“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 2012
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Archive for May, 2012

Will I be “proven” right ?

Posted by Big John on May 30, 2012

I’ve just been reading that a survey by Oxford University Press of British children’s writing habits has found an increasing use of American vocabulary and spelling.

American vocabulary and spelling with words such as garbage, candy, sneakers, trash can, sidewalk, and soda featuring in much of the children’s written school work.

Now I’m not too bothered by this as the British have always enriched their language by adopting ‘foreign’ words. Just think of how many words we use today which originated in places such as India and other parts of the good old ‘Empire’.

I know that English is a contrary language, but what I do find slightly annoying and often very amusing at the same time is the American ‘corruption’ of English regular verbs in their past tense. The obvious ones being .. “dove” .. instead of dived .. “pled” instead of pleaded .. and of course .. “snuck” instead of sneaked. A new one on me, which I came across recently is … “drug” instead of dragged; as in .. “being drug back to the dark ages“.

I don’t think that we will be .. “Two nations separated by a common language” .. for much longer, for we British are being drug by our children towards …

…   the language of the future.


Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

“Here comes summer”.

Posted by Big John on May 27, 2012

Summer seems to have arrived early and the weather is far too pleasant to be stuck in front of a computer in  our spare bedroom my study so I am spending some time on the small paved area outside the kitchen door patio. My patch of grass lawn looks brown immaculate and my flower pots beds are showing a few green shoots alive with colour.

I listen to next door’s bloody dog barking the bird song and a neighbour’s ancient lawn mower the hum of a passing bumblebee. I can smell someone’s stinking barbeque the sea on the cooling breeze and keep an eye on the crapping seagulls a nesting song thrush.

Enough of this idyllic scene, for ’tis time for a couple of pints some cool refreshment, so it’s off to the ‘family friendly’ pub “Ye Olde Hostelry” to join the shaven headed, tatooed, lager swilling morons local gentry and their obese bare bellied old slags elegant ladies.

On the way I stop to watch some foul mouthed little brats kicking the shit out of each other happy, laughing children at play in a vandalised bus shelter meadow filled with litter wild flowers and butterflies.

I have to wonder, could this be … ?

“One of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going” … L.M. Montgomery.

Posted in humour | 5 Comments »

… but are they signed ?

Posted by Big John on May 21, 2012

Many times I have ranted about crap (sometimes literally “crap“) art exhibitions and competitions such as shows at the ‘Tate Modern’ and the ‘Turner Prize’, and the gobbledygook spouted by curators and art critics when describing the rubbish on display, but I have to say that The Hayward Gallery’s director, Ralph Ripoff Rugoff, won the top prize for taking the piss when he announced …

…”From the amusing to the philosophical, you will be able to explore an invisible labyrinth that only materialises as you move around it, see an artwork that has been created by the artist staring at it for 1000 hours, walk through an installation designed to evoke the afterlife, and be in the presence of Andy Warhol’s celebrity aura”.

“Invisible” ! … Yes, that’s right. We are being asked to pay £8 ($12.50) to marvel at … ‘Nothing‘ ! … and the cheeky bastard even has the nerve to bill the show as … “the best exhibition you’ll never see” !

I do hope that they are playing John Cage’s 4’33” as background music, and that the ‘artist’ who reported to the police that his invisible sculpture had been stolen from his car soon has his insurance claim settled.

I wonder if you can pay that £8 entrance fee …

… with invisible money ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

The “custard comet” has landed !

Posted by Big John on May 19, 2012

I know that I keep ranting on about the bloody Olympics, but it’s hard not to when you see just how ridiculous the whole event is becoming.

The latest in this obscene Olympic circus involved Seb Coe, Mayor ‘BoJo’, ‘ex-pat’ Beckham and ‘er Maj’s dreary daughter in another dubious ancient Greek ceremony, where Seb told the world that the arrival of the flame on British shores will be a “resounding clarion call” to the world’s top athletes and that “millions (millions ? .. who writes this crap ?) of Britons have been working hard to create a great welcome”. Of course he didn’t mention all the other “millions” who don’t give a shit, or all those who are taking part in the great Olympic ‘rip-off’ and making an extra few ‘bob’ whenever they can. Blimey ! One of the torches has already appeared on ebay !

Somehow the flame stayed alight this time despite the heavy rain and was transferred from it’s ‘cheese grater’ to a miner’s lamp in which it has been flown (A flame on a plane ! … Is that allowed ?) to Britain on board a yellow golden ‘Firefly’ aircraft, and it’s now being carried in a relay by an odd assortment of ‘athletes’ most of whom look ‘knackered’ after the first hundred yards. The pace is so slow that faster moving spectators are being pushed into the roadside hedges by the escorting ‘plods’.

I wonder when …

Sacha Baron Cohen will appear ?

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

A creepy compulsion.

Posted by Big John on May 16, 2012

Can you believe that some genius ‘geek’ has invented a ‘sat nav’ device to guide us around the local shopping mall ?

What next ? … Will they be fitting the bloody things to baby buggies and mobility scooters ?

As one who has never used a ‘sat nav’, does not own a ‘BlackBerry’, has never ‘tweeted’ and does not know his ‘apps’ from his elbow, I have to wonder where all this ‘smartphone’ technology will end and do we really need it ?

Well if my observations are correct, many people can’t live without it. In fact there are some of us who are completely obsessed with it, for it seems that everywhere you look fingers are jabbing at, or flicking across small screens searching for Gawd knows what. Take a look at the crowd at a concert, a play, a movie, even a funeral and you are likely see several ‘addicts’ sneaking prolonged peeks at their smartphones. It seems that these sad specimens just can’t help themselves.

Perhaps someone can please tell me, can these poor sods find help at  … 

…  ‘Apps Addicts Anonymous’  ?

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

It’s “all Greek to me” !

Posted by Big John on May 11, 2012

Oh Dear ! I feel that the omens are bad, although I have not as yet sacrificed a chicken and poked around in it’s giblets for a sign of disaster, but could anything be more alarming than the Olympic flame being blown out at the very start of it’s journey ?

Perhaps those ancient Greek gods sent an invisable Hermes to extinguish the flame as a sign that they are upset about the state of their old country’s economy. Pity they didn’t let Zeus zap Seb Coe with one of his lightening bolts while they were at it.

Let’s hope that the residents of Mount Olympus are not too pissed off, or as in Homer’s ‘Iliad’, Apollo might shoot a few “arrows of plague” causing mayhem in the toilets at every ‘McDonald’s’ in the Olympic Park; or Poseidon might make it piss down on the pentathlon. Don’t forget that Ares was let loose in Europe not long after the Nazis hijacked the Games in 1936, when they also introduced the ‘cheese grater’ torch relay which had not been part of the original load of old cobblers sacred ceremony.

Now I doubt if there is an oracle around here, and I know for certain that it would be hard to find a ‘virgin’ priestess, so I will have to look to Spiros at the local kebab shop for a prophetic prediction about further intervention by those meddlesome deities from ancient times. I just hope that he doesn’t turn my souvlaki into …

… a burnt offering !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

A bomb in a bun ?

Posted by Big John on May 7, 2012

Just when you think you have heard the last about security for the Olympics, along come more examples of just how crazy the whole thing is becoming …

Fancy taking your own food and drink to the Olympic Park ? .. Well think again ! .. because spectators will be banned, by airport-style security, from taking bottles of water into the area in case they are used to conceal .. Yes ! .. you guessed it ..”liquid-bombs”. Oh! .. and picnics and “excessive” amounts of food will also be banned from sports venues. I suppose that’s because of all those ‘burger-bombs’ and ‘Semtex’ sandwiches !

Of course all those “official vendors” inside the venues will be able to rip you off supply you with all the junk food you can eat and all the fizzy fluids you need at grossly inflated prices.

Oh, Guess what ? … I just read that someone has smuggled a dummy ‘bomb’ into the Olympic Park ! .. Well that just had to happen. I bet it would have been spotted if it had been disguised as a muffin or an egg mayonnaise sandwich.

Still it’s nice to know that thousands of police officers from all over the country will be on duty in London during the ‘Games’ and seventy (Yes, seventy) specially trained ones will be guarding the torch, and that these ‘poor darlings’ brave volunteers will be offered counselling (I’m not making this up) at the end of the torch’s journey to help them ‘re-integrate’ into their normal roles.

I just hope that they don’t run into a bearded little man pushing a cart full of …

… halal hot-dogs ! 

Posted in humour, political, rant | 5 Comments »

Missile madness !

Posted by Big John on May 2, 2012

Oxleas Wood is a very pleasant public park in the Royal Borough of Greenwich where, a few years ago, I spent many a happy hour when I lived almost next door, on Shooters Hill.

The name ‘Shooters’ is derived from the time archers practised their skill with long bows and arrows; and now I read that very different missiles will soon be seen in those ancient woodlands.

Yes, it’s all part of the £1 billion “ring of steel” to be set up to protect the bloody Olympic Games !

Inside the ring, enforced by six ground-based missile stations (Al-Qaeda please take note of the locations !), will be more members of our armed forces than we have deployed in Afghanistan at present. RAF Typhoon jets will patrol the skies, alongside navy helicopters carrying snipers from the Royal Marines, whose job it will be to shoot aircraft pilots who probably got lost when out taking their granny for a sightseeing flight along the Thames.

Still, not to worry, for our Dave has the final word when it comes to shooting down a really big plane, which by the time he has made up his mind, will probably be over a densely populated area of London.

I can see all this display of ‘security’ turning into a tourist attraction, as Seb Coe and his mates in our government try to convince the population that the ‘Games’ are safe, although it’s more likely to highlight the fact that the ‘Games’ are a magnet for every nutter and terrorist cell in the world.

“The world” ? … What about East London ? .. Well, I hope that I’m wrong, but I’m fairly sure that there are more than a few local residents who have been on a trip to the more remote parts of Pakistan recently, and who, after their ‘holiday’, will be pretty familiar with …

… all kinds of missiles !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 3 Comments »