Keep hearing that word or phrase that just drives you crazy? I’ve got two words for you.

Pet Grate.

Whenever I overhear a certain inappropriate word
Something deep inside me gets shaken and stirred,
If not my churning heart, my good mood will be broken
Wherever the good Queens Kings English is misspoken.

In the Commonwealths farthest flung reaches
English ain't spoke as an Oxford Don teaches,
In Canada, New Zealand and in fair Australia
Basic English can sound a complete utter failure.

Strewth mate, Australians, they say it,
Cool Canadians, eh? they also say it,
Yeah, nah, New Zealanders too often say it,
All the ol' English Empire colonials missay it.

Every blessed where ere on Gods good Earth-
Aye, even in the land of Shakespeare's birth,
Fine English is mangled (innit?) in a tortuous manner,
And, it's said no better 'neath the star spangled banner.

The UK and USA have one language, shared by both
Though I swear no Texan will be understood in Arbroath,
I don't wish to sound prim, proper, posh or pedantic,
Poor ol' English suffers on both sides of the Atlantic.

It's not the all too easy misuse of small words I'm averse to-
I've misused the odd wrong one myself a time or too two-
It's the horrific abuse of one word- or two, to be specific,
I swear at you, 'specific' is not interchangeable with 'Pacific.'

(Song for this angry word vent/rant, Norah Jones, 'Say No More.')


The new year is all but here; and so what have we learnt?

Re-reviewing The Year.

Time has come, and so another year is done,
It's nigh time to say and wave goodbye to 2022,
Odd though, how this year feels so much like 2021,
And do our new resolutions have a hint of deja vu?

It was a brand-new year, it seems but just a year ago,
We made new resolutions, I resolved to not weaken,
But the straight and narrow's a damned hard road to toe,*
Too bad I'd made it a year to regret, barely one week in.

Who can foretell what the future holds in 2023?
Yet by next year, as we leap headlong toward 2024
I suspect, nay expect, with a sad rueful certainty
I'll break out the same resolutions as the year before.

*Some say 'row' and some say 'hoe,' I'll take me the wrong road, as usual.

'Another year has just zipped by. Where did this one go?'  

(Song for this post is Cher 'If I Could Turn Back Time.' Seems too obvious, but the hour is late, the year is about done, and I'm done too. Have a Happy New Year!)


This World Cup has had some strange and unexpected results. Up until today, when… no surprises here.

Nope, Not Glory.

It's another World Cup campaign,
England's Lions hope to dream again,
Will England's Lions finally find their feet
In Qatar's white hot desert heat,
Or return, as per usual, in defeat?

My excitement I can scarce suppress!
The head says 'no,' the heart says 'yes!'

Up against it and France, and up steps Harry,
On Kane's able shoulders England's hopes to carry,
One penalty already today Harry's scored...
One penalty more and it's hopes restored...
High up and o'er the crossbar the ball soared.

Kane's sky high off-target shot did not impress,
Harry didn't make the 'keeper leap or guess!

So once again it's the tragic old tale,
Promises of old glories, only to fail,
How England's hero's lion-heartedly tried
But staggered predictably at the final stride;
I've lost patience in this vainglorious pride.

Not since '66 has England had World Cup success;
From footballs home I expect far more, not less.

'Hot, tired, tuckered-out, deflated, de-clawed and tamed yet again.'

(Song for this sad post is 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,' by the Tokens; nah, not that crass Seth Rogan version.)


Can’t- cannot- forget Remembrance Day.

Old Wounds.

Canny Generals and clever Chiefs Of Staff
Set out their boy soldiers on their bloody stage,
So sure of victory, with Right and God on their side,
All to please some President, Princeling, King or Kaiser.

Then the winds of war blow away the chaff;
Them old Field Marshalls live to a grand old age,
To think back on service and sacrifice with due pride,
Mind full of their many medals, yet still none the wiser.

                  'Life is an all-too fragile thing'

Song for this post is 'Mama Bake A Pie (Daddy Kill A Chicken') by the Drive-By Truckers.


Sleepless in Seat 33C.

(Part One of 'The Tripping Up In Scotland Tales.')

Are We There Yet?

When you've scraped and saved up all your pay
How your heart soars as you fly up up and away,
Ever so ready to embrace that longed for holiday.

How gleeful were we three to be sat by the bulkhead,
So conveniently next to the galley, so, first to be fed!
Inconveniently near to the wee room, it must be said.

But why must every relieved facility user be a door slammer?
And must the cabin crew prepare each meal with such clamour?
Long haul travel is all perpetual motion, not glitz, not glamour.

Between the crew's solicitations, verging on the intrusive-
Punishment inflicted behind closed doors, sounds abusive-
After all these comings and goings, sleep remained elusive.

So, how slowly, grumblingly, tediously the hours pass,
As one unravels travels in jam-packed Tourist class,
19 hours sat on your butt is a proper pain in the ass.
‘And over here is your Number One- or Two- ‘go to’ place.’

Theme song for this blog has to be Wilco’s ‘Red Eyed And Blue.’

(Just back down to earth (and the blog) after a fantastic month in Scotland with our daughter, her husband and our now 8 month old grandson: Not only Scotland, a few days in London at the beginning and butt end of of our journey too. 
To see our grandson in person, see and receive his smile, to feel his strength as he gets a grip on your fingers and pulls himself up, it brings a tear to my even now. Especially now that I'm waaay back here at home. So many things we've seen and experienced, so many things to blog about, the so many happy and good, but a few sad, bad and mad.)


Time for a trip far away to see family, old and new; which means ya’ll get a well earned break from my long winded miseries.

Count Your Blessings.

It's no secret I voice my personal opinion, loud and long,
I'm always ready to bitch pitch in, show you your silly mistake,
Doggedly hog the conversation, tell you where you went wrong,
But I'm taking time-out, from acting childishly, for arguments sake.

Oh, I know I'm seen to be a carping old curmudgeon,
That grumpy guy who perennially sees a half-empty glass,
There is no pedantic point I won't be the final judge on,
So many I'm familiar with consider me a pain in the ass.

I've spent a lifetime becoming a cold hardened cynic,
The look of lip-curling contempt's one I've long mastered,
When it comes to put-downs and disses I can put on a clinic;
So many bad-mouther's out there swear I'm a right bastard.

But I'll stop butting heads with other buttheads stubborn mules,
Just for now my flailing, railing and ranting days are done,
As I look at what's sprung into my life, my temperature cools;
Who dare argue I'm not blessed with the perfect grandson?

(Give me a month of silence and I'll be back, cooler and calmer. I'm sure...)
‘Flying off halfway across the world on what looks like Ron Burgundy Airlines.’


© Obbverse.

A juvenile offering on a prompt, ‘Accidental Love.’*

Dick And Jane In A Spot. 

See Dick t(run)dling 'round Walmart?
See Jane select a stray shopping cart?
See Dick search deep for a parking slot?
Did Dick see Jane in his Jeep's blind spot?

See Jane hear her phone 'b-ding?'
Well, now Jane won't see anything,
See Dick's head turn side to side?
See Dick's patience being tried?

See Jane gaze raptly at her screen?
Hear Dick mutter something obscene!
See Dick's head all but swivel 'round?
Not an accursed park to be f- found.

See Jane cross behind Dick?
See Dick's cheek start to tic?
See Dick see a most welcome sight?
Ahead, a Dodgy Neon's reversing light!

See the smile on Dick's face!
Dick has found his happy space!
See Dick's foot hit the Jeep's brake!
Let's see, which path will Jane take?

Look, see Jane, walking and talking!
Concentrating on talking not walking!
Dick has stopped, Jane's not slowing...
Can we see where this is going?

The Neon vacates the parking bay,
See Dick at the wheel, sawing away,
Dick can't get his Jeep Compass aligned,
Dickily reversing without glancing behind.

   The very first day at Drivers Ed
   What do they drive into your head?
   Chapter One in their Good Book,
   Before going forth, first LOOK.'

But Dick does not remember jack;
With Dick there's no lookin' back,
Backing back, back out into the lane,
'Dick in Jeep, meet Chatterbox Jane.'

Jane, holding wobbly wheeled trolley
Perfectly placed to compound his folly,
See Jane, lost in a world of her own,
Rattling away, eyes on her iPhone.

