Dover Castle

For the next week or so I shall not be blogging!

For some little time now I have been dripping on about moving house. It should have happened just after Christmas yet for a myriad of tedious reasons did not. We had almost given up on it ever happening yet now suddenly we find we have exchanged contracts and will complete on the deal next week – rather short notice!

My wife will kill me if I don’t get all the admin bits and pieces associated with moving home together and it is thus she has me chained to my desk doing boring things with utility companies, broadband providers and the like – the list, as anyone who has moved recently will know seems endless.

For her part she is doing all the final packing and humping boxes about the place because I am claiming a bad back. Indeed just a moment ago there I was sat comfortably contemplating in my chair sipping coffee when she appeared sweating heavily, hair in disarray carrying her umpteenth box of this and that. Placing it upon a pile of similar boxes all I said was, “Shirley I really do think that box…the one you’re struggling with would sit more comfortably at the bottom of said pile…safer that way…shouldn’t take you too long to re-arrange.”

I find that there is a certain look only women can cast in the direction of a chap who is after all merely trying to help. First there is the stance they adopt…hands on hips, stood bolt upright, a certain puffing of the cheeks and upward blowing of breath that scatters stray hair strands from the forehead and then, oh yes then the glaring eyes that spell ‘Hate’ and all of its variations contained within the pages of any good thesaurus.

Whatever, at the new place I am not sure when we will have the telephone/internet up and running so that may pose one or two hitches on the blogging front – I understand that the current owners of the house, not quite up to speed with modern technology use only megaphones to communicate with friends and family far and wide!

So then I shall endeavour to catch up on all your blog posts when I can. There is a rather fine café with the internet nearby so I might try to get my tablet thing to work again (if I can remember how to turn it on) yet the password to connect there is ‘TOTTENHAM’ and I support The Arsenal. It is thus that I shall try to muster the courage to type those accursed letters in yet I am not sure I will be able!

I shall return with my old toot in due course…until then keep well.

Mike Steeden

PS – the snap is of the castle close by to the place we’re moving to!


gypsy girl

Swathed in fairground bling

Beguilingly fine tuning her

Regalia to more than just tease

Prurient cleavage primed

She whispers a temporary adieu

To her caravan of memories and

Plants a kiss upon the head of

Her steadfast castoff cob


With the risqué slink of a fallen

Angel our flirtatious zingara

Pays little heed to the legions of

Gentry, blue-collars and shysters

Queuing as far as the eye can see

Down the country lane and beyond

Just to catch the merest glimpse of

Her much fabled racy carriage and

Her hawking of the tastiest ripe fruit

This side of an erogenous wonderland


It troubles her that there is always

Such a fuss when she pops off to

The public library to take out a new

‘Who Done It’ to read of an evening!



From the vantage point

Of orbit

Over the course of

One whole day

I had seen

With my own ‘eyes’

Every woman

Alive on Earth

Old, young,

Fat, thin,

Beautiful and less so

Some in all their glory!


Fool that I am

Fell in love

With one and all


Sadly though

I felt it unseemly

To allow my feelings

To become

Common knowledge


You see I am an

Eight-eyed alien

Contrived of blubber

From another world

Far, far away


I would like to say

(Rather it would be

for the best)

That the Earth gals

Would not give me

A second glance

Although that, I know

Is not the case


Just last evening

I landed my craft

Took a stroll

Into a nearby town


At the very sight

Of me

The gals all

Screamed and

Ran away

And the menfolk

Took pot shots


If only they knew

I lit the match

Of their very being

A long, long time ago



Within the walk-on

Guises of impulse and

As rampant alcoholics

To a leaking still

Dripping its premature

Condensed yet

Blinding vapour

The hooked horde gather


Within the cavalcade

They fight

Amongst themselves

For first dibs


When pushed to save

Their illicit find

As one collective

They will fight

To the death the

Abstinent prudes

Seeking to liberate


They are humanity

Negligently they

Disregard that

They are all

One and the same


Determined by

Hour and day

By creed and colour

By East and West

By temple or meadow

They gather in synch

To play, pray and fight

To feast their own eyes

And to follow the empyrean

Offering up canticles

Of adoration and deference

To the absolute

Lone wolf within


What have you done?

