bigjohn

“Old age ain't no place for sissies.” .. Bette Davis

  • Warning ! Very Old Person Blogging

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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 60 years of happy marriage.

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    Copyright © 2021

    All Rights Reserved

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“equal partners” ?

Posted by Big John on September 16, 2021

Yesterday was ‘The Ginger Whinger of Windsor’s 37th birthday, and I was going to send him a nice ‘Woke’ birthday card, but I forgot, as I was on my way to join all those other attention seekers who were blocking the M25 motorway and chatting with those nice friendly police officers, when I got caught up in all the traffic chaos.

However, I was thrilled today when I came across the latest issue of “Time” and saw those two plastic dolls which almost look as lifelike as the real “Megs and Haz”: although I would have preferred to see Harry in his “Action Man” army outfit, or one of his many uniforms with the medals given to him by his (?) ‘grandma’.

Now there’s a surprise ! .. I see that Megs is wearing …

those the trousers.

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

“Hi!” .. What happened to “Hello” ?

Posted by Big John on September 6, 2021

Although versions of this quotation have been attributed to others, it was Winston Churchill who made it popular when he said … “Americans and British are one people separated by a common language.”

However, recently there seems to have been an influx of “Americanisms” which seem to have been accepted, not just by the British general public, but also by those who should know better, such as in the worlds of ‘journalism’ and ‘creative literature’.

To be honest I’m not too bothered if a few fresh phrases and words have sneaked (NOT snuck !) into our vocabulary, apart from the likes of “Like!” which now seems to be repeated before almost every word that is uttered by so many young people.

Just before I stop my little rant, I have a couple of questions …

“Back in the day” … What ‘day’ ? .. and what was wrong with “In the past” ? .. and ..

“Going forward” … To where ? … Could it be somewhere “In the future” ?

That’s it, folks, so ….

…. “Have a nice day” !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

This isn’t their first time !

Posted by Big John on August 25, 2021

You may recall that in some of my previous posts I mentioned my interest in the Victorian era and the British Empire during the 19th Century, including events concerning the rule of India by both ‘The Honourable East India Company’ and ‘The British Raj’.

I have also mentioned that I have a small collection of Victorian military medals, a couple of which bear the names of places which are prominently featured in today’s media … “Kabul” and “Kandahar”.

Yes, British soldiers have been there before and, along with their Indian counterparts, they had a bloody rough time of it; and I do mean “bloody”.

I won’t go into details of all the military disasters, treachery and massacres suffered by British armies during the three ‘Afghan Wars’, as they are well documented elsewhere …. (example)

However, whilst I hope that there is a peaceful solution to all the present chaos, I can also understand why Harold Macmillan, a former British Prime Minister, advised colleagues that the first law of politics should be

“Never invade Afghanistan” !

Posted in History, political, religion | 2 Comments »

Any bets on more bloody windmills !

Posted by Big John on August 12, 2021

I do not wish to ‘make light’ of the terrible disasters taking place around the world at present, which are attributed to “climate change”: but, I have to point out that this planet’s climate has seen some pretty drastic changes during it’s existence … one clue ? .. “The Ice Age” ! .. a time when humans are known to have existed. However, I doubt if they had a hand in warming up the planet as modern man is accused of doing.

Now the United Kingdom is said to produce less than 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions, so I would be obliged if someone could explain how our government’s ill conceived and outrageously expensive plans for electric powered vehicles, more “smart meters”, changing our light bulbs, replacing our gas boilers with pricey air source heat pumps etc. and even changing our eating habits is going to help “save the planet”, when China, the USA, India and Russia produce nearly 60% of the rest of the world’s CO2 between them ? It is estimated that the Chinese will take at least 30 years before they have reduced their emissions to anything like a “safe” level, as at present they are said to have 1,082 operational coal powered plants. The UK has three, and these are due to close by 2024. I bet that Greta ‘Thingy‘ girl will be “over the moon” when she hears about that.

