If I open the Matchmakers, that will be it

Well, here we are, coming towards that end of that magical / terrible time between Christmas and New Year. Nearly time to contemplate the dull, saintly times that lie ahead and wave farewell to guilt-free scoffing. But just about time to open one last box of choccies… I mean it can’t do any harm…

If I open the Matchmakers, that will be it

Well then, my friends, it’s the end of December,
I’ve eaten more goodies than I can remember,
And left in the cupboard, one last chocolate hit,

If I open the Matchmakers, that will be it.

I’ve eaten the Roses, the After Eight Mints,
The Pringles, the Wine Gums, the Lindor by Lindt,
The time will soon come to (ugh) cut down a bit,

If I open the Matchmakers, that will be it.

I’ve eaten Fruit Pastilles, and hummus and brie,
And portions of pud that are too big for me,
My jeans are quite tight, but – yay – PJs still fit,

If I open the Matchmakers, that will be it.

So sod off, New Year, and the cry to “get fit”,
Cos naughty food’s yummy and healthy food’s shit.
But my stomach IS sticking out more that my tits…

I’ll open the Matchmakers. That will be it.

Honest.

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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Let’s talk about schadmin

Schadmin… school related admin. Yet another thing they don’t tell you before you have children.

Aside from eating, breathing and sleeping (and of course, writing silly poetry), I could spend every minute of the day complying with the endless rounds of homework, reply slips, charity requests, baking, and last minute laundry which comes with having a school-age child. I also find it essential to schedule in some time for looking bewildered, shaking my head quietly in a corner, or simply wondering to myself where it all went wrong.

Oh, and by the way, this rhyme doesn’t even mention “creative homework”. THAT little baby deserves a rhyme all of its own…

Let’s talk about schadmin

Let’s talk about schadmin, the admin that comes,
Not for the schoolkids but for their poor mums,
Who some  years ago, once exclaimed (the poor fools),

“Won’t life be easier once they’re at school?”

Let’s start with the homework – now that should be fine,
But hang on, what’s this? Got to do it online?
You can’t start your router, you’ve crashed your computer,
Smile Mummy! This is the digital future!
So while you untangle yourself from the cables,
You practise the reading, the spelling, times tables,
Oh yes, and tonight you must also produce,
A piece of research about Robert the Bruce,
The human anatomy labelled in braille,
A knitted giraffe (for the PTA sale),
And favourite of all, just found in the drawers is:

“Write fifteen lines with subordinate clauses”!

But it’s done. They’re in bed, and you start to feel better,
Best check the bags though. Hey presto! Six letters.
It seems that next week you’ve been asked to provide,
A “green” picnic lunch with no wrappers inside,
A world book day costume which celebrates Dickens,
(You’ve got a hen costume – did Dickens have chickens?)
Ten pounds for a school trip and warm outdoor clothes,
With waterproof trousers (whoever has THOSE?)
A tray full of cupcakes, all nice and enticing,
(“Why not let the children help out with the icing?”)
A pound for the book sale, a pound for the fair,

And a pound cos some teacher is shaving their hair.

Well after all that, you say “that’s it for me!”
“I’m off to my bed.” – but what’s THIS that you see?
A stinking PE kit thrown down in the hall,
It’s needed tomorrow – yes, washed, dried and all,
(There was once a spare kit but “Mummy, I lost it.”
– it’s probably still in the hedge where they tossed it.)
Some shoes and a coat which are utterly caked
(from commando crawls over the field at break)
And a jumper with mystery holes in the cuff,
Wasn’t the massive school dinner enough??
So as you load washing, and sew, half asleep,

You’re starting to babble and quietly weep.

Let’s talk about schadmin, the admin that comes,
Not for the schoolkids but for the poor mums,
Who are now fast asleep, with signs that say “Please,
Wake me up after the GCSEs.”

