Posted by Big John on April 3, 2015
… a true story …
Back in the early 1980’s I had a friend who’s appearance could only be described as old style ‘Flower Power’ hippy. He was a very skilled carpenter, who one day was busy in his workshop, when he was approached by a Catholic priest who wanted a wooden crucifix made in time for Easter. It was to be sited in the garden of a local convent.
My friend helped the father select some suitable timber and they agreed a price and a delivery date in time for the religious festival.
Just before Good Friday my friend knocked on the door of the convent which was opened by an old nun who saw before her a bearded carpenter with shoulder length hair; wearing a long grubby shirt, leather sandals, and carrying a large wooden cross on his shoulder.
The old girl just managed a .. “Holy Mary, mother of ! “.. before ..
… she fainted !
Posted in humour, nostalgia, religion | 3 Comments »
Posted by Big John on March 28, 2015
Just when I thought that I had learned a little bit about the almighty mess that is the Middle East, with all of it’s blood thirsty tribal loonies and Arabic speaking arseholes shouting “Allāhu Akbar” as they fire their Kalashnikovs into the air, before they get on with the serious work of killing each other: and just when I have learned to call ‘ISIS’ the ‘Islamic State’, along comes a new mob of religious rebels who want to take over Yemen (and who knows what else ?). They are the ‘Houthi’ and are Shia Muslims.
Now the ‘happy go lucky’ Saudi Arabians and their Sunni mates are a bit pissed off to say the least, and even
ISIS, Oops ! I mean the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda want to kick the Houthi’s arse, or more likely, well let’s just say, do what all good jihadis so love to do in the name of a peace loving religion.
The leader of the powerful Shia Hezbollah militia mocked the Saudi-led offensive, calling the Saudis .. “lazy losers” .. which is strange as I believe that President Obama is backing the Saudis, which again, is confusing me because the USA has been on better terms with Iran recently, and that Shia state is said to be the power behind the Houthi rebels.
I think that I should stop now, because it’s only likely to get even more confusing, but I would just like to say that, of course, the UK government has offered to support Saudi Arabia … and
… Brent oil prices spiked 6% to $58 a barrel !
Posted in humour, political, rant, religion | 1 Comment »
Posted by Big John on March 24, 2015
If ever you wanted to see the eccentric English people at their barmy best, then you couldn’t have wished for a better example than the five day send-off being given to a king who was cast as an evil and twisted villain by the Tudors, and was then immortalised as a hunchbacked evil schemer by William Shakespeare.
Now it would seem that (after some 500 years and not a few dead bodies) he wasn’t such a bad bloke after all. In fact King Richard III seems to have quite a following of fans, if the thousands of people who turned out to see his coffin are anything to go by.
Now at this point I have to say that I could have done without all the religious ‘mumbo-jumbo’, but, even as a ‘republican’ history nut, I quite enjoyed (perhaps for the wrong reasons) all those medieval moments, with the men in armour, the horses, the banners, the beating drums and the booming cannons: but what really surprised me was the respect shown by all those slightly potty people, who queued for hours outside the cathedral to get a look at the coffin of a murderous monarch who lost his horse and was hacked to death in 1485: and although I saw the whole event as more than a bit bonkers, one thing did strike me, which was that, even in this land of ever increasing boorish behaviour, the spectators were behaving with some degree of dignity until, that is, there was that dopey ‘Diana’ display, as Yorkist white roses where flung at the coffin, and some ‘Plantagenet’ plonker in the crowd yelled …
… “Long live King Richard !”
Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant, religion | 4 Comments »
Posted by Big John on March 18, 2015
I can remember a time when two rather magnificent horses pulled a huge grey coloured cart along the street where I lived; and when a couple of big strong men wearing leather jerkins and flat caps hoisted large metal dustbins (trash cans) onto their broad shoulders before emptying them into the cart. As I recall, these ‘dustmen’ where usually friendly blokes, who cheerfully chased us kids away when we would hung on the back of the cart for a ride.
Yes, in those far off days the collection of household waste was a simple affair. You threw your rubbish into a bin, put the lid on it, left it outside your front door and thought no more about it !
