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 ‘rant’ Category

Oops ! .. Well, “better late than never”.

Posted by Big John on April 22, 2016

Bugger it ! … Yesterday was ‘er Maj’s birthday and I forgot to send a card.

Never mind, the old gel won’t notice as every other silly old sod in the country was celebrating like crazy (if you believe the media) and showering her with cards and flowers. Why ? .. I’ve no idea, and nor, I’m pretty sure, do most of them: which is more than can be said for our grovelling politicians.

It would be mean not to congratulate any old lady who reaches the age of ninety. So I wish you a belated .. “Happy Birthday” .. yer Maj .. and ask you to keep an eye on frisky ‘Phil the Greek’, don’t trip over the corgis, carry on worki … waving and smiling at the peasants your fans, pin another ‘gong’ on Charlie’s chest, and, whilst on that subject …

… don’t forget my bloody ‘OBE’ !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Here we go again – Part Fourteen

Posted by Big John on April 18, 2016

Yes, it could be ‘boots on the ground’ time again for 1,000 British troops, as some idiots in our so-called government are getting ready to send them to Libya.

Remember Libya ? … It was where we, and our allies, cried .. “Hooray for the Arab Spring !” .. helped Islamic extremists dispose of President Gaddafi and ensured that the place became a major disaster area.

Now, having once again, failed to learn any lessons, we intend to pay a return visit, with our soldiers being part of a multi-national task force led by .. (don’t laugh) .. the Italians !

Please don’t expect any great military strategy here. We are not talking …

… ‘Julius Caesar’ ! 

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »

Who’s looking after the kids ?

Posted by Big John on April 15, 2016

Bhutan looks like a beautiful country. Very ‘Lost Horizon’ and ‘Shangri-La’: but hardly a world power. In fact the UK does not even have formal diplomatic relations with the place.

So, can someone please tell me what the bloody hell that ‘thick as two short planks’ pair, ‘Weary Willy’, the ‘Dozy Duchess’ and their ‘entourage‘ are doing there ?

If this is not some major PR stunt diverting our attention from some royal ‘rumpy-pumpy’ scandal or the like, then I suppose that we are just paying for a second honeymoon, judging by all those so romantic obviously posed trekking pictures, with not a single drop of sweat, speck of dust or a hair out of place. Six hours up and down a mountain in a leather waistcoat and ‘those boots’ ! …

… Who are they kidding ?

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

Excuse me, but …

Posted by Big John on April 7, 2016

The other day, as I was leaving the local pharmacy, I held the door open for another old fart to enter …

… “Fank yer guv” .. he said with a smile.

I was shocked ! Not by his friendly London accent, but by the fact that someone had actually said ‘thank you’. In fact, I have recently got into the habit of saying to people who seem to think that I am invisible when I hold a door open, or move my trolley (cart) out of their way in a supermarket aisle or step to one side when walking along a crowded pavement (sidewalk) …

… “You’re welcome !” .. “That’s OK !” .. or .. “Don’t mention it !”

So far nobody has punched me on the nose, and when I was in Sainsbury’s recently, one young lady smiled and called back down the aisle to me .. “Thank you !” .. but I can’t see it catching on again in a big way, for although it doesn’t take much effort to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’, these words don’t seem to exist in many people’s vocabulary.

OK ! .. I know that the nearly brain dead now wander our streets in their thousands in a mass texting trance, and, I suppose that we should feel sorry for these poor souls, as they have probably lost the power of speech: but you would think that they could, at least, acknowledge that you stepped out of their way and avoided a collision by raising just one thumb …

 ….   from their bloody smartphones !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

A little empathy goes a long way.

Posted by Big John on March 10, 2016

A couple of days ago ‘she who must be obeyed’ had her second cataract operation and I have to say that the doctors, nurses and surgeons at the hospital were wonderful, showing kindness, sympathy and efficiency at all times, as were those involved in her recent unpleasant endoscopy procedure which resulted in good news after a worrying time.

However, I wish that I could say the same for the NHS administrative staff who left a lot to be desired.

I know facing the general public every day can be an unrewarding experience, but surely, if you work in a hospital you know that you are going to have to contend with the old, the sick, the frail, the confused and even the angry: so I don’t see how your day is improved by adopting a supercilious attitude, showing a lack of understanding, and being downright inefficient when it comes to routine tasks, such as booking appointments, giving directions, understanding written instructions, passing on information etc.

I don’t know about you, but if I was nervously sitting outside a doctor’s office awaiting an examination and tests that could bring devastating news, I wouldn’t want to listen to some giggling receptionist discussing her ‘holiday fun’ with her mates because she has nothing better to do.

OK, so I’m sure that there are dedicated hard working admin staff in the NHS who deserve a ‘thank you’ and a ‘pat on the back’. I’m sorry to say that I just can’t recall …

… encountering many ! 

Posted in family, rant | 2 Comments »

Risible royal rubbish.

Posted by Big John on March 5, 2016

Those of you who are fairly regular readers of this blog will know just how big a fan I am of ‘er Maj and her mob, so it will come as no surprise to know that I was keen to watch the Channel 5 TV series ‘Inside Buckingham Palace’ which was supposed to show the history of the place …

… “With the help of former Palace staff, royal confidantes and celebrities, ‘Inside Buckingham Palace’ reveals what life is really like behind its imposing walls, exploring the scandals, tragedies and triumphs that have taken place over the decades and made the place what it is today”…

Umm ! .. That sounds like a load of ‘old cobblers’ .. I thought .. and it was !

The title suggested, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about life inside  ‘Buck House’, but what we got was a potted history of royal gossip, tittle-tattle, speculation, codswallop and hearsay, half brought to life via interviews with some weird hangers on and the like and some very strange dramatizations which featured actors people who looked nothing like the ‘royals’ they represented. There must be thousands of photographs and miles of film footage available showing the British monarchs and their families since the time of Queen Victoria, so why these very silly reconstructions ? I know that King George VI was also Emperor of India, but the black haired young bloke playing him made me wonder if someone who had selected him for the part thought that meant the king had Indian ancestors.

I’ll give it a rest now, as you can read more about the programme .. HERE. .. but before I go, I’d just like to point out that Princess Margaret’s lover (is this them ?) was not a “palace servant”, but a highly decorated Group Captain in the RAF and ‘Equerry’ to the King …

… Not a bloody flunkey !

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

! Can you believe …

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2016

… that as soon as I signed up with ‘BT’ for my new broadband service, THIS bloody well happens ?

At the risk of ‘boring the pants off you’, I must tell you that I have received two ‘phone calls from the CEO’s office at ‘TalkTalk’ from people wanting to ‘discuss’ my internet connection problem. It only took three weeks !

Oh ! .. and before I forget .. my Indian friend .. Ramana .. commented .. “I am surprised! I had a completely different opinion of the level of customer service in the UK!” .. to which I have to say .. Sorry mate, but I believe that the customer service call centres are …

… in India ! ..:-)

posted via BT ‘Hot Spot’ connection.

Posted in rant | 3 Comments »

Is that Gandalf on the Bayeaux Tapestry ?

Posted by Big John on January 6, 2016

I suppose that I should no longer be surprised when I read of how people in this country know so little (if anything) of our history, and, once again, an on-line poll has found that those nobles who struggled to rule England in the 11th century are less well known than claimants to the throne in the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series.

Now, in this age of so-called ‘Reality’ TV, with it’s narcissistic presenters, phoney weeping ‘celebs’, screaming audiences, fixed ‘Talent’ shows, and dodgy ‘docudramas’, I have to wonder how many mor.. people, who’s lives seem to revolve around such entertain… crap, believe that programmes like ‘Game of Thrones’ and the new ‘Beowulf’ saga are our true history ?

The year 1066 is probably the best known date in English history. The Battle of Hastings was won by William Duke of Normandy, who then became king.

Yes, it actually happened. It’s true history, unlike those entertaining TV fantasies.

“Fantasies” ! … How can you tell ? … Well, let’s start with those …

… fire breathing dragons !

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 3 Comments »


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