Archive for November, 2012

November 23, 2012

Life Here Now (by Laura Brockbank)


There comes a point in every ones life at which goals seem limited. It is often due to an unexpected or traumatic event that this feeling becomes known.


The word goal is defined as ‘the aim or object towards which an endeavor is directed’. This does not mean that a goal has to be considered a big deal; it can be as small a thing as setting out to give up fatty foods to one as immense as setting out to climb Mount Everest.


When it becomes a struggle for you to reach your goals do you find yourself asking yourself  what it is that is holding you back (oftenin a frustrated manner). The confidence giving news here is that it may, not be yourself that is the problem. It can often be those around you.


While the loved ones are claiming to support you, are they in fact distracting you? Telling you, you’re wearing yourself out on the subject of your goal. It may well be true that their intentions are positive, however, their unforeseen effects can often become negative.


The easiest route to solve this is to tell them that you need to do this for you. After all it is you that needs to be in control of the goals you have set.


Often people offer what they believe to be constructive criticism, without realizing it is in fact being said and taken in an offensive manner. It is the smaller comments that often work themselves into one’s head and leave them feeling limited; in a way that leaves them unable to structure their thoughts.

Constructive criticism should be taken in a serious and positive way; while when someone gives you an offensive comment, it needs to be brushed off. Only you can offend yourself; it is so often internal.


Sometimes the things that stand in your way are unexpected and out of your control. They might well be, in fact, the factor that effect your progress the most. Often it is not the specific event that causes the great negativity but the way in which we deal with it. When things seem to be out of our control there can be a propensity to dwell on the negativity.


Although it is unfortunate that we don’t own a crystal ball and we can’t see into the future and prepare or prevent disappointing events. Instead, we have to let the unexpected happen and instead of wallowing in self pity we need to take positive action.


To do this you need to become fully aware of what is happening and what is preventing you from reaching your goal. If those things are within you, even if they are difficult, so be it.


When you have grasped the situation you need to become in control of it, allow yourself to be in control and prepared for whatever is around the corner.

After that, open yourself up from limited thoughts: if you have a dream, plan it, put it into perspective and work towards it positively and purposefully.


Make your life your goal.


Laura Brockbank is a freelance writer and journalist studying at Craven College, Skipton.

November 16, 2012

A Friendly Gesture


From scooter rides, to quiet drives along the rocky roads.

Or Madagascar madness, among the cinema rows;

He’s paid to do those flips and spins that wow’d so many crowds,

But should be careful where he lands, his feet should touch the ground.

Although he’s quiet, don’t be fooled, this guy likes to party.

But pass him some of those vodka shots, his heart would surely fail,

to withstand the sheer volume of alcohol that entails.

There’s so many words to describe this guy, but amazing springs to mind.

The life he dreams isn’t far to reach,

all it needs is time.


Jess Pickles

More of Jess’s excellent work is available at:

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Emily)

