Art Gallerinas

Art Gallerina

I love to watch Art Gallerinas
Parading round the gallery
Pontificating on the artworks
Posturing preposterously.

Some are wearing trendy trilbies,
Most are wearing tight black jeans,
Some are members of the smart set
With clothes that clearly show their means.

In galleries no smiles or laughter
Punctuate the murmured sound
Of Gallerinas speculating
On why that shape is square, not round.

Heaven forfend that Gallerinas
Should not be taken seriously,
For Gallerinas have an image
They must protect ferociously.

I love to watch Art Gallerinas
Parading round the gallery
Pontificating on the artworks
Then write about them mirthfully.

© Lynne Joyce 07.04.2013

London’s Riverside

Londoners with dirty hair
Loaded with pretension
Stomp around the city streets
Exuding hypertension.

Art gallery pretenders
Vie with cafe posers,
Bankers walk alongside tramps,
Winners outpace losers.

Successful women totter
On six inch Jimmy Choos,
Their elevated status
Reflected in their shoes.

Noisy, naughty children
Hurtle unrestrained
By abdicating parents
Whose faces all look strained.

All languages are spoken,
All modes of dress are worn,
Veiled, unveiled, semi naked,
Hair long and short and shorn.

Tourist after tourist
From train and bus alights
They set a frantic pace to see
All the city’s sights.

Strutting city slickers
Wear pricey clothes and hats,
Whilst looking down their noses
At non meritocrats.

Pickpockets choose their targets,
Their partners then distract
The careless and unwary
So that the thief can act.

Amid the urban bustle,
Musicians set their pitch
To get paid for their music
By the urban rich.

People wear strange costumes,
Bizarre and often loud,
And hair in dayglo colours
To stand out from the crowd.

These manic melodramas
Have crowd scenes but no star,
While I observe and listen
And record them as they are.

© Lynne Joyce 08.04.2013

Three C’s Soup (Courgette, Chickpea & Cumin).

Ingredients –
1 tbsp flavourless oil
3 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp curry powder
3 medium courgettes shredded or grated
1 medium potato grated
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 oz unsalted butter
Seasoning to taste
Crème fraîche (optional)

In a large pan heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and fry for a few minutes until the aroma of the spice is rleased. Add the curry powder and fry for a few seconds more.

Add the shredded courgette and potato and stir on a medium heat until the courgettes are softened.

Add the drained chickpeas and the vegetable stock and simmer on a low heat until all the vegetables are cooked. Liquidise (a stick blender is best for this) and season to taste.

If a foamy top appears (which it probably will) add the butter and ‘whiz’ again until all is amalgamated. (This technique beats the hell out of fiddling around skimming, but it only works with soups that benefit from the taste of butter).

Serve either hot as a warming winter soup or chill thoroughly and serve cold dressed with a swirl of Crème fraîche.

Lynne Joyce, invented 26.03.2013

Endless Winter

The winter of 2012-13
Goes on and on and on,
We should be picking daffodils
But we’re putting snow shoes on.

There’s a whiteout on the Pennines
And it’s the end of March
When we should be seeing leaf buds
On the Sycamore and Larch.

It started in November,
Cold took our breath away,
And right from then til Easter,
I wore wellies every day.

The dogs think that its wondrous,
They’ve developed snow plough noses,
But we are bloody freezing
From our noses to our toeses!

I’m weary of this winter,
I just want it to go,
By every time I’m hopeful
We get more bloody SNOW!

© Lynne Joyce 22.03.2013

Beauty Freak

Seen at the hairdressers where I was waiting for a simple cut & blow dry.

I’m waiting at reception
Behind a lady who
Books manicures and facials
For every week or two.

Then there are her eyebrows
That the beautician plucks
She needs total beauty treatments
To keep up with her looks.

You’d think with all this treatment
That she’d be glamorous,
But this lady is short and fat
And her face is tedious.

All this makes me wonder
What she would be without
All her beauty treatments,
Would her husband throw her out?

Would she be so ugly
She couldn’t face the world
Without manicures and facials
And hair that’s bleached and curled?

Whatever floats your boat they say,
Whatever turns you on,
And with this short fat lady
It’s a beauty marathon!

Lynne Joyce 15.03.2013

My Cup Of Tea

My cup of tea has magical properties,
Laws scientific just do not apply,
One moment its so hot it makes my lips blister
Then its too cold in the blink of an eye.

I cannot drink tea that is scalding or tepid,
Nice and hot but not scalding is what I like best
But my cup of tea never gets to be perfect,
Its either not ready or well past its best.

I think that I’ll have to become an inventor
Of a mug with a thermostat, heater and such,
Then my cup of tea will always be just right,
Neither too hot or too cold to the touch.

But what if my cup of tea’s magical properties
Transfer to my newly invented device
Bypass the heater and thermostat widget –
They tell me that iced tea is terribly nice!

©Lynne Joyce 11.03.2013

Property and Success

I’m sure this was the Conservative’s thinking when they introduced the right to buy, that and the hope that those who previously voted Labour would turn into Tories once they owned their own property. Sadly they were right in many cases.

Small minds and limited ambition,
That was the Council house tradition,
But ambitions climbed sky high
When people used their right to buy.

So, as far as I can see,
Success is linked to property,
The passive, powerless and moaning,
Have not got round to own home owning.

Whilst the brash and confident,
Pay mortgages instead of rent,
And the powerful and bright
Own their properties outright.

