Wet Toes!

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Some things in life are pleasant: A letter from a long lost friend, the warm cuddle from a newly-bathed baby or a small (or large!) scratchcard win. Discovering you have a hole in your wellies is not pleasant. You step into the flood, ever-mindful of depth and suddenly experience a cold damp feeling around the toes. By this stage it is too late, the damage is done and you might as well throw the offending welly into the river…

There’s a hole in my welly,
I didn’t know was there,
I discovered it in a flood,
It is just not fair!

I thought I’d be safe,
Puddling around,
Wet toes aren’t fun,
I suddenly found!

My left sock is damp,
I’ve now got to drive,
Do I change my shoes,
Before I arrive?

I decide to drive bare,
My toes are now cold,
My excuse when refueling,
Is that I am old!

If anyone has a size 8 left foot foot Wellington boot without a hole (preferably green but would accept black at a push) I’d consider a swap! E-mail address below:

© Baldock Bard 2012
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The Passing of Comet!

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If there’s one sign that is indicative of our times it is the failure of the Comet store. Much has been said about the apparent failure of their ‘bolt-on’ website, placement of stores, competition from on-line retailers and failure to move with the times. I have to admit that I haven’t shopped with them for many years and couldn’t even tell you when their famous bargain-filled full-page adverts in local papers disappeared. However I will mourn their passing as the store that sold me a car radio with aerial for my first car, my first television and a my first record/cassette/CD unit! Unlike other comets that reappear after a time, this one is gone for good…
The Comet store is closing down,
I went to see what’s there,
I didn’t really want anything,
Apparent bargains everywhere.
Great big signs ‘ALL STOCK REDUCED,’
Hanging from the ceiling,
Most shoppers wandering aimlessly,
“There’s nothing new,” the feeling.
The crowds were greater than before,
Rushing for one last time,
Today the store is empty,
You’ll find them all online.
© Baldock Bard 2012
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Unwelcome Guests!

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Have you ever had guests that just would not leave? Visitors that, like fish, go off after a few days? It is very pleasant to have welcomed company, but unwelcomed guests can be a problem…

They first appeared about a week ago,
Despite our advances just wouldn’t go.
We employed the dogs they didn’t care,
Very soon they were everywhere!

We borrowed a cat who just did sleep,
They taunted her like stampeding sheep.
Then they started to dance at night,
The noise was enough to give us a fright!

At last we’d had enough of that,
And in each cupboard laid a trap.
For sleepless nights retribution seek,
I’ve had 25 mice in just one week!

Now we’re down to the very last few,
No mouse traps left in B&Q!
The last visitor to leave I heard mutter:
“It’s deadly stuff, that peanut butter!”

© Baldock Bard 2012
Apologies to anyone who is awaiting a response to an e-mail or enquiry. The Internet is down for the second time in a week and BT are ‘looking into a problem at the exchange. I don’t expect reconnection anytime soon, but will answer as soon as humanly possible. Thank you for your patience. B.B. 

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A Very Wet Autumn!

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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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The Young Manager!

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Health and Safety in the workplace is of paramount importance. However there is a tendency for the over-zealous to invent ‘new regulations’ which then are inflated by an over-eager media, sometimes becoming urban legends. These more outlandish regulations can make businesses and local authorities look ridiculous. The other day we had a man from a former public utility surround his parked van with mini cones. Had it been parked on the side of a busy dual carriageway I could see the reasoning, but in a quiet farmyard? His justification was, of course, “Elf and Safety, Mate!” A friend told me of an eager Health and Safety Officer in the company where he works… (Names places and events that follow are entirely fictitious and bear no resemblance to anyone, anything or anywhere at anytime!)

Young Timothy Splott works for a firm,
He’s in Health and Safety with so much to learn.
He spends his time at work every day,
Telling employees to do what he say.
His written risk assessments are boring and long,
He tours the site to tell workers they’re wrong.
He insists on hard hats for climbing up steps,
And signed visitor badges before talking to reps.
He preens like a peacock when regulations abound,
Folks run for miles when they hear he’s around.
His workmates take the mickey and try not to grin,
They’re creating trip hazards especially for him!

