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Saturday, 31 October 2015



It’s that bloody time of year again
But I can’t be doing with modern Halloween
I mean - all this trick-or-treating
What on earth’s it all supposed to mean?

It’s them damned Americans again -
It makes me want to grieve.
To them it’s just a marketing plot,
When it should be All Hallows’ Eve!

It’s a Celtic or Pagan thing,
About the turning of the year,
The darkness of the coming Winter,
And about the banishment of fear.

Since when did we need plastic costumes?
Of spiders, skeletons and witches?
Just so that supermarket chains
Could add to their existing pile of riches?

I’m not bothered about the pumpkins,
Carved as Jack-o-lanterns, but good grief!
Can’t we stop all this talk of haunting,
And get back to good old mischief?

It’s the end of harvest and summer time,
The Winter solstice, the land’s no longer green,
So let’s forget talk of spooks and pranks,
And give us back our Halloween!

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

A Self-Assembly Apology

A Self-Assembly Apology

There have been rather too many so-called apologies published in the national press lately.  Apart from many of them appearing to be somewhat insincere and self-serving, after a while a lot of them start to sound very much the same.  Therefore, in the interests of efficiency and reusability, here is an apology that you can build yourself from a set of standard components.

These instructions are sponsored by IKEA.

1.       Firstly check that your Apology Pack contains all the components and quantities shown on the enclosed leaflet, and that you have all the requisite personal tools to attempt this Apology.  These include:
o   self-confidence in your position,
o   3mm of unjustified Arrogance and
o   2 pints of Crocodile Tears (not supplied);
2.       Begin by inserting the two standard grovelling paragraphs in the space provided;
3.       Connect these to the Blaming Supply-Chain module in Section 7;
4.       Unscrew Paragraph 2 and insert the thin, grovelling-passage about customer loyalty.  NOTE: Take care not to get these two paragraphs confused;
5.       Remove paragraph 4 and insert diagonally into the horizontal plane;
6.       Slot Justification A into Apology G, and Excuse B firmly into the upper part of Explanation J;
7.       Continue to screw the message into your customers until it will not go any further.  Do not over-tighten;
8.       Slide this into the rear of paragraph 9;
9.       Replace all verbs throughout the half-assembled Apology using the packet of patronising adjectives provided (not provided);
10.   Whilst firmly holding up two fingers, grasp the issue by the horns, and with a single deft movement, take the piss out of anyone who does not match up evenly with the statement in paragraph 5;
11.   Add three of the bald-faced Spurious Facts to the Apology.  Ensure that they are fitted underneath the Main Statement, so that they do not show clearly.  If necessary, use an Asterisk (not supplied).  In exceptional cases, use a special Double Asterisk (which are available from specialist punctuation suppliers);
12.   Attach the glossy Government Department Report to section 7, but ensure that it does not interfere with paragraphs 3 & 4;
13.   If required, you may now paint the Apology with a layer of greasy, non-stick Platitude.  Alternatively a simple coat of oily Disingenuity may be preferred;
14.   Finally, stand the Apology upright to see whether it falls over.  If necessary, adjust the Straight Lie in the top left-hand corner until it balances again;
15.   After this, if the Apology does not work properly, please return it with all the packaging to the over-rated Ad Agency you bought it from.  Your statutory rights are not affected.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Friday, 30 October 2015

Earl Grey Tea Bread



·         275g mixed fruit or sultanas
·         300ml strong black Earl Grey tea
·         60g soft brown sugar
·         Zest of one orange or lemon
·         2 large eggs
·         275g plain flour
·         2 ½ tsp baking powder
·         1 tsp ground ginger
·         ½ tsp ground cinnamon
·         ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
·         ¼ tsp salt


1.       Grease & line 2lb/ 900g loaf tin
2.       Heat oven to 170C/ 160C fan/ 335F, gas 3 ½
3.       Put dried fruit in a saucepan with the tea, bring to the boil & simmer for one minute
4.       Add sugar and zest, stirring to dissolve, and set aside to cool
5.       In a separate large bowl mix the flour & spices
6.       Beat the two eggs lightly in a separate small bowl
7.       Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl & mix carefully
8.       Tip/ spoon the mixture into the loaf tin & smooth the top gently
9.       Bake for 50-55 minutes, testing with s skewer that the loaf is cooked through
10.    Remove and cool in the tin for ten minutes, before lifting out onto wire rack.

What else you need to know:

1.       Slice and butter thickly & eat with a cup of (Earl Grey) tea.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

An Imaginary Walk With David Bowie

An (Imaginary) Walk With David Bowie

The valley falls away beneath our feet
The path feels coarse and crumbling, rough stones underfoot
We have to watch our step, yet he seems to find it easy going
As he capers and prances along beside me
His puckish face alight with the possibility of mischief

The dark hills shelter the incoming rain-clouds
Yet this crack’d actor, now in his golden years,
Simply scampers along, over the stiles and through the gates
As we wander with purpose from station to station
His androgynous form somewhat at odds with his surroundings

The muddy fields gradually slow our progress
I’m feeling unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed
Yet David, the prettiest star, seems un-bothered
By the gathering storm, the changes in the landscape
And the sound and vision of sweeping rain

And soon the moon emerges
Its light catching the spangles and sparkles
In his Ziggy Stardust lycra body-suit
And the glint of his mischievous smile
A man who fell to Earth, a space oddity
A starman stranded on our planet

I’m deathly tired, and I stumble on the footpath
And still this wild-eyed boy from Freecloud
Is full of energy, and nothing but supportive
“Better hang on to yourself” he says
Or “let’s dance!” as he pirouettes in front of me

I stare ahead, irresolute to reach our goal
But he’s looking at the stars, wondering if there’s life on Mars
A thin white duke, a laughing gnome, a rock n’ roll suicide
Major Tom, the Jean genie, the man who sold the world
Less than a rebel, rebel, but more a lad insane

I feel too low, I have not half his energy
So I pursue our direction through the downward dale
And I wonder if he’s really there
Or some figment of a tired mind
Some temporary imagining, an occasional dream

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Emergency Poet

Emergency Poet 

It’s not easy being a poet you know
Sometimes your powers can wane
You start feeling the strain, as you bang out another refrain
I know it’s difficult to believe
As you see me here reciting my verse
But sometimes it feels like a curse
It’s easy to become rather terse
And when things start going really badly
It’s time for medical help, to call in the nurse

It started quite gradually for me, I noticed my verse was turning quite free
But the problem wasn’t obvious to see, I wondered what the hell it could be
My limericks were….lacking, my sonnets were….sickly
My ballads were… just bollocks, my couplets just wouldn’t couple
My quatrains came out queasy, and it was no longer so easy
Lyrics and haikus became mangled, my epics and epitaphs all entangled
My rhythms all rambling and strangled

It was then that I fell, into a villanelle from hell
I forgot all the parameters, for iambic pentameters
You should have seen, the state of my Alexandrine
Each sestina could have been keener, and my cadences cleaner
My metre was a mess, and soon I confess
That my long lyrical canto sounded like something from panto

I couldn’t carry on at that time, I’d lost my powers of rhyme
I’d finally arrived at the point to know it, I felt that I must owe it to myself
To call on the Emergency Poet….
So I called one night after nine…the number was… Line, Line, Line
After waiting with some frustration
I got through and had my consultation

She seemed to know the problem at once
Made me feel like a poetic dunce
She said I was over-tired and run down
No wonder I was rhyming like a clown!
To keep me from depression and wallowing
She prescribed treatments as following…
Starting with an exercise of blank verse, but nothing too taxing at first
My diet consisted of a little thin doggerel, to be written twice in each day
Then to try a quick clerihew, don’t mind if I do, just one or two
She said in this gentle mode, I could work up to an ode
Until some new verses flowed
Then she’d be willing to bet, I could manage a sestet

So the moral of this saga is clear:
If your stanzas turn queer, get treatment, don’t fear
Drink plenty of beer
And if you liked this saga – then give us cheer!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

No Nudes Is Good Nudes

No Nudes Is Good Nudes

There are many consequences to see,
But very few people I’m willing to bet,
Who foresaw the downfall of Playboy,
Because of the filth on the Internet.

It seems that you’re only one click away,
From any images you’re craving to see,
So there’s no longer very much point
Publishing “lad mags” or even Page Three.

The models will be covering up,
No longer removing their kit -
Just some provocative poses,
No longer revealing a tit.

It’s the end of a publishing era,
And I’m prepared to confess it myself,
No more furtive trips to the newsagents,
To peruse what’s on the top shelf

What was once a schoolboy’s hasty purchase,
Into the satchel, then down to the park,
Giving it large to all the other lads there,
Trying to be casual, just a bit of a lark.

Pretending to read all the articles,
All grown up and looking quite bold,
Flicking past the scantily-clad poses,
Focusing upon the large centre-fold.

Funny how the staple was always in the wrong place,
But it didn’t stop our glances from lingering,
How every copy became so well-thumbed,
From our over-enthusiastic fingering.

The dreams and wishes of young minds,
Were from education and studies torn.
Our hormonal moods, satisfied by a few nudes,
And by a cheap mag full of soft porn.

But that was all a long time ago,
An age of innocence, I confess:
Our sex education completed,
By a few girlies in a state of undress.

And things have moved on a bit now.
For these mags they’re building a pyre,
But it’s technology, not attitudes,
That are killing Hugh Hefner’s empire.
You see it’s no longer about smut and filth,
At least that’s my understanding -
It’s got nothing to do with mags or with bunnies -
These days it’s all about global branding.

Publishing content is big business,
It’s not about daring, nor about joy,
So let’s all say “thanks for the mammaries”
And wave a fond farewell to Playboy.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Beef Broth & Dumplings

Recipe for: BEEF BROTH (with dumplings)

This is a great Autumn/ Winter warming recipe that's good for several days.


  • 1lb (or more) of lean stewing or braising steak, cubed into bite-size pieces
  • Large onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ swede, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 4-6 oz peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2-4 oz red lentils
  • Beef stock cube

  1. in a large heavy pan or casserole, put a pint of water on to boil.  Crumble in the stock cube and throw in the lentils
  2. as the liquid is coming up to the boil, throw in the onions, swede, carrots, potatoes & the steak
  3. once up to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer & skim off any scum which rises to the surface
  4. cover & cook very gently for a couple of hours.  The lentils should become so soft that they become part of the liquid, help to thicken it,
  5. when the broth is almost ready, add the peas & cook until tender
  6. adjust seasoning with salt & pepper
  7. if using dumplings (see other recipe), drop them into the simmering liquid and cover with a lid, cooking for about 20 minutes, until the dumplings have fluffed up
  8. serve in large soup bowls
 What else you need to know:

  1. this dish is actually better if you make it one day, then let it cool and heat it up the next day
  2. it gets even better if you keep it going for a few days – make a double quantity to start with, then keep topping up with extra hot water, another stock cube, fresh vegetable etc as you deplete the quantity by eating it.  The sauce thickens, matures & gets more depth.
  3. you can add other veggies if you want – celery, courgette, tomato, mushroom – it doesn’t really matter – use your imagination!
  4. it also works with chicken, but add later in the process & cook for a shorter period
  5. great with dumplings or a floury baked potato

Sunday, 25 October 2015

News From Bromham - Sunday 25th October 2015

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 25th October 2015
Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       A row has broken out in the Parish Council regarding proposed changes to Carrot Credits.  Poor families who do not earn enough through cabbage-collecting have, until now, been entitled to claim a brassica top-up payment, although subject parsnip duty.  However, in future, courgette-cutting will be taken into account, which may result in some families being worse off, unless they are also claiming artichoke allowance.

