Arthritic, and we’re ancient

But I dont drive an Ice Cream van. Sadly, I suspect the vast majority of my readers wont get that comment at all, at least not until they click on one of the videos! Yes, a bonus blog, though sadly, not for a good reason, just that my back is living up to the title of the blog, nothing more.

Its fair to say that for far too many years, I’ve suffered with intermittent back issues, mainly of the joints locking up type, probably related to the amount of arthritic joints I have, to various degrees, and my back is one of the longer term ones. Normally it will hurt for about 24-48 hours max, and then return to a level that I can cope with, even if some might not call it comfortable. But yes, when you’ve had joint issues, and aches since the age of 10, you get used to it.

Snag is, this time around, its been about 7-10 days! Most of that time, its been in the range where I could ‘just about’ get to and from work, and do a day at work, but the last couple of days, not so good. So I finally had to wave the white flag, and take time off work with it. Today, firstly, that involved a trip to the Doctors surgery, to seek medical advice. I know, appointment on the same day, wow! Yes, it was the Surgery nurse, but in truth, thats all I really needed.

Fine, fun moment, she couldnt find me on the records. It is actually my first visit under my new name, but under 3 guises, I’ve been registered there since 2005. Even trying under the old names, no joy. Anyway, to cut it short, some hydro-cortisonal cream, and painkiller prescriptions later, and a form to go and get my back X-Rayed at the hospital (which will be tomorrow morning), I was off again. Yes, I had one of those ‘How much?’ moments with 2 prescription items, but I guess if you only buy these things once every eternity, its not too bad, I guess?

After that, was the work related Occupational Health appointment over the phone, explaining everything again, letting them know what had been prescribed, and said X-Ray screening, their advice was to do all that, and to stay off work until next Monday, and hope its cleared by then. Yes, I hope its cleared by then, too! So a call to work to update them on everything, then start to use the cream. Yes, it has a mild steroid count, so thats my Olympics career over, lol! It was anyway, but…

I guess the results of the X-rays will be interesting, though I suspect at fast approaching 60, a lot of my issues are just down to my age? But fine, I have to say it, if they find something that needs surgery, at least it will take the choice over the matter out of my hands, which has to be good? Osteoporosis? Why not, I seem to have suffered several ‘woman’ issues over the years, so it wouldnt totally surprise me! But generally, yes, I’m just ancient!

Which leads us to the videos tonight. Yes, 2 of the same song, but very different stylings. Firstly, the full length version, which presumably was the one used on the album?

Secondly, a version of the same song, but so different to the original, and probably not so often heard. No Tammy Wynette, but otherwise…

Oh, and lastly, if I do need surgery, can I please, please have a new internal body system like this one?

Sci-fi, and Huddersfield. Something in the air?

In truth, you would find it hard to imagine the heroes of the future (or infinity) being born in the Huddersfield area. Lets face it, it might be a lovely place to live, but as the place of science future, not really. But for acting roles at least, well…?

For now at least, the most famous local to travel through time, and space, would be Sir Patrick Stewart, who famously played the Captain of the Enterprise, in one of the numerous variations on the theme, over the years. As you can gather, I grew up on the original Shatner series, and never really caught up with the rest. Captain Picard, but dont ask me for details of events during his stay, all the same. Yes, Data should have appealed to me, I know, but still never really got into it.

But yes, Sir Patrick was born in Mirfield, only about 3-4 miles from where I live.

Now, we have another! Yes, I’m not going to go into all the boring details about the new Doctor Who, and I’m certainly not going to mention the fits that a few have had, over a woman being selected to play the new doctor either. What I am going to mention is that said lady, Jodie Whittaker was born in Skelmanthorpe, again not that far from here.

So clearly, if they ever decide to have an actress play a more mature version of Robot Girl, or they decide they need someone brave enough to be turned into a robot in a remake of Metropolis, I’m in the right place! Fine, I wasnt actually born that close to the town, but I’ve lived here for 12 years, so…?

Or of course, if she wants to let a local actress play a Cyberman, now that would be great! 😉

Congrats, and good luck, Jodie.

One thing that could never be said about KLF, was that they took themselves too seriously. Very much including this incarnation as The Timelords.

Can I have a P, Bob?

Before anyone makers assumptions about this featuring Bob Holness, or a certain TV quiz series, you’d be wrong. Its actually about a very silly event at work yesterday.

Let me explain, about once a quarter, they update the system we use at work on a Saturday. Nothing major, just minor tweaks generally, but given that Saturday is mainly about doing Admin stuff, using said system, between the odd phone call, or 6, not having it makes for a fairly slow day, because yes, we cant do work on the system while its down lol!

Me, yesterday, I settled down to doing some of my much ‘loved’ apprenticeship work, while the others did various other things to break up the boredom. Well, somewhere around lunchtime, this ended up involving a session of office ‘I Spy’. Yes, my lunchtime, so I missed most of the entertainment, as others tried to guess an item starting with P, for about 25 minutes. They had just solved it by the time I got back, and so I was asked my opinion as to what an item was called.

Me: “Planner.”

Apparently a previously mentioned team leader disagreed with this name for the item. Anyway, discussion continued (between calls) on the matter for quite a while, probably until the end of the shift! Sadly, or thankfully, it will be about 13 weeks before we return to this level of lunacy again. Until then, we will of course all act like perfect Humphrey Appleby types until then!

Yes, Madi, we love you, we do really! xxx

Ah, the video. Thats why I specified its not about the TV series, because this song was, err, not a tribute to it! This is Sweet, at their crazy best, as in the drummer getting up at the end of the first verse, and almost getting back in time to drum the second verse. Well, it was all mimed back then, so…Would anyone be surprised to hear I’d love the singers outfit, or Steve’s boots? I hope not! Some younger (but not too young) folk may remember this being sampled by the Timelords (aka KLF) for a certain song too

Someone’s gotten into my heart

Those who have been around a while, will know of the past life regression I did a few years back, and discovered I was a 20’s/30’s movie actress, though far, far less famous than Miss Harlow. Yes, that very modest actress, and dancer Clara E Johnson. Yes, for once I’m including that middle initial, because it may well hold a lot of significance.

No, I didnt find out that middle initial, or a few other details at the time of regression, but thankfully a chance to look at the census details for LA in 1930, managed to give me more than a few clues. So after that, I knew she was born in 1905, in Oklahoma, and came to LA in 1925, via Texas. Whether any more of her family travelled with her, no idea.

There are a couple of things that I didnt discover, one was her married name, so I have never been able to trace her last resting place. Nor have I managed to find out what the E stood for. Except, that maybe now…?

One of the Facebook groups included a number of women, who were part of the Goldwyn Girls dance troupe back then, and someone mentioned a list of the full troupe, who served over the years it existed. No, I didnt find a Clara Johnson there, before you ask. But what I did find, was an Elaine Johnson! Yes, that E! And guess what, typing that name into Google, bought up 4 pictures of the said Elaine Johnson. Oh fine, here’s a couple,

Cute, isnt she?

Fine, now the disclaimer, I have no literal evidence that this is my Miss Johnson, as it is possible there was another Johnson, with an E in her name, as a dancer, at the right time in history, but…for me, its a good enough match, thats my girl!

Agreed, I still have that annoying challenge of finding out her married name, and trying to trace her last resting place, but at least I now know how she ‘made a decent living’ as she quoted me, and what she looked like. So yes, to say thats a special moment for me, is putting it very mildly! No, Clara Elaine Johnson, until I find your last resting place, that search isnt finally over, but thats a massive step en route for me!

Video time came down to 2 choices. An old time dance number that might have had her in it, or the song given a massive clue in the blog title, and yes, its the latter. I’m sure if anyone had said Marc Almond, and Gene Pitney would work as a duo in the late 80’s, they’d have looked at you strangely. But yes, it worked brilliantly

Killing me softly with her story.

I guess its a natural tendency of the internet world, that we have friends, who we have never met, are never likely to meet, but at the same time, love dearly, and enjoy what they do. Tonight’s piece is about one of those people, someone named Betsy. Well, fine, I know her as Betsy, but whether that’s her real name, I have no idea. What I do know, is that she is a great writer, and I’m thrilled to be an online friend of hers, even if it never goes further than that.

Anyway, just over a week ago, she sent me a piece for approval. Not because it mentioned my name, let alone my full name, but fine, to anyone in the mind control story writing field, they’d know it was about me! I did object to the name she’d used for me. Fine, Seraphina might be a lovely name to some, but doesnt work for me. So I offered a few options to her as alternatives, and she decided on Maria. Yes, Metropolis robot connection, very apt for me. So last night, I found this on the archive update:

http://192.155.80.152/ItAllStartedInWakefield/index.html

Yes, any resemblance to me would be entirely deliberate, I’m sure. In truth, Wakefield indoor market used to be one of my favorite places to shop, but I havent been over that way in over 2 years, and I know it was threatened with closure at one point, so I have no idea if its still there or not? In her defence, I have my doubts that Betsy has been there, but hey, I wrote a story about Hollywood before I went there, and another involving ECT, without having had the treatment lol!

No, for those that dont know already, I’m not telling you my author name there, though if you want to know, ask. Maybe that can get my ‘stalker’ in the US to write to me, if they’re curious lol!

No, I dont know how like Rhia that Betsy is. Nor I suspect will I ever know, for sure. But the little I know about her from our writings to each other, I think I would say, yes, there is plenty of Betsy in her! Though I should add, as far as I know, she doesnt control minds! But seriously, anyone who can use Letsby Avenue as an address in a story (think about it), is someone I love, in that non physical sense at least!

So yes, Betsy, I may, or may not ever meet you, but one thing is for sure, stories like this will always guarantee you a special place in my heart, all the same.

OK, the video. Big clue in the title, I guess? But no, its not the version you’d probably expect of an old wrinkly like me, its the Fugees version. I have no idea why I like this so much, but I do. Mind control, hmm?

We’ve got two tribes?

Firstly, to all my US readers, reading this on the right day, happy 4th of July. For non Americans, and those not reading this on the day of publishing, hope you’re having a good day, anyway.

I cannot vaguely imagine what life was like 241 years ago, on this day, in the small part of the US that was escaping the yoke of UK rule, so I’m not even going to try! The one thing I am sure of, is that it was probably a lot calmer, and quieter than today will be, in most places there. Of course, the US has grown quite considerably in size since then, even if the continent was there all that time ago, most of it, the colonists had never seen, and for most, never would. Indeed, back then, Alaska would actually have been part of Russia, now there’s an irony!

Back then, it would have taken months to traverse the country, by wagon, and horse, even if people had ever considered doing it, which I doubt. Now, in a matter of hours, you can cross the country by jet plane, though fine, if I had unlimited time, I still think doing it by train would be a whole lot more fun. Ironically, the train fare, with a cabin, would probably cost as much, if not more than the plane fare!

No, so far, I’ve never been in the US on the 4th of July, but maybe one day, after retirement, I will. A lot of it is down to the holiday season at work places, but also, for me, high summer in a lot of the US, would be ‘pretty warm’ for me. Maybe thats the time to go to Alaska lol?

But yes, have fun, if you’re celebrating.

I know, despite the title, I’ve avoided the obvious political comments until now. Now technically, this related to the Cold War, at its height in the 1980’s. But given a US leader’s ‘supposed’ ties to Russia, fine, I was feeling mischievous! Many said that Frankie Goes To Hollywood couldnt perform live, but this puts that theory to bed. Alright, its not quite the same as the recorded version, but its decent, all the same.

Somebody watching me?

Until about 6 weeks ago, this blog tended to dip into double figure daily views on days when I posted a new blog, and be lucky to reach more than a handful on days when I didnt. Fair enough, because of my posting pattern when working, by Friday, or Saturday, there’s not a lot fresh to see, so I could understand that. And may I add, most of the views, understandably were from the UK, with a number from the US, and a few others. And then…

The last 6 weeks or so, if I havent managed 25 views in a day, I’ve had a bad day. Most days its at least 30, and sometimes even more! The weird thing is, 90% plus of those, are from the US. I mean, I’ve had days when I’ve had over 40 views, on a non posting day, and everyone of them is in the US? So who is it, no idea. Given that I know the view count, and location stats seem reliable, I dont know where my new fan club has come from. I will say that if I believed the figures, most of them are individual people, coming in reading one article, in a 24 hour period, and nothing else. Thing is, I know that count isnt right, as I’ve had days in the past when I’ve had, for example, 3 viewers, but have had 5 countries listed in the location section. So yes, doesnt tie up.

