Research Knowledge

The Perky Poet

Posted on Friday 9 July 2021

During these difficult times, the ICG’s resident poet, Nanda Marchant has been composing little ditties to make us smile … see more of her work on Facebook/ThePerkyPoet

Nanda has self-published a book of her Covid-busting odes on Amazon. All proceeds go to a local children’s hospice who have seen a dramatic fall in funds due to Covid.

Three Lions (9th July)

I’m no big fan of footie, it’s never been my bag 
But Sunday it’s my duty to chant and fly the flag
I’m sure I will be cheering, and hoping for a gift 
As getting something in the net would give us all a lift 

This year has been a tough one and I’d like to smile again 
The guy to help me do that could be Captain Harry Kane
Let’s hope he knocks a few in, oh that would be a dream 
Or failing that I’d settle for the light-footed Raheem 
Some others could deliver, and in them we must trust 
It could be Saca ... Rashford, whoever, I'm not fussed 
As long as they can score those goals, and show they won’t give up 
I’ve fingers crossed they do us proud to see we lift that cup 
And as for Gareth Southgate – a top bloke he has been 
Whatever comes on Sunday hope he’s honoured by the Queen 

A manager with focus, the guy’s been on a mission 
(Behaves with more integrity than any politician!) 
Although we've a great recipe my knees will still be trembly 
On Sunday as we hit the pitch and give our all at Wembley 
Gosh, this ode is lengthy and I didn’t mean to roam 
But want to say let’s all just pray that ‘FOOTBALL’S COMING HOME!’ 

Loos, wounds and macaroons (7th May)

In our line of work the topics vary
From fun, obscure to even downright scary 
One day you find you’re talking macaroons 
The next the subject’s turned to gory wounds 

I’ve interviewed an edgy millionaire 
A lady selling lacy underwear 
Some young policemen working on the beat 
A job-seeker who had webbed hands and feet 

I’ve been to cattle farms and factory floors 
To prisons, pubs and many superstores 
I love this job: the people and the range 
The coverage both interesting and strange 

The skills you find you’re bringing into play 
When sometimes folk don’t quite know what to say
Or framing questions, delicately put 
When talking halitosis … athlete’s foot
  
And now … the pinnacle I reach
With this week’s topic: buying online bleach 
How riveting, to root around and find 
The inner workings of a shopper's mind 

No seriously, the guide was oh so dreary 
By interview fifteen I felt quite teary 
With chirpy tone I kept on trying to ask it:
‘Now tell me why you put that in your basket?

You chucked it in the trolley in a trice 
So was it fragrance, brand or maybe price?
How does own label really make you feel?
How much does zapping every germ appeal?’

Before you say ‘hey that’s no major chore’
I must point out I’ve covered this before 
And though more work is tempting when it’s dangled
They’ve tackled bleach from every bloody angle 

I’ll top myself with one more interview 
About best buys to sanitise the loo 
Next week it’s piles – I’m thinking ‘Thank you God’
But is that me who’s really rather odd?! 

Retirement Beckons (26th March)

Dear Rishi, I’d like to object please. My business was starting to 
thrive, 
When along came a change in the tax rules: the dreaded IR35 
This wasn’t a simple amendment, like a drop in the dividend rate
Or another small tweak to the system.  It’s a major upheaval I hate

When my clients take on a new project, requiring they call in the 
troops They’ll soon have to ask themselves questions and go through a 
shed load of hoops 
Before, I’d just offer to help them, but now with this new legislation 
It’s all about things like control, substitution and shared obligation

I’m sure that I’ll wrap my head round it and finally get in the groove 
Though it’s ‘obvs’ I’m not an employee, so I’m peeved it’s a fact we must prove 
With multiple clients and studies, I’m plainly no member of staff 
Yet could I be trying to tax dodge? Oh Dishi, now don’t make me laugh

It’s tempting to throw in the towel. I could give window cleaning a bash 
For I like the idea of a job with fresh air, where punters can pay me in cash 
Or maybe it’s time for retirement. I’m too old for new rules in the mix 
I’ll just get to grips with the changes, and they’ll bring in IR36!

Under Starter’s Orders (8th March)

  Today’s the day no-one can scupper  
 First real chance to share a cuppa  
 Yes, today I sprang from bed  
 New freedoms going to my head  
 Lockdown’s sent me round the bend 
 But now am off to see a friend  
 We’ll get fresh air on country land  
 With frothy Starbucks clutched in hand  
 What the hell, I think I’ll risk it  
 Take along a little biscuit  
 Or even, as we stretch our legs  
 We could go mad and munch scotch eggs  
 Our choice to stand, as thirst we quench  
 Or hang it, sit down on a bench  
 What a wild, exciting date  
 Today’s a day to celebrate  
 Let’s treasure every little mo  
 Tarrah my lovelies, off I go! 

No More Comings (19th Feb)

Written in response to Dominic Comings’ comments on the MR industry. Nanda says “I don’t normally like to drag politics into my poetry but I know how upset some of us have been this week over slurs on our industry. So when a member suggested it may provide inspiration for this week’s ode, I’m afraid I couldn’t resist”

 A headline came my way this week that gave me indigestion 
An ex-advisor calling our profession into question 
He claimed that firms ‘lack competence and most are unreliable’
I found his words offensive and – what’s more – unjustifiable
  
He deems that we’re dishonest and we’re crap at focus groups 
So because we can’t be trusted, he rallied his old troops 
They got a juicy contract, with little need to tender 
I bet they rubbed their hands with glee and dined that night in splendour
  
It’s sad to think that balding chap has slurred our reputations 
The thought he’ll get away with it sure gives me palpitations 
But I can think of something as a salve to my frustration 
Is it worth considering the merits of castration?!
(Hence the title) 

Wanderlust (12th February)

 I’d like to book a holiday, to bring a ray of hope 
Quite frankly it’s the only way I feel that I can cope 
To dream of warm exotic lands, new places to explore 
Of foreign foods and cultures, strange languages and more

Local crafts and artisans, quaint souvenirs to find 
For now though, all that I can do is journey in my mind 
I’ll just enjoy my future, however far away 
But it feels like a hunger pang I’m trying to keep at bay

Cooped up at home, nowhere to roam I stare at these four walls 
Recycling distant memories of the Iguassu Falls 
Of aromatic India or San Francisco Bay 
And other lovely places where I may return some day

My mouth begins to water thinking back to foreign dinners 
So many reminiscences it’s hard to pick the winners 
I count myself so lucky to have travelled far and wide 
At least I have back catalogues to draw upon inside

Yet still I long to get the nod to say we can be off 
And when we do, forgive me, I might stifle that dry cough 
I’ll stuff down loads of lozenges, put ice-cubes on me face 
To quash a hint of temperature that keeps me back at base

I'll sunbathe in a hazmat, do distancing and such 
Or put my oven gloves on if there's anything to touch 
I’ll triple-dose on vaccines and wear a double mask 
Just get me on me holidays, is that too much to ask?! 

Separation (29th January)

Life is cold, monotone, without laughter 
As if you've spent months in the fridge 
When you've been kept away from a loved one 
And are aching to give them a squidge
  
 When cuddles come back after Covid
 (And though I'm not often a loafer)
 The first thing I'll do with my daughter 
Is lie for a week on the sofa
  
 Well snuggle up tight under blankets
 And binge-watch some trash on the box
 Surrounded by deep downy cushions
 While polishing off all the chocs
  
 I'll sit with my favourite concoction
 Of Twinings I'll slurp from my mug
 Then once I feel warm and contented
 I'll reach for another fat hug
  
 Although I have funds in my ISA
 No money can buy what I miss
 The arms of my daughter around me
 And the warmth of my child's loving kiss
  
 So hurry on up with the vaccine
 I'm quite a way down in the queue
 I long for the day of home coming
 Here's hoping I'm hugged black and blue!

Happy New Year 2021 (5th January)

When all around me things look bleak
 And worry starts to hit its peak
 You're there
  
 When furloughed, if I'm sad and bored
 And happiness can't be restored
 You're there
  
 When shut indoors, nowhere to go
 As latest tier rules make it so
 You're there
  
 When I regret the year that was
 You always comfort me because
 You're there
  
 I love you ...
  
 Chocolate*
  
 *Merlot/Kettle chips/all 3 at once - delete as appropriate 

A very different Christmas (22nd December)

Life was in Clover, 
But the party’s now over
It’s mayhem in Dover

We’ll try and stay perky,
But Christmas looks murky, 
Some folk can’t get turkey

There’s even more trouble
They’ve downsized the bubble
Our plans turned to rubble

Yet it isn’t all gloom
Me poinsettia’s in bloom
And there’s love in the room (or on Zoom)

There may be no flights
But we’ve got party bites
And a tree decked with lights

We’ve a smell of Scot’s pine
And a fridge stacked with wine
So I’m sure we’ll be fine (hic)

Though we cannot go out
And must force down a sprout
We’ll have fun I’ve no doubt

So let’s toast:  We’ll survive
And with laughter we’ll thrive
Praise be – we’re alive!
And don't forget, for a festive singalong on Xmas day ... Jingle bells, Covid smells, Brexit's on the way But oh what fun it is to know that a vaccine's on the way  ... 

Happy Days (4th December)

My husband's new draft beer tap is his latest favourite toy 
With pubs all shut it has become a source of pride and joy 
[He argued too that it was ‘green’ - recycled kegs, not tins 
So bought it ‘just to do his bit’ and not clog up the bins]

He snatched it off the driver, when his van stopped to deliver 
He couldn't wait to set it up and lubricate his liver 
It perched upon the counter while he paced round like a fool 
Suffering hours of torture in the wait for it to cool

At last it came to temperature. He popped his beer glass under 
The frosted chill, the frothy head – his eyes were glazed in wonder 
He took a sip and beamed, impressed, then briefly wondered how 
This little pump so modest served the perfect Lowenbrau

I doubt it will be long before he's steamed through several kegs 
Quite frankly it's delicious and we've BOTH got wobbly legs 
He's told his pubbing mates of course, it's on their Christmas list 
So, what will happen on the day and will they all be missed?

For, if Santa delivers one, forget the family carols 
They'll be sloping off to garages to try out all the barrels 
The moral if you want a Christmas fun and free from strife 
Invest in Phillips Perfect Draft – You'll have a friend for life!

Remembrance day (8th November)

Their courage spurred them on that day
As they flew, sailed, marched away
In foreign fields were sent to roam
Fought hard but failed to make it home
Their one desire: to protect
For that they earn our deep respect
Brave souls, we owe you such a debt
Today’s your day – lest we forget

Oops! (6th November)


Home made mask?
Need you ask?
Know it looks wrong
Cos it’s a thong
Went out to roam
Left mask at home
Then got chastised
So improvised! 

Covid Chrimbo (October)

LATE OCTOBER
I wonder what Christmas will bring us this year
That usual time for tinsel and cheer 
When friends may turn up, smiley faced at our doors 
With gifts and mince pies held aloft in their paws 
Our homes look inviting, the tree is bedecked 
And rellies stuff faces or drink til they’re wrecked 
There's letters to Santa and stockings crammed full 
Plus turkey to carve and crackers to pull 
The kids get spoiled rotten and diets are blown 
As we overindulge on a huge Toblerone 

CHRISTMAS DAY AFTERNOON 
The big day was dismal I’ve got to confess 
The black cloud of Covid created some stress 
Being socially-distanced left me feeling glum 
No family crowd, just hubby and mum 
Great boxes of crackers were left on the shelves 
The ‘rule of six’ meaning we didn’t need twelves 
Our fat golden turkey? Afraid no such luck 
We sat there forlorn with the scrawniest duck 
No visit from Santa, no reindeer for me 
As our little village was deemed a ‘Tier 3’

CHRISTMAS DAY EVENING
We waved bye to mother, deflated, subdued 
Having drunk little wine and just picked at our food 
Imagine our shock when she came back a-knocking 
To say: ‘I’ve forgotten to give you your stocking I
t was popped in the car, days ago, sanitized 
So it’s now quarantined – only just realised’
‘I’m too old for stockings’ I wanted to say ‘And how could you truly lift spirits today?’
But my fears were all groundless, how wrong I had been
Cos I undid the wrapper and got the vaccine!

©Nanda Marchant : Facebook/ThePerkyPoet/

SARTORIAL SLOUCH (9th October)

Has Covid killed sexy? the newspaper asks 
Now that our beauty is covered in masks 
I tend to agree, as it's something I've felt 
When stuck behind fabric, my make-up a-melt 
Foundation rubs off, gets clingy and drippy 
Plus what is the point of that bright glossy lippy?

'Go for sexy attire’ – An alternate suggestion 
But one that seems pointless and out of the question 
You can't rock an entrance in heels, through a room 
When most of your meetings are held over Zoom 
And nor can you cheekily flash a bare calf 
When all that's on camera's your face and top half

Instead I’ve gone comfy and thrown out my Spanx 
They conspire to constrict all my wobbles - no thanks 
I’ve fully embraced a life lived in joggers 
And turned all ‘authentic’ like some lifestyle vloggers 
Hope others embrace the TRUE ME underneath 
What the heck, I'm so chilled I've stopped brushin' me teeth!


So would they panic buy again? (25th September)

‘Twas not a case of if, but when
It started early yesterday
When toilet roll just rolled away
Then tinned tomatoes all ran low

I drew a blank in TESCO so
I turned to WAITROSE in a huff
But they were low on other stuff
For tins and bread I didn’t look far
But they were out of best foie gras

And women fought like seasoned mobsters
Over two remaining lobsters
They'd put a limit on quails' eggs
Leaving me with just the dregs

ALDI was a different story
Got some goodies, felt the glory
But there I saw a pair of fools
Stocking up on paddling pools

There's no limit on your crumpets
But they have put a cap on trumpets
You can freely find your rice
But welding kits sell in a trice

So pop in quick for your ‘best buys’
Things disappear before your eyes
For me, I feel: ‘Let’s stop this madness 
Panic buying leads to sadness
 
I’ll just think: ‘Who gives a damn?
There’s always that old tin of Spam
I can soon blow off the dust
And face Fray Bentos if I must!

On the road (7th August)

This year we’d planned to slow it down and take exciting trips 
But after things shut down in March we thought we’d had our chips
Our booking made for Serbia – a 60th surprise
Became the first one cancelled, plans dissolved before our eyes
 
‘Twas back on the agenda when there came a little flurry
Of countries with a ‘corridor’ – we rebooked in a hurry
With Belgrade looking promising. 
But then the FCO Decided that, with riots there, we could no longer go
‘We’re still the lucky ones’ we felt, we’ve also got a ticket
For Italy, September, which we thought a safer wicket
So something to look forward to, but then to our disgust
We learnt that our provider sadly went and bit the dust
 
It felt like we were fated, but we chose, with trepidation
To not throw in the towel, or opt for a staycation
Instead we searched to find a place where Covid still was low
So plumped for lovely Czechia, and little-trod Brno
 
We followed all the guidance, washing hands, masks on the plane
And what a lovely trip it was, I now feel far more sane
I know some think it’s risky, and the fallout could be chronic
But leaving these four walls for once was truly such a tonic
The beer was great, the weather warm, the castles quite enchanted
Plus lesson learnt, to never take my freedom so for granted!

Hands … Face … Space Cadets (11th September)

Yeah I'm a minor rebel, I like to break a rule
It started in my childhood, at a straight-laced grammar school
I may not wait for the little green man
Prefer to jay walk if I can Another of my mild offences 
Once stuck champers on expenses
Yeah I'm a minor rebel and I like to think I'm cool

Yeah I'm a minor rebel, but some diktats I follow
They're easy rules to flout, yet the victory would be hollow
A favourite one across these lands
Is you must often wash your hands
Another, not too much to ask
Is, shopping, you should wear a mask
Upon yer face, not under-chin
(As useless there as in the bin)
Yeah I'm a minor rebel but these rules ain't hard to swallow

There are other minor rebels, but some of tiny brain
No matter how you spell it out and ask them to refrain:
Keep your distance, save a life
Don't cause a spike and risk your wife
Scrub those hands and done those masks
But some won't do these simple tasks
They may be minor rebels but I wish they'd think again!

