Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts)
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Dawning

June 11, 2018 2:40pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 22 Comments

A pale pink English rose

Watching him flutter around the seed holder was a beautiful distraction at 4. 30 in the morning.  Little Robin Redbreast. Nature made sure we could see that bursting glow from your chest and we humanise it as it is our nature to poetically do so. Little Robin: your heart was meant to scare and ours to scar, it seems. 

Wild seeds on the floor discarded in haste for those more succulent that took preference.  Snatching at the tastiest lest some other flighty friend may come and get the pickings. Skirting swiftly after feeding to a nearby rose to preen. Her pale pink petals offering delicate layers of softness. Curled and yellowing slightly at the edges despite her face being a few days old. So heavy, her pretty head, that it bows low to the ground in submission while buds of her own family reach up tall with robust new life. Fresh colour. 

Summer at dawn. New summer.  The beauty as it develops from the dainty hold of spring into an overnight swell. Everything vying for attention and singing out its glory. Brighter, bolder. Softer, sweeter.  The songs in the air piercing the early morning silence. Such peace, such heavenly peace, though momentary which makes it all the more delicious.

 Existing silently in that moment and soothing tired eyes that should be sleeping. Tired eyes set to become weary with necessity in but a few hours. Bare skin traced by gentle breezes allowing an awakening at the same steady pace that the sun throws out her kisses.

Thoughts. So many of them. Each tumbling over the other for priority. Some amalgamating and forming branches. Setting them free without reprimand and being able to whisper them to the unsullied sky without even talking. Silent messages sent out into the ether with a hope of answers. Dreams released and untangled where nobody can snatch them and put them into files marked X. Impossible possibilities clinging to the hope of a new day. 

Someone Call Whimsy And Apologise!

May 25, 2018 3:52pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 30 Comments

Cranky Pants

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Frustration On A Friday!

Sometimes it’s good for me to keep you lot on your toes so you don’t go expecting the usual. 

Unfortunately, there was no Whimsy this Wednesday due to the fact that Whimsy left the building, slammed the door and filed for divorce. 

“Go on, leave! Good riddance! I couldn’t stand your controlling ways anyhow! See if I care!  I’ve met someone new called Frustration and I’m meeting him on Friday!” 

Utterly Atrocious

May have actually been the reason that whimsy left me. I had a proper midweek strop on. Usually, I can work through these bouts of toddler rage and oftentimes they make whimsy what it is.  However, I had just been suffering from a five day headache.  I’ve never experienced such a thing in all my life. It was on one side of my head lingering from the temple to the back of my left eye.  Kind of like brain freeze but without the luxury of cookie dough dynamo ice cream being the cause.  

The doc sent me to the eye people to check to see if I had a brain.  I’m not a fan of eye people.  Mostly because I really don’t want to discuss the photograph that makes me want to vomit because I never realised my eyes actually looked liked veiny, orange ping-pong balls. 

Verdict: Too much screenery and not enough scenery.  Stay off computers and rest your eyes or suffer everlasting migraine. 

I went back home, made a coffee and got back to work.

The thing is, when you work for yourself, you can’t just off on a jolly with a headache.  Things need constant attention. 

Talking of attention…

leads me nicely onto my next rant about Instagram. Having an Instagram account (as I have) for a personal reason is easy. You post pictures as and when you want to and folks come and follow you or not and there’s no pressure. Having an Instagram account for a business is a totally different ball game.

There are rules. 

Instagram has turned into the biggest social media platform – especially for business. You have to post consistently, be entertaining, call to action, develop #funkyhashtags, follow other people in your niche market and try to develop a following.  VERY difficult. Because mostly, the people who follow you are also businesses.

And this is what they do:

Follow you. (Ah, how sweet)

You follow back. (Polite, supportive and community building)

They wait a while until they think you won’t notice and unfollow you. (RUDE)

This pisses me off beyond belief. It just goes to show how driven people are just to get “likes” and build up their little emporium with total unashamed disregard for anyone. False, fickle and…I’m trying to think of something else beginning with F because I have alliteration addiction but it’s too rude. 

