Van Gogh’s Ear Defenders

Share

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
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

 

Share on Facebook
Share

Maurice’s Story

Share

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
Facebook: Baldock Bard
Twitter: @baldockbard
E-mail: simon.holtom@btconnect.com

Share on Facebook
Share

A Dogs Life!

Share

Yesterday, following a frosty morning, the sun appeared and streamed through the windows. My trusty hound, Mali, took full advantage and chose the sunniest spot available. I suddenly had a wish to be a dog…

“It’s a dogs life,”
so they say,
wouldn’t mind being a dog,
any day!
I’d choose to lie,
in the sunniest chair,
doze all day,
without a care!
The only stipulation,
I could see,
I’d want to be a dog,
owned by ME!

Have a great day, go on – treat yourself! Choose the sunniest spot in the house but don’t go sniffing any bottoms!

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share

Peering Through the Gloom!

Share

We have been very lucky with our autumn weather this year. We have reached November with by and large dry and bright days! However just around the corner lies winter and as a prelude we have to endure gloomy mornings…

It’s a murky Thursday morning,
almost wet like rain,
the leaves are mostly off the trees,
November’s here again!
It isn’t quite cold enough for frost,
the grass is soaking through,
Autumn will soon be a memory,
and so will Christmas too!

Enjoy Thursday! Friday will be sunny and then it’s the weekend!!

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share

The Artist’s Gallery!

Share

Whenever you walk into someones house for the first time, you can almost always tell if they have small children or grandchildren from the artwork displayed in the kitchen. Secondly you can roughly guess the age by the quality and assortment displayed. I’ve always thought it is a vital part of parenting and natural support for a child, although is possibly frowned upon in this modern age of Nanny-State demanding that ‘Everyone’s a Winner!’ Our kitchen has hosted exhibitions down the ages…

Most famous artists,
from whatever ‘school’,
held their first exhibitions,
on a kitchen wall.
Whether England, Holland,
The States or France,
supported by parents,
or uncles or aunts.
And some progressed,
to a better thing,
glorious landscapes,
even Campbell’s soup tin!
On our wall,
(as we oughta!),
artistic progress,
from our granddaughter!

…and I’m keeping them, you never know!

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


Share on Facebook
Share

Synchronised Sleeping!

Share

Our guard-geese are very clever at synchronised sleeping, to the casual observer it may seem ok to creep past them, however the slightest snap of a twig or clack of a stone and they are up-and-at-em! Most mornings they chase me (or anyone else who knows what they want!) down the yard and we have to admit to being mugged again…

The geese are synchronized sleeping,
they’ve got no work to do,
they’ve been on duty all night long,
the over-night security crew!
All of a sudden they start honking,
they chase me – their wings drum a beat,
it may seem like they’re angry,
but they after their breakfast of wheat!

If you’re caught sleeping on the job, just tell the boss you were resting your eyes whilst thinking about the work in front of you!

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share

One Man Went To Mow…!

Share

I watched a man giving a lawn its final cut of the season. He seemed happy in his work and his work was military-straight. His dog however was intent on ruining his concentration by purposely dropping a tennis ball in front of the mower forcing him to stop, pick up the ball and throw it for her…

One man went to mow,
went to mow a lawn,
used a Hayter 46,
(they call it mower porn!)

Running alongside of him,
his little companion Rosey,
she carries a ball in her mouth,
grass-cuttings in her toes-ey!

One man went to mow,
his mowing is all done,
he’s now off home to have his tea,
and Rosey’s just had fun!

If you’re mowing a lawn today, don’t forget to keep the lines straight and hide any tennis balls before you start!

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share

The First Driving Lesson!

Share

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

Share on Facebook
Share

A Miracle Happened Here!

Share

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share

Mr Shovel’s Retirement!

Share

Yesterday afternoon just before 3pm, Mr Shovel announced his retirement from grain shifting on the farm. Unfortunately Miss Broom who worked alongside him chose the same moment to hand in her notice. Apparently they have been an item for some time and with the prospect of no more grain handling are moving to a retirement complex near Wisbech…

Mr Fred Shovel and Miss Suzy Brush,
have retired their services in rather a rush!
They cleared the barn floor of beans,
not as easy as it seems,
once the load was on the lorry,
they downed-tools no hint of “Sorry!”
caught the coach from outside town,
shouted “we will never see you around!”
and as they left a kiss did linger,
looked out of the window gave me the finger!
As I closed the empty shed,
no more crops, no more Fred!
No more sweeping a dusty barn,
with Suzy Brush on my arm!
As Harvey Harrison drove away,
I realised tomorrow is another day!
With grateful thanks to L&H Transport who have carted my crops for over thirty years and have never seemed to tire of carting from a grumpy old farmer!

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

 

Share on Facebook
Share