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 ‘rant’ Category

Stuck by ‘Stack’ !

Posted by Big John on July 30, 2015

Yesterday I had to drive my wife to the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford for a pre-operation assessment appointment. The journey usually takes about fifty minutes and is mainly via ‘country’ roads which are fairly narrow in places. On a normal day this is not a problem; but yesterday was not a normal day …

It was an OPERATION STACK day ! … and the entrance to the hospital is just a few hundred yards from Junction 10 on the M20 motorway which was closed for several miles.

We were lucky and managed to make it to the hospital on time, but it was obvious from the near empty waiting areas that many people had not. We were not so lucky on the return journey, as during the time that we were at the hospital, the police shut down more of the motorway, which meant that those ‘country roads’ were choked with traffic, which included some bloody great trucks which were trying to negotiate some very tight corners and squeeze through some tiny village streets. I felt sorry for the bloke who was rebuilding part of the stone wall in front of his cottage and doubted that it would survive the day.The police were nowhere to be seen in all this chaos, not even one traffic cop to keep the traffic moving outside the hospital entrance. I dread to think what it must have been like in the back of an ambulance.

So, is anyone doing anything to solve this problem ? … Our Dave is on a ‘Jolly’ to the Far East, most of our MPs and ministers are sunning themselves on foreign beaches, or pissing it up on their rich mates’ yachts, and the few ‘muppet’ ministers who are still around have  gone into “crisis management mode“, which means that no one …

… has got a bloody clue what to do !

Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

So, where’s his crutch and parrot ?

Posted by Big John on July 24, 2015

One of my favourite books when I was young was ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, so, as I sometimes enjoy watching TV ‘historical’ costume dramas,  I was pleased to see that a new series was coming to the ‘History Channel’ called ‘Black Sails’ which was billed as a ‘prequel’ to Stevenson’s stirring tale of pirates and the hunt for Captain Flint’s treasure.

Last night I caught up with episode one of what I hoped would be a swashbuckling tale, but I doubt that I shall bother with episode two. Oh, it was about pirates alright, but it was often difficult to tell one from another underneath all the scars, sweat and hair: and the dirty shaven headed lookalikes really had me confused.

John Silver was depicted as a bit of a clown and showed that he still had two legs at this time, in what was a completely unnecessary orgy scene. Of course, there was the now obligatory lesbian sex romp and much use of those four letter ‘F’ and ‘C’ words, which sound ten times worse when being uttered by a pretty young actress, who I’m sure didn’t mean her cat when she referred to her “pussy” !

None of the pirates broke into … “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum” … but I did rather like the evocative theme music.

I expect that the story line will, at sometime, get around to Captain Flint burying his Spanish treasure, but before that I suspect that most of the screen time will not be taken up with the daring deeds of bold buccaneers, but with lots more …

… bare bums, boobs and bonking !

Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

It’s what kids do !

Posted by Big John on July 21, 2015

I see that the toadies at Buckingham Palace got it all arse about face last week when they released their stories about Willy the brave part-time air ambulance co-pilot and “hero” Harry, saviour of the Rhino, as these PR stunts are usually brought into play after ‘the shit hits the fan’ about some ‘royal’ misbehaving, not before: and who looks like they were in trouble this time ? Well, non other than ‘er Maj’ herself.

Now, I never thought that I would see myself defending (reluctantly) the sour old sovereign, but, although it is well known that Uncle David (Later Edward VIII) and many members of the aristocracy were fans of the Führer, I doubt very much that a seven year old pampered English princess was about to run off and join the Nazi ‘Bund Deutscher Mädel’.

Yes, she was just seven, playing in the garden with her parents. It was only 1933, and not many people knew the truth about the Nazis plans. In fact, to many, Hitler was just a funny little man with a toothbrush moustache and hair hanging over one eye (remember Charlie Chaplin).

It was all a very long time ago, but I can still remember my young friends  coming out of the cinema after Saturdays’ children’s movie matinee shouting .. “Put your hand up if you want to play Hopalong Cassidy or Robin Hood !”

Perhaps Uncle David had a premonition and shouted .. “Put your hand up if you want to play …

… Kings and Queens !”

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

“It’s all Greek to me”.

Posted by Big John on July 16, 2015

Aah ! .. Greece .. The birthplace of democracy, home to Aristophanes and, of course Homer. Land of, what were once, friendly smiling people who served some pretty boring food and lousy wine in quaint tavernas.

Here is a photo taken in such a place …

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… No, it wasn’t taken today, and it’s not some sweaty Greek bloke who has just heard that his country is now owned and run by Führer Frau Merkel and her faithful followers across the European Reich Union.

It’s me, and it was taken more than thirty years ago on the island of Corfu, as I was wondering if that was a black olive on top of the taramasalata, or …

… did it just move ?

Posted in humour, political, rant | 5 Comments »

“The sun has got it’s hat on”, but not many Brits have !

Posted by Big John on July 5, 2015

What is it with the British when it comes to really stinking hot weather ?

During the past few days we have seen temperatures rocketing into the 90’s (that’s ‘old money’), which means that there have been ‘thunder thighs’ and acres of bare flesh on show everywhere, a lot of it covered in hideous tattoos, and it seems that the fatter the person is, the skimpier are their shorts, and that sleeveless, backless and almost topless is essential if you want that, so attractive, red raw skin glow.

Noel Coward was so right when he wrote .. “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” .. Not only do they ‘go out’, but they also ‘sit out’ to dine in the sweltering heat. How often have you heard some sweating idiot say .. “Hot ? It can’t be hot enough for me!” .. as he sits on a blistering British beach in his ‘budgie smugglers’ eating his fish and chips ?

Perhaps you remember, as I do, sitting in the shade with the locals outside some Greek taverna or Spanish beach bar, as they watched, with astonishment, near naked Brits as they removed or closed protective parasols or dragged their tables and chairs into the midday heat so that eating lunch would not halt their day long sun worshipping, even if their own dripping sweat did rather spoil the flavour of their moussaka or paella.

Most people who live in parts of the world where the sun blazes down for most of the time tend to stay in the shade and often wear clothes that cover them almost from head to toe, like Hassan here, who I met on a trip to Morocco a few years ago …

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… He is wearing the ubiquitous Berber djellabah, which with it’s baggy hood, …

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… gives great protection from the sun. I suppose that it’s a bit like a North African hoodie, but somehow, I can’t see it catching on in this country …

… anytime soon !

Posted in humour, rant, travel | 4 Comments »

Bishop bans the ‘BLT’ !

Posted by Big John on June 21, 2015

In a recent post I said that the Church of England “was fast disappearing up it’s own cassock” and here is a bit more proof, for now the potty priests think that fasting for one day a month will help protect our world from so-called global warming.

It’s called ‘eco theology’ and is known as the ‘skip a sandwich and save the planet’ movement.

Please someone … Explain to me how this works ?

Thank goodness that today is not only fathers’ day but also, more importantly, the ‘summer solstice’, which means that I have a double reason to celebrate.

So, on this ‘Midsummers Day’, I will don my Druid’s robes, put flowers in my hair (Well, on my head), fill my mug with mead, light the bonfire and, if I’m lucky, watch the naked maidens as they dance around it to the beat of a sacred drum; as all this pagan prancing and posing will ensure that the rain will fall, the sun will shine and the crops will grow. Which is a lot more eco-friendly than giving up your ‘Subway Melt’ once a month in the hope that it will combat climate change: and, of course,  …

… it’s a lot more fun ! ….  :-)

Posted in humour, rant, religion | 2 Comments »

No more ‘playing soldiers’.

Posted by Big John on May 20, 2015

Every so often some not too bright spark comes up with the idea that it would be a good idea to reintroduce national service; and this time it’s the ex-‘ginger spare’ .. ‘Hooray Harry .. who loves the military so much that he has decided to return to his civilian life of piss-ups and pampered privilege. Mind you, I’m pretty sure that his time in the army has not been without it’s privileges. Apart from being a polo playing officer and having a jolly spiffing time in a very ‘posh’ regiment, can you really believe that he would have ever been put in ‘harm’s way’ by flying over Afghanistan as a co-pilot/gunner in an Apache helicopter, or being allowed to wander about without a squad of crack troops to protect him at all times and whisk him away at the first sign of danger ?

I see that HRH (His Royal Harryness) says ..“I dread to think where I’d be without the Army.” .. Umm! .. ‘Getting down’ in some dodgy royal palace or other close to the mean back streets of Kensington, smoking ‘skunk’ and slurping ‘Cristal’, or hanging out with his hedonistic Sloane ‘homies’ and bonking all those Belgravia ‘bitches’ I expect !

Most of those who usually call for the return of national service have no experience of service life, unlike Captain Harry ‘Wales’ who does: but his life in the military has been as far removed from that of an ordinary private soldier as it is possible to get; and certainly a bloody long way from how …

… this ex-national serviceman remembers it !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

A monumental mistake !

Posted by Big John on May 16, 2015

Two items in the recent news caught my attention. One is that the nasty nutters of the Islamic State have advanced to the gates of ancient Palmyra, raising fears that the Syrian world heritage site could face destruction of the kind the jihadis have already wreaked in Iraq.

The other item informs us that around 700 people left this country to join the ranks of Islamic State in Syria, and that half of them have been allowed to return to our shores (remember “Return ticket not valid ?”) to join the hundreds of radicalised young Muslims who can’t wait to destroy our entire nation: and I fear that they are likely to do far more serious damage than just take their sledgehammers to the Elgin Marbles, or their bulldozers …

… to Stonehenge !

Posted in political, rant, religion | 1 Comment »

 
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