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 56 years of happy marriage.

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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

Not so ‘smart’ meters … Part 2

Posted by Big John on August 8, 2017

You may remember my post about ‘smart meters’ from a few weeks ago and how I have ignored all offers by emails, letters and phone calls from my electricity supplier to install a smart meter in my home for ‘free’.

Well I recently received another letter from my electricity supplier informing me that my meter needs to be replaced because it is nearing the end of it’s “certified” life and, therefore, “to save you time, we have booked a meter replacement appointment for you”… No consultation ! .. No permission asked ! .. Just, we’re coming at this time on this day !

I ‘phoned their ‘helpline’ and after the usual “press this number” and “this one” and listen to the music for ten minutes, I found myself speaking to a very helpful lady who agreed with me that there was no legal requirement for me to accept a smart meter, but that there may be one in the future, so she would cancel the appointment and place me on an ‘opt out list’ for one year. So end of story.

No, it’s bloody not ! … I’ve just had another letter, reminding me that my new smart meter is on the way ! …

… I’m loading the shotgun !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Stifling free speech !

Posted by Big John on July 27, 2017

I see that my fellow atheist, Richard Dawkins, is in the news again after a radio station in Berkeley, California, cancelled a fundraiser and discussion with him, calling his comments about Islam “abusive speech”, after members of the Berkeley community brought Dawkins’ previous remarks on Islam to their attention.

Yes, Dawkins has been critical about Islam, but he has also made a number of equally critical observations on Christianity, and, as far as I know they didn’t lead to him being ‘de-platformed’ (what a silly word).

I realize that we now live in a crazy world where common sense and logic are often ignored and many delicate ‘snowflakes’ (and others) are offended by just about everything, but, as far as I know, everyone still has the right to express their opinions and beliefs, and equally, those who disagree can respond in like manner. It’s called “freedom of speech” and I’m still with old Voltaire on this one …

“I may disagree with what you have to say,

but I shall defend to the death, your right to say it”.

Posted in political, rant, religion | 2 Comments »

“It’s beginning to look a lot like …” !

Posted by Big John on July 24, 2017

.. It’s the middle of a blazing summer. June and July have seen some of the highest temperatures on record. I’m sitting here in a design.. sweaty T shirt, displaying my ‘shapely calves’ and ‘finely turned ankles’ below my fashionable old fart’s knee length shorts. My ‘Panama’ hat has seen more use than usual this year and my woollen socks have been discarded ‘for the duration’.

Today I enjoyed a light lunch of pasta salad, accompanied by a cold beer. I have just relaxed in my armchair and opened my newspaper, only to be confronted by an advertisement reading …

  “Book Now for a Magical Christmas” !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

“Never complain. Never explain” .. Benjamin Disraeli

Posted by Big John on June 27, 2017

HRH .. ‘His Royal Harryness’ .. From ‘hence forward’ to be known as ‘The Ginger Whinger of Windsor’ has decided not to join us peasants in the real world out of loyalty to his dear old gran, ‘er Maj’.

It comes as no great surprise to me that he wishes to stay in the highly privileged sycophantic world of ‘royal fantasy land’, where he can play polo, be pampered, piss about all day (with Megan ?) and live in a palace rather than take responsibility for his own life and get a proper job.

If he loved life in the army so much, why doesn’t he return to the military life. He would soon be promoted and his gran could pin a few more medals on his chest, as there is bound to be another war coming along soon, and he could once again take a couple of  ‘brief tours’ surrounded by SAS bodyguards and play at being “Hero Harry”, instead of being just another hedonistic …

… ‘Hooray Henry’ !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

What a way to run a country !

Posted by Big John on June 13, 2017

For the first time in my life I did not vote in a general election, mainly because I’ve had enough of being governed by a bunch of self-serving hypocritical slippery chancers, who’s manifestos did not make me feel that I should rush to the polling station knowing that my future prosperity would be secure and our country would be in safe hands.

I then learned, after one of the biggest cock-ups in our political history, that our Prime Minister and her cabinet appeared to have had little to do with the proposed future government policies as they were conceived in the brains minds of two unelected advisors from Westminster’s ‘La-La Land’ known as the ‘gruesome twosome’ !

Now, after her failed gamble, we have one of the weakest prime ministers ever, who could be ousted at any moment, and who is about to start Brexit negotiations with the EU. Something which she wasn’t in favour of in the first place.

… What could possibly go wrong ? 

Posted in humour, political, rant | 4 Comments »

Not so funny Phil !

Posted by Big John on May 5, 2017

Yesterday, my gardener .. (Well, the bloke who cuts the grass) .. had heard all the tributes paid to ‘Phil the Greek’ on his car radio, and thought that the cranky old duke had ‘popped his clogs’, when, in fact, he had only announced that he was going to retire next month, which came as a surprise to me, as I thought that he had retired when he married ‘er Maj.

As you would expect, the press, in their way ‘over the top’ coverage has highlighted his ‘gaffes’ and so-called sense of humour, mistakenly identifying his crass utterings for wit.

I feel that he is a rather graceless, arrogant, undiplomatic boor with an aggressive bullying manner and not exactly my idea of a …

… ‘Prince Charming’.

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

They must be due for another holiday.

Posted by Big John on April 22, 2017

I see that the damage limitation team of the Palace PR machine is at it again trying to make us believe, after some bad publicity, that Willy, Katie and Ginger are not the work shy, hedonistic, arrogant, hypocritical, pampered and over privileged, so-called ‘royals’ that we know them to be, with their partying antics and frequent vacations, but are, instead, ‘touchy feely’ sensitive souls who have suffered and need our sympathy.

In the case of Willy and Harry it is time to trot out their mother’s memory to polish their own images, but I feel that, maybe, judging by press and social media comments, the Palace PR ‘flunkies’ may have ‘shot themselves in the foot’ this time with all the ‘over the top’ emotional revelations, for mental health is a serious problem and not to be confused with grief, which we all feel at the loss of a loved one: and to let the ‘Do Nothing Duchess’ get in on the act with her ridiculous comments about motherhood being a “huge challenge”, the chat with Lady Gaga and all that crap about watching TV and eating take-away curries, plus hi-jacking the London Marathon is a long way from the usual .. “Oh dear, they’re in the shit again. Send one of them to the nearest hospice for ten minutes, and get a picture of the other one cuddling an African baby”.

So, as a supporter of the republican cause, all I can say to those peddlers of palace propaganda is …

…. “Keep up the good work chaps !”

Posted in rant | 2 Comments »

Easter is the New Christmas !

Posted by Big John on April 13, 2017

Public holidays don’t mean much to a retired old fart like me, as one day is much like another: so with this coming weekend being Easter I decided to visit my local Sainsbury’s before the ‘rush’ started, and discovered that the car park was full, there were queues at all the checkouts and the bloody place was heaving with people determined to pack their trollies (carts) full of all sorts of holiday treats, from turkeys to Easter cup cakes.

Can someone please explain to me what heaps of chocolate eggs, bunnies and fluffy chicks have to do with some poor sod being nailed to a cross around two thousand years ago ?

The nearest thing that I saw to the true meaning of this Christian religious festival were shelves full of hot cross buns, but, then again, they are on sale at this store …

… the whole year round !


Posted in humour, rant, religion | 5 Comments »