“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.




    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 ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My kind of Christmas.

Posted by Big John on December 21, 2018

Today is the Winter Solstice when normally I would indulge myself and remember my pagan roots, trot down to the local woods, get naked with those nubile maidens as they dance around the ceremonial fire and drink a few cups of mead; but, sad to say that, this year I don’t feel up to all that leaping around under the mistletoe and drinking with the Druids.

Therefore, just as the Christians thought it a good idea to hi-jack my pagan festival, I feel that, at this time of year, it’s OK for me to decorate a small tree, relax in front of a different fire, pour myself a small sherry, and wish you all a very …



Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Taking an old blogger’s break.

Posted by Big John on August 18, 2018

I’m sorry that I have not been blogging during recent days, but my old brain feels somewhat ‘scrambled’ at the moment due to me being a bit ‘poorly’. Well, a lot bloody ‘poorly’ actually !

I know that in the UK we moan a lot about our NHS health care, but it’s at times like this that you appreciate the fantastic service that it provides.

I won’t go into details, but, at present I am being monitored and treated by the dedicated doctors and nurses at my local health centre and …

I couldn’t ask for more !

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Foxy fun in the dark.

Posted by Big John on May 18, 2018

I don’t have a very large garden, but I do like to let much of what I do have, grow fairly wild, like this corner …

… as it does seem to encourage the wildlife, which mainly means a good selection of birds, an odd squirrel or two and the occasional fox.

Recently I have noticed that each morning when I look out of the kitchen window I see signs of some nocturnal activity, such as plant pots tipped over, earth dug up, twigs scattered about and small shrubs flattened.

What’s doing this I wondered ? …  Well, yesterday evening, just as darkness was falling and I was closing the kitchen window blinds , I looked out and saw …

….  this little bugger !  .. and then …

… these two … and …

… these two … making five little fox cubs ! …

(Poor quality pics, but it was dark and taken through a double glazed window).

In view of this weekends events I have decided to name them … ‘Meghan’ … ‘Harry’ … ‘Willy’ … ‘Katie’ .. and .. ‘Pippa’.  ….  How do I know which one is Harry ? … He’s the …

… scruffy ginger one !

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

This time … real snowflakes !

Posted by Big John on February 28, 2018

For days now we have had countless warnings from the weather ‘experts’ about the “Beast from the East” ! .. In other words freezing weather with heavy snow being blown in all the way from Russia: so it came as no surprise when, yesterday morning, when I went to my street door to pick up my daily newspaper, I looked out, and saw this …


… OK ! .. I know that those of you who live in North America and other chilly parts of the world, will not think that this ‘modest’ amount of the ‘white stuff’ is something to get excited about: but here in the UK a couple of inches of snow brings total chaos to most of the country. Airports shut down ! … trains stop running ! … traffic comes to a halt ! … schools close !

Why ? … Gawd only knows ! … but you can be sure that some official idiot from the local highways department or railway operator will appear on TV to advise us that they are well prepared !

Over the years I have travelled in many parts of Europe and the USA, sometimes in appalling weather conditions. I have crossed snow covered mountain ranges, and once drove from Buffalo (NY) to Toronto stopping off at Niagara to watch the ice flows going over the falls. I’ve travelled by train across Switzerland in mid-winter and the trains were always on time. I’ve walked on city streets in other countries without fear of falling on my arse, or worse, because the pavements (sidewalks) have been cleared of ice and snow.

Now we have been warned that the UK will remain in a prolonged period of freezing weather and that “Storm Emma” is on it’s way.

So, are we ready ?  … I very much doubt it ! … but one person may be, because for the last two snowy mornings I’ve been surprised to find my newspaper …

… on the doormat !

Posted in humour, rant, travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

A ‘snowflake’ movie warning !

Posted by Big John on February 16, 2018

I was searching my Sky TV movie guide, when I noticed the 1956 film ‘Safari’ was listed. It starred Victor Mature as a ‘white hunter’, and was set in Kenya during the ‘Mau Mau Uprising’ which was taking place at the time.

Now I know that warnings are often given about films that contain .. ‘violence’ .. ‘sexual themes’ .. strong language .. etc. which I suppose is understandable to some degree: but this movie has warnings for .. “scenes of hunting” .. Blimey ! .. It is about a bloke who earns his living killing wild animals ! .. and .. horror of horrors …

… “colonial attitudes” !

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

11th February 1939

Posted by Big John on February 11, 2018

I’ve just ‘Googled’ today’s date to see if any significant event happened in “this sceptred isle” on this day 79 years ago … Nothing ! .. Nowt! .. Zilch ! .. Nada !

Yes, there bloody was  ! …

… I WAS BORN !  


Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

At last ! .. ‘Human contact’.

Posted by Big John on February 2, 2018

I’ve just had a very strange experience and feel that I just stepped back in time because I telephoned a service company to arrange for an engineer to call to carry out a repair to my TV satellite system, and to my amazement I found myself speaking to a very helpful young lady. Yes, a real live person, and this within only a few seconds of picking up the ‘phone to make the call !

How did this happen ? … There was NO .. “Press one for this” .. “Press two for that” .. “Please hold, your call is important to us” .. “You are number Gawd knows how many in a queue” .. “Thank you for waiting”  .. “All our agents are busy, so please piss off to our website for help” .. “Good afternoon my name is Ranjit. Oops ! .. Sorry .. William .. How may I be helping you today?” .. and ..  “Oh, and by the way, if you do get through, we will record your conversation for training purposes”.. “In the meantime, here is some crap music for you to listen to until you fall into a trance or …

… decide to hang up !.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

“Peace on Earth and ….”

Posted by Big John on December 24, 2017

I’ve been reading that, this year, it is almost impossible to find Christmas cards showing the traditional ‘Nativity’ scene, and I feel that this must be true because I have only received one card with a religious theme and that just shows choirboys singing near a snow covered church.

Now I have to say that, even as an atheist and knowing that the Christians ‘hi-jacked’ a pagan festival to make it their own, I regret that we seem to be losing sight of the message in the story of the first Christmas: So, let us not forget that it’s only a story …

… But a bloody good one !



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »