It is reported that the French Word Police (the Commission for the Enrichment of the French Language or CELF) are, as always, trying to come up with alternatives to English words that are popular in France; in particular they don’t like ‘fake news’.

The French are pompous, there’s no doubt,
They like to talk and strut about,
And nothing much gets up their nose,
Like people speaking English prose.

Their language, they say, is so good,
All men would speak it if they could,
And one thing that they cannot bear,
Is English words included there.

The latest they don’t like’s fake news,
Or information fallacieuse,
But this is so long-winded that,
Campaigns to use it will fall flat.

Courriel – that’s email to you,
Might have a better chance, it’s true,
But even though the word is short,
It’s harder to say than you thought.

And that’s just two, there’s many more,
Some that you won’t have heard before,
Like for a smartphone from today,
Please mobile multifonction say.

And finally, the worst of all,
(They’re banging heads now on brick wall)
To have within French etiquette:
L’acèss sans fil à l’internet. Accent grave ..ess. a

You likely know fil is a wire,
(That’s from French ‘O’level or higher)
And so this snappy turn of phrase,
Describes a current modern craze,
Which, if you’re wond’ring what or why,
Is French shorthand and means Wi-fi.

Image – Mike Licht,



It is reported that Waitrose is starting in-house deliveries where they let themselves in and put your groceries in the kitchen, fridge or freezer.

It seems that in this day and age,
Although it can be hard to gauge,
Folk like to buy their food and wine,
Not in the shop but now online.

So far, so good, but when the man,
Stops outside in his little van,
He’ll likely not see you about,
Because quite often you’ll be out.

So with your shopping, what to do?
The options can be rather few,
And all that he can do that day
Is take the blooming lot away.

So Waitrose has devised a plan,
Which will allow their little man,
To go inside your locked front door,
And walking gently on the floor,
He’ll find your fridge and cupboard too,
And put it all away for you.

“That’s pretty good,” I hear you say,
“But if the fridge is full, he may,
Find there is insufficient room,
Because we have failed to consume,
The last lot that he brought before,
From some or other Waitrose store.”

“I see your problem but I think,
If he leaves some things in the sink,
They’ll be all right for, as a rule,
Most sinks are really pretty cool.

It does mean, though, the sink must be,
As empty and clean as can be,
For if it’s not and in a mess,
It might cause much undue distress.”

I’m rambling on here, not sure how,
To finish off this poem now,
But it might help if you would stop,
And buy all your stuff in the shop!



It is reported that a woman has beaten the world cycling speed record, pedalling at 184 mph!

At first sight this does not seem true,
To me or also likely you,
For how could anyone exceed,
A train of that type called high speed?

But now in Utah it’s been done,
There on the salt flats in the sun,
But she used tricks, I have to say,
In order to the record slay.

So on her bike she first gets towed,
(As you are learning in this ode)
Until her speed exceeds a ton,
At which point the rope is undone.

From this point on it’s pedal power,
That gets her extra miles per hour;
But things are still not as they seem,
For she rides in the car’s slipstream.

I expect this reduces drag,
And makes sure that she doesn’t flag,
But it seems pretty strange to me,
That the rules which this oversee,
Allow tricks like this to be used,
And, really, I am quite bemused.

But anyway, the record’s there,
Achieved by tow and flowing air,
And I s’pose it will there remain,
Until someone does it again.



It is reported that women are complaining that Apple iPhones are too big for a woman’s hand, although some are still wedded to their phones (… to have and not to hold …)

This fruit might be the biggest name,
In smartphones which are much the same,
Except for size where some complain,
That bigger models are a pain.

They will not fit a lady’s hand,
No matter it is pale or tanned,
And so some phones are not much use,
For in these hands they’re tight, not loose.

They can cause injury, it’s said,
Though not so bad you end up dead,
But if too large a one you buy,
You might succumb to RSI.

So what to do? You could complain,
But that might simply be in vain,
Because, some think, the Apple folks,
Deciding things are mainly blokes.




It is reported that a gang of moped thieves in south-west London who attacked a lady with a child were attacked and beaten off by two builders wielding scaffolding poles. Unfortunately, they do not appear to have suffered any injuries.

The scourge of moped thieves is on,
They steal your phone and then they’re gone,
And if you’re lucky, you survive –
They don’t always leave you alive.

They’re always able to surprise,
So anyone remotely wise,
Will keep their phone well out of sight,
But many of us aren’t that bright.

We walk along the road or street,
By means of to-and-fro-ing feet,
(Those are the things on which we stand)
While holding the phone in our hand.

And then we find out to our cost,
The phone has gone and now it’s lost,
Wrenched out of our left hand, in fact,
While we had no time to react.

But recently, I have to say,
The robbers didn’t get their way,
For builders who saw what they stole,
Then chased them with a scaffold pole.

The thieves then ran away, of course,
From this impromptu show of force,
And while their victim was relieved,
No injuries did they receive.

Will this deter them? Maybe not,
Builders aren’t found at every spot;
So you should keep a lookout and,
Not walk with your phone in your hand.


Sick cartoon

It is reported that a NASA astronaut has said that she expects rich celebrities who are planning a space trip with Virgin Galactica or some similar space travel company to spend most of their time being sick; and in space the vomit generally has nowhere to go.

A trip in space sounds really good,
If you don’t want one then you should,
At least rich people think that way –
They’ve paid to go up there one day.

They likely think it’s like first class,
Based on how much they’ve paid in cash,
But astronauts say, “Do beware!
It’s pretty rough when you’re up there.

You may find it seems like a trick,
With time spent mostly being sick,
And when you’re sick in space, you know,
It really has nowhere to go.”

So if you go in space beware,
It isn’t like first class up there,
Or even like a budget fare,
With somebody like Ryanair.



It is reported that Russia may be able to hack Britain’s traffic lights and cause chaos on the roads. Have they no ambition? They could try something a bit more challenging!

Remember traffic lights on red,
Mean do not go or you’ll be dead,
Whereas if they have turned to green,
Proceed with caution’s what they mean,

That’s just the basic kind of light,
Which isn’t really all that bright,
But some exponents of the art,
Are frequently described as smart.

These smart lights are quite good, all told,
And by some centre are controlled,
So that they change throughout the day,
In order then to speed your way.

A problem, though, has come to light,
For when he’s spoiling for a fight,
The Russian leader might decide,
To try to make our cars collide.

It’s pretty simple, it would seem:
The lights would all be turned to green,
And then a lot would likely crash,
And be turned into so much trash.

It’s like a version of fake news,
Designed to normal folk confuse,
With red and green, I think you’ll find,
A sort of extreme colourblind.

Then on TV in Russian bars,
They could all watch these dodgem cars,
Because to keep his fans on track,
He also might the cameras hack.