Christmas Poem from my Father

December 27, 2013

The things that may help you get the jokes are that we must have all been going to my sister’s for Christmas (she has a dog called Bella), and our son was working in Waitrose on fruit and veg. The rest is self explanatory if you know our family.  It will have been delivered as a toast at some point during the meal – so here’s to you all and hoping you are revelling in the festivities as much as he would have done.He will have enjoyed writing this and loved the performance and ensuing applause even more.

We are going to Bella’s for Christmas

With two cats and feral outside.

We’ll be joined by some moorhens and rabbits

And a drake with his beautiful bride.

There might be a fox and his vixen

But for sure a grey squirrel or two

They’ll be all sorts of birds there for Christmas

With an owl with his twit and too-woo.

The hostess the Duchess of Aga

Well known for her dressage of course

Will cook such a meal for those present

That Michelin would gladly endorse

The host with his corkscrew aready

Will serve us with wine that’s first rate

He’ll be aiming to please all our palates

And the Masters of Wine emulate.

Two princesses as well will be present

Both famed for their beauty and style

One princess is known for how quickly

She texts all her friends on mobile

The other princess is noted for acting

And attending general meetings of cast

Then afterwards impersonating old members

In a humorous and kind hearted blast.

An expert on food will be dining

So the hostess to me does allege

He’s acclaimed by the housewives of Ealing

As a darling on fruit and on veg.

It’s known that he straightens cucumbers

And polishes the fruit that’s on show

That he sucks out the juice from pineapples

Is something that Waitrose don’t know.

A couple well known in West Ealing

For the frontage of house fifty seven

Are also acclaimed for their rooftop

And how it got nearer to heaven.

They are also acclaimed for their kitchen

With more cupboards than most it is said

And their garden has impeccable decking

Plus a magnificent green painted shed.

So its a pleasure that all will be dining

And sharing the great festive fare

It makes for a wonderful Christmas

We’ll be ever so pleased to be there

I speak as one ancient old sailor

And for my wife who’s much younger at heart

She’s always so polite and so courteous

But I tend to spit and to….cough.


While children watched the box by night,
All seated on the ground;
The mother of them all came down,
And fury shone around,
And fury shone around.

“Dear God!” said she, for mighty dread
Had seized her troubled mind.
“Do none of you have any sense
This mess I always find
This mess I always find”

“To you, just staring without thought
Plonked seated and just fine
And crisps and Coke cans everywhere
And this shall be the sign,
And this shall be the sign:”

“This time it has now gone too far
You’ve pushed your luck once more,
I’m not clearing up this mess -get it
Cleaned by the count of four
Cleaned by the count of four

Thus spake the Mother and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Teenagers praising Dad on high,
Who said they’d done nothing wrong
Who said they’d done nothing wrong

“Fuck that” said she with screaming voice
Head swollen now and rounded
You clear this up right now or else
You’ll be forever grounded
You’ll be forever grounded

And so it was with much poor grace
They did get up off their bums
And the moral of the story is
Don’t play Dads off against Mums
Don’t play Dads off against Mums

Last night saw me scurrying from Leicester Square tube to the Green Man and French Horn on St Martin’s lane for a quick bottle and galette pre-theatre. En route to this Loire-inspired pub were some incredible singers in Cecil Court – their pure clear voices soaring in to the winter sky. What a boost that was.

And meeting a friend I haven’t seen for ages made for a warm welcome in this little restaurant-rather-than-pub.

The play is essentially a vehicle for two crowd pulling stars – Matthew Macfadyen and Steven Mangan both of whom were good at what they were asked to do. But the joke grew thin after about twenty minutes. We toyed whether to return after the interval but we did and continued to be vaguely amused rather than impressed. The comedic devices are not novel so I am surprised there seemed to be such mirth from much of the audience – two characters play numerous parts with forgotten wigs, half man half woman costumes and all that kind of stuff.  It was more farce than wit and was a lesser play because of it.

If you want to see physical comedy with upper class accents done well you would spend your money more wisely to see 39 Steps  -the long running spoof at the Criterion with no household names in it but a much better script and direction.

