The Great British Beach Hut

The Great British Beach Hut

During this great summer of exceptional heat
While languishing on a fine east coast beach
I rediscovered this classic wooden structure
A credit to the practitioners of our architecture

I refer of course to the beach hut or cabin
A seaside feature you may long have forgotten
Indeed these bijou gems are by no means extinct
Resplendent in colours from blue through to pink

Apparently these tiny buildings are still much sought after
And despite being the butt of much ignorant laughter
They survive to provide many convenient features
To assist the regiments of sun-seeking creatures

For although the facilities in them are basic
They offer the users a handy oasis
From the trials of getting undressed on the sand
Where our nudity is not something we should grandstand

The owners have employed much ingenuity
Making the maximum use of all opportunity
The internal space to greatly enhance
Thus their convenience they truly advance

The way in which the space has been utilized
Would be to many, quite a surprise
Each nook and cranny is called into service
A function is found for every shelf and surface

In the bright summer days they give ready shade
And when rain arrives we can quickly evade
The hazards that threaten to disturb our peace
As we try to relax and be quietly at ease

One interesting fact is that huts cost quite a lot
And over the years prices don’t seem to drop
Whether you simply pay rent or take steps to own
Make sure you get value from this temporary ‘home’

So whether you are seated outside in your chair
Or inside to keep the rain off you hair
You will reflect on the merit of such private space
The British Beach Hut – the pride of our race!

Ken Fisher

Waistcoat Wednesday

Waistcoat Wednesday

 

It matters not if you’re rich or poor
The new dress code makes it de rigueur
To be wearing this jacket without any sleeves
The humble waistcoat – would you believe?

The World Cup is surely not just about footy
It would appear that it’s still a Manager’s duty
To show as much style along the touch-line
As all the star players they ever did sign

Never mind the WAGS made up so classy
Dressed to the nines ever so flashy
It’s the boss who excels with such flair and poise
Surpassing the glamour of those girls and their boys

It is to Gareth we accord our congratulations
His success has matched all our expectations
And whatever comes next, at least we can hope
And if all else fails still wear the waistcoat!

Ken Fisher

 

Let’s Iron Out These Wrinkles

Let’s Iron Out These Wrinkles

Where would we be without this useful device
That ensures all our clothes are kept looking nice?
The washing’s complete but still in a crinkle
Time to eliminate those creases and wrinkles

In days of old we put the iron next the fire
To get it warm enough for what we require
But sometimes this resulted in far too much dirt
Which was quickly transferred to our lovely clean shirt

Eventually the iron was given its own water tank
An improvement for which we all give thanks
Because this meant it could retain its heat
As in its reservoir it did hot water secrete

In due time further changes evolved
Ensuring all ironing problems were solved
Thus pressing of clothes duly came on stream
Achieved by expelling jets of hot steam

The electric iron of today boasts a great range of options
Some offer anti-scale, easy glide, in such modern contraptions
Even safety controls to ensure the machine wont overheat
Indeed no ironing challenge can these marvels defeat

So if you are looking for ways to smooth everything out
This household wonder without any doubt
Can kill off those wrinkles at remarkable pace
But be warned it must never be used on an old care-worn face!

Ken Fisher

Camera Complications

Camera Complications

I don’t know about you but I certainly find
The digital camera can blow your mind
There are so many features to complicate life
That taking a picture produces great strife

The problem is there is too much choice
Something in which we should really rejoice
But no longer can we simply point and snap
As the wrong settings might cause some mishap

You would think the modern camera knows it all
But that’s only if you follow the protocol
To set the aperture, the white balance and shutter speed
Then the correct focal length before you proceed

This is all very well if you have lots of time
But no doubt your subject will begin to whine
And the picture that you thought would bring them delight
Results in an image that gives them a fright

Mind you these marvels of science and technology
Have lenses that stretch the limits of ophthalmology
By offering in-built features to encompass all scenes
From panorama to close-ups magnified on our screens

No longer the ritual of developing and printing
While in dark rooms at our dim images squinting
All those old processes the DSLR can demystify
Transmitting fresh pictures direct by WiFi

But despite the marvels of these cunning devices
If you want to avoid a technological crisis
Why not revert to the snapper we used to think of as heaven?
That black bakelite body of the Brownie 127!

Ken Fisher

Hot Water Bottle

Hot Water Bottle

Between icy sheets your warm body slips
That hot water bottle you cannot resist
Without its heat the harsh cold defying
Bed-time would simply be terrifying

The gentle transfer of heat to the sheets
Thus the terrors of cold we seek to defeat
Although the hot bottle is really quite small
It is so much better than nothing at all

In days of yore they relied on the ‘pig’
Compared to the bottle ever so big
With its shiny surface your feet it might scald
An experience which left no-one enthralled

If the weather outside is very severe
Several bottles would bring even more cheer
Strategically positioning is quite an art
To ensure that they service each body part

Decide how best the bag to employ
Properly used it can bring you much joy
So boil up the kettle, then fill to the brim
And winter bed-time will no longer be grim!

Ken Fisher

see Also:https://thebardofkelvindale.com/2017/01/04/electric-blanket/

Small But Beautifully Formed

Small But Beautifully Formed
[Chipolata Sausages]

 

One of the delights of Christmas fare
To me, a treat beyond compare
A diminutive meat dish you must savour
Small but brimming with so much flavour

The chipolata sausage is this treat I treasure
In various forms it can bring pleasure
Pigs in Blankets is one choice variation
Pork wrapped in bacon, a great combination

Some say the chipolata is a ‘finger food’
To describe it thus is no mere platitude
It has an important role we should recognize
Joined with other ingredients to tantalise

For when we refer to turkey with ‘all the trimmings’
We must ensure that nothing significant is missing
Expect carrots, roast potatoes, bread sauce, sprouts and stuffing
But without chipolatas all your efforts yield nothing

When, of the size of the chipolatas, you hear a complaint
Advise the plaintiff  to speak with due restraint
Because with one bite it will their taste buds transform
Full of flavour in a small body that is so beautifully formed!

Ken Fisher

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
What might Santa bring me? Dominates the chat

The shops are crammed with goodies
And it’s impossible to choose

So many difficult decisions,
Might drive you to the booze

It seems no time at all, since this month last year
Your previous gift still unwrapped I fear

The problem is you are so very generous
Every year I am overwhelmed with great mountains of stuff

I can only wear one pair of slippers at a time
Such excess warms me quicker than jugs of mulled wine

It was good of you to buy me that new casual shirt
Its gaudy colours nearly made my dim eyes hurt

I don’t know if you’ve heard, no-one now wears ties
And my thank-youz for them are really little lies

I realise that your attempts to keep up with new trends
Might have stretched your credit, made you over-spend

But please this year don’t push things to excess
Our neighbours are so rich, it will never them impress

I am wondering if this Christmas something novel might suffice
Unusual, surprising, still at reasonable price

So here’s a few ideas which might have some appeal
At least one of these, most folks should find ideal

What about a ticket to an outdoor swimming pool?
Once you’ve cracked the ice you really will look cool

Or a trip in one of those new driverless cars
With free insurance cover for any consequential scars

I rather fancy a tattoo, of course somewhere quite discreet
Tucked away neatly underneath the soles of my feet

And have you thought of having your head shaved bald
It’s bound to leave your relatives somewhat shocked, even appalled

And how about a onesie for cosy nights at home?
Or for the horticultural zealot perhaps a garden gnome?

If you need ideas on what’s now all-the-rage
Shops’ catalogues put temptation on every shiny page

As Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat
I can take PayPal or BitCoin and not just a penny from your hat!

Ken Fisher

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Turkey Without Legs [2017]

Here’s a thing you did not know
And I assure you that it’s so
Legless turkey is being served
A phenomenon I have observed

As you see from this tasty plate
Who needs legs you might debate?
When stuffing’s there and so’s the meat
With sprouts and roasties, quite complete

It’s just that somehow one does wonder
Has the chef just made a blunder
Or have those legs now gone astray?
Their absence may cause some dismay

However, I really have to claim
Legless turkey tastes the same
And with the trimmings on display
Such a meal will make your day

One final thought about this dish
As we munch together I would wish
Despite not being the real McCoy
This legless bird might still bring joy

Ken Fisher

Artwork That Claims No Meaning!

Artwork That Claims No Meaning

 

Does an artwork always have to have a meaning?
Does a picture always need to make some sense?
Must every sculpture stimulate our feelings?
Must the artist conspire in this pretence?

Perhaps it is the observer who is conspiring
And is unwilling to admit no understanding
As he falsely claims the work is so inspiring
Fearful others regard it as outstanding

Of course the appreciation of art is quite subjective
What I admire, you simply may despise
It may depend on personal perspective
What you find distasteful I might highly prize

It was however quite refreshing to discover
That the creator of a public work of art
Did not leave the viewers full of wonder
Declaring it has  ‘NO MEANING WHATSOEVER TO IMPART’

Ken Fisher

[Note the painting above this poem is not the artwork to which I refer.
The artwork was a wall mural (in brick, stone and metal) at the Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Cafe]

The ‘Flu Jab [2017 Version]

The ‘Flu Jab [2017 Version]

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Don’t you just love it – this time of year?
That NHS reminder that can fill you with fear
It’s time once again to do as directed
And make sure from ‘flu you are fully protected

Not everyone receives this summons from high
But it applies to me – I admit with a sigh
The vaccine comes to us completely free
So take it manfully and don’t try to flee

If you are over the age of sixty-five
They will have checked your name in their archive
Unless you’re a pregnant lady, or overweight
It’s most unlikely that you can escape

It would appear that this year I can get extra protection
From ‘flu and from shingles, a nasty inflammation
So like the supermarket, the surgery is giving BOGOF*
That from these dual hazards I might well get off

If your immune system is somewhat suspect
They will be even keener your arm to inject
And if around the waist there is too much flab
They might puncture it all with the bold ‘flu jab!

Of course we should not complain of this annual ritual
Intended to ensure that we remain fitter
And withstand the dangers of those nasty bugs
That seem to behave like micro-sized thugs

So when the message arrives to make the appointment
Make sure the nurse receives no disappointment
Get along to the surgery and bare your best arm
It will do you much good and surely no harm

Ken Fisher

  • BOGOF = Buy one get one free [except that both of these are free!]

The Humble Potato

The Humble Potato

The is nothing wrong with the humble potato
Affectionately known as the spud
So there are fancier foods that we all know
But for the British it’s our lifeblood

There are different kinds of this globular fruit
To the French it’s the pomme de terre
Even here you can choose whatever might suit
Golden Wonders, Estima, others you may prefer

Some like the potatoes boiled in their jackets
Others cannot resist them as chips
Restaurants sometimes are on to a racket
When they fleece us for fancy ‘pommes frit’

Over the years attempts have been made
The potato to synthesize
But packets of POM never quite made the grade
As the public soon realized

So there is nothing quite like bangers and mash
Any type of sausage will do
And you might even desire corned beef hash
Or potatoes floating in stew

Perhaps you prefer your potatoes quite posh
In salads, with gratin, they’re really good nosh
And if you wish to separate ‘them’ from ‘us’
Go the whole hog, have them dauphinoise!

You can see why the potato enjoys such renown
In whatever brand or type they appear
They’ve never been known to let you down
So of its demise there is little fear

 

Ken Fisher

[The potatoes shown above, drying out, after
having been harvested at our allotment]