Mallard (SNG)

It is reported that the Government is to temporarily take over the running of the Virgin East Coast Railway and it is to be re-named the London North Eastern Railway, LNER.

We’ve sort of all been here before:
This line has had owners galore,
And three or four of them have been,
During the last twelve or thirteen,
Years during which the owners say,
They simply could not make it pay.

Their sums, they say, were slightly wrong,
And then they found before too long,
Predictions of a pile of cash,
We’re not just simply wrong but rash.

In normal cases of this sort,
The parties can end up in court,
Or, if it’s bad enough, they just,
Bite on the bullet and go bust.

But railways are not quite the same,
For travellers have as their aim,
To start at A and go to B,
And not, instead, from C to D.

So if the company goes bust,
Some other well-known outfit must,
Continue all their trains to run,
Just like the bankrupt one had done.

That well-known outfit, you may guess,
Is the Government – sadly, yes –
And they this duty must not shirk.
Or else nobody gets to work.

And so that’s what they will now do,
Run it for many, not for few,
And they should now their fingers cross,
That it does not run at a loss.

It has been done this way before,
So they should know what is in store,
But how well-run it will then be,
We will just have to wait and see.

They’ll call it the LNER,
With trains from London going far,
Right up to Scotland in the North,
And right across the Firth of Forth.

So will the route make cash or not?
It will transport folk who are Scot,
And maybe that does not bode well,
If ticket prices start to swell,
For they are mostly minded to,
Stick to their hard-earned cash like glue.

Image – Alan Wilson / Flickr


Chocolate spread

It is reported that a tanker overturned on the motorway in Poland spilling molten chocolate all over the road.

The chocolate tanker did a swerve,
But didn’t manage quite the curve,
As the driver who was a Pole,
Tried desperately to keep control.

In this he failed, I have to say,
His truck tipped over anyway,
And as he stood up in the road,
Surrounded by his sticky load,
He realised, just like you do,
That other cars were sticking too.

His tanker was on quite a tilt,
Most of his load now having spilt,
And as he wondered what to do,
He saw that it was setting too.

The police were called, they closed the road,
Until the tanker could be towed,
And then the firemen arrived,
Who take things like this in their stride.

They stood and looked, they scratched their heads,
They’d not seen this before, they said;
And as they wondered what to do,
With all this sticky chocolate goo,
They, too, observed it wasn’t wet,
For most of it by now had set.

And then a brainwave someone had,
Who thought that it would be too bad,
If all this chocolate – it’s called paste –
From this point on just went to waste.

So several hundred kids were brought,
Each armed with lunchbox, knife and fork,
And so by the end of the day,
The chocolate had been chipped away.

The traffic flowed, the kids were pleased,
The transport headache had been eased;
But later on that night, Oh dear!
Another tanker tried to steer,
Around an animal that was,
Licking the road surface because,
Although the kids had been quite deft,
In some places a bit was left.

Now solid chocolate gives no grip,
The tanker went arse over tip,
And chocolate once again now flowed,
All spreading out across the road.

The rest of this you may surmise,
It’s obvious so there’s no prize,
Suffice to say in prose or rhyme,
They all knew what to do this time!

(Please note: the second tanker is fictitious.)



It is reported that the number of centenarian drivers has been steadily increasing.

Some older folk, while still alive,
Determined that they want to drive,
Would mostly say, if they were asked,
That they’re still equal to the task.

They know the rules, the Highway Code,
Have seen the potholes in the road,
And they are cautious when they drive,
So in one piece they will arrive.

But others say it’s rather sad,
For some of them can be so bad;
And though their speed might be quite low,
Reaction times may well be slow.

So if you’re old then do take care,
We don’t want accidents out there;
If someone’s killed ’twould be a sin,
If driverless cars then come in.



It is reported that cycling regenerates the immune system and improves health, thus increasing life expectancy.

Cycling’s a type of exercise,
And pensioners, if they are wise,
Will take such exercise each day,
Because they are convinced that they,
Will withstand bugs that may be rife,
And therefore have a longer life.

