Carols in Baldock!

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When I went down to Baldock last night to fetch a Chinese take-away, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Next to the town’s Christmas tree was a large group of townsfolk singing carols. Suddenly that old Christmas feeling was all around and I found myself singing along as I strolled back to the car with my take-away (with apologies to ‘We Three Kings’)

An old farmer from Baldock ‘aarrh!’
taking his take-away back to the car,
humming carols in farmer’s apparels,
hadn’t been near a bar!
It’s a wonder, it’s so right,
singing carols on a Monday night,
it’s not snowing but Santa’s going
very soon to take flight!

If I happen to forget in the mad dash towards Christmas, may I wish you a very Happy Christmas. BB

© 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 Brush with the Law!

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Sometimes it’s good to time-travel! Yesterday Mrs Bard and I were having Sunday lunch with some relations who live near to where I worked in a previous life many eons ago. Another guest was the neighbouring farmer who I’d not seen for nearly 40 years. I have never been a great one for reminiscing, as it can be painful! I wouldn’t dare re-visit old haunts for fear of stirring up black and smelly mud from the bottom of the pond that is my memory! So it came as a surprise when so many memories surfaced, especially a brush with the law in 1979…

I was awaiting a visit from my ‘big boss’
a cause always for alarm,
when ‘Frank Cannon’ the village policeman,
came to visit me on the farm!
He was a jovial type of bobby,
always up for a laugh,
a raucous sense of humour,
but you wouldn’t want to cross his path.
He was showing me his new-style handcuffs,
he tried them on me just for size,
then started looking for the key,
a look of fear in his eyes!
He jumped into his patrol car,
lights and sirens ‘on alarm!’
I heard him go off into the distance,
I was attached to the wall of the barn!
He finally returned with the key,
had just released me at last,
when in walked my ‘big boss’
the moment for hilarity had passed!
As Frank left in his police car,
“a social call” I lied (quite hard),
“Why in that case please tell me…
did I see blue flashing lights in the yard?”

Frank Cannon was nicknamed after the 1970’s CBS TV series about a rather large policemen who solved every crime put before him. Many thanks to Hugh, Cathy and Winks for helping to ‘stir the mud!’

© 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 Christmas Cards

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According to media reports we are sending less and less Christmas cards every year. Also the annual ‘Round Robin’ letter detailing family achievements has been largely replaced by ‘Look At Us’ daily postings on social media. I must be very old-fashioned as I rather like receiving cards. Last night I recoiled in horror as I realised I’d not written a single one and so spent over four hours furiously using something called a pen whilst applying for a mortgage to buy the stamps…

Less than half the under-thirty-fives,
are sending Christmas Cards,
they’d rather use social media,
(than use a pen like bards!).
Everyone already knows,
what they’ve done each day,
it’s all played out on Facebook,
there’s nothing more to say!
Once I was caught out,
with cards I did decorate,
(I realised that at least three,
were from folk a few years ‘late’).
So if I’ve left you out,
no card ends on your mat,
Have a very Happy Christmas,
and lets leave it just like that!!

(Todays picture shows a selection of cards already received at Bard Towers!)
Happy Christmas from the Bard! (That was far easier and quicker than writing all those cards! Maybe next year…)

© 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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Walking Llamas!

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The other day I was driving along an ordinary road, listening to ordinary radio and thinking ordinary thoughts when I came across an extraordinary sight. A group of people were walking llamas! As Poirot might have said in his best continental accent: “In-croy-able!” I quickly snapped a picture on my trusty i-phone and continued on my way, however the scene would not leave my mind…

Some things that have been seen,
cannot be forgotten,
no control-alt-delete,
for my brain (that’s full of cotton!)
Taking a llama for a walk?
(or was it an alpaca?)
would make a rugby player,
suddenly do the Hakka!

I apologise  that my verse,
has taken a turn for the worse,
I need to walk with a llama,
to re-align ny Karma!

Turns out that they were alpacas all along and so my verse is yet again wide of the mark! However it’s too late for adjustment so you’ll just have to forgive me! You too can take an alpaca for a walk, just visit http://www.alpacatrekking.co.uk 
Oh! and while I have your attention, the Waterfront B&B in the background is the best in the world, trust me I’ve stayed there and will do so again! https://www.wellswaterfront.co.uk.
(END OF COMMERCIAL BREAK – NORMAL SERVICE RESUMED TOMORROW!)

© 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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By Candle-light!

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Late Sunday morning the lights went out. A tree, with branches laden with snow, brought down a power line in one of our fields with a bang and shower of sparks. This is something that always happens to others during inclement weather and is reported on the news almost as an inevitable bolt-on: “…bringing down power lines and leaving thirty thousand homes without electricity!” By mid evening the power had been restored to just five dwellings and a phone mast…

We sat around with candles,
not a drop of juice anywhere,
while men with large pliers,
hoisted cables back in the air!
While we sat by the fireplace,
warmed with the fireside glow,
faceless engineers outside,
worked in the dark and snow.
Then all of a sudden,
the power was restored,
our digital lives resumed,
not in the slightest bit bored!