I don’t know whether it’s an on-going mental disorder or I am in fact being followed home on a nightly basis. There’s something about the way that the shadows fall, lampposts certainly begin to take shape of looming characters stretching up to gaze over my shoulders. I suppose the fact that I jump out of my skin every time there is the slightest clunk, which does yes, every single time come from the depths of my bag. At the age of 27 I still run past those dingy alleyways lit only by one not so believable flashing sign offering massages.
I distract my mind though, you  know, I text. Although I often almost die of a heart attack when I was into a bin and for a second think I could of stumbled across a possessed child, ready to gauge out my eyeballs. It takes a minute to adjust my eyes, and have a whispered word with myself ‘yes, that is a bin, not a creepy possessed child with a knife’. Getting back to my texting, my footsteps seem the loudest noise in the world, the clunk of my heel slightly muted against the damp pavement , and when my phone buzzes in my hand. I freeze for a moment. Play dead. As if there is a Canadian bear on my case.  Honestly, if I ever do encounter anyone dangerous, my go to reactions are absolutely appalling.
Turning up the worst bit of my walk home, Apocalypse Street, that’s what I call it anyway. Every single lamppost is out, I’m plunged into darkness. I always use my phone torch, although ever since I saw a horror movie with a torch I’m terrified I’m going to catch a dead body in the small amount of light my phone produces. My ears seem to under-go some sort of super human transformation, I can hear everything. The slightest noise. The wind brushing a leaf along the ground sounds to me like the living dead dragging their half attached limbs getting closer. My legs move as fast as they can without running, because if they know your running they will catch up. Logic you can’t flaw right there.
I can honestly see how irrational I am being. I can tell myself a million times that the terrifying supernatural paranormal being that I am bringing into my make believe world of terror are all a figment of my imagination. It’s my mind running away from myself. I’m at my door now though, so close yet so far away. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, my daily torture nearly over.  Still over 100 metres away my hands in my bag and I’m fumbling for my keys, it takes ages to find them, that 10 seconds feels like 10 years. As per usual I almost throw the key at the door rather than attempt to unlock it, something to do with the uncontrollable shaking I think. Finally the key is in the door and I can feel my heart in my throat and my stomach in my chest, pressing down on my lungs so I can’t breathe. As soon as I’m through the door I slam it behind me almost breaking the door and slump to the floor with the relief that I can’t breathe again. Once again I survived the city. All a bit of on over reaction really.

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Danielle)

The wind is whipping, I don’t think I’ve ever felt the wind so harsh against my skin before. It’s like iced needles dancing across my skin as my heels click delicately against the glistening pavements, each slab reflecting a blurred vision of the illuminated skyline thanks to the downpour earlier.

I’m late. Fifteen minutes late and the clocks ticking. If anything, I should really be the mad hatter out of wonderland but here I am playing the role of the rabbit. I’m going to have fun trying to explain this one to the girls. I should have gotten ready earlier, and I really doubt they’re going to accept the extra-long flick of my cat eyes when they’ve been stood out in the cold, in November. Waiting for me.

London looks beautiful when the sun goes down, as the last snippets of daylight blur into twilight before the night sky lights up with stars and the unmistakeable glow of lights from the towering jungle of buildings. The almost silent clicking of heels stop and there’s a pair of hazel eyes cast upwards in a blissful moment or forgetfulness. That there’s not a late young woman trying to desperately make her way to Apollo Victoria, and then it’s back to reality, like losing angel wings and landing shakily back into perspective. I’m sure Londoners are used to, or even sick of the sights, but I’m could never be.  Then again, I visit now and again, like the birds that fly back and forth, here for summer, gone for winter and each time is refreshing as the day I stepped off the train in kings cross and immediately found myself swamped with admiration.

Let’s go out they said. Go see a show they said. It’ll be fun they said. What’s fun about catching the tube and accidently getting off at Leicester Square? Nothing. Apollo Victoria is still a distance away. And the sands are still slipping away from me. I can just see the ornate hour glass, clasped In the hands of two majestic dragons, gold laced and staring at me with the silent knowing that the kind of greeting I’m going to get is like the infamous fire the mythological creatures breathed In one, swift and fluent stretch of their jaws and exhale of breath.

The clicking picks up, an obvious signal that somewhere nearby  there’s a woman running in almost too high heels, ducking and diving through the bodies of fellow night goers. Avoiding the cracks and dislodged slabs of pavement as she less than gracefully trots into a brisk walk into the lights of the theatre. And right into the firing line of four, very cold, very annoyed looking she-dragons. I did say the dragons gave me that small look in my mind, and I endure the mock slaps of annoyance for the sake of the hugs afterwards and the welcomed heat out of the crisp November air.

