The Impact of Last Years Words!


WordsAs with any year, words played a great part in 2013. However one person showed how important it is to have even a smattering of understanding when there is a translator doing the talking…

Imagine if…
During an important meeting,
Where let’s say, missiles are the topic,
The translator translating to a president the words of the president opposite,
Suddenly whispers:
“Oh, and by the way, he likes the way you’ve done your hair this morning and asks if you fancy going up to his suite for a coffee later?”
When in truth the president the other side of the table had said:
“I can see no way forward in reducing medium range missiles as you won’t reduce your long range rockets”
The unsuccessful job applicant who uses a free internet translation service that turns ‘yours sincerely’ into ‘your mother has the knees of a chicken and your sister the tongue of a snake!’
If Thamsanqa Jantjie, when ‘signing’ at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela had translated President Obamas speech as “Blah, Blah, Blah, Elephant, Giraffe, tiger, Lion!”
I think Mandela would have smiled.
If reports of his sense of humour are true, perhaps he smiled anyway!
JantjieHere’s wishing you and yours health and happiness in 2014…
…and watch those words!

© Baldock Bard 2014
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Reinforcing Stereotypical Preconceptions!


Derelict BuildingIt’s strange that when we travel abroad we search for scenes that suit our preconceptions. Recently I had to travel abroad. I have never been behind the former Iron Curtain and so was not surprised to see a stereotypical image. This justified my preconceptions and I had to take a photo, I think it suited my purposes well…

There’s dereliction in the suburbs,
Was looking for horse and cart!
When I spied an derelict building,
Certainly not a work of art!

The translator was upset,
With my phone I took a shot,
She told me, “not representative,”
A phrase I very soon forgot.

But when I returned to my country,
It was with embarrassment I fear,
That when I looked around about me,
I found those buildings over here!

© Baldock Bard 2013
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Telephone Scamming Scum!


old foneAn elderly man I know well had a call from a ‘nice man at the bank’. The Octogenarian followed all the instructions he was given and posted off his debit card. He had been scammed by scum. It’s time our lawmakers and society in general stopped being so soft on such hate crime. We do not tolerate child abuse, ethnic abuse or abuse against GLBT in this country but seem to turn our backs on crime against the elderly…

A ‘nice man from the bank’,
Rang with some news,
My debit card needed changing,
Was worn out with being used!
If he sent an envelope,
Could I please send it back,
Then he’d send me a new one,
And that would be just that!
I did what he told me to,
Then alarm bells started to ring,
But the ‘nice man from the bank’,
Would take care of everything!
The following week I was card-less,
The ‘nice man from the bank’ was gone,
They drained my account most efficiently,
And now I feel so wrong.
How could I have been so stupid,
Am I losing it at eighty-five?
The nice man from the bank was so plausible,
I feel stupid, myself I deride.
I have now lost my confidence,
I don’t know who to trust,
The lawmakers have forgotten me,
I’m elderly and my account is bust.

© Baldock Bard 2013
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A Very Wet Autumn!


For the last week the nightly news has shown severe flooding. Torrential rain for many days on top of one of the wettest summers and autumns for many years has resulted in swollen rivers spilling onto streets and into houses. For the last 20-odd years house building has been the golden egg-laying goose of the new urban political classes and has become an important driver of the economy. Little thought has been given to historical reasons why there was no previous development on certain land areas that were traditionally left as flood plain. Meanwhile extra roads, concrete and roof areas have all contributed to fuller ditches and rivers. Global warming was predicted to lead to a severe water shortage akin to having a new Sahara across southern England, so planning and implementation of flood defences were deemed to be of less importance than building (in certain areas even abandoned in favour of wild birds). Until the arrival of the perfect storm…

Been raining hard across the UK,
Bad flooding down the West Country way.
The only flooding we’ve seen around here,
A couple of blocked drains we’ve had to clear.
It’s lead to two small inconvenient lakes,
Ideal for the geese, the ducks and the drakes!

But I spare a thought for those who might,
Find they can swim in their kitchen tonight.
If that happened to me I’d feel quite ill,
Thank heavens that we live up on a hill!
Some homeowners are seeking assurance,
Because they’re without household insurance.

A political credo of “build, build, build!”
Has resulted in rivers being thoroughly filled.
Flood defences in places have been badly breached,
Or maximum levels of defence have been reached.
Some householders find that they’re flooded again,
It isn’t their fault it was once a flood plain.

Global Warming, they warned would make sea levels high,
They didn’t say the problem would come from the sky.
Sea level here is 450 feet down,
If we were flooded, Baldock would drown.
We’d have to cut trees (without the bark),
Because if we flooded we’d need a new Ark!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Get Her Out of There!


The MP for Bedfordshire West has surprised her constituents and party by taking part in ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’ on ITV. Opinion is divided as to what her fate should be, however most agree it’s not the behaviour expected of a serving Member of Parliament…

Deep in the jungle something has stirred,
A ‘celebrity’ MP of whom nobody’s heard!
She claims she’s engaging with her youth vote,
So far she’s only been seen in a sinking boat!

Back home she missed the Armistice parade
Sounds less important than the money she’s made.
She’s apparently offered to charity her appearance fee,
She may need it all when she’s not an MP!

To avoid eviction every vote will now count,
She can’t claim the trip on her expense account.
Bedfordshire voters may soon make it clear:
“Nadine Dorries, please get out of here!”

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Bob the Postman!


