Showing posts from January, 2019

Lost and Found

We have been glued to the Tin Star box set on Sky. Today’s poem is inspired by a couple of scenes from the show. 
Lost and Found
She stood deep in the forest Alone, conscious of her vulnerability The coldness of the night  Brought a bitter chill to her bones Shivering, quivering she longed for home Branches cracked incessantly underfoot As she searched for hope Unidentifiable sounds created a cacophony Of mystery and foreboding Weaker and weaker she stumbled onwards  Never knowing whether she’d taken the right path At each clearing it felt familiar  Too familiar Her heart sank as she failed to find an end An end to this ever growing nightmare Exhausted and confused she sank to her knees  No longer able to go on Her head in her hands  She broke down and wept  Resigned to a slow painful demise She heard a voice in the distance  A voice that grew louder and louder A mans voice A voice she recognised I’m here she beckoned As loud as she could muster Would it be heard He called again She replied ever more desperately U…

Nature’s Gift

This morning when we opened the curtains a magical snow covered scene greeted us. This was beautiful and even more so as I didn’t have to go to work! Then I remembered that I needed to take Matthew’s car in for an MOT.  The scene then wasn’t so magical!

Nature’s Gift

The curtains are opened

It’s just after dawn

When the world is awakening

And the birds are singing

This morning’s almost hallucinogenic

A scene spectacular quite dramatic

Nature’s whitewashed the world

A glorious beauty unfurled

An extraordinary dreamland

Glistening in the hazy sun

A surreal scene transforming

Gloomy streets and barren fields

Into an enchanted snow covered haven

Nature’s gift, a jewel, a magical creation

At The Next Left

I think the sat nav in my car is the worst yet. It takes me to places David Attenborough would be excited to visit, when a simple trip down the motorway would suffice. Does anyone else think fondly of when having the map upside down was the only issue?
At The Next Left
She’s there with me
Every step of the way
No guarantee
To get me there some day
She monitors my progress
She’s more than a women
A favourite song by Tavares
Blurting out from my radio that’s a given.
When all of a sudden
Without any notice
With touching no button
She aims to provoke us
By telling us our progress
That roadworks will delay us
She gives us an alternative
Which quite frankly
Is sometimes quite punitive
To try to get around the problem
It’s not that I don’t trust her
But that is the problem
It’s the blind faith that I follow her
Down farmyard tracks
And through fields
Where doing a u turns simply leads
To further frustration
No option for a conversation
To work out the best solution
She obsessively commands


Ever since I challenged myself to do 10,000 steps a day I have become obsessed in getting the number in. That will mean taking the long route around the supermarket, taking small steps, well anything to get the magic number.


I’m fretting ‘bout my stepping
I’ve spent all day just trekking
Ten thousand is my aim
This started as a bloody game
It’s now approaching an obsession
Adding to life’s gloomy depression
Stepping here stepping there
Stepping bleeding everywhere!


Today we have visited The Hepworth in Wakefield. We love going to modern art galleries. However we still look at some of the exhibits with a bemused look. 
A stack of arbitrary bricks A messy unmade bed Designless splashes of paint Wood randomly sculpted Stone fashioned indiscriminately What makes this art? Art delivers  A vision,an impression, a fashion or imitation Art emotes Affection, reflection, inspiration, or appreciation  Art evokes  Polarisation, rejection, indignation and condemnation Art is art if it creates a reaction.

Follow me @  Facebook: The Retired Bloke Twitter: TheRetiredBloke Instagram: theretiredbloke You Tube: The Retired Bloke

Must Be Tough Being a Vegan

I have absolutely nothing against vegans whatsoever. It’s just that I don’t think I could stop eating meat. However I do appreciate to cut down on meat for health and environmental reasons. The poem below is not intended to upset is just a humorous rhyme to explain it’s not for me. By the way I don’t eat crocodiles or kangaroo...but do eat burgers!
Must Be Tough Being a Vegan
It must be tough being a vegan When feeling rough  Can’t have eggs and bacon Always having to check the packet Or have to resort To another bloody jacket Without butter of course All in the interest of Saving the planet I love any animal  I love the world But I can’t be that radical To give up my burger I know there are some that’ll think I commit murder I couldn’t revert to checking the menu To have only one choice Forever denied dumplings and stew Crocodile and kangaroo Feeling fabulous with the fondu Chicken curry and meatballs too I may have to take sanctuary In my local steakhouse  While others get on with trying  This …

Life’s Last Moments

This poem was inspired by the loss of the Premier League footballer in a plane over the Channel Islands. It got me thinking what would be my last thoughts if I were only given minutes to live...

