“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.

  • June 2013
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Archive for June, 2013

Perfect timing !

Posted by Big John on June 29, 2013

Having been told this week, by Chancellor George Osborne, that a wave of cost-cutting measures will aim to save the government shed loads of money, with heavy spending cuts in individual government departments, pay freezes, benefit and welfare cuts etc. Why am I not surprised to read the ‘er Maj has been handed a 5% rise in her income bringing it up to £38 million per year.  This amount does not include royal visits and security, the cost of which increases this terrible waste of money to over £200 million !

So as the powers that be are considering whether or not to scrap the royal train, which costs the British taxpayers more than £700,000 a year to run, and while another million is being spent on decorating Kate and Willy’s new home at Kensington Palace, pensioners are being warned about probable cuts in their benefits (paid for out of their taxes) such as free travel on local bus services and their winter fuel allowance …

… Un-bloody-believable !


Posted in political, rant | 3 Comments »

Fancy food afloat.

Posted by Big John on June 27, 2013

I always get a laugh out of the descriptions of various dishes on restaurant menus, and the menus in the restaurant on our cruise ship had some real crackers, like …

“Grilled Grass-fed Sirloin Steak … with Straw Potatoes and Hampshire Watercress” !  … and to follow …

“Sticky Stem Ginger & Sundried Fig Pudding with an aromatic Vanilla Pod and Bay Leaf Sauce” !

Now although the dessert was not exactly ‘spotted dick and custard’ it was near enough, and, I must say that ‘spots’ seemed to feature in a number of other dishes served on board …

food 2 (2)

food 2 (5)

I wonder why all those spots appeared on so many plates ? Perhaps it was some kind of calorie content warning code ?

Well if it was, then most people …

food 2

… were ignoring it !

Posted in humour, travel | 3 Comments »

Light rain in Lisbon.

Posted by Big John on June 24, 2013

Dark clouds hung over Lisbon when our cruise ship arrived …

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… and although it was only a shower one resident thought it best to wear a raincoat …

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when the ship docked in the Alfama district of the city …

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This is the oldest part of Lisbon and in it’s narrow streets can be found many Fado bars and restaurants …

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Not to mention those visiting tourists …

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… from another planet !

Posted in humour, travel | 4 Comments »

The good ship ‘Geriatric’ !

Posted by Big John on June 21, 2013

Looking around the decks, bars and restaurants of our cruise ship I had to admire the courage of some of my fellow passengers for taking to the high seas, as many of them were far from fit and healthy. In fact a few had the look of walking cadavers and the ship was full of these

IMG_0164 (959x1024)    plenty of these … 

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         …  and quite a few of these 

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Each evening at about eight o’clock, and just before dinner, I would sit in one of the many bars sipping my G & T and watching the procession of people leaving the main restaurant after an early evening meal. There were so many frail looking individuals amongst them that it resembled a pilgrimage to the shrine at Lourdes. How they obtained travel insurance cover is beyond me !

I must say that it came as no surprise when the captain announced that the ship, which was en route to Barcelona, was changing course and heading for Valencia due to a “medical emergency” !

However, never fear, for in the  spirit of the ‘Blitz’ and Butlin’s Holiday Camps our ‘ancient mariners’ could always be relied on to enjoy themselves in the good old uninhibited ‘jolly wally’ way, as only old Brits can …

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Now speaking of inhibitions, I have to admit that I am long passed my ‘sell by date’ and it is many years since I sunbathed by the swimming pool in my ‘budgie smugglers’,  However, it is obvious from the picture below that some on board …

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… did not share my restraint !

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »

The little stowaway.

Posted by Big John on June 17, 2013

I’ve just returned from my cruise around the ‘Med’ (well someone has to do it), and will shortly have more tales to tell and pictures to show you, but in the meantime here are a couple of photographs of an amazing little creature who landed on the ship when it was in the Atlantic Ocean just on the edge of the Bay of Biscay, and probably about 500 miles from the nearest land …


It’s a swallow, and a very tame one, or, most likely, a very tired one …

bird lady

and the little bugger was on his way from Africa to England when he decided to hitch a ride.

What I want to know is … How did he know that our next port of call was to be …

…  Southampton ?

Posted in humour | 2 Comments »