Political correctness stupidity

One of those ‘grumpy old lady’ moments that I hope some enjoy at least. Yes, I understand that many things need to be done ‘politically correctly’ nowadays, but there are times when its taken too far. Let children grow up as children, for pity’s sake!

The PC furore I ran into today, was over a dress that Disney are apparently trying to sell to young children, or more correctly, their parents, for their young daughters. Which one, you might be asking, or maybe you’ve already guessed? Pocahontas!

I know, young white children, wearing an outfit of a Native American character, I can see, in a perfect world, some might not see it as an ideal scenario. But seriously, some of the ‘moral minority’ were making it sound like it was a treasonous crime, for heavens sake! I’m sorry, but girls under the age of 10 dont know, or care about politics, let it be known! All they know, is that they’ve seen the movie, loved the character, and want to dress like her. Presumably at this time of year, it could be as a Halloween outfit (which is crazily huge in US), or maybe something else, though I would assume the former.

What I want these people to do, is stop and think. Lets see, if young girls want to (in their minds at least) look like a Native American woman, isnt it more likely that when they grow up, that they will be more supportive of said community? Whereas if they are stopped from wearing it, to appease the politically correct people, arent they more likely to dislike said community, for stopping their dressing up fun as a child?

Now, I’m not saying my logic is perfect, as presumably, if parents are happy for their daughter to dress up as Pocohontas in the first place, then they’re not likely to be right wing white supremacists! I know, I know, Disney are only in it to make money, lets face it, but…if young girls (and dare I even suggest this, young boys?), want to dress as Pocohontas, then let them! Their precious childhood is but for a few years, so let them enjoy it. They can get into the sad realities of life when they get old enough, and hopefully wise enough to still want to support Native Americans living in the US.

Lets cheat, and include the video here, as this is what it relates to. The song is from 1960, this version is from 2009, and still pretty good!

OK, lets have an actress moment, as it loosely relates to a similar sort of issue. I know, I’m blessed that at the moment, I only need a wheelchair for matters involving standing in one place for very long. Others, it has to be pointed out, are not so fortunate. But practically, for me at present, pretty much any acting role (stop laughing, I know) would require me to be in a wheelchair for most, if not all of the performance, pretty much the latter in truth. A fact that you may, or may not know, most roles in the movies (and other parts) requiring people to be in a wheelchair, are played by people who dont need one! Oh fine, Patrick Stewart was magnificent as Magneto, and Raymond Burr (for the oldies among my readers) was great as Ironside, but…a disabled actor might have been just as good! I know, these arent female parts, but as good examples…And yes, I’d love to play a female Davros type (of Dalek fame) role, not that most would be surprised by that fact lol!

I know, I’m a bit of an in bet-weenie, in that I would need a wheelchair at present to act in the theater, or a movie at present, but its not a permanent state for me. As I said before, some are not so lucky, but yes, especially after the last fortnight, I have even more knowledge of what their life is like. Yes, its true, far too many people really do try to avoid catching your eye, or even acknowledging your presence, when you’re in a wheelchair, believe me, I now know!

But yes, if you, or anyone you know, either here in the UK, or in North America knows of a part suitable for a 60(ish) woman in a wheelchair, of decent acting standard, then feel free to let me know, c/o of stephmajor8@hotmail.com , or even better, contact a lovely agency in LA, and let them know. Their twitter address is @cgemLLC , or their website is cgem-llc.com . Just tell them that Stephanie Carpenter (the name I use on Twitter) sent you, and you’ll probably make their day, as much as mine! Go on, just think of the disability kudos it gets you, lol! Could make my dream come true too!

Oh, and tomorrow, back to the day job! Wish me luck!

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Dear idiot, in seat 5A, and others!

Fine, I’ll get to the title matter in a minute, but for now…

Sunday evening started with a change of plans, a trip to the cinema, to see It. No, not the 1927 silent movie starring Clara Bow, though I’m sure she would have looked adorable, even in a clowns outfit. No, this was the recent (shock horror) movie based on the Stephen King book instead. Something very different for me, but impressed with it, all the same. Mind, the final outcome (of this section at least) appealed to me no end. The actress playing Beverley caught this actresses eye, as someone to watch for the future, just saying…

After that, a dose of ‘The Orville’ which is a new series on Fox over there, which seems to be a witty take off of Original Star Trek, among other things. Yes, the big attraction for me, the chrome robot, no surprise. Yes, if they ever want an actress to play his female companion… 😉 Suspect its just CGI, in truth, sadly. Not sure when I see any more of it mind, over here, but will keep an eye out for that.

Yesterday was the last full day (for a while) in the US, most of which I just spent relaxing, before heading for home, via JFK, in a shuttle. Yes, wisdom prevailed, given the state of my body at present, only way to go. Before that, I did get to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon thing, though sadly not wearable lol. But if anyone wants to make one, and let me wear it…?

Beyond the traffic levels to JFK (its NYC, for pity’s sake), that all went smoothly, and so did the ride through security. Then the fun began! I was taken to the gate on my boarding pass, for my plane home, fine. Thing was, the departures board was showing a different gate, some distance away, and some ‘know all’ told me my plane was going from there. So I struggled down there, only to find a short while later that my pusher had known what she was doing, and the know all was an idiot! So yes, I struggled back to the original gate I’d been left at.

There was 1 wheelchair waiting there, mine, and yes, someone came this time, and took me to the plane. At this point, someone asked me to swap seats, so he could sit with someone, and I agreed. Unfortunately, the idiot I soon discovered I had the ‘delights’ of sitting next to on the way home, thought rules were for everyone but himself. As in, mobile phones must be switched off before leaving the gate, and only be put back on, in flight mode, when we were in the air. Him, oh no! Trying to hide from everyone (very badly) that he was still using his phone after this point, and indeed continued to use it, until after the plane accelerated for take off. Even then, I’m not sure if he switched it off, or just hid it away. He was certainly still doing something with it post take off (not meant to be switched back on while seat belt light is on), so who knows? Put it this way, he was still using it this morning, up to, and including landing, long again after having been told to turn it off. Oh, and then everyone else decided to be an idiot, as more than half the people in the plane were standing up, long before the seat belt light went off at Manchester.

Then it got, err, better! There was only 1 wheelchair used at JFK to load a passenger, mine! So, at Manchester, only 1 is sent to the plane, to disembark me. Thing is, seemingly, 5 other people then decided they needed a wheelchair to disembark, despite not requesting one. My name was called, I stood up to get in, and another woman took my chair! She clearly wasnt going to move willingly, so in the end, they tried to round up another wheelchair for me, only to discover 4 more people wanting one! No, Manchester Airport doesnt employ psychics, to know that all these additional people suddenly would want a chair.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I was on the move. Snag was, with 4 pushers, and 6 chairs, movement was erratic, and slow. Not improved when I finally got to passport control, and there is a group of 3, from the sub continent, who were clearly being shifty about their reasons for entering the country. Finally, he decided to let them in, I passed through quickly, but then we had to get all these wheelchairs down to baggage claim. Then pick out the right black expanding suitcase, from dozens of them, but we got there in the end. So only about an hour later than expected, freedom, and greetings! Then at last, go home!

Oh, and one last thing before we move on from the holiday, and back to more mundane events, one of the movies shown on the flight across. A movie called Blended, which given my knowledge of modern movies, I had to look up when I got home. Take my advice, give it a miss. It has a shocking review rating, and the actress in the main female lead role was dreadful. One look on her face throughout the movie, basically rabbit caught in headlights! Yes, I swear even now, after a few years off, I could have acted the pants off her! So come on Hollywood, let me prove it, lol!

Thats it, then. Lets close by thanking Kate, Stacie, and Eric (mainly, but there were others) for such a marvelous holiday experience. Yes, being Maid of Honor, at a wedding, very special.

