“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.

  • May 2008
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Archive for May, 2008

“à bientôt”.

Posted by Big John on May 25, 2008

It’s that time of year when I get the urge to do some serious eating and drinking, so I’m off to the south of France to sample the many delights of Provence and the Côte d’Azur.

I’ll be back in about four weeks…  

unless I get lucky at the local casino.  😀


Posted in humour | 10 Comments »

Fervent ‘fundies’ are no fun.

Posted by Big John on May 23, 2008

Whenever I visited the USA back in the 70’s and 80’s I liked to watch all of those bible bashing preachers on TV on a Sunday morning. I found them more fun to watch than many of the comedy shows.

Now, years later, I find very little funny about American style Christian fundamentalism and am dismayed that it now seems to have a foothold in this country.

The other evening I watched the TV programme ‘Dispatches’ – ‘In God’s Name’, which showed how hard-line Christian activists are now attempting to make an impact on our society by mobilising their well funded believers nationally.

Amongst other things, followers believe that homosexuality and abortion should be illegal, that there should be no sex before marriage and that the law of blasphemy should be strictly enforced, and .. Oh ! .. “the world is only 4000 years old .. or .. Umm ? .. maybe 6000 years” !

They believe that the Bible is the true word of God .. literally ! .. and are intolerant of, and hostile towards other faiths. One religious nutter said that ‘Allah’ was “Satan” and that Islam is “a false religion”.

The film followed politically active and agressive Christian groups and showed them making some headway as a significant voice in British politics.

Having seen what influence the ‘Christian Right’ can have in America, where an unbelievable 20% of the population are said to be ‘fundamentalists’, I am concerned that these looney peoples’ ideas and methods will take root here.   

Now, as a non believer, I have always said the everyone is entitled to follow any religion they choose, so long as they do no harm, and do not try to impose their beliefs on others. I include in this the good old religious practices of ‘brain-washing’ young children and scaring the shit out of the more primitive peoples of the world. 

I’ve not yet come across one of these religious ‘storm troopers’, but if one should come to my door wanting to ‘save me’, I will greet him with the news that I am a ‘born again atheist’ who … 

…   only needs saving from the likes of him.

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

How many units in a magnum ?

Posted by Big John on May 20, 2008

I see that the government is pissing another £10 million up the wall in an attempt to get us all to drink less alcohol.

Dawn Primarolo, the Public Health Minister, said: “Glass sizes have grown larger and the strength of many wines and beers has increased, so it’s no wonder some of us have lost track of our alcohol consumption.” … and I’ve lost track of how many millions have been wasted by this bloody ‘nanny state’ on all the other gimmicks to ‘educate’ those of us who enjoy a drink or three.

One of my best friends drank himself to death at the age of forty, so I do know how serious an adiction to booze can be, and it is obvious to anyone who dares to venture into our town centres on a Friday and Saturday night what a devastating effect this same government’s ’round the clock’ drinking laws can have on many young people.

I doubt if yet another campaign stressing how many ‘units’ are contained in a glass will be noticed by the hard case drinker or prevent the ‘ladette’ from throwing up in the gutter, and it will do nothing to stop that glass being refilled a few times by the average person enjoying a night out at the pub or a relaxing evening at home.

The £10 million would be far better spent if it were donated to Alcoholics Anonymous or some other organisation or medical facility dedicated to helping those whose lives have in some way been affected by alcohol; instead of it being ‘trousered’ by some smooth advertising man as he sips his Veuve Clicquot, as the guest of some minister, at one of the nineteen unlicensed and subsidized bars and restaurants …

…   within The Palace of Westminster. 

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

Too many ‘close encounters’.

Posted by Big John on May 16, 2008

How can anyone doubt that UFOs exist and that extra-terrestrials have landed on Earth ?

I know that The Ministry of Defence has just released some inconclusive reports of UFO sightings, but you have only to look around you to see creatures from outer space everywhere.

Most politicians are obviously from another planet, and many public officials have most certainly undergone some form of alien brain transplant.

I believe that little green men have been kidnapping, cloning and taking over the bodies of humans for many years; for how else can you explain why there are so many horrific mutants walking our streets ?

Take for example the fat bellied, shaven headed, tatooed beer beast and his partner, the mighty mountain of metal pierced flesh, to be seen outside every pub during the summer months. When the female of the species also covers her body in strange artwork, it is often difficult to tell her from the male, although a good indicator is that she has smaller breasts.  

One of the easiest clones to spot is the zombie like creature who has wires exiting from it’s ears. It can often be found in a trance on buses and trains, and can sometimes be seen jogging in it’s sleep. I think that it is from the same planet as those who wander around with a small communication device always ‘clamped’ against one ear.

Gyms are full of aliens; most of them are females who are confused about the shape of their bodies and seem determined to have muscles like their male counterparts. I believe that male aliens have been known to explode after pumping too much iron. Their leader is said to hold high office in the US state of California.

Shopping malls attract a very distinctive form of clone . Mostly stick thin and believed to be female, they have long bleached hair and orange coloured skin. They wear the minimum of clothing, carry lots of bags, and hide their reptilian eyes behind large sunglasses. Pictures of similar entities can be found amongst the pages of so called ‘celeb’ magazines often hanging on the arm of some ‘sporting hero’ with only half a brain.

I could go on, but I don’t want to start a panic, so I suppose that it’s best to remember ‘ET’, in the movie of that name, and hope that all aliens are as harmless as him.

One thought just struck me ! … In John Wyndham’s book ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ (film ‘The Village of the Damned’) a number of women are impregnated without knowing who fathered their children, which now seems to be a fairly common occurrence in this country, and could explain recent sightings of UFOs parked outside pubs such as ‘The Slut and Slag’ on Friday and Saturday nights …

…   “Beam me up ! Anyone ?” 🙄   


Posted in humour | 6 Comments »

Spells in the cells.

Posted by Big John on May 12, 2008

I see that there are around 300 Pagans serving sentences in British prisons at the moment who, according to the rules, have the same rights as the followers of other religions. They are allowed to have in their cells hoodless robes, rune stones and twigs to be used as magic wands. Pagan chaplains (No I’m not making this up) can offer bedside healing rituals, meditation and special prayers to sick prisoners and may also bring in healing stones and small statues of gods and goddesses to place beside the prisoners’ beds. 

This latest example of religious tolerance reminds me of when I was training at an RAF camp in the late 50’s where it was the rule that all recruits attended church parade every Sunday. That is if you were a Christian and a member of one of the main churches in this country. Everyone else was classed as an ‘OD’ or ‘other denomination’ and did not have to parade.

Now in those days Muslims and Hindus were ‘a bit thin on the ground’ in the UK, and Buddhists were almost non-existent, except for one lad in my billet who shaved his head, sat cross-legged on his bed and claimed that he followed some old geezer called ‘Zen’. He was excused church parade (and eventually taken away) as were some others who claimed to be followers of various exotic eastern religions. There were also worshippers of Odin and Mithras and of course a few genuine agnostics and atheists.

Of course the NCO’s in charge of our training knew that most of the ‘OD’s’ were just ‘taking the piss’ in the hope that they would be able to spend Sunday morning in bed while everyone else was being marched off to church. Sadly this was not to be, and the alternative day of military ‘meditation’ arranged for them caused most of them to undergo a miraculous conversion to Christianity the following Sunday.

Now I’m sure that there are a few genuine wand wavers in jail, but I bet most are like those ‘OD’s’ and are  …

…      just piss taking ‘Pagans’.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

No more cow meat in ‘cattle class’.

Posted by Big John on May 9, 2008

Over the years I’ve eaten hundreds of airline meals; some bloody awful and some pretty good, although the good ones came mostly when travelling ‘business class’ when someone else was paying for the ticket.

I remember on one occasion when I sat looking at a tray containing a dried up pasta dish, a small hard roll, some sort of pink dessert, two crackers and a morsel of sweaty cheese, when the lady beside me suddenly said … “You should request a Kosher meal”, … “But I’m not Jewish”, I replied … “Neither am I” said the lady, and I must say the contents of her tray looked a lot more appetizing than mine.

I was reminded of that mid-air meal when I read today that British Airways is to stop serving beef in economy-class and instead offer a fish or chicken dish. BA claim that the new meals are “healthier, lighter and without religious prohibitions for all passengers”.  In other words … we don’t want any pissed-off Hindus travelling on our aircraft and we carry an awful lot of them.

Whilst the Hindu Council in this country … “welcomes the descision” … they also say that … “Hindus are tolerant of the beliefs of others and do not expect everyone to stop eating a food because they do not eat it.”

It would seem that once again someone has got their knickers in a twist about offending one of our religious minorities, when obviously the ‘minority’ concerned is not really bothered.

So how many passengers will be ‘bothered’ that BA will now only serve beef to the people sitting in the ‘posh’ seats behind the curtain ? Not many I expect, as most of them didn’t know what they were eating in the first place, and it certainly never tasted like …

…   the ‘Roast Beef of Old England’.

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Just look up and smile.

Posted by Big John on May 6, 2008

As I was entering the gentlemen’s toilets at my local Sainsbury’s supermarket the other day, I saw a sign on the door warning that CCTV was in operation. I didn’t take too much notice as I was in a bit of a hurry, but as I sat looking at the coat peg on the door of the stall, I noticed another ‘warning’ written in felt-tip ink just above it. It read … ‘Look out for the pinhole camera in the light fitting above your head’.  😯

A joke ? … Well I hope so, but not too far from the truth if the latest reports on our surveillance mad society are to be believed, for it seems that the UK has more CCTV cameras than any other country in Europe.

Now we know that these cameras are good at making money by catching parking offenders, or people dropping litter in the street, but has all this expensive technology made us all safer ? … Of course it hasn’t. In fact according to the boss of Scotland Yard’s Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office … “It’s been an utter fiasco”.

All I know is that the bloody things are everywhere, and they are not always easy to spot, because now these devices come in all shapes and sizes and can be disguised as … street lamps … light fittings … smoke alarms etc. … and now you can even be ‘caught on camera’ by your local school crossing ‘lollipop’ lady.

So be warned … Be careful where you park … put your bleedin’ litter in the bin … don’t swear at the lollipop lady … and …

…  don’t use too much toilet paper !  🙄

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

‘Cool’ research results.

Posted by Big John on May 3, 2008

It looks like those polar bears can stop worrying about their ice floes disappearing if scientists at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences are to be believed, for according to them we are in for a ten year period of global cooling.  Some reports even claim that the earth stopped warming up six years ago.

Now that’s a surprise ! For just when I thought that I was about to be trampled to death by hordes of carbon footprints or asphixiated by the gases in my greenhouse, I now find that I may have made a big mistake by planting date palms in my garden and digging that well.

OK, so I may not be an expert on the subject of climate change, in fact I hardly know my El Niño from my La Niña, but I do feel that most of what is happening to our planet has happened many times before and is perfectly normal.

What has not happened before, however, is that a bunch of greedy bastards have created a whole new ‘climate change industry’ by scaring the shit out of the more gullible amongst us, including some not too bright world leaders.

So I suppose that this new information means that we don’t have to feel guilty anymore about using those patio heaters, spraying our armpits, flying to the ‘Costas’, driving a 4X4, and farting out-of-doors.

Even with petrol (gas) now costing £5 ($9.50) a gallon, this holiday weekend will still see millions of sun seeking motorists clogging up our highways and chucking out clouds of CO2 into the atmosphere.  I wonder how many of them will know that they may no longer need be concerned about increasing the size of  …

the hole in the ozone layer ?  😀

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »