Packed in a Pod

N’allez pas à Petite Pois
quand il pleut et Fait Froid.

Scurrying into Petit Pois from the driving rain and freezing wind, O brought the Winter Weather inside with him. The single flimsy door opened on to proximate tables, whose occupants flashed Glowering Glances at him before O could force the door back into its frame. A server hung O’s soaking anorak over the several coats piled on the few hooks, resembling layers of weeping Shallot Scales.

The square dining room had no discernible heat. It was a temperature not Comfortable Cosy, especially with the often dawdling entry or egress through the door of the inconsiderate. The room had no floor. It was not visible under the Terrace of Tables. The walls had old tiles that Bounced a Brouhaha of screeched laughs and Vying Voices round the room. Dankness, Décor, Din, gave O the sensation of Packed Pullulating Patrons in a Pissoire.

The diner adjacent to O sat obliquely to her table such that one crossed leg continually invaded the Slight Space understood by O. Seated on the banc opposite, P tussled for hip space against the soaked rainwear the adjoining diners had piled on the bench in the No No-man’s land between tables.

Walking along the street afterwards, O tried to recall the almost Forgotten Food, its presentation perhaps, its taste maybe. O’s anorak – now wetted on its inside as well as soaked on the out – was proving too much of a Damp Distraction. As had been the Alienating Ambience of Petit Pois on this Nasty Night.

(Petit Pois, Brighton)


An Oasis with Mirage Moments

Oasis Park & SPA, Lloret de Mar, Spain.

Oasis Park & SPA wins a modest hurrah.
Mostly a shining star, these next were crepuscular.

Pool from Lobby Bar verandah.

Oasis Park & SPA had beds quite singular,
disconcertingly thin, they were hard to stay in.
Even for one who’s svelte there’s need for a seatbelt,
or pillows on the floor to catch one’s slightest yaw.

I am sitting after midday on the bedspread in our bedroom. The cover is quaintly bygone but the bed is patently lie-straight-upon. A topological taunt for two. To get them side by side means Continue reading “An Oasis with Mirage Moments”

Breakfast with Rainbows

Sat on a small headland, ringed by coastal path,
this hotel is an icing cascade, tier on tier.
Floor five for reception (at street level behind),
down to one’s room where cacti and bare rock appear,
in the passage not the comfortable bedroom.
Great location, kind staff, fine food. Il va sans dire,
a memorable holiday,
in the most favourable way.

Barceló Santiago, tier on tier.

Our room was custom made for Hymir and Hroðr,
not one but two Brobdingnag beds, an arena
of crisp cotton grand enough for Olympic games.
Continue reading “Breakfast with Rainbows”

No Homage to Catalonia Here

In May 1809 Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr with 18,000 troops laid siege to Girona. After enduring disease, famine and privations, the city capitulated in December. Now L’Arcada is recreating for its customers that appalling experience.

As Saint-Cyr took aeons to establish his siege positions, so L’Arcada restaurant’s troops torment new arrivals by being busy elsewhere, though few tables are occupied. They remain empty as the reinforcement diners arrive, wait fruitlessly for orders, then retreat to elsewhere. We were weary but dogged. Our ordering was a staccato exchange of sullen canon. We explained ours would be a joint assault on the shared salad and pizza. Continue reading “No Homage to Catalonia Here”

Catcher in the Fly

Tried on trousers before I bought.
Sat down to test the give and drag,
stood straight to scan not long not short,
used a mirror to view bum sag.
Ran two fingers round the waist band,
pocket depth and place checked by hand.

Our first outing came with a blow,
the zip was short by a good inch.
I am not a big man, but even so,
worming out my cock made me flinch,
prising a walnut from its shell,
with my bladder threatening hell.

Next time I’m in a changing room,
to not constrain my urgent flume,
along with my observation
I will practise urination.

Trouser zips comparison.


Two new machines gave me delirium tremens.
I had to use the fallback – homo sapiens.

Burnham station has had a two-for-one offer –
two new ticket machines instead of the oldie.
The pristine pair had been commissioned just last week.
I am here to collect my Advance Booked tickets.

The right machine is already Out of Service.
The working one has promotions at eye-level
while the virtual keyboard to enter the code
is located at the height of an adult’s groin.

Keycaps are the size of a harvest mouse toenail.
So, to align my fingertip with the right key
I am required to hold a ski-squat posture,
balancing while keying the eight-character code.

Feedback comes as tiny letters, poorly rendered,
lost, like worm-casts in a field of white screen estate.
The old machine displayed at twice this one’s point size.
The new demands a lunge and squint to check input.

All is correct. But the machine rejects my code.
A flash four-line message, something about “not TOC”,
then a … tick-tock … lengthy display saying “Please wait”.
I and two others wait. I sigh. I try again.

Now with reading glasses ready, in the ski-squat,
extra scrutiny of the eight-character code.
Confirm. Get the same flash “… not TOC … Please wait” … tick-tock.
To the ticket office. The clerk, tap-tap. Job done.

The new machine is great for thigh ‘n’ eye workout
and for stretching patience. But not ticket print out.

Burnham rail station ticket machines