Oh! … and before I forget … deforestation is a major problem, and greenhouse gases will continue to be released into the atmosphere from “natural sources” throughout the world. So, does our government really believe that giving up hotdogs, lamb chops and burgers will cut down on those naturally smelly clouds of methane at their ‘farmyard’ source and prevent them from drifting up to the ozone layer and troposphere ? .. With this bunch of clowns anything is possible. However, whatever those chancers think, I bet the boys in Beijing are …

… having a good laugh !

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

“Royal Mail” !

Posted by Big John on July 8, 2021

Look what fell through our letter box this morning …

Yes .. It was from Buckingham Palace, and it contained a greetings card from ‘er Maj congratulating us on our 60th wedding anniversary.

Very nice ! … but, I thought, that after all that time, I deserved, at least ….

… a bloody Knighthood ! … 🙂

Posted in family, humour | 5 Comments »

“Woss that then ?”

Posted by Big John on June 12, 2021

My wife and I are in our ‘eighties’. I’m 82 and she is eighty .. Umm ? ‘something or other’.

We were educated in the 1940s and 50s. and, although we didn’t realise it at the time we must, as working class kids, have received a pretty decent education, which included such subjects as ‘English Language’ .. ‘English Literature’ .. ‘World History’ .. and, of course, the usual maths, geography, science etc. etc.

I mention this because, although there are some bright young people about today, most of those we sometimes come across, read about or see on TV, astonish us with their lack of knowledge of ‘the world about us’ and the history of it’s people, including the most momentous events that changed the course of that same history and the famous and infamous people who’s legacy we still live with today.

I’ll give my little rant a rest now, and just finish with a little anecdote …

I once read a report about a World War II veteran going into a store where the young lady assistant noticed the veteran’s pin in his jacket lapel.

“What’s that badge ?” … she asked.

“Oh, it commemorates my service during the ‘Battle of Britain’ ” … replied the old boy …

… “What battle of Britain was that then ?” asked the girl !

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

It’s TV togas and intrigue time.

Posted by Big John on May 19, 2021

OK ! .. I know .. “He’s off again about those bloody TV historical drama series!”

Well, this time it’s about the latest epic set in ancient Rome, but if you are tempted to watch “Domina“, don’t expect “Gladiator” or “The Fall of the Roman Empire”, for, although this should be an interesting story about the events taking place just after the assassination of Julius Caesar, it is difficult (once again) to understand some of what is going on because much of the action takes place in dimly lit rooms and dark corridors occupied by mumbling actors. However, when it comes to Roman ‘rumpy-pumpy’, ‘peeing’ and even ‘pooing’, all becomes very clear: and, of course, as you would expect these days, the usual popular profanities are an unnecessary addition to the dialogue.

So far I have only watched the first two episodes and I will probably continue to do so, because, although it’s a bit on the cheesy side, it is supposed to be the true story of Livia Drusilla, the wife of Augustus Caesar, the mother of the Emperor Tiberius, grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, great grandmother of Caligula and great-great grandmother of Nero, so it should be entertaining, especially as I gather that more mature actors will take over some of the roles in the third episode. With a bit of luck, they will know how to speak up and, maybe, even order the slaves to …

… light a few extra oil lamps !

Posted in entertainment, History, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

R.I.P. ‘Phil the Greek’.

Posted by Big John on April 12, 2021

I was never a fan of The Duke of Edinburgh, but then again, I was never a fan of any of the Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) crew. However, it is ‘right and proper’ to show respect at times like these, but, the excessive hours the BBC (and other TV channels) have devoted to reporting the death and reviewing the life of the Queen’s husband has been quite ridiculous to say the least.

Something which I found far more annoying than the ‘wall to wall’ reporting, was the media coverage, which rightly showed the solemnity of members of the public, but also highlighted the appearance of members of the “grief-lite” brigade and, in particular, the deplorable behaviour of those parents who hand bunches of flowers to very young children, who cannot possibly understand what is going on, and then push them towards some makeshift memorial or other in the hope of them being ‘caught on camera’.

I know that for much of my long life I lived in a world where funerals and remembrance services were fairly dignified private affairs when “showing respect” meant something. Perhaps the old boy’s low-key affair will remind people of this.

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“People think there’s a rigid class system here,

but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls.

Some have even married Americans.” … Prince Philip (2000).

Posted in History, humour, nostalgia, rant | 1 Comment »