Saturday 29 January 2022


People are increasingly angry about the event they are now calling "GateGate". Allegedly in April 2020, I was seen standing at the gate in The Orchard, talking to Melissa Sparrow of Little Tremlett for several hours. This claim is apparently backed up by drone footage, CCTV, a sworn affidvait and twenty-three eyewitness accounts.

Obviously this whole event - which never happened - was completely innocent. Melissa was on her permitted once daily exercise. That she had walked 50 miles and still had to go home is testimony to her amazing fitness, caused by her terror of failing health and death

Death. Death. Death.

Sorry, I don't know what came over me there.

There have been allegations that the evidence of an empty gin bottle with my finger prints on, recovered from under the hedge next to the gate, means this was some kind of party. Nothing could be further from the truth. The debris of a Krispy Kreme doughnuts party pack likewise proves that the non-existent event was in fact a business meeting. Which we had to do in person, outdoors, as we needed to forge a lot of signatures. 

Claims that we then repaired to the Archdruidical Suite, where we played 80s funk-soul into the early hours, are clearly rubbish. What happened was that, overcome by the sixth Krispy Kreme which she clearly didn't eat because she wasn't there, Melissa started hallucinating that she was Edward "Ten Pole" Tudor-Pole. I had to bring her back to the 21st Century via the Punk Rock, Grunge, Brit-Pop and Spice Girls eras. Which is why we weren't loudly singing Adele songs by 4 am. 

As Beaker Folk will know, I asked Young Keith to investigate these allegations (Charlii being busy selecting wallpaper) and I'm pleased to say that there's definitely nothing to worry about in his report. However, since Young Keith's uncle, the police officer, has now, definitely independently, taken an interest in the non-existent meeting, Young Keith will only publish the outline of his findings for the long time being.

I can now share the report with you here:


*** REDACTED ***

There is a gate in the hedge around The Orchard.

*** REDACTED ***

I would like to thank my mother, Archdruid Eileen, for all her support.


Thursday 27 January 2022

In Memoriam - Barry Cryer

 Archdruid: You'll have had your tea? 

All: Aye

HYMN:  "Abide with Me" to the tune of "Stop" by the Spice Girls

Archdruid: On this sad occasion, I was glad that we could at least have two stars of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" with us to help me conduct the service. But unfortunately Sven wandered off to enjoy our fine collection of kneelers. And when Samantha eventually caught him by the hassocks, he decided to go for a bit of  lie down. 

But I do have a letter from a Mrs Trellis, of North Wales. She says, "Dear Boris. Just give up. It's over."

And it's at times like this that we remember the power that music has to bring you to tears. So here's Colin Sell, on the piano.


There is a time to laugh
and a time to laugh
and a time to laugh 
and a time to laugh 
and a time to laugh 
and a time to laugh 
and a time to laugh 
and a time to stop.


Lionel Blair: Hello. If you're seeing this on a recording, then it means I've died before you have. You swine. I'll be waiting for you.

HYMN: "The Old Rugged Cross", accompanied by kazoo and swanee whistle.

Archdruid: And so as the starling of time flies into the tennis racquet of destiny, and the vole of liminality drops into the void of eternity, I see that the service is over.

Barry Cryer: Mornington Crescent.


Mr and Mrs Best-Barry and their son, Aldo 

Mr and Mrs Fanera, and their son, Endo

Mr and Mrs Cheeky, and their post-modern daughter, l.o. cheeky

Mr and Mrs Kdalarf and their son, Eli

Mr and Mrs Bennet-Arethereanyofthemleft and their son.....

Wednesday 26 January 2022

Lament for Someone Who has Been Ambushed with a Cake

 A junior minister nobody has ever heard of, Conor Burns, defends the Prime Minister by claiming he was ambushed with a cake.

Oh woe is me for I am undone

I am become as one who has been accosted by Colin the Caterpillar

Or even Clyde.

And now I am a trifle disturbed.

I am become as a jelly.

Why so downhearted, my spirit?

Why so downcast, my soul cake?

For it is butter cake.

I mean, but a cake.

I am as a sponge that is wrung out

And yet I will rise like a meringue

and return to the land of the Linzer Torte

and become like one of the angel cakes.

Where is now your Victoria Sponge,

O Death by Chocolate?


Tuesday 25 January 2022

Lament Over the State of the Christmas Quality Street Tin

A tin of Quality Street, viewed from above, with all the nice ones missing

Behold the tin of Quality Street
Its poverty of flavours.
How are the mighty fallen
and the purple ones passed from our sight.

I remember our joy when we opened it
Our eyes full of tinsel and fire 
And our bellies with turkey 
and pigs-in-blankets.

And now behold!
There is a famine of green triangles
Of caramel swirls there is no sign
The milk choc block is as one that has gone down to the pit.

And we have nothing worth eating but fudge.
With tears will we eat orange crunches 
and with sadness consume strawberry delights 
But you can forget the coconut ones.

We suppose toffees are OK
In a "sort of thing our grandads used to eat" kind of way
But the coconut ones will we always have with us
Even unto next Christmas.

In our darkness there is just one ray of light
One shiny wrapper that gladdens our hearts.
At least we've somehow missed eating all the fudge
And so we will sing our grateful song.

All you need is fudge
All you need is fudge
All you need is fudge, fudge
Fudge is all you need.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Psalm for a Middle-Lane Driver

O how am I blessed to be in this middle lane
For truly it is a broad path.
Angry people pass to my left and my right
And I heed them not.
Though they open wide their mouths against me
And shake their fists at me
And some point their middle fingers unto heaven 
As if to say that is where God reigns 
Who judges  both the under-taker and the over-taker alike.
Many angry lorry drivers follow me
They flash their lights at me
And toot their horns at me.
They look longingly at the fast lane 
Bur the white dotted line tells them, "thus far and no farther."
Surely the miles-long queue in my mirror shall last forever
As I shall turn neither to the right nor the left 
But keep unto this middle way
All the days of my life
Or until I reach Nottingham.

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Liturgy for the Death of Gary Waldhorn

Archdruid: No. No. No. No. No.

All: No. No. No. No.

Archdruid: No. No. No. No. No.

All: No. No. No. No.

Archdruid: No. No. No. No. No.

All: No. No. No. No.

Archdruid: No. No. No. No. No.

All: No. No. No. No.

Saturday 8 January 2022

Father Brown and the Incorrect Clerical Wear

"Father Brown," said Bishop Len, "I'm concerned about the reports I have been hearing."
The portly priest turned his eyes to the irate bishop. Len Brennan had, it was true, radically changed since he had been transferred from his Irish diocese. Some said that he had mellowed, once free from managing the denizens of Craggy Island. But he was still noticeable for his irascibility. And there had been that incident where Mrs McCarthy had kicked Len up the arse after losing a bet with Mrs Doyle.

"You must be wondering how I have acquired a Church of England building? I can assure you, Bishop Brennan..."

"No, no, no. I know all about the poker game with "Stinker" Pinker. Well done. Just a shame the members of the Ordinariate are so poor at cards. And the way you've managed to return an entire English village to the true Church is incredible."

"No, I understand that, Brown. Cutbacks in the BBC costume department."

"Well, a maniple would certainty be a cutback on a stole."

"I'll do the jokes, Brown. You stick to looking prim and offering to hear confessions."

"Then it must be the Braithwaite funeral? I'm afraid I was away, and..."

"All understood. Just never let Dougal..."

"Of course, Bishop Brennan. So what is your problem? Is it my scattering ashes, performing exorcisms from the wrong books or using the wrong words for confession? Or when I accidentally wandered across the diocesan border into Midsomer?"

"Not at all, Brown. All understandable in a badly produced pastiche of a series of books that were written by someone who loved and understood Mother Church. But you're a Brummie. Who thought that was a good idea? And, more to the point, you're over 6 feet tall. Chesterton clearly said you were short and portly."

Father Brown shrugged, and look confused. Walking through the 13th century vestry doorway once again he banged his head.

Why did that keep happening?