He dated young Janey from down in accounts,
Filled in a risk assessment just in case she should pounce!
Took desperate measures to avoid her short skirt,
Including soft padding in case she should flirt!
They went to a bar where he ordered a drink,
Totted up the units it’s important to think.
When she put out her hand and stroked his leg,
He was proud of the padding he had there instead!
They went back to her place for a nightcap (or more!)
He tripped over the cat and slipped on the floor.
His ardour was dented as was his pride,
He ran out of the bedroom his assessment denied!
© Baldock Bard 2012
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It’s a Farmer’s Life!

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Sunday morning half asleep,
Go outside to feed the sheep!
Milk the cows and give them hay
Feed the pigs on milky whey!
Then the geese also the hens,
A farmer’s work never ends.
But I’m afraid I’m lying again,
Because all I farm… is just grain!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Know Your Onions!

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On the fourth Monday in November in Bern, Switzerland, there is an onion market. This is not just a market with onions but a world-renown market with onions. In the evening there are ironic poetry recitals on the events of the past year in local taverns – How apt! It is a diary date that friends of ours cannot miss. Until I started my research (five minutes ago on Google!) I had not appreciated the significance of this massive event to Bern-folk…

Some friends of ours that live in Devon
Have flown to Bern, this week’s onion heaven!
They’ve gone to see the nighttime markets,
Onions and onions, no other food (or carpets!)

There are onions carved to look like castles,
Cars and coaches, Christmas parcels!
Onion people wearing onion socks,
And some that are carved like cuckoo clocks!

People in costume, the squares do roam,
Fight each other with confetti thrown!
In the taverns there’s ironic verse,
With every drink it gets worse!

Our friends by evening are on their knees,
Want a glühwein? Oh yes please!
Back at the hotel after all their wanderings,
The last thing they’ll want are onion rings!
© Baldock Bard 2012
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Bad Weather Beats Bard (almost)!

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Recent rain has seeped into the local telephone exchange and singled out my Internet connection. According to BT it may be after 4pm before I am back online. So I am going out into the storm with my trusty iPhone to search for a signal. I have donned my Sou’wester and am on my way. Wish me luck, I may be gone for some time…

The weather this week has been so wet,
Alas I’m left with no Internet.
Yesterday morning I rang BT,
Who said it’d be back today after tea.
When in the past the phone wouldn’t ring,
I’d be left with two cans and a piece of string!
Now the Internet is broke,
I’ll be passing around a note I wrote!
However to publish it online,
Out in the storm one more time.
On top of the hill to get reception,
And pray you enjoy this small reflection!

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and hope you have a good day!
Baldock Bard
sent from my iPhone (I hope!)

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Thanksgiving!

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Today is Thanksgiving day in the United States. To non-Americans it seems to be a late celebration of a harvest 391 years ago. Rather like our Christmas they will be eating turkey but with the shops open! Being one who needs little excuse for a celebration with lots of eating, I like the idea. So Happy Thanksgiving to our American cousins…

Happy Thanksgiving Day
To all our friends in the USA
We have heard that you are cooking
A great big turkey, that’s good looking!

Then you’ll eat Pumpkin Pie
I really can’t imagine why!
The Pilgrims sailed to you from here
You celebrate their harvest every year

Three turkeys are given to the President
Two are pardoned one to the oven-sent!
Stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce
Vegetables and mashed potatoes of course!

You’re our first cousins from across the sea
We almost share a dictionary!
Many times we have cause to note
We’re just Americans who missed the boat!

Lay another place at the table, we’re on our way!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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A Solicitor’s Pie!

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Ailsa, my trusty solicitor, has a wicked sense of humour. Her idea of fun is to E-mail me pictures of food she knows I cannot resist. Her latest attempt to push me over the edge came in the form of her latest construction. Thanks to her bake-off with a friend I’m now salivating like a fire hydrant…

I was sitting quietly at my desk,
Doing nothing wrong, no chance of arrest.
When an E-mail arrived from my solicitor,
(she’s renown for being a hunger-facilitor!)

She’d been baking, I don’t know why,
And sent a picture of an exceptional pie!
The next picture was the one that broke,
A tasty inside to destroy a bloke.
Bacon and chicken with apricots,
Built for a man, not for tots!
The merest picture made me groan,
And from the mouth I began to foam!

This little trick is fading of course,
But leaves me wanting to eat a horse.
Thankfully I’ve got hidden stock,
Not of abstinence but a stick of rock!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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