All The Way Back From Yvignac!

September 20, 2017 12:01am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 18 Comments

Yvignac, Brittany

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

I’m back from my little junket Francais. Despite the fact that Ryanair have hit the news headlines by cancelling pretty much all of their flights from everywhere with an estimated 17 million pound compensation hand out, they didn’t stop mine. Selfish.


Du Pain, Du Vin, Du Kouign Amann

As I sipped on a rather pleasant Burgandy in the sunshine with a kouign amann as company, I read about some bloke being stuck in Bordeaux and how devastated he felt at being stranded. Get a grip, pal. Go to the winery and rejoice. Why do people fail to see the positive angle in a situation?

Just recently, for instance, I read about some English bloke not being able to get back home from Florida ( only a few days into his holiday) when the recent hurricane hit. Apparently, all economy seats back to Blighty were taken. What did he do? Well, let me tell you. Instead of taking the opportunity to fly internally to another state and have an adventure, he paid an extortionate six grand for a first class flight so he could go home. He then goes on the BBC news to complain at the travesty. Honestly…I spat my Weetabix out and shouted at the TV in disbelief. What a numpty. He deserves to be skint. He should be banned from travelling.


Words of Wisdom From Your Art philosopher Behind The Doors

I’m going to be very serious now which I appreciate is somewhat astonishing but happens on occasion. Pay attention to this fleeting advice before I revert to type.

Life is but an adventure, people. Travel makes you richer than anything else. Get out, have fun and don’t die with the music still inside you. Face fears, fiddle ferociously with fun and snatch every opportunity that presents itself. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be far away – it just has to be new. There’s nothing like visiting fresh places and meeting new faces. You never know what you’re going to come across. I have met people in many lands: All genders, all ages and different cultures. Some I have just shared a twenty minute drink with; some just a laugh at a dinner party, or a random conversation about this and that. I’ll never see some of them again but for a moment in life we shared a little bit of joy and laughter.

I’ve made firm, lasting friends too. The kind that would have your back in a bar fight (very useful) and some that I can’t imagine being without.

Well ain’t that just marvellous? Sweet as Cherry Co-la.

Don’t be afraid to take chances and live! In a hundred years nobody is going to care or remember who you are anyway so GO AND BLOODY ENJOY YOURSELF!

Lesson endeth.


Pictures, Huîtres And The Ways of French Suitors.

I like France. Just don’t tell the French I said that. I arrived in Dinard, got collected by fabulous friends and driven out to the beautiful countryside – Fremeur, Yvignac. Peace reigned. The only sound I could hear was the fizzy champagne as it poured into my glass. Music, puhleease!

Night fell and the sky lit up with a gazillion stars because it was proper dark. The only problem being I couldn’t see my arse from my elbow and managed to poke myself in the eye playing ‘how close can I put my hand to my face before I can see it.’ The things you do to entertain yourself in a shabby chic French bedroom when you’re full of bubbles. Heh.

But what a bonnes vacances I had!

I went to La Gacilly (sounds a bit Welsh but thankfully isn’t) where I visited a free, outdoor photography exhibition. I have taken pictures of splendid pictures. Oh yes. Why have a camera and shoot yourself?

I visited the stunning town of Dinan and marvelled over a curly mad moustache that served my Gallette Complete.

I attended a bit of a soiree, like ya do in French France, naturellement. In France the tradition is that when you clink glasses with someone else you must maintain eye contact during the first sip. If you don’t, you won’t have sex for seven years. Obviously, nobody wants to befall that curse which means you end up drinking way too much and forget to blink. Personally, I think undatable, shy French folk have made this shit up in an attempt to bag a ride.

I took a chance stroll round the Vide Grenier which means car boot sale but sounds far more exotic. It’s not. Tat is tat no matter what country it’s in.

Finished up in Cancale, the oyster capital of France. I’m not a fan of oysters. I’ve tried a couple of times but, umm, nope. Like swallowing a ball of cold phlegm. This is why the French insist that they are an aphrodisiac because otherwise nobody in their right mind would eat them. If a French bloke ever takes you out on a date and buys you a plate of oysters, trust me, he’s using it as a prerequisite to your oral abilities.

People with woeful imagination believe that half a dozen of these molluscs are going to magically improve their sex life. Hmm. From a deviant point of view, possibly: “Oh yes darling, after that plate of delicious oysters you made me eat, I’m fair gagging for it. Let me strip down to my silky French lingerie..oops…Mon Dieu! Hold up, lover boy, I think I’m gonna puke…”
Off she goes to bend over the bidet and OOH-LA-LA , there ya have it, a sitting duck. Monsieur désespéré is up the back of her french knickers faster than a frisky ferret.

Zees French, zay are veree sneeekeee.

Anyway, people sit at the seafront here with a plate of oysters and throw their empty shells onto the beach. Novel. I sensibly went for a proper three course meal with beaucoup de ‘vin de necessaire.’ I am smart and not fooled by Frenchified shenanigans.

C’est ca, my petite vol au vents! I will leave you with une petite histoire Francais because stories are so much better in pictures….

Chew On This!

September 13, 2017 3:20pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 16 Comments


Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Today, I thought I’d touch on a bit of Art Philosophy. It’s been a while since I’ve stood back and taken a wondering, quizzical gander at some of the stuff I come across. Very remiss of me and I apologise for not keeping you all abreast of current trends.

The Twig of Hope

As luck would have it I had time to consider some pieces of work on my recent trip to one of Spains finest islands. I ended up in a rather classy joint which I couldn’t find fault with; bar the art.

What is it about hotels and their choice of wall hangings and sculptures? I don’t know who does this job but they’re crap at it. Probably some numpty with a fine arts degree, zero common sense and no taste whatsoever. And yes, I appreciate that art is subjective but that doesn’t stop some of it being shite.

Let’s take a look at the picture in my bedroom:

You may be thinking, ‘That’s not so bad, I’ve seen worse,’ and you’d be right. In essence, it’s quite a banal print; not too fussy that it’s aggravating; not colourful enough to be nauseating and it depicts nature, which, has been proven to physically improve our well being.

However, what does this picture say to you? These twigs with a couple of burnt orange leaves on?

Let me tell you what it says to me: Waiting To Die.


Not conducive to 5* holiday relaxing.


Eeh Bah Gum

But then there was this……

The particular art de joy that I’m about to unveil greeted me at the airport on the way home.
What first crossed my mind cannot be repeated on this tame and respectful blog but my thoughts that followed were this:

Which bright spark of a Thing One thought this a good idea to invent and which mastermind of a Thing Two said, “Yeh – love it. I’ll buy that genius piece of kit. That’s got the future written all over it!”

Chewing gum ball

Speechless? Heh. I empathise. Even I, world renowned Art Philosopher, am lost for words. The most I can muster are the same noises that result from a severe case of gastroenteritis.

Profiter Du Présent

Unfortunately for me, I’m going to have to see it again very shortly because an impromptu invitation came up for me on Saturday.

“Jules, we’re in France, why don’t you come over?”


“Loads of great food, free Champagne, lunch by the sea, late summer walks, middle of the countryside and some much-needed peace. Don’t need to bring a thing except yourself and a pair of jeans.” Verbatim.

I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and to be honest after the week I’ve had I need a break so I’m going to French France tomorrow.

Since my Kindle has broken I will be taking this book to read because I know the French will love it:

1000 years of annoying the french

‘Let’s talk about Joan of Arc and Agincourt! What do you mean, NON?

I will be in Brittany. That’s basically French for Britain. Which means I can do as I please. Taking my lessons from the pub landlord below 😉

Au revoir mes chéris! A bientôt!

Amazonian to Amazon

September 11, 2017 2:37pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 22 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Prolific ‘Off Piste’ Posting!

Look – there are things on my mind and if I don’t get them off my chest *looks at chest – can’t see things – what a weird saying. I digress…* then I can’t concentrate on the million and seventy-seven proper things I’m supposed to be doing. Don’t worry, you’ll still get your Whimsy On A Wednesday – I already have it prepared. THAT’S how good this week has been already…

So, let’s roll.

Back At Ya, Jules!

I hurt my back. Viciously. It happened on Thursday evening. Thus, my whole weekend has been totally ruined by disability and has caused me to fester and over analyse everything in the world. I have answers to every single problem on the planet – Go on – ask me!

On Saturday morning, after realising that paracetamol, rhubarb gin, my heated car seats and walking like a supermodel and yelling at everyone wasn’t working, I made an appointment with Physio The Rapist. Oh yeah.

Out strolled a gigantic, Amazonian woman. Brilliant. She isn’t gonna take any prisoners, is she?

“Juliette,” she snipped. “My room.”

Whoa…steady on chickadee. I ain’t down for those kinds of games…

“How have you hurt your back?” No small talk.

“Dunno. I wouldn’t mind if I’d fallen off an ‘oss or a pub stool or danced myself dizzy in a den of iniquity, but no.  Didn’t do a thing.”

“You must have done something. Explain to me the day it happened.”


“Well, I sat bleeding at a computer as usual. Not at my normal desk though. And I wasn’t on my normal, spinny, I look like a bossman chair, no. I had to sit on a hard dining chair at an angle cos I couldn’t get my laptop on the desk properly.”

She took a sharp intake of breath and shook her head.

“And then I walked for 45 minutes to meet my pal at the pub in ill fitting cowboy boots. Well, they’re not so much ill fitting but they aren’t trainers. Still, they’re the only ones I can get my Texan blade tucked into should I want to peel an apple.”

“It’s the desk. Sitting awkwardly will have caused serious spasms.” I wasn’t going to argue with her because she looked the sort that was well up on spasms. Besides, that meant walking in cowboy boots is OK. Like.

Protects Boots, Nearly Pukes And Leaves

“And the boots. This is still stupid.”

“Err, hold on a minute, love. Nobody calls my boots stupid. They are a work of art with shot pound coins and all manner of memory trinkets.”

