Poetry corner. A bit like one of those yoghurt fruit corner things but with poetry instead of yoghurt. And the fruit corner bit.

Minted Sauce

By Sophie Jumpersforgoalposts


Good morning little lamb have you sent that email yet?

And what about that spreadsheet? You haven’t even started it I bet…

What about that report for the chairman of the board? Come on, get it done!

And once you’ve done that I have some errands for you to run

We’ve got a meeting in an hour, have you prepared the lengthy agenda?

What’s the matter with you today, you lazy little blighter…

Come ON little lamb your appraisal is later today,

We have some feedback for you little lamb, about training and your pay

You need to show your finance skills and that you can work out the VAT

This is low hanging fruit for you lamb! Surely you realise that?


But his hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves,

Are supposed to be used for trotting on grass

Not renewing his monthly security pass

His hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves, so often they do fail

He can’t even open Outlook, let alone send any mail

His hooves, his hooves, his tiny cloven hooves

They can’t input data or create a PDF,

Come ON little lamb get it done, my god are you deaf?

Little lamb, little lamb, I want to see you in my office

We thought you were a senior pro, when clearly you’re a novice

Oh little lamb, little lamb to them you are just an ovine resource

Now shut up and get in the oven while we prepare the minted sauce…

Thought of the week with the Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees

As I sit reclining in my solid oak chair, enthused with its leatherback turtle armrests and panda fur cushioning, I can’t help but think of the commercialisation of Easter. Perhaps it’s because it is nearly Easter that I am thinking about Easter, perhaps not. I was discussing the commercialisation of Easter just last week with Jensen Button, the famous Formula One racing car driver, when I bumped into him in Cleft High Street. Gumpert, my sinewy South American live-in help had announced that morning that he was confining himself to his quarters to best combat a nasty injury to his groin he had picked up after a particularly rambunctious evening at the new Otter and Trombone chain pub which opened a fortnight ago. Due to Gumpert’s crippled abdominal area I had been forced to forgo that morning’s Guardian crossword in order to visit Cleft and stock up on the various groceries and goods required to sustain a large parochial house. Given that I rarely venture into the wide world of retail outlets, I did purchase rather more than I had intended too and had bought, quite by impulse, Noel Edmonds’ autobiography, Beards, Jumpers and Anthea Turner On Fire.

So keen was I to get stuck into the tome that I was mindlessly turning the pages while walking and didn’t see the 15 F1 race-winning superstar as he left Snowy’s Tobacconists near the main village car park. Our collision was inevitable and, as we clashed, my newly purchased volume went flying high into the air. Jensen, being bearded himself at the time, was obviously very much in tune with the author of my newly bought volume as he caught it one handed, before it could land on, and no doubt be ruined by, the grimy streets of downtown Cleft.

Obviously one cannot let such an act of kindness pass without comment and the McLaren-backed speedster and I spent a good few hours chatting right there on the High Street about all manner of life’s little nuances. I had no idea, for instance, that Jensen learnt to drive in a Ford P100 pick-up van at the age of three months, nor did I realise that his beloved father, Barry Button, had once lived in a beaver dam in the woods of Wisconsin for a year. Our fascinating and enlightening discourse was rudely interrupted by the muffled sounds of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades coming from my ecclesiastical gown pocket. Jensen was clearly startled by my choice of ringtone and I made a mental note to change my passcode to prevent Gumpert from interfering with my personal equipment.

As if to speak of the devil it was Gumpert himself on the phone, and I had to unfortunately break off my discussion with the gallant Jensen to engage with my live-in help as he demanded extra provisions he had left off his list for me. I had to make my apologies to the Santander advertising hero and reluctantly returned to Tesda to pick up the moistened toilet roll, cigarette papers, muscle emollient, baby oil and something called KY Jelly, all of which Gumpert had rather moodily grunted that he now required during our telephone call.

