That Was The Year That Was!

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Recently a friend suggested that I ask my army of readers from around the world to vote for their favourite posting on this blog site. It suddenly struck me that since the end of February and over the last 293 postings you have already voted and those votes were available on the stats page! So as one year ends and another starts I present the Best of the Baldock Bard 2012. Firstly your most popular page and then two very different postings that seem to sum up my year…

Most Visited Baldock Bard Blog 2012
The Pendleton Post Box – 7th August
In a moment of genius the Post Office are gold-painting post boxes in the hometowns of Olympic Champions. The small town of Stotfold, near Baldock, has a new tourist attraction thanks to track cyclist Victoria Pendleton…

They’re over by the postbox
With camera and mobile phone
A famous cyclist comes from here
It’s Victoria Pendleton’s home!

It’s become a tourist attraction
Stotfold’s not had a rush before
It’s got a pleasant water mill
Traction Engines by the score!

If she wins the cycling sprint
There’s bound to be euphoria
Lets hope the gold doesn’t ever fade
For Stotfold’s ‘Queen Victoria’!

Baldock is quite jealous
There’s no-one there to win
The only thing that’s golden
Is a dirty road-salt bin!
My Year
Having trawled through all the 293 postings there are two that sum up my year, I present one of loss and one of gain. Both were written when I was emotionally charged, but on the very opposite ends of the spectrum.
Both were about much-loved influences named Marsya.

Gathering Pollen 8th August

Yesterday I attended an interment in a pretty little Staffordshire churchyard. It seemed strange that everyday life hadn’t stopped for those around us…

The vicar intoned some solemn words as we stood around the grave.
Heads bowed, umbrella handles firmly gripped, a rag-tag honour-guard for a much-loved wife, mother and friend.
Thoughts and memories skipped noisily between headstones like naughty children obliterating those final words of dust and ashes.
A quick glance at the surrounding countryside revealed a patchwork bedspread of distant crops awaiting harvest.
While here harvest is done.
All the while bumblebees enjoy the flowers of the Buddleia and life continues…

Grandfather Bard October 4th
There are many rites of passage in life. Some are un-nerving, some are frightening and some are absolutely fantastic! Having been in at the birth of two children, I thought nothing could ever come close to that emotional roller-coaster ride. Well I was wrong!

This morning I became Grandfather Bard.

Our daughter gave birth to a baby girl by text!
Receiving messages at infrequent intervals had me wondering if I should reach for the self-administering tranquilizer gun.
I paced the house, drank far too much coffee (with it allied trips for relief) and even trawled the Internet aimlessly (randomly ending up at Pitcairn Island!).

It took a further two hours to learn the weight (7lbs 11oz) and come to terms with this life-changing event. Now it’s off to view for the first time and I can’t wait.

Thank heavens for a little girl called Marsya…

A very proud
Grandfather Bard

Happy New Year to you all and a million thanks for sitting next to me on the journey…

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Ode to a Puddle!

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According to the Met Office it’s been the wettest year on record. Climate change enthusiasts are celebrating this latest scientific breakthrough. Meanwhile everyone else is just looking forward to a hot dry summer (apart from the water companies who say it’s been the wrong kind of water and are preparing for an inevitable hosepipe ban)

Water, water, everywhere,
And not just in the sink!
Fields are underwater,
Should plant rice I think!
The children are in Wellies,
Their trousers are all wet,
That we were ever young ourselves,
Is easy to forget!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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The Christmas Carcass!

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According to the media, yesterday was ‘Frazzled Friday’. This was the day when holiday excess finally took its toll and reality dawned! Apparently too much rich food and the realization that there is little left in the bank led not only to Presidents cutting short their vacations but also had us mere mortals heading for the sofa and an ‘another chance to see’ programme on the box. Be a dear and pass the Rennies…

One in two Britons spent the day on the sofa,
Holding their stomachs and feeling hung-over!
More than 70 percent have had rellies to stay,
One day too long most of them say!
Grandma and the kids are the least favoured guest
While Grandad’s have been voted by all as the best!
64 percent of households will have seen lots of tears
Stoked by 65 units of alcohol or so it appears!
The average adult will have piled on 4 pounds,
And a third will have an overdraft worse than it sounds!
The turkey (now curried) bringing flatulence I fear,
We’re just about ready to celebrate the New Year!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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The Christmas Tractor!

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Christmas is all about giving. This Christmas there has been another family member around the table. I make no apologies for spoiling my new granddaughter although the choice of gifts has caused a few raised eyebrows…

What’s been great about Christmas, let me just tell you,
Has been spoiling my new Granddaughter, yes, I know it’s true!
I may have gone somewhat overboard,
But as we shopped the present pile soared!
One great moment she gave me,
Was when she smiled at the toy JCB!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Happy Christmas (War is Over!)

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Christmas is over and the last guests have left 36 Bard Road, Baldock. Like a faint ring around the bath, the remnants of the season’s festivities lay discarded behind the sofa; torn wrapping paper, a half-eaten mince pie, a crumbly dog turd and a meat-free turkey bone! Following the final departure the silence is deafening, as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers should have sung: “Guests made this a Christmas to remember…”

The turkey carcass lies abandoned,
Grandad snoring mouth agape,
Men are smoking in the garden,
From the washing-up escape!

Extra chairs from absent neighbours,
Grandma ate upon her lap,
Check that Grandpa is still breathing,
Yes he is! Thank Heavens for that!

