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Fade To Grey

November 4, 2020 11:00am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 12 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

It’s the last day before yet another national lockdown and tomorrow all avenues of pleasure will be closed. People are worried about how this might affect everyone in terms of work, money and business; many debate at length of the mental effect this will have on those being curtailed and imprisoned in their homes. Well, it just so happens I can answer that one. 

It appears I have gone stark raving mad. 

At some point during the first lockdown I decided that since I couldn’t travel I’d get all the things sorted in my house that desperately needed attention. 

I got the roof repaired so it would stop raining in my bedroom. 

I’m currently having the kitchen re-done.

And the bathroom.

I had beautiful new wardrobes fitted to hold all the party dresses that I can no longer wear. They are a shrine to good-times past. 

Pandemic Pile-Up

I don’t know what it is with me and stress but when I have a dose of it, I want to add more.  

“Come on, break you bitch!”

I believe that it is a result of some deep psychological imbalance. Which, is very surprising for someone as balanced as me…

Perhaps, the thought of endless chaos, workmen, plaster dust, rubble and no eating, sleeping or bathing facilities is preferable to sitting with my own thoughts on how to deal with Covid gaol.

Besides, if I have to stay in prison I may as well make it look sodding pretty.

There’s Something Wrong With the Grey Matter

For some reason, everything I have chosen for my abode sits within the greyscale.  My new kitchen is called “Cashmere” which is basically a creamy grey. The new floors are ash; in the bathroom they are slate. When the wardrobe man came round for a billion hours I chose Shaker wardrobes in a beautiful tone called “Dove”.  AKA – grey.

I reside in shades of grey with no colour.

Not so good when you’re moving into winter in England. 

I even re-homed a second wolfit to add to the drama. His name is Halo and guess what colour he is…

Night-time Terrors

Since the transformation of my decor, I’ve started to have a fear about going to bed. Completely irrational and like a 5-year-old with a sense of lurking monsters.  This went on for quite a few weeks. I tried to drug myself with Benadryl or read until my eyes nearly bled but the feeling still lingered.

And then, one evening, I realised the cause. 

In the daytime, my new bedroom looks like an elegant boudoir straight out of the Homes and Gardens Magazine:  Floor to ceiling oyster closets; a pale grey/lavender hue to the walls and a dark grey carpet. All tones melting subtly into one another like a greyscale Rothko painting. 

The bed, inviting and pure with crisp white bedding. A neutral haven for the weary and heavy-headed. 

But at night, with the dimmed over the bed reading lights…

It looks like a hospital room. A dreary room where one lies in wait to die.

“Look at it,” I said to one of my friends. “I feel like I should have DNR put up on the back wall.”

And when I’m in the bed, reading to stop the inner voices of doom, my room resembles an aircraft cabin – lights down for night-time flying. 

Radiance for Recovery

Clearly, I recognised the need for vivid accents of brilliant colour to swing the scale back to happy days. I called in my trusted decorators and insisted on a kaleidoscopic transformation.

“Dolphin Blue in the kitchen, mint green in this room, timeless classic here, and for the love of God, some dusky pink depth in this hospital bedroom before I lose my spirit completely!”

Yesterday they painted my bedroom. I didn’t look at it until I went to bed and I nearly cried. This morning when I analysed it in the dawn sunlight, I came to this conclusion:  My bedroom now looks like someone has thrown up candy-floss all over my walls…

 

Marvel at This

September 30, 2020 5:25pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 12 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

So, I met my mum at the garden centre. This is a Great British thing to do because in Blighty we all love our gardens and having cake and tea.  Garden centres are the new going out.

There’s not much else to do because the pubs shut at 10 pm now, if you can get in, and there’s no point shopping for a new frock if you’ve got nowhere to go. 

There are queues everywhere, and despite people thinking that the British are fond of forming an orderly line, there are some of us who do not. 

Grievous Bottled Harm 

A few days ago a woman kicked off in the Co-op because it was pointed out to her that she was walking the wrong way around the shop.  

She proper lost it. In Surrey!  People don’t behave like that down there. This is where I was brought up; it’s suburban and refined and not Essex. Clearly people are getting post-traumatic-pandemic disorder.

At first, I found this slightly amusing and could empathise a tad with her rage because it’s very annoying having to walk around following bloody arrows.

All Hail the Ikea method!

No.

However, when she started to smash all the wine bottles on the floor of the shop I lost all sympathy. What an absolute sinful waste of quality merchandise.  The chick is clearly off her rocker. 

Talking of Harpies…

I have come across the most sinister bird on the planet. No, not me, a real bird…

Can you imagine meeting this thing on a jolly jaunt out?

I am ambivalent towards the Harpy Eagle but I think it should replace Big Bird on Sesame Street so kids can develop a bit of character. I should get one as a pet and tie it to my front railings where it can peer menacingly at passers-by from the bushes.

Talking of Greenery…

I have a plant that is trying to escape. No matter how I try and reposition it, the thing wants to get out of its pot.  Is this just a simple case of social distancing or should I be calling this plant Audrey the 3rd?  It is 2020… anything could happen.

And on the subject of sentient plants (and me being at the garden centre with my mum), I happened to notice something remarkable as I was leaving.  

Maybe I am the only person to spot this because plants are trying to tell me something, like it’s time for me to be ready to guard the Galaxy?  

Because people, I found Groot…

 

Start Whining and Then Wining!

September 9, 2020 4:39pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 14 Comments

 

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

Don’t you get sick to death of things not running smoothly?  Oh looky-do, here we go again with me having to follow up / sort out / get some control back of a situation or service that you paid good money for so you don’t have to worry.  And then you find yourself in the midst of the chaos caused by the incompetent ones wondering how they even got out of bed that morning let alone have a bloody job.

I’ve had a lot of that recently. 

What a colossal pain in the arse.

Uh-Oh – It Looks Like Complain!

But, here’s what happens when you keep doing the same thing over and over again – you get good at it. I have now made complaining an art form. OK, so it’s made my blood pressure go up; it’s made me a snarkier and more impatient individual and it has given me further trust issues, but I am finally good at something.

It all came to a head with the bank. 

Bankers. The lot of ‘em

I have a particular issue with banks because they are vicious control freaks that make money from your money and are very sociopathic when it comes to relationships. Add that to the COVID mix and you get all that plus passive-aggressive dismissal. 

During the global virus, I needed two pieces of paperwork from the bank, one for my accountant and one for my solicitor. This paperwork should be readily available to me but never is. Hours I’ve spent being pushed from one department to the other because nobody knows their arse from their elbow.  

Add a pandemic and nobody in the bank can:

  1. *talk to you
  2. *answer the phone
  3. *respond to emails

Total ineptitude. 

If At First You Don’t Succeed…Kick Off

So, off I went with mask and temper to confront someone.

I got girls on desks telling me to:

  1. *find someone to talk to
  2. *try calling
  3. *try emailing

I well and truly properly kicked off until someone gave me the Head Honcho’s e-mail. 

I wrote to him and his superiors and the Ombudsman. I penned the most beautifully obnoxious rant. I should have won a Nobel Prize for trashing bankers

In Vino Veritas

All of a sudden and straight away I had a business advisor all of my own bending like a pretzel to my every whim. 

And then I got a little note that said, “Moving forward we’d like to send you a hamper of wine for your inconvenience.”

And they did!

I got so drunk I forgot to get my paperwork! 

 

Toe Be or Not Toe Be?

August 19, 2020 9:53am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 16 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

So, here’s what’s been going on…

Things opened up a bit, right?  Masks on, we ventured out and tried to get on with life a little bit more how we remembered in old Blighty.

To give us a little bit of a shove our government kindly decided to pay 50% of all meals out in a restaurant from Mon-Weds throughout August. As any true Brit knows -we can face anything if there’s something to be had for FREE.

Coronavirus? PFFFT!  There’s a free plate of steak and chips here! Hold yer breath! You’ll be reet!

Understandably, I’ve been taking advantage of this offer whenever possible. 

Best Foot Forward

Having become braver in this new world I decided it was high time I had my nails done. Mani/Pedi days were back on the menu and I booked in for some much-needed luxury.

Now, I’d normally frequent a little shop run by Asians – no booking required, cash only, cheap-as-chips for a good job done. However, it was pointed out to me that sanitisation of equipment in the said venue would not be happening – hygiene wasn’t the focus in the first place. With that in mind, I booked into a posh nail and beauty salon at twice the price.  Twice the price PLUS an extra £5.00 to cover the cost of sanitisation sprays used on all didgery -pokery- toolery.

Well, what a bloody ordeal. The PPE was overboard with masks and visas and hand gel and gloves. Temperatures were taken, names were taken, all sense of freedom was thoroughly taken. How on earth the beautician worked in all this regalia is beyond me. She told me that it had been like learning her job all over again.

So much for all the hygiene procedures because a few days later I got an infection in my big toe.  Never-not-once have I had such a thing in all my life. I contemplated asking for my fiver back. 

After a few days of this getting worse and walking becoming an issue, I went to the chemist to get a remedy. 

“Hey, I’ve got foot and mouth,” I said to the pharmacist. “Got any cream for this?” 

“Ooh… “*sharp intake of breath* “You need to go to the doctors with that – it’s infected.”

“This I know, dear pharmacist, but you must have a cream for it in the meantime?  I’ve been looking on t’internet and following advice from all and sundry – like using cortisone and Vicks Vaporub, which, incidentally, woke me up at 4 am with my toe throbbing like a bastard.”

“No – stop that at once. You must get antibiotics.”

The Quacks

I’ve not been to the doctors for ages and didn’t know if you could even go there in the throes of a pandemic. I called the gate-keeper receptionist and got straight to the point.

“I need antibiotics as a matter of urgency before I get gangrene” 

“You can’t come in.”

“No change there then.”

“The doctor will call you this afternoon.” 

“Deal.”

To be honest, I much preferred having a chat with the GP on the phone rather than sitting in a waiting room for ages with a bunch of snotty, sick people. My prescription got sent immediately to my preferred pharmacy and all I had to do was roll up there and pay a tenner for my medicine. The pandemic has brought about some changes for the better and this is one of them. 

4 antibiotics a day for 10 days! Think twice before some posh totty fiddles with your feet.

However, doom-gloomers around me said that it could be an ingrowing toe-nail and I should get that checked out. Instilled with fear after reading about surgical toe procedures online I decided to contact podiatrists. The only ones prepared to take new clients at this time were the dodgy types. The types that answer the phone like this:

“Err…yeah, hello?”

“Is that Feet Feelers Chiropody?”

“Sorry?  Say again… hold on, love – Mandy!  Turn telly down. I can’t hear owt! – Sorry duck, what did ya say?”

“Umm… I’m just ringing about feet” (and regretting it severely)

“Oh, yeah. What’s wrong?”

“Just inquiring about ingrowing toenail removal…”

“OK. We have a couple of girls who can come out and do an ‘ome visit.  If there’s one there, they can gerrit out.”

“With an injection first, yes?”

“No, duck. We can drill into it if it’s a bit stubborn.”

“Goodbye”

Dear God. I know I live in medieval England but come on…

The Podiatrist

After bleating to my mother about the state of things, she went and found a willing podiatrist to look at my foot. His practice was in a very salubrious village known for its millionaires so I knew they’d deal with the situation competently. 

My mother drove me with a promise of a cream tea afterwards (50% off, of course) It was one of the hottest days of the year and we sat in the car park waiting for me to be collected by the footman in temperatures of 33 degrees centigrade – known to boil an Englishman on the spot. Ten minutes later a vision walked out of the door like a Hollywood actor in scrubs. 6 ft 3”, lean and muscular with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. Not that I noticed. But my mother did. 

“BLOODY HELL!” she shouted, way too loudly, staring wantonly at the footman.

“SHUT UP!” I whispered harshly, mortified by her outburst. 

There I was, forced to sit in a tiny room without air conditioning, mask on to make it even more oppressive with the added factor of embarrassment to ramp up the heat intensity. I feared near death.  And then he got out a big pokey tool and shoved it down the side of my toe to check for an ingrowing toenail issue. Brutal. If it wasn’t for the fact I was concentrating on filling out a form with my details, so intently that my eyes nearly bled, I might have kicked the foot Adonis in the face which wouldn’t have ended well. 

Turns out I didn’t have an ingrowing toenail and the foot fetish fellow recommended a good old smearing of everyday Savlon.  Something which the bloody chemist couldn’t even come up with.  

Here’s to keeping your feet on the ground. 

 

It’s been 17 Weeks and 5 Days

July 15, 2020 2:34pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 18 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

So, yeah. That’s how long it’s been. 17 weeks and 5 days. Not that I’m counting or anything but the last time I went to the pub was 11th March.  I don’t even feel British anymore.

