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

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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 56 years of happy marriage.

  • February 2019
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“Fake News!” … I wonder ?

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2019

Today is my birthday, and it feels great to have reached “the ripe old age” of eighty.

Last year, on my birthday I posted that …

“I’ve just ‘Googled’ today’s date to see if any significant event happened in “this sceptred isle” on this day 79 years ago … Nothing ! .. Nowt! .. Zilch ! .. Nada !”

… and this year I’m hoping to find out if that was true, as today I received a large package containing this …

… On opening the box I found this …

… An original copy of ‘The Times’ for the day of my birth !

….   Keep watching this space.


Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 3 Comments »

Does Brexit mean no more continental breakfasts ?

Posted by Big John on February 9, 2019

I’ve just had a long telephone conversation with my American cousin who lives in Upstate New York. He is now in his eighties and, as you would expect, he is not as fit as he used to be. However, his brain is as sharp as ever, and although he has lived in the United States for 60 years and is a patriotic US citizen, he has managed to retain his British sense of humour.

The reason he called was to get my perspective on the Brexit situation, as he is getting the impression, from the US media, that here in the UK the myths of ‘Project Fear’ are about to come true, and that we will soon be running out of life saving drugs, starving as our supermarket shelves empty, and our other imports dry up, as we are cut off from the rest of Europe.

Now, I had to remind him of a far worse period of our history, which we both lived through as children when playing in the ruins of war torn London: and of all those years of food rationing, including sweets (candy), when all that Spam and powdered eggs from America was most welcome.

I’m now awaiting …

… my first food parcel !

Posted in family, History, humour, nostalgia, political | 2 Comments »

“On the fritz” and freezing !

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2019

It’s the middle of winter … It’s below zero and freezing outside … It’s Sunday night … It’s the coldest night of the year … I’m tired and I want to go to bed …  I switch the central heating to 24hrs … AND … Guess what ?

… Nothing ! …. IT’S NOT BLOODY WORKING !

It’s that time of year once again ! … Recently I have replaced …

  •  A fridge/freezer as the ice in the frost free section could have sunk ‘The Titanic’.
  •  An ‘all-in-one’ printer, which turned into a colour free paper shredder.
  •  An electric fan heater which decided that it was summer.
  •  Some ‘bits’ (don’t ask) for my car’s engine, after it’s annual MOT test.

… and, as you would expect, a number of those stupid sodding light bulbs which we were promised would “last a lifetime” by that bunch of slippery chancers who, at present, are screwing up ‘Brexit’ !

I have to leave this little rant here for the present, as it is now Monday morning and I have just looked out of the window and “Hooray!” I can see … “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” … No! .. It’s Kevin the heating engineer from …

… ‘British Gas’ !

Posted in humour, rant | Leave a Comment »

“It’s the thought that counts” !

Posted by Big John on January 29, 2019

In a couple of weeks I will reach the ‘Big 80!’, and to mark this momentous occasion I have just received a letter from The Pension Service informing me … “Now that you are approaching 80, you are entitled to a higher amount of State Pension”.

What a pleasant surprise !  … “Every little helps” … as the old lady said when she peed in the sea.

Then I read on; only to discover that this old pensionista shouldn’t get too excited about that “higher amount” because … “Age Addition of 25p per week will be payable from your 80th Birthday”.

Wow ! … 25pence a week ! .. Yes, that’s a whole £1 ($1,30) per month ! …

‘Poundland’ here I come !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“Sacré Bleu ! … Nobody sings.”

Posted by Big John on January 10, 2019

I must say that, so far, I have enjoyed watching the BBC’s production of “Les Misérables”, for as far as I can tell, it’s faithful to Victor Hugo’s epic tale of injustice in France after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. It’s well-made and not been ‘sexed up’ or stylised to appeal to a modern audience, apart from Lilly Collins’ eyebrows, a black Inspector Javert and an Asian Thénardier .. (Voici)

Now I’m not too bothered about a pretty woman’s eyebrows or the colour of an actor’s skin; but the one thing that irritates me about this production is, just like the above “Voici”, it includes bits of the French language in the English dialogue. Such as .. “Merci monsieur” instead of “Thank you sir”. It reminds me of those old war movies, when English speaking actors playing German soldiers always obeyed a command given in English with the words .. “Jawohl, mein Kapitan“. In fact, in some crowd scenes the people in the background, such as the prison guards or local paysans, are actually speaking French ! …

…  Pourquoi ? 

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

My kind of Christmas.

Posted by Big John on December 21, 2018

Today is the Winter Solstice when normally I would indulge myself and remember my pagan roots, trot down to the local woods, get naked with those nubile maidens as they dance around the ceremonial fire and drink a few cups of mead; but, sad to say that, this year I don’t feel up to all that leaping around under the mistletoe and drinking with the Druids.

Therefore, just as the Christians thought it a good idea to hi-jack my pagan festival, I feel that, at this time of year, it’s OK for me to decorate a small tree, relax in front of a different fire, pour myself a small sherry, and wish you all a very …


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

I told you so !

Posted by Big John on December 11, 2018

In my post of 13th June 2017, I referred to Mrs. May as .. “one of the weakest prime ministers ever” … and one …  “who is about to start Brexit negotiations with the EU. Something which she wasn’t in favour of in the first place”  .. I then asked the question .. “What could possibly go wrong ?”

Well … Now we know !  … Chaos ! … with a capital ‘K’, brought about by “that bunch of self-serving hypocritical slippery chancers” at Westminster and a prime minister who, behind the scenes, was as keen to do the best deal for the British people as George Armstrong Custer was to make peace at…

… ‘The Little Big Horn’ !

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

A creepy .. “Two for the price of One” .. !

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2018

If you are an old a regular reader of this blog, you will remember my posts about ‘supermarket zombies’, and more recently the ‘smartphone’ variety: therefore, it will come as no surprise, when I tell you that somehow they have ‘morphed together’, and that yesterday I had my first encounter with one at the checkout at my local Sainsbury’s.

I was loading the contents of my trolley (cart) on to the conveyer, when I heard someone talking behind me and saw that a woman with a mobile ‘phone clamped to her ear was having one of those so important, .. “Oooh, I knowww!”.. conversations as she added items from her trolley to my heap of assorted groceries.

She did not appear to be aware of my actions or acknowledge her mistake when I created some space for the items remaining in my trolley by removing her vegetables and bread from my heap and pushing her selection of ‘ready meals’ and breakfast cereals back along the empty part of the conveyer before putting the “next customer” sign in place.

As I paid for my goods, I noted that the ‘it can’t wait’ phone conversation had ended, and that she of my ‘close encounter’, had immediately gone into a bloody …

… texting trance !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »