Newtown clock

It is reported that the Victorian town clock in Newtown, Powys is to have it’s bell silenced during the night because visitors have complained about the chining every quarter hour but some locals are upset about it. A consultation in the town was evenly split (like Brexit, perhaps) so maybe this has some way to go.

With clocks that chime so very late,
It is a case of love or hate,
And it’s divided one small town,
And views aired in the Rose and Crown.

Traditionalists say that they,
Should chime away both night and day,
While those that run the B and Bs,
Have guests they say they have to please.

“They stay away,” they all complain,
“Which really is a dreadful pain,
And then such bad reviews they write,
Because they cannot sleep at night.”

The other side was not impressed.
“To say, ‘to stop the chimes is best’,
Is nonsense and it goes against,
Our history and our common sense.

The clock has been there on its own,
Since old Queen Vic was on the throne,
And if we don’t the chiming save,
She will be turning in her grave.”

The Council thought about all this,
Not wanting to seem too remiss,
But in the end thought it was right,
The clock chimes should now stop at night.

And that is it, at least for now,
Unless there’s a complaining cow,
In which case maybe then we’ll get,

Image – High Street and Clock Tower, Newtown, Powys
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © nick macneillgeograph.org.uk/p/1909083


concrete mixer

It is reported that Donald Trump has signed his name on a newly constructed section of the famous US–Mexico border wall, boasting that this ‘Rolls-Royce’ wall is built of steel filled with ‘very powerful concrete’.

The wall, the wall, if you recall,
Is planned to be so very tall,
That migrants, climbers, all of those,
And others, too, I would suppose,
Will find that it is pretty hard,
To break through this, Trump’s new façade.

I thought it had dropped from the news,
Along with Donald Trump’s own views,
For I just hadn’t heard him say,
A great deal more until today.

But now it seems the wall is back,
And building it could be on track,
But as to who for it will pay,
The bit I’ve read just doesn’t say.

We learn, though, that it’s very high,
To make it difficult to try,
To scale the wall first up then down,
And it will be a rusty brown.

More to the point, though, it’s been built,
Quite vertical, without a tilt,
With steel façade some six feet wide,
And powerful concrete inside.

What ‘powerful’ means used this way,
It is quite difficult to say,
But Trump has said it so we could,
Assume it means the concrete’s good.

But maybe he was trying to,
Do what most writers like to do,
Which is to have a choice of words –
That has for him been for the birds!

So what if he was not quite right?
His error here was rather slight,
But listen for his next tweet when,
He’ll doubtless mangle words again!


airline meal

It is reported that a company has developed ‘partially edible’ in-flight food trays made from used coffee grounds.

When on a plane one likes to eat,
But sometimes it is not a treat,
(Though at this point I’d like to say,
I mostly find it’s all OK.)

But other folk might disagree,
And even if the food is free,
Would say it’s unforgettable,
And totally inedible.

It’s not the greatest haut cuisine,
That you or I have ever seen,
But now improvements are in store,
With things you haven’t seen before.

For someone clever has devised,
A food tray which is now comprised,
Of coffee grounds from yesterday,
Replacing those we throw away.

The tray – the new one’s – said to be,
Something we can eat and it’s free,
And so this should allay one’s fears,
As soon as this new tray appears.

For if we now try we will find,
That these trays of this special kind,
Can be consumed, at least in part,
A bit like coffee flavoured tart.

And there we are, do please tuck in,
To waste such food would be a sin;
So do please try this coffee tart –
New peak of culinary art!



It is reported that a man in Pembrokeshire who was taken to court by the local council for building a shed without planning permission (and spoiling the view) has had the case dismissed by a judge after he fitted wheels to the shed and claimed it was now a vehicle, not a building.

The council man came on the scene,
He had been sent to intervene,
For someone had a complaint made,
About a shed that’s casting shade.
Not only that, it’s also, too,
Upsetting now his neighbour’s view.

