Monthly Archives: February, 2013

The toughest race?

Yes, its that time of year again, when mushers and dogs set off from Anchorage (ceremonial only, Willow now the true start point) for Nome, covering about 1000 miles of Alaska in the process. You’ve got it, its Iditarod time! Starts Saturday folks, though the real long haul starts on Sunday of course.

Seriously, people enjoy covering 1000 miles of tracks, frozen rivers, and indeed at one point frozen sea, for the delights of winning a long distance dog race, you bet they do! Me, I think they’re crazy, but do I admire them for doing so, you bet I do! This year is my favourite route, the southerly one, purely because that means they actually pass through the ghost town of Iditarod, that the race is named after. Well, technically its named after the trail to there, but you get the point?

And finally, having endured temperatures that could easily drop to minus 40 and beyond, especially in the Yukon wilderness area, they finally roll into Nome, where they are quite rightly treated like heroes. It used to be easy to say that Lance Mackey would be amongst the front runners, but for the last couple of years, that hasnt been the case. I’m not sure if the Mackey era is over just yet, but it might be. But what he did, winning as many consecutive races as he did, amazing stuff. And such a nice guy too, from all I read and hear of him. No, I’m never likely to meet him myself, but have read too many people saying nice things about him not to believe it.

Fortunately, my holiday split means I should be able to follow most of the first week quite well, unfortunately the finish is likely to run into Cheltenham, but fingers crossed I can still keep an eye on things. One day I dream of getting to Nome, but given my age, the state of my knees for really long distance flying, and everything else, it probably wont happen, and will always be one of my regrets in life. Even Anchorage is pretty tough from here, but maybe, just maybe…I hope, even if its not at Iditarod time.

The video, what can I say, I dedicate it to all those brave dogs, who will do just this for 10 days or more, allowing for rest breaks of course, and thankfully there are plenty of them. The song, a true one hit wonder from 42 years ago!

Lull before the storm, before the lull

Given that I work in the sports betting industry, its fair to say that horse racing makes March and April an even more lively period than usual. Mid March brings the Cheltenham Festival, and then of course early April brings the Grand National galloping into sight. So yes, they are the storm in the middle, so what are the two lulls surrounding them? Well, I guess its not hard to work out, its that strange beast called holidays!

Next week sees me using up the last of my holiday for this year (holiday year is April to March), when I get to work a whole one day on Monday, then get the rest of the week off. The following week though will be anything but a rest, as that brings along the Cheltenham Festival for four glorious days of manic gambling. Yes, I’m working some overtime that week too, so feel free to question my sanity lol! One rare event this year, my birthday doesnt fall within the race meeting dates, so I’ve actually got the day off, the Saturday, which will be nice.

Some might be amused to hear that for me at least, another important sporting landmark occurs next week, the start of the Ireland cricket season. No, not at home silly, away in the UAE where the weather will be a lot warmer than here! I’m hoping to get to a match in Ireland at some point this summer, but no idea where, or when at present.

Then things (relatively at least) calm down a bit for a couple of weeks, and then along comes that crazy day known as Grand National Day. Yes, its as crazy in the call centre as it is in the betting shops, believe me!

Then finally, the second lull, the first holiday of the new holiday year, off to Rochester on the 20th April, something to really look forward to. As I say, for March and April, I see both sides of life.

Talking of which, leads me to the video, a very neat tie in. The scary point, this performance is nearly 40 years old, eek!

The name may change, but does the person?

Pertinent question, you might say, for anyone, for whatever reason changes their name by deed poll. Some like myself, do it as a sign of a change in life, in my case transitioning, but equally for many, its because of a wedding. But does that change the person too?

Despite what some say, especially some comedians, most women dont change after marriage beyond the name. But for me, changing name, and more importantly changing gender was an amazing release. All of a sudden I was no longer trying to live a lie, I really was me, a woman in nearly all senses of the word, and believe me, the one thing that marked me as a man hasnt functioned for years anyway! Well, it does in one sense, but not in the way that marks you as a man lol! I would say it fires blanks, but nowadays it simply doesnt fire at all lol!

But for me at least, the change was far more than that. Its possible to say that hypnosis played a part in making me the confident woman that I am now, and I’m sure to some degree it has, but the thing was, finally, after all that time, I was the real me. No pretence, as Helen Reddy said, I am woman, watch me run, and I certainly have since then, and I love it.

Even so, back then, if you’d told me I’d be buying shoes with a heel, I would probably have laughed at you. Now I’ve got 3 pairs, even if one of those is a wedge, so a slight cheat, and neither of the other pairs are of the towering, or the narrow kind, just not practical with my knees, even if I wanted to. Now I go out in public in skirts, and of course, even more famously in a dress, and love it.

So yes, I’ve definitely changed beyond just the name, but its all for the better. Just a shame I wasted so many years of my life trying to be a man, but so be it. Now, I feel good, and thats the main thing.

Right, the video. Funnily enough, just the opposite situation here. Mention a group called The Brotherhood of Man, and everyone would think of the group that won Eurovision in the 80’s. Funnily enough, there was another line up of that group, and not one of them is in the line up that most people know. Yes, you might recognise one of them, its someone who has appeared before in my video collection, Tony Burroughs.

I love the title as well, it sums up beautifully what the whole LGBT community has to do, to stand united.

Hair colouring, a quick question.

Hopefully I can get a rare event around here, an answer, in the form of comment to one of my blogs. Just maybe?

Yes, its got to that time again, when the blonde tresses need a colour top up. Well alright, I’m probably going to end up leaving it until I’m off in a couple of weeks time before it actually gets done, though in all honesty, it really needs doing now, but anyway… pertinent question that I’d love to know the answer to.

The first time I went to get it coloured, the hairdresser suggested to me that I get it highlighted, rather than coloured. I said fine, lets face it, she knows far more about these things than I do, and certainly did then, so agreed. But is it, for someone who wants to be blonde all over, and not just in places? Or is highlighting just a clever way of achieving pretty much the same effect? There seems to be a small price difference between the two, so something must be different, just not quite sure what.

And which is the better look to go with?

The cut, not a doubt in my mind, I’m sticking with the bob look, though it wont be the really short one, sort of mid length, back/top of neck again. Under my circumstances, I really cant go with the very short Brooks type look, because lets face it, the one thing I dont want to do is look boyish! I know that nowadays the cleavage helps to deviate from that fact, but at the same time, if people actually look at my face, not my boobs…you get the drift. Even more so with those at work who knew me before transitioning especially. But I love the style, and even the fringe is admitting defeat, and starting to look good, even if not yet good enough for the helmet look, but its getting better. 🙂

One woman at work even asks if I’m trying to compete with her boob size wise, I have no chance of doing that, but given everything, I’m certainly not flat chested nowadays, thats for sure. Yes, some of it is cheating, but not all of it now, thats for sure lol! However, no, in case anyone was wondering, that valentine card never appeared, shock horror!

But yes, if someone knows the answer to the colouring question, who actually reads this, I’d love to know. Just that I was thinking that if it is more of a full cover look, should I get it coloured this time around, and not just highlights?

The video, well given the colour I’ve been talking about, who could be more apt than Blondie? Yes, its that song that revived her career, so many years after seemingly being over, she proved us wrong with this

You know you’re getting old, when…

The people you grew up enjoying watching on TV start to die, at quite an elderly age. I know 79 isnt bad, but I’m fast approaching 55, so…

Yes, I woke up this morning to the sad news that Richard Briers had died, at the age of 79. Emphysema, ironically the same disease that took Louise Brooks from this world, ironically a few months short of her 79th birthday. Both smoked heavily, and of course Brooks’s mother died of the same disease, probably for the same reason, smoking. So, on that theory, as a non smoker, something else will have to kill me off lol!

Its funny, I remember Briers in so many series, and indeed in later years, in films, but the one part most will remember him for, is Tom Good, in the Good Life. For those of you too young to remember, he basically throws in his old job, and attempts to live self sufficiently. Of course, being a sitcom, he didnt always succeed! Briers was the comedy genius in this, but supported by 3 excelent foils, the series was one of the sitcom greats of all time, and is probably still replayed on TV channels today.

He did many other things, but thats the main one I will always remember him for. Thanks for the memories, Richard, RIP.

Oh, the video. One of those other things I mentioned, a slightly different series for children from the 1970’s called Roobarb, though many believe it was called Roobarb and Custard. Yes, its not hard to work out where the names came from lol! By todays standards, it makes for strange viewing, with the almost moving screen, but that deliberate, even back then.

Why this, not the Good Life, much shorter videos lol!

Things are heating up

No, not my love life, dont be so daft! Not even for Valentines Day! Actually, its that other great British subject of debate that I’m talking about, the weather.

Today, its snowed on and off all day, more on than off in all honesty, which kept me in, because though I might be blonde (of sorts), I’m not stupid. Well, not unless I put it on for show, and thats not often lol! Currently the temperature is about freezing point, by tomorrow afternoon its supposed to be about 20 degrees higher, so…Yes, I know, I do mean Fahrenheit, I spend too much time in the US to think in Centigrade, thats my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! 😛

No, I dont think I’m yet planning on skirts, and heels, and short sleeved tops, but that point might be getting nearer I guess? Maybe if I was on a day when it was warm when I left, and warm when I get back, then maybe the shoes would be tempting, but given I’m leaving here before 7.30 tomorrow morning, I suspect boots will win the vote, though not the fleecy winter ones this time around…? Might be tempted tomorrow morning, but I know they’ll be too hot coming home, and at work, so…We will see on that front, but definitely trousers still, thats for sure. Besides which, I dont want to be trying to sort out a skirt suitable to wear early tomorrow morning, and as my trousers are handy…Shoes and boots are all readily available though, so… 😉

No, I’m not planning on wearing a dress to work though, I’m not that outrageous…yet! Besides which, how many women wear a dress to work nowadays? Might wear a dress out on my birthday dinner day, just over a month, but a lot will depend how I feel at the time, and the weather, especially as its a Saturday, and there might be a few idiots about. I know, I know about passing and all that, but its the football season, and if Huddersfield are at home that day, there might be even more idiots about lol! Its rare to actually get my birthday off (its an extra holiday entitlement at work) as it normally clashes with the Cheltenham Race Festival, but this year it doesnt. Valentines dinner date tomorrow, dont make me laugh!

Ah, the video. Well, what could be more apt for tomorrow than this? Yes, this might be the last for a few days, as I’m back to work tomorrow, unless something amazing happens at least. I did think of using the Killers cover version, but hey, the original video is just so good. So, who are the perfect couple for tomorrow? Might just be these two.

Lol, those who get an email when I blog will get an extra edition tonight, free of charge. I had a blonde moment, and posted it on here, instead of my other one. Will confuse them if they come here to read it though lol! The rest of you will just never know! 😉

The only beau I get is a rainbow

And lets face it, there arent too many of them around at this time of year, you need sunshine for that. Well, and rain instead of snow, but anyway…

Yes, two days from now, its Valentines Day again. Someone at work is threatening that he’s getting me a card, but I’ll wait and see on that, especially as he’s not working that day, but at least the thought is there. Of course, for all those of you with email, and how are you here without it, you could always slip the old lady an e-card, and make her day. No, no breath will be held, especially as this tease didnt work last year anyway.

And the only gift I’ve got on the day, is an hour and a half of overtime, couldnt see the point in saying no, as I’m not being wined and dined by anyone, thats for sure. Oh, and lets face it, I wont be suitably dressed on Thursday now, unless someone wants to surprise (read amaze) me in advance that is. Can you imagine the reaction at work if I turned in, dressed to the nines for a Valentines Day Meal lol! No, you’re right, no one is that crazy!

Yes, I know, me working overtime, bit of a shock isnt it? Ah, there is method in my complete madness, overtime in February gets paid at the end of March, nicely in time for my holiday in April. No, the little bit I do wont make a lot of difference, but it all helps. Off to Rochester, not the one in Kent I lived near for 21 years, the one in New York. Lets just say that one I want to go to, one I never want to return to, no prizes for working out which is which under the circumstances. Was last in the NY one 25 years ago, and I suspect its changed. No, I wont be sure, beyond standing by the lake, I dont remember a thing of the place in all honesty, so it will seem like new at least. Hard to believe its only 10 weeks till I’ll be there, in all honesty.

