Sunshine Came Softly

April 19, 2018 11:16am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 11 Comments

English Country Roads

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday On A Thursday!

Why?

I’ll tell you why.  The sun came out.  Temperatures hit a skin blistering 24 degrees and England rejoiced.  

Hit The Road Jules

English fields

On my travels to go and get something I fell in love with the glistening English countryside and decided to stay out.  I went for a drive along the winding country roads playing my “cheesy guilty playlist” (yes, I have called it that) because Abba, The Pina Colada song and such like make you deliriously happy and I’m owning it.  Besides, singing your head off with the windows open scares the grouse and pheasant away so you don’t have to put the breaks on and be forced to make a bird pie for tea. 

Green And (Red)Pleasant Land

Red fields

Light has a way of making everything look better and when the sunshine hits the Land of Hope and Glory there is no finer sight to behold.  I look at it in wonder as it transforms from an underexposed photograph to a saturated, brilliant vista of colour and I have to be very careful not to crash the car as I stare in awe at the surrounding beauty.

 

The UK is only 600 miles long and 271 miles wide with a population of just over 65 million; 8 million of those live in London which is more than the whole state of Virginia.  Now when you think about our size and population you would wonder if there is any countryside left.  However, did you know that only a small percentage of the UK is urban? 

“Five hundred experts analysed vast quantities of data and produced what they claim is the first coherent body of evidence about the state of Britain’s natural environment.Experts calculated that “6.8% of the UK’s land area is now classified as urban” (a definition that includes rural development and roads, by the way) that means almost 93% of the UK is natural.”

Anyone who has flown over the UK can witness evidence of this (if you can see past the clouds and arrive on a nice day) as it looks like you are landing in a patchwork quilt of green. 

 

Daffodils in England

The pictures littering this post were taken yesterday as I hopped out of my beastly vehicle to take snapshots FOR YOU LOT. So, even though I’m late, I was thinking about y’all because I know how much you miss me.

Everything is Bigger In Texas

To my Texan friends:  You have some competition.  OUR MOLES ARE BIGGER THAN YOURS!

Mole hill in England

JS

Taking The Biscuit

April 11, 2018 8:54pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 23 Comments

 

Raspberry cake

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

It can be the strangest of things that catches my whimsical attention but this one really does take the biscuit.  Don’t you just love the puns on here? 

Chicken Soup for The Soul

So, one day last week, whilst residing at The Waltons, I was asked to make a chicken soup. Obviously, British chicken soup knocks spots of Merrrican chicken soup because it’s far more sensible and thus holds more beneficial qualities.  

I accepted the challenge and the crew went off to work leaving me in charge of the estate.  Yeah, that’s brave.  I did ask for a gun but my request was denied due to me maybe, possibly, shooting myself and bleeding out in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know why people have such trust issues with me.

I Ain’t No Mary Berry!

Naturally, the soup was a roaring success and the whole house smelt of life-giving food when the workers returned.  

“That smells good,” they said. 

“DUH..” I replied, pleasantly.

“But you should have made some biscuits to go with that.”

“WELL, EXCCUUUUUSE ME ! What do you think this is, eh?  The Great British Bake Off? Is my name Cinder-flippin’-ella? NO!  And if you’d wanted bloody biscuits you should have mentioned that earlier so I could have got my servant’s pinny on and got to making a dough.”

“Dough? You don’t have to do that here. This is Merrrica.

The All American Biscuit

American biscuits

The fridge door was opened and out came a cardboard tube saying “Biscuits”

“Is that pre-made dough?” I asked staring at Mr. Pillsbury on the front.

“No, it’s biscuits.”

“Huh?” 

Low and behold it was so. 

The next fascinating procedure was to tear off the cardboard…

cardboard biscuit tube

Press it in the middle until it opens with a resounding and very satisfying POP…

Biscuits

And looky do, out pop 8 ready to bake biscuits. *AKA – Great British plain scones.*

I was beside myself. Truly. I am in awe of this concept. So much so that here you have a biscuit blog. 

I love America.  They take all the hard work out of everything. 

A mere eleven delicious minutes later and out of the oven came the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten. 

So.  I made them every day because in my opinion biscuits go with everything and when I get home tomorrow I’m having a chat with the Asda manager.

  I can’t take them home because they need to be refrigerated and whilst I actually looked up the temperature of the belly of a Boeing 747, I’m overloaded with Texan BBQ sauce. 

Please send biscuits. 

Save A Smile For The Cowboy

April 9, 2018 10:04pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 16 Comments

The song playing in her car poked at the vulnerability evident in my chest.  Cool yet broken country boys moaning sweet melancholy from their hearts and connecting straight with mine as the car rocked gently in tune with the musical notes. It’s funny how you can connect with someone’s words without ever knowing them.  Just goes to show that if you’re in the same place as another you can feel them without even touching them. Empathy with strangers. 

I sat in the passenger seat as she drove along, lost in her own reverie. I watched as the trees passed by the window all dressed up pretty in their fairy lights; revellers behind them on the plaza protected by crisp white linen, sipping on fluted cold bubbles. A picture of sparkles. 

The evening boasted a perfect temperature: enough warmth to be comfortable as it eased back from its rage like the dying embers of an all-night bonfire.  I ran my hands down the thighs of my jeans, the abrasive denim cutting through the dampness of my palms.  I let out a loud sigh without realising which caused her to break from her mind-fill and glance over at me with a smile. 

 We stopped at the lights across from the big Honky Tonk dance hall. The parking lot filled with pick up trucks trying to outdo each other in height and stature. That made me snigger to myself. Silhouetted figures in cowboy hats stood in line eager to enter; the allure of pretty boots waiting to two-step and couple up under the glittering lights.  

“See the cowboys?” she nodded in their direction.

“I see ‘em,” I replied.

“Should we go for an hour?” 

“Not this time.”  

She shrugged and turned up the volume dial on her stereo. “Listen to this, ugh, I love it!” She placed a hand on her chest and took a dramatic intake of breath like the song had been written just for her.

I watched the line of cowboys disappear in the distance from the side mirror as she pulled away until only the glowing red, neon light of the dance hall sign was visible. It faded out quickly like a sunset behind the hills. 

“I feel like we should go dancin’.”  The excitement of the music and nostalgia urging her to chase dreams. 

As much as I loved the fun of the Honky Tonk I felt somewhat disconnected from it tonight and I didn’t want to end on disappointment.  She didn’t either, despite not realising that. 

“Not everyone who wears a Stetson and a pair of boots is a real cowboy,” I said. “A fair few of those guys probably never herded cattle in their life or even ever owned a horse. They’ll be back at work in some shiny loafers and suit come Monday with a pocket full of phone numbers and a list of possibilities.”

“True. I’ve met that kind before.”  She slumped a little in her seat as memories of bad apples leaped around her mind.  

“Remember the good ones who kept a piece of your heart,” I added, trying to shift her mood back to happier times.  

She smiled and tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. “The kind that make you feel like a princess!”

“Yeah. A princess in jeans and boots which is the best kind of princess.  The kind that says ‘Miss’ in front of your name like it ain’t polite to just refer to you in a straightforward manner.  He might call you ‘pretty lady’ though because that’s what he thinks and say ‘yes ma’am’ to your responses.  He’ll open your doors and tell you ‘that’s the way you break your arms’ if you try to do it yourself and he’ll want to hear all about you ‘cause he’ll think talking about himself ain’t proper. And there ain’t no way he’ll let anyone take your money for anything if you’re out with him no matter how much you insist.” 

“I knew one of those before and I’ll never forget him,” she replied softly as the car pulled up outside my townhouse. 

“They’re the kind you save a smile for when he asks you to.”  

I thought about that as I walked up the pathway to the hum of crickets and chirping tree frogs vibrating like the music in her car as she drove away.  When you meet a real cowboy he doesn’t need to ask because you can feel that smile waiting in your heart. 

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