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Sunday, 21 July 2019

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 21st July 2019

Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 21st July 2019

Here is our weekly round-up of events from D-Town:

1.      Celebrations have continued around the town throughout the week to mark the 50th anniversary of the mission to send an exploratory probe to a far-distant place, an arid landscape, devoid of life-giving oxygen, turned away from the Sun, and having absolutely no atmosphere.  The mission was carried out by three brave men in a modified milk-float, on a return journey that lasted for several days through a vast empty void.  Yet today we take TrowVegas almost for granted.  We forget that, back in those days in the 1960s, it was a total alien and misunderstood place.  Nowadays people think nothing of getting on the 49 bus route, abusing the driver, and trying to avoid paying the fare.  Happy days.

2.      And in a remarkable finish to last week-end’s North Wiltshire Cricket (Germolene League South) one-day cup competition, The Vize finally won something at this amazing sport. Needing 127 runs off the last over, and with the last two batsmen at the crease, it looked as if The Vize would be disappointed yet again.  But by some miracle of six-hitting, several mis-fields, 93 over-throws, one leg-bye and a partridge in a pear tree, the town finally won a trophy.  No real sports fans were affected by this piece of sporting history.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Love Is On The Cards

Love Is On The Cards

They say that love is a wonderful thing
That the pursuit of one’s life’s desire
Possesses all the thrill of the chase
And that passion can light one’s fire

But it’s never quite as simple as that
In real life it’s just not the same
And it’s rarely a case of conquest
More like a difficult card-game

It depends upon the cards you’ve been dealt
And how skilfully you play your hand
The odds are usually stacked against you
And chances run through your fingers like sand

This is exactly what happened to me
When I suffered love’s piercing dart
How I pursued the woman I loved
And I should say at the start
That she was no common tart
The lady who’d stolen every part
Of my loudly beating Heart

I felt that she was my Diamond
A girl I’d seen down at the pub
But here is the rub
Of the matter the nub
For in this social hub
I wasn’t even in the Club!

I met her in the arcade
In my finery all arrayed
I really fancied that jade
But my hope had started to fade
My suit wasn’t made
For several drinks I had paid
But when she spoke she bade
Me to get lost
Bury myself – take your own Spade!

I’d made a mess of the case
Hadn’t even reached first base!
I’d lost plenty of face
Before I’d started the race
I’d failed in the chase!
This was really not Ace

I’d tried her praises to sing
But she was soon on the wing
I wasn’t really her thing
No chance of her wearing my ring
I’d only wanted to be her King

Oh how foolish I’d been!
Of her heart I’d never be dean
It could clearly be seen
I knew what this would mean
She’d never be my Queen

Of love-making I hadn’t the knack
In the queue I was at the back
Of success there was a lack
My emotions on the rack
She’d given me the sack
My amour had started to crack
My mood had become black
Just another card in the pack
And I was left on my Jack

I’d worked quite hard
To play my court card
But in the game of love’s poker
I was now merely the Joker!

I’d taken the wrong route
I’d thought I was quite cute
(Though that point is quite moot)
But she’d given me the boot
In pleading my suit

The situation was crap
My heart had gone Snap
You could say it was quite Rummy
That my love-life was crummy
I was feeling a wreck
I was down on the deck

I never did Find The Lady
My lead had been bumped
I should never have jumped
I’d not even started, just been dumped
And in the end I hadn’t the answer –
I’d been Trumped!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019

Friday, 19 July 2019

Watch Batteries Fitted Here

Watch Batteries Fitted Here

I was having a grand day out
Wandering round the market one morn
When I spotted the stall-holder’s notice
That cheered me in the cold light of dawn

“Watch batteries fitted here” it said
That’ll be grand entertainment, I thought
So I settled myself in to wait
For the first customer to be caught

It was a quiet old morning
With not many punters around
The stall-holder eyed me suspiciously
Standing there, holding my ground

“Can I help you?” he asked me forthwith
Pointing to his watches, and his time-keeping ware
His clocks, his straps and his batteries
And his paraphernalia so rare.

By now a small crowd had gathered
Anticipating the up-coming show
Waiting for someone to buy something
Fascinated by a craftsman with know-how

He was a master performer and artiste
And with a wide range of tools he was kitted
I’d say there’s no greater spectacle
Than to actually watch a battery get fitted

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Savoury Roquefort Cheesecake



·        For the base:
o   75g/ 3oz white breadcrumbs
o   40g pecorino romano or parmesan, finely grated
o   25g butter, melted
o   Freshly milled black pepper
·        For the filling:
o   3 eggs, beaten
o   225g medium-fat curd cheese
o   110g fromage frais
o   175g roquefort cheese, crumbled
o   1 tblsp fresh chives, snipped
o   4 spring onions, finely sliced
o   Salt & freshly-milled black pepper


1.      Heat oven to 180C (fan)
2.      In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs & parmesan, adding melted butter and pepper
3.      Press this mixture firmly down onto base of a 22cm springform cake tin
4.      Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp & toasted
5.      Remove from the oven and turn down to 170C
6.      In a bowl beat the eggs with curd cheese
7.      Stir in fromage frais and seasoning
8.      Add the crumbled Roquefort and snipped chives
9.      Pour the mixture into the tin on top of the crumb base
10.   Scatter spring onions on top
11.   Bake for 40-45 minutes until centre feels springy to the touch
12.   Allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing the tin
13.   Cut into wedges and serve

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Space Force

I wrote this poem last year, but it seems appropriate to bring it out again now.  In the week when we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, and man's first successful expedition to land a man on the Moon, we hear the Crazy Orange One yet again cranking up the rhetoric about "US destiny".  How different from the inspired words of JFK who set up the manned space race.  Kennedy was no saint, but he was a statesman of high calibre. Now look what we're stuck with.

Space Force

You really couldn’t make any of this up
What’s been happening just over The Pond
The orange man with the comb-over
Has announced they’re off to Mars And Beyond

The planets and stars are no longer safe
For I have it from a reliable source
They’d like to stop immigration by aliens
And they’re going to call it the Space Force

You might think it’s all Science Fiction
But it seems our human future’s sealed
For instead of peace and co-operation
They’ve already dubbed it The Next Battlefield

It’s not NASA but a military branch
They’re looking for control and conquest
Space traffic management of the best
Ordered up at their own behest
I thought it was just Trump having a jest
He couldn’t possibly be serious I’d guessed
But, no, this is no sort of test
He wants dominance for the West

Since mankind’s relatively recent birth
We’ve quickly made a mess of the Earth
Wasted resources, now there’s a dearth
Is that really all it’s worth?

Not content with buggering up this world
Committing global crimes that are heinous
They’re taking on the whole solar system
And one of the next steps is apparently Venus

Perhaps he’s been reading too many comics
And is worried about Little Green Men
Inter-galactic missiles and flying saucers
Invasion being not a matter of “if” but only of “when”

Perhaps he’s afraid when he’s sleeping at night
Perhaps he hears Martians rattling the locks
Maybe he dreams of wielding a light-sabre
To fight off the Klingons and Ewoks?

This is bonkers it’s apparent to me
Humanity working together is key
Not the Yanks dictating how it’ll be
I hope you’ll have to agree
They’re just taking the pee
In the so-called Land Of The Free
We can’t let them go over to the Dark Side
Nor go along with them just for the ride
Stick our heads in the sand and hide
We have to stand up to this warmongering tide
And let common sense be our guide
So space becomes not the Great Divide

We need exploration, scientific discovery
Making best use of whatever we find
Bringing benefits to all of humanity
Supporting the whole of mankind

Please let’s keep outer space neutral
Boldly going where no man has gone before
Our planet’s not The Final Frontier
Let’s not close that particular door

So never mind “Infinity and Beyond”
Let’s be sensible whatever we do
Thanks for listening to this rant
And “May The Force Be With You”

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Pies & Perspiration

Pies & Perspiration

Trailing rucksacks and water-bottles
They wander exhausted into the pub
Give their aching backs a solid stretch
And their cramping calves a gentle rub

They’re thirsty and they’re starving
So they can’t believe their eyes
When behind the bar they notice
A heated cabinet full of tasty pies

Drinks are bought and drunk
Then gratefully they take a seat
Grabbing cutlery and sauces
And hungrily they set to eat

It’s been a long walk getting here
Glad to have reached this town
Now the pastry crumbles as the knives go in
And the fillings soon wolfed down

The ramblers treat themselves to rest
Perspiration cooling on their brows
Soon they’ll be feeling sleepy
Their bodies hard to rouse

The room takes on a strange aroma
At first it seems to be the walkers’ desperation
But then I realise it’s more mundane -
Just a heady mix of pies and perspiration

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019

Monday, 15 July 2019

Little Fairy Circles

Little Fairy Circles

Each and every morning
As I make my way across The Green
I realise that they’ve been here again
Leaving their traces to be seen

Perfect twinkling circles
That hadn’t been there the night before
Catching the early morning sunshine
I wonder what they’re lying here for

Pizza boxes, cans and bottles
As far as the eye can see
Evidence that they walked amongst us
Arranged in perfect symmetry

What are they trying to tell us?
What strange message from the gods?
Or is it just untidy bloody teenagers
And other messy little sods?

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2019