Saturday 23 February 2013

Ode to Nigel - the true story of a goldfish

I loved my goldfish Nigel,
He'd beg for feeds and play.
He didn't have a lot of chat,
But he'd pass the time of day.

Then tragically one summer,
Nigel's health was much in doubt,
For he'd swollen up to twice his size,
And his scales were sticking out.

Unhappily, I rang a friend,
Sobbed symptoms down the line.
With great relief, I heard her say,
"That happened once to mine."

Attentively, I listened:
Hope waned, my spirits sank.
She had thought, "It's constipation,"
And put Eno's in the tank.

Her fish, she said, had fizzed a bit
Then, looking very tired,
Had collapsed upon the bottom
And quietly expired.

Expert help was needed.
Expert help I'd get:
Without more hesitation
I took Nigel to the vet.

That kind man saw my brimming eyes,
My lower lip a-quiver,
And in the gentlest terms explained,
"It's dropsy of the liver.

But never mind, dear lady.
We'll keep him overnight.
A minor op will be performed
Then he should be all right."

And so he was next morning:
He was fit and slim and sleek,
But my delight was too short-lived
For after just a week

I found Nigel looking sick again.
He wore a troubled frown,
And fins a-waving gently
He was floating upside down.

Into the fish's water
A drop of brandy went.
It didn't make Nige better,
But I think he died content.

I placed his shiny body -
Oh mournful was my mood -
Into a foil container
That had once held Chinese food.

In the interest of science,
And because the vet had tried,
I took Nigel for post-mortem,
To find out why he'd died.

A lady in the waiting room
My humble package eyed.
She asked, "What have you got in there?"
"A goldfish," I replied.

"He hasn't got much water,"
This perceptive person said.
But he didn't need much water.
They don't when they are dead.

RIP Nigel
Hatched c January 1962
Passed away 15th August 1976 aged 14 years
Sadly missed

Friday 22 February 2013

Is there anybody out there?

"Is there anybody out there?"
Said the blogger to the screen.
"My words are here in front of me,
But where else have they been?

Have they flashed up in Australia?
In Mexico? Or Crewe?
Does anybody read them?
Do they prompt a smile or two?"

To post a daily ditty,
Have been told must be my goal
Though, for all I know, these float away
To some huge cosmic hole.

If you're reading this, then thank you.
Have you topics to suggest?
A theme you'd like a verse about?
Would try to do my best!

Monday 18 February 2013

On being British

We're modest and not pushy,
Patient waiting's what we do,
But woe betide the brazen
Who attempt to jump a queue.

For months we long for sunshine
When there's snow or rain or sleet,
Then we get our two-day summer,
And complain about the heat.

We really do like moaning,
Whether justifiably.
But not much can't be righted
By a nice strong cup of tea.

We think taking part, not winning
Ought to motivate a man,
(Though try telling that to Churchill,
Or your average football fan.)

The Brits can be identified
When in some foreign place,
By the socks worn with the sandals
And the panda sunburnt face.

We think we're cosmopolitan
But everywhere we go,
Defiantly speak English,
Our diction loud and slow.

Yes, we venture from these islands,
Though there's still no place like home:
We miss our soaps, we miss our dog,
Our garden with its gnome.

We're the tenements of Glasgow,
We're our coastline's rugged beauty,
We may tend towards the lazy,
Or our monarch's sense of duty.

We are strawberries at Wimbledon,
We're Henley's royal regatta,
The Ritz for tea....the mushy pea...
And Mars bars fried in batter.

Just why we're contradictory
It something of a mystery,
Though we may discover answers
By looking at our history.

Sunday 17 February 2013


The brain can do one thing,
The body another.
You can search via Google
Whilst phoning your brother;
Write a list as you jog
On a treadmill machine,
Or listen to Spanish
And de-string a bean.
Or be washing your hair
As you dream up a rhyme.
In such ways we productively
Use up our time.

They say it's a girl thing
But men do it too:
A lot of them read
When they sit on the loo.

Saturday 16 February 2013

"40% could save up to £340"*

For comparison sites there's a need,
But their adverts could surely mislead.
For one thing, note "UP TO" and hence,
Lots of people might save only pence.
(If I got the max, oh what glee!
My insurer would have to pay me.)
The word "COULD", I say unto you verily,
Must always mean "not necessarily".

The remaining poor sixty per cent?
"Don't bother," I think is what's meant.

*The sort of assertion that briefly appears on the bottom of the screen during websites'  TV ads 

Thursday 14 February 2013

February 14th

Happy Valentine's Day everybody.
What's NOT happened for some may be hard.
If you didn't receive what you'd hoped for,
Let this be your "Love you Babe" card.


Tuesday 12 February 2013

Termination of contract (The Pope resigns)

The Pope has resigned,
The Pope's thrown his hat in.
Did he write to his boss?
Did he do it in Latin?

Why I hate showers

Showers and I just do not get along.
As an item, we're clearly all wrong,
And even the simplest I've used,
Has left me completely bemused.

Hotel 'upgrades', (the 'bathroom' conversion),
Conspire to deny me immersion. 
This is because - here's the rub - 
Someone chose to dispense with the tub.

The shower head is often too high:
Can't reach it and daren't even try.
For some's needs, it may be compliant -
For example, an eight-foot-tall giant.

One contraption a new scheme has hatched:
It's the shower hose that's barely attached.
"I am ready," it seems to announce,
"To uncoil, like a snake, and then pounce."

I quake at the numerous knobs,
Designed to do who-knows-what jobs?
(And there'll be at least one on the wall
Which appears to do nothing at all).

So the question is, "Which one to twiddle?
Top, bottom, left, right or middle?"
Will the system prove horribly fickle?
Will the water come gushing - or trickle?

Small cubicles prompt the most fear,
As they give you no room to stand clear.
Another thing not to be trusted
Is the way that the heat is adjusted.

From what shall I soon be recoiling?
From water so hot that it's boiling?
Or from water so cold it is icy?
These prospects both seem rather dicey.

For warm water, I need some of each,
But the knobs are not easy to reach.
To access them (this bit's the worst),
You have to get in - naked - first.

No idea now of what might be coming,
Am exposed to the mercies of plumbing.
I venture, in fear more than hope,
To discover I can't find the soap.

It was on a small metal tray,
But escaped and has skidded away.
It is proving elusive to find:
Streaming water has made me half-blind.

It's no fun, all this sliding and stumbling,
As, with tightly closed eyes, I go fumbling...
At last, we arrive at Stage Two,
But first must locate the shampoo.

Then (hurrah!) I am back on dry land,
And trust a warm towel is to hand,
By where I have been unconvinced,
Quite clean although only half-rinsed.

For performing one's routine ablutions,
There have to be better solutions.
I like to relax...mull...or read.
A lovely deep bath's what I need.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Every part used (the horsemeat scandal)

A knackered old racehorse from Crewe,
Had hooves that were turned into glue.
Its hair, once so lush,
Made a very nice brush,
And its meat's now a ready-meal stew.

The facts of life - a true story

Vicky was three and asked, "Mummy,
How did I get out of your tummy?"
"Keep it simple," it said in the book:
I told her the route that she took.

"Your head came out first," I explained,
"Next your arms...body...legs..." (Now feel drained).
She thought for a while, and asked whether
We'd then had to glue her together.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Computer security

My accounts may be prone to attack
From those whose desire is to hack.
"Keep your password "hygienic" and "clean"",
Am advised - not quite sure what they mean.

It could have a nice lemony whiff
Should I choose to type something like "Cif".
If "Domestos" were what was preferred,
Maybe viruses might be deterred?.....

......Have been looking in all the right places,
And it says you should mIX uP tHe CasEs.
Add symbols and numbers and stuff:
To confuse, think this might be enough.

*!GoBbLD>y9-goOK$ what I seek,
To thwart the unscrupulous geek.
So that's what I'll use - nothing less -
As something that no one could guess.


Friday 8 February 2013

On becoming decrepit

We all reach that stage where one suddenly finds
That thighs fall to knees, just like Austrian blinds.
This is bound to occur, be you chunky or thin:
Yes, with age something horrible happens to skin.

It withers, it crinkles, it droops and it sags.
Your brows are now matched by huge under-eye bags.
And liver spots form on the back of a hand,
(Never mind, they'll join up, then you'll look nicely tanned).

If my face were a wall, then I'd reach for a tub...
Apply some white filler and give it a rub.
But this just doesn't work, which is really bad luck:
The only solution's a surgical tuck.

Once, when you were little, the tooth fairy came,
Swapped lost teeth for sixpence, a luctrative game.
But now you are older, she's not going to visit
And search 'neath your pillow, which isn't fair, is it?

You can colour your hair - that is one sure fire winner -
But grey's not the problem: your thatch is much thinner.

You discover your vision is not what it was.
Your arms should be longer. You know this because
To read from a distance is what you prefer:
Any closer, the letters are simply a blur.

Feet used to be things you could choose to adorn.
Fancy shoes with high heels would be happily worn.
You could wear them for hours, be they flimsy or strappy.
Now a flat pair that's comfy is what makes you happy.

Your clothes aren't now chosen because of their charms,
But whether they've sleeves,which will hide flabby arms.
In warm weather, you're covered (although you might swelter),
As your chest now resembles some long dried-up delta.

Like a turkey's, your neck flaps with skin that is loose:
All those "toners" and "firmers" are not that much use.
It doesn't seem right, if you know what I mean,
To look eighty, but know that you're really eighteen.

Monday 4 February 2013

Richard III

Richard III
Richard the Third
As you've probably heard,
Has been found in the city of Leicester.
And thus it appears
After five hundred years,
His body was left there to fester.

To what sort of fame
Can this monarch lay claim?
Of two murders he's guilty, it's feared.
As a suspect was prime
Of this horrible crime,
When his nephews one day disappeared.

Some people may say
That they stood in his way:
(The older boy, Edward, was king).
All very suspicious -
Our Rich was ambitious -

Facial reconstruction from skeleton
Which explains why he'd do such a thing.

He was not safely crowned...
Two years later, it's found
Henry Tudor a great threat now poses.
On Bosworth's fair field,
Richard's fate's quickly sealed,
And so end the Wars of the Roses.
Body found under a car park