Once I had climbed the steep hill from the village back to the parochial house I shared with my incapacitated home help, no mean task with three Tesda shopping bags groaning with oil-based provisions, I discovered the front door was wide open and there were muddy paw prints all over the Harrods hessian door mat, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. On further inspection I could clearly see two dark and very flat objects protruding out from underneath the kitchenette door. I called for Gumpert to rouse himself from his groin-injury induced slumber so that we could investigate the strange objects together, which, I noticed, where now very slowly slapping up and down on the parquet flooring, a gift I should add, from Mrs Beagle, a parishioner of mine.

Mrs Beagle had been so grateful to the support I offered her when her hydrangea died suddenly overnight a few months ago, that she insisted on re-flooring the kitchenette for us, despite my eager protestations. Gumpert had also shown great kindness to Mrs Beagle’s nephew, Matthew, and would often invite the downy-faced student up to his room, sometimes quite late at night to help him overcome his grief. Matthew clearly felt the loss of his mother’s hydrangea quite keenly given the low moans and grunts of what I thought must be pure disconsolation emanating from Gumpert’s quarters.

My lithe South American home help had, by now, moodily stomped down the stairs to investigate the cause of my agitation. His injury had clearly done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for his foul smelling cigarillos, the smoke from which pre-empted his arrival into the hallway. Together we crept towards the kitchen and to our surprise and horror we saw two beavers, tails flapping against the newly acquired flooring, each one nibbling on a separate table leg. The North American mammals appeared to be quite unmoved by our presence and continued to munch their way through the mahogany table, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. What a shame that Jensen was not with me! Surely his father’s experience would have stouted our hearts and offered some timely and much-required beaver related advice. After all, what is one to do when presented with beavers in one’s kitchen?

Suddenly a beam of ethereal light came shining through the open front doorway and rested upon the Biffordshire Yellow Pages, kept for emergencies only on the telephone table. As I turned to retrieve the book a sudden gust of wind rustled the pages open until they rested right at the very end of the book under ‘Z’. I do believe the Lord spoke to me at that very moment. That first entry under Z depicted a picture of a large baboon with the phrase ‘Visit Cum-on-the-Nook Zoo’ and a telephone number which zoo-bound day trippers could call to find out more details about their planned visit. Thankfully, Zimbo’s Mystical Tent Experience had closed down many years before as surely theirs would have been the first entry on that particular page.

Suddenly my path become clear. Why simply calling Cum-on-the-Nook Zoo and asking them to fetch the beavers would alleviate our wood-chewing mammal infestation once and for all. A few hours’ later two burly zoo keepers had arrived and had retrieved the errant buck-toothed beasts, which we later discovered had escaped from a local brothel. So glad was Gumpert to be free of the animals that he treated both zoo keepers to a late night buttery crumpet feast in his bedroom which both fellows clearly enjoyed given the shrieks of delight coming from Gumpert’s room. Verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!


The Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees will be guest presenting Biffordshire TV’s new game show panel, ‘Where’s my cardigan? Oh yes, there’s my cardigan’ next Sunday. Audience tickets are available on the day. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.

Poetry rectangle, or poetry corner if you prefer

Shapely Otter Thighs


By Panda McGuigan


Barry is an otter with a cheeky roving eye,

He’s often down the riverbank checking out a shapely otter thigh

Heaven knows what poor Margaret his long suffering wife,

Thinks of all his lusty acts, it must dominate her life

He’s never really home these days, and ignores his otterlets

I just hope when he’s older this is something he never regrets

To be fair though, the DNA tests were inconclusive

And Margaret herself in her youth was not exactly exclusive

She’d raise her tail to any beefy otter suitor,

Give her a fish head and she’d let you root and toot her

Often behind the bins where the stream it does divide

Otters would cue up for a go and come from far and wide

Things didn’t change when she met our hero Barry

She even flirted with the otter vicar on the day she was supposed to marry

So I guess Barry’s behaviour we can exonerate

As he’s out swimming in his hunky trunks looking for another mate

The pair of them really are awful, the lowest of the low

Perhaps they need to sort it out on the otter Jeremy Kyle show

Disco Pig – it’s Noo Year’s Eve, innit!