Can you not see?

Why the need to

Gather as one?

My solemn rogation


Here, there and everywhere

Fire and brimstone

Purgatory on Planet Earth

And all for the

Pipe dream of longing for

The fellowship of

Far-fetched conviction


How hopeless,

How blinkered is

The tribalism of man



marilyn munroe bath time

“How lovely to see you again young Marilyn, what can I do for you this fine day?” 

“What can’t you do for me more like? The thing is Dr Humperdink – you know even just saying your name makes me feel so very sorry for those poor little ‘dinks’ – anyway where was I? Oh yes…got it now…it’s about the fact that I’ve followed your recommendations to the letter yet I am still cursed with an excess of flatulence and bloating. It remains a blight upon my life and is endangering the success of my burgeoning career in show business. What are you going to do about it…I mean I’ve paid you a bloody fortune for nothing so far.” 

“I’m so sorry to hear that.” 

“So am I it just slipped out…thought it might be a silent one yet they rarely are.” 

“No I didn’t mean that, although I must confess it was not only audible for it pongs something chronic also. What I meant was that I’m sorry you’re still afflicted with the old rectal turbulence. Have you stuck to the personal plan I gave you though? When I say ‘stuck’ I mean stuck to the letter.” 

“No, I still lick my stamps when posting letters, although the moistness of my emissions would do the same job I suppose.” 

“Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn you really don’t get my drift do you – although I must confess I get yours; boy do I get yours! What I was trying to say was have you stuck to the health plan I gave you?” 

“Obviously, I’ve given up scoffing all the notorious gas-producing foods including beans, cabbage, bran, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, prunes, raisins and brussel sprouts as well as remaining aware that the sulphur in egg yolk also contributes to smelly gas. Just as you said I’m filling my face with bio-yogurt and miso soup as well as swallowing those probiotics capsules.” 

“Good to hear. At least your diet has improved…by the way I know it’s a bit chilly today but do you mind if I open the window? I do believe I’ll throw up if I don’t get some fresh air.” 

“Not at all, I mean I know my butt trumpeting is real bad when I can smell them myself. Anyway, going back on topic I regularly and where possible privately lie down on my back and pull my knees up the my chest in order to rid myself of the painful abdominal cramps associated with my condition yet find that only increases the volume. The herbal remedies you suggested are little more than worthless and I’ve had it up to here with ginger tea, peppermint tea and if I see another caraway, anise or celery seed I do believe I’ll top myself.” 

“Oh we really can’t have that dear girl, there must be a way forward…let me think…you must be inadvertently going ‘off piste’ on the dietary front I reckon. Tell me exactly what you gobble up routinely.” 

“Crikey if I did that it would be all over the tabloids by tea time.” 

“No Marilyn, food girl food. Given that you are not eating all the things I listed what are you eating…sorry I just have to stick my head out the window for a moment…ah, that’s better.” 

“Well I am partial to whelks washed down with real ale for lunch and come tea time I’m off down the curry house for a vindaloo most evenings.” 

“Bingo that’s it Marilyn. You merely have to lay off the whelks, beer and curries and your distressing anal salutes will be no more. I am thinking here a little chicken soup washed down with mineral water for a few days and that’ll be you sorted once and for all. How do you feel about that?” 

“Well if I must I must I suppose yet can’t you allow me just one last blow out on the curry front before I give it all up?” 

“Surely to God you’ve done it all on the ‘blow out’ front as you so succinctly put it yet if that will get you in the right frame of mind to do battle with this curse of yours I see little harm in it…just this once I stress.” 

“Cheers Dr Humperdink I can’t thank you enough.” 

Following this meeting with the good Dr Humperdink Marilyn did indeed go into town for that one last blast on the curry and beer front. Indeed she filled her face with all the chillie laden hot curry the Indian sub-continent could offer along with the best of British real ale (ten pints rumour has it). Upon getting home that night and playing (according to close neighbours) what sounded suspiciously like ‘The Last Post’ at extreme volume through the instrument of her delightful bum she decided to take a bath prior to taking to her bed.

Sadly, whilst relaxing in her bath the ‘wind’ took hold like never before. The bathroom being small, coupled with the fact she had shut the door (against the good doctor’s instructions) she died from carbon dioxide poisoning brought about by flatulence. Of course when the authorities found her the gas had dissipated thus making the Coroner’s job impossible. Marilyn’s death therefore remained a mystery for years to come…that is until the passing away of Dr Humperdink for there in his records were found the above transcript of his consultancy with Marilyn Monroe on that dreadful day she died.



He always wore a string vest and Y-Fronts

Had a passion for woollen brown socks

Had a beer belly and was unshaven

Yet when home alone preferred frocks


A string of pearls and suspenders

High heels and panties so white

Rouge lips and a Parisian perfume

And a little black dress oh so tight


He’d check out his look in the mirror

And blow himself kisses so sweet

Then don his blond wig and hairspray it

Nod a nod of approval then say ‘Neat’


Of a night-time he’d seek out a red light

Or hang around in dimly lit bars

Yet despite a wealth of invitations

Refused to climb into gentlemen’s cars


I know him; after all he is our vicar

His parish is spread far and wide

It is back to string vests Sunday mornings

So that his assembled flock can abide


With him as he belts out his sermons

And a parable of universal truth

Never once letting on to his punters

That his preference is to be called Ruth


Rather than his birth name of Derek

A handle he has come to hate

But in his heart he knows that as a transvestite

He needs to shift shed loads of weight


I hear you ask how is it I know this

It is thus that I shall clarify

You see I’m the village policeman

And it was upon Vicar Derek that I did spy


Prior to arresting him for nuisance

And after receiving many complaints

Of a rather large lady of the night

Out singing the praises of saints


After an interview back at the station

I let Vicar Derek (I called him Ruth)

Off with just a firm Caution

And that’s the God’s honest truth


Because Derek or Ruth as it maybe

Is a harmless do-gooder that’s all

Yet we keep it as our little secret

For I’ve no desire to see him/her fall


Out of grace with the bishop

The most miserable sod that there is

And if Maisie the organist found out

She’d get herself in all of a tis




She now plants landmines

Where she once stationed azaleas

But then spring is long past

Now, high sun skirmishes

Beseech to ignite the

Bonfires of autumn

Worse still, Jack Frost stirs

Rubbing his eyes, yawning

Rousing himself once more

Mischief, as ever

His vexing wheeze



That was then

When the ball was

Still in play


He stands, hands on hips

Curtains drawn wide open

Back bedroom, top of the house

Watching her prune

Whatever it is she prunes

Pondering the point

As to how from sustainable

Stalemate she has

Broken through his lines

To claim victory in a self-rule

He sees only as his rout


That this is a mere flash

An event anterior

To the cerebral scars

Of invidious bloodbath

Is the only saving grace

For this amiable jester,

Long since salvaged, now

Woven tightly into the

Threads of seasoned

New loves genius, and

The taffeta cloak

Masking for him alone

Her bountiful treasures







That the pickup truck was

A hearse for dead lampposts

Came as something of a surprise


Morticians in high visibility overalls

Singing lewd songs and showing

Scant regard and no respect for the

Deceased Victorian cast iron lampposts

Told him it mattered not for

They were planting new ones

More in keeping with the 21st Century

Albeit that these replacement ones

Once fully grown would have a

Retro Art Deco look about them

Would be made of sterling silver

Solar powered and have blazing

Spheroids atop, also there would

Be no requiem for the dead ones


He watched from his study window

Distracted, intrigued, even put

His diffraction analysis on hold

Watching the men sow the seeds

Waiting for the new lampposts to

Take root and flourish, wondered

Should he water them? Best not


Day turned to night; no sign of growth

No illumination still; on old Back Lane

It was thus he took to his bed


A creature of habit he rose early

Before dawns first light, as

A child to Christmas morn

Could not contain himself

Rushed to window and yes

The seeds had come to fruition

A veritable palisade of lampposts

Radiating glistening fluorescence

Grand columns in keeping with

The leafy hedgerow backwater

Save for one, the one precisely

Outside his cottage, nothing

Like the rest at all! For stood

Looking confused and bewildered

Exactly where ‘His’ lamppost should be

Was a naked girl with skin of silver

Arms wrapped ever so tightly

About her person, shivering


Swiftly, he grabbed the teapot

Poured an extra cuppa then

Hurried outside handing it her

“Manners” her first words

“Sorry luv, wasn’t thinking”

He placed his dressing gown

Over her shoulders, stood there

In his pyjamas, “It’s warmer indoors”

She nodded an endorsement


The girl now tucked up in front of

The smouldering log fire, upon his settee

He felt compelled to engage the

Silver skinned one in conversation

“You’re not a lamppost are you?

Should I phone the council, you know

Tell them they must have got

Their seed packets all mixed up?”


She shook her head placidly from

Side to side, “It would be best not to.

I am a highbred. Just one of my kind

Can shed the light of truth throughout

The universe and that really wouldn’t do

In a galaxy of liars. Besides silver skin is

Frowned upon. They kill my kind

Put us on the compost heap”


“Well you look a good sort to me.

The most beautiful thing…I mean girl

I have ever seen. What should we do?”


“You need to…turn me on…do so and

Nothing will ever be the same again.

All will be better than before.”


He asked her how he should turn her on

Did she have a switch?


“A duck soup kiss will do”


“Boy that was some kiss luv

Where are we?”


“At the galactic centre of

A brand new cosmos

We have left the chaos behind”


“Oh, I only asked because The Arsenal are playing at home on Saturday”






Can’t spot this in the Reader thing – hence I am trying again! Cheers WP!



The megalopolis awakens

A gas guzzler horn jolt

A taxi blast riposte

Then enraged voices

Down below,

Below in the boulevard

Startled and bemused

An unsure hand

Guided by squinting eye

Reaches out from the sack

Through the befogged sour

Elements of a fuddled

Circumspect dawn

A chink in the curtains

Grey light, yet just sufficient

He strains for the radio switch

Flicks on The World Service

Shortwave transmission

A must for an Englishman abroad

Famine in East Africa

Lost Ashes in Adelaide

A French politician

Found out with a whore in

Some place or other

(not that this would be

news in France)

A ‘same-o, same-o’ news day

Unless you have about you

A thirst; a hunger and

Live in the Third World

Mission accomplished

He takes up his previous

Comatose position.

His mind’s eye recalls

He may not be alone

An exploratory, fretful

Starboard groping confirms

That thankfully…

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The megalopolis awakens

A gas guzzler horn jolt

A taxi blast riposte

Then enraged voices

Down below,

Below in the boulevard


Startled and bemused

An unsure hand

Guided by squinting eye

Reaches out from the sack

Through the befogged sour

Elements of a fuddled

Circumspect dawn


A chink in the curtains

Grey light, yet just sufficient

He strains for the radio switch

Flicks on The World Service

Shortwave transmission

A must for an Englishman abroad


Famine in East Africa

Lost Ashes in Adelaide

A French politician

Found out with a whore in

Some place or other

(not that this would be

news in France)


A ‘same-o, same-o’ news day

Unless you have about you

A thirst; a hunger and

Live in the Third World


Mission accomplished

He takes up his previous

Comatose position.

His mind’s eye recalls

He may not be alone

An exploratory, fretful

Starboard groping confirms

That thankfully she must

Have upped and left


That he or the drink

Had erased, or maybe

He never knew

Her name

A misty certainty

A brunette?


In his theatre head

An orchestra tuning up.

In his absinth seasoned

Fetid mouth, a

Recycled wasteland


Bleary eyed stumble

Bathroom bound

The curse of cheap hotels

Just a sink; a lavatory

Naught else

He would part with

A King’s ransom

For the shower that

Sadly is not to be


Notices she left

Her knickers

Comically forfeited

Where she stepped

Out of them

A trophy bestowed?



That he wants to die

Right here; right now

In this godforsaken hellhole

The Abaddon sanatorium

Of Europe’s furthest

Eastern boundaries

A given