Tag Archives: Summer

What Spring Wants

So you’ve trudged through

the days of absent snow

Feeling close to the feeling

of closing down for good


When you chance upon

a snowdrop clump

Heads bowed in wind-blown



And you greet it as a sycophant

Over-praising its wise beauty

Egged on by your relief

the seasons might re-cycle after all


Inhale, as bluebell forests

lay down their modest promise

in hope the gnomes’ wet mouths

will moisturize the earth


In every park the chintzy blooms

(outliving the doom of staring blank into a soul that sees no flowers)

flirt into hearts

Floaty petals coasting


Brash Summer brings with Carnival

the blight of white-toothed smiles

Bright show-time lights

for the Optimist


While Spring shrinks shy

of admiration

Daffodils a pound a bunch

For the tired, Resurrection


At her patron saint Diana

she faintly winks

Her full skirts starched by

Winter’s vital misery


Boast and Brag are not her story

Just the reflected glory

of your candyfloss gratitude;

recognition of your rescue


More than crocus-focused worship

Spring’s dry desire is

The abject homily

of your blossoming









Filed under Mumbo Life, Mumbo poems

NHS Underhaul

God Bless Barack Obama, a misguided but well-meaning man.

High-quality healthcare for all does indeed sound appealing, along with those special garden centres that give away money tree seeds.

Here in the UK we’ve been letting every Tom, Dick and Harry get ill for free for over 60 years and what has been the result?

They’re doing it all over the place, that’s what.

This Summer large swathes of the British population supposedly chose a ‘staycation’ over a trip abroad.

In fact, many of them were self-harming at home awaiting transferral to the cosy units of London hospitals; there are wings of St. Mary’s, Paddington that are nicer than most coastal holiday resorts. (And the shepherds pie gets delivered to your bed with a glass of squash.)

The problem is not that the NHS is underachieving, it’s that it’s too good.

And this is not the only strain on resources.

There are people clogging it up: patients who aren’t really ill and doctors who are crap.

Neither Simon Cowell’s salary nor an extra tuppence tax on Twiglets from the population at large could change this.

The way forward is a two-tier health system designed to service a two-tier customer base that acts as a deterrent to anyone considering getting ill; deeply segregated, thoroughly unattractive healthcare available to whoever dares use it; a British medical apartheid underpinned by fear.

The Proposal: Stage 1

This involves a simple filtration process at the demand end of the spectrum, as follows:

[Part 1: Medical professionals]

After 2 years of practice a G.P would be required to complete the following mini-survey (surgeons are exempt because there’s not enough of them to get picky about).

1. A patient comes to you looking depressed. Do you:

a.) Note symptoms, explore possible causes and consider counseling referral.

b.) Give them a packet of chocolate buttons (special edition white ones that look a bit pharmaceutical).

2. You are tired at the end of the week and are required to administer important medication to a critically ill patient. Do you:

a.) Summon a replacement doctor or ensure another medically qualified person is present to oversee your performance.

b.) Close your eyes and shoot ’em up humming ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM.

3. A patient comes to you presenting a set of symptoms you are unfamiliar with. Do you:

a.) Do some research/ seek a second opinion.

b.) Nod knowingly and say, ‘There’s a lot of this going around’.

c.) Assume its meningitis and admit them to hospital immediately.*

(* You are American and doing the wrong survey)

4. You kill a patient by mistake. Do you:

a.) Care

b.) Not care

Mostly A’s: You’ll do.

Mostly B’s: You’re a crap doctor.

Equal A’s and B’s: Answer the decider question below.

5. You kill a patient on purpose. Is it because you are:

a.) Kind and compassionate.

b.) Crap and evil.

[Part 2: Potential patients]

On the day a U.K citizen turns 18 they would be required to complete the following mini-survey.

1.) Are you lonely/old/a parent of a young child?

a.) No

b.) Yes

2.) Do you think most illnesses you have are fatal?

a.) No

b.) Yes, how did you know that? You’ve seen something haven’t you? Is it on my brain? Will it grow really big? How long have I got?

3.) Do you like the sound of your own voice covering every angle of a complaint, even if there are 10 other people in the waiting room who also have lives, for crying out loud?

a.) No

b.) Yes

4.) Do you like the sound of the doctor’s voice covering every angle of a complaint, even if there are 10 other people in the waiting room who also have lives, for crying out loud?

a.) No

b.) Yes

Mostly A’s: You may have a pain in your arse.

Mostly B’s: You are a pain in the arse.

Equal A’s and B’s: Answer the decider question below.

5.) If you were in hospital how many noisy and demanding relatives would come to visit you?

a.) Not many, I’m a hermit.

b.) Hundreds, I am the last of 12 children in a tight-knit, opinionated family.

(Refuseniks of the proposal would receive a courtesy call once every 10 years because these are the people who would not ring the doctor even if they were dead.)

The Proposal: Stage 2

This involves a sabotaging process at the supply end of the healthcare spectrum, as follows.

1. The conversion of 50% of all hospitals into health clubs that sell only carrots and wheatgrass shots at the canteen.

2. All surviving NHS establishments to be ‘made-under’. ie. stripped of wall decorations, magazines, non-essential and most essential medical supplies.

[Note: the prison service have a better idea but the poorer Eastern Bloc countries nail it.]

3. Max Clifford to be retained to seed negative NHS press through all media, with the goal of achieving at least a 20 % increase in the ‘I was left in a corridor without water for 2 hours’ stories and a 20% decrease in ‘I couldn’t fault my care’ ones.

The Manifesto

A healthcare system rendered efficient by the prioritising of critical over bogus ill health. To be achieved by sidelining whingers and incompetents and incentivising the remainder to value prevention over cure by impoverishing the treatment environment.

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Filed under Mumbo Life, Mumbo Obsessions, Uncategorized

The Sun is Nicole Kidman

The sun has been shining on this Fair Isle and is making fools of us all.

The people of Great Britain owe their only redeeming feature to bad weather: namely, their recognition that life is a repulsive struggle interspersed with moments of tragedy.

Driven indoors by grey skies and the everlasting Why? they watch terrifying documentaries or write complaints letters to John Lewis.

They make up sick jokes and think of sarcastic things to say to the next person who tries to be friendly.

They prepare bile for the in-laws.

But the moment a streak of sun peeps through, that goes out the window and they think they have a shot at happiness.

Out come the cheap sunglasses and primary colour shorts faster than you can flush a packet of St-John’s Wort down the toilet.

Off come the car roof-tops, on slams the Fresh Bloody Prince singing ‘Summertime’ and it’s all softball in the park and fizzy drinks.

We become a Gap ad.

The sun is a great big ball of energy. It’s on the look-out to zap any competition.

So although people think they do more in the Summer (as the nights are longer and they are skinnier) they are, in fact, lazier than ever.

Sure, they get out and about loafing around on grass, rustling newspapers and looking daft outside Riverside pubs.

Yes, they are skinnier because even the most defiant of the large sisterhood don’t want to wear opaque tights down the lido and it’s hard to eat bread pudding when it’s 25 degrees.

But essentially the life-blood is being sucked out of their sweaty bodies, to be replaced with grinning stupidity.

Buying up festival tickets like it’s a privilege to stand in a field listening to studio-produced bands trying to warble out their hits through beer spittle.

Stoking up rusty garden grills; dusting down out-of-date peasant blouses; hysterically bundling into cars and charging down to Cornwall with nasty picnic blankets.

So hear this, people:

Stay indoors! You don’t belong out there. The sun is not your friend.

It is an A-list celebrity at your barbeque party.

It has turned up to laugh at you, intending to take the best you’ve got and then leave early.

It knows you are a wannabe, who can’t even look it in the eye.

Stand in its glow and you will look red and bloated.

It only likes Australians.

The sun is Nicole Kidman.

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Filed under Mumbo Life