Code Christmas Carol

December 11, 2013

It’s not really a carol, but I liked the alliteration. Just a bit of fun as the sign off for a meeting I’m running today;You’d better watch out…..

A toast to Rosie

December 9, 2013

Rosie on the left with Georgina at Drayton leavers do I think. So aged 18.

Rosie on the left with Georgina at Drayton leavers do I think. So aged 18.

Today is Rosie’s birthday

I say is, present tense

Because although she isn’t with us,

She is in every sense.

She shares our celebrations

We raise a glass  – her life to toast

We remember funny things she did

And think of her the most

She pops in to our heads at times

From nowhere, just a nudge

She’s eight years old and smiling

On a never ending ”trudge’.

Then next time she is older

In a costume for a part

Or DMs nearly to her knees

Or in the kitchen doing art.

She’s everywhere around us

In everything we do

She’s part of us forever

And always will be too

She makes us count our blessings

To be kind and love some more

And today another milestone

When she should be twenty four.

All our love xx


Google is not a doctor

December 5, 2013

Hello! Hello! News flash! Google hasn’t spent any time at medical school, hasn’t walked the wards for hours on end, hasn’t spoken to any real live patients,hasn’t asked the pertinent questions, hasn’t learnt from doctors with years of experience and expertise, hasn’t seen real pain behind the eyes, hasn’t felt a cold and clammy hand, hasn’t watched someone turn blue, hasn’t laid a hand on any flesh, hasn’t felt a thready pulse, hasn’t talked to nurses about a patient,  hasn’t ranked the likelihood of each differential diagnosis. In short; Google is not a doctor.

Yes it can be useful for looking up information on a given disease but it doesn’t diagnose and it doesn’t take your specific circumstances in to account.

Google is simply a repository of information. Some good. Some bad. Some pretty ugly. I would say it is akin to a library, but a library has real people who choose which books are stocked. Google spews out the answers to the questions or key words you type in. Not in an order of likelihood of diagnosis, but based on how popular the article is. How well the authors have optimised their site so google picks it up. It’s not a quality assessment.

Unlike the doctor, google doesn’t listen to what you say and then ask a relevant question to exclude lots of possible diagnoses. Google doesn’t ask any questions. And any of the sites that do run those basic diagnostic  algorithms seem to end up with ‘Call a healthcare professional’ anyway so are a waste of time.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY PERSONAL MEDICAL QUESTIONS AND THEN SAY “WELL GOOGLE SAYS…..”. If you want to take your medical advice from google feel free to do so. Just don’t use it as if you are testing my knowledge and certainly don’t expect me to defer to its greater wisdom.

It is three years ago today that my dad died. I have blogged of him often and we miss him still. He loved people and would take every opportunity to find interesting people with views to share. He thoroughly enjoyed his grandchildren as he was retired for nearly the whole of their childhood so had the time to appreciate them. Nearly as much as hubby and I appreciated having them looked after so we could go off for a night!

Here is a poem he wrote as he awaited their arrival.

The Ealing Three (undated)


Natalie, Georgina and Michael

Are coming to Knighton quite soon

So Grandma, I just have to tell you

Is not surprisingly over the moon.

She’s thrilled by the thought of their coming

Here excitement is shown in her eyes

They’re flashing and sparkling and flickering

Like all the bright stars in the skies.


It’s easy to think that there’s nothing

That makes her so happy and glad

Than the prospects of visits to Knighton

Of two special girls and a lad.

Her joy is quite truly unbounded

She just can’t wait for the day

When three jolly Clarkes from the Avenue

Come to Cae Ceri to stay.


Though there’s work to be done for the visit

It is done with great gladness and glee

So she sings as she dusts and she tidies

With no stopping for coffee or tea.

The baking and the cooking’s a wonder

There are biscuits in tins by the score

And as for the soups and the jellies,

They’re of flavours she knows they adore.


Since all is now finished and ready

For the Clarkettes she waits to arrive,

Their Grandma is waiting to greet them

At the foot of Cae Ceri drive.

She sits there all day and the evening

By the light of the sun or the moon

And Taid who is starving and hungry

Is hoping they’ll com fairly soon!!

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