“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.

  • September 2011
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Archive for September, 2011

Distracted drivers.

Posted by Big John on September 29, 2011

As if it wasn’t dangerous enough to use a mobile phone when driving, a new survey shows that nearly 30% of drivers also send text messages while at the wheel. They are even surfing the net on their smart phones.

Now I was driving a car long before cell phones, satnavs and even parking meters were invented and have seen some truly crazy people behind many a steering wheel. I’ve seen ladies fixing their hair and touching up their makeup. I’ve seen men shaving and plucking their eyebrows. I’ve seen truck drivers reading newspapers, cabbies doing crossword puzzles and ‘white van men’ eating their lunch (with a knife and fork). I’ve seen couples fighting and couples kissing; and once, when a car pulled up next to me in a motorway traffic jam, I glanced across at a young man, with a goofy look on his face, who seemed to be alone in his car, until, suddenly, a young lady’s head appeared from below the level of the steering wheel. She looked rather flushed and her hair resembled an explosion in a mattress factory… Umm! … I guess that she must have dropped something under the seat and had been searching for it.   😉

OK, so it’s easy to make light of a very serious subject, and I feel that strong penalties should be imposed on those who endanger us all with their stupid behaviour when driving, including a fine for the bloke in your rear view mirror who always seems to be  …

… picking his nose !


Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

How did we manage ?

Posted by Big John on September 26, 2011

In a new book written by childcare “experts” it says that babies now have “schedules that are as important as those of adults”. Some tiny tots even attend classes most days, such as … baby music, baby yoga, baby gym, baby singing, baby salsa (I’m not making this up), baby language and baby swimming.

One of the authors of the book, Sylvie Hétu, claims that pushy parents are encouraged by health workers and nursery staff who constantly attempt to interfere in children’s lives from birth.

Of course I have not read the book, but I must say that I am a bit confused, for Ms. Hétu seems to condemn all these trendy methods of  “bonding” and seeks to protect these infants from “too much stimulation”, when she herself is an “infant massage instructor”.

I’m afraid that it all seems like a load of old baby bollocks to me, but I was pleased to read that, although it is no longer “cool”, singing traditional lullabies such as “Baa Baa Black Sheep” is still considered to be one of the best ways of bonding with your child.

“Baa Baa Black Sheep” … Shock ! .. Horror ! .. Surely that should be “Rainbow Sheep” !

She’ll be telling us next that it’s OK to let our babies …

…  cuddle a Gollywog !     😉

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

Andy’s jet junket.

Posted by Big John on September 23, 2011

Can you believe it ? ..  He’s at it again ! .. Yes, just two months after officially stepping down from his role as UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, ‘Air Miles Andy’ has been “up! up! and away!” on a £150,000 private jet flight to Saudi Arabia.

It was stated by some palace toady that “His Buffoon Highness” could not take a scheduled flight as .. “His arrangements over the weekend meant he was not available to leave on Sunday morning”. For which read .. “He was playing golf”.

OK, I’m sorry, I know that I do rant a lot about the bloody ‘royals’, but can you blame me this time, when this bloke so blatantly takes the piss, for it would seem that his walking away from his work .. job .. post as front man for Britain’s arms trade was just a PR stunt.  In fact Graham Smith, of the pressure group ‘Republic’, said … “Prince Andrew still seems to think he is free to roam the earth at the taxpayers’ expense”.

Previously this parasite of a prince dropped himself in the shit by having some very dodgy mates indeed, including Muammar Gaddafi’s son, and it seems that nothing has changed, for some press reports suggest that he is now sucking up to the family of …

… Osama bin Laden !

Posted in political, rant | Leave a Comment »

“Is there anybody there ?” … I doubt it !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2011

For some reason this thieving psychic was unable to foretell her own future when she was nicked for benefit fraud. I hope that the magistrates “throw the book” at her, along with the “bell” and the “candle”, for it wasn’t so long ago that she would have been classed as a witch and sentenced to death.

Now I’m not advocating a return to hangings on the village green or even burning at the stake for such charletans, but I do believe that these so called ‘mediums’ should be prosecuted for defrauding their gullible victims, who are mostly bereaved and vulnerable people.

It amazes me that in the 21st century people still believe in the ‘afterlife’ and contacting the ‘departed’, but many do and they provide rich pickings for these “cold reading” con-artists, many of whom have become TV ‘celebs’ and advertise widely on the web.

OK, so playing with the tarot cards, reading the tea leaves, visiting a fortune teller, and even watching some TV ‘medium’ shows can be a bit of a laugh, but it’s not a laugh when ‘clairvoyant’ crooks fleece those who are seeking comfort after the death of a loved one.
On a lighter note, one of my cousins recently related a story to me about how she was trying to trace other members of our scattered family without much success. However, about six months ago, she was offered help by a workmate who claimed to be a ‘medium’ and told her that someone named Tom “was all around me” and that another cousin was trying to trace our family tree and “would soon be in touch” and “has a lot to tell”.
My cousin also asked me if I could recall the married name of that same cousin who I had lost touch with many years ago. I said that I couldn’t remember, and suggested that she get her psychic friend to ask “Tom”.  Needless to say that …

…  our ‘long lost’ cousin has not been in touch.

Posted in family, humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Mini mumbo jumbo.

Posted by Big John on September 17, 2011

I believe that the Apostle Paul warned against turning Christian church services into sideshows, fearing that an unbeliever, who walked in on one, would think that the believers were out of their minds.

