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

“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 »

A constitutional crisis or just another ‘cock-up’ ?

Posted by Big John on November 4, 2016

The majority of the British people voted to leave the European Union, and although this was bound to upset many people, it seemed that ‘Mother’ Theresa was going to make it happen ‘sooner rather than later’.

Now, I’m not quite sure why, but three High Court judges have ruled that the bunch of slippery chancers known as “Honourable” Members of Parliament and unelected peers must be involved in the procedure and that the Prime Minister does not have the right to use the Royal Prerogative to invoke ‘Article 50’ and start the process for ‘Brexit’.

I’m pretty sure that most of this self-serving hypocritical political ‘elite’ haven’t got the least respect for the wishes of those of us whom they consider to be ‘plebs’ and are now busy thinking up ways to dilute what the people had voted for by making amendments to any bill which would ensure that they are on a ‘nice little earner’ via their shifty fat cat mates in the City of London’s ‘old boy network’.

If you think that I am being a little harsh by using the term ‘slippery chancers’, you only have to look at .. ‘The Teflon MP” .. Keith Vaz, a.k.a. ‘Vazaline’, a former Europe minister and chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee who resigned in September after claims that he paid two cocaine snorting ‘rent boys’ for sex, at a time when his committee was investigating prostitution; and, guess what ? .. His fellow MPs and ministers have now voted him into a vacant seat on (I’m not making this up) …

… The Justice Committee !

Posted in humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »

Happy Halloween America (and thanks a lot) !

Posted by Big John on October 31, 2016

I wonder who it was in this country who first saw an American movie where groups of happy children, wearing fancy dress, skipped along the street and where the smiling occupants of the houses displaying pumpkins on the porches cheerfully handed over handfuls of candy in response to the cries of …

“TRICK OR TREAT!” ?

.. and thought .. Now that’s a bloody good idea. Let’s forget about our traditional Halloween and make loads of money by selling all sorts of ‘spooky’ crap. We don’t have to worry too much about the ‘candy’ as British kids won’t know what that is, and anyway, they can always have fun by putting on a rubber skull mask, banging on some old lady’s door, demanding cash, trashing her front garden and …

… scaring the shit out of her !

Posted in humour, rant | 5 Comments »

Dumb and dangerous !

Posted by Big John on September 20, 2016

It would appear that just as the penalties for using a mobile phone at the wheel are to be increased, car manufacturers are planning to install a new generation of touchscreen entertainment systems in car dashboards.

What a brilliant idea ! … I wonder what marketing nutcase thought this one up ?

OK ! .. I know that the world grows more ‘bonkers’ every day and that too many idiots cannot live without being in constant touch with on-line ‘social media’, but how can someone think that it’s a good idea for drivers to be distracted by the latest moronic meanderings from ‘Tweetland’ or another ‘Face-ache’ fantasy ?

Despite the fact that drivers can travel thirty yards at low speeds without seeing where they’re going if they take their eyes off the road for just two and a half seconds, and that the new touchscreen systems allows the same drivers to send and read text messages on the go, car makers claim their systems are designed to be safe. Well, they would say that wouldn’t they ?

I wonder if the rear view mirrors will have a built-in …

… ‘selfie’ mode ?

Posted in rant | 4 Comments »