International Texas Cowboy Church

October 19, 2016 9:22pm Published by Jules Smith in Satirical Snapshots 24 Comments


Satirical Snapshots bringing you whimsy on a Wednesday (still from across the pond and in Gods’ house)

International Texas Cowboy Church

The prodigal daughter returneth.  Oh yes. The English chapter is back in the house.

I got up at 5.45 am because I was so excited.  ‘Aint nuffin gets me up that early, especially on a Sunday.  Not even the smell of bacon frying in a pan and wafting upstairs.

Pastor R O Murray had e mailed me to say “Come expecting” and “You might get dirty”

See R O likes to play me at my own game.  He’s smart.  Got me all flustered, he did and wondering what was in store….

The only one that could ever reach me

Was a preacher man and all his flock.

Who’d have thought?

I love this place. It makes life “Gooder” and it’s the “Bestest” church in town. International, like I said.

Being good isn’t always easy

No matter how hard I try.

But despite that, the day was nothing but all good and full of so much love and fun I could melt with affection.  I can’t put into words how much Int’l Texas Cowboy Church did for me on Sunday, so instead I decided to make a video. That way I can never forget.

Fort What It’s Worth

October 12, 2016 8:59pm Published by Jules Smith in Satirical Snapshots 45 Comments


Satirical snapshots bringing you whimsy on a wednesday (still from across the pond)

Limey in the badlands

I made it to Forth Worth where I went to The Stockyards. This place has got my name written all over it: cowboys, boots, horses, steers, Honky Tonks, big trucks, steak ’n’ ribs. Cowgirl heaven.




The unconventional cowgirl



That’s me. I got the hat, the bewwwts, the bags, belts, clothes etc. Just two massive problems : I’m scared of cows and horses. And I’m English. This does not fit the bill. Horses I plan to get round because I like them and wish to ride one out into the dusty plains. However, horses and I have the same scatty, highly strung personalities so we set each other on edge. Then I get edgy and leave.

But cows….

What’s your beef?

Cows have a way of looking at you that that is impossible to read. They look neither happy or sad and stare at you with sinister indifference. Very psychopathic. They freak me out and I am right to be alarmed because 47 people a year are killed by cows. Despite this, I sat on this beast in order to overcome my fear. The fact it was chained to a fence is irrelevant as it could have kicked off at any time. Twenty two hundred pounds of steer between my legs. How brave am I?




Meet Big Tex

I’m now back in Houston where I am renting a tiny little one bed condo, perfectly positioned right opposite The Galleria. It’s one of those places that people call “compact and bijou” because people like to convince you that living in a hamster cage is cool. However, the couch is really comfy so when I stay up late it’s only five steps to my bed rather than a long haul upstairs.

Neighbours – everybody needs good neighbours, right?

In this little old complex here I’ve met a few of the neighbours. There’s Betty from across the way looking out for me and some other guy, who’s name I forget because it’s Iranian, I think, and I keep forgetting it. I’ve asked him three times and can’t ask again without looking rude or stupid. Every time I go out he appears near the pool area with a gusty “Hello Jules!”

“ARRR! Oh! Yes Hi, errr…um….hello!” Palpitations.

But then there’s my next door neighbour whom I met yesterday when she came flying out of the front door as I left for the shops. Betty had already warned me that she was “one to watch” and tapped her nose in a knowing way. Very covert, Betty.

Cause and effect

“Ah, so you’re the girl next door!” she boomed, giving me the twice over. But I was one step ahead of the game thanks to Betty.

Chess. My forté.

Princess mode full on. Best accent. Glistening eyes and all smiles. “Oh hello, so lovely to meet you! My name is Jules and I’m from the UK (superiority) *JUST KIDDING!* <—- Waits for the American lynching.
I stuck out my hand and she took it. Good start.

“Well my name is Karma, you know, just like Karma.”

I felt myself prickle. Are you flippin’ kidding me? I’m living next door to Karma. Me. You can’t make this shit up. I feel like I’m in one of my own stories where I am writing my own warped reality.

“Yes, I’m fully aware of Karma. We’ve had some battles.”

“Well if you need anything, I’m right here, waiting.”

“How fortuitous.”

“Have you ever been to the Tasting Room, a block away?” Karma asks.

“No. Do tell.”

“It’s a wine tasting place. Do you know about wine?”

Hell fire. She really is Karma. “Err..have we met?”

“I’ll take you there one night and we can go wine tasting. Give me a knock.”

“K.” Queen under massive attack. Pawns falling all around me. King,trapped. Abort game.

So what do I do? Eh? Is it really wise for me to go necking a whole load of luxury reds with Karma herself? That can only end in tears and most likely mine.

Talking of other random conversations.

People in America talk to you in lifts – AKA Elevators. This does not happen in the UK and thus I am not used to it. Sometimes you might get a nod of the head or even an outlandish “Good morning” from a Brit entering lift, and that’s even crossing the boundaries of lift etiquette.
Not in America. People enter lifts here and immediately say random things to you. Yesterday, in The Galleria, I got in and gave a weak smile and huddled in the lift corner.

“CHOO CHOO” said a strong and fearless business woman next to me. She smelt of Dior and dripped designer. I felt like an unkempt oik.

“Err.. Pardon?”

“CHOO CHOO!” she repeated, more fiercely.

I swear something is wrong with my hearing or I’m not good under lift attack.

“C U T E S H O E S” she said more slowly.


How very random. I took the escalators thereafter.

Fortune in other guises (not Karma)

My Fairy Godparents took me out for cocktails and dinner last night at P F Changs. Of course, at the end I got a fortune cookie. Hmmm. One has to take these things seriously. I stared at it for a while willing it to give me fabulous answers to life. Inspired guidance.

My Fairy godmother opened hers. “Ooh! I’m going to go on an expensive trip!”

“Gimme that. I want that one!” I snatched it from her fingers.

My Godfather opened his. “You will bump into a person that will change your life for the better.”

“SWAP! I want that one. I’ll trade you an expensive trip.”

“NO. Jules, open your own!”

He who dares wins……

“Brilliant. So unless I review the Chinese Dynasty or learn to cook Sichuan of note, I’m doomed.”

“Turn it over! The message is on the other side, silly girl.”

Wow. Awesome sauce. I have good news coming. How ambiguous is that? Well of course I have good news coming right along with bad cos that’s life. I can put my one remaining, crispy plastic indestructible fiver on that possibility.

“I want a different one. Ask the waiter for more. I’ll take the best of three.”

“No, Jules. That’s your message.”


The waiter comes along with the bill. “Did y’all enjoy your food?” he dared to ask.

“Yeah, mate. Right up until you put the kibosh on it with the fortune cookie. Fun sponge.”



Keep her indoors

So tonight they’re taking me where I can’t speak. I’m going to iPic. A posh cinema with recliners, blankets, cocktails, food and personal waiters. That’s me going straight to kip in five minutes.
ZZZZZZZ…..until next time.

Dopey Does Dallas

October 7, 2016 9:50pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 24 Comments


Im going off piste posting already and posting on random days because random things are happening to me that need to be written. Lets call this one “FFS Friday”

Leaving the Big Apple like a fruit loop

I managed to lock myself out of my friends house for three hours dressed only in my pyjamas. When I say pyjamas what I mean is a vest top t-shirt. It could have been worse…I was supposed to be packing to leave but went outside because I saw an unfamiliar animal in the garden and wanted to investigate. The door locked shut behind me. I hate that animal (which I later found was a groundhog) for distracting me. My friend was at work, an hour away and so I couldn’t call for them to let me back in and had to wait on the porch steps until they came home to a British vagabond making the neighbourhood look untidy. I tried to pick the locks with the only tool I had available which was an iPhone sim card remover. I need to practise the art of lock picking because all I did was get the bloody thing jammed in the lock. Yeah…I know, how to keep friends.

You got a plane to catch or something?

Yes, yes I do.

“Well, we have the wrong middle name on your ticket so you need to sort that out at the ticket desk before you can check in.”

“OH MY DAYS!” At this point, I’m already late due to an hours ride to the airport taking one hour, forty five minutes because traffic in New York DOES NOT MOVE.

The ticket desk people are in ‘mañana’ mode. Eventually we get my name changed. But then…

“Your bag is thirteen pounds over, you wanna take some stuff out?”

“And put it where? No. It needs to stay in and I really need to get going…”

“That’ll be $75.”


I managed to get to my plane as it boarded. Phew.