Because this infuriates me way beyond a level it should, I have an app that tells me who has done this. Every day I go on it and find the culprits. I then go to their feed, like every single one of their pictures so that I am seen on all of them and then unfollow them back.  I know that this is totally childish but I don’t care. I am turning into the Judge Dredd of Instagram. 

Secondly, it is apparently VITAL that you follow celebrities and fawn all over them with heart eyed emojis and high school girl talk. Cue projectile vomit. I tried it for a day and it made me poorly.  Granted, if Kim Kardashian picks up a piece of my merchandise or reads one of my books I’m set for life but do I really want to sell my soul to achieve that? No. Not playing by Instagram rules anymore. Soz.

A Bit of Divine Assistance

Being totally at odds with the fickle ways of the modern world, I decided to go to church on Sunday. This helps me rebalance, become humbled after the barrage of narcissism I am subjected to and stops me wanting to throttle everyone. 

However, I’m not quite down with High Church cos it ain’t like Texas Cowboy Church where people welcome you with hugs and doughnuts, a good sense of humour and accept you no matter your never-ending flaws.  This particular church, I sometimes frequent when in need of moral guidance, has a lady in it that does my head in.  I know her from somewhere in my past though I can’t remember where.  All I know is that it’s unpleasant.  

There’s a part in the service called “The Peace” where everyone shakes each other’s hand and says, “Peace be with you”.  I’m a very awkward person and find this part of the service staggeringly difficult.  I always want to say something ridiculous.  But, every time I put my hand out to this woman she ignores me and greets someone else instead, coming to me in her own good time and clearly under duress.

Well, guess what that does to my peace? It sends it flying right out of the stained glass window. 

So, that went well.

Animal Instinct

Not relying on my own instincts I went to have a chat with Kevin. 

Uromastyx on hand

He didn’t care.  

Nor did the dog.

Dog hiding in bed

Hang on Stroopy, Stroopy Hang On!

With both people and animals out of the question in my search for harmony, I resorted to a new packet of biscuits that had found a way into my house. 

RESULT!

Stroop biscuit

This, my friends, is called a Stroop biscuit and it is heaven sent. How I have got to this tender age without putting one of these in my mouth is outrageous.  This should be a Dutch National Treasure. 

But, like most things, this was just a passing relief and did not sedate the torrent of atrociousness growing inside me. Take an o out of Stroop and what have you got? 

Strop, I Want To Get Off!

Maybe it was too much sugar, maybe it was the lady at church, maybe it was Kim Kardashian, I don’t know but I had to forcibly make myself go outside and have a big calm down.  I sat there looking at the flowers thinking, “Right that’s it, I’m done. I’m shutting it all down and starting anew. All this effort for such little reward. Had enough. Even whimsy has left me.”

Yes, people, I nearly pressed the big red button. But just as I was sitting there formulating a plan where I run off in just my jeans and boots, committing to nothing but the moment, an email came through.

“Where’s whimsy?  I miss it?”

and another….

“I don’t think my link is working….”

And another…

“Can I take part in your new book?” 

Wow. Talk about perfect timing.

Are you lot stalking me or something? 😉 

Emergency New Year

December 31, 2017 2:25pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 27 Comments

Stuck lift

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You New Year Whimsy!

It’s the final day of the year; what could possibly go wrong?

My December has been utterly atrocious having contracted virus after virus. I have lived like a hermit, housebound and mostly bedridden and swathed in layers of pyjamas, onesies and Vicks vapour rub. Two days before Christmas I ended up with the emergency doctor and put on antibiotics. Well, Merry Frikkin’ Christmas.

Jeopardy Junket

I’ve been poorly for 7 weeks now and it’s getting ridiculous. So, today I decided to go out. I’m much better than I was but I still have no business going out yet. I basically have no immune system; it’s gone. Totally. However, I thought a nice trip to the city for breakfast, coffee, and some much needed fresh air might make me feel better.

I parked in a private car park in the city. Because I’m incredibly famous, well known, manipulative, I know people in this town and therefore do not have to pay the extortionate car park fees of a public car park.

The parking establishment was empty. Nobody is at work in these offices since it’s a Sunday and it’s also New Year’s Eve. I entered the secret code, parked up and walked to Bill’s for some scrambled egg and bacon on a muffin. Nice.

Swedish Snake Oil

I then had a little walk to the health store for more alternative medicine.

“How can I help you?” asked the hippy health shop person.

“Well, I’m not sure. See, I’ve already had your super strength vitamin C, D and B and have had practically bathed in your extortionate Manuka Honey like a modern day Cleopatra, but I still feel poorly. I have no energy whatsoever. What else can you give me that will cure me of this wicked and dreadful illness?”

“Ahh – try this!” he said. “This is a Swedish formula (that alone should have caused doubt to sear through me but my instincts are off due to viral attack) that has been around since the 60’s. It’s perfect for post operations and illness. People swear by it.”

I parted with my hard earned cash and went outside with my new miracle potion. I sat on a bench and decided to have a spoonful of it immediately. It was then that I realised I must have misheard the man. People don’t swear by it, they probably swear at it because that’s what I did. This tonic is the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth. Imagine the tar being milked from a thousand cigarettes and that’s what it both looked and tasted like.
I’m going to feed it to one of my plants for a week and see if it dies.

I have spent so much money in this bloody health store that I could have bought a Bugatti Veyron.

Shafted

After this experience, I decided I needed to go home. The whole breakfast event had worn me out and my face was exhausted, if that makes sense. I walked slowly back to the car park and called for the lift as right now I have the fitness level of a 90 year old and couldn’t even contemplate the several flights of stairs.

lift door
Somewhere just before the 4th floor, the lift stopped. It stopped and the door opened 2 inches. I might have lost a bit of weight with the virus from hell but there’s no way I was getting out of a two-inch gap.

I pressed the button again.

Nada.

I tried with all my post-viral strength to prize the door open.

Nope.

I kicked it with my cowboy bewwwts.

Stuck.

I pressed every single button in the lift several times over.

Nothing.

I was well and truly stuck in the lift and the only person with a car parked in the whole office complex.

Then I saw this:

I rang the alarm button for 5 seconds.

Nobody came.

I did it again.

Nobody came.

Eventually, the alarm connected to the emergency line that it clearly stated would happen when one gets stuck in an elevator.

It rang and rang and rang but NOBODY WAS AT THE OTHER FRIKKIN’ END.

All of a sudden I went into panic mode. I had visions of being stuck in this lift for the whole of the New Year period until people came back to work and found me dead in this tiny box with my fingers bleeding from having tried to claw my way out. This was it. The end of my life. Rather neat and tidy what with this being the last day of the year and all, but not how I had envisioned slipping off the dish.

I pressed my mouth up to the gap and began to call for help. This totally stressed out my not used for several weeks vocal chords and sent me into a violent coughing fit where I nearly bust a hernia. I sat on the floor of the lift gasping for my final breaths and wanting to cry but not having the energy to do so.

Then, I had a horrible vision of the lift suddenly plummeting to the ground and me ending up like the contents of a juice maker. I stood up and tried to remember if you had to jump before it hit the ground or hold on because you go head first through the roof. I’m not very good at physics, particularly when hysterical.

There was no other thing I could do but to call for emergency help. This is not something I have ever done before and felt somewhat stupid at having to ring 999 but what else could I do?

I called for the Fire Brigade.

That’s a nice long hose you have there, Mr Fireman

I always imagined that if I were to be rescued by hunky firemen I would be dressed in a sexy negligee with pretty hair and high heels on and would be carried out by a square-chinned brute and given the kiss of life.

Instead, here I was, sweating like a bastard in a tiny box with a pale, unflattering complexion and no makeup on. I fished in my bag for some mascara or lipstick but since I’ve not been out forever and a day there was nothing in there that could save me except for the nasty Swedish elixir that may, quite possibly, have been able to double up as fake tan. I took off my fur coat because I was dripping with fear and would have removed my fluffy jumper too but I had gone out without a bra on and there’s no way I was going to go all wet T-shirt in front of a bunch of firemen without my lippy and tangled hair.

