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

“nascent digital culture” .. ?.. No! me neither.

Posted by Big John on February 25, 2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious problem for many people and the type of events that can cause ‘PTSD’ include …

  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • military combat
  • being held hostage
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis

To me, the cause that first ‘springs to mind’ is that related to ‘military combat’ and it’s association with the ‘shell-shock’ suffered by soldiers who experienced the horrors of the trenches during WWI and the devastating effects that modern warfare has had on so many people across the world to this day.

Now I learn that another cause can be added to the above list …

…    Being separated from your bloody smartphone !

 

 

Posted in rant | Leave a Comment »

Definitely a ‘wrong number’ !

Posted by Big John on February 9, 2017

The other evening I watched a movie on ‘Sky’ based on a book by Stephen King. It was called ‘Cell’ and was a story all about people being turned into ‘zombie-like’ creatures after answering a call on their smartphones. So as I see dozens of such people walking our streets every day and they bump into me on a regular basis, I thought that this film could be based on ‘true life’.

I was wrong ! .. It was the biggest load of crap I have seen in a long time, and the plot (if you could call it a ‘plot’) involved a small number of survivors being chased around the New England countryside by mobs of rabid killers who have had their brains re-programmed by an electronic signal broadcast across mobile phone networks. Apparently these murderous “phoners” were part of some evil plot to see the world descend into apocalyptic madness.

At this point I have to give up on trying to explain anything else about this dreadful drama as it would require my own old brain to be re-programmed before I could begin to understand what the bloody hell was going on !

Perhaps the next time I visit my local Sainsbury’s I’ll ask one of those resident ‘zombies’ who wander the aisles, to enlighten me with regard to the baffling ending of this load of old codswallop. I just hope that she it doesn’t try to beat my brains out …

… with a can of baked beans !

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 6 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 »

“Trigger Warnings” ! … but no bullets.

Posted by Big John on January 7, 2017

I see that ‘Generation Snowflake’ is in the news again because theology students at the University of Glasgow are receiving advanced warnings that they might be upset by seeing distressing images while studying the Crucifixion of Jesus, so that they can avoid this harrowing experience by leaving lectures if they are unable to cope with reality outside of their ‘ivory tower’ which provides them with ‘safe spaces’ where they also need never fear someone from the real world offending them in any way or not using their ‘preferred gender’ title when addressing them.

How on earth did previous generations of 18 and 20 year olds cope with the ‘reality’ of their lives ?

In my case, I, and many thousands of others of the same age, had to spend two years in the armed forces and I can’t imagine our sergeants and corporals saying ..

“Fall out all those who want to be excused bayonet practice as it makes them feel a bit queasy” .. or .. “Please don’t cry if I call you a nasty name or be offended if I appear to doubt that you are ‘equipped’ as a man”.

Now I’m pretty sure that today’s students are not all ‘precious little souls’ and my experience of military life took place nearly 60 years ago. However, although the world of the young has changed almost beyond recognition, one thing remains somewhat the same, for I did have my own ‘space’ to which I could retire, although it wasn’t exactly ‘safe’ as it was called a bunk and was situated in a barrack room …

… alongside 23 others ! 

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

“Arise Sir Surly”.

Posted by Big John on January 1, 2017

Every time a list of people to be honoured is published I despair, as those most deserving of a ‘gong’ usually get the lowest ranking ones, such as the MBE or the even lower, re-introduced, British Empire Medal for their good deeds and charity work etc. Whilst the usual bunch of crooks, cronies and ‘showbiz’ luvvies receive knighthoods and peerages.

This year, as expected after the Olympics, the so-called ‘heroes’ have had titles galore heaped upon their sweaty shoulders, which makes no sense to me as they already have medals for their achievements in Brazil; and how a bad tempered, snarling, foul mouthed, gurning, gesticulating, aggressive, rude, scruffy, inarticulate, miserable, overgrown spoiled brat can be knighted for knocking fuzzy balls over a net just …

…’beggars belief’ !

Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

A Chilli Christmas !

Posted by Big John on December 15, 2016

I can remember a time when the most exotic thing to appear on the Christmas dining table was the ‘brandy butter’ to accompany the Christmas pudding and mince pies; and the only thing needed to ‘spice up’ the ham sandwiches at our family gatherings on Christmas Eve was my mum’s ‘home pickled’ onions.

Now just about every festive dish has to be mucked about with by stuffing it full of ‘blow yer ‘ead orf’ spices or overpowering flavours from ingredients which, once, could only be found in the far flung corners of the British and Ottoman Empires or perhaps “down Mexico way”.

As much as I love most foreign food I don’t want my turkey stuffed with jalapenos, my parsnips curried, my ham boiled in coconut milk or my roast spuds coated in guacamole.

There is a saying that “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, but this is more of a case that ‘Too many TV chefs could …

… ruin your Christmas !’

Posted in family, humour, nostalgia, rant | 5 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 »

Adolescent angst plus !

Posted by Big John on November 22, 2016

It’s time, once again, to go into miserable old git mode as I try to understand how many young people in this country fail to appreciate that they are lucky to be alive in this day and age and why they …

  • .. suffer ’emotional distress’ when they break a fingernail ?
  • .. have a nervous breakdown when their smartphones don’t work ?
  • ..  ‘self-harm’ when some ‘boy band’ splits up ?
  • .. threaten suicide when called names ‘trolled’ on social media ?
  • .. are obsessed with the ‘celeb’ culture ?
  • .. no nothing of the suffering in the world today ?
  • .. wallow in ‘recreational grief’ ?
  • .. struggle with the English language ?
  • .. indulge in mass hysteria ?
  • .. can’t tell fact from fantasy ?
  • .. and why the sensitive and fragile little darlings are offended …

       ….  by just about everything ?

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »