bigjohn

“Old age ain't no place for sissies.” .. Bette Davis

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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

“Fake News!” … I wonder ?

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2019

Today is my birthday, and it feels great to have reached “the ripe old age” of eighty.

Last year, on my birthday I posted that …

“I’ve just ‘Googled’ today’s date to see if any significant event happened in “this sceptred isle” on this day 79 years ago … Nothing ! .. Nowt! .. Zilch ! .. Nada !”

… and this year I’m hoping to find out if that was true, as today I received a large package containing this …

… On opening the box I found this …

… An original copy of ‘The Times’ for the day of my birth !

….   Keep watching this space.

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Posted in family, humour, nostalgia | 3 Comments »

Does Brexit mean no more continental breakfasts ?

Posted by Big John on February 9, 2019

I’ve just had a long telephone conversation with my American cousin who lives in Upstate New York. He is now in his eighties and, as you would expect, he is not as fit as he used to be. However, his brain is as sharp as ever, and although he has lived in the United States for 60 years and is a patriotic US citizen, he has managed to retain his British sense of humour.

The reason he called was to get my perspective on the Brexit situation, as he is getting the impression, from the US media, that here in the UK the myths of ‘Project Fear’ are about to come true, and that we will soon be running out of life saving drugs, starving as our supermarket shelves empty, and our other imports dry up, as we are cut off from the rest of Europe.

Now, I had to remind him of a far worse period of our history, which we both lived through as children when playing in the ruins of war torn London: and of all those years of food rationing, including sweets (candy), when all that Spam and powdered eggs from America was most welcome.

I’m now awaiting …

… my first food parcel !

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

“On the fritz” and freezing !

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2019

It’s the middle of winter … It’s below zero and freezing outside … It’s Sunday night … It’s the coldest night of the year … I’m tired and I want to go to bed …  I switch the central heating to 24hrs … AND … Guess what ?

… Nothing ! …. IT’S NOT BLOODY WORKING !

It’s that time of year once again ! … Recently I have replaced …

  •  A fridge/freezer as the ice in the frost free section could have sunk ‘The Titanic’.
  •  An ‘all-in-one’ printer, which turned into a colour free paper shredder.
  •  An electric fan heater which decided that it was summer.
  •  Some ‘bits’ (don’t ask) for my car’s engine, after it’s annual MOT test.

… and, as you would expect, a number of those stupid sodding light bulbs which we were promised would “last a lifetime” by that bunch of slippery chancers who, at present, are screwing up ‘Brexit’ !

I have to leave this little rant here for the present, as it is now Monday morning and I have just looked out of the window and “Hooray!” I can see … “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” … No! .. It’s Kevin the heating engineer from …

… ‘British Gas’ !

Posted in humour, rant | Leave a Comment »

“It’s the thought that counts” !

Posted by Big John on January 29, 2019

In a couple of weeks I will reach the ‘Big 80!’, and to mark this momentous occasion I have just received a letter from The Pension Service informing me … “Now that you are approaching 80, you are entitled to a higher amount of State Pension”.

What a pleasant surprise !  … “Every little helps” … as the old lady said when she peed in the sea.

Then I read on; only to discover that this old pensionista shouldn’t get too excited about that “higher amount” because … “Age Addition of 25p per week will be payable from your 80th Birthday”.

Wow ! … 25pence a week ! .. Yes, that’s a whole £1 ($1,30) per month ! …

‘Poundland’ here I come !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“Sacré Bleu ! … Nobody sings.”

Posted by Big John on January 10, 2019

I must say that, so far, I have enjoyed watching the BBC’s production of “Les Misérables”, for as far as I can tell, it’s faithful to Victor Hugo’s epic tale of injustice in France after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. It’s well-made and not been ‘sexed up’ or stylised to appeal to a modern audience, apart from Lilly Collins’ eyebrows, a black Inspector Javert and an Asian Thénardier .. (Voici)

Now I’m not too bothered about a pretty woman’s eyebrows or the colour of an actor’s skin; but the one thing that irritates me about this production is, just like the above “Voici”, it includes bits of the French language in the English dialogue. Such as .. “Merci monsieur” instead of “Thank you sir”. It reminds me of those old war movies, when English speaking actors playing German soldiers always obeyed a command given in English with the words .. “Jawohl, mein Kapitan“. In fact, in some crowd scenes the people in the background, such as the prison guards or local paysans, are actually speaking French ! …

…  Pourquoi ? 

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

I told you so !

Posted by Big John on December 11, 2018

In my post of 13th June 2017, I referred to Mrs. May as .. “one of the weakest prime ministers ever” … and one …  “who is about to start Brexit negotiations with the EU. Something which she wasn’t in favour of in the first place”  .. I then asked the question .. “What could possibly go wrong ?”

Well … Now we know !  … Chaos ! … with a capital ‘K’, brought about by “that bunch of self-serving hypocritical slippery chancers” at Westminster and a prime minister who, behind the scenes, was as keen to do the best deal for the British people as George Armstrong Custer was to make peace at…

… ‘The Little Big Horn’ !

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

A creepy .. “Two for the price of One” .. !

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2018

If you are an old a regular reader of this blog, you will remember my posts about ‘supermarket zombies’, and more recently the ‘smartphone’ variety: therefore, it will come as no surprise, when I tell you that somehow they have ‘morphed together’, and that yesterday I had my first encounter with one at the checkout at my local Sainsbury’s.

I was loading the contents of my trolley (cart) on to the conveyer, when I heard someone talking behind me and saw that a woman with a mobile ‘phone clamped to her ear was having one of those so important, .. “Oooh, I knowww!”.. conversations as she added items from her trolley to my heap of assorted groceries.

She did not appear to be aware of my actions or acknowledge her mistake when I created some space for the items remaining in my trolley by removing her vegetables and bread from my heap and pushing her selection of ‘ready meals’ and breakfast cereals back along the empty part of the conveyer before putting the “next customer” sign in place.

As I paid for my goods, I noted that the ‘it can’t wait’ phone conversation had ended, and that she of my ‘close encounter’, had immediately gone into a bloody …

… texting trance !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

“You pays yer money …”

Posted by Big John on November 14, 2018

I don’t often review or comment on movies in this blog, but I couldn’t resist doing so when it came to two films which I recently watched possibly ‘for the wrong reasons’.

One I watched just because I wanted to see what all the apparent ‘hype’ was about, and the other because I am always interested in the stories of ‘larger than life’ historical figures.

When I sat down to watch “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” my thumb was already hovering over the ‘off’ button as I am not a fan of “bitter black comedies” or mumbling ‘redneck’ characters: but luckily, I stuck with it and, I must say, that I thoroughly enjoyed the strong performances and equally well-developed characters; and despite all the swearing and violence, this rates as one of the best films that I have seen in a long time: and one that deserves it’s huge critical and box-office success.

How I wish that I could say the same for “Darkest Hour” with it’s, what seemed to me, ‘comic-book’ depictions of early wartime London, The House of Commons, Dunkirk, Churchill’s War Rooms etc.

The ‘clunky’ script had a ridiculous invented scene on the London ‘Tube’ (subway) in which Churchill is inspired by fellow passengers to fight on, rather than sue for peace. Of course, these passengers are of the “Cor blimey Guvner!” .. ‘salt of the earth’ .. ‘cloth cap class’: and most improbable of all; a seldom seen at that time, black geezer travelling on the ‘Underground’ just happened to be sitting near Churchill and could quote Horatius’s famous speech from Macaulay’s “Lays of Ancient Rome”.

Gary Oldman received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, although I’ve seen better. However, I thought Kristin Scott Thomas was pretty good as Clemmie, and Ben Mendelsohn was a believable King George VI.

At one point in this load of old codswallop Churchill is making a ‘phone call to the USA asking the President for assistance. I thought that he would have had more success calling …

… Batman and Robin !

 

Posted in entertainment, History, humour | 2 Comments »