Well he would have gone ‘apeshit’ if he had viewed The National Geographic channel the other evening when they showed one of the best religious nutter shows that I have seen in a long time. It was called .. “Pint Sized Preachers” .. and featured three bible bashing young people, one of whom claimed to cure the sick simply by touching them.

The star of the show was a four year old named Kanon Tipton, from Grenada in Mississippi, who has been dubbed .. “The World’s Youngest Preacher”.. and who “wages war on sinners in the name of Jesus” .. or rather, he precociously imitates his dad and grandad, just as any kid of his age would, except that his family are pulpit thumping Pentacostal preachers who spend their time haranguing their looney congregations in the name of The Lord. That is, of course, when they are not falling about and “speaking in tongues”, or shouting “Hallelujah !” as they count all those donated ‘greenbacks’ for God.

Now, just before we jump to condemn young Kanon’s parents and shout .. “child abuse!” .. and .. “brain washing!”, perhaps we should all remember that, all over the world, on special days, very young children are beside their parents in places of worship mumbling and whispering what they have been taught. They cannot possibly understand what they are saying, and neither does …

…  that little boy in Grenada, Mississippi !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Extortion ensures the event.

Posted by Big John on September 15, 2011

Many years ago I was in charge of setting up an exhibition stand at London’s ‘Olympia’ exhibition centre. The exhibition stands were built by specialist contractors, and the exhibiting companies laid out their own product displays.

One of my colleagues picked up a broom and started to sweep some sawdust into the aisle so that he could position an exhibit. Suddenly, as if by magic, a man appeared and asked to see my colleague’s “union card”. Of course, he didn’t have one, and so the union man stormed off, and within a few minutes all construction work came to a halt throughout the building, and was not restarted again for almost two days and not until a new agreement on overtime pay and other concessions was made between the trade unions and the exhibition’s organisers to ensure that all would be ready for the grand opening.

“I hope they finish on time”.. I said to the manager on the next stand.

“Oh, don’t worry”.. he replied .. “They always do. This happens every year”.

Now although I had never been a member of a trade union, I had been brought up in a working class family and my father had been a member of the Labour Party and was proud to wear the badge of The National Union of Railwaymen. He had told me tales of the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the National Strike of 1926, which meant that I had always felt empathy toward those workers who had banded together to achieve common goals such as fair pay and better working conditions, so it came as quite a shock to be confronted by a bunch of “brothers” looking for their usual bribe.

Since those far off days most of British industry has “gone down the tubes” and the trade union movement has lost much of it’s power and some good men, but some of those “brothers” are still around as can be seen from this story of what can only be described as ‘bribes’ being paid to train drivers to avoid disruption to London’s transport system during next year’s Olympic Games.

I bet the “Tolpuddle Martyrs” (and my dad) are …

… turning in their graves ! 😉

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

Light-fingered Lords.

Posted by Big John on September 13, 2011

Now there’s a surprise ! Former Tory peers Lord Taylor of Warwick and Lord Hanningfield have been freed from prison after serving only a quarter of their sentences for fiddling their parliamentary expenses. They join three former Labour MPs jailed over the parliamentary expenses scandal, David Chaytor, Eric Illsley and Jim Devine who have already been released.

Considering that dozens of other thieving bastards from both Houses of Parliament should have been ‘banged up’, this whole business stinks of “old school ties”, “funny handshakes” and those mates “who know where the bodies are buried”.

I know that we have some seriously dopey judges in this country (Cherie Blair for one. Umm ! I wonder who ‘accidently’ shredded her old man’s expense claims ?), but surely even they realise that there is no point in sentencing some crook to twelve months in jail if he is going to get a 75% ‘discount’ as in the case of ex-barrister (Yes, that’s right, he was a lawyer) Lord Taylor. Or am I …

 …  missing something here ? 

Posted in political, rant | 4 Comments »

If it moves … SCREAM !!!!

Posted by Big John on September 10, 2011

It is said that, once upon a time, a clever press agent hired a bunch of teenage girls to scream when a young ‘crooner’ named Frank Sinatra appeared on stage. This form of mass hysteria soon caught on for real, and ever since the performances of popular singers and groups have often been drowned out by the screams of their fans.

OK, so I know that over the years we have become familiar with the orchestrated audience ’participation’ which we copied from American TV shows, but recently it seems to have taken on a new lease of life, for now it would seem that we are fast becoming a nation of uncontrolable screamers, and if you dare to turn on your television on any night of the week, you will inevitably find yourself, at some point, reaching for the mute button on your remote as an audience erupts into screams and yells over … what ?

Well almost anything, or so it would seem. The efforts of every gormless quiz contestant, has-been ‘reality’ show performer, brain dead game show competitor, third rate talent show ‘wannabe’ and so-called ‘celeb’ seem to rate the same ecstatic reaction from the morons who make up their studio audience.                                                                                                  
I must explain that I am not an expert on this phenomenon, as about five minutes is my limit when it comes to watching such crap, but it does piss me off when even semi-serious magazine programmes such as the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ has the few people who inhabit it’s studio overreacting everytime a guest is introduced by the show’s hosts.

The main TV channels on a Saturday night are awash with hours of truly unbelievable trash which I presume the majority of viewers want to see. I have a horrible vision of living rooms across the country where whole families are leaping about screaming in front of their 55″ TV screens.

The other evening my remote took me, by mistake, to a show where a huge audience was jumping up and down and screaming their heads off nonstop. Over what I have no idea, and I’m pretty certain … 

…  that neither did they !

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »