Occasional Limericks Only #8

Bliar, Bliar, Pants on Fire…

It is worth reflecting that the week in which we learnt of the death of Nobel Laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Capetown, Desmond Tutu, is also the week in which we learnt that the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair has been honoured with the highest possible rank of knighthood, as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

It is estimated that between 750,000 and 1,000,000 people protested in London against Blair’s war and many tens of thousands more throughout the rest of the UK

In 2012, Tutu withdrew from the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg as he felt he “couldn’t sit with someone who justified the invasion of Iraq with a lie”. As he wrote in a Graun thinkpiece at the time of his withdrawal:

“The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.”

“If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth?”

“Leadership and morality are indivisible. Good leaders are the custodians of morality. The question is not whether Saddam Hussein was good or bad or how many of his people he massacred. The point is that Mr Bush and Mr Blair should not have allowed themselves to stoop to his immoral level.”

A renowned politician did conspire
To lead us all into the mire
Of an illegal war
But depite the uproar
He’s now knighted as Sir Tony Bliar!

Occasional Limericks Only #7

Where there is cake there is hope…

… and there’s always cake! (Dean Koontz)

This year’s birthday cake; a three tier coffee and walnut cake courtesy of the Tall One in the absence of Firstborn (whose effort last year can be found here: https://blog.piscibus.com/a-limerick-a-week-223)

Firstborn couldn’t travel this year
But she knew there was nothing to fear
‘Cos her brother could make
Her dad’s birthday cake
And fill up his day with good cheer!

Occasional Limericks Only #6

They’re back…

Regulars to the blog may be a little concerned that I haven’t yet reminded them to delve back into a seasonal post from earlier years regarding young Lovell’s bride. Well worry not, here’s the link to that tragic tale of Yuletide gothic despair.

But unlike Lovell, I’m not in despair this Christmas! Bellowhead, the band whose rendition of The Mistletoe Bough is highlighted in that earler post has decided to reform for a one-off tour next November, six years after they disbanded, and I have tickets!

The relevant personal and seating identifying features have, of course, been edited out!

The tour is ostensibly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album Broadside. I suspect the reality is slightly different and the band members are in need of a payday to make up for the loss of income over the pandemic years – and who would blame them? Not me!

Anyway, here’s a rather uninspired limerick…

A concert-goer once claimed
That he felt a little bit pained
‘Cos the band he once saw
Played together no more,
So how could he be entertained?

 

Occasional Limericks Only #5

When the world and I were young…

And another representative of ones childhood theatrical and musical mileu has gone.

Michael Nesmith A cool singer / song-writer avec wool hat and sideburns!

I was sorry to hear that Michael Nesmith had died. He was my favourite ‘Monkee’ as a kid because he was by far and away the coolest of the quartet. Personally, I’ve never been able to rock the wool hat look myself (my head, quite literally, is too big) and the sideburn vibe that he pioneered (and became a ‘must have’ for any self-respecting 1970s rugby player) was also beyond me (I was bristly enough but with the wrong shaped face!). I lack creativity and can neither sing nor play a musical instrument so, all in all, I could never have been him however much I would have wished it at a young age.

I am, nevertheless, fond of the aphorism that it’s not what you look at that makes you different, but what you see. I found that to be a truism every time in my professional life when I ended up in discussions as a minority of one (I’m arrogant enough still to believe that I was usually right – in fact I know I was!) and from reading his obituaries it certainly seems that Nesmith saw things in a different way too. At least we might have had that in common!

Anyway, with apologies for the misquoted line from the Monkees Theme Song, here’s the limerick…

The Monkees were once heard to say
“Get ready, ‘cos we might come your way”,
But their fans are bereft
Now there’s only one left
Since ‘Wool Hat Papa Nez’ passed away!

Postscript: I do apologise for the use of ‘rock’ and ‘vibe’ in this post, but sadly (horrifically?) they were the words that came to mind when I was scribing it. I’m aghast!

Occasional Limericks Only #3

Holidays abroad – remember them?

I don’t normally do ‘Throwback Thursday’, but was so pleased to see this headline a couple of weeks ago that it made me revisit an ALAW from 2016!

Five years ago, we’d purposefully avoided a dolphin show whilst on holiday in Mallorca, but had re-created one ourselves. The limerick wasn’t very good, but the pics and commentary still make me laugh (if not my other half🤭) so I’ve included them here along with a brand new limerick…

A lassie once thought t’would be cool
To porpoise around in a pool
She got all of her kicks
Doing Flipper’s old tricks
‘Cos she knows that it’s dolphins that rule!

…and the old pics and commentary:

“Squeal, squeal, squeek?” “What’s that, Flipper? No, of course you’re not the only albino dolphin!”
“The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’.” Douglas Adams.
“Squeeaaal, squeeeaak, squeak, squeal??!!!!!” “Of course I won’t post this picture Flipper. Honest!”
“… and just remember it’s the head end that you’re supposed to blow bubbles from!”

(As with the original blog post, no sprats, sardines or spouses were injured in the making of this montage)

Occasional Limericks Only #2

It’s still raining in the Lakes!

In the early 1990s British Rail was derided for claiming that ‘the wrong sort of snow’ was the cause of many service failures during one particular wintery spell. Subsequently, a successor company, Network Rail, was similarly derided for claims that ‘leaves on the line’ were responsible for a number of fractured services.

Yet in both cases the problems were caused by genuine engineering challenges, something overlooked by the great British public in its ignorance and with its desire to moan about the country’s railways.

I know from experience, that when complicated issues are reduced by the media to ‘trial by soundbite’, it is very difficult to close down misleading commentaries – especially to a public with the attention span of a gnat!

Neverthless, a lexicon that now includes ‘the wrong sort of snow’ does point to a kind of exasperated humour, which is why I had to smile when the Lake Windermere ferry service was stopped from running this week (for genuine safety reasons) due to the lake being “too full”…

It was the Graun that cottoned on to the fact that:

The operators of the Windermere ferry, which shuttles between Nab End and Bowness, have apologised for being unable to run the service with the lake being too full.

… before acknowledging the actual safety issue as given by the operators:

Due to excessive rainfall overnight the lake levels have risen to an extent whereby we cannot land safely and must suspend services till levels drop.

 

Windermere Ferry from Ferry Nab, Bowness to Ferry House, Far Sawrey

Still, it’s worth a limerick…

A Lake District storm will not lull
When the weather’s so beastly and dull
And conditions have shown us
The ferry from Bowness
Can’t sail ‘cos the lake is too full

Postscript: you can always tell an offcomer to Cumbria by the way they pronounce ‘Bowness’ (or ‘Penrith’ for that matter). The emphasis should be on the first syllable and not the second: BO-nuss rather than bo-NESS, ditto, PEN-reth and not pen-RITH! (In other words, to a Cumbrian, Bowness is a true rhyme with shown us!)

 

Occasional Limericks Only #1

For Peat’s Sake…

I recently travelled with a small group of friends to Islay, the island home of Scotland’s most heavily peated malt whiskies. The aim was to take some old-school B&W film photographs, take in the scenery, and enjoy some fine food.

We had also booked a whisky tasting session at the Lagavulin distillery that commenced at 10.30 on a Monday morning!

A 12 year old ‘expression’ straight from the cask

Five drams later (full measures!) you left via the distillery shop and were even offered other tastings if a particular bottle took your eye. Try not spending lots of money in that sort of alcohol-fuddled state! Marketing genius!

‘Jumping for joy’ at the Lagavulin distillery

The cask master at our tasting pointed out that a character from the sitcom Parks and Recreation (Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman) often referred to Lagavulin in the show. Indeed, in one episode his character travelled to Islay and the distillery as a part of the storyline.

The Swanson character reads Burns’ poetry in that episode. But who needs Burns when you can have a limerick loosely inspired by our trip (and in recognition of women’s role in the history of whisky making – see Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick).

A young woman on Islay’s far shore
Swigged drams at a Port Charlotte bar
One morn by eleven,
She’d sunk six or seven
So here’s to that lass – Slàinte Mhath!

Other Islay malts are also available, but we only shot ‘jumping for joy’ when the sun shone!

(For the non-Scots reading this, Slàinte Mhath is pronounced ‘slan-ja va’ and translates as ‘Good Health’. Islay is pronounced ‘eye-la’.)

(For the pedants reading this, “yes” I know that the Lagavulin distillery is close to Port Ellen and miles away from Port Charlotte, but this is a limerick, not a geography lesson, and it so happens we also sampled drams in the Port Charlotte Hotel, close to where we stayed.)