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Monday, 24 February 2020

Putting My Marriage Out To Tender


Putting my marriage out to tender

There’s a problem with my marital contract
Something I didn’t spot with the licence
Which needs to be urgently addressed
For I’m not very happy
With the current “in-house” solution
Nor the present service provider
She’s so messy and untidy
She fails to meet quality standards
And most of my expectations

The normal service tasks of the household
Are rarely completed on time or on budget
And the provision of conjugal services
Has dropped to a bare minimum
It seems she’s completely lost sight
Of the modern service culture

So I’m putting the contract out
To competitive tender
To see if it can be done any cheaper
And performed more efficiently
By the private sector
Using more modern management thinking
And the latest up-to-date methods

As a key stake-holder
End-user, consumer and customer
I’ll provide a clear service description
For streamlined procedures
Using built-in performance incentives
And a level of profit-sharing
With payment strictly by results

Reducing expenditure year-on-year
And performing all tasks to a minimum standard
With full provision for holidays and sickness
This will be an initial three-month contract
With a view to future extension
For the successful applicant(s)
Who will be young and ambitious
And will need to demonstrate a strong track-record
In delivering these services
To a very demanding client

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 23rd February 2020


Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 23rd February 2020

Here is our weekly round-up of events from D-Town:
                                              
1.      Once again D-Town residents have been caught totally by surprise by the advent of the season often referred to as “Winter”.  It has come as a complete shock that it can rain a bit in February, as well as being a bit cold.  Big coats, gloves and scarves are highly recommended, together with hats and properly-soled shoes.  Umbrellas may also be required.  A public information campaign will be mounted shortly warning citizens that seasons known as “Spring” and “Summer” are predicted to follow in the next few months.  Big coats may not be needed, particularly in August.  Who knew?

2.      And in other news the DBC (Devizes Broadcasting Corporation) has come under attack from the Lord Mayor and the Town Council.  The DBC has been accused of being “institutionally biased” towards rural issues.  There is now a threat that the DBC Licence Fee could come to an end, to be replaced by a subscription service on the Netflix model.  The council is also said to be looking at opening a video rental store on the Blockbuster model, a financial services outlet on the Pawnbroker model, and a food-bank on the Workhouse model.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020


Saturday, 22 February 2020

The Woman In The Red Car


The Woman In The Red Car

That bloody woman
She’s sitting there again
Got here before me
And parked in my space
Forcing me to move elsewhere
And park my car in a different place
Which disturbs my daily routine
And puts me out for the rest of the day

That bloody woman
With her awful blood-red car
Sporting its tatty roof-rack
And child-seat in the back
Its dirty windows and an ugly scrape on the side
She can see the other spaces in this car-park
But none are so convenient

That bloody woman
Who never speaks to anyone
Just sits there reading her book
Waiting for the store to open
I know because I’ve watched her
I think she does it deliberately
Just to annoy me
But she cannot be oblivious to my feelings

That bloody woman
I don’t know how she manages to do it
She must get up extremely early
Just to beat me
It never used to happen
Then just once or twice
And now it’s all the time
She’s always there
That bloody woman

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020

Friday, 21 February 2020

Clearing Out The Freezer


Clearing Out The Freezer

Last week I decided to defrost the freezer
Cause the door wouldn’t close any more
The ice had continued to build up
And icicles were covering the floor

It’s a ritual that we all have to endure
One that fills us with justified fears
But you’ve got to do it pretty regular
Well – let’s say at least once every five years

I disconnected the power – a simple first step
And left it to get itself started over-night
But when I woke up next morning
The shelves were still jammed solid alright

I decided it needed some help to get going
And set about it with a big hair-drier
This’ll soon melt the ice, I thought
This’ll get it off to a flier

But nothing seemed to do much good
The perma-frost was still inches thick
So I started hacking it with various tools
A knife, a saw, a hatchet and a bloody big stick

It was very slow going through the pack-ice
Several crevasses I had to unpick
I was soon surrounded by icebergs
And felt like Scott of the Antarctic

Finally the ice came away in lumps and in cubes
But the knife-edge slipped onto my wrist
There was torn flesh and rivers of blood -
Well I’m sure that you get the gist

Slowly the great melt had set in
The water flowed in huge floods
I wrenched out the top drawer
And at last I could get to my goods

The kitchen was awash with the deluge
Buckets and mops were in demand
The freezer floated slowly around
As if it was looking for the nearest dry land

Gradually I gained access to the interior
To the shelves and the mysterious drawers
To the frozen packages held therein
And I rushed to discover them without pause
  
Well, it was like opening a treasure chest
Or going on a magical mystery tour
To dig out the long-lost containers
And wonder what any of them were for

The labels had all faded or melted away
So no clues as to what was therein
No idea when they’d been squirreled away
It was hard to know where to begin.

