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 September, 2016

I’ve gone ‘cordless’.

Posted by Big John on September 30, 2016

Now I’m not one who takes too much notice of so-called ‘comparison websites’, on-line ‘customer reviews’ or even good old “It does what it says on the tin” advertisements, so I took quite some time to decide to buy the very latest (and most expensive) vacuum cleaner on the market at the moment.

Yes, I’ve bought a ‘Dyson’ !  … THIS ONE in fact, and I’m now running (well, sort of) around the house like a spaceman sucking up moon dust.

Over the years I’ve owned all sorts of fairly primitive upright and cylinder machines and can even remember cleaning ‘Ye Oldie’ hovel with a dustpan and brush: but now, it’s no more dragging a heavy machine at the end of a twisted hose, plugging and unplugging a cable into an electrical wall socket and being unable to reach those cobwebs in those dark untouched corners, for now this ‘Star Trek’ household appliance’s mission is to …

… “boldly go where no ‘hoover’ has gone before”.

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »

Dumb and dangerous !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2016

It would appear that just as the penalties for using a mobile phone at the wheel are to be increased, car manufacturers are planning to install a new generation of touchscreen entertainment systems in car dashboards.

What a brilliant idea ! … I wonder what marketing nutcase thought this one up ?

OK ! .. I know that the world grows more ‘bonkers’ every day and that too many idiots cannot live without being in constant touch with on-line ‘social media’, but how can someone think that it’s a good idea for drivers to be distracted by the latest moronic meanderings from ‘Tweetland’ or another ‘Face-ache’ fantasy ?

Despite the fact that drivers can travel thirty yards at low speeds without seeing where they’re going if they take their eyes off the road for just two and a half seconds, and that the new touchscreen systems allows the same drivers to send and read text messages on the go, car makers claim their systems are designed to be safe. Well, they would say that wouldn’t they ?

I wonder if the rear view mirrors will have a built-in …

… ‘selfie’ mode ?

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

“Let’s reshuffle the store again”.

Posted by Big John on September 15, 2016

It was almost a pleasure to visit my local Sainsbury’s (Yes, I know. That again!) supermarket today as the kids have returned to school and the relief from the unseasonal heat on entering the air conditioned store was most welcome.

There were few people about, apart from the usual morbidly obese crew who seem to inhabit the snacks and fizzy drinks aisles, a couple of tattooed texters, the silly old farts who still can’t remember if they have any butter in the fridge, and, of course, the supermarket ‘zombies‘: one of whom decided  that my nearly full unattended trolley (cart) needed a few extra items, such as a giant bag of carrots and some large onions !

I noticed that a couple of ‘suits’ were wandering about who were obviously considering some changes to the layout of the store, and, remembering the chaos this always causes, I couldn’t resist a .. “Will I still be able to find this next week ?” .. as they stood next to me and I reached for my favourite coffee. Queen Victoria would have been proud of their “We are not amused” expressions, but a young lady with a clipboard who was taking notes for them smiled at me and smothered a giggle. I hope that they didn’t notice, or next week she could find herself exchanging her clipboard for a mop and responding to a call of …

… “spillage in aisle number four !”

Posted in humour | 2 Comments »

To be taken “with a pinch of salt” ?

Posted by Big John on September 7, 2016

We are constantly being told by the ‘nanny-state’ that we would all be healthier and live longer if we followed a ‘Mediterranean diet’. In other words we should cook using olive oil and eat lots of fish, fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables etc. and avoid too much red meat and ‘junk food’.

This sounds like sensible advice to me, although the ‘experts’ who are advising us have obviously never done much travelling around the ‘Med’ and seen the piles of pizzas eaten by the Italians, the pots of paté put away by the French or the chunks of chorizo consumed by the Spanish.

Now, I must say that I do tend to follow my Mediterranean cousins when it comes to the ingredients in most of my meals and, having spent a considerable time in the south of France, Spain and Italy I also follow them in the habit of eating later in the evening, usually after 8pm. which according to those same bloody experts is likely to increase my chances of a heart attack !

Anyone know what’s the latest on …

… Red Wine ?

Posted in humour, rant, travel | 4 Comments »

“Lost for words”.

Posted by Big John on September 1, 2016

My most recent post about ‘the spoken word’ reminded me of an experience which an old friend of mine had when on a brief business trip to East Africa many years ago.

He found himself with a few hours to spare and decided to leave the comfort and safety of his hotel and go ‘sightseeing’ in the local ‘countryside’. He, very unwisely, hired a car and set off into the nearest area of wild ‘bush’.

Of course the car was completely unsuitable for the terrain encountered, and after travelling a few miles the vehicle got bogged down in a mud hole in ‘the middle of nowhere’.

Obviously he was not prepared for surviving in the wilderness, as his only emergency rations were two chocolate ‘Mars‘ bars, which were rapidly melting in the heat.

He was beginning to panic when he noticed a group of spear carrying local tribesmen watching him from some nearby bushes. He described them as tall slim men with long braided hair, their bodies and faces decorated with red patterns and wearing short toga like garments which did little to hide their ‘naughty bits’.

Suddenly they moved forward and their leader signalled with his spear that my friend should get out of the car. Reluctantly he did so: and then the warriors surrounded the vehicle, and, at the command of their leader they heaved it out of the mud and on to some firm ground.

Now, my friend didn’t speak Swahili or any of the local languages and wasn’t carrying any money on him, so all he had to offer his rescuers by way of thanks were a couple of melted ‘Mars’ bars, which the dignified ‘chief’ rejected with a smile and said  …

“No need for that old boy. Only too pleased to be of assistance”.  

   

Posted in humour, nostalgia, travel | 2 Comments »