bigjohn

“Old age ain't no place for sissies.” .. Bette Davis

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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 56 years of happy marriage.

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Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

A creepy .. “Two for the price of One” .. !

Posted by Big John on November 24, 2018

If you are an old a regular reader of this blog, you will remember my posts about ‘supermarket zombies’, and more recently the ‘smartphone’ variety: therefore, it will come as no surprise, when I tell you that somehow they have ‘morphed together’, and that yesterday I had my first encounter with one at the checkout at my local Sainsbury’s.

I was loading the contents of my trolley (cart) on to the conveyer, when I heard someone talking behind me and saw that a woman with a mobile ‘phone clamped to her ear was having one of those so important, .. “Oooh, I knowww!”.. conversations as she added items from her trolley to my heap of assorted groceries.

She did not appear to be aware of my actions or acknowledge her mistake when I created some space for the items remaining in my trolley by removing her vegetables and bread from my heap and pushing her selection of ‘ready meals’ and breakfast cereals back along the empty part of the conveyer before putting the “next customer” sign in place.

As I paid for my goods, I noted that the ‘it can’t wait’ phone conversation had ended, and that she of my ‘close encounter’, had immediately gone into a bloody …

… texting trance !

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Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

A royal baby ? .. I’m losing count !

Posted by Big John on October 17, 2018

It was only last week that a very windy Windsor saw the wedding of Frightful Fergie’s  daughter Eugenie to wealthy booze salesman ‘Tequila Jack’ Brooksbank, although how Daddy Andy’s lazy little Princess managed to fit her big day in between all those exotic holidays is anyone’s guess ?

Now all the flag waving loony royal worshippers have another treat in store. Yes !.. Yet another royal brat baby is on the way !

However, I gather that, unlike Fergie’s two dozey daughters, any offspring of Megs and Ginger Sussex will not have royal titles; which is a bit of a disappointment to me, because, as the child will be half American (and ‘biracial’) I would have loved to have seen a Prince Bubba, or a ‘Dook’ Devondre, even a Princess Britney would be good: and can you imagine how popular …

…Lady Whoopi Windsor would be ?

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

“Cheers !”

Posted by Big John on October 3, 2018

I downed my first ‘pint’ in 1955 when I was sixteen and had just started my first job. Well, actually it was only a half pint of ‘bitter’ and it was handed to me by a workmate on a Friday evening, after a week working of pissing about in the office, and was at a regular weekly gathering in an old fashioned ‘spit and sawdust’ pub which was situated close to our place of employment. As I recall, I was not that keen on the taste at the time. I soon got over that !

I was reminded of this momentous occasion when reading about this load of old bollocks new research which has found .. “that the perfect time to enjoy a pint is 5.30pm on a Saturday – and ideally in the beer garden of a country pub, in the company of your partner, and with a bag of crisps (potato chips) on the side”…. Oh ! .. and that pint .. “should take 28 minutes to quaff”.

Now, as a once champion “quaffer” I have to say that I don’t know where these researchers found their subjects, as these days most of our surviving ‘country’ pubs (and the rest) seem to be in the hands of major breweries and the like, or have become ‘gastro pubs’. Which means that you mostly have a choice between loud music, giant TV screens, flashing slot machines and, worst of all, out of control screaming brats !  .. or .. a pub where the “bag of crisps” has been replaced by Avocado on Artisan Sourdough with Dill Butter, followed by, 28 day Matured Steak served on a bed of Fennel, with a Fricassee of ‘freshly picked’ vegetables and Rock Salted Parmentiere Potatoes. All served on a small plank of wood decorated with a sprig of Rosemary, a “drizzle” and a small dollop of Gawd knows what !

I remember the pubs of my youth as places where I used to meet with my mates for a game of snooker and a pint or two of ‘brown and mild’, a place to relax after work, or even as somewhere to enjoy a pint with your “partner” girlfriend.

These days, I rarely enter a pub, but all this nostalgia has made me wonder if there is a pub near here that still sells …

… “a pie and a pint” ?

 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »

The’re ‘driving’ me mad !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2018

When I was discharged from hospital I was informed that I should not drive for one week and that this ‘advice’ was “MANDATORY”  !

I also learned that I needed to advise both my car insurance company and the DVLA (Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency) that I now have a pacemaker.

Should be simple enough I thought; and so it was for the insurance company when I went on line, answered a couple of questions and was advised, along the lines, of … “If it’s OK with your doctor for you to drive, then it’s fine with us. You are covered by your existing policy”.

The DVLA was a “whole different ball game” ! .. (As I should have expected)… I went on line and after ‘ticking several boxes’, this appeared …

“In order to use the service you will need to confirm your identity. You will need to do this by using the service GOV.UK Verify. If you haven’t used GOV.UK Verify before, it will take you about 15 minutes to get set up”.

After half an hour of selecting options, receiving emails and texts, transferring codes, and generally ‘pissing about’ I was completely lost, gave up and ‘phoned the DVLA for advice.

“Have you tried our on line service ?” .. I was immediately asked. My somewhat ‘blunt’ reply did not seem to surprise the lady at the other end of the line, who must have been thinking ..’not another one’ !  … “I’ll send the forms to you”.. she said .. “They must be returned within 14 days or your driving licence will be cancelled” .. she added.

I’ve now received 7 pages of questions .. and .. guess what ?

… They have taken 5 days to arrive !

 

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

“Worlds Apart”

Posted by Big John on July 4, 2018

I don’t know about you, but the more that I look around, the more I feel that the world has gone completely ‘bonkers’, with all those … ‘everything offends me’ zealots .. ‘mixed up’ millennials  … the ‘snowflake’ students in their ‘safe spaces’ … the ‘cotton wool’ kids and their ‘helicopter parents’ …  all those ‘me too’ and ‘look at me’ celebs …  those TV ‘reality show’ morons, “like yer know like what I mean and like stuff” and those ‘scream your bloody head off’ audiences … the ubiquitous internet and smartphone addicts …and… the multitude of religious ‘nutters’ and “grief lite” mourners … It makes me wonder how they would have survived in the ‘real world’ I once occupied ?

As a child I lived in a place of death and destruction, although I was a little too young to understand much of what was happening. I played amongst the ruins of what had once been family homes. We often read today of how so many people are suffering from ‘stress’ and ‘anxiety’, but can you imagine the stress when taking shelter at night and not knowing if you would still be alive in the morning; or the anxiety of wondering if your loved ones in uniform would ever return ?

School in the 1940’s and 50’s was not exactly fun, but the discipline meant that ‘ADHD’ (and ‘Ritalin’) was unheard of, and “face the front” teaching of a variety of subjects, unlike today’s ‘dumbed-down’ system, provided most of us with a fairly sound education; although very few working class school leavers made it to university.

However, every healthy young man could look forward to spending two years in the military after they reached the age of eighteen: and, speaking of ‘health’, food rationing made sure that ‘obesity’ was an unknown condition.

I remember a more dignified world where good manners were appreciated and courtesy was expected. My father was a blue collar worker with a limited education and some very ‘rough and ready’ workmates, and yet, I never once heard him utter a swear word in all the years I knew him.

I’m going to leave it there just for now. Now where did I last see …

… that old photo album ? 

 

Posted in humour, nostalgia, political, rant, religion | 4 Comments »

Another ‘trance’ encounter !

Posted by Big John on June 19, 2018

Not far from my home is a railway bridge. A road runs under this bridge and has a safe footpath on one side of it. On the other side is a narrow strip of slippery brick, earth and concrete which some people prefer to balance along rather than cross over the road to use the ‘safe side’ and then cross back again, using the pedestrian crossings, to continue on their way.

At this time of year most of the strip is overgrown with all sorts of rough and prickly  vegetation making it difficult to negotiate without walking in the road. So what bloody idiot would take the risk ?

Answer ! … The bloody idiot who never even gave me a glance, as I braked to avoid him being splattered all over the front of my car as he strolled in the road under the bridge …

…  BLOODY TEXTING !

Posted in humour, rant | 3 Comments »

It only needed a soggy selfie.

Posted by Big John on May 4, 2018

From time to time I have written of my encounters with those of us who are totally addicted to their smartphones. Here is the latest …

Yesterday I was sitting in my car, which was parked in a quiet street. The weather was lousy. Heavy rain and a strong blustery wind. I glanced across the road and noticed a rather bedraggled young woman stop opposite my vehicle. She was wearing some sort of ‘hoodie’ and carrying a large bag which hung from one shoulder. She leaned against a fence which was partly sheltered by an overhanging tree. It gave little protection from the cold driving rain.

She opened the bag, and yes, out came a smartphone ! .. Immediately she started texting. She then removed a plastic bottle of orange juice and managed a swig or two whilst still texting. The bottle was returned to the bag and replaced by a large baguette wrapped in aluminium foil. She managed to unwrap this and devour it’s rather ‘messy’ contents as she juggled with her ‘phone, all the time texting. Considering that she was soaked and very much windswept, her dexterity was something to marvel at.

Her soaking al fresco lunch lasted about fifteen minutes and was finished off by her smoking ‘who knows what’, before she walked off, seemingly oblivious to the atrocious weather, and …

…still bloody texting !

Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »

Here we go again – Part Sixteen.

Posted by Big John on April 12, 2018

I see now that ‘The Donald’ has made friends with ‘Little Rocket Man’, he is considering polishing up his missiles and aiming them at “animal” Assad, and, as you would expect, our Prime Minister is going into ‘Joan of Arc’ mode, which means that British armed forces could be involved in yet another messy conflict where, as usual, little thought will be given to planning what comes next !

I’m not saying that President Assad is not capable of killing his own people. Of course he is. However, all wars always produce fake atrocity stories, as well as real ones, and this  propaganda can now be disseminated via You Tube, Twitter, Facebook etc. and in the case of Syria very little news comes out of that country via Western news organisations, and what does usually comes from the rebels.

What will we be seeing next on the TV news channels after the proposed allied retaliation ?  .. The ruins of schools, hospitals, homes and the bodies children. The military call it …

… collateral damage !

Posted in political, rant | 2 Comments »