So what happens now? Another suitcase, in another hall (Evita)? Probably not! To a big degree, a lot depends what the doctors say about my back in the next couple of weeks, and how many days of work, per week, I can get through, post medication. I’m currently suspecting the answer will be 4, but we will see. Maybe a magic cure, or a nice new cybernetic body lol? Oh, I wish for the latter! I suspect I will be getting the airport wheelchair experience again too, but we will see?

In theory, if I could get there next month, I could go to NYC again for a reading for a production by 2 friends, surrounding the life of Clara Bow, but money (definitely), and holiday time (possibly) mean thats unlikely to happen. Ah well, might have knocked them over on Broadway, especially if they were looking for a middle aged woman confined to a wheelchair for a role lol. Still, keep on dreaming…

Right, video time. One thing a plane is called, is a silver machine, though I doubt thats what they’re talking about here! Dont think its a robotizing pod either, but its almost more likely! Yes, thats Lemmy, of Motorhead fame!

The look of love

Due warning, before we get started, this blog wont be short! So if you only have a couple of moments, come back later!

So, catching up on rest of week…

Wednesday was fairly quiet, the rest of the week hasnt been, so lets leave that day at that.

Thursday was moving day, as Kate headed for the Berkshires, and I headed across a few state lines to New York. The ride up to Boston went smoothly (barring traffic, hardly a surprise, but we had tons of time), and because Kate had a room booked, I got to experience the lounge at a station for the first time. The Red Cap was of the opinion that I could stay there after Kate was gone (her train was 50 minutes before mine), but the lady in the lounge thought otherwise lol. Fair by me, I was her guest, so once she leaves, I should go, but he wasnt impressed lol.

The journey to Stamford was interesting, not so much because I remembered anything from 30 years ago, though I got one memory as we pulled into New London. That first time, 30 years ago, me, and my partner of the time were visiting her elderly aunt on the trip, across the River Thames (pronounced differently to the London one) at Groton. 2 months or so later, she died, and as my partner said at the time, she’d probably only been hanging on to see her UK family one last time, and then…I’m not saying how many ‘doggy bags’ they found in her house after death, but there were, err, a few!

Oh fine, Stamford station was entertaining, mainly because all Eric and I had seem pics of each other, were a few on Facebook. And you have to remember, mine were designed to show me at my best, not my everyday look, but anyway, we got together in the end, and… The rest of Thursday, and Friday, I’ve visited the family, and they are all a delight to know. I sort of knew that, online, but even better for real! I got to see some of the area on various trips, which was nice too.

Oh right, Saturday! Fine, fine, we’ve got there now! No, no pics at this point, sorry. The snag with new, sparkly dresses, is that some of the sparkly stuff isnt going to stay on the dress, perfectly, you get my drift? 😉 But yes, the dress was gorgeous, though in hindsight, given that I need to wear a bra, I should have brought a bandeau bra with me, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Would have made picture set up so much easier lol.

Oh, btw, I’m maid of honor, and I have to make a toast. Yes, I found out the latter at a couple of hours notice, but like all good actresses, I improvised. Might not have been the standard toast, but hey…I got through! The service first, was very nice, just so proud to be there, let alone in the position of honor that I was. The setting for the wedding was delightful, at Cortlandt Manor, but unless you’re in the area, just a note of reference. The food was good, though far too much for a modest British appetite, but besides that…

The additional magic moment of the meal afterwards, one of the servers recognized me, from one of the documentary things I’ve done in the past. I’m assuming its the LA one, from April 2015, from description, but dont quote me on that. Now others want to see it! I have no idea if there is still a link to it, but I’ve asked the lady who done it if there is, but awaiting a reply. Suspect finding it might be a challenge, even if she can, as she was doing these regularly, but we will see…? Yes, its amazing where ‘fame’ can catch up with you, lol!

Oh, the service, well, what with holding my bouquet, the ring for the groom, and the bride’s bouquet at one point, quite an experience, but I got through, and loved every moment of it. I also got to meet a number of lovely people that I will probably never meet again, which will be a shame, but is part of life, I guess? Was a wonderful time, so very glad I could be there, and part of it.