So, if you want to raise ambitions,
Get rid of Council house traditions,
Because success and liberty
Come with owning property!

Lynne Joyce, 25-04-2007.

Clearing The Detritus

Moving Along

I’ve decided to sort out my life,
Make the house look clean and neat,
Redecorate, revitalise,
Take the lead boots from my feet.

I’ve lots and lots of messages
Saying “We must meet”
They’ll wallpaper the living room
And halfway down the street.
For stacks of empty promises
Serve no good use at all,
So they’ll serve well as reminders
In the lounge and in the hall.

Those friends who turned their backs on me
When I was no more use,
No longer served their purpose,
And made me a recluse,
My address book notes each one of them,
Where they live and what they do,
So I will use its pages
As tissue in the loo.

The many, many favours
Given but not returned,
Give evidence of times when
I had my fingers burned,
So I will write out IOU’s
Bills, accounts, invoices,
They’ll wallpaper the stairwell,
With each step, rising prices.

With people who have wronged me
By slander or by deed,
All of those who used me
As useful gossip feed,
Those who lied, the insincere,
Those who never made amends
Their names upon the cellar wall
Will be where their power ends.

I’ll decorate the whole house
With those who did me wrong
Then burn the bloody house down
Then unencumbered, move along.

© Lynne Joyce 05.03.2013

Pizza Patties

No precise quantities here, it just depends on what you have to hand and your personal taste.

Firm leftover mashed potato
Pepperoni finely chopped
Sundried tomatoes in oil drained and finel chopped
Parmesan cheese and/or finely chopped mozzarella
Herbs to taste.
Salt & pepper to taste
Beaten egg to bind

Mix the pepperoni, sun dried tomatoes, cheese and herbs thoroughly into the mashed potato.

Add sufficient beaten egg and mix to make a mouldable texture (not too sloppy).

Season to taste (you can test your seasoning by frying a tiny bit and tasting it).

Using wet hands, form into patties of whatever size you want (small ones for cocktail snacks) and fry turning once until golden on both sides.

Serve and enjoy.

Mediterranean Soup

Mediterranean Soup
* Starred items to be chopped finely

Olive oil
* 1 stick of celery
* 2 banana shallots
* 2 Romero peppers or ripe red capsicums
* 18-20 stoned green olives
* 2tsp capers
* 3 fat cloves of garlic
* 1/2 a sweet chorizo ring
* 1/2 a hot chorizo ring
1 dessertspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cartons Passata
I can full of hot water
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the chopped chorizos gently with olive oil in a pan until the oil turns red with the spices from the chorizo.

Add the celery, shallots, peppers, olives, capers, garlic, paprika and herbs and sweat gently, stirring frequently until the vegetables are thoroughly softened.

Add the tomatoes and passata. Use the hot water to rinse out the tomato can and passata cartons and add to the pan. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Taste and season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or chilled according to taste.

Perfect Imperfection

Faded Glory

I’m really rather fond of imperfection,
Rusty stuff and things beyond their prime,
Stuff that’s gone way past the point of perfect
Showing evidence of life and use and time.

That flake of rust, that curled up, drying petal,
That wrinkled face, that figure past it’s best,
That dog with the soft eye and greying muzzle,
All of them pass the ‘been around here’ test.

There’s charm and history within a ruin,
The antique dresser’s dents all testify
To lives and loves well lived within its lifespan,
Beneath the old cracked mirror’s seeing eye.

Perfection is a mite intimidating,
An aspiration very few achieve,
That leaves us with an awful sense of failure,
Perfection’s quite destructive I believe.

So let’s stop striving to achieve perfection,
And make imperfect quite respectable,
Lets celebrate the worn out and the damaged,
That way we’ll make the norm acceptable.

© Lynne Joyce 26.01.2013

Platitude Poisoning

I’m sitting in a waiting room
And I can’t help listening in
To other people’s chatter,
Be it whispers or a din.

I’m in the private patients’ room
So pious platitudes
In pseudo posh type accents
Show genteel attitudes.

Why do people seem to think
That silence is a sin
And use cliché-ridden nonsense
As a way of filling in.

Platitudes and clichés
Fill an empty void
Proving that these people
Are silence paranoid.

I’d much rather have silence
For quiet contemplation,
But instead I’m being poisoned by
Cliché contamination!


Nab Woodentops Win Again

The Yorkshire Clinic

Now that The Yorkshire Clinic
Is not just private care
Nab Woodentops and Ilkleyites
Hate peasants going there.

It’s all because the NHS
Now buy their services,
But the self appointed toffs,
Say ‘What a nerve this is!’

You saw them in the waiting room
Expressing their disdain
At sitting with the peasants,
Before going to complain.

So now the Yorkshire Clinic
Has made room of glass,
The Premium Care Waiting Room
For the snooty middle class.

Nab Woodentops and Ilkleyites
No longer have to sit
In a waiting room where peasants
Might just dirty it.

The sad part of this story,
We have private patient rights,
So now we’re forced to sit with
Nab Woodentops and Ilkleyites.

I wait sincerely hoping
That these pretentious snobs
Won’t destroy our street cred
With the peasants and the yobs.

For Gaz and I would rather be
Sitting with the peasants,
For they tend to be much kinder,
And certainly more pleasant.

Lynne Joyce 05.11.2012

Yorkshire Clinic Patient Who Misread Instructions

She’s waiting for an ultra scan
She had to drink some water
To fill her bladder right up,
They told her that she ought to.

