Bruce the Cockerel

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As with our cats and dogs, farmyard animals become members of our extended family. It’s probably because we name them and see them wandering around the farm every day. Our North Holland Blue Cockerel died this week and it’s not only the hens that are missing him…

Bruce the Cockerel is no more,
We found him dead upon the floor.
Why he died we cannot say,
He just looked hunched then passed away.

Unlike some cockerels he was kind and gentle,
So his loss to the hens is monumental.
The farm is quieter now we know,
We’ll no longer be woken by his morning crow!

© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues tomorrow morning at 7am!
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Grandad – What’s a Bookcase?

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Yesterday Mrs Bard and I helped Son-in-law and Daughter Bard move furniture. John and I struggled to move a large piece of furniture, the placement of which was proving to be a challenge. Having moved it for the last time we suddenly realized that the purpose of a bookcase/CD rack would be lost on future generations due to two pieces of technology…

Where would I be without my Kindle?
It carries far more books than I could,
I can take them all out to the grain store,
And if I wanted to, out to the wood!
Just under two hundred titles,
From travel to classics and more,
It’s almost too easy to buy them,
No bookcase is needed to store!

Where would I be without my i-phone?
My CD collection is there.
From Dance to Trance and Big Bands,
And even the soundtrack from ‘Hair’!
It would take 5.2 days to listen,
Without repeating a track,
Discs no more clutter the sideboard,
No need for a tall CD rack!

Grandchild Bard in the year 2040,
Finds a wooden rack in a shed,
It looks like it once was for storage,
But its use leads to scratching of head!
It was said you could tell someone’s intellect,
If their bookcase dwarfed their TV,
I’ve embraced the new way of doing,
There doesn’t seem much hope for me!

© Baldock Bard 2012

For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!


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Loads of Wheat and Paper!

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Last week the wheat on the farm was tested, this week it starts to leave! Paperwork and regulations, devised by unseen desk-drivers, becomes all-important! It is simple to load and cart grain with the large bucket on the JCB. Making sure the paperwork is correct, less so…

N.B. This verse is dedicated to all those connected with Fengrain and L&H Transport for making my life that bit easier due to their expertise and good humour

Amy from Fengrain’s on the phone she wants to move some wheat,
She’ll get on to transport, to make the consignment complete!
Mick rings up from L&H, “We want six lorry loads,
Can we start Tuesday to miss the Bank Holiday roads?”
Ian arrives to collect a load, early on Tuesday,
Wants a load of quality wheat, “for biscuits so they say!”
So starts up a paper trail, longer than a mile,
Loading the wheat takes no time, but forms take quite a while!
Traceablity is the game, any farmer can play,
When imported wheat is cheaper, it magically goes away!
First take a passport, needed for every load,
Make sure it’s filled in triplicate, before it hits the road.
Add an Assurance Sticker, after examination took place last June,
Thank heavens that we passed it, failure leads to doom!
Add the lorries last three loads, having fully inspected the trailer,
Get the driver to countersign, or you will have a failer!
Fill in the Renewable Energy Directive, crops not grown on an SSSI?
It’s something to do with Brussels, heaven and they know why!
A test result for Mycotoxyn, I’ve done a risk assessment,
By this time I’ve lost the will to live, just protecting my grain investment!
Then I sign the haulier’s pad, I add the trailers code,
I write that he’s swept it three times, after every load!
So next time you buy Cream Crackers, Bourbons or Rich Tea,
The traceability process was started here by me!

© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!

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BootLine: 07852 707 074
E-mail: baldockbard(at)u-boot.co.uk
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The Garden Strimmer!

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I am not a great gardener. I find there are a million and one more enjoyable things to be done before tinkering with the trellis, haranguing the hedge or grappling with the grass. Mrs Bard says that all I want is the ‘Parasol and Pimms’ part of gardening and that I always seem to ‘pull a Houdini’ (rather than a muscle), when there is work to be done…

Mrs Bard gave me a strimmer for my birthday
I gave her a piece of my mind
She said the garden was overgrown
I thought that she was unkind

Until I went to take a look
And found the shed had gone
I found grandma sat in the long grass
With the lost patio set she was on!

I found the lawnmower choked right up with weeds
Put my foot in a water-filled bucket
Hobbled around clutching my leg
Shouting loudly “OH BOTHER!

© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!


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Matteo’s Big Meal!

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We have an Italian friend called Matteo who is very fond of curry. A former junior cycling champion and pole vaulter, he is also very tall and according to his wife, takes a lot of filling! His Mama would be so disappointed at his reaction to one of her nation’s favourite dishes…

Matteo Simcockoni is hungry again,
He asks his wife what’s for tea?
She replies that due to his size,
He’d better just wait and see!

Though he repeats at differing times,
The answer remains as before:
“There’s only cannelloni to fill your bellyoni,
There’ll be plenty if you want some more!”

He wants to go down to the Indian,
Where they do a fine curry with sauce,
At the end of the day he’d rather just say:
“Could eat cart as well as the horse!”

“Very well dear’” he eventually said,
(For food his stomach did pine),
“I think you’re right and just for tonight,
Cannelloni would suit me just fine!”

© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues every Saturday morning at 7am!


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BootLine: 07852 707 074
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The Floating Swan!

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I have never quite seen the attraction of bird-watching. However this morning I watched mesmerised as a swan floated down the river. It was oblivious to boats, rowers and fisherman as it floated past, fast asleep! The more I watched this graceful bird, the more it served to highlight the futility of certain human obsessions…

A single sleeping dreaming swan was floating down the river,
What are its innermost thoughts and will its dreams deliver?
Will it meet a mate and father offspring too?
Or possibly fly away from here and visit Timbuktu?
Will it go for ‘A’ Levels and possibly a good degree?
Or float through life’s many options on the basis of “we’ll see!”
Will it get promotion? (at the River Bank!)
Or receive a staged award and give a speech to thank?
Will it eat a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Rick Stein?
Or sit down to a salad and a decent choice of wine?
Will it wear the ‘latest look’? (so long as it is white!)
Or buy a great big plasma screen to watch some TV shite?
Will it choose a fortnight on a beach in sunny Spain?
Or happy in St Neots with some cloud or chance of rain?

Or is it just dreaming of winning ‘Britain’s Got Talent’?
© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!


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Dirty Dogs!

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What could be more enjoyable than a pleasant walk through woodland after painting a room? Yesterday we celebrated the unseasonal weather with a ramble through the woods with dogs exploring. The coolness of the shade and the freshness of the morning combined with a fragrance that fabric-conditioner manufacturers could only dream about…

Yesterday after painting we took the dogs for a run
A pleasant August morning with nothing but bright sun
We walked through the woods, the dogs ran on ahead,
A terrier rolled in something that was obviously very dead!
Now our friends have spaniels, who really shouldn’t oughta,
Be walked by a pond, ditch or any kind or water!
Woody, he is ginger, not blessed with common sense,
Took to the water with a splat just by the wooden fence!
The water level was shallow rather like a moat,
He came out with black stuff covering his coat!
Back home in the yard, it was just as well,
The tap was turned on two fowl dogs to ease the awful smell!
Just for a while, of the two dogs we were not fond,
Next time we have a summer walk, we’ll just avoid the pond!
© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues this morning at 7am!

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Crafty Decorators!

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What do you do when you have some decorating to do and time is limited? You either use the Amish method where everyone gathers to ‘build a barn’ (in this case paint a room) or you look in your newsagents window…

Mrs Bard was onto my case:
“This room needs freshening up,
I know you’re busy doing farming,
Your excuses are winding me up!”

I looked in the newsagent’s window
Handwritten card – ‘that is the one!’
For all your quality painting:
You need us – Farver and Sun!

They arrived by car in the morning,
Picked up brushes really quite soon,
By lunchtime they’d finished the ceiling,
The whole room by late afternoon!

Stan liked his tea without sugar,
Fred liked coffee not tea.
Twenty-three mugs later,
They’d not even stopped for a pee!

Mrs Bard was over-excited,
“The colour suits the room well,
They’ve only used a third of the paint,
Tell me, what’s that very strange smell?”

With grateful thanks to Tony and Lexi for adding to our Amish Synchronized Painting Team, we’ll definitely call you again!

© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues tomorrow morning at 7am!


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The Grain Samplers!

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A key part of harvest is the testing of the grain to ensure it finds the right market. Our Co-Operative, Fengrain, employs students to collect the samples from the farms. In the past, such students were nicknamed ‘Corn Dollies’, but of course this term has become obsolete in these enlightened times…

Katie is a student, studying hard for a good career,
International Marketing, in Leeds (or somewhere near),
How to deal with farmers, the summer she had planned,
As she travels around the regions farms, grain spear tight in hand!
Rebecca, her sister, keeps the samples clean,
I hope she gets some credit, otherwise that would be so mean!
All the samples taken, they head off in the van,
So the results can be formalised, as quickly as they can.
The lab test for Hagberg, stretch-ability of the dough,
Moisture, screenings, protein, all we need to know.
Selling wheat isn’t easy, especially due to rain,
Sampling is a vital part of the food-producing chain!
© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!

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BootLine: 07852 707 074
E-mail: baldockbard(at)u-boot.co.uk
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Goodbye Faithful Friend!

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Yesterday the insurance company came to remove my burnt-out Isuzu (see Bard passim: http://www.u-boot.co.uk/baldockbardblog/?p=1064). When it had gone I took a moment to contemplate, not only what a good car it had been but also what sights it had seen! Maybe I’m getting to be a sentimental old fool but I was sad to see it go…

They came and took my burnt Isuzu away,
It was a sad moment I’m bound to say,
They winched it up onto the lorry,
And all I could think to say was: “Sorry!”
It had been a part of the family for a number of years
The screeching of belts, crunching of gears,
Been up to the North and down to the West,
I began to remember the times that were best:

We once took it by Eurotunnel to France,
A security check was more than a glance,
They opened with haste the rear double-door,
From my coat shotgun cartridges all over the floor!
The supervisor called was not really mad
“You must be a farmer, just like my dad!
Now you’d better be gone or you’ll miss your train,
And don’t you dare bring cartridges through here again!”
Each week it’s takes the loos down to the boot sales,
Lugged loads of furniture all the way from South Wales.
It’s helped move some friends a mile down the road,
Their trailered possessions like a refugee load!
And now it has gone, to be sold off for scrap,
I know it’s a car but it’s been more than that.
It’s replacement may be shiny, showroom-style clean,
But it won’t be the character this Isuzu’s been!
© Baldock Bard 2012
For more verse click on ‘Home’ above
The Baldock Car Boot Sale’s 20th anniversary season continues on Saturday morning at 7am!

www.u-boot.co.uk
BootLine: 07852 707 074
E-mail: baldockbard(at)u-boot.co.uk
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