Lonely in lockdown
I keep company with the colours of the many versions of myself,
all of them, dancing, wriggling, moving and shifting,
adjusting to a new idea of what it is to be
alive and thriving
a life-force, freeing themselves up from the conventions
of what it once was to be constrained, constricted and conquered by
the coiling, controlling, and certifying
constraints of Captains, Commanders and
Copyright of poem & image owned by Jay Cool, December 2020
Fifty million doses.
Enough for two and a half million people.
A good spread.
Not available yet.
Plausible, effective and willing, but not able to
quite r e a c h t h e e d g e s
and not even able to land in the middle.
Not even a droplet
ready for roll-out,
But a big, important – MEGA!
Copyright owned by Jay Cool
Inspired by Downing Street`s Coronavirus Briefing, Monday 15th November, 2020Image by Ken Boyd from Pixabay
Stopped, stopped and more stopped.
Standing still, stalling and
Is this me, starting again?
Copyright owned by Jay Cool, November 2020
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
True, it’s not the kind of booster to protect me from Covid’s winter rage, or even from the flu. But a giggle with Bickles, after such a long period of deprivation from live comedy, is guaranteed to be a darn-sight more effective than this morning’s Vitamin D pill.
Okay, so I’m somewhat late – not my fault – no-one dropped by my art studio (shed) to tell me Lockdown was over! It`s all Grayson Perry`s fault; thanks to him, I hooked up with a paintbrush way back in April 2020 and have been stuck-fast to my easel ever since. This is what happens when `make-do and mend`is made a la mode by by a clever revamp.
Upcycling, they call it!
Mixing up the contents of one’s garage and kitchen had to be more environmentally-friendly (and considerably cheaper) than ordering in a Daley-Rowney set of gouache paints from Amazon. How was I to know that combining my food colourants with magnolia emulsion and multi-purpose silicon was a bad idea?
Whatever. I’m here now.
As is my easel. And as is Trevor Bickles.
And I’m in just enough time to guffaw loudly at Trevor’s jokes about Daniel Craig, Todd Hardy and Shamima Begum. But ee bah gum, not sure what connection, if any, he’s just made between these three, as I missed the preamble, but whatever it was or wasn’t, I know it was and is very funny – everyone else is laughing, so whether I’m stuck at the tail-end with my own pun, or not, I see no reason why I shouldn’t join in!
And, before long, exorcists, guinea-pigs in snoods and Superhero dads are all given the Bickles’ treatment, but nothing tickles the fancy of the old regulars more than the grand finale, when our stand-up finishes himself off with some kind of an unseemly fantasy involving his partner and Sheridan Smith! More of a let down, if you ask me (you didn’t? oh well!); I mean what ‘s wrong with sticking to the tried-and-tested ways of old, when gags always ended in the same way they began?
Moving on. And swiftly.
Buble? Is it really Michael Buble? Here, at The Brewery Tap?
But I stand corrected. Seems that this is not Michael Buble or, indeed, any other Buble – and this guy, Jake somebody-or-other, is by far the more famous in this part of the King (Queen?)dom. Okay, so he probably can’t sing (no offence, Jake), but to give him due credit, he’s cracking on with the jokes. To be fair, then he’s got little choice but to try and make something of himself on the comedy circuit, having turned down a teaching career. Seems he read some headline about a London school being taken over by a bunch of feral kids. And which school would that be Jake?
Surely British kids are as feral as feral can be, wherever they be? Something to do with feckless parentage, as in confused parentage, with so many of them (if your predecessor, Bickles, is to be believed), claiming to have DNA connections with the Smith family. And all of them, dead ringers for Trevor’s hot favourite – Sheridan!
Still, in spite of a highly-entertaining rant about the state of our schools, Jake ends his set with a ‘proud to be British’ declaration. Odd or what? Claims that Britain has the best buildings. Personally speaking, I’m not entirely convinced. Take a look at this report! And, if you don’t count the source as being credible, how about this? News without bias. And, even the most iconic buildings of them all are of such shabby construction that they appear to require essential makeovers of a most frequent nature, just to remain habitable:
Oh, what it means to be British!
But here I must leave Jake to dream on about all that is best and British, as he mistakes an abandoned KFC takeaway box for a hat from Christy’s of London, as I haven’t even reached this evening’s halfway point yet!
As always, I’m too busy trying to shoehorn in my own witticisms (all responses to which will be heavily censored), instead of blogging about the subjects to which I’ve been commissioned. **
And I still have Danny Mark and Louie Green on my itinerary – not to mention the new kid on the block – up and coming compere, Matt!
Sadly, just blogging about Trevor and Jake, has already consumed all of my creative juices for today.
It’s the interval and I haven’t partaken of my favourite mango cider, since before the first whiff of a virus,*** so I’m heading off for a chat with barman Johnny.
*Warning – Do not try this at home, with or without parental supervision! Please note that the author failed to secure a qualification in Chemistry, with very good reason.
** Please note that tonight’s gig is a charity event. My payment comes in the form of laughter rather than cash. Unfortunately.
*** That’s a lie. Just finished the first pint.
Gas prices rise.
Keep a grip.
Income Support dips.
Keep a grip.
One for the price of two.
Keep a grip.
But keep that grip,
Copyright owned by Jay Cool
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
P.S. Out of politeness, I decided against the alternative ending of
... keep that grip, says Boris` ***t.
A zillion jumping beetles, with some flair,
play dodgems, and they do not care,
`bout who did plant such seeds that grew.
That grew and grew `til leaves anew
tiered up and out as if they could
be stands held out –
as if they should
be hosts to louts that leap about,
that crash through
that care`bout nowt.
Copyright of text and image owned by Jay Cool, 19th September, 2021
Spent a happy few hours colouring in this drawing, inspired by Sunday evening`s #LifeDrawingLive – the BBC art show presented by Joe Lycett. I never got the attraction of colouring books, in which the consumer takes pleasure out of colouring in drawings and patterns produced by someone else. But adding the colour to my own creations is mega-mega therapeutic. Cheers to Joe Lycett!
Copyright of images owned by Jay Cool, Monday 13th September, 2021
So much for a lie-in.
I`m wide awake at 6.40am, unable to return to my slumbers for fear of the multitudes of little menaces that might, during the night, have taken advantage of my absence to get stuck in. I can see them now, tucking into their third or fourth breakfast of the most tasty of my once-beautiful nasturtiums. They must be stopped.
Before the kettle is given any opportunity to partake in my usual morning ritual – coffee followed by more coffee – I`m miraculously teleported from my bed into the world beyond.
My left hand steadies me by taking hold of a fence post, whilst my eyes focus, and my right hand, clutching its weapon, takes aim.
Wheeeeeeeee …..! screeches the first little speck.
Wheeeeeeeee …..! screeches the second.
Not meeeeeeeee …..! taunts a third. I`m staying put, right where I am, in the very heart of this incredibly succulent nasturtium bud.
“Think again!” I shout, as I nip said bud off its stem, complete with inhabitant, and proceed to deposit it on my compost heap.
Returning to inspect the battlefield, I find the first two specks, far from having the decency to at least play at being dead, still very much alive. Still very much alive and – albeit on a different flower-head – still breakfasting. Breakfasting, and now in the company of others.
Ha! mocks the first.
Tee-heeeeeeee …..! giggles the second.
Can`t get rid of us! rejoins the first.
But thanks for the free lift, anyways! whoops the other.
“Like a good tidal wave, do you?” I challenge. “Well here comes another and another and another. And this one`s for your friend.”
“And this one, for the other.”
“Not so clever now, are you?
And I keep hopping around, trigger-happy and determined. Obstinate.
SQUELCH … SLIDE …
Something`s underfoot. Under my foot. Probably a squished green gage. Time for a quick inspection of the ground troops.
CRAP! CRAP, CRAP, CRAP!
The soapy solution in my water dispenser is redeployed, diverted away from the battlefield to the sole of my right boot. WHAM, BHAM, CRAP!
A neighbour`s cat`s crap, stuck to the bottom of my right boot, obstinate, refusing to shift. A cat`s stinking crap, laughing at me.
Calling a temporary surrender, but by no means defeated by the opposition, I pull at the lace and kick my boot off, aiming it at a hole in the fence I share with a cat-loving neighbour. But it turns out it`s with good reason my childhood self never made it onto any sports team, be it basketball, netball, football, or any other that involved goal-scoring. Bouncing off a fence post, some inches off target, my crappy boot decided, if it was going to go it all alone and legless, it would take up residence amidst my strawberry plants, rather than take any chances by passing through into an unknown beyond.
So be it. Let nature do its worst. With any luck, the retreating specks will leap off the nasturtiums, try to take cover in the bed of strawberry plants, and get stuck – forever – to my crappy-right boot.
As for me, it`s left-foot forward. And –
Back in that I really need to take back control of my life, to get that kettle to boil, to get the day started off properly with a couple of coffees. The caffeine does its best and I stand at the kitchen window surveying the garden. From this distance, the nasturtiums look quite fine and healthy again ……. wine-red, citrus-orange and golden-yellow, spicy-sweet bonbons, beach balls, all breezing around upon a sea of nutritious-green-soap bubbles.
Shame about the all-too-familiar stench that seems to be hanging around my person. Should my left boot, too, have been kicked into oblivion, or at the very least, abandoned at the door? I lift up my left foot, still booted and, fortunately, still reasonably sanitary; but, in doing the examination, I notice that my usually fine and white (if somewhat thread-veined), left calf, is sporting a large patch of something yellow-ish brown …
It`s not a suntan; I`m a redhead and we don`t tan. Neither is it a spillage from a tube of burnt-umber paint; haven`t set foot (or calf) inside my art studio for weeks, and besides which, the last time I did, I was in my blue phase. And it isn`t a ….
Hang on –
Did I just happen to scratch my left calf with my right boot, before I kicked …..?
Indefinite surrender. Abdication.
Time for a shower.
Teeee …. Heeeee…. ! giggle the specks, still mocking and still multiplying. Still gathering in their troops. Still all settling themselves in upon my day-bed of golden nasturtiums. All of them, thousands of specks; all of them obstinate and ready for their sit-down protest. Each and every speck, stuck-in and ready for the fight-
All ready for the big tuck-in.
Copyright of text and photographs owned by Jay Cool, Saturday 11th September, 2021
Other posts by the freelance creative, Jay Cool, aka The Silly-Savvy Salopian:
P.S. If, despite my sorry tale, you still wish to partake in your own war against an army of jumping-flea beetles, you could always try loading your spray bottle with a solution that is 5 parts water, to 2 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part liquid soap, as detailed in The Farmer`s Almanac.
I left out the alcohol, as the only sort I possess is for drinking, rather than rubbing – and why waste good booze on woozing out a few beetles? It`s fair to say that washing-up/ liquid diluted with water, proved to be utterly ineffective, but at least I now have the means by which to console myself from a humiliating defeat. Whoever heard of a house cat, volunteering itself as decoy for a load of bugs?
Ordinary things that do the
Copyright owned by Jay Cool
Can`t fix with no fix.
A tax rise, a tax rise!
Affected, but not affected.
Want to fix it, can`t fix it.
By Jay Cool
A summary of the ITV news, on 8th September, 2021
Is it me, or does this swan look more like a coat peg than it looks like itself?
Okay, so it is just me who sees this!