What is the use of our being told that we live in a democracy if we want fountains and have no fountains?

By all means
let us have a policy
of full employment,
increased production,
no gap between exports and imports,
social security,
a balanced This
and a planned That,

but let us also
have fountains –

more and more fountains –
higher and higher fountains –
fountains like wine,
like blue and green fire,
fountains like diamonds –

and rainbows
in every square.

Taken from J B Priestly’s book Delight, first published in 1949. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

In Other News

I always go
for the beheading option
when I’ve calmed down
that it’s not possible
in a free market economy

Anyway how are you?

I’ve been writing
even tweeted the National Gallery

All I need now is a job,
a relationship
and a cup of tea (not
in that order)

Taken from a friend’s email, 26 September 2012. Some words have been omitted between ‘National Gallery’ and ‘All I need’. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.


the fact
for 3.8 billion years,
not one
of your pertinent ancestors
was squashed,
stuck fast,
untimely wounded
or otherwise deflected
from its life’s
of delivering a
of genetic material
to the right partner
at the right moment
to perpetuate
the only
of hereditary combinations
that could result –
and all too briefly –
in you.

Taken from Bill Bryson’s book A Short History of Nearly Everything (2003). Several words have been omitted between “3.8 billion years” and “not one”. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

What Pocket Money Was Invented For

29 x glider planes
4 x toxic slime
9 x glitter cowboy hats
30 x flashing dinosaurs
20 x aeroplane bouncy balls
15 x animal bouncy balls (seals etc)
10 x squeaky smiley face yellow things
9 x gigglesticks
1 x box of rings
5 x large flower hair bobbles
1 x box of flashing frog rings
7 x stretchy lizards
5 x stretchy snakes
7 x stretchy frogs
3 x dinosaur skeletons
6 x toxic toilets
4 x tool kits
box of eyepatch + moustach + loopy lou’s
box of turkey and eggs (24)
box of mouse waterballs (12)
box of roll tongue animals (28)
4 x Dr Who pinballs
Stretchy men
Stretchy aliens
10 wooden floppy type animals
5 wooden animal rulers
10 ‘fly back’ gliders
10 spider man keyrings

A stock list from a novelty stall, picked up while tidying up from school summer fair in Macclesfield, 2012. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.

Slip in their veins

I started as a boy
straight from school
in nineteen fifty
and I enjoyed my
twenty five years here.

It was almost like
a home from home, really.

It was always said
that potters had
in their veins
instead of blood.

That’s what we were.
We were potters.

Terry Abbotts, former Royal Doulton worker, interview in the BBC4 programme Ceramics: A Fragile History. The Age of Wedgwood, first broadcast 17th October 2011. Submitted by Ailsa Holland.