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 April, 2012

Yet another instant ‘tradition’ !

Posted by Big John on April 30, 2012

I see that we have imported another inovation, which we don’t need, from the United States, and at first my old mind ‘boggled’ when I read about an event called a “gender-reveal party”, for I had a vision of people standing around in Ku Klux Klan style costumes sipping cocktails and lifting their robes to show off their ‘naughty bits’. Umm ! … Not exactly my scene I thought, although I imagine it could get quite exciting when the little sausages and spicy dips were handed round.

Well, sad to say, I had let my imagination run away with itself again, for this latest craze is nothing more than another type of ‘shower’ where prospective parents show off to their friends and family by inviting them to eat cakes with either a blue or pink filling once their baby’s sex has been revealed by sonogram. Well it’s a bit more complicated than that, but I got bored with reading about it, so if you are really interested … read this !

I wonder what colour cake you offer your guests if during the scan the baby, instead of opening it’s legs, turned to show only …

… it’s little fat arse ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“Over my dead body” !

Posted by Big John on April 27, 2012

It has to be a sick joke, I thought when I read that Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament may soon introduce a new law allowing husbands to have sex with their dead wives: but I was wrong, for it seems that a controversial “farewell intercourse” bill says that it is OK to have post-mortem ‘rumpy-pumpy’, because some Moroccan clerical nutter has decreed it in a Fatwa.

Now I know that I am usually the first to take the piss out of the practices of the religious loonies of this world, and the antics of the barmy believers normally bring a smile to my face, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting a farewell fumble with a corpse, and how can anyone believe ‘diddling’ the dead to be ‘de rigueur’ ?

Oh ! .. and before I forget .. the crazy cleric also said that a woman .. “had the same right to engage in sex with her dead husband.” …  I believe my American friends would say …

… “Go figure” !

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »

Out of touch ‘toffs’.

Posted by Big John on April 25, 2012

So Tory ‘toffs’ Dave and George have been labled by one of their own backbench MPs as .. “two arrogant posh boys who show no remorse, no contrition and no passion to want to understand the lives of others.”

Blimey ! .. Did anyone ever doubt it ?

It’s nothing new. Our governments have nearly always been led by the ‘poshest’ of the ‘posh’. In fact up until the early 20th century every Prime Minister was a member of the elite aristocratic class, and you can bet your life that none of those Dukes, Earls and Marquesses would have known the price of a pint of milk.

It’s probably true that the Battle of Waterloo was “won on the playing-fields of Eton” and even more true that the governing of this country has often been planned from ‘behind it’s bike-sheds’.

Although I would like to see a Prime Minister who had been in a ‘proper’ job at some time, I feel that it is more important that he should be an experienced ‘statesman’ who inspires confidence, and not one like “relaxed” Dave, who after a turbulent month has vowed to …

…  “learn some important lessons”  !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

Happy Saint George’s Day !

Posted by Big John on April 23, 2012

OK .. I know, most of us English ‘don’t do’ Saint George’s Day. In fact many of us have a far better time on Saint Paddy’s day with our Irish mates.

However, this year I am flying the flag to celebrate that good old dragon slaying saint, who is believed to have been born in Turkey and served in the Roman Army in the third century ‘AD’ or ‘CE’ if you are ‘PC’ and don’t want to offend someone who isn’t a Christian, which I suppose includes most Turks.

Old George must have got around a lot or else he had a good holy agent as he finished up being the patron saint of not only England, but also of Georgia, Egypt, Bulgaria, Aragon, Catalonia, Romania, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Iraq, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia, as well as the cities of Genoa, Amersfoort, Beirut, Fakiha, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Kumanovo, Ljubljana, Pomorie, Qormi, Rio de Janeiro, Lod, Lviv, Barcelona, Moscow, Tamworth (Tamworth !!!) and the Maltese island of Gozo.

I must admit that I am a bit puzzled as to how he became ‘English’ as there was no such place as England back then, but then …

…  there weren’t any bloody dragons either.

Posted in humour | 5 Comments »

A bureaucratic perception.

Posted by Big John on April 18, 2012

During the last couple of weeks I have spent a considerable amount of time settling the affairs and arranging the funeral of my late aunt, who died recently at the age of ninetytwo.

Now I must say that most people with whom I have been dealing have been sympathetic and helpful, but I feel that I must tell you about my experiences when trying to register the death of my aunt with the local authorities.

As I live a considerable distance from the part of the country where my aunt died it was arranged that I should make a “registration by declaration” at my local registry office. I was given an appointment time, a reference number and told to take along all relevent documents. I was also informed that staff at this office would assist with informing government and local council departments of my aunt’s death.

I arrived on time and was met by a rather nervous looking woman, who greeted me with .. “I’ve never done this before” .. Just what I needed to hear ! .. She then started questioning me about the circumstances of my aunt’s death, while constantly referring to her notes and making me repeat myself several times.

When she finished she told me that she could not issue a death certificate or give me the relevent forms to advise pensions, tax offices etc. She said that all the information would be sent to the registry office in the borough where my aunt had died, and that that office would issue the necessary certificate etc. She also gave me a paper with a reference and telephone number and said that I should make an appointment to visit another council office where I would be informed of how to advise all those officials who needed to know my aunt’s details. She said that they were listed on the paper. They were not !

Oh! shit … I thought … this is going to take forever ! … and then I noticed that the paper she had given me was headed … “Directgov” … Hang on ! … I thought … I’ll ‘Google’ that … and came up with a website where I could link to something called “Tell Us Once” which enabled me to inform 14 local council and government departments in one ‘hit’ ! The whole procedure took about twenty minutes. Fan-bloody-tastic !

Now I have to ask the question … Why didn’t the stupid woman who gave me the paper tell me of this Department of Work and Pension’s on-line service ?

Well either she had never heard of it herself, or more likely, she saw before her some old git who had probably never heard of the internet and couldn’t possibly know how to …

… use a computer !

Posted in family, humour, rant | 5 Comments »

Scruffs are Us !

Posted by Big John on April 12, 2012

One thing that I have noticed over the years is how standards of dress have declined. ‘Sunday Best’ disappeared years ago and even the smartest restaurants no longer require that “gentlemen wear ties”.

Today the unkept ‘celeb‘ look seems to be the fashion. Every TV chat show guest seem to wear the same ‘uniform’ of T shirt, suit jacket and jeans (holes are optional). 

The same thing applies when it comes to ‘proper’ uniforms. Just look at some of our police officers in their ‘hi-viz’ vests, polo shirts and baseball caps, or the assorted garish garb worn by many public transport staff and, by far the worst of all, the employees of ‘Royal Mail’. Yes, our postmen take some beating when it comes to ‘sack of shit’ scruffy ! 

I was reminded of just how things have changed when I was searching through some family papers last week and came across this photograph of one of my uncles. It was probably taken in the late 1920’s  and shows a very young man in the uniform of what was then The General Post Office (GPO).

I wonder what happened to …

“Taking pride in your appearance” ?

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

So why not hide the ‘fries’ ?

Posted by Big John on April 9, 2012

I have not smoked for many years, and I must say that I welcomed the banning of smoking in public places, but the ‘nanny-state’s’ latest idea to deter people from having a quiet drag, is even dafter than ‘dick-head’ Dave’s plans to reduce my consumption of gin and tonics by putting up the price of booze.

Do the political plonkers who think up such stupid schemes really believe that hiding packets of fags (for my American friends that’s cigarettes) in a cupboard is going to reduce the number of people buying them ? If standing in the rain outside pubs and office buildings doesn’t put them off, then nothing will.

OK ! … so tobacco products are bad for you, but so are the “finger licking” grease with lumps in and layers of  “I’m luvin it” processed fat stuffed in a bun which is openly sold on most high streets, in many shopping malls and at every motorway stop.

These ‘junk-food’ outlets are a far bigger threat to the health of our young people than the corner shop or supermarket with it’s display of ‘Benson & Hedges’, ‘Marlboro’ and all the other brands of ‘coffin nails’.

I wonder it one day we will see the ‘Golden Arches’ and the ‘Colonel’ hidden behind high fences, ‘drive-thrus’ dug up, health warnings on every ‘Happy Meal’ and the burgers and shakes behind shutters ?

…  One can only live in hope ! 

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

 
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