“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 58 years of happy marriage.

  • April 2013
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Archive for April, 2013

“Hey Dude ! It’s dashing DaVinci.”

Posted by Big John on April 29, 2013

You may remember from previous posts that I am a fan of TV ‘historical’ dramas, but due to the lack of such ‘history-lite’ productions in recent weeks, I have once more resorted to watching that highly entertaining, load of ‘old cobblers’ .. “Game of Thrones”, although I must confess that I am still struggling with the plot. However, by the oath of the ‘Night’s Watch’ I swear that one day, despite watching some pretty ‘wooden’ acting, I will be able to tell my Arya from my Daenerys.

Now, I am pleased to say that a new Renaissance romp has reached our TV screens. It’s titled “Da Vinci’s Demons”  and is supposedly about the young Leonardo Da Vinci, although I must say that I was a bit confused at first when the opening scene of episode one showed a naked Earl of Grantham, not in a bathroom at Downton Abbey, but walking about a palace in 15th century Milan. He gets bloodily bumped off in the next scene. I suspect that this is a ‘taste of things to come’.

It’s a bit early in the game to get right into the story line, but, as you would expect, the Vatican is ruled by a very nasty gay Pope Sixtus IV (naked boy in the bath time) who seems to have had something to do with Lord Grantham’s the Duke of Milan’s death. This pisses off Lorenzo de’Medici of Florence, who engages Leonardo to paint his mistress, and then, on the strength of seeing a few sketches, gives him a well paid job as a military engineer. Oh! .. and before I forget, the mistress turns out to be a spy and, of course, jumps into the old four poster with our opium smoking boy genius.

As a Florentine ‘fantasy’ (Shakespeare it ain’t) it’s all very melodramatic and a bit ‘camp’ at times, but I’m enjoying it, and I can hardly wait for …

… “Vitruvian Man” to put in an appearance !


Posted in humour | 1 Comment »

“One man’s terrorist is … “

Posted by Big John on April 21, 2013

I’ve just been watching the latest TV news coverage of the recent terrible events in the City of Boston and the ending of the hunt for the two terrorists, during which the people of that great city were described as “living in fear”, which is understandable: but, whilst my sympathies are with the victims of these cowardly bombers, I have to ask the question …

How many of the famous “Boston Irish” residents of that city regarded another gang of “cowardly bombers” as heroes a few years ago, and saw nothing wrong in funding the organisations whose evil members brought terror to all parts of the British Isles, and had whole populations “living in fear”, not just for five days, but for many years, as they murdered and maimed thousands of men, women and children ? …

…  Funny old world ain’t it ?

Posted in political | 3 Comments »

Insensitive ‘snaps’ !

Posted by Big John on April 18, 2013

Having attended two family members’ funerals in recent months, I have to say that I would have been very upset and angry if someone had taken photographs of my grieving relatives and friends when they were showing understandable emotion, and then published them for the world to see; so I wonder how the late Margaret Thatcher’s family feels after the media’s gross intrusion into what should have been very private moments.

I’m afraid that showing people in distress is all too common these days, like when some idiot of a reporter sticks a microphone under some weeping woman’s nose and asks … “How do you feel now that you know your husband and children died in the crash” … or some other such crass question.

I suppose that it is just another part of the “recreational grief” or “mourning sickness” phenomenon which now prevails in this country, and which, when it comes to the ‘press’ coverage of some tragic events, is quite rightly described as …

… “Grief Porn” !

Posted in rant | 6 Comments »

‘Iron Lady’ ? .. Yes .. ‘Iron Duke’ ? .. No !

Posted by Big John on April 11, 2013

I must confess that I was not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, and nor, judging by the comments in the press and on ‘twitter’ etc, were a large proportion of the British people. However, I won’t spend time here by going over the same ground concerning her political career, for this has been more than well covered by the media.

All I will say is that the ‘Maggie’ deserves the same respect when it comes to her funeral as any other human being, and, as one of those who became unemployed during the recession of her early days in office, I can understand the feelings of those who suffered as a result of some of her policies. However, I cannot understand why some people feel the need to celebrate her death with “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” parties, particularly as most of those ‘rent a mob’ types seen dancing in the streets, were not born when she was in power and have probably never seen a steel mill or met a coal miner.

Now although I said that she deserves ‘respect’ and, of course, she should be given a dignified funeral as would be given to any other leading political figure, I just do not see why she is being given the grand ‘send off’ now being planned. It’s going to cause chaos and probably a riot, cost millions (including those greedy bastards MPs claiming £3,750 each expenses) and sounds like the sort of show which would have been laid on, in times gone by, for some national hero or saviour of our country such as the Duke of Wellington, or Horatio Nelson, whose statue stands on top of it’s column in Trafalgar Square where that famous fourth plinth still stands empty … Umm ! .. They wouldn’t dare ..

… would they  ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

No nukes is good nukes !

Posted by Big John on April 6, 2013

Many years ago, at the height of ‘The Cold War’, I served in a ‘Ground Controlled Interception Radar Station’ on the south coast of England, and one of my duties was to act as the assistant to the chief controller, which mainly meant that I answered the telephone, or should I say, any one of a range of telephones. The only one that I never got to answer was that big RED one ! .. Yes ! .. If that red ‘phone had rung, it would have meant that we where all in the shit !

Now it would seem that our Dave is expecting one of those calls, although I’m not sure if he has a big red telephone, for in a recent speech, which was more ‘Tony Blair’ than ‘Winston Churchill’, he said ..
“North Korea does now have missile technology that is able to reach, as they put it, the whole of the United States and if they are able to reach the whole of the United States they can reach Europe too. They can reach us too, so that is a real concern.” ..

He then went to sea on a ‘Tridant’ nuclear missile submarine and posed with the captain on the outer casing (If only someone had ordered Dive ! Dive ! Dive ! at that moment).

I doubt very much if that little fat Korean bloke with the funny haircut will press the ‘nuclear button’ Dave, but if he does, don’t panic ! Just do as we were taught in the RAF, and … Put your head between your legs and …

… kiss your arse “goodbye” !

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant | 4 Comments »