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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Fast Fruit Chocolate Pots



  • 50g/ 2oz dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tsps orange zest
  • Fresh fruit/ berries/ compote (e.g. cherries, blackberries, currants)
  • Shortbread fingers (to serve)

  1. melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of hot water
  2. cool slightly
  3. in a bowl, stir the chocolate into the mascarpone and add the orange zest
  4. spoon into small pots and chill
  5. when ready to serve, top with the prepared fruit/ compote
  6. serve with the shortbread fingers
 What else you need to know:

  1. this is SOOOOO simple to do!
  2. any fruit will do, but something soft with juice works best

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Old Lady

Old Lady

Under shady branches
Gnarled and knuckled
Scabbed and twisting
Lie windfalls softly cradled
Grass-cushioned in the dew
Bruised and slowly browning
In the morning-hazy sunshine
Sweet juices fermenting
Into heady cider
Intoxicating the lazy wasps
And the bickering blackbirds
Which feed upon the crop
Sipping at this late abundant nectar

Hobbled, she leans slightly to one side
Her trunk bent beneath the weight
Of aged limbs
Of twigs and leaves and fruits
Weathered, wind-buffeted
Her bark rough and leathery
Skin rotted and cankered
Her shape crooked and disfigured
Diseased, hard and broken
By the passing seasons

Yet still the sap rises within her
Re-awakened every Spring
To produce abundant blossom
Pulling in the pollinators
To create a canopy-full
Fertile with hard and heavy fruits
Of such acid sharpness

Silhouetted in her twilight years
Still fiercely rooted
She stands defiantly alone
Never part of any orchard
Crabbed in her corner of the garden
But still verdant, fruitful, useful

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Icarus About To Fall

Icarus About To Fall

How is it possible to climb
So far, so high, so clear
Into this acid-blue, cloudless sky
And to feel the warmth
Upon naked back and limbs
After so many years
Of cold confinement
Down there in the dark
With dearest Daedelus?

Who would not wish to flee
From an unjust captivity
Subject to Minos’ punishment
For earth-bound earlier sins?
Or desire to end the pain of a father
Whose cautious warning
Betrays his fractious fearfulness?

And how may mere wax and feathers
Fashion human wings
That may lift a sluggish body
Prising it from the clutching fingers
And heavy prisoning grip of Earth
To let it soar and glide
And fly, dazzled, towards Helios?

And why not tempt the gods
By reaching the height of eagles
Stretching sinews
Facing the blinding glare
Of solar brightness?
Or glance down towards the sea
To gain a glimpse of Paros, Delos
And Samos far below?

How close might one fly
To the hot, burning disc
That radiates its vital force
Before being forced to turn away
To avoid tumbling from the heavens
Falling headlong to a certain death
And perishing beneath the ocean spray?

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Monday, 28 May 2018

Mermaid In Heaven

Mermaid in Heaven

‘Twas upon a stormy day that I chanced,
To walk the shore in thought deeply enrapt,
When I heard a pitiful sound of woe,
And saw a poor girl on the rocks, entrapped.

It was her fishy tail and scaly flukes,
As the waves on the rocks crashed all around,
The fins and a strong smell of haddock,
That revealed her watery background.

Her flowing hair it shone like seaweed,
And around her naked shoulders all arrayed,
She wore a long necklace of pearly shells:
And at once I knew she must be a mermaid.

I helped her to wriggle herself free,
And pulled her out on to the wind-swept strand.
That’s when I realised, in a sudden flash,
That what was in it for me - was sand.

There and then I plighted my troth,
In love I’d fallen – I had no real choice -
She was young, and beautiful and sexy:
It wasn’t by mere chance, but on porpoise.

But she was demure, and she was shy -
She resisted, and questioned my taste.
She said “it’s all very well up here on top,
But it’s all different below the waist.”

I said that it was just a red herring,
And that we’d soon learn to get along.
In the name of all that was coley,
Together, with cod’s help, we’d be strong.

And so it was that we were married,
By the sea-shore, with gentle lighting.
Her uncle Turbot gave the bride away,
And the darling girl was dressed in whiting.

Our friends thought we were too different,
And they said so, right from the start.
And the cats were always a bit suspicious,
Sniffing around her nethermost part.

But we embarked upon our married life,
We set up home and, as is often the rule,
Soon our little herrings came along -
No trouble getting them into school!

Of course we had a few differences,
For she’d been born as a marine being:
She couldn’t dance, was hopeless at football,
And it was pointless taking her skiing.
But there were a few positive things too:
She swam by the side when we went on a cruise,
You never needed more salt in your food,
And she never went shopping for shoes.

Naturally we had a plaice of our own,
And, at first, we had a whale of a time,
But she began to spend more time in the bath,
And to dream of the salty sea’s rime.

Of course, it was all doomed not to last -
She developed a slow swimming motion.
The Dolphin shower just wasn’t enough,
And she began to pine for the ocean.

I knew that I could never stop her,
I couldn’t be such a Pollack, or so fake:
I had to let her eel her way back home -
You could say I did it for her own hake.

And so it was that we finally parted,
And she went back to her home in the sea.
It’s all left me quite badly affected,
And I don’t fancy fish and chips for my tea.

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 27th May 2018

Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 27th May 2018

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

1.   The on-off diplomatic talks on de-filthification of the 49 bus route vehicles, took a new twist yesterday when Trowvegas continued to insist that they were ready to meet D-Town representatives “anywhere, anytime….with the possible exception of Swindon”.  D-Town had previously called off the talks after citing “unacceptable language” coming from the other side, but this was claimed to be just a diplomatic ploy, in order to avoid the hard discussions required over such contentious issues as cleaning the bus windows, and emptying of the used tickets bin.

2. Street-cleaners in the borough are threatening to go on strike in protest against what they claim are the hazards of “rougue” confetti which is still clogging up pavements, gutters and drains more than a week after the Royal Wedding.  “The number of street parties held represented, in our opinion, a hazardous level of confetti waste.  Our operatives are not trained, nor paid, to clean up such tiny micro-pieces of litter.  We want to get back to empty coke bottles, crushed lager cans, discarded colostomy bags and dog faeces – you know: proper litter!”

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, 26 May 2018



I wonder at the trickery of it
Yet there is no attempt to deceive
Only length and depth in a single plane of being
The paper being plain and unadorned
The flattest white sheet
Twisted round
Tucked and creased
Folded into shape
Its razor-sharp edges
Turned in upon itself
And back inside again

Flatness transposed to three dimensions
By force of skill and gentle sorcery
Into lines and angles
Squares, triangles
Delicate dodecahedrons
Living trapezoids
Giving strength and articulation
Suggesting shape and shadows
Depth and meaning
Buried deep within the paper

A bird, a rabbit, a frog
Creatures which are not there in any normal sense
Suddenly appear and have life and substance
Their heads erect, alert
Sitting upon the hand of their creator
Between the dextrous fingers
Of the manipulator

Held for a fleeting moment
For wonder and admiration
Before slowly allowed to unfold before my very eyes
Vanishing whence they came
Into an empty page of nothing
The faintest crease-marks upon the paper
The only evidence
They ever had existence

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Friday, 25 May 2018

Vive La Difference!

Vive La Difference!

I could never learn a foreign language:
I’m far too proud of the English for that,
And, as for French, in particular,
My attempts at it always fall flat.

I’m too laissez-faire, I don’t really care,
But I think I should mention, en passant,
That I’m happy to enjoy their French food,
In a café with coffee and a croissant.

Some hors d’oeuvres would go down quite a treat,
Or the tastiest plate of Coq au Vin,
Moules mariniere and a bowl of frites:
I could eat them all, with chic and élan.

The grand fromages of France I simply adore:
Camembert, Brie and Roquefort for a start.
The fierce Maitre D’ holds no fears for me,
Working my way through the a la carte.

And the great wines of Burgundy and Loire,
From the Cotes Du Rhone, Provence and Bordeaux.
No sommelier’s gonna put me down,
Though far off-piste I’m willing to go.

