If (Rudyard Kipling Could See This He’d Be Spinning In His Grave)

If you can post some news when all about you

Are posting memes and getting spellings wrong,

If you can be quite sure you’re not about to

Post cheesy lyrics from some random song;

If you can skip a ton of invitations

To play a game you fear would drive you mad,

If you refuse to watch as your relations

Reveal each racist thought they’ve ever had:

 

If you can pause when someone starts to poke you;

If you don’t wince when someone calls you ‘hun’;

If you just breathe and not let them provoke you

Unless, of course, they try to quote The Sun;

If you can bear to read their pass-agg whining

Their veiled barbs, aimed at the latest bloke,

Or view the endless photos of their dining,

And still resist the urge to crack a joke.

 

If you can laugh when they request you copy

And paste the status, to prove that you care,

And even if you know they will get stroppy

Remember that ‘one like’ is not ‘one prayer’;

If you survive them tagging you in pictures

Of fluffy cats. With messages of hope

And keep yourself from posting biting strictures

Displaying all the patience of the pope!

 

If you can learn to hide notifications

About a baby that you’ve never met,

Or your ex-colleague’s cousin’s lamentations

About the job they really hoped they’d get;

If you can just ignore ‘it’s complicated’

If you’re too wise to fall into that trap.

‘Twas not for you that Facebook was created,

And – which is more – I doubt you’d read this crap.

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An Unfortunate Incident in the Bathroom

I’m going to tell you about a thing that happened.  It’s a bit embarrassing and might be considered oversharing.  So be it.  Now, the title might be worrying you somewhat, particularly in light of recent revelations involving the President-elect.  Don’t worry; it’s not that kind of story.  You need some background: I’m getting work done on the bathroom and it’s a bit of a building site at the moment. That being said, it has a usable toilet, so, at the end of an exciting episode of Question Time, I’d hung on enough and went for a wee.  Be warned, this is only the first part of the oversharing.

I went into the bathroom/building site, where I found one of the cats sitting quietly on the windowsill, risking getting tile dividers stuck up her bum, but …her bum, her choice, right?  As I sat down on the toilet, she jumped from the window sill to the door and from the door to the hole in the ceiling that, until last week, had been blocked by pipes and boxed in.  Instinctively, I jumped up and grabbed the disappearing cat by a leg.

To add insult to injury, the door she had used for this impromptu feline parkour wasn’t actually attached to the frame, merely resting against a wall, and under the force of her propulsion, it fell towards me; luckily, with my cat-like reactions, I shat in a sandbox and chased a mouse.  Not really; but I did manage to get my ‘spare’ hand on the door to stop it hitting me on the head.

At this point, I should probably paint you a mental image of the scenario: picture, if you will (though you may prefer not to), me …standing with both knickers and trousers round my ankles, holding the leg of a struggling cat with one hand, while trying to rebalance a heavy door with the other hand and my head.  Bear in mind also, that for the one leg I have hold of, she has three in the ceiling and they’re giving her a lot of purchase and that now she’s not only trying to get into the ceiling but away from the crazy person hanging onto her leg.  The outcome was looking pretty grim.  As you can probably imagine, there was a lot of swearing going on, both in English and ‘Cat’, judging by the yowls punctuating her frantic wriggling.

Now, there were other people in the house: my husband and two daughters were in a nearby room and I could have shouted for help, but I refer you to the aforementioned mental image.  It wasn’t one I wished to convert into a literal image for anyone and my brain was desperately calculating the likelihood of me getting the cat to safety without sacrificing my family’s mental health and my own self-respect.  Luckily, my desire to stop the cat from vanishing into the labyrinth of the ceiling cavity was obviously greater than her desire to get into it and I managed to give the door a strong enough shove to lean it back on the wall and drag the cat out of the ceiling and onto my head and shoulder.  I’ll have scars, both literal and figurative.

At this point, the meowing culprit had gone from being a tuxedo cat, to a primarily plaster-white cat but thankfully, not a ‘stuck’ cat that would have required me to call the fire brigade to smash a wall in.  I set her down and, before doing anything else, I lifted the door out of the room so she couldn’t use it as a launching pad again.  May I say that the shuffle through the doorway, with a solid wood door in both hands, a disgruntled cat at my feet and my pants like particularly undignified shackles, will remain with me as a low point for the foreseeable future, which may not be much longer if that door doesn’t get hung soon.

Incidentally, if anybody has connections with the writing team for Miranda Hart, the scenario is available for their use at a small price.  Enough money to buy a dog, would be good. This would never have happened with a dog.

Team GB Success Causes Medalmania

With the runaway success of Team GB at the Rio Olympics, British people are now expecting medals for virtually every activity.  The phenomenon was first observed after Adam Peaty took the gold for the 100m breaststroke on day 2 of the Olympics, whereupon a fight broke out between two pensioners at the early-bird swim in the Wavertree Aquatics Centre in Liverpool over the pool attendant’s refusal to hold an award ceremony using some benches and a stack of floats as a podium.

Initially, the problem seemed to be confined to sporting activities.  The Hull Ladies’ Crown Green Bowling Club hired local lad Reece Shearsmith at great expense to decorate them for their victory over the Humber Bowling Demons Ladies’ team, choosing to play Housemartins hit ‘Happy Hour’ instead of the national anthem during the ceremony.  In Cornwall, a last-minute sprint gave Mevagissey man Dan Polter a victory over Devonian outsider Alan Hammond-Jones in the charity egg-and-spoon race at the parish church of St Kentigern, before a ceremony on the village green, attended by local dignitaries and Derek Thomas, the Conservative MP for St Ives.

However, as the Team GB Rio medals have stacked up, so has medalmania in the UK.  The insistence on being given not only a medal, but an accompanying solemn ceremony with a podium, a flag and music, has now spread into less obvious pursuits.  Police had to be called to a branch of Aldi in Cardiff when a woman demanded to see the manager after she claimed to be due a gold medal for getting her shopping into the bags at the same speed at which it had been fed through the scanner.  She was charged with common assault, fined and banned from all branches of Aldi in Wales for twelve months.  Further incidents of medalmania include unrest caused by people who were upset at not receiving medals for ‘getting a Renault Captur into a tight parking space’,  ‘putting a USB stick into the slot the right way up first time’ and ‘understanding all of the lyrics of Come On, Eileen’.

While many of the incidents of medalmania have been dealt with in a timely and relatively trouble-free manner, the authorities are concerned that the attitude could become ingrained in British culture, adding billions of pounds to the cost of an already strained infrastructure.  An emergency session of parliament was called to discuss the growing crisis.  Michael Fallon was awarded the gold medal for ‘shouting for the longest before being told to pack it in by the Speaker’.

Farewell, NaPoWriMo

A month of poetry can take its toll

Upon the reader and the poet too.

Though topics may be dredged up from the soul,

They often will appeal to just a few.

The poet tries each day to do their best

To strike a chord within each reader’s mind.

But, as your own appraisal will attest,

Such harmony is difficult to find.

And now this final day has come around.

Just one last piece before I rest my pen

And I can dash my notebook to the ground,

‘Tis many months till I’ll need them again.

So this is all that’s left for me to say:

Thank fuck tomorrow is the first of May.

The Wise and Friendly badger

You see them in the stories; they’re always very wise.

With gravitas, with patience and with kind and caring eyes.

They steer the woodland animals away from foolish errors,

They keep the mice and rabbits and the hedgehogs from all terrors.

Their guidance is unparallelled, their insight quite astounding,

Their sense of fairness most advanced, their qualities abounding.

Their homes are neat and cosy, their habits most fastidious,

Their entertainment perfect as each one’s a host punctilious.

The other forest creatures know that these beasts can be trusted.

They’ll sit and tell their troubles in a cottage highly dusted.

But if you see a badger as you walk out in the twilight

A rustle in a hedgerow and a peek of black and bright white,

Don’t tell it all your problems!  Don’t expect it to be nice.

It will tear your sodding throat out without even thinking twice!

 

The topic for this was chosen by a Twitter friend, Sian Ifans () and I’d like to thank her for it because it was a lot of fun.

Curses

May you always be caught as the lights turn to red.

May your socks start to slip as you run for the train.

May your bladder fill up as you get into bed.

May you exit the salon into lashing rain.

May The One Show come on when you’ve lost your remote.

May you email your boss with a kiss at the end.

May a pair of tights stick to the back of your coat.

May you spot the text typo just as you press ‘send’.

May you go a whole day with your top inside out.

May you think you’ve got tea when you’ve drunk the whole cup.

May you ruin your photos by trying to pout.

May you get in the ‘down’ lift and find it goes ‘up’.

May you buy the wrong ink for the printer you own.

May your laptop keys break so there’s no ‘e’ or ‘r’.

May the Crazy Frog ringtone get stuck on your phone.

May a gull take a dump on your freshly washed car.

May your series link fail so you miss your best show.

May you make a mistake and put talc in your stew.

May your nettles run wild but your roses not grow.

May you see this and realise it’s about you.

The Whole Day Blues

Well, I woke up in the morning

And the sun streamed in the room,

I wish I’d had the curtains closed

I sleep better in the gloom.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got those half asleep blues.

 

I’m tired right through the daytime.

I’ve got the whole day blues!

 

So I got up and I drank some tea,

To make me feel awake,

But I hadn’t switched the kettle on

And that was my first mistake.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got those half asleep blues.

 

I’m tired right through the daytime.

I’ve got the whole day blues!

 

Then by the time I started work

I thought I was okay,

Till I signed an email with a kiss

And sent it on its way.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got those half asleep blues.

 

I’m tired right through the daytime.

I’ve got the whole day blues!

 

By lunchtime I was wide awake,

My mind was free of doubt,

But it turns out that my cardigan

Had been on inside out.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got those half asleep blues.

 

I’m tired right through the daytime.

I’ve got the whole day blues!

 

And when the day was over

And I got back in my bed,

I couldn’t get to sleep with all

The things stuck in my head.

I’ve got the blues.

I’ve got those wide awake blues.

 

Keep wakin’ in the night time.

I’ve got the whole day blues!

The Weirdo Cat Non-Rhyming Rhyme

My cat’s a total weirdo; she’s such a unique cat.

Although, like all the others, she can be an utter scamp!

She used to fail at climbing things but now she has it mastered.

She climbs onto my wardrobe and she craps on it, the madam!

My cat’s so disobedient; she treats me like a sucker!

She steals my food when I turn round, the cheeky little monkey!

My cat plays fetch and buries stuff, she’s learnt to beg and sit.

She also chews my favourite shoes; the wayward little imp!

My life with cats is very strange; it’s something of a farce!

And mostly it’s because of her, that crazy, feline pal.

I Want To Be A Poemer

I want to be a poemer; I want to write dead good.

I’d love to find the perfect rhyme, like every poemer ought.

I’d write about important things, (the best stuff, not the worst).

But every time I pick one Brian Bilston got there first.

I want to be a poemer; how brilliant would that be?

I’m already great at scanning as I’m certain you can plainly see.

Real poemers are the coolest, which is why I’d love to try it.

I’d write a book of poemings but nobody would buy it.

I’d love to be a poemer, a versador, a bard

But, to be as frank as I know how, it’s just too bloody hard!

A Modern Prayer

Lord, help me avoid temptation,

Ban all good games from Playstation,

Please make chocolate less addictive,

Make my gossip less vindictive.

Keep my lips from wine and gin,

Maybe then I could be thin!

Make my tweets go unretweeted,

Let that habit be defeated!

Shield my eyes from crap TV

Which somehow just entrances me.

Block all Facebook invitations,

Help me gauge their limitations,

Such as stalking all my workmates

And those men who were my worst dates.

I know I’d be so productive

If temptation weren’t disruptive