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Amy)

I stepped out of my door into the chilly street. It was more busy than usual. Christmas Eve in the city was obscene. It was as if every person living here had a thought at the exact same time that they should complete their Christmas shopping the night before. All I wanted to do tonight was stroll down the streets and admire the Christmas lights but I couldn’t even walk a few steps without someone running into me and hitting me with their bags. I decided to take a different direction and see where it lead me, it appeared to be getting quieter and darker as I continued to walk. Any normal person would be terrified right now, but not me, I was enjoying the tranquil atmosphere, there were still a few Christmas lights on this narrow street so I wasn’t missing out too much. I just wanted to escape the usual hectic city night life. My eyes began to settle to the darkness and I could see further into the distance. I thought I heard music but I couldn’t decide if it was my ears playing tricks on me. I still wasn’t frightened despite there being nobody around. I reached the end of the street and there was a band stand fully lit up with bright, golden fairy lights, it was so Christmassy, I made my way over to a little bench inside it and sat down. I took a deep breath and sighed, I felt miles away from the city, it was strange to imagine that just a few metres away there were so many people running up and down the streets and in and out of shops. It felt really nice. I wanted to make a memory out of this so I danced around and laughed. My mind left me and I had no care in the world. I felt so happy, this was my new happy place. I sat there for hours, most of the night. I arrived back into the centre and it felt like nobody had been there earlier, I checked the time and realised I had only been at the band stand for an hour, it felt like hours though! I smiled and entered my flat, resting until the next morning where I could show my friends the new place I had found in the city. I wanted to share it with everyone.

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Maddy)

I shivered uncontrollably.

The winter chill was crisp, and made me catch my breath. As I stood waiting to cross the street, my breath turned into steam as I exhaled, curling up into the clear night sky, disappearing with the wind. Traffic rushed by, in a rush to get home out of the uncomfortable iciness of their black leather seated vehicle and into the warm comfort of their house. Another shiver ran down my spine as I wrapped my coat tighter around me, I thought of what I would be doing if I was at home right now; snuggled under my huge plush duvet, watching elf while a fire blazed across the room, radiating immense heat in the essence of the cold season.

I eventually managed to cross the road, dodging the vehicles that sped at me, and I arrived at the other side of the street, but in my haste had unfortunately stepped into I huge puddle of Arctic-cold slush. I knew Christmas away from home wouldn’t be right, but now I had to accept the consequences.

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Khansa)

It was a haunted city. It was dark, cold and raining. The sky turned black. Even so the lamp post lights weren’t on, but there was a massive house which had cracked windows and looked dirty and which always made scary noises. No-one went to that house. They believed it was haunted. But Sam didn’t know. She had to go in the house, because she was a homeless and didn’t know what else to do because it was raining, dark and cold and was going to thunder soon. So Sam broke in.

The city creeped her out. She walked through the door, the door was opened and the smell of a dead rat hit her. She touched the walls and can feel some liquid. She wasn’t looking where she was going because there was no light, you could hear screaming coming towards the upstairs. Sam walked and felt something hurt her foot so she looked down to see, but she couldn’t see so she felt the floor and it was a rotten orange which she couldn’t resist but to eat it, it tasted like a rotten fish she puked up with blood. She felt her pockets and luckily she found a lighter so she went up towards the stairs where she could hear the screaming and she could see spider webs all over the stairs, she didn’t want to look up at the ceiling she would have freaked out, so she got on the first top floor and the screaming were coming towards the attic so she went towards the attic stairs and the screams became more louder and near. As she went up towards the stairs she could see fresh blood on the stairs. She kept going until she reached the attic stairs and saw………………..

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Alex)

It was a cold winters night, I was making my way down to Ultra beat nightclub as I was about to perform to 5,000 drunk ecstatic fans. Wondering to the back door as the dark cold ally soon became a bright light of sounds and colours as you could feel the base blasting throughout the floor. I made my way over to the team who brief me about what lights and pyro would be on my set. I then made my way to the stairs were you could only see a shadow of an image as the arena went to darkness. The DJ pass me and patted me on the back and said “good luck, I’ve warm them up for you” The crowd was waiting for my first appearance on stage. As I made my way up the stairs my heart rocket like a firework as I could feel the energy from the crowds. The music started to get louder with every step I took, then I appeared on the top step and all you could see was a wave of people dancing and screaming as you look apron a sea of emotion and power. I span my deck a blasted out the first tune. The reaction was like being hit by a train. The feeling is like none other as everyone cheered and started clapping their hands to the beat of the song.

My DJ set was only 1 ½ hour long but it felt like was only 5 minutes. As I performed I looked over to the right and see nothing but bright UV lights shining on the audience and pyro fireworks firing to my left. As I contracted on the music I was about to mix in , I took a minute to take a look at the crowd and I could see love and power beaming out of their bodies as they jump and raved to the beats from my decks then I dropped in the next song and they didn’t stop. They seem like nothing could stop there dancing all night; the more songs I played the more it powered them to dance all night. As my set came to an end the crowd chanted “Bazza D” over and over again. As I left the stage and walk back down the stairs I shuck hands with the manager who thanked me for an amazing evening and all I said was “this is just another day in the office” as I grabbed my decks I went back out to the cold dark night and vanished waiting until the next time the crowd wanted another tasted of my musical rave.

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Niall)

A cold winter’s night on the 24th were I had just finished my drive time shift on radio and I was looking forward to getting home and settling in front of the fire with a nice cuppa coffee whilst watching the TV. I strolled out of the studio and said goodbye to the team and wished them a happy Christmas. I walked down the street with my jacket zipped up because it was getting below freezing and I had my gloves on because my hands were getting be like icicles. The street was deserted and the there were no cars about on one of the busiest streets in Manchester which is just outside the BBC studios.

There were a random drunk staggering around the street were only business people walk through the day, but the person didn’t look right, he was covered in blood and also his mouth was bleeding badly. I shouted to him ‘Excuse me sir, are you ok?’, he looked over at me and he started to growl like a viscous dog that is ready to pounce and then he suddenly started sprinting to me so I panicked and started to think that this drunk guy wasn’t a drunk guy at all, he was actually a zombie but I thought zombies only exists on Call of Duty games not real life. It has never happened before and I said to myself ‘ZOMBIE! It’s not true; please don’t let it be true’.

He suddenly stopped and my adrenaline was rushing through my body like I’ve just gone on my first roller-coaster. I stared at him for a couple of seconds until he turned to his left and ran down a dark alley-way. I waited a couple of seconds until I knew it was safe to go down, I sprinted to the alley-way and carefully looked down it and there he was with 2 other zombies, eating the flesh of this guy who just come out of the building next door, I then suddenly though what if they suddenly turned around and ran towards me, what would I do? Run? Or fight them off? I had to think of something and quick, so turned around and their I saw about 50 or other zombies wandering the streets of Manchester. They ran towards me, I was surrounded and they got me….

I woke up and I left my Call of Duty game on and realised it was just a dream and I went to turn my game off, then there was a knock at the door and there was a dark shadow at the door trying to knock it down…. So I picked up my rifle under my bed and shouted ‘Bring it on you flesh eating animal’

November 10, 2012

The City at Night (Tom)

An eerie silence swept throughout the street as I walked hurriedly towards my home. My sense of unease began to grow at the lack of cars and pedestrians; it was just gone 5 o clock, the time at which people could be expected to take to the streets in drones having just finished a day at work yet I was completely alone. As I quickened my pace, eager to shake this feeling of ill-being and get back to the safety of my own home, a nearby street light began to flicker, its cold unforgiving beam shone briefly upon something that appeared to be moving. My curiosity getting the better of me, I edged toward whatever it was, the closer I got the more aware I became of a muffled screaming sound. I began to sweat despite the wintery chill encasing the street, growing more and more nervous as I got closer but somehow I was drawn to this mysterious thing.