I must go down to the kitchen again,

To the lonely stove and the fridge;

And all I\’ll eat is a slice of toast.

Or maybe a rasher or two…


A couple of eggs, a tin of beans,

A Cornish sausage or three,

And mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding, fried bread

And bubble-n-squeak from last night.


We need coffee and tea and freshly-squeezed juice,

(Vodka to pep up the juice)

I want ketchup, HP and Worcestershire sauce,

Marmelade and… oh yes. The toast.


Shall I wake up the others or eat it myself?

No. Today they can all lie in.


A triumph of group poetry, I feel – we had a great time at the Poetry of Food evening on Friday. Many thanks to all who turned up, ate cake and made it such fun.

Ranking Fever

Last night I entered a pub quiz with some friends and thoroughly enjoyed myself – it was part of Penryn Week Celebrations. On Friday 22nd July I\’ll be doing my own event for Penryn Week – a literary evening about The Poetry of Food at which I\’ll be reading poems from my new book \”The Poetry Diet.\”
It was the quiz that really interested me. Here\’s a question for everyone. When I was young (back in the late Cretaceous period), competition was quickly going out of fashion. We went from being ranked in classrooms (first, second, last) to not even being officially streamed. Sports day became a points exercise with no overall winners – although everyone knew who was best. Even prize day turned into something else – just as long and boring but with no prizes.
This was because the fashionable socialism of the day held that anything elitist was wrong and wicked and all must be equal no matter what. Also that children were easily traumatised by coming last in a class and if no one could be allowed to come last, it followed that no one should come first either.
The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail ran regular snorticles* about how banning competition in school would lead to woe, destruction and the end of Life As We Know It.
Since then a couple of decades… er…. some time has passed. The end of the world has not come, I notice. However it seems that there is now an absolute obsession about competition and ranking and who\’s best and celebrity. The effect of banning elitism and competition in school has been horrors like the X Factor and a huge quiz-show industry. So another predictable own-goal there.
And I think pub quizzes are part of that ranking fever, in a small way. The Arts Alive Penryn team came third. No, that\’s fine. It\’s OK. The better team won. Only 6 points in it, mind you, but…

* A Snorticle. Any opinion article in which the writer can almost be heard to snort. Also known as a \”why-oh-why\” piece [Finney Lexical Expansion Service]