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 54 years of happy marriage.
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Archive for February, 2017

“nascent digital culture” .. ?.. No! me neither.

Posted by Big John on February 25, 2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious problem for many people and the type of events that can cause ‘PTSD’ include …

  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • military combat
  • being held hostage
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis

To me, the cause that first ‘springs to mind’ is that related to ‘military combat’ and it’s association with the ‘shell-shock’ suffered by soldiers who experienced the horrors of the trenches during WWI and the devastating effects that modern warfare has had on so many people across the world to this day.

Now I learn that another cause can be added to the above list …

…    Being separated from your bloody smartphone !

 

 

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »

He may look like Bill Sikes, but Dickens it ain’t !

Posted by Big John on February 18, 2017

As you may know from some of my earlier posts I do enjoy a good historical costume drama, and so I have been watching the latest offering on BBC TV .. “Taboo” .. although I’m not sure that ‘enjoy’ is the right word to use when referring to this mysterious, dark, brutal and somewhat historically inaccurate tale.

The story is all about some scruffy bloke with a bad haircut returning to England after spending years in Africa, and getting into a bloody dispute with The Honourable East India Company over the ownership of a piece of land off the west coast of North America referred to as “Nootka Sound”, although how a body of water can be described as ‘land’ beats me.

I’ll skip a lot of the plot other than to say that it’s set in 1814 when England is nearing the end of a war with America, with, according to this story, both countries seeking control of Nootka Sound Island, and the East India Company being far from “Honourable” also wanting to grab it for themselves … ‘er ? .. Something to do with .. “all the tea in China”. It’s worth noting that, at this time, they (HIEC) were more powerful than most nations, having a huge private army and navy.

Of course, as you would expect these days, there’s lots of swearing, ‘rumpy-pumpy’ (including incest), graphic violence, mystical mumbo-jumbo and bloody tattoos galore !

So, if you like your historical fiction grim, your sets gloomy, your hero leading character mean and morose, and you can cope with the rather muddled plot. Give it a try and stick with it. You never know…

… There could be a happy ending !

Posted in entertainment, humour | 2 Comments »

“At my age flowers scare me.” … George Burns

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2017

Today is my 78th birthday and although I didn’t get my brains knocked out on my recent encounter with a Sainsbury’s ‘zombie’, as I thought might happen (see my last post). However, I could have been affected in some way, as one of my presents from my daughter was this …

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 Of course we are !

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Who could possibly doubt it ?

 She also gave me the T shirt, which I will always wear with pride. See ! …

 …..   There’s nothing weird about me !

Posted in family, humour | 5 Comments »

Definitely a ‘wrong number’ !

Posted by Big John on February 9, 2017

The other evening I watched a movie on ‘Sky’ based on a book by Stephen King. It was called ‘Cell’ and was a story all about people being turned into ‘zombie-like’ creatures after answering a call on their smartphones. So as I see dozens of such people walking our streets every day and they bump into me on a regular basis, I thought that this film could be based on ‘true life’.

I was wrong ! .. It was the biggest load of crap I have seen in a long time, and the plot (if you could call it a ‘plot’) involved a small number of survivors being chased around the New England countryside by mobs of rabid killers who have had their brains re-programmed by an electronic signal broadcast across mobile phone networks. Apparently these murderous “phoners” were part of some evil plot to see the world descend into apocalyptic madness.

At this point I have to give up on trying to explain anything else about this dreadful drama as it would require my own old brain to be re-programmed before I could begin to understand what the bloody hell was going on !

Perhaps the next time I visit my local Sainsbury’s I’ll ask one of those resident ‘zombies’ who wander the aisles, to enlighten me with regard to the baffling ending of this load of old codswallop. I just hope that she it doesn’t try to beat my brains out …

… with a can of baked beans !

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 6 Comments »

Duck ! .. ? .. Well it is ‘The Donald’.

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2017


For the moment I will reserve my judgment on Donald Trump as it’s still early days in his presidency and it could take some time before the media (at least on this side of the Atlantic) gives an accurate account of what the silent majority of ordinary American people make of him, and stop concentrating on our ‘special relationship’, the bloody ‘state visit’ and the protestations of all the ‘celebs’, ‘luvvies’, political pundits and those US voters who are still ‘in shock’ over how democracy works.

However, I must say, that although there is much about the new resident of the White House that I find distasteful and somewhat unnerving, he does score “Bigly” with me for not being the usual slippery, self-serving career politician and being so stinking rich that he won’t need to reach under the table for those brown paper envelopes.

Anyway, we (Yes ! I do mean ‘we’) are stuck with him, and to misquote the late Bette Davis in the movie ‘All About Eve’, all I can say at this point is …

… “Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy ride” !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »