“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.

  • January 2014
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Archive for January, 2014

Unrealistic expectations.

Posted by Big John on January 28, 2014

Much has been written lately about the aspirations of young people who may be about to leave school or college and enter the British workplace; with some controversy arising out of a government minister’s .. “get a job at Costa” .. message, and comments about young people not being prepared to .. “start at the bottom” !

Now I won’t start ranting about politicians who haven’t a clue about the real world, or kids who expect to start their dream job on a ‘Reality’ TV show as soon as they leave school, but I am reminded of the American education expert Charles Sykes’ book .. “Dumbing Down our Kids” .. It was first published in 1996, but many of his observations and rules are still (if not more) relevant today. Some of which are …

RULE 1 ..  “Life is not fair – get used to it.

RULE 2 ..  The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3 ..  You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone (this was written in 1996), until you earn both.

RULE 4 ..  If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

RULE 5 ..  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it Opportunity.

RULE 6 ..  If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7 ..  Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8 ..  Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9 .. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10 ..  Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11 ..  Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

I have taken the liberty of adding …

RULE 12 .. Smoking dope and not wearing knickers will not make you a ‘super model’.

RULE 13 ..  You need more than covering yourself in tattoos and being able to spit and swear to play for Manchester United.

RULE 14 ..  Being a celebrity is not an occupation. You will not find it listed at ‘Jobcentre Plus’.

RULE 15 ..  ‘Text speak’ is not English and should not be used on job application forms; and at interviews the answer to questions should not end with … “Yer no wot I mean ?” or “Innit ?”…. and …

Put your bloody smartphone away when the interviewer …

… is talking to you !


Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »

Will ‘Beef Wellington’ be on the menu ?

Posted by Big John on January 20, 2014

Saucy old President Hollandaise (Sorry !) has been in the news a lot recently for doing what the French are supposed to do best .. “faire l’amour” !

In fact history proves that they are much better at ‘making love’ than ‘making war’, and it would seem, from recent reports, that the randy resident of the Élysée Palace would be reminded of this fact and be insulted if plans go ahead to hold an Anglo-French summit between David Cameron and the ‘priapic’ president at another historic palace .. Blenheim ! .. which was built as a gift for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough who kicked ‘le merde’ out of the .. ‘old enemy’ .. at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.

So, lacking the spirit of the bowmen at Agincourt and Crecy, our Dave has cancelled plans to entertain frisky Francois, and confront him with an imposing sculpture of an English lion savaging a French cock, at the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill; who, I’m sure, would have transported him there via …

… Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Station !

Posted in humour, political | Leave a Comment »

The irritating idiots’ intonation.

Posted by Big John on January 15, 2014

I know that I’ve ranted about this subject before, but I’m afraid that I am getting more and more pissed off with the way people in this country now speak “the Queen’s English” !

I don’t mean the strange accents of our immigrant ‘guests’ from such places as sunny Afghanistan, rural Romania or beautiful Bulgaria; for many of these people speak far better English than some of the mumbling morons who were born here.

What I am fed up ‘with’ (not “of” ! ) is hearing the Californian ‘valley girl’ .. “like”, and the ‘Jafaican’ .. “Innit ?”: but that’s nothing to what I feel when I hear that intensely annoying habit of raising the voice at the end of a sentence to make a statement sound like a question.

I have now learned that this is known as a high-rising terminal (HRT) or Australian  Question Intonation (AQI), and is a language trait which seems to be growing amongst young (and not so young) people in the UK, who, obviously, don’t realize how bloody stupid this so-called “upspeak” or “uptalk” makes them sound to prospective employers. Not to mention how it ‘gets on the tits’ of a …

… grumpy old git like me !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

‘Wild West’ waste by ‘Whitehall Warriors’ !

Posted by Big John on January 9, 2014

Despite the fact that our armed forces have more generals than tanks, aircraft carriers with no aircraft and hundreds of soldiers, sailors and airmen being made redundant, it would seem that some of the UK’s defence budget is being spent on introducing TV audiences, not to stories of the “few” of Battle of Britain fame, or to the courage of the RAF’s “Dambusters”, but to tales of a fictional Wyoming county sheriff !

Yes, last night I watched “Longmire” on Channel 5 USA. It’s not a bad ‘cop’ show, and I’ll probably watch it again next week, but it beats me why it is sponsored by …

… “Royal Air Force Careers” ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »