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 ‘humour’ Category

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 !

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

“Worlds Apart”

Posted by Big John on July 4, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the more that I look around, the more I feel that the world has gone completely ‘bonkers’, with all those … ‘everything offends me’ zealots .. ‘mixed up’ millennials  … the ‘snowflake’ students in their ‘safe spaces’ … the ‘cotton wool’ kids and their ‘helicopter parents’ …  all those ‘me too’ and ‘look at me’ celebs …  those TV ‘reality show’ morons, “like yer know like what I mean and like stuff” and those ‘scream your bloody head off’ audiences … the ubiquitous internet and smartphone addicts …and… the multitude of religious ‘nutters’ and “grief lite” mourners … It makes me wonder how they would have survived in the ‘real world’ I once occupied ?

As a child I lived in a place of death and destruction, although I was a little too young to understand much of what was happening. I played amongst the ruins of what had once been family homes. We often read today of how so many people are suffering from ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’, but can you imagine the stress when taking shelter at night and not knowing if you would still be alive in the morning; or the anxiety of wondering if your loved ones in uniform would ever return ?

School in the 1940’s and 50’s was not exactly fun, but the discipline meant that ‘ADHD’ (and ‘Ritalin’) was unheard of, and “face the front” teaching of a variety of subjects, unlike today’s ‘dumbed-down’ system, provided most of us with a fairly sound education; although very few working class school leavers made it to university.

However, every healthy young man could look forward to spending two years in the military after they reached the age of eighteen: and, speaking of ‘health’, food rationing made sure that ‘obesity’ was an unknown condition.

I remember a more dignified world where good manners were appreciated and courtesy was expected. My father was a blue collar worker with a limited education and some very ‘rough and ready’ workmates, and yet, I never once heard him utter a swear word in all the years I knew him.

I’m going to leave it there just for now. Now where did I last see …

… that old photo album ? 

 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant, religion | 3 Comments »

Another ‘trance’ encounter !

Posted by Big John on June 19, 2018

Not far from my home is a railway bridge. A road runs under this bridge and has a safe footpath on one side of it. On the other side is a narrow strip of slippery brick, earth and concrete which some people prefer to balance along rather than cross over the road to use the ‘safe side’ and then cross back again, using the pedestrian crossings, to continue on their way.

At this time of year most of the strip is overgrown with all sorts of rough and prickly  vegetation making it difficult to negotiate without walking in the road. So what bloody idiot would take the risk ?

Answer ! … The bloody idiot who never even gave me a glance, as I braked to avoid him being splattered all over the front of my car as he strolled in the road under the bridge …

…  BLOODY TEXTING !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

It only needed a soggy selfie.

Posted by Big John on May 4, 2018

From time to time I have written of my encounters with those of us who are totally addicted to their smartphones. Here is the latest …

Yesterday I was sitting in my car, which was parked in a quiet street. The weather was lousy. Heavy rain and a strong blustery wind. I glanced across the road and noticed a rather bedraggled young woman stop opposite my vehicle. She was wearing some sort of ‘hoodie’ and carrying a large bag which hung from one shoulder. She leaned against a fence which was partly sheltered by an overhanging tree. It gave little protection from the cold driving rain.

She opened the bag, and yes, out came a smartphone ! .. Immediately she started texting. She then removed a plastic bottle of orange juice and managed a swig or two whilst still texting. The bottle was returned to the bag and replaced by a large baguette wrapped in aluminium foil. She managed to unwrap this and devour it’s rather ‘messy’ contents as she juggled with her ‘phone, all the time texting. Considering that she was soaked and very much windswept, her dexterity was something to marvel at.

Her soaking al fresco lunch lasted about fifteen minutes and was finished off by her smoking ‘who knows what’, before she walked off, seemingly oblivious to the atrocious weather, and …

…still bloody texting !

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

Where’s my invitation ?

Posted by Big John on April 27, 2018

I know that I have not been around much lately, but I know that you will forgive me when you know the reason why I have neglected my blog for the last couple of weeks. I’m sure that you all guessed the reason …

Yes ! .. I have been absorbed with all the wonderful things that have been happening to my favourite family .. the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha gang.

Where do I start ? .. Well, old ‘Phil the Greek’ got a new hip (was it on the NHS ?) … ‘er Maj’ had her first birthday of 2018 (she has another one in June) … another royal brat was born (just what we need) … Pippa (OK ! I know, she’s only a sister-in-law to Willy) got in on the act by joining ‘the pudding club’, as did ‘horsey’ Anne’s daughter Zara… Fergie’s daughter Eugenie got engaged to some rich geezer and her other daughter Beatrice got a proper job… Charlie got a new top job involving lots of expensive travel (which pissed orf  Cruella) … She cheered up when she heard that she will get the title of ‘Queen’ when Charlie gets an even better ‘top job’ … and ‘last but not least’ … all is set for the royal wedding. I can hardly wait ! In fact when I look at the ‘Ginger Whinger’ and his bride to be, I go all ..”sigh”.. (‘hand on heart’)..  ‘touchy-feely’ .. ‘Maw ! Maw ! kissy-kissy’ and ‘huggy-wuggy’ … Now I wonder …

… where I got that from ?

Posted in humour | 4 Comments »

“Othello” it ain’t !

Posted by Big John on March 14, 2018

I’m not quite sure why Sir Vince Cable’s latest speech has received so much publicity, for I doubt if  most people in this country are seriously interested in this silly old sod’s opinions on anything: but to brand all the old farts who voted for ‘brexit’ as racists who want to recreate a world where, amongst other things, “faces were white” is disgraceful !

However, I must admit that, in general, I couldn’t care less about what colour someone’s face is, but I am beginning to wonder why so many non-white faces now fill my TV screen ?

I know that we have all got used to seeing those many TV ads showing the “dual heritage” family, and the TV News ‘man in the street’ .. Oops ! Sorry, ‘person in the street’ interviews with one white, one black, one brown interviewee, and almost certainly one wearing a hijab: but why do TV dramas have so many black characters when they are set in localities in this country where, in reality, very few people (if any) from ethnic minorities would be living or working ?

Now BBC TV ..’PC’BC TV’s latest ‘swords and sandals’ epic series .. “Troy: Fall of a City” .. brings us, not only some very dark scenes, but also a number of very dark skinned characters. … Take a look !

OK … The ancient Greeks, including Homer, probably knew something of black Africans, and Memnon’s home was thought to be in the ‘East’, perhaps in ancient Persia. As a consequence, he was thought to have a darker skin colour than the Greeks themselves, but …he definitely was not black ! .. Also it is just ridiculous to show the gods and heroes of ancient Greek mythology and history as African !

So why do it ? … I can take a guess … but, please excuse me if I just say that …

…  “It’s all Greek to me” !

 

Posted in entertainment, History, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

Megan’s ‘mumbo-jumbo’ moment !

Posted by Big John on March 8, 2018

Please remind me … This is the 21st Century isn’t it ?

It’s hard to believe that it is, when you read that someone you thought of as a fairly bright ‘modern day’ young woman who has ‘been round the block’ a few times has been baptised by that hypocritical old cleric Justin Welby, who before he was “called by God” was a highly paid oily oil industry executive. Apparently he used ‘holy water’ from the River Jordan for the baptism.

The River Jordan ! .. I hope that water contained plenty of holy disinfectant.

Now, I may have got this wrong, but isn’t there some Church of England rule about people who live together outside of marriage not being baptised etc., so, to all appearances, the Archbishop of Canterbury has baptised Ms Markle whilst she is still openly ‘shacked-up’ at Kensington Palace with ‘Hooray Harry ?

A royal flunkey has ‘let slip’ that ‘er Maj’ has been overheard saying that …

… “One is most pissed ‘orf ! “

 

Posted in humour, religion | 1 Comment »

This time … real snowflakes !

Posted by Big John on February 28, 2018

For days now we have had countless warnings from the weather ‘experts’ about the “Beast from the East” ! .. In other words freezing weather with heavy snow being blown in all the way from Russia: so it came as no surprise when, yesterday morning, when I went to my street door to pick up my daily newspaper, I looked out, and saw this …

 

… OK ! .. I know that those of you who live in North America and other chilly parts of the world, will not think that this ‘modest’ amount of the ‘white stuff’ is something to get excited about: but here in the UK a couple of inches of snow brings total chaos to most of the country. Airports shut down ! … trains stop running ! … traffic comes to a halt ! … schools close !

Why ? … Gawd only knows ! … but you can be sure that some official idiot from the local highways department or railway operator will appear on TV to advise us that they are well prepared !

Over the years I have travelled in many parts of Europe and the USA, sometimes in appalling weather conditions. I have crossed snow covered mountain ranges, and once drove from Buffalo (NY) to Toronto stopping off at Niagara to watch the ice flows going over the falls. I’ve travelled by train across Switzerland in mid-winter and the trains were always on time. I’ve walked on city streets in other countries without fear of falling on my arse, or worse, because the pavements (sidewalks) have been cleared of ice and snow.

Now we have been warned that the UK will remain in a prolonged period of freezing weather and that “Storm Emma” is on it’s way.

So, are we ready ?  … I very much doubt it ! … but one person may be, because for the last two snowy mornings I’ve been surprised to find my newspaper …

… on the doormat !

Posted in humour, rant, travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »