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What A Load Of Bull!

July 18, 2019 12:30pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 14 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Eventually Getting Round To Posting!

And as usual, there’s a lot of bull….

The County Fair 

Nothing says you’re in England quite like a Big Wheel, a man in a suit and a bowler hat, a pretty girl in boots, and a white coated pubescent walking a giant bull.  It all goes on over here.

Farmers – they’re a bit mad aren’t they?  I can attest to this from an experience I had at a “Young Farmers Ball” once upon a time.  A man in tweed and expensive wellies, who’s not afraid to ram his arm up inside a heifer, is of a different breed.  And when drunk on cider at a posh do full of fillies in frocks they’re even worse.  Maybe all they can see is cattle?  Terrifying.

Off I went to the County Fair to see what was going on.

Farmers are very proud of their moo cows.  Brushing them, making them stand correctly by hitting them with a stick, and smiling whilst a burly judge has a good look around them and pins a rosette on his favourite.  I don’t quite know what he’s looking for… Is it going to make a good burger? 

Look At The Cajones On This Beast!

My word! 

Well, the farmer judge turned up in a fitted tweed two-piece and seemed to be in his element.  

Get a load of this fine rump! He had a good old stroke around that and seemed to adopt this rear position with ease.  Like he’d maybe done it before…

And then straight underneath for a good old feel of Mr.Bull’s swinging tackle!  

Why?

Brave.  And, like I said, a bit mental. 

And if you’re not about the bollocks you can take a turn at pulling titties.  

Or, understand the fine art of fleecing with our Nobby!

Who seems to have the Norfolk horn…

It’s all very animal farm.

However, it’s not all bestiality.  For those looking for a bit of refinement there was falconry, giant tortoises, some classic cars, and a rather nice show of horse and cart riding.

I quite fancy my hand at this!  How very elegant and refined! I could see that looking pretty good parked outside my house next to my truck!

This event rounded off nicely with a magnificent display of horsemanship.

Not that my mind was on sausages or anything but you can’t leave a good farming show without a bit of Lincolnshire’s finest meat.

A footlong too.  They make ’em big over here.  The farmers are always saying so.

Take a gander at that, my American friends! You have some competition from across the pond.

Needless to say,  that kept my mouth full for a while…

All Rhodes Lead To Genoa

June 27, 2019 11:38pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 16 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Travelogue Thursday!

You might have noticed I’ve been away. And you’d be right.  It might serve you to pay attention when I go on holiday as I have a canny knack of picking just the right time. 

Floody Hell

My first trip was a top secret, extremely last minute get-away to Rhodes in Greece. Timely to the point of divine wisdom because as I left on a rainy day to a glorious 30 C balmy island, England turned into a river of hell and non-stop rain den.  There were floods everywhere and not a drop to drink.  Needless to say, everyone despised me. 

I thought about their watery plight as I meandered through my own flood…

Which was tough.  And actually, my hotel was hard going.  Upstairs to the pool – up more stairs to the other pool. Downstairs to the beach, downstairs to the dining area. Up and down stairs more times than I’ve trodden a stair in all my life.  It took me three whole days to figure out that if I was going up and down stairs all the time that there had to be a non-stair route in the middle.  By which time my calf muscles had decided to knot into balls of steel and threaten to snap when going down the slightest of slopes.  When the Greek guy who drives the golf cart around the premises asks if you need a lift 100 yards away it’s safe to say that other guests have noticed your sluggish gait and whimpers.

Still, the waiter at the pool bar served up a spectacular antidote…

Despite this being all-inclusive, let’s buy it on the cheap cos the English are holidaying here, gin and tonic, I have to say that the sun and salty breeze made it taste out of this world.  So much so, I have returned with a new found desire for un-named liquor brands sold at Lidl mixed with inferior tonic.  Greece has a way of erasing the snobbery.

But when this is your view, how can it not?

I found a beautiful bay down the road at Kalithea Springs: perfect snorkelling, an elevated, horizontal bed, a vista, and butlers on tap providing Feta and Fanta within 17 minutes of a finger click.

But there comes a point when you need to get your hat on and out into the thick of it all.

I decided to descend on Lindos which is a beautiful and typical Greek fishing village. Like a true Knight I set out to see the Temple of Athena Lindia until I realised that 10,000 other people had too.

The heat was searing down and as I looked up the great mountainous walk to the Acropolis I spotted someone puking about halfway up and decided to give it a miss. Fortunately, I’ve been here before so bailing out didn’t seem so bad.  At the end of the day, the beauty and history of Lindos is not something you want to share with excessive crowds whilst boiling to death.  The whole essence of the place is spoiled by this along with the need for Greeks to open up a “Mikey’s English Food Bar” to attract tourists. I come on holiday to escape such things.  However, I walked the back streets and managed to avoid the madding crowd.

With more steps…

But much better cafes…

And a delectable door or two…

I’ve discovered all the things I love about life by extensive travelling but not in the way I thought I might.  It is by finding what I do not like that I have truly uncovered what I yearn for to calm body and soul.

Keeping it simple is what works for me and if you can manage to lose yourself in a Greek island, it’s almost perfect.

However, no time for that because I had to move on to the…

Italian Job

Bags unpacked, clobber washed, and back on the plane to Genoa.  The capital of Liguria.

Italy is one of my favourite places and Liguria in particular as I spent 3 months there back in my early 20’s.  I spoke wonderful Italian, hardly spent a penny, and ended up meeting a Mafia gang and bringing them back to England.  I must blog that story – it’s fabulous!

Anyway, what I particularly love about Italy is the food, the wine, the passion, and the go-slow tempo against a dramatic backdrop.  

Fresco and Frascati…

The best MacDonalds I’ve ever been inside was in Rome.  The building could rival the Trevi Fountain with its flamboyance!

I walked the dusty, cobbled streets in search of Bardolino and espresso, pasta and prosciutto and whatever Genoa had to offer.  Which, on the first night was utterly atrocious.  

Having stopped at a random cafe type restaurant that looked pretty nice, I found that I’d eaten better ravioli out of a smart-price tin at Asda.  The waitress was a surly bint with a severe hatred for tourists and had the audacity to bring me cold red wine.  In Italy.  That’s when I lost my shit.

“No.  I cannot possibly drink this,”  I stated – all snobbery back in full play. 

“You want it caldo?”

“No, I want it room temperature. It should complement the warm breeze of the evening.”

“You can ‘ave it ‘ot or cold.”

Wow. Where am I? Grimsby? I swear to God I nearly slapped her. 

 Fortunately, all righted itself and the next few days found me eating local dishes in beautiful places,  such as gnocchi pesto and focaccia for which Genoa is famous. 

saluté to that!

After a few hard-heeled days of scouting out the city, I took a train to Santa Margherita / Portofino for a day of seaside swag and sophistication. Pretty, idyllic, and very expensive.

As you can see, everyone else in Genoa had pretty much the same idea except they weren’t stupid enough to forget to bring a towel and have to pay a gazillion Euro for a sun-bed and a rag. But it’s still not as expensive as Copenhagen. That is going to take some beating. 

 

 

 

 

Icy Little Bitch

February 22, 2019 12:25pm Published by Jules Smith in Off Piste Posting (Any day thoughts) 12 Comments

Cocktail glass in shadow

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Fabulous News On A Friday!

You could only make this up in fairyland where the most beautiful dreams come true.

I can’t actually believe it. 

How all the right things have managed to come together all at once.  I mean, how often does that ever happen? A miraculous melting pot of marvellous. 

The Magical Ingredients

Cocktail glass with lyrics

The sun is shining. In England.  In February. I don’t know what’s going on cos it should be snowing, but spring has arrived and temperatures are in double figures.  

It’s a Friday. Best day of the week. Nobody works on a Friday.

And, best of all, the icing on the cake, the pièce de résistance ?

It’s only National Margarita Day!

Oh yeah, baby. No joke. And I’m all in. 

Mad hatter and cocktail

Please feel free to listen to the song I wrote about the best cocktail in the world here. Enjoy yours, have one for me, and I’ll see you at the crack of noon next week.

Cheers!

 

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.

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