Journey’s End

May 8, 2019 10:51am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 18 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

They say you should pay attention to your journey because there are messages everywhere. Mine seem to be shockingly accurate. When I can be arsed to pay attention. 

On a recent junket to York, I came across The Shambles. Ah! A place I know well. Walked down that menacing lane many a time, and, as usual, it wasn’t a straight forward “from start to finish” experience. Littered with obstacles – in this case, dawdlers and tourists standing right in the middle of the narrow street to examine the wonky buildings of yore. Look pal, can you just sod off to the side to do your adoring because weaving in and out of you all is making me seasick. I have to get through this alive and without either one of us causing grievous bodily harm. 

From The Mighty To The Meek

I am fascinated with doors and York boasts a collection of the finest.  

There seems to be a lot of pushing going on of late. Tons of effort and hard work. The temptation is to heave-ho when confronted with such a magnificent entrance displaying a command.  What delights could be behind? Or not. Will the effort be worth it? 

Standing at the edge, admiring the great portal (because I have street manners) I felt tempted to go behind and explore. However, that meant ducking and diving through a gaggle of Japanese tourists moulded to the floor with craned necks, a couple of kids having an ice cream fight, a 4×4 pushchair worthy of making it to ‘Top Car’ status, and a dog so small and hyperactive it was like a live yo-yo; an unavoidable, moving tripwire that would have you face down in seconds doing gobble on a cobble. 

As everyone looked up, I looked down, and that’s when I spotted it…

The worlds smallest door.

Well. I was enchanted!  I looked around for the ‘Eat Me – Drink Me’ potion but reckon the psychopathic pug had beaten me to it.  Trust me to find the one and only door that I’m desperate to enter but can’t. Rats! Probably…

I shut my eyes and willed myself to shrink. Come on, brain!  You can do this! Despite what everyone says, I know there’s more to you than you let on. 

Careful Which Wormhole You Wish For

47 seconds later I was at the seaside. 

A gloriously hot and sunny Bank Holiday Monday, and where’s the worst place you can be? 

The East Coast. 

Full of donkeys.

And deckchairs that NOBODY sat on. 

I think they were situated too far from the chippy. Nobody wants that kind of effort at the Great British seaside.  

I had an urge to paddle which may seem surprising as the North Sea isn’t renowned for its thermals unless it’s been pissed in nearby. However, the tide was 4,687 miles out and I knew I would have lost my childlike fervour long before my toes were lapped with freezing spume and plastic wrappers. So, I opted for a cock on a stick and a meander back up the beach to the car park. 

That’s when I heard the whispering. Low-level chuntering weaving through the brisk winds. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not an unusual sound at the Great British seaside. People cursing at their windbreakers as they struggle to stay vertical, impatient mothers swiping at irritable kids who have overdosed on too much sugar and resort to violent screaming because they can’t make their sandcastle stand up – too dry because the sodding water has receded back to France. Teenagers who have had one too many rides at pleasure beach and can feel the dodgy burger making a bid for freedom, and the straining of a wiry mutt as it takes a dump on “Baz Woz ‘Ere” written in the sand.  You can’t help but feel elated. 

But this sound was different. And that’s when I saw them.

Cache Your Chips In

The many small statues of bearded wisdom in pointy hats. Randomly collected together on the dunes. 

Gnomes. Why? 

Known to be protectors of treasure. What possible bounty could they be guarding, I wondered, for about ten seconds.  One of them looked like a wizard and so I asked it if I could please go home. I’m sure I heard him say…

On Yer Bike

And that’s when I found myself back in the beautiful countryside. The bright yellow fields are stunning at this time of year. 

“Wow. Rape is so beautiful”, might sound a very dodgy thing to hear coming from a British mouth should you ever visit, but please note we are referring to the rapeseed plant that grows abundantly in our farmer’s fields.  We’re not weird or inappropriate. If you go to the seaside you’ll see for yourself. 

And I got to thinking about the joys of riding a bicycle. I decided I should buy one so I could pedal around for the forthcoming summer season.  

I’ve always wanted an old fashioned bike with a basket on. The kind you see in a subtitled movie, set in in a French village.  Where the heroine rides through the village with a straw hat and flowing, floral skirt, filling the basket on her bicycle with pain de jour and local wine. 

So, that’s what I bought. 

In yellow. 

However, I don’t have a long flowing skirt yet and have had to buy a helmet because the bloke who sold me the bike put the fear of death into me about brain damage. It doesn’t look quite as elegant when I’m sitting on it looking like an overgrown child having a crisis. 

I decided I would take it to pretty places, like by the river or national parks. However, it won’t fit in my car.  Not without extreme hassle, blood, sweat, tears and an incredible amount of cursing. 

Solution? I went to buy a bike rack. 

They don’t do them for my car unless you have a tow bar. To have that fitted and buy a bike rack from my car dealer is a mere  £1200. Even at a local car place called Halfords, it’s £800. 

Range Rover has done this on purpose. Now I can’t take my bike anywhere pretty unless I change my bloody car.  Which I’m now going to do as a matter of principle. 

My advice? NEVER, pay attention to your journey and never follow the yellow brick road!


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Have been there with the bikes in cars thing. Just in case you discover that your bike has an easily removable front wheel, DON’T DO IT! You’ll get to your destination put the wheel back on and the front brakes won’t work or they’ll foul the wheel or both, resulting in rubbish day out and visit to bike shop when you get home.

Dear God. I can’t be doing with that palaver! The basket is in the way, too. And the basket is CRUCIAL for transporting Jaffa Cakes! 🙂

As usual dearest lady, another wonderful sojourn in to the thoughts that are the lovely Jules.

Ah, tourists. It reminds me of why I used to go to Cambridge in the Winter instead of Summer. Sure, walking down Trinity Street in high winter was akin to standing into a gale. But on the plus side, the only likely thing to fly into my face was a marzipan wrapper…or the random Harry Potter-ish University Freshman unaccustomed to using the gothic medieval molding to make headway. Tourists. Given enough humans in one space we will surely raise to the ground the very thing we love.

Today I can only imagine how dense the pestilence known as tourism must be. Put-up the yellow bike, Juju. It’s being true to its color and giving you a warning! And on that happy note I return you to Juju’s regularly scheduled programming.

It’s nice to have someone who likes my thoughts, Dean! Most people steer clear of them!

Tourists do my head in. I don’t mind people visiting places, why, I do that all the time, but I don’t stand in the middle of a tiny walkway blocking access. DUH. Never go to Cambridge in student time or summer. Loaded with nonsense. Great place though.

I’m sticking with the bike! I will be selling homemade margarita ice lollies from its basket come summer! 🙂

AND THAT is why you are my favorite Bond girl.

Quite rightly so, Mr. Bond! 🙂 x

It’s been years since I visited the Shambles and I think you’re pretty brave face off against the tourists and the transdimensionality of the thing. Then there’s the gnomes and the raver donkey herder.
Good Lord, courageous.
Bike on.

Haha! Raver donkey herder! having just analysed him, I think he was in the Ebeneezer video! 🙂

Got any salmon?
So tasty.

Rape? Cock-on-a-stick? Magnificent entrance? The joys of riding?
I won’t mention Gobble on a cobble.
I think this is all getting a bit too racy for me!

Nice bike… though I’ve always imagined you on a Pendleton.

Well, as you know, Masher, I’m a classy bird, me.

I did look at those! Pendleton is the next step, once I’ve mastered my style!

* I wanna ride your bike!………you steer and my butt will sit on the handlebars and we can gaze at the moon as Elliott and his E.T. crew ride on top of it (the moon)

* what came first, The Shambles or Harry Potter World?

* you don’t want to get stuck trying to enter those tiny doors, I tried thinking I would shrink but I didn’t. I only go through yellow doors cos i’m scared. as long as it’s not through that NASA picture of the black hole, that scares the shit out of me. still.

* full of donkeys. and donkey punches, believe me, I’ve been on the other end. I love those beach seascape East Coast scenes with the 40 open striped beach chairs on the sand and no butts in them, those chairs were never meant to be used, they were meant to be seen and painted.

* the Trivago Guy got in a fight with that other travel-agency garden gnome…the Trivago Guy hasn’t been seen since…he was spotted at a rehab bed ‘n breakfast…but it turned out not to be him, it was Elvis…

* the Elysian Fields…Heaven is a place on Earth…


No problem, my sweet! I’m happy to take you on an extraterrestrial journey.

We can fly to planet Cinnabon where a miniature version of sweet little wizards live, ruled by Barry Rotter *Gnome-de-plume*
You can only get there by entering the tiny door at 10 Shambles and you must own a yellow bike and have yellow hair. The Trivago Guy tried to enter via donkey and they kicked his ass out. *)

Okay, I’m going to quote you now. “When I can be arsed to pay attention.” Great line. Quintessentially British, and so you. “Look pal, can you just sod off…” See, that’s why I think you’re the best, Jules. Did you know that most millennials would say, “Oh I’m sooooo offended!”? Well, they can just sod off. “Wow. Rape is so beautiful!” I rest my case. YOU are not a millennial. You have just won the fridge. Of course it’s what’s inside that fridge that matters: free drinks, rocks and never ending twists included. “A live yo-yo…” Pure poetry, dammit. Why didn’t I come up with that image? (Don’t answer.) And that sure is a small door. I hope it isn’t where my ex-boss lives, though. You know, the one with the small pecker. But I digress plus where are my manners?

“The North Sea isn’t renowned for its thermals unless it’s been pissed in nearby.” Ha! Good one. I also think no one sat on those deck chairs because there was no wifi. You know we need wifi. Free wifi. That and a latte. Gnomes freak me out. Unless they are female and naked.

Hey, I love that bike. White tires and all. And as for that yellow brick road, it should’ve been blue and everything would’ve been all right. I may be biased.

Hello Jules. How are you?


I feel privileged to be quoted. That’s never happened to me before, except that time when I had to say, “Yes your Honour, I might’ve said that…”

Millennials can sod off! I aim to offend as many as possible. Millennials can’t live without Wi-Fi – it makes their heads explode and causes major anxiety and PTSD. They feel…”marginalised”

Since you are the T-Shirt Guru of our time, may I suggest a simple design? At the bottom of the t-shirt, (you know, where the hem rests upon the hip bone area) a printed line right across with the caption underneath saying, “I’ve had Gnomes up to here”
I’ll leave that to your beautiful imagination.

I’m all about the Blue Road. That’s where my favourite travels 🙂 X

Hahahaha now THAT’s a great um… line. Speaking of lines, I just made you a T-shirt. Something to do with balls.

Hey hun, think you can purchase a little ‘bar type thing’ that goes from your seat to you handle bar creating a false cross bar for around £40. That way you may be able to use a different kind of bike rack that doesn’t need a tow bar. Or maybe you’ve looked into that already? Hope it helps and gets you out and about for less ££!! Xxx

Thank you for this wonderful advice, Rebekah!

However, in a true tantrum, I have organised the sale of my car next week and am currently in search of a new beast that can cope with off-roading and bike carrying. I think you’re gonna like what I have my eye on! 😉

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