An ode for our time

Once, they were called statesmen
It was felt (or at least hoped)
They had the vision to bring the world
Back from the brink.

Why, some of us almost
Looked up to them,
Beholding qualities that we lacked.
Well that’s still true.

Donald Duck – sorry, Trump
Has achieved the impossible:
Made Dubya seem intelligent
A nice guy, even.

I think Trump and Kim Jong-un
Should get wed.
You can do that now, you know.
Twin souls, made for one another.
Both grateful to the other
For giving them a chance
To be total idiots.

I expect Kim went to Oxford.
His sort mainly do, it seems.
So he’ll know that his name is a perfect rhyme
For Wrong ‘un.

Trump rhymes with – what?
Frump, lump, bump, stump.
Nothing pretty there.
Perhaps the dull sound of a huge explosion:


Hampshire churches 12 – All Saints, Fawley

The parish church of All Saints, Fawley, is handsome, and prettily nestled among ancient yews, despite being close to Fawley’s giant oil refinery. Inside, the church is surprisingly large and rather bare.

Built in about 1170, it is on the site of an earlier 10C church, according to an information sheet in the church. No booklet was available.

The original dedication was to St Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers. It was the last church they would see as they left Southampton Water.

The graveyard, too, is large, with an extension below the church to the east.

This church is included in both Betjeman’s 1958 Collins Guide and Simon Jenkins’s England’s Thousand Best Churches. It is described at some length (by David Lloyd) in the Hampshire volume of Pevsner.

Wide shot (final crop)

All Saints, Fawley 1, 13.Mar.17





Path (new crop)

Poppies for Jill

These poppies were growing from the shingle at Dungeness. The photograph was taken in July 2005, and I post it now in memory of my dear wife Jill, who died on 28 October 2016. Poppies were her favourite flower and Dungeness was one of her favourite places.


Formula One: does anyone still care?

Nico Rosberg’s retirement from F1 only days after becoming world champion driver is unmistakably a snub for the ‘sport’, though I’m sure it was not so intended.

F1 is in crisis, and everyone outside its inner circle must know it. Only Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg had any chance of being champion driver this year, because their Mercedes cars were the only ones remotely capable of winning. Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg could conceivably have become world champion in any other car. On the other hand, there were several drivers who might very well have become world champion if only they had been in a Mercedes. So it is not actually the driver who conquers all others: it is the car.

But F1 is in a much bigger bind than that. More and more, races are decided by obscure and totally contrived regulations governing car design, tyres, refuelling, and Lord knows what else. Many casual fans like me can no longer understand what is going on, most of the time. But it certainly isn’t interesting.

Step up to the podium for wrecking F1: Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA. You all got rich in the process.