She’s really rather well behaved
So did as she was told
Though two litres was an awful lot
To quaff down and to hold.

She’s waiting in the waiting room,
Her bladder fit to burst,
When Nurse came out to give the news
That really was the worst!

“We’re running late, it happens when
An emergency occurs,”
But the nurse just didn’t realise
That emergency was hers.

She’s sitting red faced with crossed legs,
Waiting for her scan,
With a bladder that is over full,
Cursing at the man!

They told her to drink water
At a time that was exact,
Two hours before the ultra scan,
She was happy with that fact.

But now the scan has been delayed,
That’s really not OK,
Because her painful bladder
Means she might faint away.

She misread the instructions
And instead of pints drank litres,
And I’m laughing as I watch
As from foot to foot she teeters.

Two hours before her ultra scan
She drank much too much water,
Nurse said “Its your own fault”
Just before the right hook caught her!

© Lynne Joyce 05.11.2012

Piggy Woman In The Bella Italia Birmingham

This piggy woman is convinced
That she is delectable,
A raconteuse, a razor wit
A sparkling intellectual.

She’s in a company of four,
Her talking never ends,
She prattles on and on and on
Excluding her three friends.

Valiantly each one tries
Then tries and tries some more
To contribute a word or two,
But it’s not what she’s there for.

For she would need to listen
And she will not have that,
They’re only there to listen to
Her endless stream of chat.

I listen hard to what she says,
Her facile, mindless prattle
And tiresome “Me, me” monologue
Sounds like a baby’s rattle.

I hear no sign or evidence
Of intellect or wit,
And as for beauty when I look,
I see no sign of it.

I think her only talent,
(Or should that be a crime?)
She can talk and eat spaghetti
Both at the same time?

This pig-like woman never could,
Make any suitor swoon,
And as for intellect she’s just
A big hot air balloon!


Noisy Child In The QUIET Coach

I’m sitting in the quiet coach
Quiet soothes my soul,
No phone calls are allowed here,
Noise must be in control.

Sitting right in front of me
On the train to Leeds,
A Mum is with her children
Attending to their needs.

A baby and a three year old,
Both well supplied with toys,
But while the baby’s quiet,
The little girl likes NOISE!

We’ve had her infant serenade
Of Old McDonald’s Farm,
A commentary on Peppa Pig,
And loud squeals of alarm.

She’s had a little tantrum
Demanding that she share
What her baby brother had,
She screamed “It isn’t fair!”

Her Mum has loads of baggage
For kids need so much stuff,
But no matter what she carries,
It’s never quite enough.

The little girl complains about
Toys they left behind,
Her Mum explains things patiently,
She’s gentle and she’s kind.

The child squeals loudly with delight
Claiming that she saw
Outside, in the distance,
A giant dinosaur!

It’s Old McDonald’s Farm again
And then another song,
With such a lively serenade
This journey won’t take long.

I’m sitting in the quiet coach
Quiet soothes my soul,
No quiet here as little girls
Don’t have volume control!


Posers At The London Lancaster Hotel

Behold, we have the posing gushies
Who specialise in faux sincere,
With PhD’s in softly spoken,
Who always talk but never hear.

Behind the faux sincere facade
They really do not give a shit
For anything except their image
And gestures for enhancing it.

Is London full of empty people,
Poseurs, posturers and such?
If it is then I’ve decided
I don’t like London very much.

London Lancaster Hotel, 16.10.2012

Street fashion 2012

As a total fashion drop out
Who wears baggy tops and pants
The current trends in fashion
Provide material for my rants.

Street fashion in particular
Never ceases to amuse,
This year its micro shorts with tights
And crazy platform shoes.

And the biggest fashion blunder
That ever was committed
Contaminates the streets again,
Leggings, tightly fitted.

I have no real objection
When slim youngsters dress like this
By when they’re worn by matrons
That’s a sinful fashion miss.

And fatties wearing leggings
Micro shorts and mini skirts,
To see them strut and wobble
Down the street, that really hurts!

At our local WMC (working men’s club)
Fashion sins abound,
Like lycra tops and leggings
On fat girls who are round.

Mums compete with daughters
With fashion from the street,
The mothers look like old bags
While their daughters look quite sweet.

It’s a crazy kind of racing
To fit in with the herd,
To make sure they’re in fashion
Even if they look absurd.

I’m so pleased that I’m a drop out
Who wears pants and baggy tops,
And I’m glad that its at my age
When fashion racing stops!


Bucking The Trend In The London Lancaster Hotel

I’m in a very posh hotel
In London for the night
Sitting alone in the bar lounge
Making other occupants uptight.

I’m totally surrounded by
Sharp suited business types,
Loudly spouting bullshit,
Out-hyping super hypes.

They talk of their new products
In pompous, knowing tones,
Then burst into loud laughter,
These programmed business drones.

This masculine bravura
Gets louder by the minute,
But I’m a lonesome woman,
Outside the circle while they’re in it.

I think that I’m supposed to
Retreat into my room
To make a little more space
For the noisy business boom.

But I’m not into moving,
I’m content to be alone,
And if business types don’t like it,
Their brashness has been blown.

I’m in a very posh hotel
In London for the night,
It’s yet another rich source
For the trite verse that I write.

Lynne Joyce, London Lancaster Hotel, 16.10.2012.

Contented Loner

I’m a loner and content with it,
Happy with my own company,
And a small group of close friends,
Who share my razor mind and wit.

I never try to please the crowd,
I see no need to compromise
My values or my politics,
I challenge bigotry out loud.

Some say I’m very short on tact,
But I see tact as compromise,
I tell the plain unvarnished truth,
And never try to gild a fact.

I don’t accept a woman’s place
Is in the home or second class,
And men who try to cower me
Get my venom in their face.

Some people think, because I’m old
That I should be invisible,
I’ve got no time for ageism
And so, though wrinkled, I am bold.

Solitary souls like me,
Content with their own company,
And happy with a few good friends,
Are needed in society.

We see through all the social rules,
The bullshit and the niceties,
We never compromise to please
We challenge idiots and fools.

So don’t complain when I decline
To fit in with your social herd,
I make you feel uncomfortable,
But that’s your problem, its not mine.


Back to the Engine (dedicated to Tony Miller)

Nowadays, when on a train,
I always seem to be
Seated facing backwards,
Quite unwillingly.

Even though I try to book
A forward facing seat
I still end up facing backwards,
Is this malice or defeat?

Maybe, the train people
Think that a my age,
I should sit with my back to the engine,
Because I’m at the ‘past it’ stage.

It may be that their thinking is
Because I’m old I’m weak,
I don’t have the guts to protest,
I’ll be quiet and not speak.

I might well be old and feeble,
But I will never be
Too old to raise a protest.
I don’t do timidity.

Years back, when I was younger,
I was always forward facing
Looking at what was to come,
Seeing life rush past me, racing.

And though I’m over sixty
Looking forward’s what I do,
For what’s gone is gone forever
And I prefer a forward view.

So give me a forward facing seat
And let me view the future,
I will not dwell upon the past,
I’m a forward looking creature.

© Lynne Joyce 16.10.2012

Insomnia Rage

Facebook at 4a.m.

Why do I have to wake up
Before I’ve finished sleeping,
And at 4a.m. why is Facebook
The only company I’m keeping?

And why, during the daytime,
Is keeping my eyes open
So bloody hard
Because my sleep’s been broken.

Why do I get so grumpy
With cheerful bright young things
Whose eyes are never troubled
With dark and puffy rings?

Why, when I am knackered,
Can’t I drift into slumber?
Why can’t I just crash out
Like I did when I was younger?

Is this a common problem
With people of my age,
And if it is, do they all suffer
From insomnia rage?

Lynne Joyce 07.09.2012

Wrinklies Day At ASDA

It is wrinklies day at ASDA
All their pensions have been paid
So the majority of clients
Have bent backs and hair that’s greyed.

They’re professionally feeble
And terminally slow
So I’ve decided that a Tuesday
Is not the day to go.

They are blocking all the aisles up
As they gossip with their mates,
With moans about the weather,
The prices and the rates.

In the aisles they’re all a-dither
Because they can’t make up their minds
About which brand to choose
From so many different kinds.

At the checkouts they are hopeless,
They dither and they fret
And take ages with their packing
Till my frozen stuff’s all wet.

The worst thing about wrinklies
With their bent backs and grey hair,
Is my mirror tells me clearly,
“Good grief, you’re getting there!”

Lynne Joyce 09.09.2012

Overdue For Shooting

I realise I’m overdue for shooting
And clearly all the blame for this is mine
I have said “If I do this or that just shoot me,”
And now I’m doing those things all the time.

All this is on account of getting older,
And all those things go with a certain age,
Like wearing comfy shoes and baggy trousers
In shades of boring camouflage and beige.

I’ve started to prefer an early bed time
To going out and partying all night,
And now I’m leaving politics to youngsters
With energy to fight the righteous fight.

No longer can I cope with the discomfort
Of camping under canvas on the grass,
A caravan now gives the best protection
For painful knees and hips and back and ass.

Sometimes I nearly catch myself complaining
But stop, for then I’d have to shoot myself,
And I have to work so hard not to start whinging
About my being past it and my health.

I often used to say “You have to shoot me
If ever I get bigger than size eight,”
But now that I’m a saggy bat with wrinkles
I wear loose clothes to hide my overweight.

My salvation is my husband’s getting older
Any he’s no longer sharp or eagle eyed,
So even if he did decide to shoot me
I don’t think he could hit me if he tried!

© Lynne Joyce 02.10.2012

Checkout Queues in Spain

You can learn so very much 
In the checkout queue,
By watching those before you,
What they buy and what they do.

We have learned, for instance,
That be be a big, hard fella,
With tattoos and big muscles
You must buy Mortadella.

That very dapper fellow
With his hair cut short and neat,
He’s buying special foot spray
So he’s got smelly feet.

A man buys just one croissant,
And a small barra de pan (baguette in Spanish)
Plus twenty tins of cat food,
There goes a lonely man.

The lady in the smart pair
Of designer, cut-off jeans,
Her face cream and hair colour say
She’s older than she seems.

If you’re an English expat
With no Spanish language skills,
You search for jars of mint sauce
And Marmite for your thrills.

However, if you’re German,
Or even if you’re Dutch,
You search the supermarket
For sauerkraut and such.

Fathers sent out shopping
For food and baby gear
Invariably reward themselves
With mega packs of beer.

Italians buy pasta,
It’s yoghourt for the Greeks,
You can spot a world of nations
Throughout the summer weeks.

By looking in the baskets
Of others in the queue,
You learn a lot about them,
Where they’re from and what they do.


Garrath The Human Satnav


I’ve got a self-appointed satnav who is sometimes in my car,
He tells me where I’ve been and where to go and where we are,
He tells me when I’m speeding and might get caught in a trap,
But I’m a wrinkly racer with a radar warning Ap

He speaks to me as if I still have L plates on my car
And warns me when my steering is too little or too far,
He’s a self appointed expert in all things motorised
And if I don’t do it his way, I get criticised.

He cleans the house but hardly ever cooks to keep me fed,
But offers me advice on all my cooking skills instead.
To be fair he does the laundry, a job I’ve abdicated,
And he’s a dab hand with the Hoover, for that’s a job I hated.

So what do we do with human satnavs that we can’t turn off?
Well I do the verbal version of an armed Kalashnikov!


Nab Woodentop at ALDI

Nab Woodentop at ALDI

Nab Wood is a part of Shipley that thinks it is posh and is a refuge for supercilious snobs who are now forced by the credit crunch to watch their pennies.

Nab Woodentop with the sneery face
Now has to shop as ALDI,
“If you don’t,” her husband said,
“We’ll be forced to sell the Audi.

She’s barely hiding her contempt
For shopping with the peasants,
Being forced to buy cheap chicken
Instead of posh-shop pheasants.

She races past the bargain bin
But sneaks a furtive glance,
Hoping nobody will notice
When she baskets cut-price plants.

At the checkout she’s contemptuous
And snappy with the staff,
Stomps off to pack her shopping
While we just stand and laugh.

Who does she think she’s fooling
With her ‘I’m superior’ pitch,
As she packs her M&S bag,
The hoity, toity bitch?

This is the very best part
Of the credit crunch,
Watching the discomfort
Of ladies who used to lunch!

© Lynne Joyce 23.08.2012

Off To The High Life

Here’s baldy with a pony tail
And fatty with a frill
Queueing at the airport
On their way to Estoril.

I’m sure they think they’re lovely
In their brand new summer togs,
But we see in their rear view
A pair of rough old dogs.

But baldy with a pony tail
And his frilly, fatty wife
Are on their way to Estoril
For the best time of their life.

Good on them!

Spanish Rice With Beef

1/2 a Chorizo Picante ring, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
1/2 a Chorizo Dulce ring, chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
Olive oil
1 long red pepper chopped into 1/2 cm pieces
3 sticks of celery chopped
4 large vine tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 large or two small courgettes chopped into 1/2 cm cubes
Kernels from 2 corn cobs
2-3 coffee mugs full of cooked rice
1heaped tbsp Marigold stock powder
8-12 oz pre cooked beef cut into strips (you can substitute other meats and change the title accordingly)
1 tsp smoked hot paprika
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

First fry the chorizo over a medium heat until the red oil of coming out and they are lightly browned.

Then add the celery, pepper and courgette, plus as much olive oils as needed and fry until softened, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Next add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until soft.

Add the corn kernels, rice, Marigold stock powder and mix thoroughly.

Add the beef strips and paprika powders, mix thoroughly then cook over a low heat with a lid on until everything is heated through, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (Don’t worry if it sticks a bit as the crusty bits scraped off the bottom are probably the best part).

Tuna & Avocado Mix

1 tin ethically caught tuna in sunflower oil
2 ripe avocados
2tbsp lemon or lime juice
1tsp Green tabasco
salt & pepper to taste

Put the tuna with its oil and the scraped out avocados in a bowl along with the lemon juice and mash with a fork, mixing thoroughly. Add the green tabasco and mix through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through.

If you are not going to use this immediately, place in a plastic fridge container and before putting the lid on, cover with cling film so that the cling film is in direct contact with the mix and there is no contact with the air. This prevents browning.

Use as a sandwich or wrap filling or a dip with crudites and/or tortilla chips. This would also be good as a topping for baked potatoes.

Granny With A Stroller (The American Version)

Be careful when you come across
Grandmothers pushing strollers,
Their offspring’s procreation
Makes them think that they’re high rollers.

For some reason I can’t figure
They’re inordinately proud
And blether on about the child
Persistently and loud.

They seem to take no heed of
The fact that I don’t care
But use me as a sounding board
Just because I’m there.

So be wary of the grandmother
Who is full of boastful pride
About her squawking grandchild.
When you see her, run and hide!

© Lynne Joyce

Granny With A Pram

Be careful when you come across
A Granny with a pram,
Their offspring’s procreation
Makes them the big I am.

For some reason I can’t work out
They’re inordinately proud
And blether on about the child
Persistently and loud.

They seem to take no heed of
The fact that I don’t care
But use me as a sounding board
Just because I’m there.

So be wary of the grandmother
Who is full of boastful pride
About her squawking grandchild.
When you see her, run and hide!

© Lynne Joyce

People Watcher’s Paradise

If you’re fond of watching people
A caravan is just for you
Pitched right near the toilet block
With a clear, uncluttered view.

From your well appointed viewpoint
You can watch the world go by,
All types and classes have to go there,
Those with incomes low and high.

You can view the self appointed
Grandiose and upper class,
Sneering at the other users,
The common, ignorant and crass.

Leisure cyclists, hillside walkers,
Botanists and photo freaks,
All of them must use the toilets,
See them mix while taking leaks.

Dogs of every breed and nature
Take their owners to the loo,
Tied outside and waiting for them
They bark, for that’s what dogs must do.

Every size and shape of human,
Clad in their best leisure wear,
Totters to and from the toilets
And you’re well placed to view them there.

Every person has a story,
And as you watch them you can guess,
Taking notice of their manner,
Tone of voice and mode of dress.

Or like me, you can make them up,
And turn them into funny rhymes
Illustrate them all by sketching
Cartoons that capture lives and times.

If you’re fond of watching people
This is just the place for you,
For everyone must use the toilet,
We’re human and it’s what we do.

© Lynne Joyce 2.7.2011

Elderly Man And His Philippino Protector At The Hilton Metropole, London

A Phillipino bossy boots
With this frail elderly man,
Fusses and frets around him,
Doing whatever she can.

I wonder, is she a carer,
Or is she his wife?
Whatever she is, she seems to be
In control of his life.

Every time she goes away
To fetch and to carry
He starts a conversation,
She stops it in a hurry.

He talks to me of magic,
For here magicians abound,
She stops the conversation
By turning him around.

Is he trying to escape her
Direction and control,
Or is he simply chatty,
And she a jealous soul.

Whatever, it seems such a shame,
For he’s a gentle man,
And I enjoy conversation
With gentle people when I can.

But this lady will have none of it,
And she whisks this man away,
I really hope he breaks free
And gets to chat today.


Woman Playing Baby Girl

Bewley's Beauty

Observed Outside Bewley’s Hotel, Leeds

This woman is bewildering
I wonder what she’s at
She’s flitting around like a fairy queen
But she is grossly fat.

Her clothing might be suitable
For a size 6 girl who’s fit,
Though she’s at least size 24,
She’s not aware of it.

She adopts an ootsy-cutesy act,
With a silly, baby voice,
It surely can’t be natural
But just this woman’s choice.

Her hair is pulled tight at the sides
In little-girly braids.
She hasn’t been a little girl
For the last two decades.

Am I alone in wondering
Why she behaves like this?
Is she frightened of maturity?
Was her infancy such bliss?

Why do people seem to want
To hang on to their youth?
Is adulthood so unpleasant?
Are they scared to face the truth?

Whatever, she’s bewildering.
I cannot make her out,
But she’s a wonderful subject
To sketch and write about.

© Lynne Joyce 23.09.2011

Putting Off The Diet

I think that I am overweight,
I’d like to be more svelte,
But I’m not very disciplined
At tightening my belt.

Every time I’m offered wine
I know I should drink less,
But when I form my lips for “No”
The word comes out as “Yes.”

Today I went into Morrisons
And saw this lady here,
And so, instead of diet coke,
I bought a pack of beer.

For in comparison with her
I’m relatively slight,
So I have put the diet off
Until another night!


Train From Manchester

The train is full of grumpy faces,
Turned down mouths and scowls,
Drunken football fans let go
With unmelodic howls.

Nobody makes eye contact,
No-one shares a look
Preferring to play with smart phones,
A laptop or a book.

Occasionally colleagues
Maintain a conversation,
But no one chats to strangers,
Among this generation.

There’s lots of airhead prattle
On phones and via text,
Between two Scouser girlies
Whose chatter makes me vexed.

Noise substitutes for meaning,
Silly sound for words,
Mindless, childish monotones
From make-up plastered birds!

Every other word is “Like”
Meaning absolutely nothing,
If they had a brain they might
Benefit from brain washing.

Why do people open their mouths
When they have nothing to say,
And why do theses mindless morons
Have to be going my way?

Train from Manchester



Oh dear, I’m surrounded by lawyers
And lawyers define the word ‘nice’,
They are prissy and loud-chalk-stripe suited
And in OCD style, so precise.

They consider each gesture and movement
Before making them, then they reflect,
To evaluate if they’ve succeeded
In portraying their fine intellect.

Each word used is carefully studied
To see if another could be
More complex and polysyllabic
To replace peasant simplicity.

They’re serious, solemn and thoughtful,
Considered and con-sidering,
Unruffled, objective and careful,
For that is their lawyerly thing!

I wonder if these lawyers ever
Have fun and get out of their face
On drink, drugs or sport or just pleasure,
Break free from their slow lawyer’s pace?

But no, I’m surrounded by lawyers,
And lawyers are legally trained
To be pompous, verbose and important,
With all human facets constrained.


Darlington – An Exercise in Rhyme

Darlington, Darlington, rhyming with Arlington,
What similarities here can I find?
While Arlington celebrates fallen war heroes,
Darlington shows us the fall of mankind.

Was ever there more a place without purpose
Than Darlington, other than railways long gone,
A township without any function to serve us
To give it an image that’s worth dwelling on.

It’s hardly a haven for Durham commuters,
For Durham is nicer than it is, by far,
It doesn’t produce cars or trains or computers,
It’s not at the seaside, it isn’t a spa.

No doubt it has residents, loyal and faithful
Who think that the town is a wonderful place,
I don’t doubt that they find it is pleasant and peaceful,
For this is their town, they belong in this space.

But Darlington, Darlington, quite unlike Arlington,
Has no unique feature to make it stand out
While Arlington celebrates fallen war heroes,
Darlington isn’t sure what it’s about.

Lynne Joyce 30.05.2012.

A Writer’s Sonnet

Human in theory, the writer sits
Outside the seething, teeming human herd,
A silent observer, one who never fits,
Labelled an oddball, loner or a nerd
By those who follow common rituals,
Rituals that say they’re all the same,
Wear the same clothes, eat the same victuals,
All part of the human bonding game.

Immune to this she listens and observes,
Closely notes their tragi-comedies,
Elegantly mixes words then serves
A distillation of their tragedies.

While writers sit outside, observe and write,
Herd members read to learn and gain insight.


The Pseudo Posh

Have you ever noticed
How the Pseudo-posh
Speak so very slowly
While they’re talking tosh?

Their phoney, classy accents
Are clearly bolted on,
So they have to be so careful
Lest they speak with the real one.

When you hear them saying ‘Nay-oo’
They’re really saying ‘No”
And ‘Ears’ actually means ‘Yes,’
And ‘Gay-oo’ just means ‘Go.’

Every Pseudo-poshie
Is required be
One who speaks precisely
In an accent that is twee.

Pseudo poshies cannot show
Their lowly origins
In their way of speaking,
That is high in Pseudo sins.

Listen and you’ll understand
Why the Pseudo-posh
Speaking cripplingly slowly
While they’re talking tosh.


Ne’er Cast A Clout ‘Til May Be Out

May Blossom

Ne’er cast a clout ’til May be out,
The ancient words decree,
But the May that it refers to
Is blossom on a tree.

Hawthorn blossom known as May
Will tell us when it’s right
To forego winter clothing
For something that is light.

This year the blossom didn’t come
Until the end of May
And sure enough a heat wave
Came the self same day.

So disregard the forecasters,
And don’t go by the date,
Keep wearing winter woollies
When the May blossom is late.

And when you see a snowstorm
Of blossom on the trees,
Get out your shorts and T shirts
And liberate your knees!


Defeat Out Of The Jaws Of Victory

Last polling day the man who ousted me
Snatched defeat from jaws of victory.

I know that we should live for hope, not hate,
But I couldn’t resist the urge to celebrate.

I bought some amber jewels, green and dark,
Which will forever be known as ‘Mort de Mark!’

We had a gorgeous meal and some champagne
To celebrate the end of his campaign.

We laughed his embarrassing defeat,
And hoped for his political retreat.

He should know that whilst you cannot trust the polls,
You should always be afraid of my Wax Dolls!!!

Lynne Joyce, 05-05-2007.

Millennia of Oppression All Because of One Lousy Apple?

When Paradise became too boring,
God, who was the Architect,
Decided to increase the choices,
To exercise the intellect.

The story of that time was simple,
A smooth-tongued snake in charge of sales
Was sent to practise on two humans
Who hadn’t heard his hard-sell tales.

When Eve had heard his presentation,
She thought that all she’d ever need
Was growing on the tree of knowledge,
(This was consumerism, not greed).

Long after the demise of Eden,
But before Noah and the Ark,
This simple and straightforward story
Was stolen by a Patriarch.

He made a wicked value judgment,
Based purely on misogyny,
He said that Eve had sinned by eating
Fruit from a forbidden tree.

He didn’t blame the tree of knowledge,
He didn’t blame the smooth-tongued snake,
He didn’t blame that wimp called Adam,
Or God for making a mistake.

Instead he blamed poor Eve for all the
Sins of Homo Sapiens,
Said he expected all her daughters
To suffer and to make amends

Though it was clearly arrant nonsense,
This myth was nurtured and maintained
By men who used it to keep women
Powerless, helpless and restrained.

Well, now we’ve had enough of stupid
Misogynistic, vicious lies.
We won’t accept that all that’s evil
Stems from a woman’s breasts and thighs.

We’ll fight against this brutalising,
Mythologising “His-story”
And we’ll re-write from the beginning
And let Eve tell us “Her-story”.

Lynne Joyce, January 3rd, 1992.

New Labour

Written in response to an article inTribune by Cassandra that was very critical of New Labour

Spearheaded by a power-hungry demi-god
Who’s surrounded by acolytic henchmen
And media-manic crumplies,
Followed by PC’dy little Noddy Mandelclones,
Steadfastly steered by sleazy spin-doctors
In a completely New direction,
Away from me and far from my politics.

My dilemma! Do I remain,
Suffering the slings and arrows of alienation,
Struggling, constipated by futile motions
And multi-directional points of order,
In Marxian hope of moving change from within,
Or take arms against a worm-can of Liberals
And by exposing, end them?

Politically to die, to sleep,
Perchance to dream?
Aye, there’s the rub,
For dreams in bed are validated,
Outside the bed they’re cold and pointless,
Heedless, needless nightmares
That lack companion comforts.

New Labour’s bed has squeaky clean, new sheets,
As cold as clothes-line linen,
The duvet cover, printed with pink roses,
Loosely holds assorted stuff together,
But the mattress is stuffed with old-style principles,
And the pillows with compassion,
And I have more True than New bedfellows!

Lets huddle together for warmth, Cassandra.

Lynne Joyce © 31-1-1997

Gimme Some Skin!

I don’t rest easily in my own skin,
I have a woman’s skin
And so I’m forced to fight
Against oppression and for equal rights.

My skin is white,
So in my fight for equal rights,
My skin won’t rest easily on me,
The stigma of my white supremacy.

My skin rests on an uncomfortable bed,
My skin is smooth, clear and well fed,
My conscience is a bed of nails,
Pricking each time my fight for justice fails.

My skin tingles when “I have a dream…”
And visions of a better future seem
Tangible, almost within reach,
A magic world arising from a magic speech.

I wake to the harsh reality of life,
The poverty, the inequality, the strife,
I can’t rest easily and my skin creeps,
So I fight on while the first world’s conscience sleeps.

My only suit of armour is my own skin,
Uncomfortable and vulnerable, I’m trapped within
Its white, well fed, ‘superior’ sheath,
While a rage for justice smoulders underneath.

My skinny suit of armour’s frail and weak,
Bruised & pierced by fat cat wealth and fascist shriek,
But gashes heal and bruises disappear,
And the only wound that festers on is fear.

I refuse to rest easily in my own skin,
I have a human being’s skin,
And I will exercise my right to fight
Against oppression and for equal rights.

©Lynne Joyce, 10-7-1996.

Response to a Sexist’s Unwanted Chat-Ups & Put Downs

Don’t think you flatter me sir,
Don’t think your sleazy innuendo burns my loins,
Hold back your prejudice sir,
And when your sexist chauvinism brings rejoins,
Spare me vindictiveness sir,
Don’t think my sharp, sarcastic comments undeserved,
Abandon bullying sir,
Don’t class me with the passive, cowering or reserved.
Stop trying to subjugate me
And crush my self-esteem, so new adorned.
Oppress me no longer sir,
Or suffer the Hellish fury of a Woman scorned.

© Lynne Joyce, 3/4/1987.

Reading Scheme

Now we get this kind of crap on TV.

Reading scheme, reading scheme, what tales today?
Jane’s helping Mummy so Peter can play.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, what do we see?
A family that’s clichéed and terribly twee.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, what do they do?
Well, Mummy does housework and Jane does it too.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, how do they look?
Dad’s dressed down for lounging, Mum’s dressed up to cook.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, what is his caper?
Daddy does nothing but reading his paper.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, what is this farce?
The females are grafting, the males on their arse.
Reading scheme, reading scheme, what should we do?
Collect you all up and make bonfires of you!

© Lynne Joyce, February 1985, revised May 1996.

Prisoner of Gender

Wolf-whistles prickle like a thistle,
Shouts of “Hello Darlin’” smart,
Heavy footsteps in the darkness,
Terrorise my angry heart.

Wandering hands and stripping glances,
Sorely hurt my woman’s pride.
Gropes by gruesome workplace lechers
Tempt me to commit pesticide.

Doctors, bankers and officials
Treat me like I have no brain
And, if I’m a married woman,
Even rob me of my name.

Male chauvinists ignore my talents,
Strengths, skills and ability,
Give value to the things I can’t do
And to my sexuality.

The boss’s sleazy innuendo
Has promotion as its bait.
The average macho’s condescension
Means I’d rather masturbate.

Male colleagues fear me if my interests
Go beyond maternity.
They undermine if I dare seek
The power they withhold from me.

Greasy door to door vac salesmen
Suggest I’m younger than my age,
Patronise and think they flatter
This ‘bird’ in her domestic cage.

Slimy double glazing agents
Ask me if my husband’s in.
Bar room Casanovas try to
Ply my knickers down with Gin.

If I go to pubs alone I’m
Eyed up like a piece of meat,
Pestered, chatted up, annoyed and
Treated like a bitch on heat.

Walking by myself I’m hounded
By determined, dreary drones
Who will not respect the fact that
I prefer to walk alone.

If I’m divorced, some married women
Seem to see me as a threat
And their narcissistic husbands
Regard me as an easy bet.

Advertising agents use my
Body to promote their wares.
Sordid, semi-ed, married men want
Extra-marital affairs.

Page three girls in daily papers
Proudly pose enormous breasts.
Growling male voyeurs compare us
And declare mine second bests.

Sexy, advertising features
Have subjection at their core.
Common parlance terms insult me,
Words like ‘slag’ and ‘tart’ and ‘whore’.

Pornographic mags and movies
Suggest my worth is in my crutch.
If I am raped, the implication
Is that I deserved as much.

Yes, I’m a prisoner of Gender,
Shackled in my bruise-blue jeans,
Battle-weary, tired and tender,
But nobody can steal my dreams.

© Lynne Joyce, 1985, still true in 2012.

TV As An Opressor Of Women

TV Tyranny

On daytime T.V.
(Cracked mirror of society),
Each programme features
Items designed for other creatures,
For sisters, not brothers,
And only those who would be mothers,
On the programme list
It seems the child-free don’t exist.

The daily slot,
Filled with teenager, babe or tot,
Says I’m without
what womanhood is all about.
I’m obviously
a model of deficiency,
And less than thrilled
at being labelled ‘unfulfilled.’

I don’t have babies
So might as well have AIDS or Rabies.
I don’t conform
And so I’m set outside the norm,
Ignored or even ostracised,
By the tyranny
Of the parenting majority.

They think I ought
To rock the cradle, not the boat.
Should not be free
To challenge domesticity.
When I protest,
My challenges are not addressed,
If I acquiesce,
Child-free by choice becomes child-less.

So I’m forced to try
To rationalise and justify
My child-free state,
To remonstrate and demonstrate
Another way
That women have a part to play
In daily life
Other than mother, daughter, wife.

This stereotype
Is patriarchal super-hype,
Pushed on TV
As absolute normality,
By stick thin chicks
With blown-up boobs and pumped-up lips,
Employed to be
A model I will never be.

So I remain
Outside normality’s domain,
Social pariah,
Whose aspirations reach up higher
Than maternity
And being one man’s property
His only means
Of passing on his worn-out genes.

Childless by choice,
I raise my non-maternal voice
Louder and louder,
Fiestier, more robust and prouder,
And joined by more,
We chorus a triumphant roar,
“We will be
Whatever we decide to be!”

© Lynne Joyce, 1991, revised 2003.