Writing group

About us:

Launchpad Writing Group is a relaxed and informal group. We meet every Wednesday (11am-1pm) to discuss and write about a wide range of topics. We all (including the tutor) have experience of mental illness and the group caters specifically for this. The atmosphere is friendly, guidelines are agreed, confidentiality is respected, and whilst everyone takes part, there is never any pressure to share your writing unless you want to. There’s plenty of variety – something different every week – and since the group is ongoing you can attend on a regular basis or just drop in when you feel like it.

If you’d like to come along and find out more, please ring 0191 2330382 or email launchpadncl@aol.com

P.S There’s no fee charged and biscuits are free!

Opinions of the group so far:

‘a friendly place to go’

‘encourages your creative side’

‘it helps me with my writing’

‘it’s helped me to overcome depression’

‘everyone gets on with each other’

‘it’s got me into the habit of writing on a regular basis’



It’s like being in a dark tunnel. You don’t know how you got there and you don’t know the way out. There is nothing in this tunnel. Only the blackness around you and the only sound is the sound of your voice. So you keep walking through this tunnel in the hope you’re going to see a light. Then one day you see the light and you know you’re coming out of this tunnel. Let’s hope there is not another tunnel ahead.


My view of Newcastle

When I go to Sunderland, I always come back on the bus to Gateshead. I get off at Gateshead and walk down to the Tyne Bridge, then I walk over the bridge to Newcastle. Whenever I do cross the Tyne Bridge, I always stop and look down towards the Swing Bridge and across towards Newcastle. Whenever I look out at the view, my thoughts are always how glad I am to be back home again because I am not a Geordie or have the accent. I consider myself an half a Geordie because I love it up here and this is where I belong.


Confused. com

I don’t know what’s going on,

I’m confused.com,

to hope I cling on

that I will know what’s going on,

I know I’m not the only one

but a clue I’ve got none,

‘cos I’m confused.com

so I sing a little song,

it’s only one verse long

but I’m so confused.com

that from my mind it has now gone.

Pear shaped Pete Tong,

something has gone wrong,

I don’t know where I come from

or where I belong,

to figure that one out I long,

all I know is that I shouldn’t wear a thong,

‘cos apparently that is wrong,

but who says? Who dictates that one?

So if you’re confused.com

you should join in this song,

if ye naa the words, please sing along

and together we will try

to find out what’s going on.

What is Pete Tong?

Why is it wrong?

How much, how long?

And together we’re strong,

so join in this song,

throw out your bong,

put on your thong,

ring the bells, ding dong,

raging like King Kong

in a pink lace thong



Back Street Days

Days that barely open,

days that crouch and wait,

days you don’t see into

or out of,

days that dress


in tatters,

days that sit about,

days that echo

days that echo


I Like

I like to listen to Radio 2,

I like to watch ‘The Bill’,

I like to play on the play station,

I like the smell of cut grass.

I like to hear dawn bird call, slicing through stillness,

I like to watch the wind, dancing through trees in blossom,

I like the sight of hollyhocks against a grey stone wall

And the scent of the sea when expecting something worse.

I like the feel of freshly washed, clean bed sheets

And the view of the countryside below me from the top of a hill,

I like the touch of a cool breeze on a hot day

And the taste of my own pancakes.

Launchpad Writing Group

To be sung to the tune of ‘Vindaloo’

La-la, fish and chips, la-la.

We play at James’s Park and we play in black and white stripes

And we are going to score one more than you – Blackpool

Fish and chips

Fish and chips la-la

You had Sir Stanley Matthews; we had Hughie Gallagher,

Jackie Milburn, Kevin Keegan, Bob Moncur, Andy Cole and Alan Shearer,

Andy Shearer la-la

We play at James’s Park and we play in black and white stripes

And we are going to score one more than you – Blackpool

Fish and chips

Fish and chips la-la

We are off to Whitley Bay

And heading down towards the arcade

For a bag of fish and chips

With plenty of salt and vinegar please la-la

Fish and chips

Fish and chips la-la

We are Newcastle United

And we’re going to score one more than you –Blackpool,

La-la, Fish and Chips

La la la fish and chips la-la.

We are going to stay in the Premier League

Longer than you – BLACKPOOL


Ballad of lifts and life

by David Coombes

Waiting for my friends; waiting for the lift

Hoping it won’t stay on the floor above; hoping it will shift

But now it’s going up again, so I wonder: shall I walk?

But it seems so much effort, at which I always balk

And if the lift should come, it’s such a waste of time

And effort; did I mention it’s such an awful climb?

It isn’t really; they’ve got escalators here in the Gate

But I always take the lift to avoid the teasing of a mate

Less than friendly, that, really, especially against effort

To hurry to meet him; but woe betide you if you’re caught

To do more than you need to nowadays is thought a deadly sin

Almost as much as not being ridiculously thin

Here comes the lift; no it doesn’t; it’s stopped again

And gone the other way; oh God it’s nearly ten!

I’ll have to walk; I can’t be late

Seems to me to be worse than death that oh so awful fate

Although I know they’ll just go “meh” if they have to wait an hour

To be honest these friends of mine are such an awful shower

I’ll try the lift on the other side of me

I should have done that before, but I can only see

One at a time, so I would have to turn

From side to side; but I’m sure I won’t burn

For this that even in the eyes of today is just a venial sin

At last it’s here! Finally – but there’s no room to get in!

David Coombes

Novel for sale on www.lulu.com/davidcoombes


Mr Unreal

Mr Unreal felt like he was living in a dream all the time.

He felt that real life was a dream, and dreams were real life.

Sometimes he couldn’t even tell the difference between the two.

So Mr Unreal went to the doctor.

Not a normal doctor, like you go to when you have a cold.

The sort of doctor that used to be called a nerve specialist.

Mr Unreal didn’t like the idea of going to see someone known as a shrink …

… but he knew he needed to.

Mr Unreal said to the doctor,

‘Sometimes I feel everyone can hear my thoughts.

Is this normal?’

‘Everybody gets that,’ said the doctor. ‘It’s called paranoia.’

Mr Unreal said to the doctor,

‘Sometimes I feel like my life takes place in my dreams.

Is this normal?’

‘Lots of people get that,’ said the doctor. ‘We call it nervous debility.’

Mr Unreal said to the doctor,

‘Sometimes I feel that people on TV are talking to me.

Is this normal?

‘A special few people get that,’ said the doctor carefully.

‘It’s called psychosis. Let me give you some tablets.’

The doctor spoke into his telephone briefly so that Mr Unreal couldn’t hear him.

Soon a nurse wheeled in a huge brick-like cylinder on a trolley.

[here I had a picture of the huge tablet, bigger than Mr Unreal, which is how they seem]

‘Here’s your first tablet. We’ll see your response, and then we might have to keep you -‘

But then the doctor stopped in shock, because the trolley had tipped over, and the tablet had fallen on Mr Unreal!

‘Oh my god! Are you alright?’ asked the nurse.

‘Yes …’

… came the strangely dreamy voice of Mr Unreal.

‘I feel much better …’

‘They don’t normally work that fast,’ said the doctor.

by David Coombes


Some say I’m round,

Riddled with sound,

Shrouded in glass,

My followings amass,

Creative with arts,

Life and soul at my heart,

A shell of reflection,

Worldly in my direction,

Reputation at the fore,

Culture at my core,

Spotlight of the world stage,

What am I?

…. I am…’The Sage’

by Beverley

The Cuppa

Ode to the working man

Who does what he can, when he can

But who’ll down tools and strike

And say to the gaffer ‘On your bike’.

As everything stops for tea

And production is all at sea

As he clocks off pretty soon

Whether it’s a case of bust or boom.

Our man can be a miller

Or possibly a driller,

Our worker can be of the tool room elite

In essence so very light.

If the time hangs heavy

Then there is always the bevy

Soon after this he clocks his card

On a day not a bit too hard.

by David Hall

To be sung to the tune of ‘I am what I am’

I look in the mirror and what do I see? I see an Eejit looking back at me, but hey – that’s me.

I am what I am and what I am I make no excuses,

I have no guns or six-pack

I am an Eejit and a Tog.

And if you like what you see then we will get on famously, but if you don’t then walk away.

I have been called names before and I won’t be hurt by them anymore.

I am what I am and that I am I make no excuses.

I have no guns or six-pack.

I will never be on any hunk’s list but that suits just fine

‘cause I am what I am and that I can be proud of.

I got no guns or six pack but I am 100%  Eejit.

I am what I am.

I am what I am and what I am I make no excuses.

I am proud of that for that I am 100% Eejit.

I am what I am.

Yes I am what I am.

That will be me then.

by DLK


Oh aggravation, oh aggravation is a feeling when someone or something teases you,

Oh aggravation, oh aggravation is a feeling you get when England aren’t playing well,

Oh aggravations and determinations are feelings you get when you want your team to play well but they don’t.

Oh aggravation

Oh aggravation

Is a feeling you get with this government.

Oh aggravation

Oh aggravation

Is a feeling you get when someone or something is teasing you.

Oh aggravation

Oh aggravation

Is a feeling you get when you’re driving on the motorway.

Oh aggravations, oh aggravations.

Oh aggravations, yes, it’s a feeling you get when someone or something is teasing you.

by DLK

The Ballad of Adivanar

He strode the river o’er Tyne and Wear,

A time so distant upon which we peer.

His name truly was in mystery’s shroud

Yet in Jarra’s pubs was oft heard aloud.

His father brought him to church to be baptised

And all that time the infant cried,

‘What name?’ asked the priest, eyes afar,

Replied the father ‘Why, Adivanar.’

The lad was brought up by St Nicholas’s Toower

But seemed less inclined for the Church and more to be a brewer,

So, mam and dad, loathe for him to fail,

Set him up in a pub, pulling ale.

Soon a fountain of wealth thinkled at the inn

Its source being, ale, beer or gin!

That fate so bounteous should alight

Upon our hero ‘tis only right.

Now came one day a lady dressed to fashion

With various protruberances and proclivities related to passion.

These she presented over the bar,

Said our hero the fateful words ‘Well, Adivanar!’

 So thus was love’s fancy cavalierly set aside

But yet in his soul will surely abide.

For our hero’s fate is to travel near and far

And rue the night he said ‘Adivanar!’

by David Hall

Proud I stand

Wings spread wide

Ever watchful

Children run at my feet

Hit me and kick me

But not an inch do I budge.

Come back in a thousand years

And I’ll still be standing here

Red and rusty

But strong and tall

Looking out from my hilltop

People below like ants in my shadow.

(who am I?)

by Mike

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