“Lament from a mere female”

We give our Dinner parties

Then sit back at at our ease

With light conversation

Over coffee cups and cheese

But we’ve painfully discovered

(It started long ago)

That the boys are talking shop again

Now off they go!

So at last we’ve got together

And this is what we’ve learned,

So if you are the guilty ones,

Be Warned ;

There’s corrosion in the Tubulars

There’s solids in the Feed:

There’s every kind of Planning

For each Department’s need:

There’s no steam in the Boilers

The belts are running slack –

The Platformer’s come down again

There’s £’s going up the Stack.

The So2’s gone crazy

(It’s worked for 2 whole days ! )

The Crude Distillation has

Gin in its Bubble Trays

The Technical Backroom Boys

Are feeling rather grand

They’ve discovered, turning taps on,

They have water without sand,

The Workshop’s at a standstill –

(They are a lot of mugs

They’ve machines by the dozen

But haven’t any plugs) –

The Chloride Plants are failing

They’ve tied them up with string

In a last valiant effort

To keep the bottoms in

The Autofiner’s coming up

‘Most of the day from now’

For after months of research

They finally know how -

But they’ve detailed an Army

To stand around the place

And rescue the pieces

When they fly off into space.

The office boys  aren’t busy

The Estimates are read,

And everyone’s Account

Has a picture drawn in RED

They all feel rather dreary –

‘ Tisn’t worth their going in –

The trouble, we’ve discovered,

Is – the blokes are masculine

And so we’ve told our story

We regret, a trifle blue

We don’t believe a word of it – Do you?


Ivy Johnson  Little Aden Christmas 1954