Scotland and England on the Jeremy Kyle Show

(Scotland sounds like Nicola Sturgeon, England sounds like David Cameron)
JEREMY KYLE: Next on the Jeremy Kyle Show, we have a couple who are literally on the brink of breaking up and are here as a last resort. Welcome to the programme, Scotland!
JK: So … let’s talk about the relationship. How long have you been together? And how was it to start off with?
SCOTLAND: It’s been more that 300 years, Jeremy, but it’s always been terrible! I never really wanted to be with him, but he wouldnay let it lie.
JK: So, for 300 years – more, even – you’ve been stuck in an unhappy relationship. Tell me what he’s like.
SCOTLAND: Well, Jeremy, he never lets me have control of my own money. He let me have a bank account …
JK: Let you?
SCOTLAND: But even though my name’s on the account, he controls everything I spend, checks up on me all the time. He even took control of the stocks my mother left. Said it would be better if we ‘shared responsibility’, but he always has the last say!
JEREMY: Is there anything else?
SCOTLAND: He’s never really stopped seeing his first wife – Wales!
SCOTLAND: And then there’s Northern Ireland. He met her after me. They have a … special relationship. It’s a bit stormy, but still …
JK: Well, as always, there are two sides to every story. Welcome to the Jeremy Kyle Show … England!
JK: Hello there, England. Scotland says you’re too controlling and you keep tabs on everything she does. Not only that, but you’re also in touch with your first wife, Wales. Is she telling the truth?
ENGLAND: First of all, jeremy, can I just say that I have the greatest respect for Scotland and I feel we just work so much better together than we ever could apart. I have worked tirelessly to make sure she knows how much I value her input and …
JK: Are you still seeing Wales?
ENGLAND: Scotland understood my responsibilities to Wales when we got together and …
JK: And Northern Ireland?
ENGLAND: If that was a problem, she had plenty of opportunities to speak up when I was making those arrangements. It seems that she’s forgetting the good times – like when we won those Olympic medals, and the men’s title at Wimbledon.
SCOTLAND: That was all me! You just take the credit for everything!
ENGLAND: We have to try to make this work! I’ll fight for you with my last breath!
SCOTLAND: I’ve had enough! I’m leaving and I’m taking the kids: The Krankies, David Moyes … Duncan Bannatyne!
JK: What do you have to say about that, England? Just how are you going to fight for her?
ENGLAND: No. She’s right! We’re bad for each other. I won’t fight this break-up any more. As long as she gets custody of George Galloway!

For the benefit of the non-British, Jeremy Kyle hosts a very tacky show like the Jerry Springer show and Scotland is about to hold a referendum on whether to leave the United Kingdom. This is meant in a light-hearted way and I hope nobody is offended by it.

At the Edge of the Mersey

All the beauty of the sparkling river, spread out in the sun.

Red ruts rise here and there, naked in the ebbing tide.

Between the river and me, a ribbon of green and grey

With one magpie, bobbing.

The wind carries my breath toward the rails.

Could my words make these ripples?

I move closer and see the shards of colour on the water:

White, grey, green, blue, black.

The magpie startles.

It takes its leave.

And so do I.


This poem is impatient!

It wouldn’t go away.

Although I said “I’m busy!”

It insisted it must stay.

I was with another poem

Which required a lot of care.

But this one made a racket

So I’d know that it was there.

“Pick me!” it cried in urgent tones,

“I can’t hold on much longer!”

So I turned my attention to

The poem that was stronger.

It swayed my better judgement

By dint of being loud.

It steered me from my righteous path,

Of which I am not proud.

And as it nears conclusion

I have a sneaking fear

This poem had no message but

To tell the world “I’m HERE!”

Transport for London Introduces Barter System

In an innovative move, Transport for London (TfL) has declared that drivers will no longer accept cash on their buses with immediate effect and will, instead, be operating a barter system.