Aiiieeeee hoof, hoof, hoof… yes folks it’s the biggest night of the year innit! Disco Pig is back with the beats from the renegade master – dey told me I can’t play bass and dat I can’t play drum, but I am ere to tell ya that I’m here actually innit. I’m not a Yankee, I’m a Londoner innit, and on da playground was were I spent most of ma dayze. I got in one little fight and Mrs Disco Pig got scared so she sent me to my Auntie and Uncle’s in Walfamstow innit!

Anyway, der fond trips dahn memory alley asides, Disco Pig is ere to give ya all the bangiest playlist for da bangiest night of the year – Noo Year’s Eve, innit! Disco Pig was in da big demand dis year and as had to turn down some big gigs, including one at dat O2 in his home tahn of Londan innit. Stoked though, cos I is now rocking the bins at Biffordshire’s biggest nightclub – Da Sugar Shed, just outsida of Moistbury on da A67, if you go past der Lamb and Foreskin pub you has gone too far innit. Turn around and hed back a bit, bit more, on da left innit. Yes, da place wiv da big sign up at the front.

Anyways, it’s free Bacardi Breezers all night for da ladies, so get in quick and you might even pull a Bacardi Geezer, that’s me innit!! Nah, don’t fink dat Disco is being all up and unfaithful to da missus and shizzle – she’s out of tahn visiting her poorly piggy gran in Colchester so while da missus is away visiting her poorly piggy gran in Colchester da Disco Pig will play… da top tunes all night innit! Ha ha…

Seriously d’oh Disco Pig is all loved up an dat so it would have to be somefink special to turn his eyes onto anover lady pig innit. Like a couple of drinks and some heavy petting behind da stage innit! Disco knows you ladies will be forming an orderly queue to get ya hoofs on dis bit of quality bacon, but I ain’t bovvered. Da lady I as is da love of me life innit – plus her gran is a lovely lady piggy. She was in da war and all dat. She was an air-raid piggy – ad to squeal when she saw any of dem Nazi planes and dat flying overhead – pwoper hero she was. Her passing, if it should come to dat, would be a sad day in da Disco household innit… mind you she’s facking loaded so let the good times and da turntables roll!

Anyways, listen to me cracking on about nuffink – I has got some vinyl to dig out for tonight’s sugar shed shenanigans! Get der early Pig fans it’s going to be a crackling night of porky phat phun!


Waste of Time ft The Delighted Landlord£15 just to get into my own local

Eric Pickles and the Cheese CrewLeave it Barry, let’s just all have a drink yeah?

What’s the Point? – In bed by 10.30

FredMau5 – Right said Fred

Tinnie Tiddly Ft MC Shoehorn – Can’t Make Luv Tonight

Robert KilometresBowl Clutcher (Hold back my hair)

The Over Friendly Strangers – What you looking at (it ain’t got no label on it)

West Street BoyzLager on my whities, vodka on my loafers

Phat Boy PhatIt’s raining (door) men

The Checked ShirtsDon’t encourage him, Sandra

Calvin’s Klein’sPants up high, trousers down low

The Bog Gropers Ft MC SmarmHanging around outside da Ladies

Disorientated Scoundrel (Ft Almond Van Nut) – Conkers 

Rogan Josh ProjectInfinity Naanty Naanies (time for a Ruby)

The Kebab KrewYou want everything on, boss?

Street Fighters (Ft DJ Punch Drunk)Oh heavens, Andrea, I appear to have dropped my chips

The Beer Scooters – La, la, la, la, la, lager, bit, bit, bit, bitter, vod, vod, vod, vodka, she, she, she, sherry

The Misguided (Ft MC Testosterone) – Yes, she probably IS a lesbian, Stuart

DJ Morning AfterVery dark in colour, but it floats

A Christmas message from the Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees

As I sit here reclining in my solid oak-backed chair, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners, I can’t help but recall one of the most memorable nativity plays that I very nearly saw. As you may know my work as an Archbishop has taken me across the globe, indeed many of my travels are documented rather lusciously in my book;  Bathtime With the Angels, available now from chains of Glossop’s Books ‘n’ Fags in Fudgebury, Cleft, Moistbury and many other leading Biffordshire settlements.  That notwithstanding this particular moist-eyed trip down Alzheimer’s lane finds me ensconced in the front row of the aforementioned nativity play back in the mid-1980s. It had been a bitterly cold morning if my memory serves me well, and my Madonna inspired lacette gloves had done little to wear off the biting December wind.  Blessedly, this particular nativity had been arranged for charity and some days before I had managed to cajole the organisers to direct all the proceeds from ticket sales and the rather odd mulled ginger beer to a cause close to my heart – the fallen women sanctuary I had set up a few months before.

Being of limited funds, I had to cram the poor destitute women of Biffordshire who came to me seeking refuge, into the shed at the foot of the garden. They were well appointed, despite the rather horticultural surroundings. I discovered that by moving the lawn mower a few metres towards the back of the shed I could fit in three more wretched souls. Hoisting my tandem so that it was suspended from the beams by some sturdy rope facilitated enough room for my latest arrivals, Honey Potwell from Clunge and Mary Quitecontrary who had fallen out with her husband following a rather nasty incident with a frying pan and some edible glitter. Despite my ergonomic re-arrangings, it was clear that if my women’s sanctuary was to succeed then further fiscal benevolence was required. The girls were getting restless and there was only so many times they could watch Poldark on a rather warped VHS on the portable TV I had secured from my parishioners by way of entertainment.

Therefore I had high hopes that the charity nativity play would provide such funds for me to open a rehoming wing and my plan was to offer these poor fallen souls up for adoption to members of the general public. However, just as the play was about to begin a stage light had crashed from the roof and had landed squarely on both the Krankees, who had driven down from Falkirk the night before to take part. Ever the professional, Fred Dinnage, who was due to play the Archangel Gabriel, was determined that the show should go on, particularly I suspect, as his mum had been up all night making wings out of a pair of her old tights. But my spirit to continue had been crushed along with the poor Krankees and despite Fred’s and Fern Britton’s enthusiasm to put the show on, I took the difficult but necessary decision to call the event off. It was a heart-breaking drive back to my parochial quarters although Jimmy Cricket’s anecdotes certainly made the journey go quicker. I was pleased I offered him a lift home, even though he insisted on wearing his back end of a donkey costume which he had been so looking forward to performing in.

My misty eyed reminiscences were unfortunately then interrupted by Gumpert, my live in help. Regular readers of this column will be only too aware of the lithe South American’s firebrand nature and his irritation this afternoon, the eve before Christmas, was as tumescent as I could remember. He had chosen to wear the new Christmas jumper his mother had sent over from South America for him as a present although the image of a guinea pig being roasted over a spit which adorned the front of it, was, to European eyes at least, not particularly festive. I had thought to myself earlier that morning that he may be a little jaded as I had heard him late into the night playing what I imagined to be Twister with his special friend from the village. I can only surmise the boys had been playing for some high stakes as there was certainly some enthusiastic shouting and grunting coming from Gumpert’s quarters until the small hours. Given that it was Christmas I decided to treat the pair of them to some late evening hot chocolate, but despite knocking on Gumpert’s door for a good five minutes it went answered. Pushing the door ajar I left the steaming mugs of cocoa on the chest of drawers. I could see that it was indeed Twister they were playing as Gumpert had managed to take a dominant position with both his feet straddled behind his kneeling friend. As they had both removed their tops I made a mental note to turn the heating down a notch or two, the poor fellows must have been boiling!

Now stood there in my conservatory cum nook, Gumpert imparted the cause of his ire and beckoned me downstairs. As I followed him into the kitchenette his discomforts soon became plain. There, wedged twixt the oven doors was our Christmas goose, so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. Gumpert explained in between drags of one of his foul smelling cigarillos that despite his best efforts the goose would simply not fit into the oven. He had, he explained, been whacking it with a rolling pin for the past ten minutes in order to reduce its size sufficiently for it to squeeze into the oven, so kindly provided to me by Witches Ovens of Clump. Our Christmas meal, it would appear, was doomed to failure before it had even started.

As I mulled over our Christmas conundrum, a sudden beam of light shone through the window before resting on my neighbour, Mrs Arbuthnot’s back door. I do believe the Lord spoke to me at that very moment. Suddenly my path become clear. Why, Mrs Arbuthnot’s huge AGA would offer plenty of room in which to roast our meagre bird. With a cheery hello Mrs Arbuthnot was only too glad to welcome us both in, particularly as I suggested doing so would merit her a mention in volume two of my upcoming autobiography. Mrs Arbuthnot and I spent a most joyous afternoon preparing the Christmas goose and sipping dry sherry, while Gumpert and Mrs Arbuthnot’s nephew, Clarence, busied themselves playing Twister in the front bedroom.  What would have taken many hours of sweaty goose carcass machinations had, in fact, only taken an hour and a half on a high setting. Verily the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!

Volume two of Dr Robert Carolgee’s autobiography The Angels offer me Nutella will be available on pre-order next Wednesday and he will be signing copies at Glossop’s Books ‘n’ Fags from Thursday. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.


Restaurant où les porcs ne voulait pas manger

Restaurant  où les porcs ne voulait pas manger

Ah bienvenue a la Restaurant où les porcs ne voulait pas manger. Nous sommes delighte to bienvenue de le restaurant, quand le residents d’Biffordshire aime tout suite. Notre menu est superb et il est tout de bon things to mange. Ouevre pour le petit-dejeuner and le grand dejeuner et les repas in between de la Huit heures Am until la evening time. Plus Tard by arrangements. Voici la menu en Anglais pour vous, vous anglais idiots et bastads. Tres bon!

Les entrees

  • Pig insecurities pan fried in a special Jonathan Ross sauce. Served with oak smoked bat chips and a sympathy of garden vegetables
  • Grandad’s war medals crushed in front of him, drizzled with Maroon 5 jus and spun around the block in Gustav’s Citroen 2CV. Served with a shouting of dead wildebeest horn, shaved and erected to your liking
  • Chicken chop sticks straightened with an aubergine ruler and splashed with nocturnal liquids. Hand badgered until medium rare and presented on an anxious nine year-old’s duvet cover.

Les main

  • HAND reared Les Dennis, matured over balsa wood for extra tenderness. Served with a medley of David Hockney examined vegetables and a view of the Norfolk Broads, binoculars optional
  • MUSICAL Youth style jerk off beef. Pan fried until screaming in a David Blunkett flavoured butter sauce. Served with a blanket and a three day old bus ticket stopping at Whump, Feeble and Cock-on-the-Mold
  • LAMB shanks, startled to your taste and infused with a suppository puree. Choose from baked potatoes or a three year call of duty service in Northern Belize
  • MONKEY Lungs – forced up against a wall against their will. Strenuously denied in front of a live TV audience and drizzled in a Blankety Blank sauce. Served with un peu de stink of creamed back hair and a month long XBOX live pass.

Et pour les desserts

  • WRANGLED cream, shot at close range with the chief’s butter gun. Ransomed gently over a low flame and beaten to make it look like an accident. Dripped with fresh fruit puree instilled with disappointment
  • PAPAL turnover – traditional Vatican dessert, stripped and oiled to your liking. Cooked aggressively over a high heat before being gently neutered in the larger of our two fridges. Served with a panacotta of goat complaints and a David Dimbelby jus
  • LES Chats est non importante – enjoy a taste of Spain with our speciality. Cats are not important pudding is secreted from live ginger toms before being worked into a light and frothy muffin. Delicious served with broken toast and a bag of forgotten aspirations
  • ARTHUR C CLARKE – exhumed lovingly by our resident chef de partie and served with warm custard and flavoured oxygen

Rockstars in the morning

Rock stars in the morning

Number 78: Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof’s mum: “Come on Robert, get up now, it’s time for school’’

Bob Geldof: “Aww bleedin hell ma, it’s too early.”

Bob Geldof’s mum: “Come on – the Curiously Cinnamon is already in the bowl going soggy”

Bob Geldof: “Aw Jaysus ma. Ma?”

Bob Geldof’s mum: “Yes Robert?”

Bob Geldof: “What day is it today?”

Bob Geldof’s mum: “Oh, well it’s erm… Tuesday Robert, it’s Tuesday.”

Bob Geldof: “It had better not be Monday ma…”

Bob Geldof’s mum: “Of course it’s not, it’s erm definitely Tuesday, yes Tuesday. Now hurry up.”

Bob Geldof: “Okay ma, I’m coming, as it’s Tuesday….”

 More rock icon early morning slash breakfast time fun next time folks!

Public service announcements cum Classifieds

Here, nestled in the sweet bosom of Monkeybroth Towers we like to look after you dear readers. We’d towel you down after a wet walk in the countryside if we could. Caress your forehead to soothe away the aches and stresses that your job as Budgens Regional Manager entails. We’d plump your cushions if only we were able, make you a hot chocolate with squirty cream, give you a rough and tumble style Chinese burn. Watch you while you sleep. Unfortunately, we can’t do any of those things, but consider the following public service announcements cum classifieds as our playful slap on your bottom…. you complete us and we heart you. Both of you.

CELEBRITY FANS! If you are a fan of celebrities, then you’ll love celebrity fans! We are Biffordshire’s foremost celebrity fan stockist, well; we will be after Star Fans burns to the ground in a mysterious blaze next week. Anyway, you need look no further than the end of your nose for all your celebrity fan needs and requirements – birthdays, weddings, unexpected and sudden deaths, we can cater for any joyous occasion. Call Barbara Hugedong on Wibble 456546 or tweet your enquiry to #smellofpetrolonmyhands

STAR BRAS! If you are fan of the stars then show your enjoyment of all things celestial by donning a bra shaped into your favourite constellation. We’ve got every bra shaped in a constellation under the moon – special offer this week on balconette Orions in 34DD only or, due to flood damage, why not take advantage of the amazing discounts in our lace, whale-bone, Cassiopeia range – complete with AAA battery compartment and working mineshaft. Call Fiona Grimtinkle on Slapp 67676767 for more information today!

ANT AND DECKING – Does your garden need a makeover? Why not have a think about a North-Eastern England themed design? Graham’s Gardens, Biffordshire’s foremost landscape gardeners will happily come around to your house and turn your lawn and flower beds into a Tynetastic homage to the North East. You can be Geordie Shore of it! Don’t take our word for it? Read some of our fantastic reviews from our happy customers

“I wasn’t sure what to do with the garden and I still don’t”Fred Thatchstiff, Glump

“I’m thrilled with the service – I now have empty Newcastle Brown Ale bottles all over my decking and Cheryl Cole themed plant pots. The highlight though has to be my new Jimmy Nail lawnmower. It’s greeet man! Thanks Graham’s Gardens!”  Marge On-Abigpole, Stump

“Who? No I haven’t had any gardening work done. Sorry, think you have the wrong number.”  ANON, Whump

COCKTAIL SIR? HOW ABOUT YOU MADAM? Due to a YTS apprentice falling asleep on the computer and pressing the wrong button, we’ve got far too much stock than we could ever possibly sell. That won’t stop us from trying though! We wanted to order some cool cocktail glasses to sell, but due to the slumbering student and his idiotic elbows this was entered as mole. Yes, we have 7,898 mole shaped cocktail glasses for sale. Why not have an underground mammal party with your friends and relatives? They’ll be wowed by that and will not stop going on about it. Please give us a ring. Please. Call Owen Foxtrench on Glitter 7777686866

VW FOR SALE – Got my nice VW POLIO for sale. 1.2 litre only 36k on the clock, FSH, VGC and a good sense of humour. Both passenger side tyres are smaller than the driver’s side and won’t inflate for some reason. Anyway VW POLIOs are good little runners. Well, not that good. Call me Amy – Thingulike for a test drive.

CLOWN CLONE – Want a clown cloned? Call Clown Clone today. Don’t be satisfied with owning one clown, own more. Fully secure 24 hour service. Clown Clone won’t appear on your bill, instead it will say ‘Big Jubbers Inc’. Unfortunately due to their genetic make-up clown car horns cannot be cloned, however contact us to discuss your water-squirting flower or door-falling-of- car requirements. Clown Clone – we are not joking around alright?  Call Stanislav O’Grundy on Fecklip-on-Flange 45343444

THAT’S SHOE BUSINESS! – Predict the future with a pair of Nostradamus Desert Boots. Fully lace upable and with a sole. To predict the future slip them on in the morning and think about your favourite pony until you are called down for your breakfast. Please be aware the value of your dreams can go up as well as down. Your hopes are at risk if you do not keep up repayments. Call Future Shoes and ask for Derek Smallpipe.

Poetry in the corner. Poetry corner then really….


By Whiskas McGhee

There was a young man from Bengal

Who didn’t really get Limericks at all


Buffet belly

By Sainsburys O’Keefe

Oh my goodness I don’t half love a buffet

I could stay for hours and just scoff all day

From pickley pork pies to cheese and onion rings

A buffet must be one of my favourite things

I drool as I stare out over the table

Everything’s lovely and very digestible

Cheese and pineapple on sticks are so tasty

But they can be sharp so not good for health and safety

I once consumed a whole red onion

My tummy afterwards was a bit of a funny’un

That’s the only real downside I can make out

It turns my insides over of that there’s no doubt

They are great at Christmas perhaps after tobogganing

But too much of the good stuff and I’m back in the bog-again

Scotch eggs are the worst they go straight through me

Once I ate 47 in under an hour, and wolfed a load of Caerphilly

I swigged down the lager and ate a whole gammon

I downed 18 pies my bot was like a horrid brown cannon

My head was spinning and it was all a bit surreal

But blimey it wasn’t half a cracking funeral

Thought of the week with the very Reverend Dr Robert Carolgees


As I sit reclining in my solid oak chair with its upholstery stuffed with the fur of a now deceased troop of lowland Gorillas, I am reminded of the time when the church was regarded by the common sod as the great provider of not only spiritual, but also political guidance.  That year was 1981 and I was but a youngish man who spent his time catching butterflies in a shrimping net, drinking cherry pop and bopping along to the latest record from that Sunday night’s hit parade countdown, possibly hosted by Bruno Brookes, although Bruno’s rise to become the go-to DJ at Radio One may have come much later, I don’t really recall.

The haze my father’s bi-annual garden clear-up bonfire created back in those days may also have clouded my current musings on Bruno’s rise to fame. What is certain is that the bonfire used to cause our neighbours at the time, the Fortiscue-Cummers, all manner of issues. Strictly speaking, Mr Fortiscue-Cummers was a Major, a title afforded to him during his time serving as a Chaplain in the Korean War, where he scattered pastoral comfort to the men of the Royal Artillery like a buck-toothed farmer spreads his seed.

Mr Fortiscue-Cummers and his good lady wife, Davina, took every opportunity the daylight hours offered them to praise and worship our Lord. So devout were they that they often eschewed clothing in order to be ‘close to Adam’ and ‘close to Eve’. Mr Fortiscue-Cummers would often lean over the garden fence, dressed only in a Tyrolean felt hat and a swirl of Old Virginia pipe tobacco smoke, to offer my father good-natured instruction as he bent and stooped to gather the garden detritus ready for the autumnal blaze we all so enjoyed.  Given I was but a lad, the hole in the fence created when a knot of wood fell from it during a winter storm was at a rather disadvantageous height and, had I dared to peek through, it would have no doubt revealed a lot more than Mr Fortiscue-Cummers’ stance on the teachings to be found in Deuteronomy.

Sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, Mr Fortiscue Cummers would order Davina to prepare hot crumpets and tea and would invite me around next door for a bible reading. In fact my first ever bible still resides with me today in my parochial lodgings so beautifully furnished for me by my parishioners. It rests on the book shelf above the tank holding Moses, my pet Amazonian Catfish which was a gift to me from the diminutive and quite aggressive South American tribes people I spent time with during my years in the missionary position in their village. By the time I left their rare and exotic homeland they had had fibre optic broadband installed so I felt proud that my time there had helped them to progress spiritually. Being there and assisting them on their journey to find the Lord had really been all the thanks I needed, but the gift of  Moses was a pleasant if slightly awkward token of their thanks to me. He is looking quite sad these days, and Gumpert, my live-in helper, has clearly decided that caring for Moses is no longer his responsibility judging by the green dankness sliding down the poor part-amphibian’s glass tank walls.

Just as I made a mental note to speak to Gumpert about Moses’ dishevelled quarters, he burst into my conservatory-cum-nook looking beetroot red with agitation. With his hair looking lank and with rather large dark circles under his eyes, Gumpert appeared to be in no better state than poor Moses, who just at that moment had glooped lazily to the surface of his slime tank to grasp what turned out to be an imaginary morsel of food. I could only think my sinewy companion was exhausted from his endeavours the day before. It had been another wet day across Biffordshire and Gumpert had plumped to spend it in his room choosing a new wallpaper and duvet set with the man from the Haberdashers in the village. They certainly had been hard at it given the thumping and banging which emanated from his quarters for the best part of the day.

My lithe South American domestic took no notice of poor Moses’ mucoid mouthings and proceeded with very little ado to explain the cause of his ire. As he did so he gesticulated that I should follow him pass the oak landing tablette, so generously provided to me by my parishioners, over the Persian carpeted stairs, past the mahogany style portmanteau at the foot of the stairs and into the living room, which was now bathed in the most glorious mid-afternoon light. Gumpert, who had managed to multi-task by walking down the stairs while rolling one of his foul smelling Moroccan cigarillos, had slumped into an arm chair and simply nodded towards the cause of his irritation. Following his gaze I could see that a small bird, a tit, if my ornithological senses were correct, had managed to somehow secure access to the house and was now sitting atop the oak Grandfather clock so kindly provided to me by my parishioners. Wisely Gumpert had already opened the large bay window, through which such excellent views of the Biffordshire Downs are afforded. Despite Gumpert’s best efforts to coax the flighty creature from its perch using a towel and an overripe avocado, a gift to the bird he later explained, it had refused to budge.

Suddenly a beam of ethereal light shone in through the open bay window and struck the face of the Grandfather clock, before it slowly moved down to reflect gloriously from the clock’s chiming mechanism. My path suddenly became clear. Why, just waiting for the venerable and well varnished time piece to strike would surely be enough to encourage the tit to accept the chance of freedom so graciously provided to it by Gumpert.  As I looked at Gumpert, my heart fair burst with pride at his empathetic stance towards our unheralded visitor, particularly as small, feathery birds are quite the delicacy in his home village. Within moments, the clanging chime of the clock struck and the tit raced through the open window and into the bright afternoon sky. Verily, the Lord doth move in mysterious ways!

  • The Very Reverend Archbishop Dr Robert Carolgees will be signing copies of his new book Bath time with the Angels at the Clump Cineplex, Bowling and Tiddlywink Alley next Friday. Asthmatics are asked to book in advance.