Life’s Last Moments

Five minute warning
Life’s last momentsPlayed out slowly

Too slowly, only time

To think, reflect

On those we will leave behind

Memories once distant

Come flooding into focus

Childhood recollections

Mums loving arms holding you

Scenes of forgotten love

Fly into clear crystal view

Dad picking you up when you fall

Times we played bat and ball
Four minute warning

Life’s last moments

Played out slowly

Beautiful moments

Of life’s history

Days in the sun

A long hot summer

Playing soldiers with my brother

Tenacious tennis with a friend

Whose early death

I could never comprehend

Grandparents undying love

Looking after me from above

Childhood dreams

I thought would never end
Three minute warning

Life’s last moments

Played out slowly

A lifelong love revealed

In that first glance

I knew I b…

IVR Blues

Today I had to ring a call centre to sort out my blocked password. Well an hour later eventually I was sorted. 
IVR Blues 
Hello you’ve reached the interactive voice response blues All calls will be recorded for disciplinary purposes Doesn’t matter which of the following numbers you choose They will all be put through to our terrible services Now let me ask you questions for our security It helps if you have recently done your family history Tell me what was your mother’s favourite maiden over? Thank you now did you ever go to a school in Dover? Ok tell me the name of the first girl you called pet? And the third digit of the password you always forget? Well done you you’ve now passed security We’ll put you on hold for the rest of eternity Your call is so very unimportant to us Who wants to hear about all your fuss Well anyway here’s some Fleetwood Mac On our tea break, will answer when we get back To let us know whose best placed not to deal with you Please press one, two or three We don’t give a toss y…

Camden Town

This weekend we visited Camden Town. This is such a vibrant eclectic part of London. Really worth a visit.

Camden Town
A potpourri of punk
A rebellion of rock
Pretty pink pop
Coexisting in Camden
On streets psychedelic
A hubbub quite hectic
Art beautifully eclectic
A planetary platter
Of continental cuisine
Fights for the tastebud
Sticky toffee pud
Waffles wafting
Sweet almost tasting
Bohemian chic
Beat boxing buskers
Guitar strumming singers
A surreal slapstick clown
Playing in the street
On a stroll in Camden Town

A Tear Rolled Down My Cheek

Yesterday on the way to London we were listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2. There was an item on lyme disease. A lady rang in to the programme to explain the agony she had endured as a result of getting lyme disease. She was weeping with the nightmare that she was enduring. I had never even heard of lyme disease. Apparently it is important to get the disease treated as soon as possible. If not this invasive disease will cause complications for years. 
Tears Rolled Down My Cheek
Yesterday I was moved A tear rolled down my cheek A lady on the radio Crying to the DJ In pain beyond belief  Her anxiety and anguish Disturbed me with her grief  Helpless to support her Wanting to reach out Say some words of comfort Let her know we care Nothing could I do But feel how fortunate we are Yesterday I was moved A tear rolled down my cheek Listening to a lady crying Whilst driving in my car

The Traps

Lesley doesn’t like the theme of today’s poem. However I am sure I am not alone in my dislike of using public WCs.

Am I alone? Apologies if it is just my warped view of the world!The TrapIs it me? Or am I the only oneWho doesn’t like to use A public WC?It’s not the urinals I’m talking aboutBut the trapsOften full of crapWith toilet roll Damp and disgustingLeft there by the lastInconsiderate chapFuck There’s no hook To hang up your coatNeed care to avoidYour trousersBeing sodden being soiledIt freaks me outTo see someone’s feetPeering from underThe neighbouring pewAll this after having to queueOften left there hovering My bowels resisting Dumping in this tiny spaceThis hideous placeI’m struggling to startPut off by the bloke Next doorWho emits A bloody enormous fartThank god I’m finishedTime to play hide and seekWith the thinnestToilet roll tightly rolled upSo no one gets anyGets right in a stropAs I fiddle aroundThe dispenser not dispensingMy anger increasingThe bloke next doorListen…


I have got to admit I like a bit of cake from time to time. Usually when the day has got a “y” in it. This one reflects my passion for these sweet treats.

Tea cups clinking
Tea pots pouring
People chatting
Friends are laughing
A tea shop is the place to be
But it’s not the tea it’s the cake for me
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a
Or Dundee
Maybe even a
Panettone sometimes
A fondant fancy
My mouth waters at the thought of a
And Pavlova
Sometimes I fancy an
And fat rascal
Other times I’m drawn to a
And Charlotte
Nothing else matters for just one moment
When cake alone’s the most important component.

When shitty food was too expensive! 

We were having a discussion today about why people are so obese today. I don’t know whether my memory is playing tricks but when I was a kid things like takeaways seemed too expensive. (That was when you could find one!) It feels like all the foods bad for us are now cheap and all the good stuff too expensive. The opposite of what it was when I was a lad! The Shitty Foods Were Too ExpensiveWhen I was a lad We couldn’t affordTo be fatExcept that is for my dad
All the shitty food Was far too expensive Everything eatenSeemed to be stewed 
A simple take away Was a packed lunchNo Burger King or Krispy KremeTempting us as there is today
We had bangers and mashBeans on toast Occasionally a Sunday roastA lovely comforting corned beef hash
As a treat we had a Vesta CurryOr a bowl of Angel DelightSometimes a lovely trifleOnly when we had enough money
My mum made sure We ate our greensCabbages sprouts Nothing exotic nothing obscure
We couldn’t afford to be fatWe simply ate What we were given And that …

The Boat is Sinking

As we wait for the outcome of tonight’s Brexit vote I thought I would have a bash at a little Brexit ditty. The Boat is SinkingThe boat is sinkingWhat are we thinkingSome want to bailSome want to swimSome want to staySome want to failThe boat is sinkingIt’ll be soon too late Our options are shrinkingThere’ll soon be no choiceWe will be condemnedCondemned with no voiceWe need to be braveSee each other’s point of viewTo avoid an unnecessary watery graveThe boat is sinkingHave we thought this through?What a disaster What can we do?

The Mask

Somehow the other night I ended up watching The Kardashians with Emily. I couldn’t believe it how they all looked the same and how they have sparked off a wave of look alikes. I think it is sad in society that girls go to such efforts to look like these so called celebrities, sometimes undergoing surgery.  Maybe it’s just me being an old fart!!The MaskDon’t hide behind your maskBe brave let your feelings fly freeLet the world see you for what you areNot what you think the world wants to seeBeauty lies within you, deep insideNot what is plastered upon your faceWisdom comes with yearsBe proud of those yearsSketched indelibly upon your faceYou are unique, a miracle of your existenceNot an homogeneous cloneBe proud of who you are Hug life and you will not be alone. 

10 More Minutes

After a great night out last night with our friends Ian and Lynn it was hard to get up this morning...Ten More MinutesTossing and turning my sleep is broken Thoughts dancing a quickstep through my mindI try to awake before one word is spokenTrying to prepare to meet humankindThe gap in the curtains tells me it’s morning So I make the first feeble attempt to raise from my bed To remain snuggled up feels at once so temptingI think I’ll have ten more minutes instead.


It’s amazing how one cup of coffee in the morning makes all the difference.  God I needed my cup this morning!CoffeeIt peps me up in the morningAs the day is dawning When I can’t stop yawningMy aching bones and bodyWhen I am feeling shoddyRevitalised with a cup of coffee!


Yesterday we were out with friends and for no apparent reason I started whistling. It was commented on that there is not much whistling going on today. One thing led to another and we started thinking of phrases with whistle in them, e.g. whistle while you work. Then randomly I was challenged to put them into a poem. So the following piece of nonsense is the result; WhistleWay back whenWhen proper menWhistled while they workedWent for a beer or twoTo whet their whistleWhizzing on a Whistle stop tourPleading the playersTo play to the whistleWatching with wivesWhistle Down The windWay back whenWhen men knew nowtKnew nowt about artNew nothing of The artist WhistlerCouldn’t use the hooverHadn’t been on a holidayTo Whistler in VancouverWell that’s enough of me and me whistle. Don’t get this epistle?Well you know what you can do!Go whistle!

Sitting Tight in Lycra

I have always been a runner but last year I got into biking. Need to plan this year’s first ride ASAP. Need to try out some new Lycra Lesley bought me for Christmas!  Sitting Tight in LycraDonned from head to toe in Lycra Bobbing in and out of trafficAvoiding driver turning left in MicraSkin tight almost pornographicOh for the joy of the bikeWind blowing in the hairAvoid being knocked into dykeLorry passing as close as he dare. Pushing hard up big hillLungs working to bursting pointFreewheeling down big thrillWill never disappointI love driving in my car But on a bike there always a reactionThat even though you’ve travelled farFinishing journey safe massive satisfaction.  

In The Zone!

Today I dropped my car off for its MOT and decided to run back from the garage. It was a little earlier than I would normally go...but I felt good!! In The ZoneIn the zoneAll aloneStriding out Working outFeeling goodFeeling fineFeeling todayIs all mine!

Fitting Room

Yes shopping with Lesley...another shop another lengthy wait outside the fitting room. Fitting RoomWomen with their dressesSwishingMe outside the fitting room SittingWaiting for my opinionWishingI didn’t have to give one!

The Chartwell Six

Last night Lesley and I met up with our Yorkshire friends who we met on our Douro cruise last summer. It was great to catch up with these great people. Here’s to the next reunion! The Chartwell SixThe inaugural meeting of the Chartwell SixGathered to remember the Douro trips The amazing Tony talking about planksDavid and Karen with pranks in their banksGuy demonstrating great photography Joan with her dancing, lovely armography Lesley declined to say she enjoyed runningAll gathered together for a dinner quite stunning.

Lost the Signal!

I saw this phone box in Leeds today and it got me thinking back to the early days of mobile technology. Lost The SignalBack in the dayWhen a phone boxWas on every cornerWhen no oneHad ever been to detoxI used to have a mobile phoneI know I was not aloneBut this was in the dayOf phones being connectedTo the car It couldn’t reach very farBut I felt so important Like being in MI5 A spy, an informant I progressed to a hand heldBuilt like a brickCouldn’t work out this new text thing Felt rather thick Often self consciousSpeaking in publicPeople would lookPeople would stareA lunatic to whichThey would compareI’m losing signal Was the latest sloganI had two blobsBut now down to nilI was seriously spookedWhen I called my mateHe said hello DaveBefore having the chance to stateIt was me who was callingMy mum thought they were appalling Would never catch onWould frazzle the brainWould end up insaneThen there was the gameBuilt into the phoneWhen I was boredNeeded a break Pressed the buttonAnd pl…

The Morning After

Last night we had a great night out at Jax in Huddersfield. This was one of our best ever restaurant experiences. Great food, an exceptional waiter/host, superb live music and plenty to drink. The drink bit leads me to today’s poem. I am now of an age when a good night out writes off the next day. Like everyone I always say “never again”. Well once again, when I woke up this morning, I uttered those very words. This time I am going to stick to it... well until the next time, which is tomorrow night!!!The Morning AfterThe morning afterThe mind’s a fogBleary bulging eyes Battling through smogIncapable of anything, far too weakMumbling and mutteringCan’t get words outIncapable of palpable speakStomach churningMust start learningMust be more discerningStart refusing any more boozing Start remembering the last timeOn drinking too much wineI committed to refrainFrom over indulging ever again. 

When the festivities are over

Today we have been taking down the Christmas decorations. As we have collected more and more baubles each year this is turning into a mammoth task. It is also a little sad as it means the festive period is well and truly over. When the festivities are overWhat to do when the festivities are over When the trimmings are goneAnd there’s no longer a hangover.Preparing for work is the aim of manyWhilst suffering the post holiday bluesBack to tedious meetings with Jack and JennyFor some there is a hope, a desireOf a positive change in the worldTo spread goodness and love like a wild raging fireFor me it is easy, for me it is clearIn a world incomprehensible My aim is simple, to be better than last year.

I’m a little scared...

I have been spending the week at my 85 year old mother’s house. It is sad to see how some previously active people deteriorate as they get older. As I pass the age that is generally regarded as middle age, thoughts turn to concerns about getting older...I’m a little scared...I’m a little scaredOf getting oldOf being well pastMy sell by date
I’m a little scaredOf losing my mindNot being able to thinkOr contemplate
I’m a little scaredOf losing my functionMy independenceNot able to operate
I’m a little scaredOf forgetting My name or peopleWho I used to call my mate
I’m a little scaredOf frustratingMy wife and kidsWhile wallowing in a mixed up state
I’m a little scaredIs it down to me?Can I not control?Is it simply fortune and fate?

School Disco

I am currently reading Michael McIntyre’s autobiography Life and Laughing. One chapter reminisces about his school discos. It got me thinking about my first school discos in the 1970s. School DiscoThe school discoA nervous affairThe night to be coolTo try not to be a foolDressed in the latest fashionOxford bags with massive waistbandsThe more buttons the betterAcrophobia inducingPlatform soled shoes Carefully concentrating on not cockling overJumbo collared shirts In technicolour printsChecking the breathChewing a couple of mintsThe popular kids arrivedBusting a confident strideStraight up to the barTo buy a bottle of popThe rest nervously shuffled inGathering like cattle and sheepIn the unwelcoming gym. All echoey and vastMusic loud a deafening blastFrom the hired DJ kitHypnotic headache inducingFlashing lights lit up the roomWafts of Brut and cheap perfume Girls in one cornerBoys in the otherPeering tentatively In each other’s directionStill huddled togetherFor their own protectionS…

Back of My Dad’s Car

I am not sure what got me thinking of back to the time, when I used to go for journeys, with my mum and dad, sat in the back of their car. How times have seat belts in those days and left in the car outside the pub for hours on end. Didn’t mind though as we got a bottle of pop to drink in the car. If we were lucky a bag of Smiths Crisps too! (The ones with the blue bag of salt in them) Back of My Dad’s CarWhen I was youngIt was an adventure To travel afar in the Back of my Dad’s carThere were no rulesNo health and safetyNo buckles and beltsHarnesses and boostersStanding between the seatsChatting to my dad Pretending to drive Fighting with my brotherPulling faces at anotherDriver in the following carKneeling on the plastic seatsCold in winterHot in summerYou know the typeDad puffing on his pipeCreating a smogCouldn’t see a thingAs we filled in Our I-Spy booksLooked for number platesOr strange road signs Coke and crisps He would bringWhen parked upAt a pubWhile he popped in…