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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I was a teen in the 1990s

Although my teenage years were the inevitable emotional rollercoaster (cheers for that, hormones), I was hardly the rebellious type. Through the rage and the tears (yep, again, nice one, hormones), I was generally content, and I put that down to three things: a supportive family, amazing friends (seen left, modelling some exemplary 90s fashion choices), and the awesome era in which we were living. I turned 13 just two weeks before the end of 1989 and so very nearly all of my teen years were spent in the 1990s, and my heart, and quite a lot of my music collection, still lie there today. The latter part of the decade was spent as a student, but this rhyme is really a tribute to the first five years, growing up in rural Somerset. It might not reflect your 1990s teenhood – but it very much reflects mine.

 

I was a teen in the 1990s

I was a teen in a golden era,
You know when I mean – it couldn’t be clearer,
The best years of all, and I don’t say it lightly,

I was a teen in the 1990s.

Firstly, my friends, just think of the fashion,
I think you’ll agree that we all looked smashing,
In red or green jeans, all wide at the knees,
Pendulous jumpers and cavernous tees,
Bright swirly leggings and big paisley shirts,
Huge tie dye t-shirts and ankle-length skirts,
Blanket-look jumpers all fringed at the hem,

And completing the look, what else but DMs?

Now modern-day music is pleasant enough,
But it doesn’t compare to the Wonderstuff,
James, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Suede,
We’d yell out the words as the Levellers played,
We were spoilt for choice when we fancied a dance,
There was Black Box and Shaggy and Snap and N-Trance,
And who could forget – the Rebel MC,

He rocked like a ninja! He stung like a bee!

Watching Blind Date and The Word on the box,
The birth of the email and bad alcopops,
Quoting the sketches from History Today,
Big games of rounders that 30 could play,
Pretty Woman on loop – I just wanted to BE her,
Shopping in Woolworths, Our Price and Athena,
And stuck on my wall, affixed with Blu-Tack,

Will Carling, Tom Cruise and, yum yum, Roger Black.

So today’s sorry teens must surely confess
That ours was the time that was simply the best,
Cos you’ve got your smartphones to point at your face,
But we had landlines and – oh yes – Ace of Base.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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Remember, remember, it still is November

Right, a couple of things I need to make clear before we launch into this one.

Firstly, I’m not against Christmas decorations per se. I just think a couple of weeks of them is PLENTY (yes, and that applies to your Christmas jumpers too, peak-too-sooners).

Secondly, this poem has NOTHING to do with the fact that I have a mid-December birthday and think everything leading up to, and including, my birthday should be ALL ABOUT ME. So, now that’s all clear, without further ado…

 

Remember, remember, it still is November

Remember, remember, it still is November,
Although the frost’s starting to bite,
For while those last leaves still cling to the trees,

STEP AWAY FROM THE ICICLE LIGHTS!

Resist your fake snow, your flashing “HO HO”,
Treat inflatable Santa with caution,
For he surely will burst by December the first,

If you’re blowing him up in the autumn.

By December the twelfth, the elf on the shelf
will hide in the pub with a half,
And before Christmas Eve, all the reindeer will leave,

Because Lapland is more of a laugh.

Your nativity scene will be mouldy and green,
There’ll be actual lichen on Mary,
Your chattering Santa will be out of banter,

Having bored the tits off the good fairy.

“Will we EVER get there?” wail the kids in despair,
As they gaze through the glass, looking bleak,
“With the house so festooned, Christmas MUST be SO SOON!”

“No it’s not, kids. It’s over six weeks.”

So – you want Christmas day to be happy and gay?
Dear readers, what have we discovered?
Remember, remember, until mid-December,

Keep Christmassy crap in the cupboard!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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Gotta end those innuendos

When writing poetry, it regularly occurs to me how fortunate I am to have been born with English as my mother tongue. What a fabulous, diverse, malleable language it is. And oh. The richness of the innuendos. Who could resist.

Well – I rarely CAN resist. And that can be a problem. So this is a poem about my personal struggle to rein in the innuendos – written entirely in innuendos. Because – don’t you just LOVE them?!

(Mum, you have been warned.)

Gotta end those innuendos

Can’t stop the innuendos, cos they’re just so satisfying,
When a big one gushes out, it’s so intensely gratifying,
But they get me into trouble, in a hole repeatedly,

Gotta end those innuendos or they’ll be the end of me.

When I’m busy in my kitchen, marinating my kebab,
Or I’m creaming up my cabbage, life is never ever drab,
For my mucky brain is ticking as I baste my meat (tee hee),

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

When I’m doing all my housework, when I’m polishing my knobs,
The innuendos get me through those tricky manual jobs,
But I just can’t stop them coming when I’m busy on my knees,

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

And as for DIY, I just can’t stand it any more,
All that screwing, hammering, drilling, filling – total filth for sure,
So one day, as I bang away, I say emphatically,

Gotta end those innuendos, or they’ll be the end of me.

So I try withdrawal method, giving up without exception
All the things that make me titter – big injections, huge erections,
Trimming bushes, stuffing baps, spilling gravy, lifting flaps,
But can I keep it up? Well it’s hard, but yes, perhaps –
I never carry two big jugs – that WOULD be tempting fate,
I don’t go up tight alleys, and I DON’T use my back gate,
But one dark day, I crack up as I roast a tart for tea –

I’ll  never end those innuendos. Guess they’ll be the end of me.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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Can’t wait for the snows!

My first poetry request! Just for Bec Connock and Andy Down, a poem about winter sports. This one must have been already lurking deep within me, as within 15 minutes of the request, it tumbled into my notebook like poo from a poodle.

Now, I’m just not a fan of cold weather, adrenaline sports, wearing silly clothes or spending half my annual salary in a week, so skiing and snowboarding are definitely not my bag. But hey, if they do it for you, then happy days. However, this little rhyme is dedicated to those who take their winter sports WAY too seriously. And feel obliged to share. every. detail.

 

Can’t wait for the snows

Can’t wait for the snows! Can’t wait for the snows!
I’ll fall down a hill in ridiculous clothes!
But shall I fall down it on two planks or one?

Two sounds amazing, but one sounds such fun!

Can’t wait for the season! Can’t wait for the season!
I’ll wear fuschia pink for no obvious reason!
And hang out in bars with instructors called Lars,

Drink stupid cocktails and talk out my arse.

Can’t wait for the crashes! Can’t wait for the crashes!
I’ll post lots of pics of my bruises and bashes.
But what shall I do, shall I pop out my shoulder,

Or fall off a ski-lift and land on a boulder?

Can’t wait for the spring! Can’t wait for the spring!
You’ll think it’s all over, but NO, no such thing –
I’ve got loads of films (got a headcam, remember?)

I’ll bore you to tears up until next December.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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The National Trust

I have a deep affection for the National Trust. With two energetic young boys, the weekend rule in our house is generally “anywhere but at home!” Our National Trust membership allows us to unleash them in some beautiful places, leaving our own house mostly unwrecked (although slightly more full of sticks) for one more precious day.

I think of the National Trust as a slightly eccentric great aunt, prone to lectures on the correct placement of cutlery, but also quite likely to slip me a boiled sweet or a couple of quid. So I hope this particular aunt doesn’t mind a bit of gentle ribbing.

 

The National Trust

The National Trust, The National Trust,
A mightier thing than all of us,
A fine institution, a positive force,
For a tenner a month, it can all be yours!
So we get in the car and head off for the day,
The brown signs of worthiness show us the way,
We head for the house – but I’ve got quite a thirst –

“Can we not go to the tearoom first?”

No – onwards! Past tapestries, teasets, a Titian,
A slightly tedious exhibition,
Cabinets, carpets and candelabras,
And a lovely lady, name of Barbara,
(A volunteer, reduced to tears,
By standing in one room for years)
She points at a pot! We all say “wow!

But can we go to the tearoom now?”

There are grounds all around, where there’s joy to be found,
In glorious nature, its sights and its sounds,
There are log piles to climb, and rope swings to hold on,
(It’s just like the park, only ten times more wholesome),
Rose gardens, rockeries, rippling rivers,
A small hairy man with his arrows and quiver,
Who gives us a go on his medieval bow –

But NOW is it time for the tearoom though?

Wait! Listen! YES! the clock strikes three,
The footsteps thunder – time for tea!
And mums, kids and grannies, all manners at bay,
Stampede for a spot in the Courtyard Café,
To toss back some tea, and scoff down some scones,
And snap up the shortbread before its all gone –
But where do we go once we’ve stuffed it all in?

LOOK! A shop full of chutney and artisan gin.

The National Trust, The National Trust,
A mightier thing than all of us,
A fine institution, a positive force,

For a tenner a month, this can all be yours.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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A plea to the ladies of France

Unsurprisingly, the inspiration for this one was a holiday in the South of France. I was simply in awe of the local ladies – they seemed a different species to sweaty, bedraggled me. You can see in my little thumbnail here, which was taken in Nimes, the elegance of me compared to the elegance of the lovely, composed lady posing for a photo behind me.

One day at the beach, there was one particular, very beautiful lady who sat down on a low wall which surrounded the beach – a wall that must have been covered in sand – wearing a white linen dress. When she arose, the dress remained both unstained and uncrinkled.

At that point, I knew something had to be done. And I did it via the medium of humorous poetry. Take that, immaculate lovely French ladies.

 

A plea to the ladies of France

On the South Coast of France,
We Brits love a chance
To enjoy all the sunshine and class,
But, dear French ladies, please,
While we’re loving your cheese,

There’s a few things we’d just like to ask.

First, please could you get
Up a bit of a sweat,
As we Brits dissolve into a mess?
In the blazing hot weather,
Don’t your thighs stick together,

Beneath that divine, skimpy dress?

Now, a week in a cossie
Surrounded by mozzies
Will get a Brit frantically scratching,
So please could you show –
Even just on one toe –

Some signs of allergic reaction?

Your clothes should be shabby,
Your mood must be crabby,
Your tops must have underarm tidemarks,
Your man should be chubby,
Your children quite grubby,

Your clothing should all be from Primark.

Just these few little tweaks,
And we’ll feel magnifique,
As we come, pink and sweaty and bitten
To the beautiful shores
of the grand Cote d’Azur –
Yours faithfully,
Women of Britain.
©️ Nina Parmenter 2017
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Halloween Tat

I have to declare I’m not a lover of Halloween these days.  I’m utterly depressed by the annual growth in disposable tat, and the increasing grisliness of the costumes. Call me super-sensitive, but I’m not a great fan of seeing my gorgeous, fresh-faced children dressed as corpses. Here they are in this year’s dreadful outfits; the only saving grace is that 90% of what you see here is re-used from previous occasions. You’re welcome, Mother Earth. You’re welcome, bank balance.

So I’ll say Bah Humbug, or whatever the Halloween equivalent is (Bah Special Edition Pumpkin-Themed Haribo, presumably), and leave the poem to say the rest…

 

Halloween Tat

There’s nothing more tatty than Halloween tat,
A bent plastic broomstick, a Styrofoam cat,
A bad rubber mask of Vlad the Impaler,

Get it all now from your nearest retailer!

Come on consumers! Now now, don’t be sceptical,
Buy all your crap for the Halloween festival,
Googly eyes, all squidgy and spherical,
Musical witch-hats (now they are hysterical),
Transform yourself to a fake plastic spectacle,
Bugs on your earlobes and bats on your testicles,
Let’s all make Poundland so much more investible,

What better use for our scarce petrochemicals?

So dress up your grandchildren as the undead,
Don’t they look cute with fake blood on their heads,
And as Halloween ends, and you turn out the light,

Have sweet dreams of landfill. How scary. Night night.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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