Lockdown love in Lutterworth (17th July)

This tale is of Maggie, a fair maid from Lutters
Cursed by Corona, her wedding in tatters
Her beau, after years, had asked for her hand
Then lockdown came in and nuptials were banned
 
Yes Alan, a twitcher, had wooed his love-bird
But alas his ‘I do’ just couldn’t be heard
He’d plucked up the courage and got on one knee
But months stuck indoors meant it wasn’t to be
 
Now at last lovely Maggie can stand by his side
As the golf club plays host to a radiant bride
A few small adjustments they needed to ask
Saying ‘please keep your distance and do bring a mask’
 
This didn’t phase Mags for she answered to that:
‘I’ve found one with sparkles that matches me hat
We can do without music, the pomp, and the doves
As long as we don’t need to wear rubber gloves
 
The rest I can stand, but that rule was a shock
I just can’t comply as they won’t match me frock!’
The venue caved in and the bride had her way
So our story ends well, twas a fabulous day
 
The weather held good, they remembered the rings
Friends came and gifted them all sorts of things
Vows were exchanged, and cake eaten after
They lived long and well, with life full of laughter

Revenge (3rd July)

That pigeon’s madly flapping 
And the bastard has been crapping on My car 
I thought he was just resting 
But he squawks to me ‘I’m nesting, Ha ha ha!’  

I’m sure he has no mean intent 
But sadly he’s incontinent, 
So no I can’t indulge that tiresome bird 
And I’m afraid the little nerd Must go  

He’s also looking for a mate 
So DOUBLE plopping is my fate I fear 
One shot would pick him off I bet 
The only stumbling block’s to get The gear  

What’s more he loudly coos to me 
And breaks my sleep at half past three each morn 
It’s time he gets what he deserves 
I’m tetchy and my poor old nerves Are worn  

But wait, I’ve a less evil plan 
My neighbour (I can't stand the man) 
And so … I’ll lob a fat ball on his roof 
To lure the greedy bird there – pooff! He’ll go!  

Now that, I know, would bring me cheer 
Indeed, I think this new idea May work 
Then ‘next door nutter’ can enjoy 
Some droppings on that brand new toy, His Merc!

Don’t try this at home (19th June)

’I started YouTube yoga, to limber up my joints
‘But was it such a good idea?’ I’ve thought at certain points
I’m hopeless at the Down Dog, my hamstrings poor at stretching
With bottom pointed in the air, I never look that fetching

I gamely tried a head stand, but that I failed to knobble
My legs were flailing uncontrolled, my fat began to wobble
I had a go at Warrior – my stance would make you cringe 
Especially when I lunged too hard and felt the muscles twinge

I try to watch the guru’s moves (he claims he’s best in town)
It isn’t always easy when my head’s lodged upside down
Perhaps some steps are easier, I’ll try them one day maybe
There's one I know I'm sure to like, it’s called ‘The Happy Baby’

And Corpse pose – that I’ve mastered, just lie down on my back
 Start dribbling, then drop off to sleep, so think I’ve got the knack
Yet maybe yoga’s not for me because: Oh bloomin ‘eck
I’ve now been stuck for hours with my foot behind my neck!

Those were the days (6th June)

Those were the days when we went to the pub
We just sat right down and relished our grub
We’d all pile in to a big bowl of dips
And a wandering hand might steal your chips
 
We loved the Friday night, after-work crowd
Where the bevvies were cold and the banter was loud
A queue at the loo, and a scrum at the bar
We were all packed in at The Crown or The Star
 
Oh halcyon days, where are you now?
For we can’t go to The Lion, The Plough
All we can get is a sanitised box
With a take-away in, to avoid the pox
We’re told: ‘Thirty quid please including tax
But before you pay, here’s our antibax’
 
So I long for the moment I’m back in the pub
I’m no big drinker, but I love my grub
When it’s served with finesse, appetizing and hot
Not tepid and sweaty in a plasticky pot
 
Oh bring me the lamb shanks, the jus-covered duck
Into sizzling fajitas I’ll readily tuck
As for home cooking, I’ve now had my fill
And for crispy pork belly I’M READY TO KILL!

Time for Tea (22nd May)

I thought: ‘The world’s gone helter-skelter
Stopping in an old bus shelter 
For a safely distanced meeting.’
We couldn’t hug, so waved in greeting

It smelt of wee, I didn’t care
Because my lovely friend was there,
And we’d been waiting for the day
When seeing a pal is deemed ok

This spot would do, though dark and sleazy
It sheltered us, as it was breezy 
What a treat to see a mate
I’d even dressed up for the date

Short sleeved dress, a touch of lippy
Regretted it, as then was nippy
So quickly broke out flask of tea
And balanced biccies on me knee

Glad the weather didn’t scupper
Plans to meet and have a cuppa
And with pubs closed, this had to do
Couldn’t stop long, there was no loo!

