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 the ‘political’ Category

“Jesus who ?”

Posted by Big John on April 17, 2014

As a tolerant (?) atheist I am quite happy to see the members of different faiths celebrate their various religious festivals, apart from when the mumbo-jumbo merchants who run these events impose their will on the rest of us: such as insisting that larger shops in England and Wales, by law, must close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

OK, so shutting some shops for a couple of days a year is no big deal, but I’m sure that the zombies who wander around shopping malls every Sunday have no idea why their favourite department store or supermarket will be closed this weekend …

… “The Last Supper ? What’s that all about then ?” … “Crucifixion ? Never ‘erd of it mate !” … “Pontius Pilate ? Who’s ‘e play for ?” … “Gethsemane ? Ain’t that near Benidorm ?” … “The Passion of Christ ? Now that sounds like … a bit of porn to me !”

…   and if you think that I’m kidding … READ THIS !

:-) .. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE ..  :-)

Posted in humour, political, rant, religion | 2 Comments »

They’re both bossy and barmy !

Posted by Big John on April 7, 2014

I see that the ‘nanny state’ has gone into overdrive recently with the ridiculous idea that junk fast food restaurants and take-outs should sell smaller pizzas, burgers and curries, plus a laughable ‘threat’ to smokers that cigarettes may soon only be sold in plain packs; and that beer and wine glasses used in pubs and restaurants should be marked with a scale showing how many units of alcohol they contain. Oh! .. and before I forget .. that we should all eat ten (Yes, ten !) portions of fruit and veg each day.

OK, so I’m sure that many of us know that it makes sense to eat a healthy diet and not to overdo the doughnuts and to be careful when drinking out of wet glasses, but do ‘those who think that they know better than us what is good for us’ really believe that the likes of the tattooed hulks and their demanding brats, who can be seen at every ‘drive-thru’, pub and pizza parlour, will stop smoking their full strength fags, give up their pints of super strong larger and rush to the supermarket to buy their ‘daily ten’ ?

Of course they bloody won’t ! … So what if their favourite pizza is an inch or two smaller and their usual burger has shrunk in size ? … They will just buy them …

… two at a time !

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

They are at it again !

Posted by Big John on March 9, 2014

I could be wrong, or is there more criticism than is usual of ‘er Maj’s mob in the press and on-line lately, due to the ‘do little duchess’ and her ‘parasite prince’ deciding to go on yet another exotic holiday before this hedonistic “hard working” pair embark on one of those freeloading junkets “exhausting” royal tours, accompanied by their eleven strong entourage, including the latest little pampered prince’s new nanny (what happened to “no nanny”?) and a tax-payer funded security team.

Of course the ‘Palace’ damage limitation toadies have sprung into action immediately by deploying the ex-’ginger spare’ to distract the royal worshippers’ attention with his launching of a Paralympic-style sporting event for injured servicemen and women and showing him getting cosy with Cressie Bone-Arse (doesn’t he look like his dad?) at another charity event.

Some reports speak of another royal wedding and yet another “Princess”. Just what …

… we bloody need !

Posted in humour, political, rant | Leave a Comment »

Another “lesson from history” not learned ?

Posted by Big John on March 4, 2014

One hundred and sixty years ago a few upper class ‘posh’ twits wearing fancy uniforms ordered six hundred of Britain’s finest cavalrymen to charge into a valley, only to be torn apart by Russian shells and cannon balls.

Where did this take place ? … The Crimea ! … and Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a famous poem about it.

How did this event come about ? … Well, it was because another group of “upper class ‘posh’ twits” living pampered and privileged lives back in England thought that they had the right to interfere in the issue involving the rights of Christians in the Holy Land, and, more importantly, the territorial dispute between Russia and The Ottoman Empire, who then controlled The Crimea.

Tell me … Does any of this  …  sound familiar ?

…. and just out of interest; the photograph below is of part of my collection of Victorian medals and shows those from the Crimean War of 1854-1856 …

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(click on picture to enlarge)

… The medal on the left is the British Crimea Medal with the ‘Sebastopol’ (Sevastopol) clasp. Another name familiar from today’s news !

Posted in political | 2 Comments »

Unrealistic expectations.

Posted by Big John on January 28, 2014

Much has been written lately about the aspirations of young people who may be about to leave school or college and enter the British workplace; with some controversy arising out of a government minister’s .. “get a job at Costa” .. message, and comments about young people not being prepared to .. “start at the bottom” !

Now I won’t start ranting about politicians who haven’t a clue about the real world, or kids who expect to start their dream job on a ‘Reality’ TV show as soon as they leave school, but I am reminded of the American education expert Charles Sykes’ book .. “Dumbing Down our Kids” .. It was first published in 1996, but many of his observations and rules are still (if not more) relevant today. Some of which are …

RULE 1 ..  “Life is not fair – get used to it.

RULE 2 ..  The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3 ..  You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone (this was written in 1996), until you earn both.

RULE 4 ..  If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

RULE 5 ..  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it Opportunity.

RULE 6 ..  If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7 ..  Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8 ..  Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9 .. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10 ..  Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11 ..  Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

I have taken the liberty of adding …

RULE 12 .. Smoking dope and not wearing knickers will not make you a ‘super model’.

RULE 13 ..  You need more than covering yourself in tattoos and being able to spit and swear to play for Manchester United.

RULE 14 ..  Being a celebrity is not an occupation. You will not find it listed at ‘Jobcentre Plus’.

RULE 15 ..  ‘Text speak’ is not English and should not be used on job application forms; and at interviews the answer to questions should not end with … “Yer no wot I mean ?” or “Innit ?”…. and …

Put your bloody smartphone away when the interviewer …

… is talking to you !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

Will ‘Beef Wellington’ be on the menu ?

Posted by Big John on January 20, 2014

Saucy old President Hollandaise (Sorry !) has been in the news a lot recently for doing what the French are supposed to do best .. “faire l’amour” !

In fact history proves that they are much better at ‘making love’ than ‘making war’, and it would seem, from recent reports, that the randy resident of the Élysée Palace would be reminded of this fact and be insulted if plans go ahead to hold an Anglo-French summit between David Cameron and the ‘priapic’ president at another historic palace .. Blenheim ! .. which was built as a gift for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough who kicked ‘le merde’ out of the .. ‘old enemy’ .. at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.

So, lacking the spirit of the bowmen at Agincourt and Crecy, our Dave has cancelled plans to entertain frisky Francois, and confront him with an imposing sculpture of an English lion savaging a French cock, at the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill; who, I’m sure, would have transported him there via …

… Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Station !

Posted in humour, political | Leave a Comment »

‘Wild West’ waste by ‘Whitehall Warriors’ !

Posted by Big John on January 9, 2014

Despite the fact that our armed forces have more generals than tanks, aircraft carriers with no aircraft and hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen being made redundant, it would seem that some of the UK’s defence budget is being spent on introducing TV audiences, not to stories of the “few” of Battle of Britain fame, or to the courage of the RAF’s “Dambusters”, but to tales of a fictional Wyoming county sheriff !

Yes, last night I watched “Longmire” on Channel 5 USA. It’s not a bad ‘cop’ show, and I’ll probably watch it again next week, but it beats me why it is sponsored by …

… “Royal Air Force Careers” ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »

“Laws are silent in times of war” … Cicero

Posted by Big John on December 9, 2013

The horror of war in Afghanistan has not changed since the 19th century when Rudyard Kipling wrote these words …

“When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.”

For some reason I was reminded of these words when reading about the Taliban fighter who was very near to death after being blasted by fire from an Apache helicopter, and was ‘helped on his way‘ by Royal Marine Sergeant Alex Blackman.

What this marine did was against the ‘rules of war’, but I am quite sure that these rules are broken on a fairly regular basis, and in the wicked waste of human lives that is the Afghan conflict no such ‘rules’ apply to the tactics of the Taliban.

Sergeant Blackman has been sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison, and obviously he should be made to suffer the consequences of his actions, but he is a highly regarded experienced fighting man, and if I was being held hostage in some Gawd-forsaken hole, the first face that I would hope to see come through the door, would be …

…   THIS ONE !

Posted in political, rant | 4 Comments »

 
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