“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.

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Archive for October, 2015

I never did reach Albuquerque.

Posted by Big John on October 30, 2015

I recently posted about how some British place names are pronounced, and then I remembered travelling through parts of the Western United States around 25 years ago and seeing this through the car window …

001 (542x371)

I have no idea how you pronounce the name of that road. What road ? The sign was in ‘the middle of nowhere’, probably between Las Vegas and here …

002 (800x565)

OK, so I know how to pronounce ‘Arizona’, and this post would have been far funnier had I been crossing the border into the state of …

  Arkansas ?


Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

“It takes all sorts … “

Posted by Big John on October 27, 2015

I’ve just discovered a new word .. “genderqueer” .. and all because Germaine Greer has upset a lot of people recently by insisting on calling transgender women “post-operative transgender men”.

Now I’m no fan of Ms. Greer, but surely I thought, she does have a point, for removing a man’s naughty bits and surgically ‘enhancing’ other parts of his body does not turn him into a woman.

Please stay with me on this ! …  For, although I’ve had gay friends, it wasn’t long ago that I was getting used to ‘LGBT’, ‘gay pride’ etc. so accepting the idea that some people are ‘genderqueer’ has my old brain struggling a bit.

I always assumed that ‘transgender’ referred to people who are strongly attached to whichever gender is opposite to their biological sex. In other words .. Someone assigned as a ‘boy’ at birth but who identifies as a ‘girl’ is often described later in life as a ‘transgender woman’, while someone assigned as a ‘girl’ at birth but identifies as a ‘boy’ is often described later in life as a “transgender man”. Now I learn (I think) that some people do not see themselves as either sex. Life must be very complicated to say the least.

Anyone who is not happy with ‘queer’, which until fairly recently was considered by some to be an insult, can adopt .. ‘agender’ .. ‘nongendered’ .. ‘genderless’ .. ‘genderfree’ ..or .. ‘neutrois’ … and, if they can’t make up their minds there is always ‘gender fluidity’ !

Why am I reminded of George Orwell’s ‘1984’, his brilliant “Big Brother” novel in which he invented ‘Newspeak’, a language in which words don’t mean what they say ? I gather that I am now ‘cisgender’. I think that I’d rather be known by the old ‘unfashionable’ word …

… normal !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Last week it was chocolate … Next week ???

Posted by Big John on October 23, 2015

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be serious and according to the latest ‘let’s scare the shit out of them’ press reports I should be in deep trouble because of my pre-dinner ‘G and T’ (or two), as one can of fizzy drink daily “can increase heart attack risk by a third” and, that there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption” and that new official guidance is to curb drinking to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Ah! .. but wait a minute, I only add lots of ice and Schweppes ‘Slimline’ tonic to my gin, and it seems that the ‘official guidance’ is only aimed at “middle-aged” boozers, not old codger tipplers like me, so Hooray ! I’m in the clear. No I’m not ! .. Bugger it ! ..  I’ve just read that my mouth watering breakfast bacon sandwich …

… could be the death of me ! … 😦

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

Please remind me … What is today’s date ?

Posted by Big John on October 16, 2015

I’ve just visited my local Sainsbury’s supermarket, where I found that some items were not in the aisles where I expected to find them. “Why?” I politely asked one of the many busy shelf stackers.

“It’s Christmas” … she replied.

NO ! … It’s bloody not !

Posted in rant | 6 Comments »

How do you pronounce B’Stard ?

Posted by Big John on October 13, 2015

A survey of 2,000 people by audio book company ‘Audible’ to find out the top ten most commonly mispronounced characters in the world of literature has, not surprisingly, come up with ‘Don Quixote’ at the top of their list.

Now names in literature are one thing, but when it comes to real names and place names in this country, there are some that must puzzle not only foreigners, but must also stump most British people; such as …

Belvoir                        pronounced              ‘Beaver’.

Beauchamp                 pronounced              ‘Beecham’.

Wrotham                    pronounced               ‘Rootum’.

Althorp                       pronounced               ‘Awltrup’

Cholmondely               pronounced              ‘Chumlee’

Magdalan                    pronounced              ‘Maudlin’.

Marjoribanks               pronounced              ‘Marchbanks’.

Of course there are many more, of which my all time favourite is …

Featherstonehaugh … which is obviously pronounced … ‘Fanshaw’!

Oh! .. and before I forget, I always loved dining out in the USA and being offered that little brown bottle of …

“Whoos-ess-tire-shy-er” sauce ! … 😉

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »

People who solve problems that aren’t there.

Posted by Big John on October 7, 2015

In recent days we have read of a disgraceful incident where a sergeant in the Royal Air Force was asked to move from a hospital waiting room as he was in uniform and because ..“we have all kinds of different cultures coming in”: and the ludicrous ban on university students wearing sombreros, which were being handed out by a ‘Tex-Mex’ restaurant, because it might upset Mexicans.” One student said … “Who will it offend, Speedy Gonzales ?”

I have often wondered who these people are who complain about various aspects of the British way of life that supposedly ‘offend’ religious and other minorities who have settled in this country, and now I know; and it’s not likely to be the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others who live here, but, people like nutty Professor Adam Dinham who suggests to employers, (can you believe ?) not microwaving sausage rolls in a shared workplace kitchen, or not keeping bacon, or bacon rolls, in the fridge if it is shared with people whose beliefs prohibit them from eating pork.

It seems that this academic ass is a “professor of faith and public policy”. Of course he is ! It’s a pity that he does not consult with people like the chairman of the British Mexican Society, who in the case of the ‘racist’ sombreros said he .. “Would applaud any business of any nationality for doing anything to try to drum up business in a legitimate way, which this seems.” Or, perhaps the potty ‘prof’ should contact that Mexican mouse (also accused of being ‘racist’) about his …

… “Holy frijoles !”

Posted in humour, rant, religion | 3 Comments »