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

Which one is ‘barking mad’ ?

Posted by Big John on May 19, 2016

Recently, as I passed by the local dog beauty grooming parlour, an elderly lady came along the street leading one of those yappy little dogs which seem to be ‘in fashion’ at the moment, and the tiny creature was not happy judging by all the noise it was making, and by the way it was attempting to go in the opposite direction.

“Stop that !” .. said the lady .. “You know how you like the young ladies in the shop”.

Yap! .. Yap! .. Yap! .. replied the dog.

“There’s a good boy now. Please be quiet for mummy”.

More … Yap! .. Yap! .. Yap! .. which ended with the little mutt taking a ‘dump’ in the middle of the footpath.

“Oh dear ! .. That’s very naughty” .. sighed the lady .. as she pulled a small plastic bag from her pocket … “Mummy is very cross with you”.

Lots more .. Yap! .. Yap! .. Yapping !

This one sided conversation went on for some time, before the old girl finally managed to drag the dog into the shop, after threatening not to let the animal play with his “bally” when they got home.

Now, here’s the question … Why do so many people believe that dogs can understand the English language ? … and how do they communicate if they own ..

.. a German Shepherd ?

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Now here’s a difficult one !

Posted by Big John on May 11, 2016

Below are three press reports relating to Islam. Only one of which is true. Can you guess which one it is ?

1 … Due to London now having a Muslim mayor, the Saudi government is advertising for a Christian to take up a similar post in Riyadh.

2 … London’s buses and public transport in other UK cities will carry banner adverts featuring the Arabic phrase “Subhan Allah” for Ramadan. This idea has been taken up by the authorities in Tehrān where buses will now carry posters wishing people a “Happy Christmas”.

3 … Police who staged a mock terrorist attack featuring a bomber shouting “Allahu Akbar” have been forced to apologise for racial stereotyping.

Need a clue ?  …  This happened 

… on the same day !

Posted in humour, rant, religion | Leave a Comment »

‘Catch Up TV’ … why bother ?

Posted by Big John on May 5, 2016

I recently invested in a new ‘all singing and dancing’ Sky+HD satellite TV system, and I am now wondering .. Why ? .. for after scanning through it’s TV guide, I can find very little worth watching apart from one or two US crime series, such as ‘Blue Bloods’ (‘she who must be obeyed’ fancies Tom Selleck) and a few interesting documentaries on the ‘History Channel’ and ‘PBS America’.

Now I know that I have ranted about this before, but ‘Trash TV’ is getting beyond a joke, with an endless parade of blubbing bakers, crying cooks, distraught dancers and assorted ‘wannabes’ taking up many hours of ‘prime time’ TV. Old style game shows for the gormless seem to be back in a big way, along with lots of ‘celeb’ chat show crap for cretins.

Decent drama is hard to find and comes around about once a week if you are lucky, but don’t expect the actors to keep their clothes on, even one of my favourites, the Simla ‘soap’ better known as ‘Indian Summers’ has degenerated into more of a story of ‘rumpy-pumpy’ during the ‘Raj’ than a serious portrayal of the last days of British rule in India.

Still, it’s not all bad news. ‘Game of Thrones’ is back, so the old brainbox gets a workout, as I try to stay with the plot (is there one ?) and tell a Lannister from a Targaryan; and tonight will see me sitting in front of my TV wearing my flat cap, with a glass of stout in hand as I eagerly await the return of those 1920’s haircuts and the  bloody tale of  the …

… ‘Peaky Blinders’ !

Posted in entertainment, family, humour, rant | 8 Comments »

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 »


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