Monthly Archives: September, 2011

There’s a kind of hush

Alright, you have as long as it takes you to read this to guess which version of said song I’ve used. People who know my musical tastes will probably work it out quite easily. But more on that later…

Normally when I go to the US, I stay in a nice, but reasonably priced (alright, budget-ish) hotels, usually one of a chain type, but not always. Personally, I think Best Western take a lot of beating as chains go, but…Thats why it took me so long to go back to Boston in all honesty, even the budget hotels arent so cheap there, especially when the fall season is just starting up. Thankfully someone very kind was determined to get me into the area, and found me somewhere to stay, that fitted into my budget, which was what I wanted.

As might have been gathered from previous postings, the suite I had was super, as large as a flat I previously owned, and very nicely furnished. But there was one thing missing, a very noticeable one for many nowadays, no TV. To be honest, beyond the Sunday NFL, which I got to see some of elsewhere, and maybe the news and weather, I wasnt going to miss it. I might have also watched some baseball given the chance, but…

The thing is, I enjoyed the peace and tranquility that gave me in my life. I still had the internet (as you may have gathered) and in all honesty, nowadays you can get most things you need to know from there. I think the best way I can put it, is it allowed me to just be me, with nothing else to get in the way, and yes, I loved it! I just retreated into myself, and liked what I saw. I wouldnt strictly call it a retreat, I had internet, a comfy bed, en suite facilities, and a breakfast provided that more than catered for my needs, so I was able to find peace there, and at the same time, have great fun and companionship whenever I wanted it to, there being no strict regulations to keep, only practical ones. Oh, and no tea making facilities in the room, but plenty in the dining room, and no one seemed to blink at going downstairs in your nightgown about 6.30, on the couple of occasions I did meet someone there! I think I might have confused him, daytime I dont use the enhancers, but overnight in private, I do. So at 6.30 I had a full C-D cup cleavage, and a couple of hours later, a more modest B. But didnt seem to faze him that much lol!

As I say, any TV-holics would hate the place, and indeed S…. did tell me that some had come there, and left because of that, but I found it great. I enjoyed Boston, I suspect that everyone was calling me Miss, Lady, or Madam might have helped, but the city was great all the same. I would name this wonderful place I stayed, but for the fact they dont advertise, and therefore dont know if I should? Also I suspect many are shuddering at the thought of staying somewhere without TV anyway lol! But if that type of existence appeals to anyone, and they want a nice place to stay in the Boston suburbs…ask!

The song you should have worked out from the title, if not, how blonde are you lol? The group, well I always wished I could sing like her when I was young. She was taken from us far too early in life as well. In case anyone is still trying to work it out, heres the video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EStbm7rC7Wc

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A point of convenience

I guess this is something most of you dont even think about, men go into the men’s toilets, and women’s go into the ladies. Simples, as Aleksandr Orlov would say (if you dont know, go to www.comparethemeerkat.com , and laugh.)

But then again, there are people like me! In the normal run of events I only tend to need to go, either at home (no labels), or at work, where the decision was made that I have to use the gents for now, presumably because I’m pre op, but…cant get convinced its right, but too easy going to argue. Do get some funny looks if there’s a visitor in there though lol! Would love to know some of the ladies opinions at work on this, but its hardly something you can just come out and ask!

Dont really need to use public toilets inbetween, so normally this situation doesnt arise. But when you’re away on holiday in Boston…even more so when the vast majority are calling you miss, madam, or lady…amazing just how well I seem to pass, considering that was with no use of make up! Hey, even security at Dublin Airport this morning thought I was a woman, and thats after a ‘red-eye’ flight overnight!

One piece of ‘entertainment’ was at MIT museum, restroom area seemed quiet, so I went for it, and maybe it was the work thing in my head, but I went in the mens. Fine, apart from the fact that several came in while I was in there. Got some very confused looks when I came out the cubicle. Even funnier was the airport last night, did the same thing, and again got funny looks while in there. Best moment though was the guy coming in as I was going out, he went back to check he was going in the right side!

So yes, alright, maybe I should starting using the ladies in public? But I dont want to cause trouble with the law or anything by doing so. But if I pass that well, and seemingly I do, do I need to worry about that happening? Mind, the irony of being asked why I’m going in the mens toilet does come to mind lol!

Probably be a couple of months or so before the situation arises again, I guess I just play it by ear, and then make a call on the matter, especially as it will probably be a shopping centre, with mothers there, and…

So the next time you go into a public (or even work) toilet, think how that choice might be easy for you, but for people like me…

Who’s going to tell you when…

…your holiday is nearly over? Guess I’d better tell myself now lol! Yes, this is the last night in Boston, though I certainly dont plan on taking 23 years to return this time around, I think I might be too ancient by then to enjoy it anyway!

In fact, apart from a couple of days with the weather, this holiday has been wonderful for me, and I’m not really going to complain too loudly about that. Had some wonderful company, seen some lovely sights, and if I needed to prove it again to myself, meeting people you only know through the net always seems to work out brilliantly for me, so maybe I should do it more often? I know, I’ve ‘known’ these 2 for a while now, so it was hardly a major risk, so…

Boston, I definitely like, and thats definitely ‘more than a feeling’ I get. Dont think I have ever been called Miss, Madam, or a lady so many times in a week before! Either they are sweet and kind (and lets face it, most dont know, so…) or I pass really well nowadays, and I suspect/hope its the latter, I’m told it is at least. Tomorrow, everything permitting, including weather, I’m hoping to get one last dash into Boston in, so I can say goodbye properly to a wonderful city, and maybe pick up one more top of some kind, as a reminder of here, but that will depend on pick up time to go back to the airport. I’m not really a ‘candy girl’ but I’m sweet on this city.

Special thanks to James, for finding me a wonderful, peaceful place to stay, and more thanks to Kate for chauffering me around so much. Both were already friends, and even more so now I’ve met you both.

Back to work Monday, and back to blogging from the UK as from next week too.

Oh, alright, the traditional video, I’ve picked a band from Boston for this, and slipped references to 2 more groups from here within the blog, not hard to spot I suspect? Speak to you again soon, but for now…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvL21-cXIXM

The pleasures of baseball

Though I’m sure many of my European readers will be thinking what pleasure is there in a game of ’rounders’ lol! Dont get me wrong, I dont entirely understand the game (to put it mildly), but love the atmosphere of the games, and hey, its fun! Also the fans dont have to be segregated, unlike our wonderful soccer fans in most of the world!

One of the things I really love are the stadia. No, not the modern iniquities like Philadelphia, or the indoor dome of Minneapolis (no longer used) but the delights of Wrigley Field (Cubs), AT&T Park (Giants) and now I can add Fenway Park (Red Sox) to that list.

AT&T is new, even more so compared to the other 2, but it doesnt have the feel of a modern behemoth. It also has the major advantage (for night games at least) of having the sun setting over the bay while watching the game. Fenway and Wrigley are just the opposite. They may have been greatly modernised, but both stadiums still have that unique feel of having been built a long time ago. And they were, both fast approaching their 100th Anniversaries. Also fairly uniquely for sports stadia nowadays, they are both very much part of their city. Part of their problem actually, is the ability to expand to take modern sized crowds.

But I love these places, there is real soul in these places, not just somewhere for fans to sit and watch a game, as is so often the case nowadays, and I love that. I know, time has to move on, but all the same…But as AT&T has proved, you can build a modern stadium with heart, just wish a few more designers realised that!

And I leave you with the ultimate baseball song, recorded even before Fenway, and Wrigley were built!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4-gsdLSSQ0

Letter From America

Yes, this really is, from my suite I’m staying in here in Boston for the week. And yes, there were only 2 songs that came to mind for this blog, Simon and Garfunkel lost out, no prizes for working out which song. So if you want to go and find it…

But in all honesty, it could only come a distant second to this song, which if its based around the Scottish clearances, rather than the major Irish one, well I dont begrudge the Proclaimers that in the slightest. Yes, the Irish potato famine is about to raise its unruly head here lol!

