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 56 years of happy marriage.

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Where are the women and real children ?

Posted by Big John on September 19, 2017

It was only a year or so ago that these ‘kids’ hit the headlines. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but these ‘hulking’ young men and others (some needing a shave) were welcomed to our shores as refugee children.

At the time the Home Office came in for criticism of their ‘lax’ rules which were said to be letting in fit young adults instead of those genuinely in need of sanctuary. Officials admitted the arrivals were being given asylum without any proper medical checks on their age because they are considered “intrusive”.

Now, two such young men who were given a home and cared for by British ‘foster parents’ are in police custody for allegedly being responsible for planting the ‘bucket bomb’ on a London ‘Tube’ train at Parsons Green.

Oh dear ! what a surprise ! … Some young Muslim immigrants want to blow us to pieces ! .. and I bet that there are plenty more where these two came from !

The question is how can we separate the real refugees, who I am only too pleased to welcome here, from those who would do us harm, and what is clueless Theresa and her ‘Cobra’ comrades going to do to rid us of these murderous young men ?

… Not a lot, and, that’s for sure !

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Posted in political, rant | Leave a Comment »

‘Buck House’ meets ‘Downton Abbey’.

Posted by Big John on September 14, 2017

It’s that time of year again when there is ‘bugger all’ to watch on TV ! … Apart from the odd watchable movie, it’s all sport, ‘reality crap’ and repeats of programmes repeated ‘Gawd’ knows how many times before ?

Bearing this in mind, I decided to watch the start of the second series of ‘Victoria’, although as an aficionado of the Victorian era, I was not too impressed with the first series which depicted the first few years of the reign of Queen Victoria, from her accession to the throne as a teenager, to her friendship and infatuation with Lord Melbourne, her marriage to Prince Albert and the birth of their first child.

Now, if you were asked to name a most interesting and eventful period in British History, you would be hard pressed to find one more exciting than the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, so why not just stick to history and forget all the ‘upstairs, downstairs’ rubbish such as the imagined lives of the palace servants and introducing historically inaccurate characters such as the miserable old walking stick waving Duchess of Buccleuch, the bossy Mistress of the Robes, who in fact, was eight years younger than Victoria when she joined the royal household. The subject of one scene which involved both Victoria and Albert concerned the vitally important matter of who was responsible for cleaning the palace windows !

Unfortunately, at this time most of the interesting real life characters have departed from the series. Lord ‘M’ has ‘popped his clogs’ and the Coburg family members have schlepped back to the old schloss. Even ‘Dash’ the poor bloody dog has ‘snuffed it’ ! .. and where is the Duke of Wellington when you need him ?

To be fair, the massacre of 4,500 British troops and 12,000 civilians during the retreat from Kabul did get a mention, but only so that the young (?) lone survivor could ‘make a pass at her’. I can’t wait for the start of …

… The Crimean War !

Posted in entertainment, History, humour, rant | Leave a Comment »

No offence meant … Just my little rant !

Posted by Big John on September 5, 2017

It’s been a few days since my last post, so it’s about time that I had a little rant about something, although it’s hard to find anything in the press other than Kate’s expecting a new royal brat, and that none of our esteemed leaders ‘political pygmies’ seems to have a bloody clue about how to deal with the ‘gravy train’ boys in Brussels over ‘Brexit’. .. Oh! .. and we may be about to see the start of World War III !

Let’s start with ‘Lidl’ supermarkets who have been caught removing the crosses from a picture on its ‘Greek’ range of foods which shows blue-domed churches on the island of Santorini – but only their domes as the crosses that surmount them have been digitally excised so as not to offend, dare I say, Muslims ?  … and …

Whilst on the subject of ‘people being offended’, I’m pleased to report that an Oxford professor has said that ‘generation snowflake’ students need to be taught how to respond to ‘views they find objectionable’ as there was no ‘right not to be offended’. She added: “And I say, I’m sorry, but my job is not to make you feel comfortable. Education is not about being comfortable. In fact, I’m interested in making you uncomfortable. And if you don’t like someone’s views, you challenge them’.” … “So, put that in your ‘PC’ pipe and smoke it” .. No, she didn’t say that. The last bit’s mine.

I’m just getting warmed up so before I offend someone (like those colourful Irish travellers) I must just mention the major topic of the day. Yes, of course … It’s gender fluidity and what it means to reject the male/female binary (whatever that is ?) and the need to dress our kids in ‘gender-neutral clothing’. I’ve just remembered … Little Prince George is about to start school. I can’t wait to see …

…. his school uniform !

 

Posted in humour, political, rant, religion | 2 Comments »

“Uneasy lies the head …”

Posted by Big John on August 24, 2017

There has been a lot of ‘talk’ recently about who should be king when some angelic flunkey opens the ‘Pearly Gates’ and ‘er Maj pops through and meets up with all of her dodgy ancestors. Well, at least, all of those who are not being ‘toasted’ by the fires in the palace of the Prince of Darkness.

It has been reported that Charlie and Cruella Camilla are not too popular at the moment as ‘Weepy Willy’ and the ‘Ginger Whinger’ are once again, taking the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of ‘saintly’ Diana’s death, to try and win over public support by telling us, in great detail, about the life and tragic death of their  .. “mum” !

Now it was fairly obvious that their late mother sometimes appeared to be a ‘few jewels short of a tiara’ and I’m beginning to think the same about this pampered pair of princes. So, although I and a great many of my fellow citizens couldn’t care bloody less who gets to wear the crown, I’m afraid that the idea that Charlie should step down and let Willy become king and Katie be queen is not such a bright idea, for when it comes to the so-called Duke and Duchess of Cambridge …

… “bright” is not a word that immediately springs to mind.

Posted in History, humour, rant | 2 Comments »

A Shenandoah Stopover.

Posted by Big John on August 19, 2017

Here is a photo of a statue of some American Civil War ‘hero’….

It was taken by me, when, back in the 1980’s my wife and I visited some friends in Pennsylvania and decided to take a trip further south, first visiting Gettysburg …

… before journeying on into …

… I only mention this as it now seems that some Americans wish to change history by removing or destroying similar statues of soldiers of the Confederacy. We have had this sort of protest about our colonial past here in the UK, and what this achieves ? … I have no idea !

Mostly what I recall from our trip through …

… that part of the U.S.A. were friendly people who seemed to show great respect for the memory of those who fought and died in that terrible conflict. There appeared to be very little commercialism relating to the Civil War. In fact it was hard to locate a souvenir of any kind, apart from the ubiquitous Confederate flag, which I believe has also ‘fallen into disrepute’.

My final picture is not very clear, but it shows part of a motel in which we stayed near Front Royal when visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was called ‘The Lee Jackson Motor Hotel’ and you can just about read that name on the restaurant building in the background (click on image).

Now it could just be that the motel was named after some local ‘good ‘ole boy’ named Lee Jackson, and not after ‘Robert E’ and old ‘Stonewall’, but I doubt it. Which makes me wonder …

… Is it still there ?

Posted in family, History, humour, nostalgia, political | 12 Comments »

Not so ‘smart’ meters … Part 2

Posted by Big John on August 8, 2017

You may remember my post about ‘smart meters’ from a few weeks ago and how I have ignored all offers by emails, letters and phone calls from my electricity supplier to install a smart meter in my home for ‘free’.

Well I recently received another letter from my electricity supplier informing me that my meter needs to be replaced because it is nearing the end of it’s “certified” life and, therefore, “to save you time, we have booked a meter replacement appointment for you”… No consultation ! .. No permission asked ! .. Just, we’re coming at this time on this day !

I ‘phoned their ‘helpline’ and after the usual “press this number” and “this one” and listen to the music for ten minutes, I found myself speaking to a very helpful lady who agreed with me that there was no legal requirement for me to accept a smart meter, but that there may be one in the future, so she would cancel the appointment and place me on an ‘opt out list’ for one year. So end of story.

No, it’s bloody not ! … I’ve just had another letter, reminding me that my new smart meter is on the way ! …

… I’m loading the shotgun !

Posted in humour, rant | 4 Comments »

Was that a ‘Wise-Guy’ in The White House ?

Posted by Big John on August 1, 2017

I know that it is sometimes difficult to understand the way that the US government works when looking at it from this side of ‘the pond’, but I have to ask … What in the name of old Abe Lincoln is going on in Washington at the moment ?

To me it looks like the West Wing has been fitted with a revolving door, on the inside of which is fitted a large box labelled …

“Presidential Appointments .. Please take one”.

It is filled with large envelopes bearing the instructions .. “Please deposit in the trash can on your way out”.

If I’m wrong about this how did a nice Italian boy named Tony- ‘the mouth’-Scaramucci become a ‘made m..’ member in Trump’s team. Could it be that they both attended a course on Joe Pesci’s English and horse’s head diplomacy ? .. If so, then someone could soon be ……

… “sleeping with the fishes” !

Posted in humour, political | 3 Comments »

Stifling free speech !

Posted by Big John on July 27, 2017

I see that my fellow atheist, Richard Dawkins, is in the news again after a radio station in Berkeley, California, cancelled a fundraiser and discussion with him, calling his comments about Islam “abusive speech”, after members of the Berkeley community brought Dawkins’ previous remarks on Islam to their attention.

Yes, Dawkins has been critical about Islam, but he has also made a number of equally critical observations on Christianity, and, as far as I know they didn’t lead to him being ‘de-platformed’ (what a silly word).

I realize that we now live in a crazy world where common sense and logic are often ignored and many delicate ‘snowflakes’ (and others) are offended by just about everything, but, as far as I know, everyone still has the right to express their opinions and beliefs, and equally, those who disagree can respond in like manner. It’s called “freedom of speech” and I’m still with old Voltaire on this one …

“I may disagree with what you have to say,

but I shall defend to the death, your right to say it”.

Posted in political, rant, religion | 2 Comments »