Mere variation on the theme

Of what we’ve seen before

Promises made and made again

From the stage or hustings floor

While I’m sure they are sincere in their intent

They will soon forget it all if to Number Ten they’re sent

Why should I find myself – so cynical too this degree

Just check the record of the past ten years

And I’m sure that you’ll agree


River Festival ’22

image: explorebedford

Assembled by the river

Summer to celebrate

Dragon boats and food stalls

A tremendous whole-town fete

Market vendors plying their trade

And sunshine human bait

To draw the crowds to the banks

Revenue to generate


Bedford River Festival

The Unthinkable

It is becoming a crisis. Migrants are landing willy-nilly on beaches across the east and southeast of Britain. There also seems to be no concerted effort made to stem the flow of their arrival. In some areas the newcomers are beginning to outnumber and even displace the local population, and you can hear their unfamiliar language being spoken everywhere. I am afraid our culture will soon be changed forever* if we don’t do something about all these Anglo-Saxons.


*450 AD


Summertime has come again

And holidays are around the bend

Car journeys and day trips will increase

And with them one question will not cease

For from the backseat you will hear

“Are we there yet; is it near?”

You might respond and say “soon,”

But it is a reply to which they’re immune

So give it but five minutes more

And the same question will be in store


Conspiracy Theorists Unite

When roads melt and farm fields bake

There will always be someone who will claim its fake

For them everything is a government plan

To control the citizenry, every woman and man

I find it odd that they cannot see

What is right in front of them – obviously

And yet they will conspiracy claim

Leaving their bugbears all the blame


Broken Arrow

The conflict started as a regional affair along the border of the Beta Worlds. Before long though, outposts were beginning to be attacked across the entire frontier.

The repairs facility, Arrow One was one such outpost. After a month of intermittent attacks, the station commander, Major Jonas Sedgefield ordered that a lottery be held to determine who would be able to leave and seek refuge off-world and who would have to stay and defend what was left of the facility and to facilitate the escape of the others.

The remaining resources were only adequate for twenty defenders.  Major Sedgefield would remain, of course.  Trooper Filip Dario and Private John Smelling volunteered to remain as well.   The other sixteen were chosen by drawing tickets bearing red dots.  Among these “Dotties,” were Corporal Angela Hess, and Privates Freda Olsen and Dwight Carling from the Maintenance Division.  None of the three were “frontline” types, but they new the facility better than anyone.  Besides, as Hess put it, “fair is fair,” when accepting that she drew a red dot.

The defenders put up an incredible covering fire as the three escape vessels made their left offs.  One was brought down almost immediately but the other two were able to clear the planet and the alien scout ship orbiting nearby.

“What should we do now?” Private Tim Marvin, one of the Dotties asked.

“Hold your position,” Acting Sergeant Dario said.

“There is something moving out there,” Marvin observed.

“Keep an eye on it, but don’t waste ammunition shooting at shadows.”

After ten minutes the shadowy movement emitted a six-flash sequence.

“Did you see that?” Marvin asked. “Small red flashes.”

“I saw it too, Private Olsen,” declared.

“There it is again,” Marvin said, pointing it out to Dario.

Dario launched a flare over the position, and it became clear that the flash was being made by two humanoid beings.  One of which started to wave her arms seeking recognition.

Dario ordered his team to be prepared for anything, and then motioned for the individuals to approach.  As the pair began to approach, they drew fire from beyond the perimeter. 

“Covering fire,” Dario ordered.

A moment later Nurse Lieutenant Jilly Anderson, and Trooper Jamil Ali slid into Dario’s forward position.

“We were on the shuttle,” Anderson said.  “I don’t know if there were any other survivors.  We we lucky to get out, and even luckier to get past the ‘Lizards’.  

“We could hear them finishing off the injured,” Ali piped in.

“I don’t suppose ‘welcome home’ is appropriate,” Dario said.  “Ma’am, I guess since you’re back we should get you to Major Sedgefield.”

And thus, the Siege of Arrow Station begun.