Traffic warden

It is reported that thousands of parking ticket machines have not been modified and can still only take the old £1 coin which ceased to be legal tender on 15 October. But if you are thinking of putting an old £1 coin in … think again.

The old pound coin is now no use,
So if you’ve one in your change loose,
You might think it’s une bonne idée,
To use it in the parking bay.

And helping you in this, your plan,
Is your new friend, the Council Man,
Because he has been rather slow,
Preparing for these coins to go.

So his machines will not take new,
You can’t use them to pay your due,
And so it seems right to suggest,
The course of action that is best,
Is use your old coins in this way,
By which I mean for parking pay.

But if you do so then beware –
This next bit’s true, it’s not a scare –
These coins not legal tender are,
So, though it might sound quite bizarre,
If they for parking pay toward,
That may well constitute a fraud.

And fraud is an important crime,
Much worse than just a yellow line;
It’s pretty high up on the scale,
And you could find yourself in jail.

So with these old coins do take care,
You might complain that things aren’t fair,
And though such things I can’t excuse,
It’s heads they win and tails you lose!



Chocolate bars

It is reported that the NHS wants hospital shops and vending machines to stop selling large-size snacks which contain more than 250 calories.

In hospital one can get fat,
And if you ask, ‘What’s wrong with that?’
Well, being thin’s not just a fad,
’Cos being fat can be quite bad.

It leads to illness, as you know,
It’s hard work when you’re on the go,
And if you too much chocolate crave,
You’ll be in for an early grave.

More to the point, you might fall ill,
But not responsive to a pill;
The NHS then takes you in,
And starves you till it makes you thin.

How they do this, they are all clued,
They serve unappetising food,
And till it’s eaten it’s a cert,
That no way will you get dessert.

But if you think that you can sneak,
Into the shop and take a peek,
At all their snacks there on display,
And all you’ve got to do is pay,
Then I’ve bad news, I am afraid,
’Cos chocolate, sweets and lemonade,
Now come in very tiny packs,
So really not much of a snack.

So for a snack, please bide your time,
For neither is there beer or wine,
But, in the end, if you lose weight,
Perhaps you won’t then meet your fate!



It is reported that Thomas the Tank Engine is to be made more politically correct by replacing Henry and Edward with Rebecca (who is presumably female but only if she is happy with that) and Nia (African, orange and perhaps of indeterminate gender). The Liverpudlian narrator is also to disappear and Thomas will leave his home on the Isle of Man. Sodor that!

With all these changes, where to start,
And not upset the apple cart?
The Thomas, he whom we all love,
Is under pressure from above,
To reinvent some of his friends,
And in this way to make amends,
For all the sexist stories he,
Has told in the last century.

So out goes Henry, Ed as well,
To both of these we bid farewell,
And in their place comes Nia who,
Is African and orange hue.

To go with her is Becky who,
Is likely to get in a stew,
’Cos in the world of trains and steam,
Girls are not held in high esteem,
Because with Barbie, also Ken,
They just do different things than men.

But, nonetheless, we have to pay,
Lip service now from day to day,
To make sure everything you see,
It perfectly – you know – PC.

So, to this end, more changes are,
Required so Tom is not bourgeois;
And one more consequence of this,
Is everybody will now miss,
The dulcet tones of Ringo Starr,
Which I’d have thought were on a par,
With persons who’d not claim to be,
A member of the bourgeoisie.

And finally, Tom goes on tour,
To countries, some of which are poor,
To show some empathy with those,
Where a steam engine never goes.

But with all this it’s a surprise,
Especially with coal’s demise,
That Tom’s steam engine friends have not,
Been scrapped now and all left to rot.

But above all steam engines are,
Still very, very popular,
So changing things to be PC,
Is fine if not causing ennui,
But if it should sell fewer words,
Well, then, PC is for the birds!

Image – Duncan Harris / Wikimedia commons



Pound coins 1

It is reported that many shops are intending to continue to accept the old round pound coin after the official cut-off date of 15 October 2017 since there are still half a billion in circulation.

If you go to the shops today,
And plan that with pound coins you’ll pay,
You might just find to your surprise,
The old coin, which is in demise,
Is still accepted – fancy that –
Because it should be turned down flat.

Shops say they want to helpful be,
And some lost down that old settee,
Have not been found and so a few,
Might still be brought to them by you.

The banks, though, are somewhat less chuffed,
“By now chairs should have been unstuffed.”
And they no longer want to sort,
These coins for longer than they ought.

For sorting is a messy job,
Can’t be entrusted to a yob,
Because he might take some away,
To supplement his meagre pay.

So if you’ve got pound coins, it’s brill,
You can still spend them at the till;
But while you queue to take your turn,
They might holes in your pockets burn.




It is reported that Prince Louis and Princess Tessy of Luxembourg (The Grand Duchy) who are divorcing, are struggling to agree the amount of the settlement. But help is at hand …

You’ll likely not have heard of these,
But my piece here is not a tease;
Do be assured, they do exist,
And on their country’s royal list.

It was eleven years ago,
Prince Louis thought that he should go,
And tie the knot with girlfriend Tess –
She had already told him: ‘Yes’.

They had met on a firing range,
Which you may think a trifle strange,
But both were in the army then,
Fighting in the war Kosovan.

But forward to the present day:
They can’t agree what he should pay,
To settle his withdrawal from,
This matrimonial union.

What she’s proposed, he has turned down,
And with talks now close to breakdown,
While she thinks what she wants is fair,
They need some help to clear the air.

Up steps the Duchy’s old PM,*
He puts his glass down, says, “Ahem.
I am an expert in this field,
Stick to your guns and do not yield.

But first, do get the figure right,
It should be large to cause a fright,
And with your marriage in a state,
Well, billions is the going rate.

At this the others may object,
But they seem fairly circumspect,
And, in the end, believe you me,
There is no doubt they will agree.

I know all this ’cos recently,
We have a member breaking free,
From all the EU’s regs and rules;
And though we’ve told them they are fools,
They simply do not get the point,
So all noses are out of joint.

So we insist that they must pay,
A settlement on Brexit day,
And though they say that they will not,
They’ll have no choice but pay the lot.

So you should take my sound advice,
This hundred billion will be nice,
And when the money is all thine,
Do please buy me a case of wine.”

* Jean-Claude Juncker of course



It is reported that the Black Swan in Oldstead near Thirsk in North Yorkshire has been voted the world’s best restaurant. Cheers!

The world’s best restaurant, so it’s said,
Is the Black Swan here in Oldstead;
It’s also got Michelin stars –
That’s for the restaurant, not the bars.

The food is really very good,
The service perfect as it should,
And people who come here to eat,
Have an experience complete.

They see the food there on the plate,
The first aspect they like to rate,
Then after that they wolf it down,
Proclaiming it’s of great renown.

The main course done, on to dessert,
And, as you guessed, they do assert,
That this is pretty good as well –
At least as far as they can tell.

They also have to score the wine,
The coffee after must be fine,
And so when all is said and done,
The Black Swan at Oldstead has won.

So off you go to book your feast,
Or have a glass of wine at least;
Experience will be unique,
But waiting time’s about twelve week.

Image – Colin Grice / Wikimedia commons


Tesco van

It is reported that a lady dialled 999 to report a Tesco delivery van in her street which she considered to be suspicious because ‘people round here don’t shop at Tesco’.

If you are in a Neighbour Watch,
You must be careful not to botch
Things or to raise a false alarm,
Which sometimes might do people harm.

Now false alarms are hard to tell,
As many people know quite well,
So best to watch and bide your time,
Before reporting likely crime.

But one old girl, acting in haste,
And seeing things not to her taste,
Did not like one blue Tesco van,
And wasn’t that keen on the man.

She wasted not a moment’s time,
And quickly dialled 999,
Then waited for police to come,
So they’d arrest this Tesco bum.

The policeman came, he said, “What’s up?
I hope I’ve not been sold a pup.
I see no criminals right now,”
As he looked round with furrowed brow.

“Just use your eyes! – Across the road!
They must have got the wrong postcode.
That van’s suspicious, I am sure,
To let him off is premature.”

“It’s just a Tesco van I see,
Delivering food but not for free;
So what’s the problem then with that?
I’m sure that they’ll have paid the VAT.”

“It’s not the VAT, you silly fool,
The shops all charge it as a rule,
But that van there is very queer –
Tesco’s not used by folk round here!”

Image – Sebastian Ballard / Wikimedia commons