But who has suddenly taken an interest in my blogs? Now, if this is some US film conglomerate, or theater company checking me out, before offering me a role, then great! Equally, if its some US newspaper, or LGBT group, looking at my blogs, before offering me a journalistic type role, equally great. I would jokingly say that it might be some scientist waiting to check all my robot/brainwashing fantasy stuff, and make me an offer to do something interesting to my mind, or those aliens reading it from Area 51, but suspect thats only in my dreams lol! Hopefully, one day, I might find out!

But yes, if you’re one of those new readers I’ve attracted, who reads all the old stuff, on a regular basis, let me know. Either here, by comment, or by email at stephmajor8@hotmail.com if you dont want everyone to know who you are, and why!

Oh, but if you are planning on making me a job/guinea pig offer to work in the US, for a while at least, let me know what is being considered for me, pretty please xxx

Right, video time. In the sense that the singer had hardly any hits, this song is probably more famed for Michael Jackson doing backing vocals on here than anything else.

And then there were 12!

No, not admirers of my non existent good looks, before you ask! 😛 I’d be lucky if that was as high as 1.2, lets face it. No, the answer to that comment is test playing cricket nations, after 2 more were added very recently, Afghanistan, and yes, you’ve guessed it, Ireland! So, even without going to a cricket match in the interim, I’ve now seen 3 test playing teams live, at the ground, all in Belfast. The others? Bangladesh, when they played Ireland in a 1 day series in Belfast, and it has to be said, their fans were amazing. Oh, and Afghanistan, obviously. I have actually seen a very strong Australia B team too, and actually met Steve Smith, now Aussie captain!

Its fair to say that 10 years, and 4 months ago, you’d told me that I’d be waiting for Ireland to announce their first official test match, I would have laughed at you! Yes, I knew that in March 2007, they were going to play in the Cricket World Cup, and that I planned to watch them play, but I wasnt really expecting anything amazing. The rest of course, is history. A tie with Zimbabwe, then that amazing win over Pakistan, and a legend was born. And of course, 4 years later, that incredible win over England in India just added to everything.

Of course, in the meanwhile, they were dominating the Associates (less cricket playing nations) in a very big way. And then one country climbed rapidly up the rankings, to a point where they challenged Ireland in the shorter versions of the game, Afghanistan. Lets be honest, if the history of Ireland in that build up to glory period was troubled, it had, and still has nothing on Afghanistan’s! Afghanistan are (I believe?) still to play an international game in their own country, though hopefully, in time, it will happen. But fine, it might be some time lol!

And now, after last week’s announcement, both countries can, in theory at least, arrange test matches against those famous cricketing nations of the world! Will it happen, who knows? England have said they will play Ireland, and I suspect one of Afghanistan’s neighbours in the area will do the same for them, I hope so at least.

But no, not in my wildest dreams did I ever foresee this happening, 10 years ago. Hopefully I can get to that first test match in Ireland next year, work, and holiday allowance permitting. Just to say that I was there!

Oh, be grateful you got this, as my only other inspiration for tonight was political comment on another crazy Trump ruling, so…

Right, video time. This song is actually from 2005, it just doesnt look, or sound like it. It definitely has the feel of 70’s glam rock, and the lead singer, and her dress have an almost Harlowesque feel. So, for those who dont already know them (and should), this is Goldfrapp!

Dont want to be teachers pet!

I must admit that before last year, at 58, I was sort of assuming that my studying days were over. Not that I minded, in truth, as though my brain is still reasonably functional (or at least I like to think it is), the desire to study, to improve myself was pretty much gone. Even allowing for the fact that retirement is now 8 years away for me (when I started working, it would be 9 more months!), I’m definitely looking for the quiet life en route to retirement, even if 1 or 2 at work have hinted that I should consider promotion in the future, but anyway…I might, OK? And if anyone wants to convince me, by interesting methods, then fine, I’d definitely go along with that! 😀

Yes, my last time at school, college, or the like, for studying purposes, was 1976! Yes, I really am that old! I did an accounts course, at a college, from my first job, which I started in 1974, and that was it. Until now…

The Civil Service department I work for, are keen on their staff taking apprenticeship courses, relating to our work. Before you say anything, I fully approve of that idea, but…for those freshly out of, or still in their youth, its a great idea. They have a long working life ahead of them, and anything they can do to improve themselves for their future work career, brilliant! But when you’re 59, looking gently in the distance to a quiet route to retirement, doing an apprenticeship, well…?

Lets be honest, when it comes to things Mathematical, I’m an old fogey! I grew up on yards, feet, and inches, not meters, centimeters, and the like! So yes, when it comes to comparing diagrams that have 1 measurement in centimeters, another in millimeters, plus meters as well…yes, honey, I’m lost, to quote a Dooleys song. No, thats not the video, btw. 😛

And yes, I can get by in basic English, the other part of my course at present, but after 43 years, expecting me to know the difference between using colons, and semi colons, and other stuff like that, no chance! As to story publishing, its why I have a wonderful friend edit my stories for publication, because I’ve forgotten about most of those rules over the years. Also, as most buyers of eBooks are in North America, he adapts my spelling to suit that market, for when I forget!

So yes, its safe to say that after 43 years, I no longer want to be a studious ‘teachers pet’, but guess I will have to do my best, all the same? But enjoy it, no chance! Yes, I working, in between calls yesterday on my studying, and I was more mentally exhausted at the end of it, than a string of non stop calls! Which is what I will probably get tomorrow, as we will be very short handed at work, due to Eid being celebrated.

Talking of which, may I wish Eid Mubarak to any of my readers who will be celebrating tomorrow, or even some today, depending on location.

Video time. I might not want to be Teachers Pet, but Doris Day did, back in 1958. Its funny seeing the screen shots, as of course most Gable films I’ve seen were made about 20 years earlier, or more! Interesting fact, Gable worked on Jean Harlow’s last film, and also worked on Monroe’s last movie, nearly 25 years later. Another connection between the 2 platinum blondes!

Lets all take a breath, and count to ten, and then…

Yes, let me say I was saddened greatly by the news that came out of Finsbury Park in the last couple of days, in a similar way to how I felt after the London Bridge incident, before anyone points out that I didnt comment on that. Sadly, when I only have time to do 2 blogs a week, and other things do happen in my life, some things get thought about, but not mentioned here, and that was one of them. Add in the Tower block fire last week, and London isnt having a good time of late, lets face it.

Equally, can I say that I wasnt entirely surprised when that horrific incident in Finsbury Park happened, because I wasnt. Such is political, and religious extremism at the far end of the spectrum of late, that no, I wasnt surprised when a white supremacist type decided to take a stand for himself over the matter. Thankfully, both sets of incident are few, and far between (very much so, in fact), but the press, and TV tend to over focus when they do. When parades of thousands of Muslims, protesting against terrorism happen, they have a tendency to ignore, as it just doesnt suit the underlying tendencies of too many in power, trying to scare people nowadays, lets face it.

I only hope that this can be it, that people can see sense, and we have no more retaliation, from either side. I know, as John Lennon said, ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one’, at least I hope I’m not. Unfortunately, the people I’m appealing to with this piece are probably the ones least likely to read this, but I can hope that in some way, the message can get out. Yes, I know, I’m a very liberal type, but I think that most people, with a cool head would be able to see that just continuing the violence isnt a great idea, from either side.

So all I am saying, to quote another Lennon song, is to ‘Give peace a chance’, please. And yes, let me add that if there was a way I could wear a burqa/burka (I’ve seen it spelt both ways) in support of my Muslim friends, without it being religiously offensive, I’d happily do so. I dont deny it, I’ve seen women wearing it in Bradford a number of times, and wondered what it was like. But no, I dont want to offend anyone, all the same. But if the chance arose…?

Right, the video. No John Lennon, no Dusty Springfield, which a few might have thought of, from the blog title. Instead, a live Police classic from 2008!