bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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  • My Life and Times

    I was born in 1939 BC. That's 'Before Computers'. Luckily I survived the following events in my life, such as World War II, The London Blitz, Rationing, and worst of all... Archbishop Temple's School.

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    During the mid 1950s I was enjoying Rock 'n' Roll and being a first generation teenager, when suddenly, just like Elvis, I found myself in uniform during 'The Cold War'...and then

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    I became 'a family'. Which meant that I sort of missed the 'swinging sixties', but still managed to look a complete prat in the 70s, just like everyone else.

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    During the 'Thatcher Years' I lost my hair and a lot of people lost a good deal more. My career fluctuated to say the least as I was demoted, promoted, fired and hired a number of times, but still I managed to stagger on into a welcome retirement and to celebrate 50 years of happy marriage.
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Archive for October, 2008

Not such a “cheap laugh”.

Posted by Big John on October 30, 2008

The ‘Credit Crunch’ .. the machinations of Lord ‘Mandy’ .. Russian oligarchs .. the US elections .. the Taliban .. and even global warming the weather have almost been swept from our media by the phenomenon of … ‘MANUELGATE’ !

At the last count the BBC had received 30,000 complaints about the “juvenile and thoughtless” phone calls to Andrew Sachs’ voicemail, and, (can you believe ?), the Tories have called for a full House of Commons debate on the ‘prank’.

I must say that I have only seen Russell Brand once on ‘Have I Got News For You’, so I am hardly able to comment on what makes him funny, and Jonathan Ross’s crude brand of humour often has me switching channels, although at other times I enjoy his wit when his ego doesn’t get in the way.

OK, so it wasn’t very nice for the star of ‘Fawlty Towers’ to receive “peurile” and “cruel” messages about his grandaughter’s sex life and the BBC is at fault, but Blimey ! ‘Over The Top’ doesn’t even begin to describe this furore.

The Daily Mail seems to be getting the credit blame for starting this publicity frenzy, (and ‘Wossy’ isn’t even an immigrant), but I wonder if Mandy, the ‘Prince of Darkness’ and his mates are behind all this, for I’m sure that we all remember Jo Moore and …

… “a good day to bury bad news”.

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »

What happened to ‘naughty’ ?

Posted by Big John on October 27, 2008

I was interested to read recently that we are ‘pumping’ record levels of drugs into hyperactive kids who are said to be suffering from ADHD, and the latest figures show that doctors wrote more than 535,000 prescriptions for anti-hyperactivity drugs last year, that’s more than 10,000 a week.

When I was a kid there was no such thing as ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ as we were all too ‘knackered’ from playing in the local parks or other open spaces to have any energy left to be disruptive; so I was not surprised to learn that researchers in the USA have discovered that time spent in a ‘green’ environment has as good a calming effect on hyperactive children as stuffing the poor little buggers full of bloody ‘Ritalin’.

Now I’m sure that there are a few unfortunate children who need medication to help control their behavioural problems, but I cannot believe that so many need what has been described as a ‘chemical cosh’.

Looking back I think that … 

…   a ‘clip round the ear’ was far kinder.

Posted in rant | 5 Comments »

No place for a lady ?

Posted by Big John on October 24, 2008

In my working days when I was in a management role I was often criticised for employing women in jobs where men were in the majority; for I have always been in favour of equality for women in the workplace: although I do appreciate that there are a few tasks which may be considered unsuitable for the ‘weaker :oops: sex’. One of these being front line combat soldiers.

Now I know that we have come a long way from the days when I served in the RAF some fifty years ago, and was introduced to the then ‘Women’s Royal Air Force’ by a grizzled Flight Sergeant who still referred to them by their WW2 name … ‘WAAFs’, and advised me and the other new young conscripts to beware of ‘WAAFs’ as they were only used .. “as officers’ groundsheets”: but are we now ready for Kurkri wealding young ladies from Nepal crying .. “Ayo Gorkhali” .. as they charge into battle ?

Yes, the barmy ‘PC’ brigade in our government is at it again by announcing that the Army would recruit female Gurkhas from 2009, despite the fact that, unlike the rest of the British Army, all Gurkhas are given full infantry training, no matter what job they do, so that they are always ready for action.

Can you believe that a government which fought through the courts to stop Gurkha veterans from settling in Britain, is now imposing unwanted changes on the Army for fear of being sued by Nepalese women ?

Blimey ! How many budding Himalayan heroines can there be ?

The Gurkha motto is … “Better to die than live a coward”.

Somehow I can’t see the ‘Whitehall Warriors’ …

…    sticking that over their desks anytime soon.

           

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION  – www.gurkhajustice.org.uk.

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

“Easy Life” Riders.

Posted by Big John on October 20, 2008

Did you see the latest absurd PR stunt that some ‘palace prat’ has dreamed up for our two ‘piss-artist’ princes ?

Yes, it’s the same old story ! .. After being seen staggering out of some ‘Hooray Henry’ nightspot, we have the usual ‘macho’ shots of Willy and ‘the ginger spare’ dressed like bloody ‘starship troopers’ taking part in some charity bike race in Africa, accompanied by their team of protection officers, who are paid for by the British taxpayers.

I understand that this race hopes to raise about £250,000 for three worthy charities, which is probably about as much as this duo run up in bar bills at ‘Whisky Mist’ and ‘Boujis’ when they are partying with the likes of Paris Hilton and Christine Aguilera (whoever they might be ?  ;-) ).

I’d be more impressed if this pair did some real ‘behind the scenes’ charity work, or any real work come to that, and stopped pissing about pretending to be action heroes like helicopter rescue pilots and ‘front line’ soldiers: but then again, as a republican, I have to say .. Keep it up boys ! .. for the more you and your cousins show the British public what a load of lazy hedonistic arseholes you really are, the more chance there is that your ‘Marie Antoinette’ of a pampered ‘Papa’ …

… may not make it to the throne !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Don’t forget to “Post Early for …” !

Posted by Big John on October 17, 2008

For the past month or so I have been pushing my trolley (cart) around Sainsbury’s avoiding the piles of ‘Quality Street’, the ‘mountains’ of shortbread, and heaps of ‘Stella Artois’, and watching the increasing ads on TV for perfume, booze and ‘must have’ gadgets: so it has to be nearly Christmas.

No ! It bloody isn’t ! .. It’s only October ! .. We haven’t even emptied the shops of all the Halloween rubbish yet, and the ‘banging season’ leading up to ‘Guy Fawkes NIght’ on 5th November has only just got started.

There are reports of Christmas decorations going up in town centres and shopping malls, and I’ve already received several requests from various charities to buy their seasonal greetings cards.

I noted this week that Sainsbury’s had a large display of festive decorations, so the mince pies and Christmas puddings can’t be far away; and I bet if I look I’ll find turkeys in the freezer cabinets along with the sausage rolls and those little stuffing balls.

It won’t be long before the press start reporting on all the ‘politically correct’ local councils who are banning carols and mangers which only they think will offend Muslims, along with the ‘health and safety’ fanatics who are removing holly wreaths in case someone pricks their finger.

Oh! .. and I’ve just been to the pub for lunch, where they have their ‘Christmas Party’ menu on display alongside a notice urging us to book NOW !

I thought that this year the ‘commercial’ Christmas might be cancelled due to the ‘Credit Crunch’, and I expect that for many people it will be.

Who knows ? .. Perhaps we may see the true meaning and spirit of Christmas return, and I’ll stop saying …

Bah! Humbug !   :-(

Posted in humour, rant | 7 Comments »

‘Strutting their stuff’.. ’20’s style !

Posted by Big John on October 14, 2008

Remember how I told you that I used to stay with my aunt and uncle during the school holidays. Well this is a picture of them taken during the 1920’s (No ! I wasn’t at school then) strolling along the promenade at Margate.

Don’t you just love my aunt’s outfit ? Judging by the look on the face of the woman on the left it must have been pretty unusual and I fancy somewhat ‘Bohemian’ in a ‘seaside’ sort of way.

From what I can gather they were rather a gay couple, in the days long before the word ‘gay’ was ‘hijacked’ by our homosexual friends: my uncle being an accomplished musician, playing in dance bands during the ‘flapper’ years.

When I got to know them twenty or so years later, they were settled into their comfortable suburban lifestyle, with my uncle commuting to his well paid job and my aunt spending her time baking and ‘belting out’ .. ‘Jerusalem’ at the local ‘Women’s Institute’, by then dressed in her ‘twin-set’ and pearls. 

I’ve many photographs of members of my large family dressed in the fashions of the 1920’s, and most of them look pretty glum, but this one sums up that era for me, when it must have been so good to be young and alive, and not give a shit about sour faced old cows …

…  staring at your skinny legs.  :-D

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 4 Comments »

Medical Monsters.

Posted by Big John on October 11, 2008

I’ve never been able to understand how supposedly intelligent well educated people such as scientists and doctors can believe in God, so I am completely at a loss to even begin to comprehend how a couple of medical doctors set out to murder countless numbers of people in his name.

How does someone who has dedicated their life to healing the sick decide to pack vehicles with various explosive devices and set out to massacre people who they would be expected to treat if they were brought to them after a similar atrocity ?

I know that fanatics of many faiths have killed throughout history, and that the world is still full of religious nutters, but how does someone’s brain become so ‘twisted’ that they believe ‘their God’ wants them to kill ‘infidels’ rather than save lives ?

I see that one of these terrorists is a neurologist, a doctor ‘trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, including diseases of the brain’.

Obviously The Koran doesn’t include the phrase …

“Physician, heal thyself” ?

Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

Not such a “Merry Monarch”.

Posted by Big John on October 8, 2008

I must say that I do enjoy watching a good historical drama on TV, and over the years there have been many; one of which was .. ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ .. made in 1970 and starring Keith Michell who played a very believable King Henry; as did Richard Burton in ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’.

With this in mind I tuned in to ‘The Tudors’, which I quickly re-named .. ‘Royal Rumpy-Pumpy’.. Blimey ! I’ve heard of ‘History-Lite’, but this series takes ‘Ye Olde Pisse’ !

“OK !”, (as Henry exclaimed in one episode) so I found the programme entertaining and unintentionally funny in places, but why ‘sex-up’ history when the facts and characters are dramatic enough in themselves.

I’m sure that even as a young man Henry had ginger hair, a beard and was probably of a ‘stocky’ build. When Catherine of Aragon died during the time of his marriage to Anne Boleyn he was fortyfive years old, and yet he was depicted in the movie as a slim, black haired, clean-shaven twenty-something !

Among the many historical errors the most obvious are that Henry had two sisters (not one), Margaret and Mary. Margaret married the King of Scotland and Mary married the King of France, but as far as I know, there is no evidence that Mary ever killed her husband, and Henry Fitzroy (the king’s illegitimate son) was about eighteen when he died, not three. Cardinal Wolsey did not commit suicide, and the whole story line involving various Popes was confused to say the least.

In one episode I did notice that Anne Boleyn was riding in a carriage which did not exist at the time, but failed to spot the ‘tarmac’ and radiator covers that appeared in other scenes.

I have to confess that I am a bit puzzled by the title .. ‘The Tudors’ .. as there were quite a few of them, including six monarchs. We’ve already missed out on Henry VII and after two series we have only got as far as Henry VIII’s third wife.

I wonder if we will ever …

get to meet the rest of the family ? :???:

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

 
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