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

“Trigger Warnings” ! … but no bullets.

Posted by Big John on January 7, 2017

I see that ‘Generation Snowflake’ is in the news again because theology students at the University of Glasgow are receiving advanced warnings that they might be upset by seeing distressing images while studying the Crucifixion of Jesus, so that they can avoid this harrowing experience by leaving lectures if they are unable to cope with reality outside of their ‘ivory tower’ which provides them with ‘safe spaces’ where they also need never fear someone from the real world offending them in any way or not using their ‘preferred gender’ title when addressing them.

How on earth did previous generations of 18 and 20 year olds cope with the ‘reality’ of their lives ?

In my case, I, and many thousands of others of the same age, had to spend two years in the armed forces and I can’t imagine our sergeants and corporals saying ..

“Fall out all those who want to be excused bayonet practice as it makes them feel a bit queasy” .. or .. “Please don’t cry if I call you a nasty name or be offended if I appear to doubt that you are ‘equipped’ as a man”.

Now I’m pretty sure that today’s students are not all ‘precious little souls’ and my experience of military life took place nearly 60 years ago. However, although the world of the young has changed almost beyond recognition, one thing remains somewhat the same, for I did have my own ‘space’ to which I could retire, although it wasn’t exactly ‘safe’ as it was called a bunk and was situated in a barrack room …

… alongside 23 others ! 

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

So, who is this Noel geezer ?

Posted by Big John on December 22, 2016

merry-xmas

(click on image to enlarge)

Posted in humour, religion | 5 Comments »

A Chilli Christmas !

Posted by Big John on December 15, 2016

I can remember a time when the most exotic thing to appear on the Christmas dining table was the ‘brandy butter’ to accompany the Christmas pudding and mince pies; and the only thing needed to ‘spice up’ the ham sandwiches at our family gatherings on Christmas Eve was my mum’s ‘home pickled’ onions.

Now just about every festive dish has to be mucked about with by stuffing it full of ‘blow yer ‘ead orf’ spices or overpowering flavours from ingredients which, once, could only be found in the far flung corners of the British and Ottoman Empires or perhaps “down Mexico way”.

As much as I love most foreign food I don’t want my turkey stuffed with jalapenos, my parsnips curried, my ham boiled in coconut milk or my roast spuds coated in guacamole.

There is a saying that “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, but this is more of a case that ‘Too many TV chefs could …

… ruin your Christmas !’

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, rant | 5 Comments »

Sounds about right.

Posted by Big John on December 6, 2016

The following is my list, in no particular order, of my favourite ten quotations …

  1. “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” – Denis Diderot
  2. “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” – Bette Davis
  3. “Youth is wasted on the young.” – George Bernard Shaw
  4. “Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  5. “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.” – Rudyard Kipling
  6. “Anyone who hates children and animals can’t be all bad.” – W.C. Fields
  7. “Conceit is an outward manifestation of inferiority.” – Noël Coward
  8. “You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.” – George Burns 
  9. “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”- Oscar Wilde
  10. “If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

Oh ! .. and one epitaph, on the grave of Spike Milligan …

“I told you I was ill”

 

 

Posted in humour, political, religion | 2 Comments »

Bring on the bulldozers !

Posted by Big John on November 30, 2016

What has 775 rooms,  52 bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms and around 300 people working there ?

Why, Buckingham bleed’n Palace of course ! .. and according to recent reports it’s falling apart, so we our government is giving ‘er Maj £370 million to have the old dump repaired, despite the fact that they have, at the same time, stopped providing grants for the building of much needed social housing.

So, why not just demolish the place ? .. It’s not as if the old gel and Phil will be ‘out on the street’ and, unlike many of her subjects fellow citizens, wondering where they will spend the night. …

… “Balmoral, Sandringham or Windsor Castle, Phil ?” .. or .. “Perhaps Charlie and Cruella will let us have their spare room ?”

… and after the grotty palace has been razed to the ground, lots of that ‘social housing’ could be built on the site, plus a giant skateboard centre, a bloody great ‘McDonalds’, a multiplex cinema and a ‘Disney’ style theme park (including a castle) with Mickey Mouse guardsmen to keep all those dollar, yen and euro spending …

… tourists happy !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

Adolescent angst plus !

Posted by Big John on November 22, 2016

It’s time, once again, to go into miserable old git mode as I try to understand how many young people in this country fail to appreciate that they are lucky to be alive in this day and age and why they …

  • .. suffer ’emotional distress’ when they break a fingernail ?
  • .. have a nervous breakdown when their smartphones don’t work ?
  • ..  ‘self-harm’ when some ‘boy band’ splits up ?
  • .. threaten suicide when called names ‘trolled’ on social media ?
  • .. are obsessed with the ‘celeb’ culture ?
  • .. no nothing of the suffering in the world today ?
  • .. wallow in ‘recreational grief’ ?
  • .. struggle with the English language ?
  • .. indulge in mass hysteria ?
  • .. can’t tell fact from fantasy ?
  • .. and why the sensitive and fragile little darlings are offended …

       ….  by just about everything ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

A vacation voyage to remember.

Posted by Big John on November 17, 2016

Have you ever had one of those ‘foreign’ experiences that didn’t quite turn out as you expected ?

Well back in the 1980’s we decided that we would give the ‘Costas’ and the South of France a miss as our annual holiday destinations and venture to a country which, up until that time, had not been a major mass tourist destination. Greece and it’s islands were popular, but nearby Turkey did not seem to attract the usual ‘package tour’ crowd.

So, off we went to a land of friendly and polite people who played strange music …

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Eat strange food, drank even stranger drinks …

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.. and where some of the ‘locals’ and their means of transport seemed to have come from a bygone age …

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Well, perhaps not as long ago as …

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Now the nearest Greek island to where we were staying was Samos, and after visiting Ephesus, we wondered if it was possible to visit the island that had once been home to both Pythagoras and Aesop ?

We found out that it was possible, but not to expect a warm welcome, as the Greeks were not too pleased when they received visitors from Turkey, but if we insisted on going we could find a boat to take us moored at the quay, and there it was …

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… Well, not exactly ! .. as a scruffy little man directed us to another part of the harbour, where we had one of those “Ooh, Shittt !” moments when we saw that we were about to cross the Aegean in one of these …

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… and we soon discovered that we were in for …

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…  a bloody long trip !

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, travel | Leave a Comment »

“The people have spoken, the bastards.” .. Dick Tuck

Posted by Big John on November 10, 2016

Donald Trump predicted that … “It’ll be Brexit .. Plus !.. Plus!.. Plus!” .. and he was right.

All I have to say is that the United States and Great Britain have delivered political ‘revolutions’ despite the fact that both countries have a reputation for stable political systems. Many people may not like it, but it’s democracy at work.

I wonder if all those protesters in the US who voted for Mrs. Clinton will no longer wish to be known as …

….  ‘Democrats’  ?

Posted in humour, political | 7 Comments »