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.




    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 54 years of happy marriage.
  • October 2015
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How do you pronounce B’Stard ?

Posted by Big John on October 13, 2015

A survey of 2,000 people by audio book company ‘Audible’ to find out the top ten most commonly mispronounced characters in the world of literature has, not surprisingly, come up with ‘Don Quixote’ at the top of their list.

Now names in literature are one thing, but when it comes to real names and place names in this country, there are some that must puzzle not only foreigners, but must also stump most British people; such as …

Belvoir                        pronounced              ‘Beaver’.

Beauchamp                 pronounced              ‘Beecham’.

Wrotham                    pronounced               ‘Rootum’.

Althorp                       pronounced               ‘Awltrup’

Cholmondely               pronounced              ‘Chumlee’

Magdalan                    pronounced              ‘Maudlin’.

Marjoribanks               pronounced              ‘Marchbanks’.

Of course there are many more, of which my all time favourite is …

Featherstonehaugh … which is obviously pronounced … ‘Fanshaw’!

Oh! .. and before I forget, I always loved dining out in the USA and being offered that little brown bottle of …

“Whoos-ess-tire-shy-er” sauce !;-)

Posted in humour | Leave a Comment »

People who solve problems that aren’t there.

Posted by Big John on October 7, 2015

In recent days we have read of a disgraceful incident where a sergeant in the Royal Air Force was asked to move from a hospital waiting room as he was in uniform and because ..“we have all kinds of different cultures coming in”: and the ludicrous ban on university students wearing sombreros, which were being handed out by a ‘Tex-Mex’ restaurant, because it might upset Mexicans.” One student said … “Who will it offend, Speedy Gonzales ?”

I have often wondered who these people are who complain about various aspects of the British way of life that supposedly ‘offend’ religious and other minorities who have settled in this country, and now I know; and it’s not likely to be the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others who live here, but, people like nutty Professor Adam Dinham who suggests to employers, (can you believe ?) not microwaving sausage rolls in a shared workplace kitchen, or not keeping bacon, or bacon rolls, in the fridge if it is shared with people whose beliefs prohibit them from eating pork.

It seems that this academic ass is a “professor of faith and public policy”. Of course he is ! It’s a pity that he does not consult with people like the chairman of the British Mexican Society, who in the case of the ‘racist’ sombreros said he .. “Would applaud any business of any nationality for doing anything to try to drum up business in a legitimate way, which this seems.” Or, perhaps the potty ‘prof’ should contact that Mexican mouse (also accused of being ‘racist’) about his …

… “Holy frijoles !”

Posted in humour, rant, religion | 3 Comments »

Here we go again. – Part Twelve

Posted by Big John on September 29, 2015

It’s ‘boots on the ground’ time again, as our Dave has agreed volunteered to send British troops to Somalia and South Sudan; but don’t worry because he said everything would be done to ensure troops deployed to these countries remain safe.. “Let me stress that obviously we will want to see all the right force protection arrangements to be in place”.

So how come that in Somalia, a country infamous for piracy, bloodshed, Islamic fundamentalism and hostility to Westerners, our soldiers will be helping an African Union peace-keeping force which has been fighting Al-Qaeda’s murderous mates Al-Shabab, who earlier this month killed a dozen Ugandan soldiers belonging to that same ‘peace-keeping force’ ?

It has also been reported that UK soldiers are to be sent to provide security for a new embassy in Mogadishu, a city where not so long ago, in what became known as the ‘Black Hawk Down’ mission, eighteen US troops were killed, mutilated and dragged through the streets by a jeering mob.

If I was a soldier and was offered a choice of posting, I’d opt for the slightly safer … shi.. sunny, sandy …

… South Sudan. 

Posted in political, rant | 2 Comments »

‘Cowboys’ or Kim ?

Posted by Big John on September 24, 2015

Get ready ! .. we’re off down ‘memory lane’ again …. Don’t groan, it’s only a short trip.

“COWBOYS !” … I heard the cry through my bedroom window, and as I opened one eye I saw my room mate Jim hurriedly pulling on his uniform trousers over his RAF issue pyjamas .

“Are you coming ?” he asked “It sounds like it’s bacon and beans for breakfast. If you don’t get there early, there’ll only be bloody red lead and rubber eggs left”.

By ‘red lead and rubber eggs’ he meant the mushy tinned tomatoes that resembled the thick oxide paint used to protect metal and the fried eggs that had been left on the hot plate for so long that they bounced if you dropped them.

I grunted, pulled up the blankets and tried to re-join Kim Novak in my interrupted dream.

I awoke once again having discovered that Kim had buggered off with James Stewart and on hearing Jim plonking down a mug of hot tea and a bacon sandwich (no beans) on my bedside locker.

I sat up and looked at a pin-up of Kim which was next to my worn out demob chart, where only the number one square remained to be crossed out. Yes ! this was my very last day of two years national service and could there be a  better way to start it than with breakfast in bed ? …

… Now there’s a bloody silly question ! … ;-)

Posted in humour, nostalgia | 1 Comment »

Next stop ? … The Caribbean !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2015

Warning ! .. Please have the sick-bag ready before you read this ‘unbelievable’ report on how the ‘do nothing duchess’ returned to work after taking the summer off to look after the royal brats laze about on her and Willy’s new country estate.

Yes, the media is full of how she is returning to her so-called ‘royal duties’. Although ‘work’ is hardly the word to describe spending less than an hour at a centre for children with mental health problems, showing off a £1,250 dress (and almost her knickers) and attending the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup with her old man and ‘Hairy Harry’.

OK, that’s enough. You all know how much I love the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (and Middleton) gang, so I’ll end this rant now: but before I go I must just say that ‘Her Kateness’ looked a little ‘stoned’ with her bizarrely beaming smile and slightly dazed expression in her eyes. Perhaps the gardeners at Anmer Hall grow more than plain …

…  old lawn grass ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

‘Touch and Go’ !

Posted by Big John on September 14, 2015

Who remembers “old money” ? .. You know pounds, shillings and pence or ‘£.s.d’ as it was known.

If you do remember it, you will recall that our pockets and purses were often bulging with a selection of heavy coins …

coins 2

There was a farthing .. a halfpenny .. a penny .. a three penny piece .. a sixpence .. a shilling .. a two shilling piece .. and .. a half crown.

Four farthings made a penny (1d); twelve pence made a shilling (1/-). A half crown was worth two shillings and six pence (2/6) and 20 shillings made a pound; and just to confuse you a little bit more, some items in shops were still priced in ‘guineas’, a guinea being worth twenty-one shillings.

In 1971 life became a little more simple (Well, at least, it did for some people) when decimal currency was introduced, with there being 100 new pence to the pound. However, this still meant that you had a pocket full of change.

Now I have just received a new ‘contactless’ Visa card from my bank with a letter which states .. “With contactless technology there’s no need to carry cash”.

So now my pockets will feel lighter. Great ! .. I just hope that if I’m ever ‘caught short’ I won’t need to …

… “spend a penny” !

Posted in humour, nostalgia | 3 Comments »

I couldn’t let this day go by …

Posted by Big John on September 9, 2015

Today thousands of my fellow subjects citizens are celebrating the fact that ‘er Maj’ has been on the throne for 63 years which means, I think, that she is our longest reigning monarch.

Why they celebrate Gawd only knows. Perhaps one day they will wake up to the fact that the monarchy is an expensive irrelevance, and see that the Queen’s limited constitutional role would be better performed by an elected president who would be paid a modest salary for the duration of his tenure. In this day and age it is quite unacceptable that the political office of ‘Head of State’ should remain hereditary.

If you don’t agree with me now, you may do when you remember who will be the next one to sit on the throne, …

… pompous potty Prince Charlie !

Posted in political, rant | 3 Comments »

My ‘brush-by’ for biddies.

Posted by Big John on September 6, 2015

Last week one of my neighbours decided to paint his side of a wall bordering our properties, but he overestimated the quantity of paint required and was left with this …

sandtex (299x239)

… a nearly full 15 litre container of masonry paint worth about £25 ($38), which he offered to me for free, suggesting that I may like to ‘brighten up’ the walls in front of my house.

As you may have guessed, I’m not much of a ‘DIY’ enthusiast (I think the word is ‘bodger’), but as he was doing me a favour (at least I think it was a favour) I accepted his gift ‘with good grace’, dug out a paintbrush from the garden shed, put on some old clothes and commenced to transform my grimy fungi stained walls.

Now I should say that I live in a very quiet neighbourhood. That is apart from a few barking dogs and kids on their way to and from a local school. Most residents are old farts like me and are only seen when tottering along to post their mail in the box on the corner of the street, so seeing some old bloke wearing a sweaty T shirt, with his arse hanging out of a tear in his paint stained trousers and a dripping paint brush in his rather unsteady hand must have ‘made their day’; for I had plenty of.. “Good mornings” … “Nice day for it” … and many long and short conversations about local happenings, the price of property and, of course, the ‘good old days’. I even had people I did not know waving to me from passing cars, and a ‘white van man’ stopped to ask me what paint I was using. I may have imagined it, but I could swear that I was ‘chatted up’ by a couple of grey haired old girls. Perhaps it was that tear in my pants that attracted them ?

Much time and effort on my part resulted in  …


OK, so it may not be ..”Like painting the Forth Bridge” .. but, by the time I had finished ..

… It bloody well felt like it !

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »


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