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

“On the fritz” and freezing !

Posted by Big John on February 4, 2019

It’s the middle of winter … It’s below zero and freezing outside … It’s Sunday night … It’s the coldest night of the year … I’m tired and I want to go to bed …  I switch the central heating to 24hrs … AND … Guess what ?

… Nothing ! …. IT’S NOT BLOODY WORKING !

It’s that time of year once again ! … Recently I have replaced …

  •  A fridge/freezer as the ice in the frost free section could have sunk ‘The Titanic’.
  •  An ‘all-in-one’ printer, which turned into a colour free paper shredder.
  •  An electric fan heater which decided that it was summer.
  •  Some ‘bits’ (don’t ask) for my car’s engine, after it’s annual MOT test.

… and, as you would expect, a number of those stupid sodding light bulbs which we were promised would “last a lifetime” by that bunch of slippery chancers who, at present, are screwing up ‘Brexit’ !

I have to leave this little rant here for the present, as it is now Monday morning and I have just looked out of the window and “Hooray!” I can see … “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” … No! .. It’s Kevin the heating engineer from …

… ‘British Gas’ !

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Posted in humour, rant | Leave a Comment »

“It’s the thought that counts” !

Posted by Big John on January 29, 2019

In a couple of weeks I will reach the ‘Big 80!’, and to mark this momentous occasion I have just received a letter from The Pension Service informing me … “Now that you are approaching 80, you are entitled to a higher amount of State Pension”.

What a pleasant surprise !  … “Every little helps” … as the old lady said when she peed in the sea.

Then I read on; only to discover that this old pensionista shouldn’t get too excited about that “higher amount” because … “Age Addition of 25p per week will be payable from your 80th Birthday”.

Wow ! … 25pence a week ! .. Yes, that’s a whole £1 ($1,30) per month ! …

‘Poundland’ here I come !

Posted in humour, rant | 2 Comments »

“Sacré Bleu ! … Nobody sings.”

Posted by Big John on January 10, 2019

I must say that, so far, I have enjoyed watching the BBC’s production of “Les Misérables”, for as far as I can tell, it’s faithful to Victor Hugo’s epic tale of injustice in France after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. It’s well-made and not been ‘sexed up’ or stylised to appeal to a modern audience, apart from Lilly Collins’ eyebrows, a black Inspector Javert and an Asian Thénardier .. (Voici)

Now I’m not too bothered about a pretty woman’s eyebrows or the colour of an actor’s skin; but the one thing that irritates me about this production is, just like the above “Voici”, it includes bits of the French language in the English dialogue. Such as .. “Merci monsieur” instead of “Thank you sir”. It reminds me of those old war movies, when English speaking actors playing German soldiers always obeyed a command given in English with the words .. “Jawohl, mein Kapitan“. In fact, in some crowd scenes the people in the background, such as the prison guards or local paysans, are actually speaking French ! …

…  Pourquoi ? 

Posted in entertainment, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

I told you so !

Posted by Big John on December 11, 2018

In my post of 13th June 2017, I referred to Mrs. May as .. “one of the weakest prime ministers ever” … and one …  “who is about to start Brexit negotiations with the EU. Something which she wasn’t in favour of in the first place”  .. I then asked the question .. “What could possibly go wrong ?”

Well … Now we know !  … Chaos ! … with a capital ‘K’, brought about by “that bunch of self-serving hypocritical slippery chancers” at Westminster and a prime minister who, behind the scenes, was as keen to do the best deal for the British people as George Armstrong Custer was to make peace at…

… ‘The Little Big Horn’ !

Posted in History, humour, political, rant | 1 Comment »

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 !

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 »