2.       And today, Sunday, saw the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Bromham Beanfield, when a ramshackle bunch of badly-deformed English runner-bean pickers from ye olde hamlet of “Bromehame” routed a rowdy collection of French bean-planters.  The men of Bromham were out-numbered but, due to their superior skills, discipline and training, were able to gather more beans per acre than their continental cousins.  The French have been sulking ever since.  The event will be marked by a special service at the bean memorial on the High Street, followed by the traditional drinking of English beer at The Wounded Ferret, and the singing of the traditional unofficial anthem “Jerusalem Artichoke”.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Shrinking Congregation

Shrinking Congregation

I watch with some puzzlement
As our local vicar modifies his church
He’s closed down the meeting rooms
And he’s had his pulpit made a smaller size
Now he’s installed much smaller pews
And he’s had the stained-glass windows lowered
And, with the bishop’s stern approval,
The altar’s on a lower table than it was
I enquired about these modifications
So he confided to me in a recent conversation
He says he’s dealing with a shrinking congregation

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Friday, 23 October 2015



When approaching the checkout at Morrisons
There’s an anxiety that grips me
It’s not, I confess, whether I have “Five items or less”
Nor the grammatical skewer
To know whether it should be “Five items or fewer”

No, it’s deeper form of worry, that causes the sudden flurry
Of bone-chilling angst and anxiety
You see shopping in Waitrose
Doesn’t get up your nose
That’s how it goes
And, if I may be so bold,
That’s what you’re told, so you’re exit is usually bold
When you’re Never Knowingly Undersold

And at Asda and Aldi’s there’s no fiddle
Nor attempt to diddle, when you’re shopping at Lidl
Even Sainsbury’s no riddle
But back here at the Morrison’s conveyor
I’m stopped from being much gayer
I’m a dithering, nervous payer
With my Match N’ More loyalty card
My enjoyment is marred
I’m quite on my guard, the calculation’s too hard
I feel uncertainty in my joints
Perspiration my face anoints, as I calculate my points
Hoping the till will correctly count
Special offers, as the totals gradually mount
Towards my overall discount

I need my bargains - I’m no toff
I’m forced to a cough, if I don’t get my BOGOF
When I pay my bill, waiting there at the till
It’s not my intention
To cause the queue a detention
But I just thought that I’d mention
This disquiet, this tension
That it might have been cheaper at Tesco
Perhaps I should change, switch where I go
For as any fool know
Every Little Helps

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

We need to talk about hair
The stuff that covers the human body
The stuff that everyone knows
From the tops of our heads to (in some cases) the tops of our toes
That’s how it generally goes
Yes, we need to talk about hair
The stuff that can be dark or oftentimes fair
Of how it goes in a cycle through life
With little to start with when we’re born
Then growing and sprouting and flourishing
So we spend fortunes on shampoos
And conditioners for nourishing
Cutting and styling and shaping
Plucking and singeing and shaving
We’ve developed the knack
For back, sack and crack
A devious desire to dazzle
Perhaps even a cheeky vajazzle
In an orgy of depilation
A whole industry that’s addressing
Our copious needs for hair-dressing

But that’s only the upward trajectory
Of hair’s growth and our vanity
Before the onset of insanity
As towards old age we’re spinning
When fading and falling and thinning
Create a look that’s no longer winning
But that’s what happens up on the head
You start losing it faster instead
And also down there below
You’ll find it’s starting to go

But there’s an exception to this general moulting
That some find personally revolting
When the orifices of the head
Start to take over instead
For there can be no doubting
About the range of new sprouting
A new flourishing that fills
The eyebrows, the ears and the nostrils
But I’m willing to bet
It’s not finished yet
It’s just the same hair that you get
Simply looking for a new outlet

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015



You can see I’m not the youngest of men,
And getting older’s one of Nature’s laws,
But I was amazed to find that this state,
Has a name – and it’s the Andropause!

I thought “bloody hell! It’s named after me!”
And apparently it happens to males,
So here I am in my (ahem) early fifties,
Hanging on to youth by my finger-nails!

I thought I’d better get on and take action,
To counter the loss of libido and sterility,
Between my mid-life and Alzheimers,
And to get back some of my virility.

Now I’m a Man Behaving Badly,
Re-stating what it is to be male -
I’ve started learning guitar and the uke,
And I’m growing my hair for a pony-tail.

The mountain-bike is order,
And, cos I don’t want to look like a Charley
I’m going to get me a motor-bike,
Which, of course, will be a Harley.

That’s what I’ll ride in good weather,
But I’ll need something cooler of course,
So I’ve been round to the dealers,
I’ll soon take delivery of my new Porsche.

I’m having my ear piercing tomorrow,
To show you all that I’m one of the few
And, to complete the picture, next week,
I’m going in for my very first tattoo.

Then I’ll wear my baseball cap with pride,
Pulling it down low over my eyelids.
I might have to have some work done there,
But I’m determined to get down with the kids.

You see it’s not all testosterone and Viagra,
And I say this without any compunction,
There’s more ways than hormone treatment
To ward off erectile dysfunction.

No – the hot flushes and flashes,
The irritability and sterility can wait -
There’s a lot more to be worried about,
Such as the state of my prostate.
I may be losing my hair and my marbles,
Gradual decline may be a part of the story,
But I’m determined to hang on to my manhood,
And go out in a grand blaze of glory.

You see some of it may be biological,
But it’s psychological, to tell you the truth,
I’m a grumpy old man, sporting a fake tan,
And I’m trying to hang on to my youth.

So you can all look at me and laugh,
As you sit there with your slack jaws,
But I won’t be the one who’s declining -
I’m off to defeat the Manopause.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015



The spade bit harshly through the surface
Turning back the earth-dry crust
Revealing a peatier blackness beneath
The gash growing wider as I worked the ground

I hit the damned thing hard enough
Discordant ring of metal hitting metal
A solid and unyielding object
Jarring wrist and knee
Provoking curses

Dirt-encrusted, I pulled it free
Disengaged it from the soil that had clasped it close interred
Abandoned, or lost, long ago
The jagged, rusted surface harsh against my fingers
Bent out of shape, nail-impaled, its holes clogged and solid
Yet still a horseshoe

And I thought about the foot that had held it
The living flesh upon the hoof
The toe, the quarter, the heel
The tendons, ligaments and tissues
The keratin structure that had met the metal
The weight borne upon the limb
The cornified material that meant that man
Might ride upon his back, or give him the grip required
To let him pull the cart or plough
And how he must have worked upon this ground
Toiled to earn his daily oats

And I saw the farrier in the blacksmith’s yard
The hot-bellowed forge-fire behind him
The anvil, the pincers and the hammer
The nippers and the knife, the clincher and the rasp
His protective leather apron spread between his legs
And the sweat beaded upon his brow
The breadth of his mighty shoulders
As he sought to pull the horse
To where he wanted him

But now this long-buried artefact
This damaged, crumpled crescent
Is but a modern curiosity, residue of a different world
An age of hard rustic labour
An old talismanic, folkloric object
That might symbolise good luck
Or at least provide a welcome break
From the back-breaking task of digging

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Sunday, 18 October 2015

News From Bromham - Sunday 18th October 2015

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 18th October 2015
Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       As fast as Bromham closes one border against the inflow of unwelcome immigrants from war-torn surrounding villages, it seems another comes under pressure.  Leader of the Parish Council, Dave Wentwrong, said that he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  “After all,” he said, ”we’ve agreed to allow in five people over the next ten years as it is, which is a measured and appropriate response.  However, it just shows what a wonderful place Bromham really is – everybody wants to come here!  So that’s all good then! Huzzah!”

2.       Great excitement at the Bromham Broadcasting Company (BBC) this week, as contestants in the hit show “Strictly Come Skiving” came to terms with some of the more difficult routines, including Twine-Baler Modelling, Floodlit Radish-Planting,  Naked Mangel-Sculpting, and the fiendishly-difficult One-Handed Carrot-Pulling.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Medlar Honey

Recipe for: MEDLAR HONEY


  • 1.5 to 2 kg firm, unbletted, medlars, straight from the tree
  • 1 kg preserving sugar

  1. wash, then chop all the medlars roughly (skin, seeds & all)
  2. place in a heavy pan & cover with water
  3. bring to the boil, then simmer till completely mushy
  4. tip everything into a jelly bag & leave everything to drip into a bowl overnight
  5. next day, measure the (cloudy) juice & return to the (clean) pan
  6. add an equal amount of sugar, stirring until it dissolves, then boil rapidly until setting point  – is reached, which should take about 35-40 minutes
  7. pot up into clean, warm, sterilised jars
  8. cool, seal & label
 What else you need to know:

  1. medlars are generally low in pectin, so it’s quite hard to get a proper set
  2. if it sets, it’s jelly (spread on toast)
  3. if it doesn’t set, it’s honey (serve with ice cream or yoghurt)
  4. either way it’s delicious, so don’t worry about it

Friday, 16 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Finding That The Toilet Is Leaking

On finding that the toilet is leaking:

So sorry to hear your terrible news:
It’s never fun to have a leaking loo.
You’ll just have to hold it for a bit,
Before you’re able to pass your number two

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Being Caught Shoplifting

On being caught shoplifting:

Well you’ve really gone and done it now!
Whatever were you thinking?
Being caught red-handed like that -
I suppose you must have been drinking?

And now you’ll be up before the beak,
To answer for what it was you did,
But if you’ve got any of that whiskey left,
I’ll take it off your hands for twenty quid.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Forgetting To Take Your Medication (Again)

On forgetting to take your medication (again):

You are a silly old duffer!
You’ve forgotten to take your pills -
Now you’ll get those dizzy spells,
And be beset by aches and chills.

So take a double dose tomorrow -
Let’s just hope it’s not too late -
You might get quite a kick that way,
And find that you hallucinate!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Becoming The Longest-Serving UK Monarch

On becoming the longest-serving UK monarch

At last you’ve made it to sixty-three years -
I think you’ve earned your golden badge -
For regal services to the nation,
So jolly well done, Your Maj!

You’ve enjoyed the most wonderful health,
With a constitution that never fails,
And the support of all your family
Well – all except the Prince of Wales!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Your First Visit to the Urology Department

On the occasion of your first visit to the Urology Department :

Best of luck visiting the hospital -
You’ll be better soon, you’ll see.
Don’t forget to arrive with a full bladder,
Cos it’ll help them to take the pee.

Just relax and take things easy,
Try and maintain a mood that’s mellow -
You’ll find it easier to give a sample -
Let’s just hope it’s not green, but yellow.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Sunday, 11 October 2015

News From Bromham - Dateline Sunday 11th October 2015

Bulletin From Bromham: Dateline – Sunday 11th October 2015
Here is our weekly round-up of events from Bromham:

1.       The scandal involving the Village Watercress (VW) is set to spread. It now appears that, in independent tests, the nutrition benefits of eating large quantities of the vegetable may have been exaggerated.  People eating the stuff in real life have not been blessed, as claimed, with good digestion, clear skin and greater intelligence, but instead with flatulence, loss of libido and mange.  Vast quantities of carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts are now set to be recalled in an attempt to avoid class-action suits from disgruntled vegetarians.  Meat and fish-eaters were said to be unaffected by the scandal, but subject to a certain amount of smugness.

2.       The Social Secretary of the Field Land-Owners Party (FLOP), Theresa “Might” Piglet made a speech to the Parish Council on Thursday.  In what has been described as a “divisive” speech, she claimed that incomers to the Village were causing havoc to the racial and genetic purity of the place.  In the Enoch Powell “Rivers Of Blood” Memorial Lecture, Ms Piglet warned that traditional “Bromham Values” were being compromised, and that the future of the Bromham Institute For The Terminally In-Bred was being put at risk.

3.       For details of these and all other Bromham stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station Carrot FM.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Getting Your First Tattoo

On being old & getting your first tattoo:

So you’ve finally taken the plunge -
It was something you just had to do.
You’re finally getting down with the kids,
And getting your very first tattoo.

It’s a step that’s irrevocable,
So do your research careful and well -
There’s nothing worse than an ink artist,
Who hasn’t got the faintest how to spell!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Friday, 9 October 2015

Greetings Cards - On Returning From Your First New Age Retreat

On returning from your first New Age retreat:

Welcome home again, old thing
It’s good to see you in the flesh all pinky
Years have fallen from your features
Your skin is smoother and less wrinkly!

Welcome back to meat and chocolate
Let your hair down, and have a flirt
There’s much more to life than muesli
And yurts, and yoga, and pro-biotic yoghurt!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Greeting Cards - On Having To Pay 5p For A Plastic Carrier

On having to pay 5p for a plastic carrier:

It’s so nice that you can do your bit
Supporting the environment’s fantastic
To make you think about re-useability
Rather than simply using plastic

But there’s one thing bothering me
A problem that we must take in hand
If they’re charging now for carriers
Can they still call it Poundland?

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Greeting Cards - On Realising You're Driving A Diesel

On realising you’re driving a diesel:

Oh my God how awful!
VW are speaking like a weasel
They’ve been cheating on the tests
And sold you a sodding diesel!

I’ll bet you’re as mad as mad can be
And furious that you’ve been taken in
It doesn’t matter what your engine type
It seems that you just can’t win!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Watchers Of The Skies

In the light of Edward Snowden's latest revelations that US & UK spy agencies can remotely eavesdrop on mobile conversations, switch phones on & off, switch on microphones and advanced GPS trackers.....

Watchers Of The Skies

Someone, somewhere wants to know
What we’re getting up to
Our access, our codes and security
Our secrets and confidences
The bits and the bytes and the bleeps
The residue that gives us away
Tracking us through online DNA
To follow the digital trail
Of our electronic footprints
Through the blizzard of data

They’re tapping and taping
Wireless communications
Intercepting the signals
Listening to the chaff and the chatter
Clocking our clicks
Scraping our screens
And capturing our keystrokes
Deep-mining the datasets
Following our every move
Wherever we go
Our emails and calls
Our texts and our tweets
Interested in whatever we do
Whatever we’re looking at
Whichever the websites
And whoever we’re talking to

And who are these spooks and these spies
In their dubious agencies
And non-existent departments
Focusing their prism upon our lives
With their online surveillance?
What is the intelligence they seek?
The knowledge they need to keep us all safe?
The mandate they work to?
And who are the masters they answer to
So unaccountable and unreachable?
Are these the same people
Who seek to calm us with platitudes
And tell us that we have nothing to fear?

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015

Monday, 5 October 2015

Not Romeo And Juliet

Not Romeo and Juliet

She said it was more than the romance of a moment
Not just a school-girl’s crush
But something deep and meaningful
A relationship built over the months
Of the terms and the holidays

She knew she was young, and this was her first
The only time she’d ever been in love
But he’d smiled at her and marked her work less harshly
So she’d calmed down in the class-room
And started to take more notice

And he’d been understanding and kind
Flattered by her girlish attentions
And he’d talked to her when she needed a friend
Found her crying at the end of a school-trip
And held her hand on the way home

And she said she pretended to forget things
When she went home at the end of the day
And had to go back to find them
Just to be alone with him for a moment
And lay her confidences before him

She thought that the texts, the emails and messages
Must have begun at that time
Soon turning from friendly to flirty
Till they fell for each other in a bad way
In a fond flurry of foolishness

And trysting as lovers in hidden locations
To shield their passion from friends
Made their secret seem somehow star-cross’d
Beautiful, romantic and sentimental
Something that others would not understand

But he knew that he was far too old to play Romeo
That he had betrayed his position of trust
And that she shouldn’t, couldn’t be his Juliet
Yet he still ran off with her to Paris
To start a new life on the run

And now there’s a sad little court case
To try and sort out this love tragedy
And everyone’s crying
They should have both known
That it would all end in tears

 Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2015