Discretion says I’m not describing events after the reception, OK? Nothing bad, but entertaining, just maybe…?

This morning has been quiet, as all recover after the big day, including me! I actually went for brunch at a nearby diner/grill to the hotel, and if I needed reminding how crazy US portions could be, they did it! The omelette was large enough on its own, but by the time you add in toast, and potatoes, well…thankfully, plenty of coffee! How much more food I need today, not a lot! So currently, I’m in the hotel, watching Kansas City play in the NFL, so…chilling! Tonights ESPN baseball, well, its the Dodgers, so…I guess I can survive for a while, while the Gelhaus family recover after yesterday!

I will get back there at some point, in fact need to, as one of the wedding presents was a mask (if not more) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, as if I’d love to see that, you bet I do. Hey, I’d love to wear a full suit (if anyone has one laying around lol?), though at my age, underwater swimming scenes wearing it might be beyond my skills, but I’d try, if I had to! 😀

Tomorrow sees the start of the return to reality, and the return to the UK. Thankfully, with my new shifts, no work until Friday, by which time a very quiet, very shy team leader of mine will have had her birthday. Yes, it might have been mentioned most of September. Yes, Madi, I love you, I really do xxx I’ve accepted the old age thing, btw. I’d originally planned to get to JFK by public transit, but Stacie wasnt happy with the thought of that at present, and in truth, I wasnt entirely looking forward to it either. So yes, going there by shuttle now…angel…and then the wheelchair thing again! 😀

Even if there are any pictures of me as the creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ll probably have to wait until Tuesday, or Wednesday, and back in the UK before seeing them. I will post wedding pics, of me at least, once I have some, OK?

And so endeth the longest blog, with its traditional moment, the video. No, I’ll save a certain Dave Edmonds song, in case I need it, and go for a song I didnt hear yesterday at the reception, but which sums up the day so perfectly. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this, I know…

As to the next US trip, I have no idea when, where, or for how long. Need to hear what the Doctors say, how many days work per week my body can still cope with, and take things from there. I have enough saved that I might be able to do two next year regardless, but if I’m limited to 4 day weeks, that will be the end of that. Though if its one trip per year, I will probably make it longer than a week (flight is major element of cost), but we will see… In theory I have an invite to a stage reading of a Clara Bow show next month in NYC, but unless anyone wishes to donate £1000 (flight and accom) to me, and even then, there is holiday available at work, not going to make it. Shame, as I could use the publicity time for myself, as well as the show! Ah well…

So from the US for the last time, probably…bye for now!

View to a chill

Yes, I know, its been a while, so, what would you like me to tell you about? Being wired up so I rode in a Davros type wheelchair, rather than being pushed in a standard one? That nice mad scientist I met who transformed me into my past life self, Clara Johnson, at the age of 25, with all her dancing skills (and seemingly she had plenty), so I’ve been dancing the nights away at delightful flapper style parties, darlings? Or the journey on that flying saucer that whisked me across the Atlantic, in about an hour, maybe? Flight diverted to Hollywood, so I could sign up for a big acting role? Or would you prefer the dull, actual, truthful version of events lol?

Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to set me up for any of those first 4 events mentioned, I’d love it! I know, I know, in my dreams, nothing more…but… 😉

OK, lets catch up on reality, before I get the full makeover, as mentioned above! Ooh, that would be fun, mind!

Saturday saw my first ride in a wheelchair for 50 years. I suspect it wont be the last holiday I need one at an airport, but we will see… It started off smoothly enough, as I got wheeled through security, and me, and my luggage checked over, without me actually ever leaving the chair. Then, after a slight delay on the flight (plane had to stop inbound, due to a medical issue, so was nearly an hour late leaving), I was wheeled down to the gate, and told someone would be back to take me down to the plane to board. Yes, fine, never happened, so eventually the Rep asked if the 2 of us were able to get to the plane under our own steam, so I went for it. Unfortunately, having taken the brace off, thinking I wouldnt need it again (its neoprene, and warm to wear for very long periods), I struggled the way with my hand luggage, and pulled it off. But yes, instead of having plenty of time to stow my bag, I was pretty much the last one on, but as I had a double seat to myself, I was able to get my bag stowed away anyway.

Arrival at Boston was good, and efficiently done. The two of us might have been the last ones off, but we were probably 2 of the Brits through first, all the same. Given I have a black, expanding suitcase, just like dozens of others, I need to get some pink, or rainbow tagging around the handle, so I can recognize it easier, even more so when you arent close to the conveyor belt, being in a wheelchair, and all that!

The rest of the day, just fine. After arrival at hotel (Kate had already booked us both in), we ended up calling out for food, chatting a lot, just having a good time.

Sunday afternoon, we came down to this glorious place we’ve rented on Cape Cod. Well, Kate did all the hard work booking it, I just paid a share of the costs really. Yes, its gorgeous! I’m sat in the living area, with a stunning view of the sea, typing this now. We ended up having pizza, watching NFL, just having fun.

Monday, being 2 ladies of reasonable leisure for the week, and given that neither of us are in the perkiest of health, we had a quiet day. Finished off for me at least, by getting my annual chance to swoon over Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football!

This morning, I had a couple of cups of coffee, sat outside, complete with a couple of muffins for breakfast, and just enjoyed the sun. Havent seen a lot of it in the UK this summer, so a real delight. Since then, just relaxed, and given my body the break it really needs. We’re here, somewhere near Mashpee, on Cape Cod, until Thursday morning, and I’m loving every minute of it. Might get another ride in a wheelchair at the 2 stations on Thursday, will have to wait and see. Or the next one, may be at JFK on Monday evening!

Yes, Thursday, I need to start getting into bridesmaid mode, but more on that later in the week. Thats when I could really do with that 25 year old, Clara Johnson makeover lol, especially if I’m expected to dance at the reception afterwards, as I currently have 2 left feet, in that sense. Where’s a good mad scientist when you need one, lol?

Right, video time. Yes, the blog title is a slightly tweaked version of that

Two out of three aint bad

Well, this is it, last UK blog for a little while, though I’m sure that if you’re good, you’ll get a few from the US, assuming Hurricane Irma doesnt decide to come and visit Cape Cod at least. If it does, all bets are off lol!

If you’re wondering about the blog title, its a ‘witty’ comment on my week. Tuesday, I became an, err, natural blonde again, when I went and had my hair colored around the corner, in preparation for the holiday. Yes, I am joking about the natural bit, if anyone was stupid enough to think otherwise! I will be back there shortly after the holiday is over, for another reason. Due to the wedding, I’ve been trying (mostly in vain) to grow my hair out, in case I need to put it up for the wedding. Well, I still wouldnt call it bounteous, but its more than I normally have. And yes, its beginning to annoy lol. So it will be getting clipped back to a more 30’s length very soon after I get back!

Secondly, yesterday, a lovely lady named Linda did her best (my body is the spoiler, not her skills) to get me in reasonable shape for the trip, and to get my nails looking all pretty as well. In truth, beyond my back, my body actually isnt in bad condition (relatively) at present, due to some suggested knee exercises given to me by the Occupational Health Dept at work. I must admit, I was cynical as to how well they would work, but fine, I’ve been amazed how much better they are, so…

Lastly, and with no thanks to First Buses on this (invisible bus syndrome this morning), I went over to Bradford today, for the bone density scan tests. Yes, I know, dont have to go to Bradford today for work, and still end up going there! I must say the staff at St Lukes were nice, and very efficient, so swiftly dealt with, and on my way again.

Oh, the two out of three bit? Well, it was a radio-logical x-ray, and I was sort of hoping that those beams would do something amazing to my body, and I’d come out looking like a 30 year old version of my past life dancer self, but it never happened. No, I didnt really think it would, but no harm in hoping lol!

Beyond that, most of the stuff I’m taking with me is packed in the case, pretty much anything left out is the stuff I need tonight and/or in the morning. I plan to wear the corset brace in the morning, because I will have to wait at check in, before being put into a wheelchair, and also to offer some support for moving the case along. I plan to get it off before the flight though, its just too warm wearing something made of neoprene for about 12 hours. Maybe I need to lose a few pounds in weight, but thats not a favored way of doing it!

Ah, the wheelchair. Yes, I’m still trying to get my head around the idea that it is wise, fine, and fully permitted for me to have one, but I still feel slightly guilty, all the same. If anyone wants to mentally solve that issue for me, feel free to do so! Yes, I’d enjoy that! 😉

At least there was one other piece of good news today, the swimsuit finally arrived, with the emphasis on finally. I’ll be honest, after 2 false starts, I didnt believe it was coming, even when I had an email telling me it was, until they delivered it at the door. Studio.co.uk are the shambles of a company that I would advise anyone not to ever purchase from!

Right, video time. Going back to the blog title, for one of the lesser known Meatloaf/Steinman songs, that is very apt here.

PS, If anyone does want to put me in a transformation chamber, and make me look like a young Clara Elaine Johnson, or Jean Harlow, feel free to contact me lol!

The art of tipping

One big difference I quickly noticed between the UK, and the US, is the subject mentioned above, that of tipping people.

Over here, it is done, to varying degrees, but in truth beyond taxi drivers, I’m not a great one for doing it, unless the service really deserves it. Whereas in the US, tipping is seen as a must, for almost anything service oriented, including I’m told, ordering drinks in a bar! No, I’ve never walked into a bar, and just ordered a drink, so wouldnt have a clue, not enough of a drinker for that. I have been in bars, I might add, but eaten as well, so I tip, so…no idea?

Thankfully I’d remembered this from my first trip in the 80’s, so never forgotten to do it on future visits. Mind, I used to do 10%, and I gather now that 15% is supposedly about the minimum, so thats what I do now. The thing for me, is with restaurants, taxis, and the like, you have a figure to work with, so I tend to add about 15% (to the nearest half dollar) and leave it at that.

But now I’ve got an issue that I cant solve by percentage, how much do you tip for a free service, especially in US? Yes, in the sense that I assume you tip (especially in US) the person who pushes you around at the airport, in your wheelchair, as will happen to me on Saturday. I mean, any percentage of free, is still zero! I’m sure they dont expect a fortune, but I suspect they expect a small gratitude, and of course, I havent got a clue, as a first timer! At least I hope its relatively small, lol, I’m not that wealthy!

I know, the chances of my readers being in a position where they know is possibly slim, but its a worthy question to ask, and worst case scenario, someone might know someone who uses, or provides the service, and they can advise? I know, just me, but I just want to do the right thing, thats all. Thanks in advance.

Right, video time. I wanted to find, if possible, a video of a song, sung by someone in a wheelchair, and I found this. Interesting cover version, thats for sure.

The times, they have changed

Given my love of movies of a certain age (older than me!), I have to accept that some of the things seen as ‘fine’ back then, just look horrid now. In truth, I dont even have to go back that far for a prime example, there was a 1970’s TV series called ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, which at the time was designed to show off the racist attitude of one of the actors, when a West Indian couple moved in next door. In truth, the humour was probably pretty dodgy back then, but if people watched it now, with modern eyes, they’d probably want to burn all the tape of the program. Fine, now, it would probably be for the best, but back then, well, lets just say there were people, like myself, who found the attitudes to be horribly wrong, and there were others who just couldnt see what was wrong with his opinions!

There is a ‘much discussed’ silent movie dating from 1915, called Birth Of A Nation, that, to put it bluntly, shows the KKK in a good light. No, to modern eyes, that isnt good, and hopefully to some at least back then, they felt the same way about the matter, though I suspect the segregation that went on back then, less so. My personal view, the nature of the film, as it portrays, is ghastly, but its film history, that with modern eyes looks awful, but back then, things were different. I’d love to say the whole matter is solved, but as we’ve sadly seen too many examples of in the US recently, sadly there are a few ‘cavemen’ type who still think that is right. No, I’ve never seen the movie, so cant comment in a personal way.

But the one I have seen, that is now starting to cause a fuss, in a similar manner, is Gone With The Wind! Seriously, its a story of the American Civil War, set at a time when white people were in charge, and everyone else was treated with disdain, but…I’ve seen several reports of late of cinemas refusing to show it, because of what its about. I know, if the nature of it upsets you, dont go and see it, but seriously, its a film classic, and trying to stop others watching it, of their own free choice, seriously…? So leave the film be!

No, I agree, it would never be made now, because the times have changed, but back then…So yes, before you comment on these movies, or the Charlie Chan movies (where a white man dressed up as an oriental, rather than getting a Chinese actor for the part) as being horrible in modern eyes, just stop and think. Try, if possible to see them through the eyes of people who were around back in the 1930’s, or before, not through modern eyes. Or better, dont watch them, unless you can! Yes, they are horrible to modern eyes, but these were made 80 years ago, or more, when things were very different.

End of rant!

Video time. Well this isnt quite as old as Gone With The Wind, but its nearly as old as me!

Your candle burnt out long before

I know, the blogs have got a bit of a mess day wise this week, due to sad events, but whether this just rights the ship, or whether you still get one tomorrow night, lets wait and see. But yes, with all the news sources mentioning this, and the fact that I do remember a few other events around it, lets mention what happened 20 years ago today, the death of Princess Diana.

Firstly, let me say I’m not a royalist, and leave it there. So if you’re expecting a gushing tribute to her, just move on. Not that I’m one of those great anti-monarchy types either, to be honest, I can just take, or leave them, but agreed, pretty much most of the time, its to leave them well alone.

Given that back in those days (gasp, shock horror, for some), betting shops werent open on Sundays, I got up about 9 am, switched on the TV, and it was wall to wall news about her death. Given that for me, and I suspect most others back then, this was in the days before internet, and mass swamping of satellite channels on your TV, your choice was limited, to Diana, or Diana! Mind, if they had existed, I suspect they would have been swamped by the news too.

This actually happened a week before me, and my partner at the time were due to go on holiday to the Baltic States. The irony of events for me was that, they cancelled all the racing for the day of the funeral, the following Saturday, so I actually finished work a day early. Now, they’d probably not shut the shops for anything, have wall to wall virtual racing, plus those ghastly machines going all day, but back then…nothing!

I saw bits of the funeral, though I took the chance to pack for the holiday in a slightly saner way than I would have done had I been working. There are 2 things that will always stick with me from that holiday, even when most of the details are faded by time. Firstly, just about everywhere out there, you heard this catchy tune, which I could tell was going to be a huge hit, if released in the UK. Yes, it was the second biggest selling single that year, aka Barbie Girl, by Aqua. You’ll be thrilled to hear that isnt the video! Second one, and more pertinent, was when we walked into a church/cathedral (please, its 20 years ago, I cant remember) in Tallinn, and saw a shrine to Diana there. Yes, her mark, and her fame had clearly spread that far.

I suppose it has to be mentioned, was it an accident, or was it murder? The rumor conspiracies both ways are quite amazing. My answer, I really dont know. I’d like to think it was a genuine accident, but given all that came out afterwards, well, you do have to wonder, but anyway, no comment…!

Sadly, the funeral I’d rather be here for, out of that, or my friend, is the one I wont be here for, as its happening on the first Monday I’ll be in the US. And given it will be 4.30 in the morning where I will be, and everything else, I will just wait to hear how it goes, by email, or message service. I know, thats life, I guess?

OK, video time. No, I’ve not picked the ‘obvious’ version of the song. I’m more of a Monroe fan, than I will ever be of Diana, so…

She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny…

No, if you think I’m wearing a yellow polka dot bikini, you’re going to be disappointed! Not even post surgery, if/ when it happens, lol! 😛 But the video, well, maybe…?

Fine, after the deservedly serious nature of Monday’s blog, lets get a little more fun, if only to allow me to let off some steam.