I made a little bed with my coat on the floor and lay down to conserve energy and stave off a massive heart attack.

I heard the sirens in the distance and felt somewhat thrilled if not a little guilty for not being on fire.

“Hello?” shouted the burly voice of a fireman.

“Hello!” I returned, getting to my feet.

“Coming to get you!” shouted another.

*Swoon* Not from being saved but from heat stroke and claustrophobia.

I heard some banging about in the lift shaft and whatnot and then 5 minutes later a giant claw hammer prized open the door and I was free!

Firemen

“Thank you ever so much, ever so grateful, “ I mumbled.

“Our pleasure,” they said.

I shuffled off to the car fuelled by adrenaline and shame and somehow made it back to the safety of my home.

I am now suffering from massive PTSD and the Swedish elixir isn’t helping.

Despite the fact I shouldn’t have been in that particular car park, I’m going to tear the landlord a new arsehole if he doesn’t compensate my ‘trapped in his shitty lift’ trauma with a therapeutic holiday to Bora Bora.

Happy New Year.

George’s Story

October 15, 2017 5:53pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 24 Comments

Lone star flag

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Stories On A Sunday!

I met George last year in Texas at a cowboy wedding. We spoke for a while and he told me that he loved watching all those English shows like ‘Doc Martin’ for example. A few days later I visited him and his wife Carleen at their ranch where I went shooting. Afterwards, we sat in the kitchen drinking ice tea and George told me he could sit and listen to me talking all day long. Not likely because I had anything of worth to say but because he liked the English accent. When I got home I received a lovely handwritten letter from George and I sent him one back with a postcard of Sherwood Forest as his ancestors were from there. He wasn’t too impressed by the picture as he expected it to be much wilder!

Just before my visit back here George fell ill. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to go and say hello to him again he passed away. Carleen told me that he wanted to visit England so badly that they put a map and directions on how to get there in his casket.

Yesterday I attended his wake and came across his story laying on the table. I found this tale so moving and interesting that I asked his son’s permission to post it on here. Even if you didn’t know George it’s a beautiful insight to a boy growing up in old America and I post it here, in his words, in memory of a wonderful man.

George Griffith Harris Sr. (1936 – 2017)

It was cool that morning when Dr R.M Burgess came to the house where my being started on a Monday morning at 7:05 am on August 17, 1936. I was born in the southeast part of Fort Worth, just east of the Masonic home. My father was John Amos Harris born at Cottondale in Parker County, Texas and my mother was Margueritte Marie (Lindsey) Harris born in Decatur in Wise County, Texas. Mother’s aunt Jewell and Uncle Clarence Ferguson (Better known as uncle Frog) lived across the street from us.

When I was two years old my father and mother bought a house in the Poly area of Fort Worth. It was the old farmhouse of a dairy and farm where the Poly addition was constructed. When I was about six, daddy remodelled the house making it into a duplex and adding a second storey with three bedrooms and a bathroom. Daddy was a teacher for the Fort Worth public schools and at that time he had the summers off. Daddy, grandpa Harris and daddy’s brother Emmett worked on the remodelling. I can remember pulling my wagon around with the scrap lumber.

I started school on September 8, 1942, at D. McRay Elementary school only a block and a half away from the house. At this same intersection was Cullep’s grocery catty-cornered across from the school. On the other was Chambers drugstore that had a soda fountain and I stopped in when I had a nickel and got a double-dip strawberry ice-cream cone, that wasn’t very often.

 

Mother would send me to the store to get groceries for that day. Most of the time that was the way we bought groceries – in those days we didn’t have supermarkets. After WW11 started they began to ration everything, meat, sugar, and many other things and we were issued stamps and tokens to purchase items at the store. Meat was hard to get and if you weren’t at the store when it came in you probably wouldn’t get any until the next time it was delivered. We had a charge account at the store and daddy would pay it once a month when he got paid.

We also had an ice box on the back porch and the iceman would deliver 100 pound block of ice at a time to keep things cool. The milkman would deliver milk in one-quart glass bottles and place them on the ice to keep it cold, and then he would pick up the empty bottles.

Also during the war daddy got some chickens and rabbits to keep our family in meat, he also sold to our renters and other people on the block. He had about ninety rabbits in rabbit hutches with about twenty-four chickens running under the hutches. We had eggs and rabbit with almost every meal and chicken on a Sundays.

After the war daddy and I went to the courthouse to get a permit to build a three-car garage with an apartment above. They wouldn’t let us have the permit but the man in line behind us wanted a permit to build a servant quarters and they issued the permit. Daddy and I went into the hall and waited until that clerk went to lunch. We went back in and asked for a permit to build a servant quarters and this clerk issued us the permit.
That summer daddy and uncle M, daddy’s uncle, started laying out the foundation. We had a neighbor that was a contractor and daddy and he had to do everything over that uncle M had done. Uncle M wasn’t a good carpenter. I got to help the contractor by carrying concrete blocks in a wheelbarrow about three at a time, boy that was fun at the time.

 

When we moved to Ave. M. there was a family that lived across the street by the name of Russell. They had a boy that was a year older than me by the name of William Joy Crosby Russell. We became good friends and played and went places together on our bicycles. There were quite a few children in the neighborhood and we played a baseball game called ‘scrub’ and played in the street. We had to watch for cars in during the rush hour, all two of them, daddy and Mr. Cherry. All the other people took the bus to and from work. We played football on church grounds around the corner on Little Street. There was a vacant lot across the street from us where we played basketball until the Cottons had a house built. Then we had to go up the alley and play on a vacant lot on Ave. N. There was no little league sports when I was growing up – just make-up games to entertain ourselves when we weren’t getting homework or in the summertime.

I can remember someone gave me an old pair of skates that I made a scooter from 2X4’s and old wooden apple crates. I took one skate apart and mounted it on 2X4 put it on for the wheels. We could ride it only on the sidewalk or in the street. We decorated them with pop bottles caps and other things. William also made a scooter and we went up and down the block.

At that time we listened to the radio, every night and I would sit by the radio and listen to the Lone Ranger at 6:30 pm. There were a lot of radio shows, The Green Hornet, Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly and more. You had to have a lot of imagination to understand these shows.

By the way, there was no TV on our block until we got one when I was in ninth grade. That was my last year at junior high school. The stations did not come on the air until 6 pm in the evening when the news came on and went off the air at 12 midnight at night. Sometimes we would sit and stare at a test pattern before the TV shows came on. The only thing on Saturday was wrestling and all the kids in the neighborhood would come to our house to watch. Mother would pop popcorn and make kool-aid for us kids and most of the time would keep popping popcorn until about 10.pm. This was a lot of fun – at times we tried to help the wrestlers.

When I went to Technical High School I took wood shop and we had three hour classes. This High School was designed for boys and girls that couldn’t afford to go to college but would have a trade after graduation. After school we would go to one of the high schools and repair the typewriters in the classrooms that were not working or broken by the students, where they didn’t have to learn to type. At times it would be 10:30 pm before we would get home and eat and for me to get my school homework. In the summer we would clean and make repairs to one half of the Fort Worth ISD, classroom and the administration typewriters, mimeographs and business machines.

In 1952 we bought 252 acres of land at Burleson and started a cattle ranch. It had an old house and barn. The house was one long large long room with an additional lean-to room used for a kitchen. We had coal oil lamps for us to use at night for light; we had no electricity. There was no electricity for a year. Daddy kept going to the electric Coop to get them to put a line to our house. When we finally got electricity, so did all the neighbors.

There was an old wood stove in the lean-to that we tore down and we moved it outside and we used it to cook on. I had to get the firewood and get the stove going for mother ; those were the best meals. There was also a porch all across the front of the house that we ate on when it was warm.

