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

  • Warning! Elderly Person Blogging


    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.



  • Awarded by Terri. Click below for 'Island Writer'.

  • 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.




    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




    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.




    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.
  • April 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar    
  • Meta

  • RSS Validated.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 47 other followers

Obscene pay for a prima donna !

Posted by Big John on February 23, 2014

During the last few days we have had news on two very famous football (soccer) players. One was the great Tom Finney who has been, quite rightly, described at the news of his death as …“A true gentleman and an ambassador not just for football but for the City of Preston and indeed England as a whole. Sir Tom was and is a true football legend. His like will never be seen again.”

Sir Tom only ever played for one club and that was Preston North End in the days of long baggy shorts, thick woollen socks and big leather boots, and for much of the time he still worked as a plumber as there was a maximum limit on professional footballers’ pay.

The other player in the news at the moment is the snarling, swearing, spitting, half brained Neanderthal (my apologies to the Neanderthals) yob .. Wayne Rooney !

For much of Sir Tom’s career his wages were limited to just £20 per week (approx. £400 today): … and Wayne ?

Well, he now gets a little more, as his wages have just been increased to the staggering amount of …

…  £300,000 per week !

Posted in nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

I wonder if Jecca is a ‘hot’ shot ?

Posted by Big John on February 15, 2014

“Pass another sandbag, Willy”

“OK, Harry, but why are we doing this ?”

“Oh, some PR toady at the Palace thought that we needed a photo opportunity showing us helping the poor peasants who’s homes have been flooded, just like all those useless  politicians were shown last week poncing about in their wellies.”

“I suppose that it’s the same old story. You know, to counter our cock-ups they usually send us off to be photographed cuddling a starving African baby or visiting a children’s hospice.”

“So, what did we do this time ?”

“I think that it’s because we joined Daddy in signing up to help save endangered wildlife, like elephants and rhino, after we had just spent a few days shooting the shit out of half the wild boar and stags in Spain.”

“Never mind Willy, at least it’s not as bad as what happened to poor Daddy and Step-Mummy when the bloody plebs disapproved. They had to give up their jolly old …

… fox hunting!”

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

“Happy Days” … ?

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2014

Today is my 75th birthday, and I have to wonder, after all these years, how I managed to survive and enjoy my younger days in a world that today’s kids could not possibly imagine; for how would they fare without, what have become, the ‘basics’ of a modern life; for in my childhood there was.. NO

  • Television .. Just the BBC on the radio wireless.
  • Telephone .. The nearest one was two streets away on a shop counter.
  • Computer .. Great fun was had playing games in the street.
  • Motor car .. If a tram or bus didn’t go there, then, neither did I, unless I walked.
  • Bathroom .. A scrub in the kitchen sink or a tin bath by the fire.
  • Toilet paper ! .. I won’t go into detail.
  • Fast Food .. Only fish and chips. “Bring your own newspaper”.
  • Holidays .. Abroad ! Where was that ? .. Well, maybe a day by the sea.
  • Supermarket .. or “Can I scan your ration book?”
  • Refrigerator .. Only a daily walk to the shops by my mum.
  • Central heating .. Just open coal fires, even at school.
  • Shoes .. Oops ! .. No .. Sorry, I got carried away for a moment, so I’ll …

… give it a rest for now.

Perhaps I should give myself a birthday treat, with a longer trip down ‘memory lane’ ?

Well, perhaps not. It might put me off my …

… foie gras and Champagne.  ;-)

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 9 Comments »

“Making a Splash” !

Posted by Big John on February 8, 2014

There seem to be quite a few stories in the news at present about swimming: from freezing your naughty bits off by ‘winter swimming’, to teaching dogs to swim; and stopping the funding for the UK formation drowning synchronised swimming team. There are even thousands of people who waste part of every Saturday evening by watching ‘celebs’ dive into a swimming pool in the latest TV trash ‘reality show’.

Now let me say that I have never been too keen on swimming ever since I was a young child, and my father taught me to swim by taking me down to the local river and throwing me in !

Learning to swim was easy. The hard part was …

 … getting out of the sack !

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 4 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 »

The irritating idiots’ intonation.

Posted by Big John on January 15, 2014

I know that I’ve ranted about this subject before, but I’m afraid that I am getting more and more pissed off with the way people in this country now speak “the Queen’s English” !

I don’t mean the strange accents of our immigrant ‘guests’ from such places as sunny Afghanistan, rural Romania or beautiful Bulgaria; for many of these people speak far better English than some of the mumbling morons who were born here.

What I am fed up ‘with’ (not “of” ! ) is hearing the Californian ‘valley girl’ .. “like”, and the ‘Jafaican’ .. “Innit ?”: but that’s nothing to what I feel when I hear that intensely annoying habit of raising the voice at the end of a sentence to make a statement sound like a question.

I have now learned that this is known as a high-rising terminal (HRT) or Australian  Question Intonation (AQI), and is a language trait which seems to be growing amongst young (and not so young) people in the UK, who, obviously, don’t realize how bloody stupid this so-called “upspeak” or “uptalk” makes them sound to prospective employers. Not to mention how it ‘gets on the tits’ of a …

… grumpy old git like me !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

‘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 »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers