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 the ‘family’ Category

Don’t get too exited … Part 2

Posted by Big John on July 16, 2017

Many thanks for all your kind thoughts and comments; and at the request of my friend  .. Ginnie .. from North Carolina for a ‘selfie’ …

Well, we did try !

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 3 Comments »

Don’t get too excited !

Posted by Big John on July 8, 2017

Today is my 56th wedding anniversary !

This year the old ‘trouble and strife’ not only gave me the usual apron and ‘Marigold’ rubber gloves, but, Oh, joy ! .. she included a new mop and dust pan.

So, I’ve polished up the old ball and chain and am considering how to celebrate this joyful occasion.

Dinner at a restaurant ?  …  A visit to the local pub ? …  A Chinese take-away ? … A fish and chip supper ? … or perhaps just a ‘quiet night in’ adding a little teriyaki sauce to our sushi and tempura prawns and listening to a cork or two ‘pop!’.

I wonder what’s on …

Sky Movies ?

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

For one day only.

Posted by Big John on July 4, 2017

HAPPY 4th JULY 

TO ALL MY AMERICAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY

and .. “Pass the turkey”  … Oops ! … Sorry ! … Wrong holiday.

 

Posted in family, History, humour, nostalgia | 2 Comments »

“Thanks for the Memory”.

Posted by Big John on May 30, 2017

At the age of 78 memories fade, and it is hard to believe that my earliest memory is of sitting up in my pram on a rainy day and watching the raindrops splashing on the waterproof fabric covering my legs. I guess that I must have been about one year old at the time.

I have clear memories of my young days during World War II, of aircraft engines, searchlights in the sky, gunfire and sheltering with my mother. I can remember the troop trains that steamed passed our house around the time of ‘D Day’.

My first day at school is as clear to me now as it was then, as are the names of most of my young friends and the games we played in the street.

My ‘world’ was a very small one back then, but it was soon to expand into employment, military service, marriage and parenthood. I’ve had a good life. I have been bloody lucky ! .. I have many happy memories; and the old brainbox is still functioning, if a little slowly, when I try to recall some event or other: which is more than can be said for the confused, but smiling, ‘old dear’ I met this morning, who couldn’t remember …

… where she had parked her car ! 

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 4 Comments »

….. HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY …..

Posted by Big John on March 26, 2017

Here in the UK today is Mothers’ Day, so this year I’ll just leave it at that, and not have my usual rant about what was once Mothering Sunday etc.

Here is a picture of some flowers which arrived at our house today  for ….

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“Our Wonderful Mum”

Posted in family | 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 »

1957 … a happy year ?

Posted by Big John on January 25, 2017

I see that there is a report out saying that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was right when, in 1957, he said .. “You’ve never had it so good”. (What he actually said in a speech was .. “Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good”).

Well he may have got it right when he said that “Rule one in politics is never invade Afghanistan”, but I’m not so sure about his observations on the lives of ordinary working class people in this country, as the years after World War II were still tough times for many, and if not exactly ‘tough’ we lacked most of the basic comforts and ‘must have’ items which we take for granted today.

However, I was 18 years old at the time and enjoying life as a first generation teenager. I had ‘escaped’ from my hated school a couple of years before and, with few or no responsibilities, was working as a clerk in the head office of a large travel agent in London’s ‘West End’. It wasn’t the greatest or best paid job in the world, but it was sometimes fun and would do until I had to report for my two years of military service.

My memories of that year are a bit vague now, but what I do remember is that my somewhat junior hedonist’s lifestyle involved…

  • Spending lots of time with my mates in local pubs, playing snooker and drinking pints of ‘brown and mild’.
  •  Hanging about in record shops, listening  to the latest Rock ‘n’ Roll hits from America for free and, at the same time, checking out the young ladies in the next booth and wondering why they were wearing little white gloves.
  • Posing with a rare and expensive pack of ‘Camels’ or ‘Lucky Strike’ by the juke box in some Soho coffee bar and trying to catch the eye of the blonde in the corner wearing that tight sweater, wide belt and all those layers of frilly petticoats.
  • Eating in the first ‘Wimpey’ burger bars and such ‘exotic’ establishments as ‘The Golden Egg’. They were a ‘step up’ from the local ‘greasy spoon’ and fish and chip shop, but the food was far from ‘cordon bleu’.
  •  Searching the ‘men’s outfitters’ for the latest fashions, hoping that I could afford them and that those ‘Italian’ shoes wouldn’t make me limp for the rest of my life.
  • Queuing outside the ‘posh’ Leicester Square cinemas to see the latest Hollywood epics which wouldn’t be screened at my local ‘flea pit’ for months.

I’ll stop there as I’m sure that you have now got the picture of just how exciting my life was back then; and speaking of pictures, here is one of me being followed by two Soviet spies in London’s famous Piccadilly  …

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… Look carefully (click on image). I think that you may see a girl wearing little white gloves also following me, it was taken in 1957… I can see a trace of a smile on my face …

… I guess I was happy !

 

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, political | 4 Comments »

A Chilli Christmas !

Posted by Big John on December 15, 2016

I can remember a time when the most exotic thing to appear on the Christmas dining table was the ‘brandy butter’ to accompany the Christmas pudding and mince pies; and the only thing needed to ‘spice up’ the ham sandwiches at our family gatherings on Christmas Eve was my mum’s ‘home pickled’ onions.

Now just about every festive dish has to be mucked about with by stuffing it full of ‘blow yer ‘ead orf’ spices or overpowering flavours from ingredients which, once, could only be found in the far flung corners of the British and Ottoman Empires or perhaps “down Mexico way”.

As much as I love most foreign food I don’t want my turkey stuffed with jalapenos, my parsnips curried, my ham boiled in coconut milk or my roast spuds coated in guacamole.

There is a saying that “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, but this is more of a case that ‘Too many TV chefs could …

… ruin your Christmas !’

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, rant | 5 Comments »