Entre nous, I’m probably just lazy.
I’m blasé you can easily see,
For I just won’t put in the effort:
I want it all as a fait accompli.

Mon Dieu! I’d love to be a linguist,
But I find it tricky and hard:
So many Gallic twists and turns:
One has to be constantly en garde!

There’s the masculine and the feminine:
From these genders I’d need to be spared.
Sacre bleu! If you don’t watch what you say,
It’s easy to end up in the merde!

I could cause a major brouhaha,
My feckless faux pas considered crass.
The entente cordiale might be at risk,
Before I deliver the coup de grace.

There’s no obeisance in my renaissance,
I think I would lack the je ne sais quoi;
I just wouldn’t look right in a beret,
Casually smoking a Gaulois.
My daily entrée to every new day,
Is too lazy for many to ignore:
I just can’t get myself ensemble -
I think I lack the esprit de corps.

You see - I can’t speak a word of the French.
It’s obvious and easily seen,
So I sit and fume, with my nom de plume,
And on the debate bring down the guillotine.

Yes - I’d best stick to ‘Allo ‘Allo,
And try and do the best that I can.
I’ll hang on to my plain old English,
And sadly say “non – je ne regrette rien”!

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Hot & Sour Soup

Recipe for: HOT & SOUR SOUP


  • 1 small onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & very thinly sliced (julienned)
  • 1 stick celery, washed, trimmed & very thinly sliced
  • 2 large green chillies, thinly sliced, seeds & all
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 6 spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal, white & green parts
  • Small knob of fresh ginger, peeled & cut into tiny strips
  • 2 limes – zest and juice
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • Handful fresh coriander, including stalks, very finely shredded (divided into two piles)
  • 750ml water
  • Handful fresh prawns, or strips of cooked chicken (optional)

  1. put all of the ingredients into a large pan (except the prawns/ chicken, and one half of the fresh coriander), and bring slowly up to a simmer
  2. cook until the vegetables are just cooked, but still have a slight crunch (you don’t want them soft)
  3. add the prawns or chicken (if using) & warm them through
  4. add the rest of the fresh coriander & serve at once
 What else you need to know:

  1. take the time to cut & slice the ingredients very finely & to the same size
  2. don’t over-cook – the dish needs to be very fresh & zesty
  3. serve on its own, or in a large bowl poured over a pile of egg noodles (to form a more substantial meal)

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Three tampons

Three tampons

I was clearing out the cupboard yesterday
When I found the small green rucksack
The one we used to take when we went out walking
The one I kept when we went our separate ways
And I thought that I would use it once again
So I cleaned it up, and cleared it out
And there inside, within the hidden inner pocket,
I found three tampons that you must have packed
One time, long ago, in case of any accident
Not to be caught short, bleeding, in the countryside
And it made me think how time soon slips by
How easily we forget things, the provisions we once made,
How things that we expected do not come to pass
And how simply one can throw things in the trash
And start again without a second thought
A fresh period in one’s life

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Coming Second

Coming Second

It’s the position to be avoided
Silver-medal placed
Coming in as the runner-up
Speaks of being but second best
Almost a champion
But there is little consolation to be derived
Standing one step down upon the podium

Holding the rictus smile of pleasure
Hiding the bitter tears of disappointment
And pent-up frustration
Whilst congratulating the winner
Who, on this occasion
Has clearly been the better man
And perhaps remembered
To be so for ever

And in the eyes of the world
He is the best of men
The joyful victor
True focus of attention
And he who gives the interviews
To the waiting press
Allowing the beaten loser
To quietly slope away
And reflect upon
What might have been

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian’s Wall

At last I could make it out
A narrow walkway
Rising from the grasping earth
Loose and crumbled stones
Tumbled from once-good order
And straight alignment
Random fallen
Among coarsest tussocks
Of grass and mossy ground

Out here on the stormswept moor
Leagues from civilisation
Amongst ice and bitter cold
Lie lichen-covered blocks
In faint traceable patterns
Which snake and wind their way
Across the louring landscape

Here sits long-abandoned evidence
Of mouldering ramparts, towers, turrets
Interrupting the regular line
And there a garrison fortress
Perhaps provided simple shelter
And some rough respite
Haven against adverse weather
And painted barbarians
Invading from the North

But is this all that’s left?
So little sign these days
Of the forbidding Roman structure
Only the merest thin grey line
Of no great height
Threading through the frozen land
To be defended at all costs
By shivering Legionnaires
At the very end of Empire

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Drivel From Devizes - Dateline Sunday 20th May 2018

Drivel From Devizes: Dateline – Sunday 20th May 2018

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

1.   Citizens of The Vize were out in force yesterday, lining the streets, sometimes one deep, hanging out the red, white & blue bunting, together with special tea parties and street parties, in order to celebrate the wonderful news that Poundland might be having a sale next week.  Civic rejoicing continued long into the night to wish the happy shop staff “god speed” in their attempts to mark up the “50% off” stickers in time for Monday morning.

2.  D-Town escaped its share of the nation-wide chaos caused when every train company in the country decided to completely change its timetables, in a belated attempt to make more trains run on time, thus avoiding financial penalties from the government for running delayed services.  Whilst it would be possible to assume that this was because of excellent forward planning by the local rail company, and the near-faultless customer service provided by its staff, the real reason is much simpler – there hasn’t been a train station in the town for over 50 years.  Problem solved!  Who knew?

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, 19 May 2018

More Than Enough

More Than Enough

You heard more than enough
When you listened in the night
To me talking in my sleep
Whispering a name that was not yours
And sweet endearments that were not meant for you

You felt more than enough
When you stood and shivered
Cold and fearful, as I tried to touch you
And make it right again
To fix what could not be mended

You said more than enough
When you walked away from me
In a trail of burning anger
That would not settle
Which hung around you, dog-like, snarling

You did more than enough
When you disappeared
Without any final words
Leaving no explaining note
For me to dwell upon, or find any consolation

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Friday, 18 May 2018



A slate-grey cloudy sky
Glowers from above
Hangs heavy on the morning
Low ceiling’d over daytime
Shading each dew-damped surface
With sombre tints of black and grey

A palette washed of any colour
Provides no point of focus for the eye
But among the general wash
Of drab and dripping greenery
Rises one tall defiant stick
Huge leaves drooping sadly
Towards the sodden earth

And almost proudly
Bears its over-loaded head
Faces up towards the light
And spreads one sudden smile
In a gash of vivid colour
A burst of golden yellow

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Hasty Pudding



  • Some jam or fresh stewed fruit (Rhubarb, plums etc)
  • 100g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tblsp flaked almonds (optional)

  1. heat oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 5
  2. spoon the fruit or jam into the bottom of a pudding dish
  3. in a separate bowl mix the butter with the sugar.  Beat until smooth & creamy
  4. beat in the eggs, then the flour, then the ground almonds
  5. spoon the mixture over the fruit in the dish
  6. top with a few flaked almonds (if using)
  7. bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the sponge is cooked through
  8. remove from oven & allow to stand for a few minutes
 What else you need to know:

  1. serve with ice-cream, cream or custard

Wednesday, 16 May 2018



Your back arches slightly
Settling into my confident embrace
As we take our turn around the floor
Dancing late into the night
Under the sparkling necklace
Of deck-lights
Flickering in the breeze
Reflected across the silent sea

Your hand squeezes mine tightly
To tell me that you are happy
With my commanding movement
My manicured appearance
My attentive service
And my obvious devotion

You murmur quietly
That we make a lovely couple
Despite the difference in our ages
Dressed to impress
Our smiling faces
Turned to the world
The envy of others

You tread lightly
Calm and collected
For tonight you may have anything
Whatever you desire
My time is completely yours
To do with as you please
I whisper what you wish to hear

My nightly work
Professional and paid-for
Personal and discreet
Tailored to your requirements
And whatever you can afford

You have your life
And I have mine
We are both content
With the nature of our transaction
But there can only be this evening
And we do not ask each other
Too many questions

Copyright Andy Fawthrop 2018