Now I have five plastic bins into which I have to sort my trash … One with a red lid for paper and cardboard … One with a green lid for garden waste such as grass cuttings … One with a blue lid for glass, cartons and plastic containers … One small grey container for food waste .. and .. One large bin with a grey lid for any other rubbish: and I must beware ! .. for the interior of each bin is inspected before the crew of orange clad ‘waste management operatives’ remove your garbage: for should you accidentally drop a paper bag in the blue bin, a Stasi sanitary supervisor will descend from the giant collection vehicle, with it’s flashing lights and noisy crushing machine, not, as common sense would dictate, to move the offending article to the correct bin; but, in typical ‘jobsworth’ fashion, to order the ‘defiled’ bin to be left by the roadside un-emptied, and bearing a warning notice, so that your neighbours are made aware that they are living close to a dumb-arsed dumper who must be a recycling reprobate.
OK, so I know that recycling is a good idea, but dragging those bins to the kerbside is becoming a ‘pain in the arse’ (literally), and I have to wonder, just how much of what I carefully sort every week ends up being transformed into something useful and how much ends up stinking up what used to be some poor sod’s …
… “green and pleasant land” ?
Posted in humour, nostalgia, rant | 3 Comments »
Posted by Big John on March 15, 2015
Continuing with the subject of my last post, this extract from a popular national newspaper (we all know which one) is a classic example of .. ‘a load of old bollocks’ … when it refers to ‘the do nothing duchess’ … as … “Kate exhausted by the rigours of pregnancy and looking after an energetic toddler” .. and .. “Kate and William can be grand, of course (I bet they can !), but they love it when Carole (the demon mother-in-law) brings them cheese on toast” ! .. When she does …
… I bet it pisses off the butler !
Posted in humour, rant | 1 Comment »
Posted by Big John on March 10, 2015
In a comment on my last post from my American friend Ginnie, she asked if .. “Maybe you could teach me a few English expletives ?”. Naughty old Ginnie ! .. :-)
That’s a difficult one, for as far as I can tell swear words seem to be much the same on both sides of ‘the pond’. Although we British don’t seem to include the word ‘mother’ in the same breath as a word which now seems to be almost ‘de rigueur’, and the rarely uttered ‘son of a bitch’ doesn’t carry the same power to shock as it seems to in the USA.
Many years ago I read about an Englishman who lived in Los Angeles and drove around town in a big flash car with personalised licence plates. Apparently the word on the plates did not cause offence, as it seemed to be unknown in America.
Now here in the UK this word is what I might call ‘flexible’, as it can be used in a number of ways, but for me it works well when I knock over my glass of wine or read about my favourite ‘royals’. So, Ginnie, please feel free to use this ‘Olde English’ expletive whenever it takes your fancy.
The word ? … Well, of course, what else could it be, but …
… BOLLOCKS !
Posted in humour | 5 Comments »
Posted by Big John on March 5, 2015
I’ve not posted for a few days as I have been suffering from an acute case of old farts’ syndrome. In other words I keep discovering that I’m not as young as I used to be and that bits of me are becoming a problem as they pass their ‘sell by date’ and decide to take a few days off from doing their job: which is what my knees thought was a good idea last week. I just wish that they hadn’t announced it with a devastating impersonation of someone taking a chainsaw to my patellae every time I tried to move !
So, just when I thought that I was not doing too badly for a ‘well preserved’ 76 year old, I was reminded, in the most painful way possible, of what Bette Davis (remember her ?) once said …
… “Old age ain’t no place for sissies” !
Posted in humour | 3 Comments »
Posted by Big John on February 23, 2015
During the late 1950’s I spent many nights sitting in front of a radar screen in an underground bunker on the south coast of England half listening for the big red telephone to ring, which would mean that … “THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING” ! … but it never rang and they never came !
Now, if you believe the ‘let’s scare the shit out of them’ stories in some of our newspapers, they could be on their way again ! .. and all because a couple of ‘ancient’ Russian bombers have been seen flying near Cornwall and a Russian warship has been sailing up the English Channel.
My all night vigils took place at the height of ‘The Cold War’, and I have to wonder what would have happened if the Soviet generals had known that all (well, almost all) that stood between them and southern Britain was a nineteen year old airman who was trying to stay awake by reading a movie magazine, drinking tea, eating a cheese sandwich, listening to the radio and using the military telephone lines to connect his fellow national servicemen, on duty at the edge of the ‘Iron Curtain’, to their girlfriends and families back home: whilst the other members of his ‘watch’ were catching up on their sleep or playing cards in the canteen.
So, don’t worry ! .. for however much our armed forces have been depleted, if they didn’t come then …
… they ain’t coming now !
Posted in humour, nostalgia, political | 5 Comments »