Van Gogh’s Ear Defenders

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Yesterday John, my son-in-law and I were doing some winter/spring cleaning in the workshop/grain barn. It’s quite remarkable what lurks in the back of cupboards and under workshop benches. We discovered manuals for long-forgotten tractors and machines along with spare parts that had possibly been ordered by Noah before the Great Flood! One item we found needed no introduction…

On a cupboard shelf,
right at the back,
Van Gogh’s ear defenders,
hidden in a sack!
When he wore them,
all had to shout,
he didn’t hear:
“Gogh-y Watch Out!”
When he turned,
He said, “How absurd!
I didn’t quite hear you,
I only half-heard!”

If you are walking near scaffolding or under ladders today, please be careful and stay safe!
According to my nearest and dearest I apparently have a problem hearing what I don’t want to hear too!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

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Limited Edition Beer!

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I had spent quite some time in the beer aisle looking for my favourite tipple. Just as I was about to make myself look an idiot in front of an assistant, I spotted the camouflaged packs of cans announcing ‘Limited Edition!’ How stupid of me not to realise that a limited edition should lead to an immediate must-have! Imagine my ‘Fools disappointment’ when what was poured into the glass proved to be exactly the same as from a non-limited edition can…

The can has a lobster on a white background,
a limited edition on the shelf can be found,
open the can and you’ve broken the spell,
”That’s not going to be thrown into recycling as well?”
I lifted the glass to my thirsty lips,
savoured the nectar white-moustached dips!
Very soon the beer was gone away,
getting more limited edition every day!

Cheer’s! A little of what you fancy does you no harm!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

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Back To The Future!

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Wandering around our local store the other day I came across a gift idea that gave me a sense of deja-vu. There on the shelf was a personal cassette player, what we used to call a ‘Walkman’ after the iconic Sony version of the seventies. Now all I needed to do was find that case of cassettes somewhere out in the barn…

All I want for Christmas is a Walkman,
not an MP3 just a Walkman,
I don’t care if my CD player’s gone,
‘cos all I want for Christmas is a Walkman.
I can hear the hissing afore the music,
the tape has concertinered up inside,
I can’t find a pencil now to tighten it,
so I can have music and bike ride!
The quality from the tape is quite appalling,
there’s hiss and scratching all around,
I go to turn it over onto side two,
tape’s blowing off the bike a mile behind!
All I want for Christmas is an iPhone,
so I can have some music when I drive,
ten-thousand tracks are now on my menu,
what I’ll listen to I’ll never now decide!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

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Maurice’s Story

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Yesterday was Rememberance Sunday. I was asked to recount the story of one of the four WW1 dead from our tiny village. The service was held in the parish Church in the neighbouring village of Sandon. As I walked up in front of a packed congregation to speak I suddenly realised how important my job was. It was my task to tell the story of villager Maurice Barnes so others could remember him. He wasn’t famous, just a simple farm-worker and ordinary soldier, who died in France in 1917. I post my tribute, not to gain praise, but in the simple wish to tell you his story so that you may remember him too…

Maurice Barnes was the only son of Arthur and Eliza Barnes. Arthur (his father) and George Turner (his grandfather) both worked on my grandfather’s farm.
Maurice was born in 1883 and grew up in a cottage on Hickmans Hill, Clothall. The cottage looked towards Windmill Hill, the last hill before Baldock. This was next to a farm track that is now the A507 road.
When Maurice was seven his mother died, on the 23rd of April, St Georges Day. She is buried in the churchyard in Sandon (where the service took place).
Maurice joined his father and grandfather on the farm in 1897 aged fourteen. He volunteered for the army in September 1914, within a month of the outbreak of war. My grandfather’s wages book records his last working week as the 29th August 1914 when he earned 16 shillings, cutting late barley on Windmill Hill.
Maurice served with D Company the 4th Battalion the Bedfordshire Regiment stationed at Bedford before the company moved to Felixstowe to provide home defence in the Harwich area. After the disaster on the Somme in July 1916, the battalion was sent to the Western Front, landing in France on the 25th July 1916 and eventually on to Arras.
At the start of the Arras offensive, Gavrelle was a fortified village in the third line of the forward German defences of the Hindenburg line. If Gavrelle and the high ground, with it’s shattered windmill to the North of the village could be taken, the British Army would be able to observe the German positions on the Douai plain beyond.
It is truly poignant that a son of Clothall, born and raised within sight of Windmill Hill, who spent his last working days on Windmill Hill, should go on to lose his life in an action where the ultimate aim was to wrest control of La Colline du Moulin a Vent – Windmill Hill.
He died, aged 34, on 23rd April 1917, St Georges Day, on the same day his mother had died when he was seven years old.
Maurice Barnes is one of 35,928 names of the missing that are remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial Pas de Calais.
To this day his remains lay somewhere on that Windmill Hill,

Far from Clothall…
Far from Home.
He is remembered.