What a moving sight they both failed to see!
See Jane's trolley! See Dick's truncated Cherokee!
See Dick's not-so-tuff bumper, mangled!
His Jeep and her trolley, sorrily entangled!

Dolt Dick agreed it was all his fault,
Fortuitously Jane suffered just the jolt,
One broken fingernail, no broken bones,
And Dick's insurance covers cracked phones.

So, after names and details were taken
Dick saw Jane looked stirred and shaken,
Said he'd treat her to a hot sweet latte;
Today they marry, a year to the day.

See Dick and Jane take their wedding vows!
Though their venue raises actual eyebrows!
A Walmart wedding might sound perverse!?
If you know their journey, quite the Reverse.

* Chel Owens Terrible Poetry Competition. I try to plumb the depths, but God help me, my foolish ego says 'you're better than that.' Whatever, I guess I lose either way.

© Obbverse.

Man United dismantled again; Red faces all round.

Son Of A B...
(Two games in and bottom of the table already. Last year is lookin' like the good old days.)

I've been a well seasoned Man United supporter
Since George Best* moved on from Spring Water-
And yet I've never felt such hopelessness before,
Even during those dark dismal Saturdays of '74.**

Last week, to see our Red team lose to Brighton in Blue,
When even after they'd gifted us a goal we lost 1-2,
Sillily I secretly thought there might be hope for us,
But now losing by 4 to the Bees;*** that's ridiculous.

Once again our prized Portuguese pair
Played out another ninety minute nightmare,
And today the Leagues best paid goalkeeper
Has shown it's time to try someone cheaper.

What a less than Premier performance Dave gave,
What was looked to be a simple Sunday League save...
The ball slipped twixt the fingers of our Number One,
And De Gea's 'pick-it-outta-the-net' day had just begun!

Not one United 'player' looked likely to score this day,
The first shot Bruno skied tried went up up and away,
That mishit ball rapidly disappearing out of the ground,
Followed by our first sad fan, already homeward bound.

To go up to Brentford and draw is no great shame,
But couldn't United manfully try playing the game?
I'd thought after Brighton bad couldn't get worser,
4-0 to Brentford? Brighton was just the precurser.

I silently turned off the TV, and it pains a poet to admit,
What I had just witnessed then, I hadn't words for it,
Therefore, Gentle Reader, I think a warning is only fair-
Beware, I promise I'm going to clear the air, I swear.


*Georgie, finest dribbler and drinker the club ever produced.
**1974, when the team went down a division. Relegation, a dirty word.
*** Brentford, nicknamed the Bees.

                                                               'Nothing but net.'



Those good old happy Greaser days just took a sad turn. ‘Bye Sandy Ollson.

Show Stopper.

We sadly wave fare-thee-well to Olivia newton John,
How brightly as 'Grease's' Sandy Ollson she shone,
Blonde, pretty, petite, pure, sweet as apple pie,
But today we can see this is a bittersweet goodbye.

However, at girlish sleepovers from now till Eternity,
Wherever budding adolescents gather it's a certainty
Some bored 'tween will walk away from the TV screen
And longingly look for old nostalgia that once had been.

The Hell with whatever new Netflix flick is trending-
They want that hot Greasy mess with a happy ending,
And, as the credits roll, if the last of Olivia we will see
Is her smilingly going on her way- that's no sad legacy.
   'See ya sometime later up in the wild blue yonder, Sandy.'


At Old Trafford the stage is set; the first act is a catastrophe but the poor show must go on. Sadly.

Same Old Trafford Same Old.
(Man U 1, Brighton 2.)

After last years disastrous run at Manchester Disunited
We had every expectation old wrongs would be righted,
Given the change of season, of luck, a change of boss
I had every reason to think we'd not kick off with a loss.

Oh, but NO, this year the boys start much like the year before,
Fu Flubbing two great chances my great gran could score,
But we saw defence, midfield, attack, three working as one-
What a crying shame 'twas Brighton showing us how it's done.

Old Trafford was our Theatre of Dreams just a decade ago,
Slowly it has become a regular Saturday shit Horror show,
Already another tough watch, with the whole season remaining,
Only fans of tragedy or farce will find this shoddy lot entertaining. 

‘Pull the curtain. Please draw the curtain. PLEASE.’