bigjohn

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

  • Warning! Elderly Person Blogging

    elderly1.jpg

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

    t-blogger.jpg

    lion-2.jpg

  • Awarded by Terri. Click below for 'Island Writer'.

  • 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.

    me-poster.jpg

    me-r-book.jpg

    a-b-t-1.jpg

    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

    copy-me-rr.jpg

    me-w-badge.jpg

    wed-baby.jpg

    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.

    copy-of-70s.jpg

    me-pit.jpg

    golf-dinner.jpg

    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 50 years of happy marriage.
  • May 2015
    M T W T F S S
    « Apr    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Meta

  • RSS Validated.

    valid-rss.png
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 213 other followers

Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

No more ‘playing soldiers’.

Posted by Big John on May 20, 2015

Every so often some not too bright spark comes up with the idea that it would be a good idea to reintroduce national service; and this time it’s the ex-‘ginger spare’ .. ‘Hooray Harry .. who loves the military so much that he has decided to return to his civilian life of piss-ups and pampered privilege. Mind you, I’m pretty sure that his time in the army has not been without it’s privileges. Apart from being a polo playing officer and having a jolly spiffing time in a very ‘posh’ regiment, can you really believe that he would have ever been put in ‘harm’s way’ by flying over Afghanistan as a co-pilot/gunner in an Apache helicopter, or being allowed to wander about without a squad of crack troops to protect him at all times and whisk him away at the first sign of danger ?

I see that HRH (His Royal Harryness) says ..“I dread to think where I’d be without the Army.” .. Umm! .. ‘Getting down’ in some dodgy royal palace or other close to the mean back streets of Kensington, smoking ‘skunk’ and slurping ‘Cristal’, or hanging out with his hedonistic Sloane ‘homies’ and bonking all those Belgravia ‘bitches’ I expect !

Most of those who usually call for the return of national service have no experience of service life, unlike Captain Harry ‘Wales’ who does: but his life in the military has been as far removed from that of an ordinary private soldier as it is possible to get; and certainly a bloody long way from how …

… this ex-national serviceman remembers it !

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

A day to remember… Well, almost !

Posted by Big John on May 8, 2015

Today is the 70th anniversary of ‘VE Day’ (Victory in Europe) and I can just about remember it.

I was six years old and had lived all of my young life in war torn London, so the wail of air raid warning sirens, the boom of anti-aircraft guns, the drone of German V1 missiles and the question “Is it one of ours ?” whenever the sound of an aircraft engine was heard overhead, where all part of everyday life for me; although I was a little too young to experience the fear that slightly older children must have felt as I sat on my mother’s lap under the stairs in our basement and waited for the ‘all clear’ to sound.

Now all that had ended, and in our bomb damaged street that evening, there was a large bonfire on the ruins where once there had been houses; and some Royal Navy sailors were letting off flares and rockets from the top of the burnt out shell of the house across the road. Flags were flying from lamp posts and were hanging out of windows. Tatty home-made bunting was strung from house to house. That is, of course, if there were still houses to hang it from.

I suppose there must have been a street party, but I don’t remember it. I do remember seeing some people dancing in the middle of the road in what, in those days, was referred to as ‘a good old knees up': and I’m pretty sure that victory was being toasted in hard to come by booze.

So I was there on that momentous day in history, but, as a little kid, all the fuss didn’t mean much to me at the time; and now I can remember very little of those events. Perhaps my memories have faded with time, or perhaps, as little kids do, I just climbed on to my mum’s lap …

… and fell asleep.

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 4 Comments »

Oh No ! .. Not another one ?

Posted by Big John on May 4, 2015

Those of you who know me must have known that I would be unable to resist a comment or two on the birth of  the latest addition to the ‘House of Windsor’, or ‘er Maj’s mob, as I prefer to call them.

So, the ‘do nothing duchess’ has managed to provide a ‘spare’ to the heir, and can now take up her role as a hard working mother of two, which I know she will find exhausting, because all the royal worshipping parasites of the press have told us so. Although I’m not sure if they have told the nannies, cooks, maids, footmen and butlers at Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall yet.

There has been much speculation about the baby’s name. I favour Princess Chardonnay – Britney – Jordan – Kardashian – of the House of Middleton – Saxe – Coburg – Gotha. I think that Queen Victoria would have approved, and .. Blimey ! .. she does look like that miserable old monarch.

Oh ! .. bugger!   .. They’ve just named her Charlotte .. so Princess ‘Charlie’ it is then  …

… Gormless old grandpapa will be pleased.  

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

“Napoleon who ?”

Posted by Big John on May 2, 2015

This summer we will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo: and guess what ? ..

Yes, as you would expect these days, a survey shows that many Britons know little about a battle that cost more than 60,000 lives; and associate the name with a London railway station or a silly song by 1970’s pop group ‘ABBA’.

It seems that more than a quarter of the people surveyed (28%) had no idea who won the battle, 14% believed the French were victorious and one in five knew absolutely nothing about an event that changed the course of European history.

Just over half (53%) correctly knew that the Duke of Wellington had led the British army, but many suggested it might have been King Arthur, Francis Drake, Winston Churchill, or even Dumbledore from the Harry Potter stories: and it was our young people who showed a “particular lack of awareness” !

Oh ! .. and by the way, the politically correct brigade (Oops! Sorry, too militaristic) zealots have advised that people attending commemorative events should not act in a ‘triumphalist’ way because .. Sacré Bleu ! .. this would offend the French.

Why am I not surprised ?  .. Well, in this age of ‘dumbed-down’ education and political correctness …

… “Ignorance is Bliss”  (Thomas Gray)

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“Don’t vote, it only encourages them”. Billy Connolly.

Posted by Big John on April 23, 2015

I’ll be glad when this bloody election is over, as I’ve had enough of lying, self-serving, hypocritical politicians showing off their wives and kids (not to mention their kitchens), walking about in hard hats, talking with school kids, rolling up their sleeves when visiting hospitals and all the rest of the nauseating behaviour which they think will win votes.

Now, in the middle of this political pantomime, our Dave, not missing a trick, has turned his attention to the terrible happenings in the Mediterranean where hundreds, if not thousands, of desperate people are drowning as they attempt to flee the chaos in Libya and elsewhere in Africa.

In a recent speech, our excuse for a prime minister said that .. “crucially we’ve got to do more to deal with the problems in the countries from which these people are coming and we’ve got to crack down on the terrible people traffickers and people smugglers who are at the heart of this problem“.

I can only assume that his tiny brain has forgotten the fact that these ‘problems‘ have come about as a result of him and his mates destabilising the region by naively rushing in to give military assistance and support to every band of so-called ‘freedom fighters’ in the Middle East, without, it would appear, having a clue about the likely outcome of such reckless actions.

Meanwhile, back at home, the forecast is for a ‘hung parliament': and I must say that when I look at the gang of shysters who sit on those green benches at Westminster, the word ‘hanging’ …

often springs to mind !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

It’s time for a good TV ‘swords and sandals’ !

Posted by Big John on April 16, 2015

I have posted previously about how much I enjoy a good TV historical/costume drama: but alas the latest ‘crop’ does not always live up to my expectations, and some are only worth watching for a laugh and to spot how little (if any) historical research has gone into some of these productions.

I did enjoy ‘Wolf Hall’, and I’m a fan of the latest in the ‘Vikings’ series which really seems to portray those warriors from the north as I imagined them to be. Scruffy Scandinavian farmers, turned sword wielding warriors, with a few hairy bikers thrown in for good measure.

Now I know ‘Poldark’ isn’t strictly ‘historical’, but it’s not bad entertainment, although a lot of time is wasted with Ross on horseback galloping along the Cornish cliffs; and although he looks heroic, unlike all the other ‘gentry’, he never shaves, combs his hair, or wears a wig: and, come to think of it, he’s not keen on wearing underwear.

So, what of  ‘Banished’ .. Oh dear ! .. What a disappointment this ‘epic’  has turned out to be, with one critic branding this story of the first criminals transported to Australia as .. “I’m a convict, get me out of here” ! .. Well, the ‘celeb reality’ show’s Ant and Dec haven’t turned up yet, but they would probably fit in nicely with the odd assortment of starving prisoners, filthy floozies, a nutty vicar, a randy major in charge of a bunch of moronic marines, and dialogue which included a reference to a ‘Dear John’ letter, a term which wasn’t used until US soldiers invented it during World War 2: and had convicts playing poker with their guards. A game that was only introduced to Britain when Queen Victoria showed an interest in it in 1871, nearly a century after this load of old .. drama takes place !

‘Indian Summers’ is quite good with the action taking place in India during the last years of the ‘Raj’, and as you would expect there are plenty of very unpleasant colonial ‘pukka sahib’ types around, and lots of talk (but not much explanation) about Gandhi, ‘Congress’ and the untouchables. There is also a rather raucous Julie Walters as the memsahib owner of the Royal Simla Club, bastion of snobbery, colonial rule and gossip. Perhaps the next series of ‘Downton Abbey’ could be set in India with a plot featuring a ‘downstairs’ scandal about Mrs. Hughes and the new Dhobi Wallah ?

Must go now, as I’m off to switch on and watch my favourite epic medieval fantasy  … Yes ! … ‘Game of Thrones’ is back, and although I’m not too confused by the story at the moment, I have a feeling that …

… I soon will be !

Posted in humour | 2 Comments »

Happy Easter, and here’s …

Posted by Big John on April 3, 2015

a true story

Back in the early 1980’s I had a friend who’s appearance could only be described as old style ‘Flower Power’ hippy. He was a very skilled carpenter, who one day was busy in his workshop, when he was approached by a Catholic priest who wanted a wooden crucifix made in time for Easter. It was to be sited in the garden of a local convent.

My friend helped the father select some suitable timber and they agreed a price and a delivery date in time for the religious festival.

Just before Good Friday my friend knocked on the door of the convent which was opened by an old nun who saw before her a bearded carpenter with shoulder length hair; wearing a long grubby shirt, leather sandals, and carrying a large wooden cross on his shoulder.

The old girl just managed a .. “Holy Mary, mother of ! “.. before ..

… she fainted ! 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, religion | 3 Comments »

Here we go again. – Part Eleven

Posted by Big John on March 28, 2015

Just when I thought that I had learned a little bit about the almighty mess that is the Middle East, with all of it’s blood thirsty tribal loonies and Arabic speaking arseholes shouting “Allāhu Akbar” as they fire their Kalashnikovs into the air, before they get on with the serious work of killing each other: and just when I have learned to call ‘ISIS’ the ‘Islamic State’, along comes a new mob of religious rebels who want to take over Yemen (and who knows what else ?). They are the ‘Houthi’ and are Shia Muslims.

Now the ‘happy go lucky’ Saudi Arabians and their Sunni mates are a bit pissed off to say the least, and even ISIS, Oops ! I mean the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda want to kick the Houthi’s arse, or more likely, well let’s just say, do what all good jihadis so love to do in the name of a peace loving religion.

The leader of the powerful Shia Hezbollah militia mocked the Saudi-led offensive, calling the Saudis .. “lazy losers” .. which is strange as I believe that President Obama is backing the Saudis, which again, is confusing me because the USA has been on better terms with Iran recently, and that Shia state is said to be the power behind the Houthi rebels.

I think that I should stop now, because it’s only likely to get even more confusing, but I would just like to say that, of course, the UK government has offered to support Saudi Arabia … and 

… Brent oil prices spiked 6% to $58 a barrel !

Posted in humour, political, rant, religion | 1 Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 213 other followers