Those little bastards

Mosquitoes. Last time I was in Texas I got bitten to death. At one point I had 22 bites. I lived on Benadryl, cortisone cream (that never worked until I once mistook it for toothpaste and numbed my mouth) and margaritas to relieve the itching. I’m allergic to bites and they swell up to the size of tennis balls and stay there for months. On the plane to Texas I get bitten by one of these blighters THROUGH MY JEANS. I could feel it pulsating like an alien growth under the denim and couldn’t stop scratching it. This forced me to take medicinal alcohol on the morning plane journey to ease my stress. Having a tipsy, pissed off Brit scratching like a flea ridden monkey sitting near you on a plane unnerves American passengers.

This could be Heaven or this could be Hell

I arrive in Dallas to searing, steamy heat which further aggravates my bite. Fairy Godmother arrives to collect me and takes me to see where JFK got shot, a lovely meal, cocktails and then to our hotel. I’m happy. Things are good. The hotel even bring out cookies and milk for bedtime which I had no problem taking full advantage of. Such a lovely place – (Such a lovely place)

And then, tired out of my little mind , I go to bed after reading two sinister stories to my Fairy Godmother and Godfather from my new book. Hehehehehe… Cue the karma…

My mind is Tiffany twisted

Hotel rooms do my head in. Maybe it’s me. There’s always a ton of switches and lamps and weird curtains that you have to shut in various order with a stupid pole. Like I said, I was super tired so I turned off the lights to jump in my bed and find that it’s still bright. Hmm. There’s some sort of strip light going across the top of the bed headboards causing an illumination that is not conducive to sleep. Can I find the switch to kill it? No. No I sodding well can’t. I press everything. I get out of bed and press more buttons and the only one’s working are mine. I manage to have lamps going on and off in all corners of the room. I made the telly come on, the radio, the microwave. Yep. I even had the pre-set ‘how very dare you change it’, air con abiding to my rules but turning off this strip light? Not a chance. Infuriated and tired to the point of hysteria I stood on the beds and tried to follow it along the wall. See if I can’t yank it out or something. Nope. Hours it took me, hours to locate a stupid little button the size of a Tic-Tac that shut it off.

I woke up the this morning at stupid “o’ clock. The rains were coming down like the end of the world outside which made me think of having a shower. Another thing I have a problem with in hotel rooms are showers. It takes me ages to figure out how it works. I’m pulling, pushing and twisting and nothing happens. Suddenly the thing sprung into life and water belted out. Eventually. Half way through me sudding up, the water suddenly becomes boiling hot and I mean scalding, causing me to scream as it makes to take the skin off my feet. I nearly break my neck trying to escape the porcelain which isn’t half as shiny as the third degree burns on my shins. Once out, I put my arm in to try and stop the shower, but oh no, this thing has gone into full pelt, hot tar mode. Now I have a burnt forearm. Despite my dippy behaviour I actually have the foresight to change from shower mode to bath tap and the steaming hot water starts to fill the tub at lightning speed. I can barely see due to the insane amount of steam and wonder if I’m being boiled alive by an evil hotel spirit. I can’t turn the water off; the tap is stuck. I had no choice but to wake my Fairy Godmother at dawn.

“Knock -Knock. Help! I’m being burnt alive and the shower won’t turn off. Flood any second!”

In she comes, panicked and tired but ready to save me and also cannot turn the tap off or see because of the steam. But Fairy Godmother is an American and knows how to deal with these things. She gets on the phone and tells the hotel how their equipment has burned an English princess and that they need to get maintenance upstairs pronto before the bath overflows. Seconds later a burly man arrives and turns it off.

Forget the pink Champagne on ice – I need coffee

I go downstairs for coffee. Full, red hot, caffeine. I go with my Godfather to sit on a big comfy chair in the lobby to drink it. I fall into the big, comfy armchair which, unbeknown to me, spins round 180 degrees and I spill scalding hot drink all over my legs. Cos that’s just what I needed to happen all over my third degree burns.

Baconless breakfast?

My Godfather takes me to breakfast to make me feel better. I get there to find there’s no bacon. WHAT THE HELL? How can there be no bacon? This is America. This is why I come here.

“There’s no flippin bacon!” I cry.

The hotel is full of Marines who are so very polite it is insane.

“Hey, try this biscuit and gravy, it’s an American delicacy,” says one of them as he hands it over.


Afraid of a lawsuit, the kitchen went and cooked me up a whole plate of bacon (which didn’t look too dissimilar to my shins) and brought it out for me. The other guests looked on covetously. But if only they knew what I’d been through to get it.

I’ve just left and arrived in Fort Worth which is like cowboy heaven and am pretty sure this place will suit Calamity Jules(AKA Texas Redneckshins)much better.

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