But then, just recently, pubs were allowed to open – so long as they had new fangled stuff in place.

Teenage Tipples

It’s not that I haven’t been meeting my friends at the park for a tipple or two.  I’ve had regular outings getting my arse wet on the grass, sipping my gin and tonic from my Chili flask like a 15-year-old, but there’s something ingrained in you as a Brit that makes the public house a second home.

Shandy Steps

So when my best mate said, “Shall we go to the pub?”  who am I to argue? Besides, she’s a nurse so I figured that one of the following things would happen:

She’d get the clap from the bar

She’d be given a freebie for being part of the NHS

She’d be able to resuscitate me if I got over-excited

We decided that it would make better sense to not go on a Friday night. Shandy steps.  We chose a rather nice pub that we used to frequent in middle-class suburbia at 2 pm on a Monday afternoon.

And we still had to book a table online. For a pub.

“Be sure to go straight to your greeter who will take you to your table”, the information stated.  “No standing at the bar – you will be served by the waiting staff”

Off we went…

As you can see, they were very pleased at our return.  We were taken swiftly to our table by a young girl wearing Timmy Mallett glasses -come visa.  Once seated she took our order.

I glanced around the pub to get my bearings again..

And realised how much I’d missed the wisdomous words of the barkeep…

The girl brought our drinks over and we had to take them from the tray. This made no sense to me whatsoever because somebody’s already had their mittens around my stem so how is that protecting me?  Anyway, there I sat enjoying the comforts of the local with a rather splendid Pinot.

After a couple of these, albeit rather bizarre, I started to enjoy myself.  Never had a Monday afternoon been so exciting! At least not for 17 weeks and 5 days.

I decided I needed a wee so off I went to the public toilets. I went the wrong way because I didn’t notice the arrows on the floor.  Every place has since turned into Ikea and I’ve never stuck to that rule so why start now?  Far too many regulations to pay attention to.

Regardless of flaunting the rules I didn’t get barred and found myself face-to-face with a moveable sign on the main toilet door that I had to change from vacant to engaged.  Basically, the whole toileting area was mine.  If I wanted to wee in all 3 toilets and dance around naked, nobody else was allowed to enter.  Hmmm, let’s see how well that goes down at about half ten on a Saturday night.

8 bottles later…

Just kidding!

After 3 large glasses of wine each, we asked for the bill.

£40!

FORTY-BLOODY-QUID!

17 weeks of buying and mixing your own sauce makes you realise how much money you’ve saved.

“Let’s bring our flasks next time and sit in the pub garden,” my friend said.  This is why she’s a nurse. Nurses are clever.

We said goodbye to our friendly staff in their sexy PPE …

 

and I remember thinking, “It’s a good job she’s pretty”

 

 

 

 

Rage Against Ma Chine

June 24, 2020 10:46am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 9 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

One of the terrible things about being in lockdown is that it’s very easy to be distracted by things online. There I was scrolling down my Instagram feed when all of a sudden an advert caught my eye.

Cut It Out

A beautiful machine   ma chine to cut glass bottles in half and turn them into works of art… like, ya know, half -cut bottle decanters that, ummm, make pots to hold…stuff.  Yeah.

I thought this would be a marvellous idea because the glass bottle collectors had not been collecting the bottles for the last twelve weeks and despite me hiding mine on my neighbour’s side, I was starting to look like I had a gin problem.

What a genius idea to turn all my bottles into – umm…things..

Beautiful glass doo-dah that I could gift to people.

Just for them.

Wow.

Cutting Edge Technology

Three months I waited.  THREE MONTHS to have this tool delivered so I could create my glass malarkey emporium. By which time I’d lost all interest in the idea and they had ruined any chance of me becoming a millionaire.  Dream crushers.

Even the glass recycling collectors had come out of lockdown by then and collected all my empties.

Still, having the entrepreneurial spirit that I do, I drank a couple of bottles of wine to have a go at the thing now it was here.

Never mind don’t drink and drive – more like do not drink and operate the glass cutting machine.

In fact, don’t remain sober and operate it either because it gets you into botther  bother…

Needless to say, it didn’t work. I nearly ended up in A&E with missing digits.

Never buy tat from the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

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