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 ‘political’ Category

Here we go again – Part Fifteen.

Posted by Big John on April 18, 2017

If you believe all the press reports, this could be the last “Here we go again” post that I publish !

Yes, .. We are said to be on the brink of “all out war” ! .. and all because of a ‘tweet’ addicted ‘Gung-Ho!’ US President and a cheese addicted ‘supreme leader’ and number one nutter of a very weird country who seem determined to see ‘who blinks first’ !

So as Trump ‘rattles his sabre’ I can only hope that Kim Jong-un only …

… rattles his chopsticks !

Posted in humour, political | 5 Comments »

You’re not supposed to lick them !

Posted by Big John on April 1, 2017

I see that the Bank of England may use palm oil in the manufacture of the new £20 note because of the protests by vegans and others over the use of animal fat tallow in the manufacture of the new £5 note.

In my recent post about my medal collection I mentioned the medals awarded by ‘The Honourable East India Company’, the last of which was The Indian Mutiny Medal and was issued on behalf of the British Crown.

In India this bloody rebellion is often referred to as ‘The First War Of Independence’ and came about for many reasons, one of which involved a new type of rifle which required that a soldier had to bite off the end of a lubricated cartridge in order to load it. A rumour spread among the Hindu and Muslim troops that the grease used to lubricate the cartridges was a mixture of pigs’ and cows’ lard; thus, to have oral contact with it was an insult to both religions.

I wonder if the use of palm oil in the new bank notes will ‘plant the seeds’ for a …

‘tree huggers’ uprising  ? 

Posted in History, humour, political, religion | 4 Comments »

Duck ! .. ? .. Well it is ‘The Donald’.

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2017


For the moment I will reserve my judgment on Donald Trump as it’s still early days in his presidency and it could take some time before the media (at least on this side of the Atlantic) gives an accurate account of what the silent majority of ordinary American people make of him, and stop concentrating on our ‘special relationship’, the bloody ‘state visit’ and the protestations of all the ‘celebs’, ‘luvvies’, political pundits and those US voters who are still ‘in shock’ over how democracy works.

However, I must say, that although there is much about the new resident of the White House that I find distasteful and somewhat unnerving, he does score “Bigly” with me for not being the usual slippery, self-serving career politician and being so stinking rich that he won’t need to reach under the table for those brown paper envelopes.

Anyway, we (Yes ! I do mean ‘we’) are stuck with him, and to misquote the late Bette Davis in the movie ‘All About Eve’, all I can say at this point is …

… “Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy ride” !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

1957 … a happy year ?

Posted by Big John on January 25, 2017

I see that there is a report out saying that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was right when, in 1957, he said .. “You’ve never had it so good”. (What he actually said in a speech was .. “Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good”).

Well he may have got it right when he said that “Rule one in politics is never invade Afghanistan”, but I’m not so sure about his observations on the lives of ordinary working class people in this country, as the years after World War II were still tough times for many, and if not exactly ‘tough’ we lacked most of the basic comforts and ‘must have’ items which we take for granted today.

However, I was 18 years old at the time and enjoying life as a first generation teenager. I had ‘escaped’ from my hated school a couple of years before and, with few or no responsibilities, was working as a clerk in the head office of a large travel agent in London’s ‘West End’. It wasn’t the greatest or best paid job in the world, but it was sometimes fun and would do until I had to report for my two years of military service.

My memories of that year are a bit vague now, but what I do remember is that my somewhat junior hedonist’s lifestyle involved…

  • Spending lots of time with my mates in local pubs, playing snooker and drinking pints of ‘brown and mild’.
  •  Hanging about in record shops, listening  to the latest Rock ‘n’ Roll hits from America for free and, at the same time, checking out the young ladies in the next booth and wondering why they were wearing little white gloves.
  • Posing with a rare and expensive pack of ‘Camels’ or ‘Lucky Strike’ by the juke box in some Soho coffee bar and trying to catch the eye of the blonde in the corner wearing that tight sweater, wide belt and all those layers of frilly petticoats.
  • Eating in the first ‘Wimpey’ burger bars and such ‘exotic’ establishments as ‘The Golden Egg’. They were a ‘step up’ from the local ‘greasy spoon’ and fish and chip shop, but the food was far from ‘cordon bleu’.
  •  Searching the ‘men’s outfitters’ for the latest fashions, hoping that I could afford them and that those ‘Italian’ shoes wouldn’t make me limp for the rest of my life.
  • Queuing outside the ‘posh’ Leicester Square cinemas to see the latest Hollywood epics which wouldn’t be screened at my local ‘flea pit’ for months.

I’ll stop there as I’m sure that you have now got the picture of just how exciting my life was back then; and speaking of pictures, here is one of me being followed by two Soviet spies in London’s famous Piccadilly  …

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… Look carefully (click on image). I think that you may see a girl wearing little white gloves also following me, it was taken in 1957… I can see a trace of a smile on my face …

… I guess I was happy !

 

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, political | 4 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 »

“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 »

A constitutional crisis or just another ‘cock-up’ ?

Posted by Big John on November 4, 2016

The majority of the British people voted to leave the European Union, and although this was bound to upset many people, it seemed that ‘Mother’ Theresa was going to make it happen ‘sooner rather than later’.

Now, I’m not quite sure why, but three High Court judges have ruled that the bunch of slippery chancers known as “Honourable” Members of Parliament and unelected peers must be involved in the procedure and that the Prime Minister does not have the right to use the Royal Prerogative to invoke ‘Article 50’ and start the process for ‘Brexit’.

I’m pretty sure that most of this self-serving hypocritical political ‘elite’ haven’t got the least respect for the wishes of those of us whom they consider to be ‘plebs’ and are now busy thinking up ways to dilute what the people had voted for by making amendments to any bill which would ensure that they are on a ‘nice little earner’ via their shifty fat cat mates in the City of London’s ‘old boy network’.

If you think that I am being a little harsh by using the term ‘slippery chancers’, you only have to look at .. ‘The Teflon MP” .. Keith Vaz, a.k.a. ‘Vazaline’, a former Europe minister and chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee who resigned in September after claims that he paid two cocaine snorting ‘rent boys’ for sex, at a time when his committee was investigating prostitution; and, guess what ? .. His fellow MPs and ministers have now voted him into a vacant seat on (I’m not making this up) …

… The Justice Committee !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »