pages, but the thud of footsteps in the bathroom reminded her that she was working. From behind the paper-thin door to the bathroom, suddenly, there came the sound of retching – was that him?


As she strained her ears to listen, she caught the muffled sound of a single, short sob. It surprised her. She could almost hear a cold sweat falling from his forehead, each single bead dropping to the floor and crashing against the linoleum, and the sound of his muscles twitching and shaking, and then she knew – he was stalling, behind that door, pacing, probably caught up in a wave of nausea because this was a mistake. Of course it was a mistake – this entire field of business, if it could be called so, was a mistake, every transaction another mistake – but never before had a customer deemed it so. It was a first for her, and it almost made her want to cry, summoning from within her a sadness, the source of which she could not quite pinpoint, but in this split moment of something entirely uncanny – she found it unfamiliar, but so understandable – it almost hurt. The grind of the door being unlocked caused her to turn her head, and there, with his back to the dim light of the bathroom, stood the customer, his silhouetted hand still trembling as he gripped the metal handle tightly. She looked at his face – the first time she’d seen it in any proper light – and was taken, not only by the sheetlike pallor of panic, nor the wet stains upon those colourless cheeks, but the vulnerability. Now she saw, for that façade of eagerness he’d initially displayed, he was just a boy, perhaps only just seventeen or eighteen, one who’d raced into a headstrong decision with teenage zealousness, or maybe one who’d tried to quell sorrows with a first experience, but definitely one who, for all his youth, was vulnerable. As he waited, naked save for his shorts, goosebumps rising on his pale, smooth flesh, she saw before her an exposed, scared being, and, in the strains of painful memories, it reminded her of what it was like to be young, vulnerable, scared and exposed. “I – I’m sorry, this, this was a bad idea,” he choked, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand after he’d spoken. She didn’t ask why. She didn’t ask what had been going through his head when he’d picked up that card and that telephone – later, she would speculate, wonder if he saw sex as proof of manhood, or if she was a drunken decision made by a boy miles away from home. For now, though, she did not even think to ask why, simply accepting what was as she stood, the bedsprings creaking, running a hand across the creases in the dress that clung to her slender frame, and nodded with a wan smile. “Here, look – I’m so sorry, look –“ he stammered, as, seemingly caught up with fear, he dived to the desk and flung the drawer open, rummaging about frantically before extending a money clip towards her, thrusting it forth as a sort of offering, an armistice to fend off the fate the media had drilled into his head – “Please, I’ll pay you. Look, don’t, I’ll pay you for your time and everything –“ “Please, don’t.” She delicately pushed his hand away, leaving it to fall limply by his side. She didn’t want to be paid, not for this. Being paid to become an object of lust and nothing more was in itself painful, hollow, but this, taking money from a scared youth because he’d made a mistake, was something she found personally unthinkable. He had no reason to pay her. She had no reason to accept his money. It would have been so clichéd, for her to think she was doing this in her capacity as the hooker with the heart of gold, but, in reality, there was nothing else she could do. Plagued with this existential moment, where a customer was afraid and she was feared, she was no longer herself. Like some twisted mirror, she saw in him the wreck of a youth she had been, with that same bruised naivety, and – to see it in someone else, something she had guarded so


zealously and smothered with her false security – it was crippling. She could only turn to go. Neither bid the other farewell as she crept out of the motel room. For all the raw emotion and the pure humanity of that moment, with masks shattered by the unexpected, neither had anything else to say. She felt his eyes upon her, oddly peaceful, as she left, and, when the door had been closed, she knew she would see them no more. She hadn’t even known his name, she mused, and even now she knew his face would soon fade from her memory as more customers replaced him in her mind, the look of helplessness in his eyes soon to be substituted for that carnal desire she had come to know. Even so, though, she knew she would try desperately to hold onto the moment, that single moment of understanding, where the low-class prostitute had more in common with the lost young man than anyone else in the world, just as another of those vague memories, perhaps, like reading Salinger in school, that might stir again sometime in the future, when she was alone, with her thoughts, and those tiny seconds of oblivion. The sun was rising now, slowly, just peeking over the horizon as the edge of the night sky began to fade from deep purple to dewy orange, as she walked away from the motel and into the direction of the gradual sunrise. Still consumed by this feeling of bizarre tranquillity, but also a level of bleak emptiness, she sighed, taking a moment to compose herself before putting the barriers back up once again, and resuming her working woman persona. Letting her thoughts of the young man run from her head – she was still on the clock for another two hours – she allowed herself one final glance at the flickering sign before resigning herself to reality, and the grounding fact that, unlike in her fantasy world, one moment of empathy between a stranger would never be enough to pull her from this pit into which she had fallen so far. This was her final thought of him for the day, as she lit up a cigarette, the cherry burning brightly in the darkness, no longer someone’s kindred spirit for a fleeting second – instead, again, a whore under the streetlight. Highlighted by a weak, red glow, onwards she walked, heels clicking against concrete pavement, onwards to the next job. Always, onwards to the next job.


The People's Supermarket Overview

A food cooperative is a type of grocery store. This means that it mainly sells food to their consumers. The store is organised as a cooperative; an organisation that was established to be owned by a group of people that will benefit for each other. Food cooperatives are known to offer natural foods. An example of a food cooperative is the People’s Supermarket. The People’s Supermarket is a food cooperative. It is located in Holborn, London. The People’s Supermarket is an organisation that entitles you to an ownership stake when you join their membership. As a stakeholder in the store, you would also have a say in what happens in the store. As a member as well, you would get a 1 0% discount on all purchases in the store. Joining the organisation is easy; if you live near-by you could pop in the store and ask about the membership. An alternative way of inquiring about membership is by emailing For those who have access to the internet, you could also apply online by going to their website, click on join and then how to apply. The web address for applying online is As of now, the market has 1 000 members already. It provides the community with cheap food, which is not only cheap but also, has quality. They tend to create a commercially sustainable, social enterprise. The market wants to offer a new way of providing food to the community. The supermarket wants to meet the needs of their members; keeping them happy with their service and helping them make healthy decisions. They also aim to buy and use sustainable energy to help the environment as well. The People’s Supermarket has been such a success. The comments include: A brilliant concept, original, one of London’s best gastropubs, excellent experience, different from regular supermarkets, friendly atmosphere, food looked amazing, great quality and, good prices. The fact that the supermarket has already 1 000 members for their one year in operation can be considered evidence of their success. The organisation has just celebrated its first birthday in the industry. The celebration was held on the 5th of June in the store’s backyard. There were many exciting activities going on that day; music was provided by the King’s Cross Hot Club, another activity held was the interactive art project. Last but not the least, there was obviously food to go around!

By Shannen Shayne Ambrosio 27

About Nowadays customers complain about changes, freshness and differences within a Supermarket. But how many Supermarkets actually incorporate their customer’s feedback, in order to attract more customers, so the business flourishes and operates effectively. Well look no further, as The People’s Supermarket has already incorporated this idea of fulfilling their customer’s needs and demands. It’s a Supermarket that sells food at affordable prices via getting members to join and work a few hours a month voluntarily. Which means they save on staff costs and any profit they make through selling their food products rebounds in making the food more affordable. The People’s Supermarket isn’t just about selling good food to customers, but an innovative way for customers to provide for their community via having your say, putting forward your ideas and decide how your supermarket should operate. So as a customer and a member of The People’s Supermarket, it’s about taking full advantage on what you want and don’t want.

Why is it a Success?

Many Supermarkets rarely think of news ideas to attract customers. It’s all about hiking and dipping food prices, vying with other Supermarkets as a way of pinching more customers. But The People’s Supermarket offers a change. They throw the ball in the customer’s court, where you as a customer decide what you want and don’t want. It’s all about working together in unity and choosing what food is best for the community as a whole. The People’s Supermarket isn’t only considered thumbs up with their customers due to its freshness, but it goes the extra mile by providing choices and information that help their customers make healthy decisions. Is

it an overall success?

The People’s Supermarket is riding high on success and going from strength to strength. It’s a renowned supermarket that has created its own original ideas via creating a durable supermarket that meets its customer’s needs and offering top quality food at moderate prices. It also creates a professional working platform by valuing, taking into consideration and welcoming everyone’s contribution in order to work out what is best for the community as a whole. It’s a fantastic yet effective Supermarket that tailors the needs of its customers by working together as a large family.

By Yasmeen Khan 28

The Prejudice Of Tattoos By Karl Hobbs

For many years tattoos have been considered a sign of rebellion to society associated with punk rockers, macho bikers and gangs. In modern day society, tattoos are still equipped with a great deal of stigma. The stigma associated with tattoos is so large, that some employers may even turn down an individual who wants to work for them, because of the sole fact that they have a visible tattoo. If a tattoo will be considered disruptive to the workplace then I understand why an individual may not get a job, for example someone who has a 'British National Party' tattoo on their neck may not be able to land a job as a police officer for obvious reasons. However, most won't have a tattoo as extreme as this, and often times it comes down to just whether a person has a tattoo that can be seen in the work uniform, and not what it symbolizes, which will be a deciding factor in a job interview. In my opinion tattoos are a personal choice, every day the media submerges us with role models sporting visible tattoos, and they are still talked about with praise and admiration, but yet the moment one of us 'average' individuals give in to the temptation, we will be looked at as a lingering street thug waiting to rob an old lady of her money. Anyone who has a tattoo will have their own reasons as to why they have the tattoo, but it does not reflect the skill or the qualities that they bear and will be able to transfer to a job situation. If someone is incompetent at a certain job, they will be that way regardless of whether they have tattoos. It is not just in my opinion to look at an individual differently because they have a tattoo of a parachute with a gun on their arm to symbolize their Grandad’s service in the parachute regiment. Tattoos are a sign of an adapting society, a beacon of evolution. An article from the Mirror website proclaims that a third of young people now have tattoos. If this is the case then this just shows how society is removing the associated stigma with tattoos. In 45 years can you imagine how many people are going to have tattoos? The craze of tattooing is only just heating up in my opinion, the pot has only just been put on the cooker and it is going to get heated up a lot more before it is set and done. Tattoos also represent individuality, the world would be a bland place if everyone was the same, and now tattooing is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to express themselves, and use their creative artistic flair to make an addition to their skin which really compliments their personality, or a certain phase in their life. To take away this individuality would be a step backwards, we are no longer cavemen who all look the same and illiterately grunt at each other, we are now smart, rational human beings who have the right to make their own decisions in life and live with them. No matter what anyone says, it is direct discrimination. I for one have tattoos I am proud of and will have many


more, regardless of what anyone else may think of me, you don't know the reasons an individual has gotten tattoos and mine define who I am, I would not change my tattoos for the world, and like many others, I will get more before I am done. A great quote from Mr King once read "Don't judge me on the color of my skin, but on the content of my character". The same applies to those with tattoos, individuals bearing tattoos should be judged by who they are and not what they choose to put on their own skin.


Reminiscing By Mercy

It was a day much like this one when we last spoke. Quite clearly I recall your presence, how I felt when you wrapped your arm over my shoulder. Cloudy, with a slight wind, our hair flowing around our faces with the breeze. Your voice. Insistent, yet, also strangely gentle. Unlike you to be so soft-spoken. A hammer slamming onto metal, that was your voice, your actions much the opposite. Gentle, yes. Gentle, always. The bench creaked under our weight. And we laughed do you remember? Our laughs together, they were infectious – is that the right word? Now I laugh empty, echo. Missing yours.

In those few seconds you stared at me as the tears fell, I could feel myself being torn from you. You cried too, and I looked at you startled. You rarely cried. Ever. I realised that you had to do this. So. I let you go. The last time we spoke. And now, months later I'm sitting here and I can smell you. Feel your presence. It's silly but I think you're still with me.

The look on your face as you stood up mirrored mine, the moment lost. Stolen by the action. Waft of your aftershave. And I cried do you remember? Face crumpling up unattractively.


The Scarlet Thr Cinders

I sit and listen to silent memories as the callous hands of winter caress My skin in a bitter, precarious romance. The cold is my mistress, but my love for you hasn’t frozen. And despite the chill, and the solitude… I endeavor to remain jovial, for birds sing their dulcet melodies with the symphony of the breeze. My ears, my mind floods with icy torrents of winter’s amiable refrain, But my heart remains bare without your hand in mine, Without the gentle harmony of your warm, wonderful voice flowing like a clear blue river into my deepest dreams, my sweetest reveries. I am a boat on the sea of your love and devotion, And the waters are the shimmering mirror of the memories that time has long misplaced. If time should wish to please me now, and stand still for one mere moment, Then let the moment be this: our first night alone, our very first kiss. I am the lantern in the tree, and you are the light within me. Hand-in-hand we would waltz through fields of the loveliest flowers, Which I would delicately pick for you. I watched them bloom and brighten as you Draped your fingers ‘round them.


The woods were filled with the soft echo of your footsteps. I recall the wolf; whiter than the falling snow. Floating blue eyes against a silky white canvass. They gazed at you, and failed to gaze at me. You‘re the good in each person, and a sun that’s blazing strong. You’re the tender breeze, and sing its song. I do not weep for you; you are not gone. You are the petals on each rose, and the raindrops on my window. You are the dewdrops on the leaves, and the snowflakes on my tongue. I do not weep for you; you are not gone. Now on the same road again, I travel alone, trusting the day to take me home. My heart is empty without the feel of your hand in mine… And I feel adrift in a semi-real wintry world. The wolf, the resplendent white apparition, I see again. The ethereal specter, now sentinel to our jubilant memories. I turn away and leave, as he gazes at the snowy emptiness beside me.

read Anthology Cobblestones I walk along cobblestone streets, where my footsteps echo, And I am found underneath the caustic lights, my breath a neon cloud in the moon’s lambent shadow. The streets are adorned in litter; confetti of a faded dream. They speak, but they say nothing. Dark figures of a haunting sameness that has robbed their spirits. A once-burgeoning flower, deprived of sunlight and strangled by your velvet ropes. A light that illuminated the darkness, washed away by words so chilled and piercing. They are the proselytes of profanity, the converts of sorrow. Autonomous though they are, they are grey and bleed propriety. Puppets on a string, every fiber of their souls scream dazed thoughts in an infertile mind. Their souls have been raped, and now they wither back into shadows of conformity.

By Peter Wysocki 34

Tesselating Truth By Kate Tattersfield

You are the conscientious deflector, Reflecting dreams upon dreams Tessellating truths, and folding the un-truth, Till it is creased And no longer legible. This world is a sweet shop in which you are the Fuhrer. You fed us on fast food Then tried to wean us offWe proceeded to wither and die With a head full of heartache And a heart full of promise. Saturated in slogans, We were the sacrifice.


Unborn Ghazal By Linda Bryan

The arch in your back showed curved ambitions being born Similar to the sound of an innocent cry from a new born You painted a crippled flower on a clean slate but it grew with the sunrise and that’s when it was born Plunged deep into the waters that cleansed you You emerged from the ground again new born Washed of your sins and bad deeds that tormented As clean as the breeze that is autumn born Lakes and rivers driven by the fire in the wind and the velvet sky where the moon is born The chestnut brown in your hair grown stale Still you blossom like time which is born in the nakedness of the earth, bare and exposed like a new born Your heart unhampered and love so rich Just like the heart of virgin un-born



The grief has left its mark on me A foriegn stamp upon my heart I know not what the answer be I only wish it would depart Every dream would end in tears Channels deep down every cheek The pain errupted from my fears The words I know I cannot speak Though time passes slowly, the storm clouds do break My sadness flees, my sorrows they take For as the rain falls the roses grow tall And life is sustained by each muffled call.


The rain is heavy I watch it plummet To the earth below Each ready ripple Willing to flow As every action Starts a chain A falling secret Like the rain.

By Isabella Steel 37

Volumes of Revolution By Rosemary Lynch

The storm giants marched in the black and white night. They towered and they fought Till they bruised a deep pinkish-grey, And returned to balance moodily on the bowl of the world. They did not see what you And I And my clock face saw: A bright morning blue and a freshening breeze That showed the pale undersides of leaves And promised that One day, flowers will riot in the railway tracks. They will pull down the bridges and choke along the roads Until certainty flees before us into the cooling twilight and the stars sing for salvation. When that day comes, when you glimpse a purple turret through the leafy mist, come with me. Come with me to the corner of your eye and dance with me and my clockwork love to the limits of the sky. Defy the lightning with me for a thousand, thousand summers And spin on the scars of the cuts to your heart.. And wait, As I do, for your life to start.


Wind Turbines A scar in the distance A victory roar The talloned turbines Up they soar To challenge the eagles To laugh at the sun Their strength is daunting They think they have won; As hour after hour They spin and they twist To fund our obbession They hum and they hiss And all I can see Is a white hazy smear Scribbling over All I held dear.


Sheltered by the bounds of fate The letters land on wisened tongue Crafted into dreams of speech The breath to every gasping lung Tales it weaves for listening souls Places not yet known The lives of those who know not what The seeds of destiny have sewn Words; they haunt me like a knife The trembling power of love and strife To set against the deepest thought The joy and sadness words have brought.

By Isabella Steel 39

Thank you for reading Next issue: 1 st October 201 1 Until then, you can find us here:

Issue 2  

Issue number two of Novel Times. Ali George gives us an insight into her 12 Books in 12 Months venture. Yasmeen Khan and Shannen Shayne Am...

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