We had to run an electric line to the well for the pump, before that we had to draw water by hand from the water well. This was the only water on the place for us and the cattle. Keeping water drawn for the cattle was a chore. Later that summer of 1953 we put in nine hundred feet of water line so we could have water at the house. Daddy had the water tested and we couldn’t drink it, but we could use it for washing dishes and in the bathroom. We had to haul water from Burleson to drink.

In the winter daddy would send mother and I to feed the cattle on the weekends. I put out hay for the week and moved the hay where mother could get to it when she would go out on Wednesdays to check on the cattle and put more out if needed.

Mr. Wilkinson told daddy that if he could get an old Farmall tractor started we could use it. This was a real old tractor, it had a hand crank to get it started and had lug type wheels. Daddy got it started and got it to the house along with 5’ cycle mower and a disk plow. It was my job to cut part of the pasture and to plow about 25 acres where we could plant a hayfield. It took me about five days to plow this field.

I graduated from High School in June 1954, which was a good year. I went to Arlington to register for college and standing in line I thought to myself, ‘I have had all the schooling that I wanted ‘ and turned around and walked out. Later on in life I found out this was a mistake.

Lowell Morris a neighbor boy that lived up the road asked me to go with him to a Saturday get together at the Methodist church for the youth of the area, so I went. This was the best day of my life; I met a young lady named Carleen. On the way home I asked Lowell if he would see if she would go on a date with me. Lowell asked later that week if she would go that coming weekend and she said that she would if it was a double date with him and Betty Sue. We went out that weekend and after this date I knew that she was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with; it was love at first sight.

We dated the rest of the year and January 15, 1955 we were married. I was 18 and she was 19, we were married in Weatherford, Texas. It was one week before we told our parents. We moved into a furnished apartment in south Fort Worth. I worked for Kyle Machine Shop making $1.00 an hour.

The next great day was when Griff was born in 1956. Daddy asked us if we would move to the farm and take care of the cattle and mow the pastures, he would not charge rent and would pay the utilities. In 1960 daddy gave me 25 acres and we bought a small house that took three years to build. In those days I was paid once a week and on the way home I would stop at Hurne Wrecking and buy lumber for that week, sometimes several weeks.

Another good day was when the adoption agency called us to come and pick up our daughter, Tina in Houston. She was only 4 days old.

In the fall of 1966 we bought a Ford station wagon and the next summer we took a vacation. This was the first vacation I had ever taken. Daddy didn’t believe in vacations, this was the way I was raised so I didn’t either. But after our first we took a vacation every year after. We went to Ruidoso, New Mexico and camped in the mountains just outside of the town. We had a piece of foam rubber that we put down after letting the back seat down. We also had a tent that fit over the back of the station wagon and we slept in the car. Carleen, Tina and I slept on the foam rubber and Griff slept in the front seat. While there we had to carry water to wash dishes and to take a bath. Taking a bath was something, I made a shelter from tree limbs and then wrapped a tarp around so we could take a bath. Carleen, Griff and Tina got their baths but when I took mine the makeshift bath fell on top of me. Had to hold the thing up and try to get the soap rinsed off was quite a task.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And This Is Why I Drive A Range Rover…

September 25, 2017 7:01pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 16 Comments

Range Rover

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Muppetry On A Monday…

 

Because life isn’t already hard enough, this kind of engineering and construction foresight waits to throw you a curveball.

Really?

One Way Street

Solution?  Jump the kerb, go through the hedgerow, and wave to the ‘jobsworth parking attendant Nazi’ through your rearview mirror whilst stepping the beast up to full revs and away before he has time to jot down your licence plate number.

Not.In.The.Mood. Loser.

That is all.

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.”

Sheesh…strict!

“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.”

“K…”

“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.’

I KNOW. I CAN READ.

‘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.

………………LIES…..ZZZZZZ…..LOSING WILL TO LIVE HERE………FEEL ONSET OF STRESS INDUCED HEART ATTACK…………..I COULD HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK BY NOW…….

‘Hello, I’m back.’

Hello. I’m pissed off.

‘Great.’

‘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. ‘

‘Right….’

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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