“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 2015
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Archive for July, 2015

Stuck by ‘Stack’ !

Posted by Big John on July 30, 2015

Yesterday I had to drive my wife to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford for a pre-operation assessment appointment. The journey usually takes about fifty minutes and is mainly via ‘country’ roads which are fairly narrow in places. On a normal day this is not a problem; but yesterday was not a normal day …

It was an OPERATION STACK day ! … and the entrance to the hospital is just a few hundred yards from Junction 10 on the M20 motorway which was closed for several miles.

We were lucky and managed to make it to the hospital on time, but it was obvious from the near empty waiting areas that many people had not. We were not so lucky on the return journey, as during the time that we were at the hospital, the police shut down more of the motorway, which meant that those ‘country roads’ were choked with traffic, which included some bloody great trucks which were trying to negotiate some very tight corners and squeeze through some tiny village streets. I felt sorry for the bloke who was rebuilding part of the stone wall in front of his cottage and doubted that it would survive the day.The police were nowhere to be seen in all this chaos, not even one traffic cop to keep the traffic moving outside the hospital entrance. I dread to think what it must have been like in the back of an ambulance.

So, is anyone doing anything to solve this problem ? … Our Dave is on a ‘Jolly’ to the Far East, most of our MPs and ministers are sunning themselves on foreign beaches, or pissing it up on their rich mates’ yachts, and the few ‘muppet’ ministers who are still around have  gone into “crisis management mode“, which means that no one …

… has got a bloody clue what to do !


Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

So, where’s his crutch and parrot ?

Posted by Big John on July 24, 2015

One of my favourite books when I was young was ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, so, as I sometimes enjoy watching TV ‘historical’ costume dramas,  I was pleased to see that a new series was coming to the ‘History Channel’ called ‘Black Sails’ which was billed as a ‘prequel’ to Stevenson’s stirring tale of pirates and the hunt for Captain Flint’s treasure.

Last night I caught up with episode one of what I hoped would be a swashbuckling tale, but I doubt that I shall bother with episode two. Oh, it was about pirates alright, but it was often difficult to tell one from another underneath all the scars, sweat and hair: and the dirty shaven headed lookalikes really had me confused.

John Silver was depicted as a bit of a clown and showed that he still had two legs at this time, in what was a completely unnecessary orgy scene. Of course, there was the now obligatory lesbian sex romp and much use of those four letter ‘F’ and ‘C’ words, which sound ten times worse when being uttered by a pretty young actress, who I’m sure didn’t mean her cat when she referred to her “pussy” !

None of the pirates broke into … “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” … but I did rather like the evocative theme music.

I expect that the story line will, at sometime, get around to Captain Flint burying his Spanish treasure, but before that I suspect that most of the screen time will not be taken up with the daring deeds of bold buccaneers, but with lots more …

… bare bums, boobs and bonking !

Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

It’s what kids do !

Posted by Big John on July 21, 2015

I see that the toadies at Buckingham Palace got it all arse about face last week when they released their stories about Willy the brave part-time air ambulance co-pilot and “hero” Harry, saviour of the Rhino, as these PR stunts are usually brought into play after ‘the shit hits the fan’ about some ‘royal’ misbehaving, not before: and who looks like they were in trouble this time ? Well, non other than ‘er Maj’ herself.

Now, I never thought that I would see myself defending (reluctantly) the sour old sovereign, but, although it is well known that Uncle David (Later Edward VIII) and many members of the aristocracy were fans of the Führer, I doubt very much that a seven year old pampered English princess was about to run off and join the Nazi ‘Bund Deutscher Mädel’.

Yes, she was just seven, playing in the garden with her parents. It was only 1933, and not many people knew the truth about the Nazis plans. In fact, to many, Hitler was just a funny little man with a toothbrush moustache and hair hanging over one eye (remember Charlie Chaplin).

It was all a very long time ago, but I can still remember my young friends  coming out of the cinema after Saturdays’ children’s movie matinee shouting .. “Put your hand up if you want to play Hopalong Cassidy or Robin Hood !”

Perhaps Uncle David had a premonition and shouted .. “Put your hand up if you want to play …

… Kings and Queens !”

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant | 3 Comments »

“It’s all Greek to me”.

Posted by Big John on July 16, 2015

Aah ! .. Greece .. The birthplace of democracy, home to Aristophanes and, of course Homer. Land of, what were once, friendly smiling people who served some pretty boring food and lousy wine in quaint tavernas.

Here is a photo taken in such a place …

greece 1 001 (403x514)

… No, it wasn’t taken today, and it’s not some sweaty Greek bloke who has just heard that his country is now owned and run by Führer Frau Merkel and her faithful followers across the European Reich Union.

It’s me, and it was taken more than thirty years ago on the island of Corfu, as I was wondering if that was a black olive on top of the taramasalata, or …

… did it just move ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 5 Comments »

Another accolade. Well it’s about bloody time !

Posted by Big John on July 9, 2015

Sound the trumpets, beat the drums and roll out the red carpet for I have to thank a lady who I have never met (promise) who has nominated me for  ….

the-creative-blogger-award (671x402)

OK, so it’s not some ancient order of chivalry or even one of those ‘showbiz’ statuette thingies, but it means a lot to this old bugger blogger, who for more than ten years has been churning out all sorts of crap, in the hope that there are still a few people out there who have a sense of humour, appreciate common sense, don’t believe all that they see and read in the media, are tolerant of others beliefs and don’t give a shit about who is going to win at Wimbledon !

Now at this point I am supposed to …

1. ‘Thank and list the blog address of the person who nominated me’ …       Thanks a lot Lin …

2. ‘Nominate 10 to 20 others and tell them I am nominating them’. Sorry but I must opt out here, because, in the past I have nominated bloggers for similar awards etc. and some do not appreciate the compliment or are too embarrassed to respond.

If this excludes me from the ranks of the noble ‘Creative Bloggers’, perhaps I can be an ‘honoury’ CB ? You know, a bit like when an American citizen is knighted by ‘er Maj’, only not quite as ridiculous.

3. ‘Tell five things about myself no one knows’.

  1. My Dad used to throw me in the river to teach me how to swim.   Swimming was easy. Getting out of the sack was the hard part.
  2. As a youngster I played the cornet in The Brixton Boys Silver Band. I mimed for most of the time, even during the quiet bits.
  3. I’m not too keen on dogs, but I love Chinese food.
  4. I don’t believe in all that man made global warming/climate change propaganda. Neither do the polar bears.
  5. I’ve never ‘tweeted’ in my life, but then again, I’ve never been ‘trolled’.

By the way, just as with the British Honours system, I will accept ‘volunteers’ who wish to be nominated for this award. Just put your details and a wad of cash in a brown envelope and let me know …

… where to collect it ! 

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »

“The sun has got it’s hat on”, but not many Brits have !

Posted by Big John on July 5, 2015

What is it with the British when it comes to really stinking hot weather ?

During the past few days we have seen temperatures rocketing into the 90’s (that’s ‘old money’), which means that there have been ‘thunder thighs’ and acres of bare flesh on show everywhere, a lot of it covered in hideous tattoos, and it seems that the fatter the person is, the skimpier are their shorts, and that sleeveless, backless and almost topless is essential if you want that, so attractive, red raw skin glow.

Noel Coward was so right when he wrote .. “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” .. Not only do they ‘go out’, but they also ‘sit out’ to dine in the sweltering heat. How often have you heard some sweating idiot say .. “Hot ? It can’t be hot enough for me!” .. as he sits on a blistering British beach in his ‘budgie smugglers’ eating his fish and chips ?

Perhaps you remember, as I do, sitting in the shade with the locals outside some Greek taverna or Spanish beach bar, as they watched, with astonishment, near naked Brits as they removed or closed protective parasols or dragged their tables and chairs into the midday heat so that eating lunch would not halt their day long sun worshipping, even if their own dripping sweat did rather spoil the flavour of their moussaka or paella.

Most people who live in parts of the world where the sun blazes down for most of the time tend to stay in the shade and often wear clothes that cover them almost from head to toe, like Hassan here, who I met on a trip to Morocco a few years ago …

Hassan (2)

… He is wearing the ubiquitous Berber djellabah, which with it’s baggy hood, …

medina copy (633x638)

… gives great protection from the sun. I suppose that it’s a bit like a North African hoodie, but somehow, I can’t see it catching on in this country …

… anytime soon !

Posted in humour, rant, travel | 4 Comments »