As venues go, it may sound bleak
Yet was my highlight of the week
Indeed the world IS helter-skelter
But life’s OK when we find shelter

Then and Now (8th May – VE day)

After many lives dashed, and so much true sorrow
Young soldiers who’d lost their dreams of tomorrow.
Fighting in trenches in some awful place
Lucky to make it alive back to base.

In such dark days, parents dreamed of times better,
But thousands received that condolence letter.
Yet many won medals and proved they were brave In time,
with their courage, our lives they would save.

Hidden heroes emerged: The Bletchley code breakers
Others kept us all fed, be it butchers or bakers;
While housewives donned wellies and made a firm pledge
To do their bit too, and dig up our veg.

After years of real hardship and fighting the hun,
The moment at last when we did it, we won!
As news spread like wildfire they danced in the street,
And people were hugging whoever they’d meet.

They drank and they cheered with exuberant passion,
The only big drawback – twas all still on ration.
So how did they feast, did they borrow and beg
For a bit of home brew or some cake with dried egg?

We’re more blessed today for we’ve warm scones and beer,
Plus loo rolls and pasta to bring us some cheer.
So let’s thank our luck, those guys had it so bleak –
They did six years of shutdown, we’ve just done six weeks!

Single Mum (1st May)

She really needs three pairs of hands
As on the keyboard porridge lands.
She tells herself ‘keep calm, come on, you’ve got this’
For wriggling, fractious on her lap
Sits her cheeky little chap,
Spilling breakfast all over her office  

Did they take her for a fool
When they said ‘Now please home school
Your toddler and your four year old, it’s easy.
Even though they’re little yobs,
You can also do your job
From home’ … No wonder she felt queasy  

She had no choice, as we can see,
But Jessica now needs a wee,
While Arthur’s nappy whiffs and feels quite dirty
Yet does he care? No he sits there
And jams his porridge right into her QWERTY  

Her nerves are frayed, she battles on,
A work persona she must don
So clicks on Zoom and starts her morning meeting,
But Arthur’s having none of it,
He’s got more food, the little git
And flings a fistful at the screen in greeting  

So when they said ‘It can be done,
To work from home is so much fun’
They maybe didn’t think of kids like Arthur,
Whose mum must juggle many plates,
She has no time for fancy dates
And wonders: ‘Where the hell’s his absent father?!’  

The short walk home (24th April)

'Right, I'm off to the Crown then'
Said hubby, all full of cheer
I know it's the second time this week
But I'm desperate for a beer.

Peeved that he was leaving
But not one to cause a rift
I slapped on a smile and sweetly asked
If he'd be needing a lift

But he shrugged 'no' politely
And sauntered off with a swagger
He was only going to the study
So not far back to stagger

Firing up the laptop
He relaxed in his cosy room
Clicked to join the virtual pub
And chat to his mates on Zoom

It's not too bad as a night out
You can chat, do a quiz, play bridge
OK, there's no pint from the landlord
But you only need pop to the fridge

Thus another good night of male bonding
Was had as they chatted and laughed
But he still missed the taste of cold lager
Poured fresh from a pump on draft

He soon asked me 'Fancy a cellar? 
I'll dig one for you as a gift'
The look on my face gave the answer
Now there WILL be a marital rift!

Drastic Measures (17th April)

My fringe was down to my armpits, 
my roots were silvery grey, 
when my daughter turned to me innocently 
and said, with a smile, one day 
'Mum – I’ve cut hair at uni, 
us students have so little cash.
Why don’t you find me the scissors, 
sit down and I’ll give it a bash’.

With hairdressers closed in the crisis, 
I thought 'well I’ve got little choice’,
so I found myself saying ‘go on then’, 
in a wary and trembling voice.

‘I might as well touch up your colour’ 
she added, producing a box, 
as I acquiesced, I then did my best 
not to fear for my poor little locks.

It started out well with the hair dye, 
as she painted each strand, every follicle.
My hair appeared fine, a deep shade of wine, 
but the bathroom looked quite diabolical.

Her efforts at splashing on colour, 
had sent streaks of red up the wall,
Attempting to wipe, she’d left a great stripe, 
and I wasn’t too happy at all.

But what harm could she do with the trimming? 
There was simply a fringe to get straight. 
Yet when I was cooked, I finally looked 
and realised I’d left it too late.

In lining it up to my eyebrows, 
she’d left me no more than an inch; 
I’d hoped for a ‘Sassoon’ make-over, 
but ended up more like the Grinch.

Zoom is Furloughed (6th April)

Well, it looks like Nanda has competition! Here is an offering from Carol Raithatha…

Home is work and work is home
The essential shop is how we roam
We try so hard but lose the plot
Our hands are scrubbed, our bodies are not
Each day more dosh we sadly owe
Even zoom may start to furlough.

Hope (3rd April)

What does nature know of our plight?
The bees still buzz and the doves take flight
Daffodils grow and the clouds float by
The moon still rises in the sky

Crops push through and tilt in the breeze
Squirrels continue to peek from trees
Early blossoms share their scent
Sparrows chirp until they're spent

Though I may think my world has stopped
With all my privileges dropped
I'm starting to learn of life's true worth
And enjoy the beauty of mother earth

I see with fresh eyes this stunning place:
For free I can feel the sun on my face
Can listen to cows low in fields nearby
Take strength from the sight of a bright blue sky
Savour the smell of the rain and grass
And trust that this difficult time will pass

Fast forward to June (20th March)

We are down at the pub in a wild celebration
Freedom at last after self-isolation
Enjoying a laugh with our dearest of friends
Time for cold lager* and summer weekends
[*A sensible move has been made by the owner
Who’s taken off tap his usual Corona]

Though April and May were lonesome and bleak
We’re now at a time when the bug’s passed its peak
So tonight here we are, breathing sighs of relief
With a few tears of joy after moments of grief

For we’ve lost ones we loved, and some jobs are in tatters
But also we’ve learned what in life really matters
We stopped being selfish and thought about others
Held tight** to our children, our parents and brothers
[**Metaphorically speaking – we did keep our distance
And kept washing hands, sanitised with persistence]

We offered up loo roll that once we’d have stashed
Held onto our nerve when pension funds crashed
Helped little old ladies who needed some shopping
Even when illness showed no signs of stopping

As the virus took hold and quickened its pace
Those struck down stayed home and ate pancakes and plaice
A strange combination, not eaten before
But twas all that our folks could slide under the door

We stifled the boredom with jigsaws and books
Stopped haircuts and waxing, gave up on our looks
For banned were the hairdresser, spa, gym and nails
So we slouched and got lazy, avoiding the scales

But tonight we don’t care, and we’ve no need to hide
For we’ve learnt that what matters is not our outside
We may look like yetis, our pensions have dived
But break out the champers, at least we survived!

Life Hacks (27th March)

As all our supplies get increasingly low,
Here’s handy home tips to put you in the know
When shelves in your Asda are starting to lack
Do try improvising with one of my hacks:

I’m fresh out of loo roll, have used a dock leaf
It’s ok I s’pose – rather rough underneath
My razor got blunt so sandpaper was used
It’s left my poor legs feeling bloody and bruised

I’ve got low on dairy, am milking the cat
The scratches I’ve got show her views about that
I ran out of hand cream so tried mayonnaise
That tip worked a treat, mitts stay silky for days

And hubby had hair straggling over his ears
But topiary worked, with the gardening shears
Another thing missing because of this bug
Is a worldwide mass shortage of comforting hugs

But I’ve solved that one too, hope you’ll think, on the whole
That we might somehow manage with gloves on a pole
It’s not all depressing, some things don’t run out
Community spirit – there’s plenty about

There’s love, song and dancing, and dry British wit
Dark humour or daftness to make your sides split
There’s plenty of tech to keep people in touch
And listening ears if you’re needing a crutch

If your stash of good books is starting to dwindle
There’s always the infinite joy from a Kindle
And if you’ve a bath, to put some fruit in
Happy days boys and girls, you can make your own gin

So take heart dear friends, we’ll see this thing through
I’ve thought of some options, now over to you
If no inspiration, don’t end up in tears
Just Google ‘survival’, ‘Bear Grylls’ or ‘Ray Mears!’

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