“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.

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Archive for May, 2011

It’s only a game !

Posted by Big John on May 31, 2011

I sometimes think that there are more sports pages in the newspapers than ones reporting ‘real’ news, and in particular the coverage of our ‘national religion’ is overwhelming at the moment with stories of sex and corruption spilling over on to the front pages and much of the inside ones as well.

Yes, we all know that football (soccer) is big business in this country and most of the world, but how many people are really that interested who is ‘bunging’ whom with brown envelopes full of hundred dollar bills, or which super-striker is seeking a court injunction to hide the fact that he is ‘playing away’ with some ‘bimbo’ or other ?

Why they call it the “beautiful game” has always escaped me, for at times it can be a very ugly game indeed, with brainless, agressive ‘neanderthals‘, who take home obscene amounts of cash each week, making the headlines, and so called fans behaving like rampaging barbarians.

With all that is happening in the world at present, you would think that newspaper editors would consentrate on what really matters to most people and relegate all this FIFA football crap to where it belongs … a paragraph …

… on the back page ! 


Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

False prophet’s big profit.

Posted by Big John on May 28, 2011

In a country which seems to have more than it’s fair share of religious nutters, Harold Camping must be in line for the ‘Barmy Bible Basher of the Year’ award, for not only did he get it wrong about ‘Judgment Day’ coming on 21st May, but he now predicts that God will destroy our planet on 21st October.

OK, so this old looney has had the piss taken out of him by the mass media and bloggers throughout the world, but what bewilders me is where do the millions of dollars come from to fund his campaigns ? Surely it can’t all come from donations sent in response to his radio preaching.

I can understand some potty old ladies in backwoods ‘Bible Belt’ country, sending a few dollars, but, as Americans would say, “we are talking BIG bucks here” ! … US tax returns indicate that the radio ministry raised a staggering $100 million dollars over the past seven years. The ministry also owns sixtysix radio stations worldwide valued at $72 million, and who knows what’s hidden under the mattress ?  

That’s an awful lot of ‘old ladies’, and holy Harold is just one preacher in thousands fleecing gullible ‘believers’ across America, as they assure givers that they will reap a hundred fold of what they give or that special prayers that God immediately answers will be made as they make pledges.

Obviously Harold and his odious charlatan friends don’t read the part in their scriptures that says something about …

….. “a camel” and “the eye of a needle”.

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

“The Boys from …”

Posted by Big John on May 26, 2011

I’m sure that, like me, none of you had ever heard of the Austrian town of Amstetten until it shot to notoriety in 2008 when police revealed Josef Fritzl had imprisoned his daughter in a cellar under his house there for twentyfour years and fathered seven children with her.

Well now it’s back in the news, for it appears that for the past sixtysix years it’s most famous honorary citizen has been Adolf Hitler, for like many Austrian towns it declared ‘der Führer’ to be an honorary citizen after Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938; but, unlike in most other towns, his name was not removed in 1945.

Now Amstetten Town Hall delegates have dispossessed Hitler of the citizen of honour title, although it has been reported the Town Hall debate on the subject was “very emotional” and the right-wing Freedom Party’s  faction controversially abstained from voting.

“Debate” ! … “emotional” ! … “abstained” ! … It all sounds a bit strange to me, but then of course many Austrians were good little Nazis and very happy to welcome Hitler back to the country of his birth after the ‘Anschluss’. Perhaps some of those nubile young maidens from the ‘Bund Deutscher Mädel’ branch in Amstetten got a bit carried away at the time and Adolf did a ‘Joe Fritzl’, which resulted in more than an honorary citizenship.

When asked … “Why all the fuss ?”

… This delegate refused to answer !  

Posted in humour, political | 1 Comment »

Fact, Fantasy or Fiction ?

Posted by Big John on May 23, 2011

When it comes to TV entertainment I do enjoy a good ‘historical’ drama series, and sometimes for the wrong reasons as with .. ‘The Tudors’ .. which featured a bloke who looked nothing like Henry VIII, and was a bit light on historical fact to say the least.

One series which I quite enjoyed was .. ‘John Adams’ .. and more recently  .. ‘The Kennedys’.. even though it was a bit ‘messy’, and for some reason, a major character was missing from the story. Perhaps they are going to make a mini-series all about Teddy as a follow up ? 

I did watch the first series of .. ‘Spartacus’.. but by the second episode of the prequel I had as much blood, guts, swearing and Roman ‘rumpy-pumpy’ as I could stand; and decided to reach for the remote just as John Hannah lifted his tunic and sat down for a crap in a public loo. A scene that was probably accurate in historical detail, but not what I want to see when half way through my pepperoni pizza !

I thought that the HBO mini-series .. ‘The Pacific’.. was outstanding. A true story about real men in a very real war.

Not so realistic (although I’m sure many think it true) is the latest “epic saga” .. ‘Game of Thrones’ .. with Sean Bean playing .. Well .. Eh! .. Sean Bean and, stealing the show, a great little actor .. Peter Dinklage.

OK, so it’s fantasy and not fact, but it does have a sort of ‘Macbeth’ feel to it, and lots of men in armour hacking away at each other: but I must confess that I am struggling with the plot, and as for the characters, I’m afraid that I don’t know my Lanisters from my Targaryens, and I have yet to learn a single word of Dothraki, or understand why they have such bloody long winters.

‘I Claudius’ it ain’t, but it will do until the Teddy Kennedy story comes along. I wonder what they will call it ? I suppose they could borrow the name of that great British war movie and call it …

… ‘A Bridge too Far’ !     😉

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

“Whole nation” my arse !

Posted by Big John on May 20, 2011

Do you remember how the press told us recently that the whole nation was in a state of excitement about Willy and Kate’s wedding (Blimey! the’re still going on about Pippa’s arse to this day), when actually an ICM poll showed that 79% of the population were either “largely indifferent” or “couldn’t care less” about the wedding.  

Well now they are telling us that the whole nation is about to be united in their enthusiasm for next year’s Olympics. In fact I’ve just been watching some prat bloke on the TV news talking a load of cobblers about the ‘Olympic Flame’ being carried around the country, and of how “the whole nation will come together” in support of ‘the games’.

I may be wrong, but I’m sure that I am not alone when I say that I couldn’t give a ‘monkey’s’ if one sweaty person can run faster than another, or if some lycra clad spaceman on a bike can set a new record in some place called a ‘velodrome’.

Guess what ? … It looks like I’m right, for a Sky News survey shows that only around 10% of the whole nation are “very excited” about Seb Coe’s £9 billion circus.

Now I’m sure that there is one section of the whole nation that is a bit pissed off at the moment: and that is those ‘sports lovers’ who have forked out millions for tickets and have no idea as to what they have bought.

So where does this ‘whole nation’ idea originate ? … Well not from .. ‘The Economist’ .. or those who could have used all that money to really benefit ‘the whole nation’, and that’s for sure.

So I can only assume that it must come from the man who is not only the ring master, but also the driver of …

…    the Olympic ‘gravy train’ !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 5 Comments »

One click chaos !

Posted by Big John on May 17, 2011

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” … Will I never learn ?

I’ve not blogged for a couple of days because I’ve been having a few problems with my computer.

It started with an on screen message asking … Would I like to update my browser ? … Great ! I thought and clicked on ‘Yes’ … Baaad move ! … for then everything went ‘tits up’ !

I’m afraid that I do not have the technical vocabulary to explain all that happened, save to say that I have spent bloody hours trying to ‘restore my system’ !

So, fingers crossed, I’m now back in business.

Oh!… I should mention that during the coarse of my frustrations, I ‘phoned the special help line number which I had been given when I purchased my computer and spoke with a pleasant and helpful young man, who after I had explained what happened said …

“That’s funny, I’ve just had a message about the latest version of that particular browser. It says” …

… “Do not install !”

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

Not so “bienvenue” !

Posted by Big John on May 14, 2011

Poor old short-arse Nickel-Arse has got his French knickers in a twist this week, because his old pal Signor Bunga Bunga (you know the one with the painted on hair) has said “Buongiorno Abdul … Si! Si!… zat is ze way to France, here’s a travel permit, Arrivederci !”

Oh Dear ! … It used to be fine when Abdul, Ahmed and their mates were told “Bonjour ! … What ! you don’t have a passport ?  … Well never mind, just keep going that way and you will come to Calais, the gateway to England; the land of unlimited benefits, free houses, a national health service and .. Eh! .. Sorry .. No virgins !”

Now it seems that many of the lads on the run from “The Arab Spring” speak French and are not keen to move in the direction of the English Channel, so suddenly it’s time to tear up, or at least water down, the Shengen Treaty and bring back border controls in mainland Europe.

Sacré Bleu ! …

…  What’s the French for hypocrisy ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 3 Comments »

Tourists. What would we do without ’em ?

Posted by Big John on May 12, 2011

David Else, the author of the ‘Lonely Planet’ warns, in the latest edition, that parts of Britain’s tourism industry “just doesn’t deliver”, and describes Britain’s restaurants, accommodation and tourist attractions  as “overpriced or lacking in quality”.

He adds that while the UK has become a great value destination for foreign visitors, thanks to the weaker pound: for us Brits … “Britain ain’t cheap”.

Now I don’t get about as much as I used to, and the only tourists spots I’ve been to recently are Bath and Brighton, and I enjoyed my visits to both cities. Perhaps I was just lucky, but I never felt that I had been ripped-off by the ‘locals’, and I must say that I met with friendly service at all times.

However, I did spend most of my working life in London, and now live close to Canterbury, one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations, so I have had plenty of opportunities to observe the Japanese camera clickers, American culture vultures and assorted ‘innocents abroad’ who are shepherded around the ancient streets of those cities.

Most seem happy to be relieved of their dollars, euros and yen, as they enjoy the great British ‘experience’, sipping their pints of ‘Ye Olde Brown Ale’ and scoffing ‘Ye Olde Fish ‘n’ Chips’, while at the same time sorting through the bag of Chinese made ‘tourist tat’ which they just purchased from that nice Romanian ‘Cockney’ gentleman outside ‘Ye Olde Pizza Parlour’, before rejoining their air conditioned bus for the trip back to ‘Ye Olde Holiday Inn’.

Now I know that some parts of our country can be “depressing” and others “tacky” as Mr Else says, but he also says “that while expensive, some parts of Britain are still the most fascinating places in the world to explore”, so my advice to tourists visiting our shores is, get off the bus and “explore”, and stop following that bloody woman with the guide book and umbrella. If you’ve ‘done’ one cathedral, you’ve done ’em all.

OK, so there’s a chance that you may get ‘ripped off’, be offered a plate of jellied eels, not understand a word the taxi driver says, or even get to meet one or two of us hard up ‘locals’, so just remember …

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs … and avoid the people, you might better stay home”.  …  James Michener.

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »