Stiff Upper Lip



We Brits
excretory hygiene
over finding food to spoon between our
perhaps forgetting that if nothing
goes in one end, the other end
tends to become

To clarify; toilet rolls
were the first target of panic buyers.

Only when the bits that we hide
between butt-cheeks and thighs were ensured
of a year’s supply of snowy wipes
did we think to mind
Shoppers scraped up
every scrap of Potato, Pasta, Paracetamol… and
— being a nation of animal lovers —
Purina Pet Phood.
By the time I set out
for my fresh supply of modest gruel
the shelves were stripped of Quorn, Quark
and Quail’s Eggs.

(Note the poetic liberty; to my knowledge,
Lidl shops don’t stock Quails eggs)

fortunately, there were lots of bouquets
since we were warned away from floral displays
on UK’s flayed Mothers’ Day.

Last night, my
tulip bourguignon was a flop.
The vase-water gravy might have been
a grave mistake. I won’t go wrong with tonight’s recipe;
chrysanthemum bolognese lightly sprinkled
with kibbled gypsophila.

©Jane Paterson Basil

16 thoughts on “Stiff Upper Lip

  1. Totally charming! Leave it to you to turn this thing into genuine art.

    By the way, Jane, play it safe! If you’re still working, be certain to walk through an automatic car wash both before and after work. Don’t take needless risks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Paul! It’s getting heavy in the UK. Last night Boris announced that we mustn’t go outside – except for one daily exercise – unless it’s essential, and meetings of more than two people (even outside) are banned unless they are family members from the same household. The new measures will be enforced by the police. All weddings and baptisms are cancelled, but funerals will go ahead. A sense of humour has become essential for survival.

      But the air is cleaner.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane, despite the subject matter, your take is delightful. Over here it is much the same. The government has now imposed strong restrictions. We are strongly encouraged to stay home unless urgent matters require stepping out the door. I am self isolating anyway. Hope you and yours are and remain safe and well. I see this morning Boris has tightened restrictions over there. Take care xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Raili. I have a friend with a difficult home life, She’d find it hard to cope if she couldn’t see me, so we will meet up somewhere remote every few days. I’ll call it my daily exercise since we’re allowed to to go out for a walk or a run every day. Other than that, I’m not going anywhere. You keep doing what you’re doing… live long and prosper. xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Jane, being here down at the bottom end of the world …. it seems like the white rolls of paper must be a virus deterrent, as all the garages I walk pass are full to the ‘brim’… on flowers is a great idea Jane… my gardens in full bloom…. and I’ve plenty of spices to ‘beef’ them up with…… here’s my positive poem … that I’ve not published yet !! … seems poems are not on the menu, while people are ‘spending’ so much time eating toilet paper… and my words would be wasted during their selfish meal-times..

    Blossom Over Jerusalem

    I write about the purple moon
    That eats the night with a silver spoon
    I write about the yellow sun
    That bathes our day with gold by the ton
    I hear the bird’s morning songs
    They caress the world’s souls, right or wrong
    I hear the animals’ mighty roars
    They remind us of the great outdoors
    I see the blue sky above
    Where life’s white doves carry our love
    I see the green pastures, beyond Jerusalem
    Where life’s fruit trees blush with blossom

    … Take care…stay well….xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s lovely, Ivor. A happy poem to get my mind off all the weirdness.

      I didn’t know the toilet roll addiction had swept the whole world. I’m torn between wishing I’d bought shares, and wondering what will happen to all those who overdose on them when our health services become overstretched.

      Why? Why toilet rolls? Why not avocados or novels?

      While I was writing this I suddenly realised – we were told to cough and sneeze into tissues, and it’s cheaper than the stuff that’s designed for the nose. I’m so slow to catch on sometimes…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe the toilet roll t-‘issue’ is a giant conspiracy to make us all laugh !!…I’m glad my poem made you smile… no tissues required….
        my poem is quite an epic…almost biblical in a way…xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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