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.




    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




    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.




    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 54 years of happy marriage.
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Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

Now you won’t get a prayer with your popcorn.

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2015

I see that the ‘someone will be offended’ brigade are at it again !

Blimey ! .. It was only recently that I was ranting about sausage rolls and bacon sandwiches supposedly offending every Ahmed, Moishe, Sanjit and Hardeep in the country.

Now it’s a cinema ad which shows a number of people from different walks of life, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Who could possibly be offended by that ? … Could it be our Muslim fellow citizens ? .. I hear you ask.

Well, .. No ! .. is the answer according to Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain,  who said … “I am flabbergasted that anyone would find this prayer offensive to anybody, including people of no particular religious belief“; which I suppose includes this old atheist.

On the other hand as one who dislikes all forms of ‘evangelism’ and religious mumbo-jumbo, I suppose that I should go along with Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, who argued that the Church of England is … “arrogant to imagine it has an automatic right to foist its opinions upon a captive audience”: but in this case I really find it hard to object and I’m certainly not offended, for I always smile when I remember my very dumb young classmates reciting … “Our Father which art in heaven  …

Harold be they name”…  :-)

Posted in humour, rant, religion | 2 Comments »

“Say that again !”

Posted by Big John on November 6, 2015

Is it me, or are our young people all practising to be ventriloquists ?

For some time I’ve wondered if my old ears were letting me down, and then I noticed that when I watched young students and others being interviewed on TV many of them hardly parted their lips and emitted what I can only describe as a whispered monosyllabic mumble without any trace of intonation or enunciation.

I suppose that in this day and age having the ability to speak fluently and coherently is beginning to seem less important as fewer face to face conversations take place, and, sad to say, many find it difficult to communicate without having at hand some device which allows them to use text gibberish, ’emojis’, and ..

… the “like”  !  .. :-(

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“It takes all sorts … “

Posted by Big John on October 27, 2015

I’ve just discovered a new word .. “genderqueer” .. and all because Germaine Greer has upset a lot of people recently by insisting on calling transgender women “post-operative transgender men”.

Now I’m no fan of Ms. Greer, but surely I thought, she does have a point, for removing a man’s naughty bits and surgically ‘enhancing’ other parts of his body does not turn him into a woman.

Please stay with me on this ! …  For, although I’ve had gay friends, it wasn’t long ago that I was getting used to ‘LGBT’, ‘gay pride’ etc. so accepting the idea that some people are ‘genderqueer’ has my old brain struggling a bit.

I always assumed that ‘transgender’ referred to people who are strongly attached to whichever gender is opposite to their biological sex. In other words .. Someone assigned as a ‘boy’ at birth but who identifies as a ‘girl’ is often described later in life as a ‘transgender woman’, while someone assigned as a ‘girl’ at birth but identifies as a ‘boy’ is often described later in life as a “transgender man”. Now I learn (I think) that some people do not see themselves as either sex. Life must be very complicated to say the least.

Anyone who is not happy with ‘queer’, which until fairly recently was considered by some to be an insult, can adopt .. ‘agender’ .. ‘nongendered’ .. ‘genderless’ .. ‘genderfree’ ..or .. ‘neutrois’ … and, if they can’t make up their minds there is always ‘gender fluidity’ !

Why am I reminded of George Orwell’s ‘1984’, his brilliant “Big Brother” novel in which he invented ‘Newspeak’, a language in which words don’t mean what they say ? I gather that I am now ‘cisgender’. I think that I’d rather be known by the old ‘unfashionable’ word …

… normal !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Last week it was chocolate … Next week ???

Posted by Big John on October 23, 2015

Yes, I know it’s supposed to be serious and according to the latest ‘let’s scare the shit out of them’ press reports I should be in deep trouble because of my pre-dinner ‘G and T’ (or two), as one can of fizzy drink daily “can increase heart attack risk by a third” and, that there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption” and that new official guidance is to curb drinking to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Ah! .. but wait a minute, I only add lots of ice and Schweppes ‘Slimline’ tonic to my gin, and it seems that the ‘official guidance’ is only aimed at “middle-aged” boozers, not old codger tipplers like me, so Hooray ! I’m in the clear. No I’m not ! .. Bugger it ! ..  I’ve just read that my mouth watering breakfast bacon sandwich …

… could be the death of me ! :-(

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

How do you pronounce B’Stard ?

Posted by Big John on October 13, 2015

A survey of 2,000 people by audio book company ‘Audible’ to find out the top ten most commonly mispronounced characters in the world of literature has, not surprisingly, come up with ‘Don Quixote’ at the top of their list.

