In Bed with the Cat's Pyjamas by Dick Dixon and Reine Mazoyer

Following the three earlier volumes of humorous (we hope) or philosophical (perhaps) poetry, it seems that 'In Bed with the Cats' Pyjamas' has arrived on our doorstep, miaowing plaintively for milk and cookies. Today's cats it seems have moved beyond the simple 'fish stage'. It was a sensible evolutionary move, attuning them more neatly with the 21st century, now that cookies are readily available. The poem having a similar name does refer to the wisdom of the bewhiskered ones, and also reveals the true reason why their pyjamas are always pink.

We have here a book containing 33 poems, mostly rhyming in the 'old style', about all manner of situations that can be encountered in today's, and also yesterday's decidedly strange life. It would not be fair to let the past escape our attention so easily, after all!  Each poem is accompanied by drawing in brilliant full colour by the well-known French artist Reine Mazoyer. These drawings really do lift the whole book into a new world of creation, as I'm sure you will agree.

Just for a few examples –  cats may have pink pyjamas, but do you know whether bees actually have knees?  We investigate, and invite you to join us. Have you heard of the vicar of Stiffkey, and of how he met his sad end at the hands, or perhaps paws, of a lion? Did you realise that you can safely lock up your vacuum cleaner and relax, instead of having to tackle awkward tasks, including the stairs of course.

All these, and many, many more urgent questions are addressed squarely, or perhaps roundly, on the nose. Solutions it is true are few, but hey – it was fun trying to find them!

We wish you a pleasant reading experience as you follow our  adventures into the odd world that is, or possibly was, or even will be – here with us.

The Curse of the Square Crow
The Curse of the Square Crow - back cover

In this book of illustrated humorous verse, we take up the challenge of throwing some light on a few possibly puzzling phenomena encountered in real life, though how much light is hard to say. We must hope that others will in the future improve upon our efforts. For example, why do dogs so often delight in snapping wasps out of the air? How hungry can they be? The reason we have arrived at will astound you.


There again, what is a completely novel way to win a cooking competition – even if you can't cook? It's all here. Have you thought about handbags recently? Why are they so often made from crocodile hide? We wonder about this. Apart from all this, would you like to find a way to make the summer longer and the winter shorter? Thought so! We show how to do it. There are so many other subjects, including advice on how best to cheer up an octopus that has been insulted, and an investigation on alternative meanings of various sayings, such as: 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'. This one could be a real lifesaver! A question uppermost in many people's minds is whether reincarnation is a real possibility. We have made some small progress here perhaps. All these things and many more are considered, but the book is not intended primarily for children.


All humans would benefit in some way from the homespun wisdom that is on offer here, and if their English is not as good as their French, there are explanations of the poems in French as well, though the poems are in English of course. In all, there are 33 poems in rhyming verse, each with an excellent illustration in full colour by Reine Mazoyer

Rhymes of the Newfangled Mariner

Following 'Rhymes for No Reason', his first exploration into the wilds of humorous nonsense poetry, Dick Dixon has now embarked on a new journey with 'Rhymes of the Newfangled Mariner'. There is little evidence of actual seafaring in this new volume, it must be said, and while it may be a comfort to have it handy on a long voyage, the book will not actually assist much in the process of dead-reckoning. However, there are other advantages.

Contained within are over thirty rhyming poems about all manner of unusual subjects, including the ticklish problem of what to do if the elephant in your room goes missing, and also of course how to handle the discovery of waking in a cooking pot while gradually becoming someone else's lunch. Such problems are not commonplace, and neither is the unnerving discovery that your bathtub, full of hot water and of course your good self, has suddenly decided to convert its legs into a working version in order to go on a walk around town.

Each poem is illustrated in full and glorious colour by the well-known French artist Reine Mazoyer, who, having survived the last journey, agreed to join in.

I think you will agree that she has made a brilliant contribution.

We do hope you will enjoy your voyage with us.

Rhymes for No Reason

Rhymes for no Reason' is a little book of poems suitable for anyone between 12 and 92. The poems, of which there are thirty or so, are intended to take your mind off the horrors of this world for a few moments and introduce a space in your day where you can unwind and be amused, rather than have to weep with the stress of modern existence! The subject matter ranges over many different areas and styles of poetry. You will be able to meet a tree which grows upside down, able to survive by drawing unsuspecting passers-by towards its dark web of branches, a lady who has a rather surprising encounter with a hot curry, another lady who winds up in a desert area of Spain cooking huge animals with the aid of handlebars... and many other rather unusual situations. You will find vegetarianism more attractive after this! Each poem is accompanied by a striking and rather beautiful illustration in full colour, which makes this book rather unusual I think. 'Rhymes for no Reason' would make the perfect present for the person who has everything else! By the way, for those who wish to polish up their French, there is at the back a translation of the essentials of each poem into French, thoughtfully provided by the illustrator, who is the French artist Reine Mazoyer.  We do hope you enjoy our book.