Darren’s sitting very carefully,
His face shows signs of fear,
Been to the toilet many times,
Scoffed those sweets from North Korea!

The kids are rioting in the bedroom,
They are leaping on the beds,
One is tied up to the headboard,
ADHD and cola without meds!

Someone’s shaver has gone missing,
The bathroom’s in thick fog,
Peters toothbrush has gone missing,
I saw it used upon a dog!

A ragtag army goes out walking,
Shouted at by farmer-with-sheep,
Returning back all cobwebs blown-out,
Find that Grandad’s still asleep!

Seven dogs have started fighting,
Aunty’s Peke is on the top,
All the kids have learnt new language,
As adults try to make them stop!

In the kitchen war is raging,
Turkey carcass on the floor,
The hostess shouting at her husband:
“Can’t stand your family any more!”

At that moment front door opens,
Uncle Bernard, parked nearby,
All the kids instantly scatter,
“Bad-breath-Bernard” they all cry!

Doreen has a screaming baby,
Her partner is ‘away’ this year,
She is soon going to visit,
He’s in Parkhurst for shifting ‘gear’!

Someone produces an obscure bottle,
Aunty Flo is filled with life,
Within the hour she’s drunkenly singing,
Uncle Bob ignores his wife!

Dan and Jane on blow-up-bed,
On the landing snore,
Everyone (on the way to bathroom),
Has kicked them hard and made them sore!

Pete is sleeping on the sofa,
Along with girlfriend Sam,
The resultant moanings are suggesting,
That they will, they do, they can!

Thursday comes the house is silent,
They’ve all gone and left today,
Every room is strangely silent
‘Come next year we’ll be away!’

FOR THE RECORD:
This verse and the people portrayed within are pure fiction and bear no relation whatsover to the wonderful guests we had to stay over the Christmas period. BB.

© Baldock Bard 2012

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The Lost Gift!

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Some years ago I entered an annual competition for writers run by the San Luis Obispo Times in California. The object was to write a complete story in less than 55 words. This was my winning entry that has lain in a file gathering dust ever since!
May you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love.
Baldock Bard

The Lost Gift
The Wise Men had followed the star for many days.
They were a congenial group who, apart from one, discussed many important topics as they traveled.
The Fourth Wise Man, being never wrong, turned left into the desert, and it was nearly two thousand years before the world rediscovered plastic.

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Dolly’s Christmas Party!

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The office party season has finally slurred to a close. Up and down the land staff have made fools of themselves and said things they’d never dream of saying in private to their cat, let alone to co-workers. Evidence has been stored for use later in the year. On the farm, Dolly the horse has been to a Christmas party…

Dolly went to an office party,
Had her fill of beer.
Found there were no wise men around,
Shouted “Getsh me outav here!”

Charlotte helped her to a singles bar,
Hoping the air would sober.
Dolly told the barman thirteen times,
“No drinksh shinsh lasht hic-tober!”

The barman said to Dolly,
“Why the very long face?”
She didn’t find the joke amusing,
Lost her temper and trashed the place!

So Charlotte hailed a taxi,
Dolly was abusive of course.
It didn’t help when the driver said:
“Is she drunk or just a little hoarse!”

Dolly’s had a good night’s sleep,
Dreaming of carrots and peace.
But this morning she’s hung-over,
Being asked some questions by the police!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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Let’s Talk Turkey!

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Do you ever stop and consider where your food comes from? Even as a food producer my mind seldom wanders further than the packet on the shelf in the supermarket. We are blessed in this part of the UK with high-quality suppliers and producers. Sometimes we are even lucky enough to know exactly where our food comes from…

John and Sue farm near here
In the run-up to Christmas they disappear!
Not seen here not seen there
‘Plucking’ turkeys everywhere!
Out and about in all weathers
Sue’s seasonal hairstyle includes feathers!
“Let’s Talk Turkey!” is what they say
They’ll want peace come Christmas Day!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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The Phoenix Rises!

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On August 16th, during harvest, my trusty Isuzu did a passable impersonation of an Olympic Torch! Since then I have hired, begged and borrowed a succession of vehicles while ‘those in the know’ searched for a suitable replacement. John W, a late entrant into this vehicular marathon came up on the inside to take the tape first! I now drive incognito…

Local farmers think something’s fishy
I now drive a Mitsubishi!
Some are asking if it’s on hire
Others are looking for signs of fire!
It looks brand-new because it’s so clean
It’s tidy enough to give a lift to the Queen!
So if you see it parked in the yard
It’s not a celebrity but the Baldock Bard!
© Baldock Bard 2012
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Goodbye to Tomorrow!

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There are some, mainly barmy academics and ‘Armageddon Tourists’ (presumably without a return ticket), who think this is our last day! Today, 21-12-12 is the day ‘Preppers’ (survivalists) in more remote parts of the USA start to open the tins of food they’ve been saving since the early sixties. As it’s too late for me to be saved by a UFO in the tiny (but suddenly crowded) village of Bugarach in the South of France I shall take my chances. After all I’ve done my Christmas shopping…

If some people have their way
This will be our last today!
Those of us who can speak Mayan
Think that they’ve been caught a-lie’n!
If tomorrow was not to be
I wouldn’t have bought a Christmas tree!
We don’t know when our time is up
So go ahead get that pup!
If I’m wrong it will be hard
“Goodbye tomorrow!” from the Baldock Bard!

© Baldock Bard 2012
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