bigjohn

There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle.

  • Warning! Elderly Person Blogging

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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

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

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Posted in family, History | 1 Comment »

Taking an old blogger’s break .. Part two

Posted by Big John on September 10, 2018

“I couldn’t ask for more” … Did I say that ? … Well, I certainly got a lot more. In fact I got …

….  Two paramedics.

….  One ambulance.

….  Emergency room doctors and staff.

….  Five days in the ‘CCU’ (coronary care unit).

….  A Consultant Cardiologist and his team.

….  Countless radiographers and assorted technicians.

….  Wonderful nurses and ward staff. … and ..

….  A brand new pacemaker

That’s it for now, as I have to go and organise …

…  all those bloody pills !

Posted in family, humour | 4 Comments »

A special week.

Posted by Big John on July 11, 2018

This week I have been able to celebrate two anniversaries. One is due to the fact that I have been married for 57 years: and the other is that the Royal Air Force was founded 100 years ago.

Is there a connection ? … There sure is ! .. For it was during my two years service in the RAF that I met my future wife, which turned out to be the luckiest day of my life.

I suppose that I was lucky after being conscripted into the RAF as I became a radar operator in ground controlled air defence, so seeing the one hundred aircraft flypast on TV reminded me that during my time in the service I never flew in or even saw a single aircraft on the ground.

However, I did get to go to sea on …

… one of these !

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

Garden guests.

Posted by Big John on June 28, 2018

Remember my little fox cubs… Well they have returned, at least one of them has …

and this time it is daylight and it has grown a bit !

and ‘Robert’ the robin is thinking “are you looking at me?”

Now, I may not be the greatest nature photographer in the world,

but here are a couple more visitors to my summer garden …

This is ‘Russell’. OK! .. I know that it’s not a very original name.

Did you know that crows mate for life ?

Here’s the happy pair on their favourite perch.

I hear your question .. ? .. and …

I’ve no idea !

 

Posted in family, nature | 4 Comments »

What Next .. The Fourth of July ?

Posted by Big John on November 21, 2017

‘Thanksgiving’ is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November when friends and family come together for a traditional meal.

It’s an American public holiday … IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US ! … despite all the efforts of those greedy bastards who wish to cash-in ‘big time’, as they have done with bloody ‘Trick or Treat’ and other US traditions. I have even seen it being promoted as  .. ‘Brit-Giving’ !

Blimey ! .. the Pilgrims celebrated their luck at escaping from this country, although later generations of the Native Americans who attended that first feast were not so lucky.

Now, having had my little rant, I would like to say that I’m pleased to know that many British families join in this celebration with their American friends who live in this country. So, I hope that they all have a wonderful time, and wish all my friends and family across ‘the pond’ a very …

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Posted in family, History, humour, rant | Leave a Comment »

The granddad she never knew.

Posted by Big John on November 11, 2017

Some time ago I was talking with a cousin about our grandfather and his service during World War I, when she happened to mention that her ‘other’ grandfather had died during that terrible conflict and that she had his medals stored away in a drawer somewhere. We agreed that this was a pity and that I should ‘restore’ them as best I could, attach the original ribbons and mount them in a frame as I had done with my own collection of medals.

So, on this one day in the year when we remember all those who gave their lives in so many wars since that “Great War” I thought that it might be appropriate to show the result …

…His name was Henry and he served as a private in The Royal Fusiliers. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. The frame also contains his memorial plaque, better known as ‘the dead man’s penny’. Henry is buried at Beaulencourt in Picardy. He died in September 1918…

                                         …just two months before the war ended.

Posted in family, History, nostalgia | 3 Comments »

A Shenandoah Stopover.

Posted by Big John on August 19, 2017

Here is a photo of a statue of some American Civil War ‘hero’….

It was taken by me, when, back in the 1980’s my wife and I visited some friends in Pennsylvania and decided to take a trip further south, first visiting Gettysburg …

… before journeying on into …

… I only mention this as it now seems that some Americans wish to change history by removing or destroying similar statues of soldiers of the Confederacy. We have had this sort of protest about our colonial past here in the UK, and what this achieves ? … I have no idea !

Mostly what I recall from our trip through …

… that part of the U.S.A. were friendly people who seemed to show great respect for the memory of those who fought and died in that terrible conflict. There appeared to be very little commercialism relating to the Civil War. In fact it was hard to locate a souvenir of any kind, apart from the ubiquitous Confederate flag, which I believe has also ‘fallen into disrepute’.

My final picture is not very clear, but it shows part of a motel in which we stayed near Front Royal when visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was called ‘The Lee Jackson Motor Hotel’ and you can just about read that name on the restaurant building in the background (click on image).

Now it could just be that the motel was named after some local ‘good ‘ole boy’ named Lee Jackson, and not after ‘Robert E’ and old ‘Stonewall’, but I doubt it. Which makes me wonder …

… Is it still there ?

Posted in family, History, humour, nostalgia, political | 12 Comments »

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 | 4 Comments »