“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.

  • April 2007
    M T W T F S S
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Archive for April, 2007

“Like Webster’s Dictionary …”

Posted by Big John on April 26, 2007

Not much time for blogging this week as come Saturday we will be on the high seas on our way to Madeira and the Canary Islands. It’s a two week cruise and will include stops in Morocco and Portugal.

The other evening for dinner we had a Moroccan chicken dish which was flavoured with spices, pine nuts and apricots and served on a bed of couscous.

I enjoyed the meal very much, as did my wife, which is just as well as she could be eating a lot more of such food in the near future, as I’m thinking of taking her to the Atlas mountains to see what she would be worth to some Berber tribesman.

At a guess I would put her value at two camels, three goats and a donkey.

Well perhaps I’ll let her keep the donkey, as she will definitely need one to enable her to  ….

…     ‘talk it’s hind leg off’.  🙂


 p.s.  I believe that our cruise ship has some sort of internet service, so watch this space and I’ll post if I can.


Posted in family, humour | 8 Comments »

Happy Saint George’s Day.

Posted by Big John on April 23, 2007

flag-e-ani.gifDuring the World Cup football competition last summer the cross of Saint George was to be seen everywhere; so how come when his own special day comes around it’s so hard to find one ?

The Scots, the Welsh and the Irish all celebrate their saints’ days. Blimey ! Half the country seems to turn green on Saint Paddy’s day, but few seem to care for poor old Georgie.

Perhaps it’s because he was likely to have been a bloody foreigner from the fourth century AD (Oops ! Sorry, ‘CE’) when there was no such place as England: or perhaps it’s just because the money grabbing supermarket chains have not yet come up with a marketing strategy to create another Halloween or Saint Valentine’s Day.

I believe that you can now buy St. George’s Day greetings cards, so I suppose all the other crap will soon follow, and as George is believed to have been a Roman soldier born in Turkey you can expect kebabs on little lances and hot cross pitta bread to feature in the festive fayre; alongside dragon’s breath spicy sauce and martyrs’ barbecued ribs. All to be washed down with a few bottles of…  THIS !

…    Slaying dragons must have been thirsty work.

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

A far better planet.

Posted by Big John on April 20, 2007

I’m a big fan of the BBC TV series ‘Life on Mars’.

Why ? … Because I was there … Blimey ! I even had the same car (well, almost), and that’s my daughter sitting on it in 1973 …


… looking as Gene Hunt would say … “As nervous as a small nun at a penguin shoot”.

OK, so I wasn’t a hard nosed rule bending copper like Detective Chiefg-h-mars.jpg Inspector Hunt even though I did look a bit like him, and I did wear those driving gloves, although I didn’t use them to … “play slappy face”, but I could ‘talk the talk’, even if I couldn’t ‘walk the walk’. I could also drink the drink, smoke the fags and grow the ‘Barnet’.

I believe the series is being shown on BBC America, but I can’t imagine any American being able to understand a single ‘non PC’ word of it.

So to quote DCI Gene Hunt, all I have to say to you … 

“great, soft, sissy, girly, nancy, French bender Man United supporting poofs!”

… across the pond  … is … give it a try … and although the programme is set in the 1970s …

…   Don’t expect ‘Starsky and Hutch’.  🙂

Posted in family, humour | 2 Comments »

Carnage recreated.

Posted by Big John on April 17, 2007

There is not much you can say on a day like today, except this can, at times, be a very ‘sick’ world indeed.

I’m sure that there will be the usual outcry for gun controls in the USA.  It will never happen, and in any case gun controls do not work, as we have found out in this country where it is illegal to own a handgun and yet every week we read of teenage shootings, armed robberies and innocent people dying on our streets.

We all saw dozens of heavily armed policemen descend on Virginia Tech yesterday, but they could do nothing except ‘mop up’, which shows that all the ‘gun totting’ cops in the world can’t prevent such tragedies from happening.

It’s happended before … and in a country awash with firearms … sadly …

It must happen again. 

Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

Breakfast ‘blues’.

Posted by Big John on April 15, 2007

You will have to excuse this short post today as I am too upset to think of anything after reading page after page of the Sunday newspapers. In fact I was so distraught when demolishing my ‘full English’ breakfast that I almost wept all over my fried slice. 

No, it was not the increasing death toll in Iraq, nor the threat of global warming, or even the plight of the starving people of Africa, that so upset me …

It was the terrible news that … Willy has dumped Katie !

Just when the press were about to create another ‘Diana’ for us all to worship, this silly young sod has decided that he prefers the life of a ‘Hooray Henry’ to that of being married to a piece of not ‘Posh’ enough ‘Totty’ .

Oh! well (sigh). I expect that, just like the number 11 bus … ‘there will be another one along in a minute’.

Hang on a minute ! I hadn’t read far enough, for… Would you ‘Adam ‘n’ Eve’ it ?  There’s already another one on the horizon …

Could it be … ‘Stunning socialite’ … Isabella Anstrutha-Gough-Calthorpe ?  

Blimey ! I’ve seen lots of double-barrelled names before, but not a triple … Now that’s what I call ‘posh’ with a capital ‘P’…

…  I’m feeling better already.

Posted in humour, rant | 7 Comments »

Ban these barmy bans.

Posted by Big John on April 12, 2007

Who are all these people who keep telling us that ethnic minorities or non Christians will be offended by certain aspects of life in this country ?

Where the bloody hell do they come from? …  and did they ever consult with any person from an ethnic minority or someone from another religion ?  … I very much doubt it ! 

Last weekend we had the ridiculous story where traditional Easter hot cross buns were banned  in case they offended ethnic minorities.

Someone had better warn Sainsbury’s that they are in danger of offending thousands of their customers as they have them on display all year round in their bakery department, alongside bagels, nan, blini and other items favoured by ethnic minorities.  

I would like to see a list drawn up by the responsible leaders of all the ethnic minorities and religious groups in this country stating what exactly their members find offensive when they come across some traditional aspects of British life, it’s customs and religion.

My guess is that it would be a very short list indeed, for I cannot believe that anyone is offended by such things as a cross on a currant bun, the Union Flag flying over a town hall or the Virgin Mary appearing on Christmas postage stamps.

If I were a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu or member of any other religion or race I would find it insulting to have some jumped-up official tell me what will offend me, when my own reaction might well be, to use the vernacular of the day, and in the words of our Prime Minister  …

…     “Am I bovvered ?”

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

It sure ain’t ‘The Colditz Story’.

Posted by Big John on April 10, 2007

They sat in front of a hugh union flag. They were wearing their uniforms and berets, and they were free !

So why did they all look so grim ? … Perhaps no one had yet agreed that they could sell their ‘dodgy’ stories.  

Where were the smiling people in those shiny suits ? … and where was … Leading Seaman (or should that be ‘Seaperson’ ?)  Faye Turney ? … who initially, as I recall, still continued to say how well she had been treated by her captors even when she was safe in British hands

Don’t get me wrong, for I am very pleased that these young sailors and marines are back with their loved ones, but I can’t help but feel that if I had been blindfolded, stood against a wall, and had heard the sound of weapons being cocked etc. I would not go out of my way to say a smiling farewell and accept presents and handshakes from the guys who had earlier introduced me to an alternative to laxatives.

The ‘damage limitation’ press conference given by six released ‘hostages’ after they had been debriefed appeared to have been almost as blatently staged managed as the photograph in the press of Iraqis shown ‘celebrating’ the deaths of four Britons earlier last week.

Note the contrast in the three photographs on this page . The lower two show  groups of serious looking men and boys. The upper one shows the boy on the right displaying a piece of metal. I can just hear the photographer … “Come on son, hold it up a bit higher, and everyone wave and smile” !

During the past week Joseph Goebbels would have felt quite at home both in Teheran and at Westminster for he never spoke more true words than when he said … “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play” … What a shame that our mob were a little off key with their propaganda tune this time. 

At a time like this I remember that my mother often used to quote an old proverb to me …

 “You should only believe half of what you see, and none of which you hear.”

Posted in political, rant | 3 Comments »

An Easter surprise.

Posted by Big John on April 8, 2007

I can’t believe that this is Easter in England. No rain. No freezing wind and no snow ! 

The temperature on the patch of paving that I call a patio is 70 F in the shade and this weekend I am wearing my shorts for the first time this year (not a pretty sight).

Judging by the lack of blogging activity at the moment, I guess most of you have better things to do than sit in front of a computer.

Ah well ! … Back to more of this …


I just hope the bloke next door doesn’t start stinking up the neighbourhood by offering up a dozen burgers …

…     as some sort of  religious sacrifice !   

Posted in humour | 2 Comments »