bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

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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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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Archive for August, 2014

The North Sea and beyond !

Posted by Big John on August 28, 2014

It wasn’t quite time to sing ..”For those in peril on the sea” .. but it was bloody close to it, as our cruise ship ploughed through rough seas and gales for a night, a day, and most of a second night on it’s way to Norway …

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The above photo shows the view from our cabin. Most passengers restricted their view to the inside of their cabins or, better still, to their bathrooms, where they spent a lot of time “talking to the big white telephone”: but “It’s an ill wind …”  as they say, as all those “Do not disturb” signs on all those cabin doors, meant that we more hardy souls could enjoy the pleasures of what appeared to be a half empty ship.

A very different view greeted me as I stepped out on deck early in the morning of the second day …

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(click on images for a better view)

Now, I know that our American friends (and some of us) refer to everything from a rock star to the Rocky Mountains as “AWSOME !”  …but, blimey ! this part of the world truly is …

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It could almost be that mythical …

 “Land of Ice and Fire” !

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Posted in humour, travel | 3 Comments »

Fun in the fjords.

Posted by Big John on August 25, 2014

I have just returned from Norway, land of the Vikings: and guess what ? I bumped into one of Ragnar’s mates …

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… and possibly one of my ancestors.

Now speaking of ancestors, my old ‘trouble and strife’ definitely has that certain Scandinavian look about her, so I was not surprised when we met up with two of her long lost cousins …

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Not surprisingly, ‘she who must be obeyed’ refused to pose for a picture with them !

More on our cruise to the fjords to follow soon.

Posted in family, humour, travel | 2 Comments »

Here we go again. – Part Nine

Posted by Big John on August 13, 2014

I ended ‘Part Eight’ with President Obama’s statement … “I don’t rule out anything” ! … and guess what ? .. American warplanes are now shooting the shit out of yet another bunch of very unpleasant religious nutters in ‘Eye-Rack’. Although in this case they are trying their best to save the lives of a people, the Yasidis, of whom we had never heard until a few days ago.

Now we learn that British aircraft are involved, although so far, only in a humanitarian role.

Which brings me to my question … Why is it always the USA and some other western powers who have to try and solve the bloody problems of what is largely the ‘Arab World’ ?

OK, so I know that our own political ‘pygmies’, got this present mess started by naïvely thinking that democracy, human rights and religious freedom actually meant something to all the tribes, sects, political factions, military leaders and assorted crooks and bandits, not to mention every kind of religious loony in this part of the world: but surely it is about time that all the rulers of those oil rich states, and others, stopped counting their money and  flaunting their wealth and started to sort out the problems and help the persecuted people of their own region, and the followers of their own religion ?

I suppose that there isn’t much chance of that, when those now being slaughtered are considered to be ‘infidels’ or just the wrong kind of Muslim.

… Ain’t it great to be religious ?

Posted in political, rant, religion | 5 Comments »

Can I still pick b – – – – berries ?

Posted by Big John on August 7, 2014

I see that some nutter a senior lecturer in sociology has said that although .. “Gardeners’ Question Time is not the most controversial show on BBC Radio 4, yet it is layered, saturated with racial meanings,” .. and that .. “people were vicariously living out their nationalist and fascist fantasies through horticultural chatter on plant species”.. with .. “gardening as a means through which white people can express their identity without appearing to be racist”.

No, I’m not making this up. You can read all about it … HERE !

When I have, on occasion, listened to the programme I have always been amazed at the amateur gardeners’ knowledge of the ‘Latin’ names of plants, such as ‘Rhodochiton Volubilis’, which is more commonly known as ‘black man’s willy’, which when mentioned in a 2008 episode outraged some listeners.

I wonder which one of today’s three equally ‘offensive’  words outraged them …

… ‘BLACK’ .. ‘MAN’ .. or .. ‘WILLY’ ? 

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Getting in the picture !

Posted by Big John on August 1, 2014

The craze for ‘selfies’ may be new, but ‘photobombing’, such as this by his Harryness is not; as can be seen from this photograph of my mother (right), her aunt and young cousin …

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When was it taken ? ….

… Around 1920 !

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 2 Comments »