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Wednesday, 31 January 2018



Licky, soft, and warming,
Thoughts of future pleasure.
Sticky, smooth and brown,
Velvety, melting dark treasure
To be enjoyed all alone,
In secret time of leisure.
Fudge, flake, finger,
Chocolate, by any measure.

Bar, block, biscuit,
Dark, milk or white,
Pure, solid, refined,
Hard, shiny, jewel-bright,
Fruity, nutty, whole -
Each a welcome bite.
In coffee, cake or cocoa,
Tempter in the night.

Forbidden, stolen moments,
Always finding favour,
Inexorably drawing in,
Towards the flavour.
Calling, just like a lover,
Hidden pleasures to savour.

Exotic Aztec offering,
To gilded gods high-placed:
Rare regal substance,
Ritual priestly paste,
Unrefined, bitter,
Not the modern taste.

Against medical advice,
Guilty, tempting treat,
Naughty but nice,
Oozy, boozy liqueurs:
Never need think twice,
But go to any lengths
To get the hit, beyond price.

Truffles in the box,
Let there not be any lack.
Serotonin rush,
Anti-oxidant crack,
Helping brain remain sane,
Bringing good feeling back,
Seducing the mind
Floating on aphrodisiac.

Eager anticipation
Of pleasure to come,
The fingers lingering,
To catch the last crumb,
Licking up the final drop,
Senses drowsy and dumb,
Oral organic orgasm,
Satisfied, finally numb.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Tuesday, 30 January 2018



This public passage from street to inside,
A portal into commerce,
Its shining steps, and marble facings,
Its heavy glass doors, its lobby and gaping atrium,
People in and out, coming and going,
Busy thoroughfare for business,
And those there by appointment.

Open by day, inviting, warm and welcoming,
Drawing in customers, callers and couriers,
A doorway beckoning easy entry,
Its corporate face smiling outwards into sunlight,
Beyond solid security guards standing sentry,
Later closing, and locked up for the night.

After hours it’s quiet, deserted, no longer used,
Unlit, unfrequented, darkened, but mostly dry,
The entryway blocked off at night-times,
Tall-ceilinged, an ingle in the gloom,
Reduced to a cul-de-sac,
Three sides of a room,
Sheltered from the wind, and the worst of the cold,
A personal, private dead-ended space.

Such unfashionable accommodation,
At the heart of the West End,
But welcome nevertheless:
Singles only, I’m afraid -
No mattress, no breakfast,
Bring your own bedding and towels,
Lacking any en-suite,
Early check-out on week-day mornings,
If not woken by passing feet,
Or a copper to move you along.

Regular haunt for those on the street,
A good spot if you’re in the know,
Safer than shelters or hostels,
When there’s nowhere else to go.
By first light, it’s change-over time again,
Turning back into the same old place,
Where a care-taker sweeps away the night’s rubbish,
And the building resumes its implacable face.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Monday, 29 January 2018



Yes, it’s all part of the tour,
The thing we’re doing today.
We’ll shoot to the top of the tower,
In the bullet-like elevator,
The vomit-comet, they joke,
Up to the observation deck,
For the best view of the city.
It’s only ten dollars -
Can’t miss it – what the heck!

Looking out through the windows,
Acres of armour-plated glass,
Protecting camera-toting tourists,
Who don’t think to be afraid.
It’s a matter of no moment,
To see how close they can get
To the outside world,
With its roaring wind,
And the edge of the parapet.

And for a few dollars more,
There’s more adventure out there,
Beyond the doors on the sky-deck,
Walking outside of the rails,
Or even bungee-jumping,
Into the wild blue yonder,
With just a thin safety-harness,
That will set their hearts pumping.

There’s laughing and joking,
Daring each other to look down,
Hundreds of feet to the ground,
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?
It doesn’t take any skill,
Just the bottle to defy gravity,
To stare danger in the face,
And experience the thrill.

But I’m pinned against the back wall,
Legs heavy, like jelly,
Breathing shallow and thin,
Feet clamped hard to the floor,
Convulsed by a shake,
The very idea of falling,
Plummeting earthbound,
Is more than my nerves can take.

The edge has a way of drawing me in,
Pulling my body towards it.
A total loss of control,
A force too strong to resist.
Coming up here today was an error,
My sense of balance is failing,
As I slide slowly to the floor,
Filled with feelings of terror.

Clammy hands, sweating,
Mouth and throat dry,
Trembles and shivers increasing,
Sense of balance not trusted,
Dizzy, head spinning,
I can feel myself shaken.
Stuck here, transfixed,
Hanging on to the floor,
This spot is already taken.

Get me out of here, away from this place,
Take me slowly to the earth again,
Past the chattering crowds,
The souvenirs, the momentos,
And the photograph-sellers.
Help me again to feel sound,
Till this vertigo vanishes,
The nausea passes,
And I’m back down on the ground.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 28th January 2018

Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 28th January 2018

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

1.      Cultural links are set to be extended this week as D-Town steps up its programme of reaching out to other boroughs in the County.  In an unprecedented move, the Council has agreed to lend its almost-complete set of commemorative tea-towels to Trowbridge for six months.  The move follows intense speculation on the topic, and remains subject to detailed analysis as to where the delicate fabrics are in a stable enough condition to be moved without damage.  In return Trowbridge has undertaken to lend its collection of used bus tickets dating back to the 1970s.

2.      Security has been tight in The Vize this week as the town played host to the Wiltshire Economic Forum (WEF).  A highlight of the comings and goings was the arrival on Thursday of Ronald Thump, leader of the far-right lunatic fringe from the Swindon High Imperialist Town (SHIThole), who entered the town in a fleet of aging camper vans, which were then unceremoniously parked on The Green for 24 hours, before leaving again in a flurry of dust and diesel fumes.

3.      For details of these and all other Devizes stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station D-Town F-Off.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Saturday, 27 January 2018



Collar turned up, usual style,
Clothes and hair that’s the latest,
In the best possible taste,
Fashion that’s all the rave,
That’s my modern mate Dave.

He looks a bit shifty, I guess,
A bit of a wide-boy, if I’m honest,
Thriving on ducking and diving,
But his company I always crave –
That’s my magic mate Dave.

Never sure just what he does,
Or how he makes any money,
Deceiving, bobbing and weaving.
Dismisses it all with a wave,
That’s my murky mate Dave.

He comes and he goes,
Seeing a man about a dog,
Dubious trades, not sure if they’re legal.
Fortune favours the brave:
That’s my moody mate Dave.

That’s the way he lives his life:
Trading, selling, bits of this and that,
Import, export, the usual stuff,
That’s how he’ll go to his grave -
My mysterious mate Dave.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Friday, 26 January 2018



Just off a track by the cross-roads,
Down the old lane, near the ash-trees,
On an autumn day dark and damp,
At the back of the verge, in the long grass,
A faded caravan parked up in its camp.

A horse tied up nearby, cropping the turf,
In its small circle of freedom,
Rangy, mangy and thin,
With its thick, matted coat,
Collection of bones and of skin.

At the door of the vehicle,
Insolently staring, unsmiling.
Stands a pinched, dirty-faced child.
Watches as we walk past her home,
With the look of a creature run wild.

Thin, tattered clothes on the wash-line,
A twist of smoke from the chimney,
At the back, one broken wheel,
Roof that’s seen better days,
And paint-work starting to peel.

No pretty picture postcard,
This scene of rough rural life,
No romantic tale to be told,
But a cramped, hard life on the road,
A struggle against damp and the cold.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Apple, Oat & Banana Loaf



·        3 large eggs, lightly beaten
·        200g olive oil
·        200g natural yoghurt
·        50g maple syrup
·        2 ripe bananas, peeled & mashed
·        1 red apple, grated
·        1 small carrot, peeled & grated
·        250g wholemeal spelt flour
·        3 tsp baking powder
·        ½ tsp salt
·        50g quick-cook porridge oats
·        75g soft brown sugar
·        ½ tsp grated nutmeg
·        ½ tsp ground cinnamon
·        100g raisins or sultanas
·        50g mixed seeds
·        50g chopped walnuts


1.      Heat oven to 190C/ fan 180C/ 375F/ gas 5
2.      Grease two one-litre loaf tins & line with greaseproof paper
3.      In a bowl, whisk eggs into olive oil
4.      Whisk in the yoghurt, maple syrup, banana, apple and carrot
5.      In another large bowl sift in the flour, baking powder & salt
6.      Add the oats, sugar, spices, raisins, seeds & nuts
7.      Fold in all the stuff from the wet bowl
8.      Spoon mixture into the tins so that they are two-thirds full
9.      Smooth the tops & scatter with extra seeds
10.   Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden, and a skewer comes out clean
11.   Leave in tins to cool for 5 minutes, then remove & transfer to wire rack
12.   (optionally) when cool, brush with a little extra maple syrup

What else you need to know:

1.      Best eaten within two days

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

A Long Coffee

A Long Coffee

Hands clasped round her coffee mug,
She sits, but rarely drinking,
Staring into middle distance,
Detached, distracted, thinking.
In front of her the sugar sachets:
Three of white, and three of brown,
Placed in defensive formation,
Mirror of her worried frown.

Each drink maybe lasts an hour,
While she loiters and she lingers,
Waiting for the hours just to pass her by,
Teaspoon twirled in twisting fingers.
Alerted by the door, she glances up,
Checking the face of every stranger,
Then sinking back into her reveries,
Relieved she’s not in any danger.

She has precious little money,
Neither cakes or biscuits she can choose.
She’s read the newspapers through and through,
Waded through the gossip-column news.
It’s just something else to pass the time,
It’s the same thing every boring day,
And, with a tacit understanding,
The manager now just lets her stay.

He doesn’t want to get involved,
And, although she’s never said so,
He can see how she’s likely fixed,
That she has nowhere else to go.
She’s anonymous, a total no-one,
A cipher, a shadow, never making sound,
Avoiding any lasting eye-contact,
Blending with the faceless back-ground.

Making patterns on the table,
The same routine, killing off the dead time,
Reflecting on her empty life,
As if being friendless were a sort of crime.
She stares out through the window,
Watching the world as it wanders past.
Then buys yet another coffee,
To see how long she can make it last.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Lady Gail

The Lady Gail

Walking along the footway,
A path carried over a ridge,
Looking down at the old waterway,
From high, on top of the bridge.
Spying the weathered old barge,
Tethered to stakes at the edge,
The ropes twisted and tight,
Between the reeds and the sedge.
Thin metal chimney poked through the roof,
Emitting a steady smoke plume,
From the stove near the stern,
The thin galley, a shortage of room.

With fine, faded old artwork,
The reds, the greens and the blues,
Artful, intricate pictures,
Golds, yellows, several hues.
This girl had been beautiful once,
Though her paint had turned pale.
Now low, and snug in the water,
An old vessel, “The Lady Gail”.
Well-travelled, an itinerant,
Good body, mellowed face,
Wandering the waterways,
Moving on from place to place.

For days she moored there quietly,
Majestic, as if lying in state,
Resting her bones in the water,
Waiting, down near the lock-gate.
Then one day, towpath all covered in ice,
A space by the bank newly appeared:
The Lady Gail had slipped her mooring,
Just as I’d expected and feared.
No sign of her in either direction,
Her stay with us turned into history.
The cold water sadly deserted,
Her next destination a mystery.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Monday, 22 January 2018



Driving home, cold winter night,
Dank, dark, snowing hard still,
Traffic bad, peering ahead,
Round the corner, over the hill.

Road and pavements all icy,
Sleet lying thick on the ground,
Windscreen wipers beating
Their regular heart’s sound.

Two boys at the side of the road,
Doing something I cannot observe,
Smashed my screen with a snowball,
Just as I emerged from the curve.

Momentarily startled,
Shocked, but keeping my nerve,
Holding on, juggling the steering,
Battling the skid and the swerve.

Thoughtless, stupid little fools!
Couldn’t they see what they’d done?
Nearly causing an accident,
All for their moment of fun.

The intention was never mine,
Couldn’t see the pothole was there,
But to be perfectly honest,
I cursed and sure didn’t care.

Wheels nearly striking the kerb,
Direction all in a muddle,
Skidding through the slush and the mush,
Scything through the invisible puddle.

A happy circumstance then ensued:
Suddenly it was all over in a flash -
A huge arc of freezing cold water,
Covered them both with a hell of a splash.

Blinding the aggressors -
What a battle they’d been in:
A cascade of retribution,
Soaking both through to the skin.

Instant, cruel justice,
Dispensed without any trial,
Leaving them both fuming,
Whilst I drove off with a smile.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 21st January 2018

Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 21st January 2018

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

1.      Rogue councillor Norris Goanddoone has announced plans for a new bridge which will link the borough to Kettering in the East Midlands.  The slip-roads  will start at Hopeless Bluff, cross the yawning chasm at Greater Boredom, cut through the Despair Valley (a site of special scientific interest), before emerging over a hundred miles away at Little Point.  The scheme, which is as yet un-costed, is set to benefit the local economy in no way whatsoever, but will provide several years’ employment to the political commentary industry.

2.      And further political upheaval at the Town Hall.  The UDIP (United Devizes In Perpetuity) leader is to be changed again, the fourth time in three weeks.  The previous leader (or was it the one before that?) Paul Nutcase resigned under cloud, before the current leader (or is it ex-leader?) Henry Beltup made a complete horlicks of his position by continuing to have an offensive girlfriend.  In the background, of course, is the eminence grise of its former talismanic supremo Nigel Fruitcake, casting a long shadow over the party.  No policies were affected (or effected) in the making of this party.

3.      For details of these and all other Devizes stories, don’t forget to listen to local radio station D-Town F-Off.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Saturday, 20 January 2018

No Room At The Bin

No Room At The Bin (or why some women seem to need ten times more space in the bathroom than a man).

I went in to the bathroom one day,
To clean my teeth if I may.
But the space was all clutter,
And I started to mutter:
We can’t carry on in this way!

My few things like a toothbrush,
Were squashed together all flush.
And my black plastic comb,
In its own little home,
All sitting right there in a crush.

I couldn’t help but notice her wares,
Spread out on one of the chairs.
But the things I required,
Were pushed to one side.
To me this hardly seemed fair!

Mascara, lipstick & eye-liner,
Were spread out, like in a diner.
There were six lotions,
And plenty of potions:
A display much better than mine were!

I spotted three types of shampoo.
She’d say there were too few.
Conditioner & ointment,
And at this point meant,
I couldn’t get near to the loo!

I don’t mean to grumble or mope,
But I’m starting to lose hope.
For too many creams,
Are giving me dreams,
Of being hung by soap on a rope.

I see she’s got three types of razor,
But this seems not to faze her.
Depillatory action
Is gaining some traction,
And one of them looks to me like a taser.

This variety’s all very well,
But when you’ve got ten sorts of gel,
The new body scrub,
Arranged near the tub,
Is leading to a bath-time’s version of hell.

There’s every form of cotton wool:
We’ve glass jars of it quite full.
Some buds & some balls,
Right round the walls:
It’s time that we went for a cull.

To say nothing of her dental picks,
Flosses, discloser and sticks.
Just for her teeth,
It’s beyond belief,
And is only one part of her tricks.
Some of the creams & the products are pink,
Some of them are blue, but all of them stink.
To moisturise,
And hoist up her eyes,
She’s got potions all round the sink.

Don’t get me started on vitamins & pills,
Which with the cabinet she fills.
Some’ll be vital,
But some of them might’ll
Be fatal – perhaps one of them kills?

Even though it’s meant to be shared space,
I feel crowded in this grooming arms-race.
Because it’s replete,
I’m admitting defeat,
And I’m out of my depth in this place.

Now of my misery I’ll no longer sing,
But, there’s a question got me wondering.
With all of this stuff,
Is it more than enough,
Or is there any left of the real thing?

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game (or shopping for a bargain in the transfer window)

I know that January’s not meant to be sunny,
And I’m really not trying to be funny,
But these transfer fees
Are more than a wheeze.
Just think what else we could do with the money.

For this country’s exceedingly broke,
And it’s likely to make us all choke.
Football has gone mad,
I’d even say bad,
And it’s getting beyond any joke.

They pay the stars for their fame,
But these mercenaries don’t understand shame.
They take what they can,
They ignore all the fans,
It’s no longer the beautiful game.

They’re paying these guys huge weekly wages,
As you can read in the newspaper pages.
With a marketing deal
The bargain to seal,
And they pay in five easy stages.

If only we could get credit as easy this way,
And get our wealthy backers to pay.
You’ll Never Walk Alone,
Up there in the zone,
Where the pay-back is so far away.

And what’s all the talk in the dressing-room?
For lesser players – a feeling of gloom.
For the big stars,
In their flash cars,
Inspire in the rest of us a portent of doom.

In the world of back-handers & bungs,
It’s the agents who climb up the rungs.
A pay-off in millions,
The billions & trillions,
And the Press Office talking in tongues.

And despite each massive fee,
Of more goals there’s no guarantee.
I’d sing a new tune,
I’d be over the moon,
If only more passion I could see.

But out there on the pitch & the park,
Things are looking increasingly stark.
Another nil-nil draw,
Is a bit of a bore,
For the fans who are kept in the dark.

For the Premier League make their own law,
As other clubs remain on the floor,
A game of two halves,
Where some of them starve,
With not enough cash through the door.
What happened to just local teams?
Where winning the Cup filled our dreams?
It’s no longer there,
And nobody cares.
It’s become just a business, it seems.

It took a hundred years just to build.
Many’s the crowd that it’s thrilled.
It’s a funny old game,
But it just ain’t the same,
Now it seems that with TV it’s killed.

So how can we stem this incoming tide?
How to get back football’s old pride?
Well, I may be a fool,
But I know the rule,
And I’m flagging this one “bang off-side”.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Everything Changes

Everything Changes (you can’t count on any of the old certainties, these days – what’s happening?)

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold:
It’s all entropy, we’re told,
But you get to depend on the way things are,
And certainties that never fold.

But now everything’s changing:
It’s enough to make you feel faint.
They’ve finished the Forth Road Bridge:
They used up their last pot of paint.

And as they lock the brushes all away,
Packing in a big shed all of their kit,
I’d love to look up at the great structure,
And say: “here – you’ve missed a bit!”

They’re telling us GMT will be no more -
Greenwich is going to the dogs.
They’re running now on atomic clocks,
In Paris! – it’s all a plot by the Frogs!

They say there’s a new particle:
They’ve seen a bump in the data.
It might be the missing Higgs-Bosun:
I’m glad they found it sooner, not later.

They call it the “God Particle” -
They’re sure that it’s there -
It’s been missing for quite a while now,
They’re looking down the back of a chair.

The Universe is expanding faster,
Faster than ever they thought.
It’s getting ever so big you know,
And the edges are still being sought.

Then they said that it’s full of dark matter –
That’s stuff that nobody can see.
So how they know that it’s there,
Well, it’s way beyond me!

Now they’ve come up with a new theory,
Which has got them all ensnared.
It’s buggering up all of the physics -
E might no longer equal MC squared.

Neutrinos are travelling faster than light,
For which there’s no reason or rhyme,
And if that’s true, which I very much doubt,
It just makes a right horlicks of time.

But it could explain some phenomena,
Like Doctor Who and Star Wars and Stargate,
Why things happen in the wrong order,
And why the buses always run late.

No, the old certainties have gone,
But there’s things you can always depend on -
Like bills and debts, and like death and taxes,
And toast always falling butter-side down.
Then there’s new promises that seem to be true:
Politicians will always keep lying,
And peeling very strong onions,
Will always leave you sobbing and crying.

The banks and corporates will make big profits,
And of tax loopholes make the very most,
But when they owe you any money,
You can be sure – “the cheque’s in the post”!

They’ll fiddle the interest rates if they can,
They’ll lie, they’ll cheat and they’ll steal,
Then they’ll lie to cover their crimes,
And live on bonuses of a level surreal.

Men will always chase women and girls,
Who never seem to heed the old warning.
For the worst of their promises will be:
“Of course I’ll still love you in the morning”.

So, you see, despite all this frightening stuff,
The Universe – we can’t do without it -
It’ll all carry on just as before,
And there’s buggar all we can do about it!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018