bigjohn

“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.

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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 November, 2018

A creepy .. “Two for the price of One” .. !

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2018

If you are an old a regular reader of this blog, you will remember my posts about ‘supermarket zombies’, and more recently the ‘smartphone’ variety: therefore, it will come as no surprise, when I tell you that somehow they have ‘morphed together’, and that yesterday I had my first encounter with one at the checkout at my local Sainsbury’s.

I was loading the contents of my trolley (cart) on to the conveyer, when I heard someone talking behind me and saw that a woman with a mobile ‘phone clamped to her ear was having one of those so important, .. “Oooh, I knowww!”.. conversations as she added items from her trolley to my heap of assorted groceries.

She did not appear to be aware of my actions or acknowledge her mistake when I created some space for the items remaining in my trolley by removing her vegetables and bread from my heap and pushing her selection of ‘ready meals’ and breakfast cereals back along the empty part of the conveyer before putting the “next customer” sign in place.

As I paid for my goods, I noted that the ‘it can’t wait’ phone conversation had ended, and that she of my ‘close encounter’, had immediately gone into a bloody …

… texting trance !

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Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

“You pays yer money …”

Posted by Big John on November 14, 2018

I don’t often review or comment on movies in this blog, but I couldn’t resist doing so when it came to two films which I recently watched possibly ‘for the wrong reasons’.

One I watched just because I wanted to see what all the apparent ‘hype’ was about, and the other because I am always interested in the stories of ‘larger than life’ historical figures.

When I sat down to watch “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” my thumb was already hovering over the ‘off’ button as I am not a fan of “bitter black comedies” or mumbling ‘redneck’ characters: but luckily, I stuck with it and, I must say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the strong performances and equally well-developed characters; and despite all the swearing and violence, this rates as one of the best films that I have seen in a long time: and one that deserves it’s huge critical and box-office success.

How I wish that I could say the same for “Darkest Hour” with it’s, what seemed to me, ‘comic-book’ depictions of early wartime London, The House of Commons, Dunkirk, Churchill’s War Rooms etc.

The ‘clunky’ script had a ridiculous invented scene on the London ‘Tube’ (subway) in which Churchill is inspired by fellow passengers to fight on, rather than sue for peace. Of course, these passengers are of the “Cor blimey Guvner!” .. ‘salt of the earth’ .. ‘cloth cap class’: and most improbable of all; a seldom seen at that time, black geezer travelling on the ‘Underground’ just happened to be sitting near Churchill and could quote Horatius’s famous speech from Macaulay’s “Lays of Ancient Rome”.

Gary Oldman received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, although I’ve seen better. However, I thought Kristin Scott Thomas was pretty good as Clemmie, and Ben Mendelsohn was a believable King George VI.

At one point in this load of old codswallop Churchill is making a ‘phone call to the USA asking the President for assistance. I thought that he would have had more success calling …

… Batman and Robin !

 

Posted in entertainment, History, humour | 2 Comments »

100 years since the guns fell silent.

Posted by Big John on November 9, 2018

The young lady on the right in this photo is my mother …

… and some years ago, in a previous post, I wondered who her sad looking companion was: and now I’m pretty certain that I know. She was my mother’s cousin Rosie, who’s father Bill had been killed on 8th May 1915 at the Second Battle of Ypres where his unit saw action in a battle which resulted in over 100,000 casualties. Like my own grandfather, Bill had served with the Royal Field Artillery and was one of the first soldiers to fight in France.

1918 – 2018

Posted in family, History | 1 Comment »