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!



Amsterdam cheese shop

It is reported that Amsterdam has banned the opening of any more tourist shops since it believes that there are enough already and that more would degrade the cultural experience of the city.

In Amsterdam are lots of shops,
They sell all things from cheese to tops,
And now the city has decreed,
That there is no increasing need,
For windmills, tulips, cheese or clogs,
As you can learn here in my blogs.

So new shops will not be allowed,
Because the tourists can all crowd,
Into the shops already there,
And probably with some to spare.

But what of shops with lights of red?
Well, I think I have heard it said,
That there where folk shop in the buff,
Of those they’ve also got enough!



It is reported that a Royal Mail strike is threatened at Christmas.

Now Christmas comes but once a year,
And generally you would prefer,
To send your cards by Royal Mail,
But don’t send cakes – they might go stale.

Cards, formerly, were just a few:
Your best friends – maybe one or two –
And probably the mother-in-law,
Which brings the total up to four.

But over time the list has grown,
As your bank balance might have shown,
And dozens of the things get bought,
Which then the postmen have to sort.

Now if you’re stingy, that’s like me,
And buy cards for about three p,
You’re bound to be distressed to find,
That even this much cheaper kind
Of card will cost the same to post,
As pricey ones that cost the most.

It’s fifty-six pence – second class,
Or for those who’ve got too much brass,
The Royal Mail will them deprive,
For first class of pence sixty-five.

“That’s thirteen shillings!” you exclaim,
“It’s daylight theft in all but name!
Time was when an amount like that,
Would buy the wife a Sunday hat!”

But, anyway, I have digressed,
Because I do not know what’s best,
But if the strikers don’t relent,
Perhaps they have a lifeline sent.

For if there is no post at all,
Even my cheap cards, which are small,
Cannot be sent so won’t be bought,
Thus saving more cash than I thought.

So who says news is always bad?
A strike might be the best we’ve had;
And it might bring much Christmas cheer –
At least to stingy folk round here!



It is reported that Ryanair has cancelled thousands of flights owing mainly to a shortage of pilots and that it’s response to customers in distress has left something to be desired.

Michael O’Leary is the chair,
Of budget airline Ryanair;
His methods are not always fair,
But prices are beyond compare.

Some might say he is doctrinaire,
Runs things as if it were warfare,
And if you are in his crosshair,
You’ll likely wish you were elsewhere.

With prices that are fair and square,
They fly to almost everywhere,
But as you may all be aware,
They’re not so good on aftercare.

Now recently, in fact this year,
Not having any pilots spare,
They tried to get some they could share,
But couldn’t find one anywhere.

They cancelled flights, now this is rare,
Though, luckily, none in mid-air;
The company in this affair,
Was acting rather like Dan Dare.

It seemed they really didn’t care,
As they would not expenses share;
Their response now seemed so threadbare,
With customers all in despair.

The regulator, though, said, “Where
A customer has paid his fare,
There is a contract lurking there.
So if he should someplace repair,
You need to find a seat that’s spare,
And then you must convey him there.”

The airline said, “Then we’ll prepare.
Will do it all with our software.
And we’ll give folk a questionnaire,
So to improve our aftercare.

So if you fly with us take care,
Cheap service is not premiere;
It’s more like a wing and a prayer,
And could be a complete nightmare!”

Image – David Precious / Flickr



It is reported that the King of Saudi Arabia has decreed that women shall be permitted to drive.

In Saudi women cannot drive,
Which might help them to stay alive,
But, generally, they think it’s bad,
And some of them can get quite mad.

They have petitioned many years,
But so far this has led to tears,
And though’t might be beyond the pale,
Some even found themselves in jail.

The King, though, has now changed his mind,
Says, “I can see it is a bind;
If you can’t drive a motor car,
You likely will not get too far.

So I will change the law so that,
As long as your tyres are not flat,
You may drive any car you pick,
Like any Harry, Tom or Dick.

Remember, though, you must still wear,
The veil and dress with nothing bare;
To drive, to this you must agree,
No matter that you cannot see.

There is a problem here, though slight,
For even driving on the right,
And though we have no pubs or bars,
You might just hit the other cars.

You could have quite a nasty bash,
Could suffer later from whiplash,
And other ills might you befall,
So many, I can’t list them all.

So when you’re driving do take care,
That you’ve the proper clothes to wear,
And maybe it’s not very wise,
To drive if you’ve obscured your eyes!”




It is reported that motorists are being encouraged to use the Dutch reach technique when opening the car door so as not to knock cyclists off their bikes.

You won’t have heard of this too much,
And it sounds slightly double Dutch,
But it’s a technique Dutch folk use,
So that their cyclists do not bruise.

The problem is known very well,
So no detail need I to tell;
When motorists open their door,
They can knock cyclists to the floor.

The Dutch, though, have this answer smart,
And motorists all play their part,
By opening their car door wide,
With their hand from the other side.

This might seem odd, at first, but wait,
There is a feature here innate,
For as you reach across, you turn,
And automatically learn,
By means of focusing your eye,
If some cyclist’s about to die,
By riding straight into your door,
And sprawling out across the floor.

And so to keep his death at bay,
You can your door opening delay,
Until the man has pedalled past,
So this trip will not be his last.

So do be careful when you drive,
Then cyclists all will stay alive,
And if you hear a tyre screech,
You didn’t practise the Dutch reach!


McLaren Lego car


It is reported that HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the McLaren factory in Woking yesterday.

The Duke of C is keen on cars,
And I will try to rhyme and parse,
Some details as to what he saw,
And what he did the visit for.

He went to see how cars are made,
And saw a few there on parade,
With different colours, different specs,
Quite suitable when he’s called ‘Rex’.

“My goodness,” he said, “they look fast!
But are they really built to last?
I guess they’ll do a ton and more,
If you put your foot to the floor.”

“They will, it’s true,” the man replied,
“Perhaps you’d like to sit inside;
But see ahead there is a wall,
So don’t press anything at all.

It’s all right if you hold the wheel,
So of the car you’ll get the feel,
But don’t do anything too rash –
We wouldn’t like to have a crash!”

“But what is this?” Will said, “Aha!
It looks just like a Lego car!
And I can tell you now in prose,
George really would like one of those.

He’s got some bricks, orange and grey,
And he would like sometime today,
To start to build a car like yours,
And do it all without a pause.

So I will have to explain why,
This would be hard for him to try,
Because, though I could lend a hand,
There aren’t enough bricks in the land!

But when he’s older he might like,
A car like this, not just a bike,
Though since they cost two hundred thou,
He’d better save up – starting now!”

Image – Brickset / Flickr