I know, I was born in England, and all that. Doesnt stop me hating the English for what happened to all those poor Irish people 150 years ago, or slightly more. Equally I dont claim great historical knowledge of the events, only what I’ve read in various places, and seen monuments to in the West of Ireland especially. Its hard, at this distance in time to know just how badly the English treated the Irish at the time, but generally reports state it varies from very badly to horrifically!

Did I lkose any relatives in that time, either to famine, or the mass emigration in those awful ships to North America, no idea. But I suspect I must have done, and indeed but for a quirk of fate, I might be an American writing this, and not understand cricket in the slightest! Instead somewhere around the start of the 20th century, both of my ancestral families came to England.

I guess hating the English for what happened then is a bit harsh, life and times were very different, and so were attitudes, but all the same… There is Irish songs about the treatment of native folk by the English, but none provoke the same feelings for me as the Proclaimers song about the Clearances in their country.

So therefore, supporting the Celtic statement of English hard handedness in the past, I present

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-OzdiaJZkw

Beyond Yorkshire

I’m told there are rumours of life beyond the Yorkshire boundaries, will have to find out if its true or not? Yes, I am joking btw! Though if you talked to some people, you might believe otherwise. As for their feelings when Lancashire won the cricket county championship yesterday, I dread to think lol!

Time permitting, I intend to keep this blog going while away in Boston, but absolutely no promises are made, so if it goes quiet (or quietish) here over the next week or so, you know why. I’m just the type of person who would rather you knew, rather than just have you wondering where I’d gone.

Irish cricket has the last 2 games of the season early next week against Canada, and given the new qualifying rules for the 2015 World Cup, it adds more importance to victories that should be achieved by the full team. Not that the IC Cup team did too badly this week lol! Other than that, Ireland play Australia in the rugby world cup tomorrow, and I’m not expecting an Irish victory there somehow.

Beyond that, not much to say, other than wishing my readers a good weekend, and speak to you again soon.

 

Setting foot on Irish soil

Well if I say its 5 years or so since I last set foot on Irish soil, I would be lying. But for the Republic, then yes, it is, probably one of the longest periods without visiting that I’ve had. Been to the North a few times in that period (3, I think) but not south of the border, but will make that return at last on Saturday…and then again the following Sunday lol! Neither will be lengthy, and neither will be beyond the boundaries of an airport (Shannon out, Dublin back), but its a start.

Partly its convenience, if I go to Belfast for cricket, I dont have to change currency, I can still (for now at least) think in miles, not kilometres, though I suspect thats just my age, nothing more! Actually one of my amusements with the south (or was the case, dont know if still is?) was the fact you could come to one signpost in kilometres, turn off onto a minor road, and distances would be in miles, on an old fashioned milepost!

Itrs not hard to spot why I tend to go elsewhere for my holidays, its called being a non driver! Despite the comment that everyone drives in the US, public transport in the big cities (and indeed most places) is good, reasonably priced, and quite regular. Whereas beyond the biggest cities in Ireland…! Getting to Kerry might be practical, but getting around Kerry for a non driver would be a whole different thing. Noit sure if Offaly even qualifies on the first front!

Shannon I will be at least able to catch my breath in, Dublin is just going to be a whirl of Immigration, and then the plane home! It will still be nice to visit my ancestral homeland again, its been far too long.

Cant Help Falling In Love

Oh, did you think you were getting some details on my post romances? Ah well, sorry to disappoint. There was only really one, and though we stayed together for 12 years, it wasnt ‘a fine romance’, but most of that was my fault, and my body problems, not that I knew why at the time. She’s out there somewhere, but wouldnt recognise my name now, even if she saw this.

So alright, its about contriving a blog to fit tonights video find, lol!

Its funny how some cities you visit, you instantly fall in love with. I can only really think of one in the UK that struck me like that, and that would be Inverness. Dont ask me why now, that was over 30 years ago now, and though I havent been there in a long time, and have no idea how its changed, I will always have a soft spot for it.