It’s amazing how frozen food all looks the same
When it’s covered in crystals of ice
One lot of gloop looks like another
Was it something disgusting or nice?

Did I really freeze two spoonfuls of fried rice?
Are these pork sausages or somebody’s fingers?
There’s curry stains on the side of the boxes
It’s yellow and the smell of it lingers.

It was when I got down to the bottom
When I got past the things that were mere filler
That I began to have some tiny regrets
About my previous life as a serial killer

The hands, the feet and the arms
Were well wrapped up as a disguise
Was that somebody’s nose and their ears?
Was that a skull with still-frozen eyes?

A leg and piece of somebody’s back
A few ribs, a couple of kidneys and a liver
I only barely remember cutting the guy up
The blood must have flowed like a river

Still, I can’t be bothering with that now
There’s no way of getting around it
I’ll just do what everyone else does
And stuff it all back in where I found it!


Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Lamb & Apricot Stew


Recipe for: LAMB & Apricot Stew

Ingredients:

·        2 tblsp olive oil
·        250-500g stewing lamb, cubed (or use beef)
·        1 onion, thinly sliced
·        1 garlic clove, chopped
·        1 tblsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
·        2 tsp mixed Eastern spice mix e,g. garam masala
·        1 tblsp tomato puree
·        5-10 dried apricots, halved
·        300ml veg or chicken stock

Method:

1.      In a medium casserole heat the oil and brown the cubed lamb, in batches if necessary.  Set aside
2.      Add onion, garlic & ginger & fry for five minutes until softened & golden
3.      Add spice mix, tomato puree, apricots & stock
4.      Return the browned meat cubes to the pan
5.      Simmer gently for 25 – 40 minutes until meat is tender (longer for beef)

What else you need to know:

1.      Serve with cous-cous, mint and lemon wedges


Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Cactus


Cactus

I’ve never really understood you
Or known what you might want
You just sit there year after year, implacably the same
Never growing or shrinking
Your pale green flesh all sheeny shiny
Bristling with hairs and spikes
A defensive exterior
Always showing to the world

But do you have a tender side to your prickly nature?
Is there a more succulent inner plant
That is cool and moist, sweet and gentle
Wet and watery
That you reveal to your very closest friends?

I confess I don’t know how to love you
When you just stare straight back at me
No signal of your feelings, nor flower of happiness
You give me so little response
That I often wonder
What it is it you’re waiting for

To me, you seem so undemanding
As if you do not even need me
I cannot comprehend your desires
Sitting in your arid pot and saucer
Happy in your desert dryness
Thriving on my neglect

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

A Doll's House


A Doll’s House       
                                       
Observe the finest detail
Of this perfect, tiny, tidy showcase
Everything in its rightful place
Sitting silently
Waiting for someone larger than life itself
To call, to come and play
To bring activity and energy
Into this lifeless land

See how carefully the maker has toiled
How exactly his model replicates reality
With its inter-connected rooms
Its attics, basements and cellars
Doors and floors, halls and walls
A side that opens to the outside
Revealing to wider inspection
That anyone may peer inside
With a genial God-like presence
And watch the goings-on
Of this toy-land territory
Made in matchless miniature

Look how finely-wrought the furniture
The kitchen’s pixie pots and pans
Woollen carpets and silver cutlery
Notice how small the figures
Stiffened little people
Tiny tokens of a household
Scaled-down and smaller than any doll
But still too large to be in right proportion
To the rest of their wooden world

How beautiful, how ideal it all appears
And yet how quiet, dusty and dormant
And how empty this small community
Undisturbed by cries of living children
A shining showpiece
That is a house and yet not a home

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2020