Show me a celebrity

I used to be quite good on the celebs. I watched the soaps. I watched reality shows. I knew what films were in the cinema. “Love It!” magazine was stacked welcomingly in my bathroom. (Yes, bathroom. Well, this WAS the time before smart phones.)

And then… something happened. One by one I dropped  the soaps. Then the magazines. Then the reality shows. And in the mean time, celebs were spawning* like shiny, superficial, bunnies. People got famous for being able to put their make-up on quite well. Or for allowing their actual life to be scripted and filmed. And me… well I started a family, free time became a scarcity, but more than anything – I just stopped caring. Was this a reaction to the burgeoning shallowness of society? Nah. Expect it was just my age.

*There’s far too much Minecraft in my house.

Show me a celebrity

I’m forty-one, a wife, a mum,
“But hey!” I cry, “I still feel young!
My hair’s not grey, my teeth are mine,
I’d DEFO pass for thirty-nine!”
But sadly, there’s a tiny flaw,
That gives my age away for sure,
Yep – show me a celebrity,

And I’ll say, “Who the fuck is she?!”

Singers, blingers, strikers, wingers,
TV talent contest winners,
Bloggers, vloggers, shaggers, snoggers,
Over-hyped attention-hoggers,
Debutants and sycophants,
People who look good in pants,
Actors, film stars, soap stars too…

Show me one, and I’ll cry, “WHO?!”

It’s not fair game, they’re all the same,
The women with their shiny manes,
The blokes all buff with facial fluff,
Both sexes caked in orange stuff,
So how am I supposed to know,
Which one’s Georgia Toffolo,
Charlotte Crosby, Stephen Bear,

Who ARE these people? Should I care?!

Cos who has time for reading Heat,
or watching Coronation Street,
And working out who sings each song?
Got too much on! It takes too long!
There’s more to life than people who
I’ve never met. And don’t want to.
So – forty-one. Still young? Still fun?

Nope. I’ve turned into my Mum.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter

I hate clutter. That may surprise anyone who has ever visited my house. But what’s important to realise is that there is a difference between wanting a tidy house and being able to achieve it.

I have friends with grown up, tidy houses. Friends with grown up, tidy houses AND KIDS. I’m at a loss as to how this is achieved. I’m guessing the crucial ingredients are a domestic goddess mother, and a well-trained, or at least trainable family. Here, we have neither.

So it seems that I am doomed to wake up each day, vow to have A BIG TIDY UP, sometimes even achieve a middle-sized tidy up, and then go to bed wondering which house it was that I tidied earlier.

This poem,  if you’d be so kind, is to be read with a hint of insanity in the voice. Thank you so much.

Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter

Nothing makes me mutter more than clutter,
It’s the very ruination of my day,
My family, no doubt, really LOVE to get stuff out,

But I think they think it puts itself away.

I tell you, I’m not blessed with being domestic –
For tidiness, I’d give myself a six,
But my precious family would each earn themselves a three,

Which all adds up to a house which makes me twitch.

There are ninety-seven items in the kitchen,
Which are not where I intended them to be,
In the lounge there’s fifty-four, in the dining room there’s more,

In the playroom, there’s two hundred, maybe three.

There are pens and bills and helmets on the table,
There are bricks and cups and spanners on the drawers,
And upon the window sill, there’s a pile of stuff that will

Have to stay there til I work out what it’s for.

In the bedroom, there is very little legroom,
In the hallway there is very little hope,
In the bathroom, so much stuff, there is barely room to guff,

And I don’t know how much longer I can cope.

So I’ve tidied and I’ve picked up and I’ve kicked up,
I’ve ranted til I’m purple in the face,
But as soon as somewhere’s clear, there’s just one sound I will hear…

The clatter as more clutter takes its place.

 

By the way – if you were thrown by the word “guff”, do let me know – I’m not sure if this delightful term for a fart is only understood by those who were around seven years old in 1984. Could even be a Somerset thing, I’m not sure!

I do have in my pocket the alternative line “There is barely any fart-room in the bathroom – which I quite like – but I was swayed by the opportunity to say “guff” for the first time in around twenty years!

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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A Search Engine Optimisation Poem


One of the things we poetry bloggers (pologgers??) have to consider is, how the heck do people find me in the vast cultural wasteland of the internet?

Now Google says, “just write content that’s engaging!” Well, that’s true to some extent, and it’s also true that my lovely Facebook page followers  do “like” and “share” my rhymes, which helps enormously. But there’s a but.

Say this was a blog about badgers. I would naturally mention the word “badgers” a fair bit, thereby enhancing my site’s Google-badgeriness.

But here, how many of my poems contain the word “poem”? Kebabs get two mentions. Even knobs get one. But “poetry”? Not so much.

Therefore I challenged myself to write a poem that contains each of the words “poetry”, “poem”, “rhyme”, “funny” and “humorous” at least three times – while still being fun for humans. 🙂

Search Engine Optimisation Poem

I wrote this rhyme for SEO,
To help improve my spot,
Humans shouldn’t read it though –

It’s just for Googlebots.

I’ve written humorous poetry,
That people “like” and “share”,
But words like “poem” and “poetry”,

Don’t feature much in there.

See, I don’t write poems on poems,
And I don’t write rhymes on rhymes,
And I know no funny poetry,

That mentions “fun” three times.

Do YOU like poems, Googlebots?
Appreciate their form?
Does your coding know they’re funny?

Find them humorous and warm?

Do you cackle at my couplets,
Rate my rhyming to the max?
Do you file them under “funny”

In your Google Filofax?

Well if not, I’ll give you keywords
Such as “humorous” and “fun”,
Look Google! Here’s some poetry,

Now put me on page one.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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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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