Bradgate Bridge Club
Friendly bridge for all
Lockdown Laureate

Farewell to the Muse

A Laureate’s life is not of ease

It’s one of trying hard to please

Creating many a clever ditty

Precise & rhythmic - also witty.


It’s labour of the subtlest kind

A work-out for the agile mind:

Occasionally it takes some time

To carve & hone a single line.


To those of you who’ve taken time

To praise my little lockdown rhymes

My thanks - especially those who say

My words have brightened up their day.


But ‘road maps’ call, we venture on:

The ‘stay home’ days are nearly done

As we start planning happy days

When we’ll resume our previous ways.


So now our freedom is in sight

Your Laureate will bid goodnight:

Like Prospero my magic’s done -

Good luck in ‘real life’ everyone!

Jenny Kinton - Lockdown Laureate 29 March 2021



Remember all the joys in life

Before the virus came?

The good times ended suddenly

Now nothing is the same.

Remember people’s mouths & lips? 

In masks they are unseen:

It’s sad & strange to meet outside

And smile behind a screen.

Remember those spontaneous hugs,

Warm handclasps with a friend?

Then in came social distancing -

All closeness had to end.

Remember how we loved ‘real’ bridge -

The social side, the fun?

An online game’s impersonal when

You don’t meet anyone.

Remember all those heady days

Of parties, dances, games -

Those festivals & cruises? Will

Such pleasures come again?

Remember family gatherings -

Wild grandkids ‘in your face’?

But now their absence is a void -

An aching emptiness.

Remember - everything must pass!

And now we have our dreams

Of liquid liberation by -

Not gin! - the new vaccines;

For these elixirs will transform -

Our lives will be re-set:

Long, lonely lockdown months become

A nightmare to forget.

Jenny Kinton (silebypoet) -  2 March 2021



Oh, life was sweet for oldies when

We could come out to play:

A game of bridge is such great fun -

The highlight of the day!

Sometimes I’ll bid quite brilliantly

Pull off a masterstroke -

How often Joe will spoil it all

And suddenly revoke!

The game is serious for Flo:

 She’s always very keen -

But not too sure, these latter days,

If she should trump that Queen.

We’ll have a whispered gossip next

 About Fay:  “Silly dress!

She used to be a hairdresser -

Her own is such a mess!”

It’s clear that Cyril isn’t well:

His bad leg’s very sore;

But no one in the Club will let

Sly Cyril do the score.

“You should have opened One No Trump!”

This comes from bossy Pat.

She used to be a schoolteacher -

And often tells us that!

When stern-faced Annie gets the chance

She’ll always have a moan;

She’s strict on sticking to the rules

But whoops - there goes her phone!

There’s smelly Sam and desperate Dan,

Whose hearing-aid will hiss,

And all these funny characters

Are people that I’ll miss.

Pass on the boards, pack up the cards, 

Tuck tablecloths away

And hope it’s true we’ll meet again

Some future sunny day.

Farewell the joys of yesteryear,

I see them shining plain:

Those golden afternoons of bridge -

When will they come again?

Jenny Kinton (silebypoet)



Bridge user-names are sometimes strange –

I love them! BBO

Has some amusing ones to note:

There’s ‘Santaclaws’ - Ho! Ho!


Our parents chose our ‘real’ names,

Now we can have a go -

What idiot would then decide

To be ’oldwiggypo’?


I like the strong ‘Invincible’

It shows some confidence,

But ‘Foggyest’ suggests to me

This player may be dense!


Some show a sporting interest, like

‘MU4ever’ but

I think an ancient barber may

Have named himself ‘LastCut’.


Some are politically-aware:

‘DumpTrump’ I used to see;

And does a politician sell

Himself ‘OKMP’?


Sweet ‘DaisyDaisy’ is a name

To brighten up the day,

But ‘cloudy2020’? - no,

That year should go away!


I played against a ‘Funnygirl’

(She didn’t make me smile)

But ‘Sunshine10’ made me feel warm

And happy for a while.


I like to picture who would choose

A name like ‘sillyduck’

And what about the player who

Now brands himself ‘BigBuck’?


Wise Shakespeare knows what matters most:

He asks “What’s in a name?”*

Yes, if I stopped these foolish thoughts

I might improve my game!

(*Reference - Shakespeare, William: Romeo & Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2)

Jenny Kinton (silebypoet)



At first, when playing bridge online
I didn’t find it fun;
Let’s face it, games just aren’t the same
We don’t meet anyone!
But now I find not seeing folk
Reduces lots of tension.
In many, sometimes comic, ways
It adds a new dimension.
What do we wear? Are we still smart?
I’ve turned into a slob;
Old, shapeless clothes, no makeup on
An unattractive blob!
I try to picture players’ rooms
Is decor dull, or red?
You’d not have dreamt one frosty day
I played tucked up in bed!

Last week, when Partner’s play was odd -
Wild bids instead of Pass -
I messaged “Everything OK?”
“Fine - on my third big glass”.

My messaging is so polite:
“W D!” when we go down –
Opponents can’t see on my face
I have a murderous frown!

A great advantage of online -
I can express I care.
We make a slam: footballer-like
My fists are in the air!
One can call out the rudest things
Because no one can hear;
“Oh, Partner, why bid 3NT? -
Four tricks is nowhere near!”

And yesterday, when Partner paused,
I yelled out “Pass! Pass! Pass!”
My anxious husband then rushed in -
He thought I’d shouted “Gas!”

Jenny Kinton (silebypoet) - January 2021


In the early days of Bradgate moving its bridge on-line, Peter Finch and Jenny Kinton signed into the Bradenton Bridge Club 2pm session, not the Bradgate one.  Jenny (username "sileby-poet") memorialised the experience in verse:

Bridge High-Fliers

>> We thought we’d cracked this online bridge, and managed it with ease.

>> Last week we played at Bradgate:  “Play again?” “Yes please!”


>> This week we registered our names  and waited to begin:

>> We’d done quite well last time, we thought - perhaps this week a win!


>> The game began: it seemed quite strange, the bidding was bizarre.

>> There wasn’t the same ‘feel’ at all. We were not ‘up to par’.


>> Then things got worse.  We struggled on, with very muddled heads; 

>> When partner thought a bit too long, Opponent messaged ‘zzzzzzzs’!


>> When it was over we found out - a long way we had gone

>> And played in Florida, US - the club’s called Bradenton!


>> To try a game another week, we don’t know if we dare

>> And partner dreads a mighty bill  to cover our air-fare!

Jenny Kinton (silebypoet)