One issue I have with standard swimsuits for women, and the cut of them, is the fact that they really arent designed for pre-op Trans women, lets face it. Fine if there is only me, or people who know, and no one else, but otherwise, some might object lol! Me, in an ideal world, I’d go with the burkini, because it hides all issues quite nicely, and besides which, I love the design of them. But yes, for a white Trans woman, I’m just concerned that it might cause more issues than its worth, if I got one. And before anyone says anything, I’d be more concerned about white right wing men, than I would from Muslims! Sad, but true.

So in truth, I’d pretty much given up on the whole idea of swimming, or even wearing a swimsuit ever again, but then along came my back issue, that you already know about. Lets face it, one gentle form of exercise that would do me good, involves swimming, or even just walking across swimming pools full of water, working against my back.

Now in a perfect world (joke), some surgeon would immediately offer to remove, err the obstacle to wearing a swimsuit, with no recovery issues whatsoever. In a practical world, it would take time to arrange, and post surgery, it would be a while before you swam again!

There is however, one intermediate option, to get a swimsuit with a skirt! It enables me to swim as a woman, the skirt will hide the obvious issue, sounds good? So yes, I’ve ordered one today. Just hope it arrives before I fly out on holiday, as that will be a good time to wear it. Not just in water, but if I’m relaxing outside, at the place where I’m staying with my friend, if the weather is decent, then perfect! I have another friend (the one getting married) who would probably get me in water too, but I suspect we wont have the time. I suspect the Friday will be lively, in preparation, and I think she should have other plans for the Sunday than me! Then on the Monday, its back to NYC, and home. So…?

So yes, if you’re on Cape Cod in a fortnights time, and see a middle aged woman relaxing, in a cute swimsuit, complete with skirt, it might just be me! Well, unless someone wants to buy me a burkini, because then…? 😉 Just hope it arrives in time now!

OK, video time. Yes, its the obvious song from the title, but not the obvious version. Sorry, Brian Hyland, but… This version actually topped the charts here in the UK in 1990, and its just one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, so apologies!

Seasons In The Sun

Its probably fair to say there are 2 stages in my life. The first one lasted 42 years or so, when I tried to be a man, probably failed miserably, but at least I gave it a go. As we now know, wasnt me, but anyway…Then, early in the new millennium, by the magic of the internet, I finally found out what was the matter with me, and as they say, the rest is history. Yes, this century started in a sketchy way, where I tried to live 2 lives, or is that more correctly, 2 genders at the same time. In comparison, the last 8 years or so, since when I’ve been living to various degrees full time, as a woman only, been so much easier.

One issue it quickly created, is that in terms of friends, there is pretty much no crossover from the 2 stages of my life. In all honesty, apart from my mother (now departed from this world), there was no connection in my life pre 2001, and after 2001. No, you dont want to know about my transgender coming out, and my mother, you really dont.

Thankfully, in 2001, I managed to find myself a new group of friends, who accepted me for what I was, and at that time, it was pretty much of a mental mess. Since then, I’d like to think I’ve got better, not altogether hard when I’m living as I should be, nowadays. And thats right, back in 2005, 4 of us moved up to Yorkshire together, to start again, in one house. And until today, thats the way its always been, but no more. To be fair, Dave was 84, so had lived a good life. But yes, cancer is horrible, and thats what took him in the end, finally leaving us this morning UK time. I might only have known him for about 17 years, and lived with him (prior to Yorkshire move, he lived separately in Cambridgeshire, much of the time) for about 12 years. So yes, going to miss him a lot. In all honesty, my current ‘family’, for want of a better term care for me more than my own (fine, it was only my mother) did when I got away from that stage of my life.

So yes, strictly, in bereavement senses, he wasnt family. In truth, he was more a part of my family than my true family ever was! So RIP Dave, and thanks for everything. Thankfully for him, the pain is now over. And yes, more praise for work, in bereavement leave sense, he counts as part of my family, and I’m grateful for that.

The video? Well in truth, I couldnt really think of much else, so…