“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.

  • July 2013
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Archive for July, 2013

“Oh What a Circus” !

Posted by Big John on July 24, 2013

Amongst all the gushing congratulations and ‘over the top’ global media feeding frenzy at the birth of Kate and Willy’s baby, I spotted a rather unusual reaction from Graham Smith, chief executive of campaign group ‘Republic‘, who called on the media to respect his .. “right to grow up without constant interference and intrusion“.

He said .. “The arrival of a new baby is always a cause for celebration; Kate and William will be thrilled. But we should remember that their son hasn’t chosen to be royal; he has a right to grow up without constant interference and intrusion. The media, and all those who say they support the royal family, should remember that over the coming months and years. Here is a new baby whose career, religion, even personal relationships, have already been mapped out“.

Thanks to the monarchy, he will have very few real choices in life – so let’s give him space to grow up as normally as possible. Meanwhile this is an opportunity for the rest of us to consider whether this circus is the best way to run things“.

I think what he meant to say was … “Just what we need …

… another bloody royal !”


Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

In their own little world !

Posted by Big John on July 19, 2013

These days more and more people seem to be oblivious to what is happening around them. The more obvious examples are those with mobile phones clamped to their ears, or those who are continually texting as if their lives depended on it: and of course those supermarket ‘zombies’ who can be found causing chaos as they wander from aisle to aisle, but one of the best ‘brain-dead’ moments I have come across was on our recent cruise.

Now our ship had plenty of space for sunbathing, both around the two swimming pools and in other large open deck areas and promenades where there were hundreds of sun loungers and deck chairs. There were fairly busy areas …

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… and much quieter spots …

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There was also a small area partitioned off for those passengers who wanted to play traditional deck games, and …

… Guess what ? …



Posted in humour, rant, travel | 7 Comments »

What a “shower” !

Posted by Big John on July 15, 2013

Five minutes walk from my home is this beach …

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… and this is how it looks for most of the year. That is until the sun shines on a Sunday and the temperature heads into the eighties, as it did yesterday ! … Then the area looks like this …

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(click on images to enlarge)

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…with both locals and visitors enjoying the good weather and a sea breeze. Some were even enjoying a dip in the sea …

IMG_0001 (1024x1011)… but, hang on a minute … what was I witnessing ? … I could faintly hear singing coming from the group far out in the shallows ! I adjusted the lens on my camera to see if I could get a closer shot, and came up with this not too clear picture …

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… but, yes ! … some people seemed to be praying and others are submerging themselves in the sea and splashing water on their companions … It was a public baptism !

No it wasn’t ! … or if it was they had a very strange hymn book, for just as I was about to leave, the breeze from the sea strengthened and I could clearly hear …

… “Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain” !

Posted in humour, religion | 2 Comments »

My turn to play … “the idiot abroad” !

Posted by Big John on July 13, 2013

The Alcazaba is an impressive medieval fortress overlooking the Andalucían city of Almería …


(click on images to enlarge)

I thought about following the pathway which leads to the top of the cliffs on which it is built, but decided instead, on leaving the port area in the blazing sun …


… to join the locals in the nearest bar for a nice cold beer, but I should have looked more closely at those ‘locals’, as I parked the old ‘trouble and strife’ at a table outside the café and wandered up to the bar.

Summoning up my best Spanish accent, I smiled at the barman and ordered .. “Dos cañas, por favor” .. He did not return my smile and did not answer me in Spanish, but I got the message ! even though I don’t speak Arabic ! I looked around at the customers in the café, all men, and all drinking from small glasses of coffee or tea …

Almeria (3)

… The sign over the door should have been a clue to what to expect within !

I’m pleased to say that the waiter in the café across the road …

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… greeted us with a cheerful .. “Ola”.. and free plates of tapas with our cold beers; and this blue eyed little charmer …

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… seemed to enjoy our company as we sat in the welcome shade: or perhaps it was …

…  just the smell of the tapas ?

Posted in humour, travel | 3 Comments »

“Arise .. Sir Mummy’s Boy” !

Posted by Big John on July 9, 2013

Am I the only person in the UK who thinks that Andy Murray is a bad tempered, foul mouthed, gurning, gesticulating, snarling, aggressive, rude, scruffy, inarticulate, miserable, overgrown spoilt brat ?

OK, so he can bash a fuzzy ball over a net, and, the “whole nation” (the press tells us yet again !) is overjoyed at his Wimbledon victory.

Now, as you would expect, there is talk of a knighthood, as our Dave basks in the reflected glory, so I suppose that he will soon join those other so-called ‘sporting heroes’ who have ‘served their country’ by running, pedalling and rowing a bit faster than someone else.

Don’t be surprised, when at the investiture, ape-like Andy punches the air, farts, and …

… knocks the sword out of ‘er Maj’s hand !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

Naive, or just plain stupid ?

Posted by Big John on July 7, 2013

Question … How can you be a Prime Minister, President, or Foreign Secretary and be described as ‘naive’ ? I thought that naive meant .. “having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information; credulous” ! .. and yet, this is how the press are referring to our world leaders’ joyful attitude towards the so-called “Arab Spring”.

I remember commenting at the time … “be careful what you wish for” !

Now, I’m no expert on the Middle East or the Arab World, but even I could see that the region was more than likely to descend into chaos after autocratic leaders, whose rule was measured in decades, were suddenly ousted, and that the possibility of political, economic and social change was not going to happen once various political, religious and tribal factions, not to mention extremist nutters, tried to grab power.

It’s worth noting that not one of the ‘Arab Spring’ countries has yet established stable, democratic institutions, and several are sliding toward greater instability and turmoil, and those same ‘naive’ world leaders can’t seem to tell the good guys from the bad guys (can anyone ?), and still seem to think that the whole bloody mess has something to do with …

… democracy !

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

My Barcelona beauty !

Posted by Big John on July 2, 2013

On a hot day in Barcelona there was very little room to ‘ramble’ on La Rambla …

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So as Christopher Columbus looked out for more Cruise ships …

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… as if they didn’t have enough already (about eight in port that day). I decided to do what I do best when on holiday. Drink cold beer and ‘people watch’ from a street café…

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… and this magnificent ‘mix and match’ señora …

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…   just made my day !   🙂

Posted in humour, travel | 4 Comments »