bigjohn

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

  • Warning! Elderly Person Blogging

    elderly1.jpg

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

    t-blogger.jpg

    lion-2.jpg

  • 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.

    me-poster.jpg

    me-r-book.jpg

    a-b-t-1.jpg

    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

    copy-me-rr.jpg

    me-w-badge.jpg

    wed-baby.jpg

    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.

    copy-of-70s.jpg

    me-pit.jpg

    golf-dinner.jpg

    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.

  • August 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Jul    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • Meta

  • RSS Validated.

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

    Join 578 other followers

  • Advertisements

Taking an old blogger’s break.

Posted by Big John on August 18, 2018

I’m sorry that I have not been blogging during recent days, but my old brain feels somewhat ‘scrambled’ at the moment due to me being a bit ‘poorly’. Well, a lot bloody ‘poorly’ actually !

I know that in the UK we moan a lot about our NHS health care, but it’s at times like this that you appreciate the fantastic service that it provides.

I won’t go into details, but, at present I am being monitored and treated by the dedicated doctors and nurses at my local health centre and …

I couldn’t ask for more !

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Another ‘Living Dead’ driver !

Posted by Big John on August 6, 2018

Recently I visited my local health centre (nothing serious) and parked my car in an almost empty car park. As I headed for the entrance I noticed another car arrive. The driver parking it one empty parking space away from my vehicle.

Now the spaces in this area are a bit tight, but if you are careful it’s not a problem, and in any case, on that morning there were plenty of empty spaces, so no driver arriving would need to manoeuvre into a tight spot.

On leaving the clinic, I could not believe my eyes, for the car park was still almost devoid of vehicles, but there, parked in the space between my car and the one which had arrived just after me was a newly arrived SUV, with the driver and his passenger still sitting inside.

Why were they still sitting inside ? .. Well, the idiot behind the wheel had parked so close to my car that his old lady passenger could only open the door a few inches. Strangely she was still trying the impossible. If the driver had backed up a few feet he would have had half the car park to himself !

“I’m just about to leave” .. I called to her as I approached my car. No response. I drove off. Then ‘the penny dropped’ .. The health centre is next to Sainsbury’s ..  sacred to the supermarket ‘zombies’ reported on in previous posts, and these two hadn’t obeyed their …

…. ‘Spectral Sat Nav’ !

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »

“Mad dogs and ….”

Posted by Big John on July 26, 2018

It’s hard to believe, but even those “Englishmen” who “go out in the midday sun” are beginning to complain about the present heat wave.

Today the temperature is over 90º where I live, and it’s going to get even hotter tomorrow !

I’ve crossed some pretty hot desserts in the western USA including Death Valley and have been to the west coast of Africa close to the edge of the Sahara, but I don’t recall feeling as uncomfortable as I do right now.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s a popular BBC TV show was the funny but not very ‘PC’ .. “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum” ..  Good title ! .. I echo their message !

One minor character in the series was a not very energetic ‘punkah wallah’. In this heat …

… I know how he felt !

Posted in humour, nature, nostalgia, travel | 5 Comments »

A special week.

Posted by Big John on July 11, 2018

This week I have been able to celebrate two anniversaries. One is due to the fact that I have been married for 57 years: and the other is that the Royal Air Force was founded 100 years ago.

Is there a connection ? … There sure is ! .. For it was during my two years service in the RAF that I met my future wife, which turned out to be the luckiest day of my life.

I suppose that I was lucky after being conscripted into the RAF as I became a radar operator in ground controlled air defence, so seeing the one hundred aircraft flypast on TV reminded me that during my time in the service I never flew in or even saw a single aircraft on the ground.

However, I did get to go to sea on …

… one of these !

Posted in family, History, humour, nostalgia | 4 Comments »

“Worlds Apart”

Posted by Big John on July 4, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the more that I look around, the more I feel that the world has gone completely ‘bonkers’, with all those … ‘everything offends me’ zealots .. ‘mixed up’ millennials  … the ‘snowflake’ students in their ‘safe spaces’ … the ‘cotton wool’ kids and their ‘helicopter parents’ …  all those ‘me too’ and ‘look at me’ celebs …  those TV ‘reality show’ morons, “like yer know like what I mean and like stuff” and those ‘scream your bloody head off’ audiences … the ubiquitous internet and smartphone addicts …and… the multitude of religious ‘nutters’ and “grief lite” mourners … It makes me wonder how they would have survived in the ‘real world’ I once occupied ?

As a child I lived in a place of death and destruction, although I was a little too young to understand much of what was happening. I played amongst the ruins of what had once been family homes. We often read today of how so many people are suffering from ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’, but can you imagine the stress when taking shelter at night and not knowing if you would still be alive in the morning; or the anxiety of wondering if your loved ones in uniform would ever return ?

School in the 1940’s and 50’s was not exactly fun, but the discipline meant that ‘ADHD’ (and ‘Ritalin’) was unheard of, and “face the front” teaching of a variety of subjects, unlike today’s ‘dumbed-down’ system, provided most of us with a fairly sound education; although very few working class school leavers made it to university.

However, every healthy young man could look forward to spending two years in the military after they reached the age of eighteen: and, speaking of ‘health’, food rationing made sure that ‘obesity’ was an unknown condition.

I remember a more dignified world where good manners were appreciated and courtesy was expected. My father was a blue collar worker with a limited education and some very ‘rough and ready’ workmates, and yet, I never once heard him utter a swear word in all the years I knew him.

I’m going to leave it there just for now. Now where did I last see …

… that old photo album ? 

 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant, religion | 4 Comments »

Garden guests.

Posted by Big John on June 28, 2018

Remember my little fox cubs… Well they have returned, at least one of them has …

and this time it is daylight and it has grown a bit !

and ‘Robert’ the robin is thinking “are you looking at me?”

Now, I may not be the greatest nature photographer in the world,

but here are a couple more visitors to my summer garden …

This is ‘Russell’. OK! .. I know that it’s not a very original name.

Did you know that crows mate for life ?

Here’s the happy pair on their favourite perch.

I hear your question .. ? .. and …

I’ve no idea !

 

Posted in family, nature | 4 Comments »

Another ‘trance’ encounter !

Posted by Big John on June 19, 2018

Not far from my home is a railway bridge. A road runs under this bridge and has a safe footpath on one side of it. On the other side is a narrow strip of slippery brick, earth and concrete which some people prefer to balance along rather than cross over the road to use the ‘safe side’ and then cross back again, using the pedestrian crossings, to continue on their way.

At this time of year most of the strip is overgrown with all sorts of rough and prickly  vegetation making it difficult to negotiate without walking in the road. So what bloody idiot would take the risk ?

Answer ! … The bloody idiot who never even gave me a glance, as I braked to avoid him being splattered all over the front of my car as he strolled in the road under the bridge …

…  BLOODY TEXTING !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Much more than a musical memory.

Posted by Big John on June 5, 2018

The other evening I watched an interesting and evocative BBC documentary about the Everly Brothers (‘Harmonies from Heaven’).

It reminded me of the late 1950’s and, in particular, of one miserable rainy night on the platform of a railway station where I waited with a group of other young airmen for the last train, which would take us back to our RAF station after attending some lucky national serviceman’s ‘de-mob’ party.

We were chatting and joking amongst ourselves when we suddenly heard the sound of someone singing further along the platform. In fact, it was two of our fellow conscripts who had only recently been posted to our camp after returning from duty at the nuclear test site on Christmas Island. On the way home they had a few days leave in the USA and had picked up a number of records, among which were the latest Everly Brothers’ hits.

Obviously we had all had more than a “sniff of the barmaid’s apron”, and so these two lads singing may have sounded better than it actually was, but it silenced our chatter.

OK, so they weren’t exactly Don and Phil, and it wasn’t quite one of those “Harmonies from Heaven”, but it did have a strangely ‘haunting’ quality about it as it echoed around that gloomy station.

That was 60 years ago and I’m still here: but I wonder if the same can be said of those two young airmen who had spent a year or more on a Pacific island watching …

These clouds ?

Posted in History, nostalgia | 4 Comments »