“Walking for this length of time in bad footwear will bring you problems.”

GASP! How very dare she call my bewwwts, bad footwear! I nearly strode out but didn’t have a stride in me. Walking at a snail’s pace was effort enough.”

“Lie down. On front.”


“This very bad. Whole of left side is locked. You will need at least four sessions before OK.”

Oh yeah…This equates to ‘I need at least a ton twenty in cash to make it worth my while,’ therapist talk.

“Look, just go for it and let’s see how we go. You can’t hurt me, I like it hard.”

Dear Lord! Pain? I nearly puked through the face hole in the bed onto her gigantic feet.

She made it worse. Evil Dark Queen. Now I really do have to have four goes on the medieval punishment rack in case I break.

Talking of break…

The Kindle Swindle

It took me a long time to embrace the virtues of a Kindle. I’m very much a paper person. I like proper books and refused to be modernised. But then, with all the travelling I am forced to do, sigh, I realised that too many books were taking up essential shoe space in my luggage. Hmm.. I conceded and asked for one for Christmas. If you don’t buy it yourself, it doesn’t count against your principles. Of which I have many, obviously.

I didn’t use the bloody thing for four months. I didn’t like the feel of it. If you’ve got one, you’ll know what I mean. It feels like rough toilet paper. Or something. I ignored it. This resulted in the person who bought it for me, taking it away! Rude!

“Gimme my Kindle.”

“Why? You don’t use it so I am.”

“D’ya want a fight? Fine. I’ll use it. Give it back now before I feed it to you. ” I downloaded 36 books in the space of an hour to make a point. Then I got the usefulness of this funny little tablet.

So, what does it do? It goes and breaks. Well, I’m not sure if it was really the fault of the product or the fact I couldn’t remember which charger ( of the gazillion wires I have in my study) went into it. Having forced a few contenders, it ended up with the real one not going in. Bugger. Broke the port hole.

Amazon – Your Friendly Online Store

I’ve had a few run ins with this place because of the following:

*They once made me pay some Prime membership that I never asked for.
*They once sent me a gavel (oh yes, it’s true) instead of sending me a  Zen singing alarm clock.
*They delivered a whole pile of my books to the mad old bint down the road with the three legged dog and an aversion to strangers wanting their books back.
*Getting hold of them is the most painful experience ever.

Still, they’re the only ones who can mend the Kindle. Well, apart from some dodgy bloke just outside Gatwick airport who reckons he can sort it out but I didn’t like his ballsy tone and the way he dropped his H’s.

The Online Chat.

Amazon Kindle

Thankfully, not the chess chump sort but just as irritating.

After several wasted minutes trying to rip through the site and actually find someone to speak to, I got the chat line. For Kindle.

‘Hi- Kindle’s broke. Can you mend it?’

……. Vehesteen is typing………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………. Bloody Hell, Vehesteen, have you only got one sodding finger? Crack on!

………………. No Joke. Siri has learnt new curse words because of me. Well, because of Vehesteen.

‘Hello. My name is Vehesteen and I am here to help.’


‘Cool. So, my problem – can you sort it?’

…………………. Really?

‘It is very nice to meet you, Jules’

I’d like to say the same but FFS……

‘Right. My Kindle, V, it’s bollocksed.”

‘Would this be the Jules Kindle?’

No – it’s Harold’s – what do you think?

‘Yes, V. That will be the one.”

“Let me just check. Two minutes.


‘Hello, I’m back.’

Hello. I’m pissed off.


‘You have to go to the UK centre we are in US.’

‘But I WAS on the UK site! Why would I come to American Amazon? Besides, I don’t know what bloody time zone you’re in but it’s night – night time there!’

‘The link automatically brings you here, but here is the UK link.”

So help me God.

I had to go through it ALL. AGAIN. This time with Marihinsia who, I believe, didn’t actually have any fingers and probably types with a carrot.

‘Can you give me the Kindle serial number.’

‘Where’s that? Can’t find it.’

‘On the box.’

‘Not got the box. Why would I keep the box?’

‘Go into settings on Kindle and into device info. It will be there. ‘


Kindle battery low. Yeah, yeah I know. That’s cos I can’t charge you because you went and broke. I found it and started to type it in the chat box to Marihinsia.

‘G190 …….’ Sudden Kindle death. Kaput. Fin. ‘Err.. my Kindle just died.’

‘I need this to verify product.’

‘No. No, you don’t, M. I can’t give it to you. Just fix it. You’ll know it’s mine when you get it. I wouldn’t send Harold’s back and pay to get it mended, would I now? I cannot stress enough how close to the edge of violent frustration I am right now. I may self-combust.  Go and get a supervisor or the Kindle man, whatevs, but get me someone who is going to sort this out.’

‘I will be back shortly…………………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………..Maybe in twelve years…….before one of us dies………..or the ice age begins……….and Bruce Jenner is President…………………

I got so annoyed that I stood up very quickly in utter frustration, pulled my already pulled back, dropped my laptop and lost the chat connection.

I never wanted a blasted, stupid, horrible Kindle in the first place.


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