He sees the shed, he gives a frown,
He says the man must knock it down,
And if he doesn’t then he might,
End up in court to see who’s right.

The builder gets a bit concerned,
His shed could be knocked down or burned,
And then he learns – not sure quite how –
The council might have to allow,
His shed to stay if he can show,
The structure there can come and go.

So knowing this our builder feels,
That if he fits the shed with wheels,
The court will find that in that case,
The shed can stay there in its place,
Provided that the builder’s fit,
And pushes it around a bit.

The court day comes, the judge says, “Well,
I really cannot now compel,
The builder to his shed remove,
Because it’s hard to now disprove,
That it’s a van and not a shed,
Or other vehicle instead.

So off you go, you’re in the clear,
But ere you get too far from here,
You’d better work out how to prove,
A shed like this can really move!”



It is reported that self-driving cars have a problem with insects going splat! and obscuring the sensors.

Self-driving cars now under test,
To find out which ones are the best,
Are very complex as you know,
So when to town you want to go,
They’ll get you there in just a flash,
While trying to avoid a crash.

To this end they have sensors which,
Will stop you going in a ditch,
Or hitting people on the street,
Or older cars, soon obsolete.

But now a problem has shown up,
Which very likely will disrupt,
The clever software in the car,
Before it has gone very far.

This will, in fact, be little use,
Because the car cannot deduce,
What it can see or should now do,
The next few yards to get you through.

“So what’s the problem?” You might ask,
“Cars must be equal to their task,
And if they cannot find a way,
They might be subject to delay.”

The problem that’s been found, you might,
Think really does seem rather slight;
It’s been around for decades and,
Applies to every make and brand.

It is that as you drive the car,
Before you have gone very far,
And while still engaged in a chat,
You’ll very likely hear a splat!

And such a noise then signifies,
That right before your very eyes,
An insect, spider, moth or nit,
Most likely has a sensor hit.

That’s it, it knows not what to do,
Which isn’t that much help to you,
As you get out with sponge and cloth,
To find the splat and clean it off!



It is reported that rich people who like to campaign for environmental issues are still travelling the world in high carbon footprint first class cabins and private planes and justify this by buying carbon offsetting such as (somebody else) planting trees.

If you are rich you want to sit,
In first class where the food’s a hit,
And where your travel is so posh,
No matter it costs loads of dosh.

Such people nowadays feel guilt,
For in first class they do not wilt,
But they know their footprint is high,
While up there flying in the sky.

Now normal folk – that’s me and you –
Know what we really ought to do,
Is buy a cheaper ticket or,
Go watch the telly to explore.

But these rich people are all booked,
On travel, like I said, they’re hooked,
And so they pay a bit more so,
Their footprint comes down to zero.

But they could all do better still,
And save the planet if they will,
If they would, like us, stay at home,
Instead of round the world to roam.

But which to stay in? Most have two,
Or even more, perhaps a few,
And all these houses need AC,
To control to the nth degree,
The temperature and you know why?
Because outside it’s far too high!

So do be careful if you’re rich,
And on a global warming pitch,
It might be best to stay in town,
And also keep your head right down!



It is reported that Pope Francis got stuck in his personal lift when it developed a fault; after twenty-five minutes he was rescued by Vatican firemen.

A fact that’s maybe little known,
Is that the Pope is said to own,
A private lift to take him where,
He doesn’t like to use the stair.

The lift can travel down or up,
But recently the thing got stuck,
And though the Pope began to pray,
The lift would not budge either way.

He joined his hands, he prayed some more,
But still could not dislodge the door;
By now God should be on the case,
And then he saw the cheery face,
Of firemen with their hoses and,
An engine that was fully manned.

The Pontiff smiled with great relief,
He’d thought he might have come to grief,
If it set off and – just his luck –
Decided to go down not up.

For he knew what was down below,
It can get pretty hot and so,
Much better to avoid the worst,
And get the firemen in there first!