Now names in literature are one thing, but when it comes to real names and place names in this country, there are some that must puzzle not only foreigners, but must also stump most British people; such as …

Belvoir                        pronounced              ‘Beaver’.

Beauchamp                 pronounced              ‘Beecham’.

Wrotham                    pronounced               ‘Rootum’.

Althorp                       pronounced               ‘Awltrup’

Cholmondely               pronounced              ‘Chumlee’

Magdalan                    pronounced              ‘Maudlin’.

Marjoribanks               pronounced              ‘Marchbanks’.

Of course there are many more, of which my all time favourite is …

Featherstonehaugh … which is obviously pronounced … ‘Fanshaw’!

Oh! .. and before I forget, I always loved dining out in the USA and being offered that little brown bottle of …

“Whoos-ess-tire-shy-er” sauce !;-)

Posted in humour | 3 Comments »

People who solve problems that aren’t there.

Posted by Big John on October 7, 2015

In recent days we have read of a disgraceful incident where a sergeant in the Royal Air Force was asked to move from a hospital waiting room as he was in uniform and because ..“we have all kinds of different cultures coming in”: and the ludicrous ban on university students wearing sombreros, which were being handed out by a ‘Tex-Mex’ restaurant, because it might upset Mexicans.” One student said … “Who will it offend, Speedy Gonzales ?”

I have often wondered who these people are who complain about various aspects of the British way of life that supposedly ‘offend’ religious and other minorities who have settled in this country, and now I know; and it’s not likely to be the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others who live here, but, people like nutty Professor Adam Dinham who suggests to employers, (can you believe ?) not microwaving sausage rolls in a shared workplace kitchen, or not keeping bacon, or bacon rolls, in the fridge if it is shared with people whose beliefs prohibit them from eating pork.

It seems that this academic ass is a “professor of faith and public policy”. Of course he is ! It’s a pity that he does not consult with people like the chairman of the British Mexican Society, who in the case of the ‘racist’ sombreros said he .. “Would applaud any business of any nationality for doing anything to try to drum up business in a legitimate way, which this seems.” Or, perhaps the potty ‘prof’ should contact that Mexican mouse (also accused of being ‘racist’) about his …

… “Holy frijoles !”

Posted in humour, rant, religion | 3 Comments »

‘Cowboys’ or Kim ?

Posted by Big John on September 24, 2015

Get ready ! .. we’re off down ‘memory lane’ again …. Don’t groan, it’s only a short trip.

“COWBOYS !” … I heard the cry through my bedroom window, and as I opened one eye I saw my room mate Jim hurriedly pulling on his uniform trousers over his RAF issue pyjamas .

“Are you coming ?” he asked “It sounds like it’s bacon and beans for breakfast. If you don’t get there early, there’ll only be bloody red lead and rubber eggs left”.

By ‘red lead and rubber eggs’ he meant the mushy tinned tomatoes that resembled the thick oxide paint used to protect metal and the fried eggs that had been left on the hot plate for so long that they bounced if you dropped them.

I grunted, pulled up the blankets and tried to re-join Kim Novak in my interrupted dream.

I awoke once again having discovered that Kim had buggered off with James Stewart and on hearing Jim plonking down a mug of hot tea and a bacon sandwich (no beans) on my bedside locker.

I sat up and looked at a pin-up of Kim which was next to my worn out demob chart, where only the number one square remained to be crossed out. Yes ! this was my very last day of two years national service and could there be a  better way to start it than with breakfast in bed ? …

… Now there’s a bloody silly question ! … ;-)

Posted in humour, nostalgia | 1 Comment »

Next stop ? … The Caribbean !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2015

Warning ! .. Please have the sick-bag ready before you read this ‘unbelievable’ report on how the ‘do nothing duchess’ returned to work after taking the summer off to look after the royal brats laze about on her and Willy’s new country estate.

Yes, the media is full of how she is returning to her so-called ‘royal duties’. Although ‘work’ is hardly the word to describe spending less than an hour at a centre for children with mental health problems, showing off a £1,250 dress (and almost her knickers) and attending the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup with her old man and ‘Hairy Harry’.

OK, that’s enough. You all know how much I love the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (and Middleton) gang, so I’ll end this rant now: but before I go I must just say that ‘Her Kateness’ looked a little ‘stoned’ with her bizarrely beaming smile and slightly dazed expression in her eyes. Perhaps the gardeners at Anmer Hall grow more than plain …

…  old lawn grass ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »


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