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 September, 2012

Dave who ? from Englandshire !

Posted by Big John on September 28, 2012

I watched an exert from Dave’s performance on ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman and was at once reminded that it was  Mark Twain who said .. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”.. as Letterman asked the most dumbed down questions about the United Kingdom and Europe .. “What’s the deal on Wales?” .. “Is Northern Ireland part of England ?” etc. In fact this line of questioning has been described in the press as an “idiot’s guide” to Britain for American viewers.

Having seen people in New York being interviewed as they left the theatre, it was pretty obvious that few of them knew who our Prime Minister was. One guy said that he thought David Cameron “was cool” and was going to look him up on ‘Wikipedia’. I even got the impression that some probably thought he was one of the footmen from ‘Downton Abbey’.

Now back in the 70’and 80’s I made a few trips to various parts of the United States and found that, during my time there, it was almost impossible to find out what was going on in the ‘outside world’, and that most of the lovely Americans I met did not have a clue about life in Europe, and wouldn’t be able to point to “little old England” if you put a map of the world in front of them.

I thought that things must have changed in this ‘digital age’, but I have to wonder just how many of our American cousins still believe that all Scotsmen wear kilts ?.. we all know ‘er Maj ? .. we live on fish and chips ? .. we talk like Dick Van Dyke in ‘Mary Poppins’ ? .. we serve warm beer ? .. we live in thatched cottages ? .. and that we all love …

…  ‘Monty Bloody! PIE-THON ?

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »

“It’s ‘toff’ at the top” !

Posted by Big John on September 25, 2012

I’m sure that we have all had enough of “Gategate“, and although ‘Thrasher’ Mitchell appears to be a thoroughly unpleasant Tory ‘toff’ who considers himself to be superior to the police “plebs” who wouldn’t open the main Downing Street security gate for him and his bike: but in fairness, I have to say that I have come across a few officious coppers in my time who I’m sure would not hesitate to ‘put words into the mouth’ of anyone who pissed them off. In the old days, before CCTV and tape recording, it was known as “the verbals” when police officers gave evidence in court of verbal statements claimed to have been made by a suspect.

What Mitchell said is now irrelevant, as the mud will stick, and I’m sure that, to most members of the public, it sounds precisely the sort of thing one of Dave’s best mates would say as the ex-Bullingdon Club crowd and their like probably consider themselves to be a ‘patrician’ elite who were born to rule, just as they believe that all we poor plebs were born to ‘tug our forelocks’ and vote to keep them in power.

If you don’t believe me … How come leading Tory toff, Boris ‘bloody’ de Pfeffel Johnson, better known as ‘BoJo‘, is being tipped as our next …

… Prime Minister ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

Fatal ‘faith healing’.

Posted by Big John on September 21, 2012

I have often commented that the USA has more than it’s fair share of religious nutters. Some are just harmless loonies, but many are not, as can be seen from this horrific story.

This is just another example of why this old atheist believes that this world would be a far better place without religion of any kind.

OK ! .. I’ve always said .. “If it makes you happy, believe what you like as long as you do no harm to others”. Unfortunately many people bring harm to their fellow man in many terrible ways in the belief that some deity or other wants them to behave and live their life in a certain way.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that we now live in the 21st century when we hear of people who believe that they can “pray away” disease and, and in this instance, a serious medical emergency, and let their child die in agony just to demonstrate their ‘sick’ faith.

Apparently the parents in this case are brainless brainwashed ‘bretheren’ of a ‘cult’ known as the ‘General Assembly and the Church of the First Born’ and believe that praying to God will “provide them with everything”. What a pity that …

… He didn’t provide them with a sense of compassion !

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

Keeping ‘abreast’ of the news.

Posted by Big John on September 17, 2012

I’m trying very hard to resist commenting on Kate’s boobs, but it’s not easy, for although they are nothing to get too excited about, those ‘knockers’ have knocked just about every other news story off the front pages of our newspapers.

A bloody civil war in Syria ! .. Fatwas and fury in the Middle East ! .. Iran threatening to wipe out Israel ! .. 23 million people threatened with starvation in West Africa ! .. None of this seems to be as important as topless royal ‘totty’.  Blimey ! It’s an even bigger story than ‘hero’ Harry being ‘targeted’ by the Taliban.

What will the papers be full of next week ? … Umm ! .. Probably pictures of  …

… Pippa’s bum !

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

Time to … “Get the Hell out” !

Posted by Big John on September 12, 2012

Recent press reports about Harry’s (Don’t worry this is not another ‘royal’ rant) posting to Afghanistan say that members of the Afghan army and police will not be allowed anywhere near him due to the increase of so called “Green on Blue” incidents. This usually means that when Nato forces train and mentor Afghan army soldiers and local police, some turn their weapons on the Nato soldiers at close range with predictably bloody and fatal results.

A high ranking Afghan officer recently said …

“I understand why our men are shooting US and NATO soldiers. I too have been personally hurt by the way American forces behave towards my soldiers, our villagers, our religion and culture. Too many of them are racist, arrogant, and simply don’t respect us.”

Of course, invading any country is likely to piss off the locals, and in particular the tribesmen of Afghanistan, who over the centuries have not been too keen on foreigners marching in and telling them how to run their country. 

If today’s ‘Green on Blue’ attacks make you ask the question .. Can the Afghans be trusted ? .. I would suggest that once again we look back at history to an incident in 1842 when the besieged British garrison (an Anglo-Indian force) in Kabul, their situation hopeless, somehow managed to negotiate a treaty for ‘safe passage’ to leave Afghanistan. They planned to march to Jalalabad, but they never made it. 16,500 men, women and children were massacred along the way.

Those poor buggers in 1842 put their trust in the Afghan leaders and, obviously, did not have much of an ‘exit strategy': and I doubt if those in charge today know how they are going to leave or what will happen to that country and it’s people when they ‘put their trust’ in it’s corrupt leaders, but then they never had a bloody clue what they were doing there in the first place !

Let us hope that all goes well when the time comes to ‘retreat’, but what a pity it was, before this mess got started, that no one remembered the words of British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, when he said …

“Rule number one in politics is never invade Afghanistan” !

Posted in political, rant | 3 Comments »

Who’s been a naughty boy then ? .. Part 2

Posted by Big John on September 7, 2012

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the ‘ginger spare’ was enjoying himself in Las Vegas and showing the whole world what a true prince prat he was, and during that short space of time the Palace spin machine has, predictably, gone into overdrive to ‘create’ yet another new image for ‘Hooray Harry’.

I was almost in tears (a new British trend) as I watched him doing his ‘my mum used to do this’ act at the ‘Well Child Awards’, and the lump grew in my throat as I saw him posing with all those brave disabled athletes at the Paralympics.

Now it would seem that it is the playboy prince’s turn to be brave, as we learn that he has been ‘whisked off’ to Afghanistan to face the Taliban.

I do wish him a safe return to these shores, but have to wonder if this is just the final part of a triple stunt in the never ending PR campaign to keep him and his pampered and privilaged family in the manner to which …

…  they have become so very much accustomed ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 3 Comments »

Are our ‘Smarties’ shrinking ?

Posted by Big John on September 3, 2012

It’s now September and the children return to school this week after the long summer break, autumn has officially started, football (soccer) is back on sports TV, and it will soon be time to put away the shorts and T shirts and dig out the sweaters and wooley socks, so what do I expect to see on my next shopping trip to Sainsbury’s ?

“Merry Christmas!” … Yes, the aisles will soon start to fill with all those Christmas goodies and I will soon be tripping over those piles of tins of bloody ‘Quality Street’ !  Although this year they may be easier to avoid as Nestle have reduced the size of the tins by 18%. Needless to say the price has not been reduced !

It would seem that the move to reduce product sizes is increasingly widespread throughout the confectionary industry as supermarkets and food brands attempt to counter rising production and food costs: or to put it another way, ‘rip-off’ anyone with a ‘sweet tooth’. 

Now I must say that I am not a big sweet (candy) eater. It’s probably something to do with my childhood when sweets were rationed and only consumed in very small quantities as a special treat. However, I did grow up to enjoy a ‘Mars’ or a ‘Bounty’ bar, ‘Rolos’ were pretty good, but I never liked those green wine gums.

Kids now seem to eat sweets by the handful and mothers buy them by the trolley (cart) load, but when I am sometimes offered to help myself from some youngster’s bag of  ‘pick and mix’ they seem to taste of very little, and when on the rare occasion that I get the urge to ‘raid’ a vending machine for a chocolate bar, it will appear to have shrunk on it’s way to my hand, and I have to wonder how long it will be before ‘After Eights’ become …

… ‘Before Six-Thirties’ ? 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

 
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