Big Jugs And Pop-Up Meat

September 8, 2021 11:14am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 15 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

From the title of this blog, I would bet my top hat and tails that you thought something “ooh-err-misses” might follow.  

Something a little bit juicy perhaps?  Well, yes you are right.

Something a bit top rack? Yes, also correct.

But not in the way you think, dear reader, and quite frankly, I’m outraged. What sort of blog do you think this is?

The Brave New World

I got taken on a magical mystery tour to go and do “Something Exciting” last week. Generally, I’m a big fan of being taken into the wilderness and given a challenge but for some reason when I was told about this surprise I found myself being a bit of an arse.

“I don’t really like surprises, can you just tell me what it is?”


“Well what am I supposed to wear?”

“Anything you like.”

“Fine. I shall come in a ball gown and disastrously high heels.”


It definitely wasn’t kayaking then. Or, maybe it was…

Barn Art The Food Of The Soul

Turns out it was pottery painting. In a large barn in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere. 

What happens is that you pick a pot of your choice and you paint it. 

I chose a large jug because I like to use them as vases. They’re more interesting than vases and they can double up and be used for lashings of gravy when the flowers die. 

Normally, you only get one hour to paint at these places but thankfully this one lets you stay until you’re finished. Good job, because my idea took four- long-hours. In my wisdom, I decided to paint a wildflower scene on my jug so that it went with the vase theme. Never doing that again. By the time I’d painted my last poppy and cornflower I had a deep hatred for anything floral. What I neglected to take into account was that you have to paint each thing three times over if you want the colour to pop. I maybe should have listened to that part of the pre-training before I decided to paint a forest garden. 

That said, I prevailed and shouted, “I’ve Finished! Hallelujah!”  just as the woman who ran the place had decided to bugger off and lock me in. 

Ewer Won’t Believe it

You have to leave your masterpiece behind so the lady can glaze it and make it all professionally shiny. I hate waiting for things. A few days later I went to collect my pitcher of painted perfection and I was not disappointed. 

Decanter your pre- conceptions and take a look at my growler!  [informal. a pitcher, pail, or other container brought by a customer for beer and not what you thought]

I thought about investing in a kiln but then remembered I already have 465 hobbies. 

Have You seen That Anchor?

And then there was more!

“There’s a pop-up smokehouse at the back of The Anchor in Plungar. Fancy a burger?”

“Don’t mind if I do.”

The surprises just kept getting better!

Deep in the Vale of Belvoir, in the back garden of a country pub, came “Smiffy’s Smokehouse ‘Burger Fest.'”  Known throughout the land for bringing the deep south flavour of authentic BBQ to street food.

Meat lover, (and once actor), Aaron Smith, got to know some guys in America who did cook-offs and became southern inspired, buying his own smoker and dishing up hard-wood smoked brisket, burgers, and pork, along with pit beans, chilli and loaded fries. Over the last few years his food has gone down a storm in the restaurant area and now he also does pop-up smokin’ BBQ’s  at venues.

The weather was good. The beer was flowing. The punters were jolly. A medley of country rock blared from the speakers. Thank God my cowboy boots were mended because I felt proper authentic.

To be fair, this was one of the juiciest and tastiest burgers I’ve ever eaten. 

With loaded fries, of course.

Rumours spread fast in village England. So good was the pop-up burger fest that even Jason Momoa came for a snack.

Followed by one of Tupac’s stage managers. 

You don’t have to go far to see the infamous here. 

Put that in your brioche bun and smoke it, Hollywood. 


A Make-A-Monstory Success Story

September 3, 2021 12:06pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 8 Comments

Thump? Who’s Thump?

You’re in for a treat, you are. Thump the monster from the Make-A-Monstory range has finally decided to tell his story and help your child learn to read!

Make-A-Monstory cards are now available to purchase and in this blog you’ll find some valuable information on getting your monsters Learning To Read The Monster Fun Way! 

Reading should be fun, right?


Why I Created The Monstory Series

In the past I have worked with many children in clubs, charities, and schools and found that children learn a lot better when the activity is fun. I am a personal fan of nonsense rhyme and silly stories and every adult I ask always remembers a silly nursery rhyme or ditty from their childhood. Silly makes sense, see!

I find that children’s reading activities are either forced upon them with a ‘you must read this school book’ or very passive – a bedtime story that is read to them whilst you try and make them go to sleep so you can watch Outlander with a glass of wine.

I wanted to bring something different to the market that would help children start to enjoy reading and help them learn through an interactive activity. As a writer, I want to make a difference to the readers and writers of the future and get families playing together rather than stuck in front of a screen. 

These revolutionary new put-together story cards will bring many happy hours to both you and your child as they experience the excitement of learning with their new Monster friend. It’s an adventure, an interactive experience, and guess what? Your child will be learning to read without even realising!

Who couldn’t like a monster as adorable as Thump?


 Get your child Thumping forward and learning through play!

A child learns best by engaging and interacting with their environment.Play is far more powerful for children than many parents realise. It’s actually the key to learning. Researchers and educators across the world have found that play can help enrich learning and develop key skills such as inquiry, expression, experimentation, and teamwork.

We all know that reading to children is a must, but actively involving your child with the story and encouraging them to help that story develop is a much more interactive experience for both parent and child.

One in 5 children cannot read well by the age of 11

Don’t worry – Thump is here to help!

The monster stories are designed to introduce your child to a fun character whose rhyming story unfolds card by card as they find the words that finish the previous sentence, following on from the last card.The ending word that they must find all rhyme and the cards have clues and prompts to make sure the story is followed accurately.

Your child will start to recognise words, rhyming sounds, numbers, and the corresponding amount of dots to each number encouraging counting, all whilst following the adventures of a wonderfully exciting and friendly monster.

Where are Make-A Monstory Cards From?

Make-A-Monstory cards were imagined, designed, and created in the UK.

There is none of this importing cheaper products from abroad when we have the ability to create superior products that are built to last right here in the UK and support local businesses. 

This means we use quality, trusted materials and can offer a reliable service and delivery to our customers.

Make-A-Monstory  cards are made from heavy duty card stock and are a whopping 30% bigger than usual flashcards making them easy for your child to use and to see the words and illustrations clearly. 

The cards have rounded corners and are gloss laminated for extra sturdiness and longevity. Parents who have bought these cards are quick to tell us how happy they are with the quality of the Make-A-Monstory product. 

Read What Some Of Our Customers Have To Say Here!

Know any children that could use a friend like Thump?

Currently available at a discounted rate with free shipping to the UK from the Make-A-Monstory Page below. Available soon with Amazon Prime.

Vist the Make-A-Monstory Page 

What A Load Of Cobblers!

September 1, 2021 8:09am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 8 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Cobbler [ kob -ler ]

  • A person who mends shoes
  • A man’s testicles – From rhyming slang cobbler’s awls ‘balls’
  • Nonsense – what a load of old cobblers
  • Some say it’s a pie – we call it a crumble

About 2 years ago my favourite cowboy boots broke. When I say favourite, you have to understand that I have several different pairs of cowboy boots and they are all my favourite in their own arena. But, these particular square-toed, everyday boots were my dossing around ones that looked pretty good with everything and ended up being my ‘go-to’ boot. When the leather tore away from the sides, and the soles got ‘oles, and the heels weren’t there any more, I took them to the High Street shoe repairers. Unfortunately, I went to a well-known franchise that didn’t really have the capacity or knowledge to deal with such a travesty. A simple re-sole, a fancy bone-shaped tag for your dog’s collar, or a key for your front door is about where their skill-set is at.

 “Can’t repair them, love,” he said.

 I stuck them back in the orange, plastic Sainsbury’s carrier bag and put them back in my truck behind the driver’s seat. 

Then we went into lockdown and everything shut.

Let’s Hit The Road, Jack

As disappointed as I was about life without freedom and cowboy boots, I decided to make up for it at Christmas by demanding two pairs of Panama Jacks.

These are quality leather boots that are made for the adventurer. They have a very out in the English countryside kind of vibe. They’re lovely and I like them a lot. But they’re not my cowboy boots. 

If You’re Gonna Be Crazy You Need To Start From The Feet Up – JS

A few weeks ago, I decided to clean out my truck and found my ‘ole bewwwts in the back. Right! Now that everything is open again I am going to go into the city and find that old cobbler who makes his own shoes. He’ll be able to sort them out!  This task had now become an even higher priority because all of a sudden cowboy boots have come into fashion and anyone on-trend is wearing them. I swear to God I paved the way for this. How utterly annoying that there are chicks out there in my land wearing cheap knock off cowboy boots when I have the real deal right here in the bag. 

I took a trip to the city, walked up the hill to the ole, ole shoe shop and when I got there the bloody thing was shut.


Not a cobbler or boot in sight.

I was taken aback by this. How could he not be here? This cannot be true. I even rattled the door in case it was some kind of joke. Unable to accept my misfortune I went into the cafe next door and asked about his whereabouts.

“Oh, he’s shut shop. Buggered off to Spain to be a singer.”

There Is Great Power In The Right Pair Of Boots

I searched the internet and would you believe I found an even older cobbler that did all cobblyish things just 20 minutes down the road from me. The oldest in the city, it boasted. So, I took them there.

The place looked proper quaint, part of an old Victorian house with a big square bay window with all leathery loveliness on show. The shop looked like it belonged in a Disney film. There was a queue outside. Good sign. When I got in I was greeted by the cobbler’s wife. I said, “Can you mend my boots?”  As I pulled them out of the bag for the first time in 18 months, I realised that leaving damp boots in plastic for that long is not a good idea. They looked shocking. The leather was all split and cracked and if I didn’t know better I would have thought the meeces had been at ‘em. 

‘Ooh… I’m going to have to ask the boss,” she said. 

King Cobbler came over, took one look at them and said, “They’re knackered. Chuck ‘em away.”

“I will not!” I said. “I’ve come all the way across this land because you said you were the cobbliest cobbler of all! 

“The leather is knackered. You haven’t looked after them.”

These Boots Were Made For Walking

“These boots cannot die”, I said. They have walked the land of the free and brave: they’ve ranched in Virginia, line danced at Luckenbach, sifted through the sand at Santa Monica, nifty-footed through Nashville, Taken on Texas, Fast foo…..

“Fine. Let me look at ‘em.”

After a lecture about not oiling them, and having worn them to destruction, the ole, ole cobbler agreed to take on the challenge. 

I skipped out of that shop. Skipped, I did.

Three Long Weeks To Change The World

I waited. Like a patient little saint. As soon as Mrs Cobbler rang me to say they were ready, I Panama Jacked it to the shop. Signed and stitched with the Royal Crown Seal these must now be the only American/English hybrid Cowboy Boots on the market. Take that, fashion influencers!

“Now go and oil them,” said the master. 

I took them home and creamed them up for two days until they looked like vintage awesomeness.

Never give up on a good thing, reader.



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