Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts)
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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 

Red Mist – The New, Must- Read, Science Fiction Novel

August 9, 2021 10:53am Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 10 Comments

Red Mist

Your waiting days are over and Red Mist  the brand new sci-fi novel is now available as a paperback and ebook across all platforms.

It’s About Legends

Legends endure for a reason. Sometimes they survive to impel our cultural hubris. Occasionally they endure because they instil a sense of focus on what was and perhaps a vision of what will be. They are always a reminder. When they come back to haunt us, things start to get interesting.

And Mystery

A couple in Iceland, very much in love, visit a historic site. Suddenly he throws himself into a volcano, burning to a crisp in front of her eyes. Thereafter, it is always raining.

The dwindling North Sea Oil supply is suddenly rejuvenated with a new discovery; a huge oil field of light, sweet, crude worth billions. Exploration, drilling and pumping begin to breathe life into a faltering industry. Just as things seem to be going well, the oil is polluted with radioactive thorium. 

Agencies And Intelligence

US Army Special Forces operators in Iceland on an exercise are drawn into a crisis and as NASA withdraws, they boldly face the challenge. All but one are rendered insane and the memory of Red Mist turns into a quest for answers – that the CIA already has.

A Fixer and a Shrink

In Texas, a political fixer is called on to deal with a situation and finds himself completely out of his depth.

In England, a psychologist’s life is turned upside down as a skald makes a disturbing prophecy.

Science and Experiments

In China, aggressive experiments into neutrino research create a completely unforeseen disaster and portend a global cataclysm of Biblical proportions.


Just when you’re sure that you have all the answers and are confident that the science is settled, it isn’t.



Happy New Tier!

January 8, 2021 3:58pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 23 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing you a long overdue blog post!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The world has gone quite mad, dear reader, has it not?  

On the Only Day of Christmas 

I had my day of Christmas with the famalam which was wonderful but by the time they left at around 8.30 pm I was shattered. Another consequence of the lockdown is that I am no longer able to deal with large groups of people for more than a day.  It was like getting over the flu (do we still have flu anymore?) and took me a week to get back to normal usual being my pandemic self again. Although, it could have been the result of too many chocolate oranges. A gift from Terry’s that always finds itself in one’s stocking. This year, instead of getting one or two of them, I received about 79.

It’s a Brave New Year Just the Same 

Found me still surrounded by chocolate oranges. Naturally, I continued eating them because it is a violation against chocolate to throw them away.

What else can you do in another national lockdown anyway? Apart from knitting or running that seem to be the favoured pandemic pastimes over here. 

Turns out I found a new type of running. The aftermath of “tapping it and unwrapping it” and adding segment after segment into your cake-hole is restless legs shaking so violently you could give Joe Wicks a run for his money with sofa jogging. The sugar coma that follows is so intense your get-up-and-go marches off to the nearest canal and drowns itself. 

Now that’s a workout, Wicksy. 

Talking of Bingeing…

I found that I have been unable to write, aside from marketing for businesses desperately trying to survive in these conditions – which sucks all the mojo out of me. Reading, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are my saviours when I lose the will to co-operate. 

I have binge watched Disney Pixar movies because morals and lessons are good for me. I spend at least an hour thereafter in a loving and giving frame of mind. 

My other favourites have been ‘The Queens Gambit’ which has got me back into playing chess, and ‘Bridgerton’ – A period drama offering super-scintillating-scandal! 

And then there’s ‘Death to 2020’ A mockumentary which I found uncomfortably (not spared from the usual narrative) amusing. 

This satirical film has a character called Gemma Nerrick, an “average citizen” who declares that lockdown has given her a multi-personality disorder. This made me laugh so much I nearly choked on my Terry’s CO. 

But then I realised that this comical little gem delivered truth in jest.  

Yes. I too have entered into the world of disorder. 

Let’s Look at This Lickety-Split

This lockdown business really does make you a bit weird and maybe this is how our brains cope with being caged like capricious monkeys. Here are my multi- personality, pandemic inhabitants:

Compliant Cadence 

Does not come out to play very often but when she does, she is calm and somewhat yielding because, well,“it is what it is.”Cadence often feels a tad spaced out and on a bit of a go-slow. No need for aggravation or major tasks. Cadence likes to spend time ruminating over endless cups of tea and wearing comfortable, oversized cardigans. Sometimes found casually flicking through magazines and folding up warm washing from the dryer. Generally her day is spent musing and dreaming of possibilities or watching birds soar though floating clouds. Cadence tends to be largely OK with everything around her until the novelty wears off which tends to happen rather speedily. 

Princess Peachy

This goddess of delight is imbued with the spirit of Snow White. She wakes with a smile, singing to the animals, and to the neighbours, whether they like it or not. Peachy’s aim is to have house beautiful by tea-time so she dusts and cleans until everything, and I mean everything because obsession takes over, shines until she can blow kisses at her own reflection in the polished surfaces. After which, an array of scones, cheese straws and cookies cool on the kitchen surfaces after a Great British Bake Off. The evening is spent gorging on these delights during a film that Peachy promptly falls asleep to after domestic exhaustion and she ends up going to bed rather sneezy and grumpy.

Anxious Alicia

This personality is fuelled by watching way too much news and reading endless conspiracy theories. Alicia thinks that everyone is going to die or have long term health issues and the vaccine won’t help because it’s made of old people’s toenails and the entrails of choir boys. Alicia believes that eventually we will all be in motorised wheelchairs with oxygen tanks and frets about how we will we all fit down the aisles at the supermarket.

She spends the day fixated on the gloomy news headlines and waiting for Boris to make yet another announcement about how the virus is overtaking the planet and now we can’t even go in the garden. However, Alicia’s time is used vigilantly between wringing her hands and washing her hands until they bleed.  

Alicia wipes everything down with super-strength bleach then goes to bed not being able to breathe due to overuse of chemicals and lies there all night long thinking “this is it”

Bastardette the MOFO Queen Bitch From the Deepest Bowels of Hell, With Bells On 

Do not approach this personality under any circumstance because she hates everything and everyone without exception: the masked, the none- masked, the compliant and the rebellious alike, all the newsreaders, knitters, runners and basically all-and-sundry including and especially, Joe Wicks. 

Bastardette is usually found tearing new arseholes for people or getting into unnecessary arguments about any topic you choose to bring up. And if you can’t think of one, she will find one to attack you with. If unable to find any prey, she can be seen lining up her chocolate oranges on her bedroom windowsill ready to hurl at the many passing runners who totally get on her tits. 

The “It’s not Terry’s, it’s mine” chocolate orange slogan swiftly replaced with Bastardette’s new strap line, “Terry can have the feckers back” 

Cue 2021’s new and adapted dystopian crime film – A Clockwork Chocolate Orange.


Throwback Thursday!

August 27, 2020 11:20am Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 11 Comments

Satirical Snapshots bringing you ‘Back in the Day!’

I’ve started to participate in Throwback Thursday on Instagram having come across a bunch of photos of when life was carefree, adventurous, and fun! As opposed to now where I’m TRAPPED, TRAPPED, and TRAPPED  in a mask-donned, corona-chaotic world with endless signs on how to and where I should stand and walk and so on. Not that it’s affecting me or anything…

So, what was going on there, Jules?

I’ve been asked numerous times to tell the story behind the picture I post every Thursday and where better to tell those stories than on my blog which I started for the sole purpose of telling stories of my high jinks and holidays!  

On Yer Trike!

This is a photograph of myself and my best friend on holiday in Lanzarote. We bought a cheap, last-minute deal where you didn’t know which hotel or resort you would end up in until you got there. But, we didn’t care! Having done this many times we knew that no matter where we ended up we’d make the best of it and manage to manipulate the situation to our advantage. 

Resorting to Chaos

As luck would have it, we ended up in a top star, luxury resort with a two bed, two bath apartment right in the middle of everything. We had never been in such a beautiful place and couldn’t believe our luck. Result!  However, not so much fun for the people who had paid top dollar to stay in this fabulous complex because this is what happened…

We came across this trike that was parked outside our apartment complex and found it hilarious. So much so that we decided to get on and play with it – posing for photos and suchlike. 

Then, in the midst of figuring out if we could hot-wire it and take it for a spin, the owner of the beloved trike came over and asked us what we thought we were doing because apparently, you shouldn’t just help yourself to somebody else’s pride and joy.  

Thankfully, he was a nice guy and let us off the fiddling with his toy and we got to have a go on his great, roaring, purple trike. He then introduced us to a bar where he and all his friends worked and we spent the rest of our holiday partying with the bar and all its staff.  Further stories of this particular holiday are to follow. 

Needless to say, every day our new gang of friends would roll up on their noisy trike and jeeps and come and hang out at our top-notch pool. They’d bring beers, loud music, and frivolity. Peace and quiet around the 5* pool ended violently. They even brought their Great Dane dog with them who also took a liking for a bit of a swim much to the outrage of the posh folk that had paid a fortune to be there. 

Obviously, my friend and I found it hilarious and couldn’t understand why the rest of the holidaymakers did not. That’s youth for ya. 

Repeat and Ruin the Rep

The poor holiday rep received numerous complaints about the rowdy, fun-loving youngsters that were disturbing their R&R and had to repeatedly visit us to tell us to stop having fun or he’d have to kick us out. 

We didn’t. And, he didn’t, because our new-found friends pretty much ran the island. 

By the end of the two-week holiday, he looked like a nervous wreck and couldn’t wait for us to leave. I think he went back to England shortly after that and got a job in an accountant’s office. 

Happy days. 


Haiku Poetry Day

April 17, 2020 10:51am Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 36 Comments

Haiku Poetry Day

Satirical Snapshots bringing you a dose of Corona Corner!

Good morning isolators!  It’s pandemic playtime!  Today I bring you another task to lighten your day and bring amusement to you and your friends.

Corona Corner #9 – I’d like you to Haiku

Let’s see your best Haiku depicting how you are feeling at the moment or dealing with the current crisis we all find ourselves in.  Leave your overdue Haiku in the comments, please.  Winner will receive adoration from this blog for 24 hours.

I’ve written four below so you can at least do one.  I insist.  I demand.  I simply MUST see yours.

A haiku

a haiku

A haiku

a haiku

Awaiting your entries with wild anticipation…


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