As has been mentioned before I believe, there is one US city that captured my heart the first time I saw it, and thats Seattle. Maybe its the weather, maybe its the people, or a whole combination of things, but its one of those places I look forward to visiting again, maybe next April if things work out. The only US cities to even get in range are Chicago, and San Francisco, and the latter isnt just because of its whole, very relaxed attitude to LGBT people, though I suspect that might count as a bonus. Chicago, I have no idea why, just had a good feel while there.

Two others deserve a mention, one being my new love of this year, Toronto. I know, its cold in winter, but I almost suspect I could live with that given the chance. Tallinn in Estonia is the other. Like Inverness, the first visit was a long time back, and indeed my only visit so far, and that was 14 years ago now. Again, I suspect a lot has changed there since then. And like Toronto, the winters are a bit chilly lol!

Its actually very windy here tonight, though not as bad as some parts of the UK all the same, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Katia, thankfully all will be gone before Saturday when I fly out to Boston. Cant see me falling in love with the place, didnt really do so first time around, 23 years ago, so cant see why it would now?

Oh alright, enough waffling, you want to know about the video I guess? Its hard to believe how long this band has been together, and the line up has barely changed in all that time. Irony is the name of the band refers to the unemployment benefit form of the time, though they certainly havent been out of work since then! It is a cover, but thats something they were good at, excellent cover versions.

So no more, hope you enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajp0Uaw4rqo&feature=related

10 years ago today

Yes, as a special one off tonight, you get a blog that bears no relevance to my normal stuff here.

Its funny, I remember that fateful day so well, that really its quite scary! I was living and working in Newbury at the time, and by sheer irony, 11th September 2001 was my day off. Didnt have a lot on, so pottered around at home in the morning (oh alright, probably spent time on the computer too) before heading into the office to join the other staff there for lunch, as often happened if I wasnt busy on my day off. No, my memory isnt quite good enough to know what I ordered lol!

I guess it was soon after 1 (all this is UK time btw) that I left them, and started to head for home, via Tesco’s to do some shopping. When I got home, my phone was ringing merrily, and I was told to put the TV on quick. You can guess the rest, it was about 5 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, and all hell was breaking loose. I watched everything transfixed for the rest of the day, as the whole horrible tragedy of events played out. Its not like I wanted to watch it, but you couldnt do anything else really! Someone later jokingly said that it was the longest period I stayed off the computer at home after I got it, lol! Not quite true, but…

All I do remember is that it was pretty nigh impossible (for whatever reason) to get connected to the internet that night.

The thing is, two of those fated planes flew out from Boston, an airport I will be landing into next Saturday afternoon (their time), 23 years or so after having last landed there. And to add to it all, I went up to the observation deck on one of the World Centre towers, and had my photo taken there, by my partner of the time.

Its hard to believe all that happened 10 years ago, that day still seems so clear even now.

RIP all those good souls who died on that awful day, I dont think I’ll forget it, and you, until I die.

Something uniquely Irish.

No, not Guinness, even if I guess it is. Nor them messing up the World Cup Rugby tournament again, though they may well do so, lol! That wouldnt be unique anyway!

No, this post relates to something that happens once a year (not Santa), somewhere a little north of Dublin.

I refer to the wonderfully unique delight that is Laytown races! Alright, for those who dont know, this isnt held at some race track, this is literally held on the beach! There is a joke that did the rounds that one year some wag reported the meeting cancelled as waterlogged, and then realised a few hours later, but as far as I know, that tale is pure fiction.

Nowadays, for safety reasons, all races are run on a straight course, no races longer than 7 furlongs (1400 metres appx), but in the old days, there used to be a round course, and the ‘far side’ of the track was prone to ‘flooding’ if racing got delayed at all, lol! Snag was, the sand on that part wasnt always solid enough to take a heavy, galloping racehorse, and a few tragedies did occur. It did look at one point as if this would end this unique event, but the compromise course now laid out has solved all those problems, I’m pleased to say.

Its one meeting I really want to go to, but I’ve been saying that for the best part of 30 years now, and still havent got there, for various reasons. But I really must one day, its something I so want to see, and not just on TV at work.

Here is a sample

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Sqj7rZsvk