“Since the recession, it’s been obvious that you just can’t rely on the value of currency” declared a spokesman, “but goods and services – you know what you’re dealing with there!”  The first day has proven to be quite successful, with bus use up by 27 per cent compared to similar days and TfL estimates that revenue has increased by as much as 105 per cent as Londoners have exchanged a number of valuable but unwanted gifts for their journeys.


Some examples of accepted fares include a copy of FIFA 13 for PS3 for a journey from Lewisham Road to Biggin Hill airport, a Hello Kitty backpack to travel from Cowley High Street to Bath Road and a brand new pair of Ugg boots, which allowed their former owner to travel from Kensington High Street to Stanhope Gardens.  Rules forbidding the barter of live animals left several commuters frustrated as they attempted to tender pigeons in exchange for journeys from the Trafalgar Square area and one man was arrested after refusing to leave a bus when his offer of a pint of oysters as fare from the King’s Road to Fleet Street was rejected.


Whilst there has had to be a size restriction due to the practicalities of transporting goods as well as passengers, other than livestock, there are very few items that wouldn’t be considered.  When asked for guidance, a driver summed it up for us with the words “No more England kits.”

Twenty-first Century Prayer

O, Lord, let not my Bluetooth fail

Make all my passwords strong.

Protect my battery from all harm

And make its lifespan long.

O, Lord, may all my tweets be great.

And many find them witty.

May hosts of favourites come my way

And not just out of pity.

O, Lord, when I am in my car

Turn all the lights to green.

If birds should fly above me

Keep their crap from my windscreen.

O, Lord, make sure my TV shows

Don’t meet a sticky end.

Keep spoilers from my eyes and ears

Lest I should lose a friend.

O, Lord, deliver tasty food:

The type that comes with fries.

But keep its stores of harmful fat

From clinging to my thighs.

O, Lord, I do the lottery.

Please help me win a prize,

So I can have these bags removed

From underneath my eyes.

O, Lord, my dryer’s on the blink

Please make it work again.

Or failing that, just stop the rain

Until it’s fixed. Amen!


It startles me how easily the lies stack up

Until they form a wall.

Why ‘the voice of reason’?

Where are the eyes and ears of reason?

Twisting your fingers into the gaps of despair,

You can pry open a doorway

And climb in.

The weakest are your primary prey.

Oh, how you love to crow!

“I speak for you!”

You lie!

What walls can keep your vicious rumours out?

Walls of truthfulness?

Clear, unvarnished reality

The only answer, but one that is hard to find.

With cameras on every side, we still don’t know for sure

Which way we’re facing.

Dawn Bats

They came as though from nowhere,

Melting into existence,

Wisps of grey against the silver streaks,

Wheeling and tumbling,

Bats returning at dawn.

Silent in the overhead, they catch the eye

And keep it until they’re gone.

Vanishing in the same arcane way.

As time paints over the silver with gold and blue,

Leaving me standing.

Staring at the sky.

Blind Turn

At the blind turn, I pressed the horn,

Not knowing what might be around the curve.

Slowing to a crawl, I inched into dangerous possibilities.

No need for concern, the way was empty.

At the blind turn, I wondered if this were the best way forward.

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

But sometimes it’s better to divert.

Anybody’s guess.


At the blind turn, I held my breath,

Not knowing what might be around the curve.

Slowing to a stop, I put the car into reverse and drove

Backwards away from the turn, unsettled.

At the blind turn, I saw it would not have been wise to go forward.

Swiftly, the other car passed me.

This time, I’d been right to divert.

Lucky guess.

New Eyes

Suddenly, as if with new eyes I see

This place.

Having passed this way a thousand times or more,

I’m thrown into a panic,

As though lost.

These old bricks, soiled by years of existence

Must have always been this way,

Or similar, for decades.

Today, without real change,

They look so different.

When I first saw this road

They may have been clean

But can’t have been new.

Older than I am,

They’ve watched me pass

And many more before me.

Is it possible that, today,

They have seen me with new eyes?

Do they wonder if I was ever

Untarnished by time?