Baldock Bard
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
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Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

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November the Fifth 2017

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Last night the sound of explosions rang out across our towns and cities as it always does on the fifth of November. For my readers who live beyond these shores I must explain: the fireworks celebrate the discovery of a plot to blow up parliament by Mr Guy Fawkes in 1605. Some MP’s might wonder if others are plotting now as the Whitehall sex abuse scandal uncovers more revelations each day…

Remember remember the fifth of November,
in Westminster there’s a new plot,
It seems some MP’s like touching girl’s knees,
and touching elsewhere quite a lot.
Are we mere mortals surprised,
when our MP’s finally lose face?
The higher they climb enjoying power sublime,
the further they fall in disgrace.

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

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The Old-Timers Tour!

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Yesterday I picked up a flyer in Baldock. Later, wondering why I had, I realised that I was shocked and surprised because I had assumed that all the names on the flyer were, by now, on harping duty. All those mentioned on the flyer must be at least in their seventies, and ignoring retirement and touring instead! Sadly I was four days late for their local gig…

Gerry’s got a pacemaker,
he’ll now Never Walk Alone,
He’ll Ferry Across The Mersey,
To a retirement home!

The Searchers all need glasses,
can’t find their Sweet For My Sweet,
when You Walk In The Room,
Have Needles And Pins in their feet!

When the Tremeloes Twist And Shout,
Even The Bad Times Are Good,
but Silence Is Golden,
Hearing aids? You really should!

When Vanity Fare,
Live for the Sun,
Love Affair’s
Everlasting Love – For everyone!

Have a great day, this just proves that age is no barrier to just getting up and doing your thing! It’s a shame that this is only my 1612th posting and not my 1960th!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

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The First Driving Lesson!

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Can you remember your first driving lesson? Driving through Baldock the other day I came across a sign of a possible new career for me post-tillage. This prompted me to recall the embarrassment of my first lesson on ‘L’ plates many years ago…

At the age of twelve my Godmother said,
“I’ll get you an old car to keep in the shed,
to drive around the fields on the farm,
so when you start driving you don’t cause alarm!”

Five years later I had my first lesson,
a frightened look was the instructor’s expression,
“You just show what you can do,
And then I’ll start afresh with you!”

I revved the engine and slipped the clutch,
didn’t think the tyres squealed that much!
All at once the dual controls activated,
0/10 my skills were rated!

In an instant I felt a fool
And realised that I knew nothing at all
The instructor lived to drive another day
Unfortunately his hair had turned mostly grey!

Have a great Monday and drive with care!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

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Seasonal Snacks!

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If there is one event that marks the end of the car boot season for me more than Saturday morning lie-ins, no mowing of parking strips and no printing of signs and tickets, it is the in-store appearance of two seasonal favourites. However since being diagnosed with self-inflicted diabetes in May, Twiglets and Cheeselets have been off the menu…

My two old friends are back again,
but they’re not for me, such a pain!
I daren’t even crack open a lid,
I’d be such a fool if I did,
so I look away and walk by,
we’re now divorced ‘Cheeselets Goodbye!’

But I’m not stopping you, go on, you know you can’t resist them!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

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A Miracle Happened Here!

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You can never be sure what you’ll find on the side of country roads these days. Farmer’s gateways with piles of garden waste, not a mile from a re-cycling facility or truck-loads of builders rubble abandoned on the sly. However sometimes you can be surprised, Mrs Bard spotted something on the side of a local country road that made us wonder if a biblical miracle had happened…

Driving along a country road with my Peggy Sue,
the music coming from Radio Two!
She suddenly announced to my surprise:
“I’m fed up with glasses, Damn these eyes!”
Out of the window as a gateway passes,
she threw her new expensive glasses!
As for her actions I didn’t think much,
until on the verge I spied a crutch!
“Peggy Sue, it seems to appear,
that biblical miracles happen around here!” 

Wishing you all a minor miracle of your own today!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

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The Old Van!

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There are some mornings, like this one, where I have no idea what is going to splurge out onto the laptop screen. I skip through my vast selection of photos and one sometimes leaps out from the screen with its hand in the air shouting, “Me! Me! Pick Me!” That is what has happened this morning, an old van that has seen better days (probably scrapped by now) parked outside the local bank (closed down in August). So here goes, lets see where it takes us…

“Please Mr Bank Manager,
can I have a loan?
I need a new van,
to call my very own.
The old girl is rusty,
so are her wheels,
she coughs in the mornings,
I know how she feels!
Oh that is a shame,
no loans for us claimants,
well at least my old van,
comes with no payments!”

My apologies for the poor quality of today’s verse, but I can at least plead insanity as it’s before 0500hrs and I’m off in the dark to open up the car boot sale! Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the other side!

© Baldock Bard 2017
For more from the Baldock Bard click on ‘Home’ above
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

The Baldock ‘Boutique’ Boot Sale
STILL HERE AFTER 25 YEARS!
It is the friendliest bargain bonanza anywhere!
Feed your hungry sat-nav with SG7 6RD

2017 Season
EVERY SATURDAY MORNING!
Season Ends 14
th October 2017
With more FREE parking and a field full of bargains!
www.u-boot.co.uk

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