They cycle up and down the hills,
The while eliminating ills,
And as they cycle round the bend,
It seems their lives might never end.

But then, upon the other side,
A lorry might come slightly wide,
And this might some of them unnerve,
Causing the bicycle to swerve.

A swerve is good, at least it might,
Avoid a crash if not a fright;
But if a wobble starts instead,
It could result in people dead.

That would be bad, for them at least,
Require the service of a priest;
But also, it would change, you see,
Their average life expectancy.

So let your watchword be, “Take care”,
When you are cycling anywhere;
If longer life’s what you intend,
Try not to wobble on the bend!


Sunbeds cyprus-2364820_960_720

It is reported that, for a small fee, holiday company Thomas Cook will allow holidaymakers to pre-book their sunbeds at their holiday hotel.

In sunny spots it is well-known,
That German tourists think they own,
The sunbeds on beach or hotel,
And pretty much all else as well.

They all get up at break of day,
And then, armed with their towels, they
Rush right down to the pool or beach,
And bag themselves a couple each.

The English tourists mostly say,
That one should not behave that way,
And even though the Krauts aren’t right,
It doesn’t cost to be polite.

So Thomas Cook’s devised a plan,
To end this aggro if they can,
By selling beds before you go,
And well before the Germans know.

Well, this is good, will take the heat,
Out of competing for a seat;
But will the Germans understand,
That next time they might have to stand?



It is reported that the Ministry of Defence has asserted that the Russians are studying the UK’s Gas and electricity infrastructures in order to learn how to disrupt them during any future conflict.

The Government is in a tizz,
Because it thinks the Kremlin is,
Researching Britain’s pipes and wires,
So that it can, if it desires,
Destroy or damage those they find,
Whenever they might feel inclined.

For without these no thing will go,
The country will shut down and so,
You won’t be warm, will not be fed,
And might as well just stay in bed.

The car might work for just a bit,
And be quite normal until it,
Needs filling up with fuel or,
The fancy key won’t work the door.

And telephones might carry on,
Until the backup power has gone;
But mobile phones, although not large,
Will not work well without a charge.

The shops will all run out of food,
Because their stocks can’t be renewed,
And with computers on the blink,
It’s likely there will be no drink.

So what to do about this threat?
And should we start to worry yet?
The threat is probably not new,
But there are things we ought to do.

The favourite option – getting drunk,
At somewhere like The Merry Monk –
Would certainly be the best one,
But only till the beer’s all gone.

And after that you’re on your own,
No beer or drink or mobile phone,
So, from that point, we must rely,
On those whose job it is to spy.

This must be done well in advance,
If we are to have any chance,
Of dealing with this sort of thing,
Apart from on a prayer and wing.

So I suggest they send James Bond,
An agent of whom I am fond,
To go and check on Russian wires,
And see what knowledge he acquires,
Which might, perhaps, prevent attack,
Or at least help in hitting back.

For knowledge in this world is king,
It covers almost everything,
And when we know what he brings back,
The best defence is to attack!


Plane crash

It is reported that there were no (yes, zero!) deaths in world-wide commercial aviation (plane crashes) during 2017 and Donald Trump is claiming the credit.

“Now listen, all you folk that fly,
You’re safe and I can tell you why:
It is because of things I’ve done,
Now that I do this country run.

I did ban laptops, it is true,
But that affected just a few,
’Cos just in Middle Eastern lands,
Are these lethal in people’s hands.

It’s plain that this was right to do,
’Cos casualties have been so few,
And last year’s deaths were very low –
They have, in fact, been just zero.

Yes, zero deaths on planes world-wide,
A source, for me, of glowing pride,
Because, as you can doubtless see,
The whole damn thing was down to me.

But on my laurels I’ll not stand,
For since flight deaths Have now been banned,
This next year I can now tell you,
I certainly will better do.

Don’t worry this does not compute,
Most people are not that astute,
And if the deaths should turn out higher,
I’ll always find someone to fire!”