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

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 »

Could democracy ever look more ugly ?

Posted by Big John on October 11, 2016

It was Richard Nixon who first said “God Bless America” in an official speech, and look what a fine upstanding president he was !

Now I get the feeling that that phrase should be changed to “Gawd Help America” as, from this side of the Atlantic, I view what is happening in what resembles a disgusting ‘punch-up’ rather than a dignified Presidential campaign.

Although I am no expert on US politics, I have always been a great fan of the American people, and I must say that, in my humble opinion, …

… they deserve better than this !

 

Posted in political | 5 Comments »

Brexit ? … Umm ! … Let’s wait and see.

Posted by Big John on July 13, 2016

I’m confused !

Our Dave has resigned as Prime Minister because he wanted us to stay in the EU … Good ! … but, shouldn’t that mean that we then have a new PM who supported the ‘Leave’ campaign ?

Surprise ! .. We now have our own ‘Frau Merkel’ in the form of a lady who supported the ‘Stay’ campaign.

She may well prove to be a capable leader of our government, but when it comes to negotiations with the boys in Brussels, I have a feeling that we may end up with …

… ‘Brexit-Lite’! 

Posted in humour, political, rant | 2 Comments »