So many things in life have changed over the years. Most of the time change is only noticed when it’s too late. In rural locations the daily visit from the postman with his little red van is so much more important than just the delivery of letters. They are important eyes and ears, not just spotting rural crime but also keeping a friendly eye on the elderly and infirm in isolated properties. Perhaps when politicians and managers are next considering the way forward for Royal Mail this should be taken into consideration as an argument for continued public ownership, rather than discriminating once again against countryside-dwellers.

Bob, our postman has no fear,
He wears shorts throughout the year.
Come high winds snow or rain,
He’ll be wearing shorts again!

Without our Postmen we’d be lost,
We must keep them at all cost.
You can tell it’s Bob from half a mile,
Because he also wears a smile!

Dedicated to all our Posties who are a constant source of national pride at a time when the helpfulness of individuals is often overlooked.

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Yesterday in Northern France I was reminded of the meaning of sacrifice. Not the one less holiday a year, cutting out a drink after work or inconvenient currency fluctuation, but the ultimate sacrifice of loss of life. I overheard a young schoolboy sum it up rather well when he said to his teacher at the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge: “They died so we can be here”…

They’re worried about the Euro,
They are feeling the heat in Greece,
France has changed its Government,
Still no threat to peace.

The world in financial turmoil,
It’s been like this before,
This time they’re still talking,
Still no sign of war.

We’re worried about our future,
Shall I have that manicure?
Will we sacrifice our summer holiday?
To keep our standards secure.

There’s a place in France called Etaples,
Just inshore from the sea,
Where row upon row of headstones,
Sacrifices: Eleven-Thousand, Four-Three-Three.

Under the trees standing apart,
All alone and hidden from view,
No 9436 Chinese Labour Corps,
I will remember you.
© Baldock Bard 2012
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Flying the Flag!


Every so often the Busselcrats rattle their cages and introduce stupid legislation. This week they’ve been extra busy.
Firstly they pronounced that preserve with less than 60% sugar cannot be called ‘Jam’ (unless it’s from Denmark where it can be 57% sugar because they were granted a derogation!).
We have also been told  to observe ‘Europe Week’ (from May 9th).
We must also fly the EU flag over any organisation which manages development funding from Brussels. This could mean more than 1,000 organisations being forced to fly the flag or else…, including Jamie Oliver’s 15 Restaurant in Cornwall, my small farm and the Boot Sale!
The flag must be flown in ‘the dominant position, above any national flag (I don’t think so…!).

They’re stamping their feet in Brussels,
And telling us what to do,
We must fly their dreadful flag,
For a week each year or they’ll sue!

We’re to have a ‘Week for Europe’,
The first (May the 9th) or this:
If we fail, and they prevail,
We’ll just have to appeal to the Swiss!

So salute the flag of Europe,
Give it all you can,
Fingers two, (one will do!),
And flush it right down the pan!

© Baldock Bard
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The Government Minister: Highway Ode 6


Driving down a nearby motorway some time ago, I noticed blue lights in my rear-view mirror. I pulled over to let the police pass and noticed that after the two outriders came three identical black limousines all driving incredibly close together at speed. Later on I realised I’d just been overtaken by a certain politician and his entourage. This prompted thoughts (not all good!) and the following flowed onto the page, I hope you enjoy it…

The Government Minister

Recumbent on the back seat
Of his brand new limousine
The Minister’s just farted
A side the voters never seen

He’s on his way to the constituency
To try to save his seat
His one great fear is that some year
He will face defeat

He’ll have to kiss some babies
Kiss their mothers too
Be your bad luck if in the ruck
He winds up kissing you!

The traffic’s never a problem
Police motorcycles out in front
He’s cut their budget again this year
They both think he’s a ‘****’

The driver’s been around a bit
He’s always known the score
A subtle smile for the thermophile
He’s seen it all before!

© Baldock Bard
Just 11 days until the Baldock Saturday Car Boot Sale returnsfor its 20th season on the 14th April 2012


NewsVerse and Worse 2


Week-ending 31st March 2012
It’s April Fools Day, it might just as well have been April Fools Week!
The panic over fuel supplies for the Easter period seems to be easing, meanwhile low levels in reservoirs in the South East have prompted a hose-pipe ban starting next Thursday.
Bosses at the Post Office have been given the green light to raise stamp prices to a level of their chosing, it must be only a matter of time before house to house deliveries are abolished and the organization suffers a fatal coronary. We are so lucky to have a wonderful postman, I fear for his future.

“Don’t panic, Captain Mainwearing,” Corporal Jones said,
there’s enough fuel for all, without losing your head.
The drivers are on overtime, to ensure supplies,
while they top up their salaries, that’s no surprise.

The turkeys at the Post Office are looking forward to Christmas,
A chance to raise stamp prices, they’ll definitely not miss.
If a stamp becomes more expensive than a Christmas card,
There’ll be a pruning of my list, that won’t be hard!
Very soon they’ll build houses without a letter box,
We’ll all use e-mail – that’ll guarantee them a loss.

We’re about to suffer a hosepipe ban here
There’s been too little water in the winter this year
But lo! What’s this, my wife with no clothes?
She’s in the garden, showering with hose!
A thousand-pound fine if watering you’re seen
Our neighbours might report her if our garden looks green!

© Baldock Bard
Just 12 days until the Baldock Saturday Car Boot Sale returnsfor its 20th season on the 14th April 2012