‘Thank-you’ to UK Power Network, for being there when needed. It was fun while it lasted because it didn’t last long!

© 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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‘Snow Bomb’ Sunday!

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Yesterday, unusually for a British December, we had around eight inches of snow! Having seen the forecast on Saturday evening I had found the snow-blade in the yard and put it ready for attachment to the JCB Fastrac tractor should the need arise. In the past it has raised much mirth when I was prepared but to no avail, this time I was ready, willing and able! Unfortunately some of the drivers I encountered had obviously never considered snow when they bought their expensive Mercs, Audis and BMW’s…

Out on the Baldock Bypass,
the traffic grinds to a halt,
a tyre-spinning expensive car,
doesn’t think that it’s his fault!
I pass them on the inside,
over the bank beside the road,
they look surprised to see me,
“We can’t believe it snowed!”
The blade goes down in front of them,
just misses a Mercedes bonnet,
they wave a grateful thanks,
(or a finger says ‘sit on it!’)
Most days they swear at tractors,
“Get out the ‘effin way!”
But they seem pleased to see me,
on ‘Snow-Bomb’ Chaos Sunday!
© 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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Organics at work!

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Recently our neighbouring farmer had a contractor in with a large spreader to spread his heap of pig muck. Having not had animals on our farm for over 30 years I had forgotten this annual ritual. Apparently those in neighbouring town have more recent memories, although strangely they don’t seem to realize that if they want organic produce, this is the embodiment of such luxury…

The loader digs into the heap,
letting out the odours for others to keep!
Then takes a forkful into the air,
and dumps it into the spreader there.
“The smell is apparent in our home,
please go elsewhere preferribly Rome!
We didn’t move here to breath such a smell,
it’s bound to make our darlings unwell!”
The spreader then drives across the field,
this wholesome muck will boost the yield,
neighbours rush around in a Febreeze-led panic,
yet want all us farmers to go organic!

© 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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Feeding the Birds!

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The other day when we were busy fencing, our neighbour, John was ploughing. Following him was the biggest flock of gulls that I’ve ever seen behind a plough. So impressed was I that I had to capture the scene with my faithful drone…

Following John’s plough,
is a large white cloud,
that descends on worms,
with screeching loud.
They communicate,
to others from afar,
“Bring all your friends,
siblings, Ma and Pa!
There are fat juicy worms,
he’s using a furrow press,
just like MacDonnalds,
with portions to impress!”

Have a good day and watch out for the gulls!

© 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 Fencing Team!

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Yesterday a local fencing team were in action on the roadside near the town. Not being livestock farmers, the art of erecting a fence doesn’t come naturally to this arable team. Thankfully son-in-law John, who has much experience of such things in a previous incarnation, was there to guide us along and make sure the new post-and-rail fence was presentable…

The local fencing team,
(I’ll not mention any names!)
is hoping for a place,
in the next Olympic Games!
Who will tell them?
(they’re bound to be bereft)
the closest they’re likely to get
Olympic Breakfast at the Little Chef!

© 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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World Day of Remembrance

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Yesterday was World Day of Remembrance for all persons killed on the roads across the globe. My daughter is a volunteer for the Road Victims Trust, helping families and survivors across Cambs, Beds and Herts and I’m very proud of her. We all went to St Mary’s Church in Cambridge for a service of remembrance for road victims. For us, it was yet another reminder that there will always be an empty chair at our table, following the death on the road, of our son, David, aged 22. During the service, with it’s ever painful reminder of our loss I suddenly remembered a chink of light that I’d hidden away from the dark days following his death and I thought this was an ideal time to bring it out into the open and share with you…

One of our old friends lives in Canada. Following David’s death I’d tried to contact her by phone, but always was put through to the answerphone. As it was a raw subject that you can’t readily leave on someone’s answerphone, I left a simple message: “Hi Jane, can you get in touch.”
A couple of days later we had a kitchen-full of David’s young friends. Not knowing what was expected of them at a time like this, they behaved as youngster’s do, drinking, laughing, crying and remembering, with stories of good times spent with him.
The phone rang, it was Jane.
Her first words were: “Sounds like you’re having a great party, what are you celebrating?”

When I remembered this little story during the service yesterday, I was reminded that although we had much to mourn: lost parties, birthdays, family gatherings and possibly even christenings, we also had so much to celebrate from his life.

So give the ones you love an extra hug this morning or if they’re away, ring/text them and simply say “Love You”, and rejoice in the fact that you can.

The Road Victims Trust is a registered charity who provide help for those affected by road fatalities. They work in partnership with the three police forces across Cambs, Beds and Herts. For more details and donations please visit  www.rvtrust.org.uk
Thank 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

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