Posted by Big John on September 1, 2014
Situated high up and towards the bow of our cruise ship …
(click on images for a better view)
… was ‘The Observatory’, a very pleasant and comfortable bar with large panoramic windows. Needless to say that it was a very popular spot for many passengers, as it offered a great view of all the magnificent scenery as we cruised slowly along the beautiful fjords on our first day in Norway.
Now you may find this hard to believe, but as I sat enjoying a cold beer and watching the mountains, waterfalls and pretty villages ‘drift by’, I noticed that many of my fellow passengers were not gazing out of the windows at the stunning landscape, but were fiddling with their smartphones or jabbing their fingers at their tablets, and a number were reading (mostly ‘Kindles’), or even knitting. Of course, “the best seats in the house” were occupied by selfish old farts who were taking their afternoon nap !
I wonder if they where the same passengers who, at our first port of call …
… paid the rip-off prices to pack the tour buses, ‘Troll Trains’ …
… and pleasure boats to view very similar (if not the same) mountains, waterfalls and villages as those they had failed to notice during the previous day’s scenic voyage ?
I heard one bloke say that he hoped to see a reindeer on his four hour
pleasure bum numbing bus trip,. If he did, I bet it features …
… in a ‘selfie’ !
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Posted by Big John on August 28, 2014
It wasn’t quite time to sing ..”For those in peril on the sea” .. but it was bloody close to it, as our cruise ship ploughed through rough seas and gales for a night, a day, and most of a second night on it’s way to Norway …
The above photo shows the view from our cabin. Most passengers restricted their view to the inside of their cabins or, better still, to their bathrooms, where they spent a lot of time “talking to the big white telephone”: but “It’s an ill wind …” as they say, as all those “Do not disturb” signs on all those cabin doors, meant that we more hardy souls could enjoy the pleasures of what appeared to be a half empty ship.
A very different view greeted me as I stepped out on deck early in the morning of the second day …
(click on images for a better view)
Now, I know that our American friends (and some of us) refer to everything from a rock star to the Rocky Mountains as “AWSOME !” …but, blimey ! this part of the world truly is …
It could almost be that mythical …
“Land of Ice and Fire” !
Posted in humour, travel | 2 Comments »
Posted by Big John on August 25, 2014
I have just returned from Norway, land of the Vikings: and guess what ? I bumped into one of Ragnar’s mates …
… and possibly one of my ancestors.
Now speaking of ancestors, my old ‘trouble and strife’ definitely has that certain Scandinavian look about her, so I was not surprised when we met up with two of her long lost cousins …
Not surprisingly, ‘she who must be obeyed’ refused to pose for a picture with them !
More on our cruise to the fjords to follow soon.
Posted in family, humour, travel | 2 Comments »
Posted by Big John on August 13, 2014
I ended ‘Part Eight’ with President Obama’s statement … “I don’t rule out anything” ! … and guess what ? .. American warplanes are now shooting the shit out of yet another bunch of very unpleasant religious nutters in ‘Eye-Rack’. Although in this case they are trying their best to save the lives of a people, the Yasidis, of whom we had never heard until a few days ago.
Now we learn that British aircraft are involved, although so far, only in a humanitarian role.
Which brings me to my question … Why is it always the USA and some other western powers who have to try and solve the bloody problems of what is largely the ‘Arab World’ ?
OK, so I know that our own political ‘pygmies’, got this present mess started by naïvely thinking that democracy, human rights and religious freedom actually meant something to all the tribes, sects, political factions, military leaders and assorted crooks and bandits, not to mention every kind of religious loony in this part of the world: but surely it is about time that all the rulers of those oil rich states, and others, stopped counting their money and flaunting their wealth and started to sort out the problems and help the persecuted people of their own region, and the followers of their own religion ?
I suppose that there isn’t much chance of that, when those now being slaughtered are considered to be ‘infidels’ or just the wrong kind of Muslim.
… Ain’t it great to be religious ?
Posted in political, rant, religion | 5 Comments »
Posted by Big John on August 7, 2014
I see that
some nutter a senior lecturer in sociology has said that although .. “Gardeners’ Question Time is not the most controversial show on BBC Radio 4, yet it is layered, saturated with racial meanings,” .. and that .. “people were vicariously living out their nationalist and fascist fantasies through horticultural chatter on plant species”.. with .. “gardening as a means through which white people can express their identity without appearing to be racist”.
No, I’m not making this up. You can read all about it … HERE !
When I have, on occasion, listened to the programme I have always been amazed at the amateur gardeners’ knowledge of the ‘Latin’ names of plants, such as ‘Rhodochiton Volubilis’, which is more commonly known as ‘black man’s willy’, which when mentioned in a 2008 episode outraged some listeners.
I wonder which one of today’s three equally ‘offensive’ words outraged them …
… ‘BLACK’ .. ‘MAN’ .. or .. ‘WILLY’ ?
Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »
Posted by Big John on August 1, 2014
The craze for ‘selfies’ may be new, but ‘photobombing’, such as this by his Harryness is not; as can be seen from this photograph of my mother (right), her aunt and young cousin …
When was it taken ? ….
… Around 1920 !
Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 2 Comments »
Posted by Big John on July 22, 2014
I remember reading somewhere that some nutters believed that children should not be taught to read, because if you put a group of them in a room full of books somehow they would teach themselves.
Now I see that so-called ‘child-centred’ teaching methods characterised as allowing pupils to proceed at their own pace and make discoveries independent of the teacher, and where children are often left to work alone or in small groups, taking “responsibility for their own learning” are back in fashion.
In other words teachers do not take charge, direct lessons and set pupils structured tasks, but let the kids piss about all day, “like” mumbling to “like” each other and “like” texting their mates “innit“.
No wonder so many youngsters leave school illiterate, innumerate and without a clue about life in the ‘real world': and would you believe it ? … The majority of ‘Ofsted’ school inspectors favour this daft method, and .. “are prejudiced against more teacher-led alternatives”. However, their boss says that 60s-style “child-centred’ teaching damaged generations of schoolchildren. I bet it did !
I was educated during the 1940’s and 50’s. I didn’t think much of it at the time; but I guess …
… I was just lucky !
Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »
Posted by Big John on July 17, 2014
Well, I suppose that it’s possible ! … and this strange ring of little flowers could be the evidence …
… for it reminded me of a poem from my childhood …
“There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.”
… I just wish that the dirty little buggers would stop …
… crapping on my lawn !
Posted in humour, nostalgia | 3 Comments »