Ah, the video. I’m not sure if that was how it was planned, but I see this as the perfect cynical reaction to Valentines Day for someone like me.

Oops, I did it again, and again seemingly!

No, dont worry, nothing serious, just too much shopping over the years without sorting it out…until today! Facepalm moment lol!

Yes, I had a pile of bags in the corner of my room, some dating back several years that just never got sorted into my clothing collection. Today, rashly, some would say unwisely, I set to the task! Yes, they are all sorted out now, but I have far more tops, blouses etc in my collection than I could ever have imagined. Oh, and several short dresses that at my age, and height, are only ever going to be used as tops, believe me! Err, and a short blue leather (or leather look) skirt that I have no idea when I might wear it, but hey, its a fun item, I kept it. its funny isnt it, I recently found a full length, definitely leather skirt in a charity shop that I’m far more likely to wear. Oh, and I discovered that I have enough skirts to keep me going through the summer too, some of which were hidden, because I never used to wear such things in public, but now…grin! Not sure I’ll be wearing the black leather one to work, all the same. The others though, oh yes! When the weather warms up anyway. Did get a new pair of work shoes today, via Nicole and the Charity shop, but they were needed. Yes, they are heels, but not of the high type lol!

Oh, and I cleaned out the wardrobe too, that was fun. I’ll be honest, its one of these ‘put together’ ones, and the rail gave way under the weight of all the tops I piled on top of it, not blamelessly in the slightest I might add, but…At the bottom, I found a pair of high heels (4″ or so?) that I could just about move about in, but not really walk far, and a pair of stillettos, which I couldnt! Both, along with several other items are now in several bags, heading for a local charity shop that Nicole works in. Quite a lot of it were ‘man things’, a few of which were never worn, a couple still in their wrapping. Yes, thats how long I’ve had some of this stuff, it must date back more than 10 years, eek!

Oh, alright, no, I dont think there is any item of clothing I need in the foreseeable future, but going through with knowing that, when I see a bargain, hmm…? Must resist, must resist,…maybe? 😉

So to the video, and no, I havent got an outfit like this one lol. I know, I know, its Britney, but we all have to suffer at times. Would I have one if you offered? Hmm… Oops, nearly did it again lol!

Same Sex Marriage

Yes, I know, easy get out subject matter for tonight. Well, unless you want to hear about boring things, like getting my nails done, the fact its been snowing again, or the insane shifts at work start tomorrow…No, thought not, so lets do a very rare venture into politics.

So its official, by a very large majority of 225, the government bill permitting same sex marriages has been passed. No, I dont know if thats it, or whether the folk in the House of Lords get to have a say or not, but for now, lets celebrate this fine act.

No, I dont want to get married to anyone, I’m not even technically sure which would be same sex for me at present? I suspect, given that I havent yet had something removed, it would be another man, but dont quote me on that. My medical records say I’m female, passport says I’m male, so who knows? But yes, you’re right, I dont even have any interest in getting romantically attached, let alone married to anyone, so…But alright, I wouldnt mind a Valentines Card from someone in 9 days time, however hypocritical that may sound. Its just been so long, it would be kind of sweet, so…

The irony of this vote though, is that most of the opponents of this bill were Conservative. Yes, the party in power, funny, isnt it? But given that for once, Labour was supportive on this, as well as the coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, it sailed through.

As I say, for me personally, it doesnt mean a lot, I certainly have no plans to get married to anyone, of either sex, now, or in the foreseeable future. Apart from my total lack of interest in sex, I’m far too used to my own independence for anything like that now. So sorry folks, you can wine and dine me, but romance wouldnt be part of the deal. I know, I’m just awkward lol!

But for those of the same sex who do want to be married, I’m thrilled for you, absolutely delighted that it can now happen. And delighted, and amazed about our politicians doing something as radical as this. Alright, the down side, the Church of England isnt involved. Other churches, its their call, and somehow I cant see many rushing to say yes. But registry offices at least, so OK, its a start.

So David Cameron, thanks for that. Now, if you want to start looking into transgender issues with the NHS, you might even get my vote next time around.

Right, the video, I’d like to think this works quite well, and its a group I liked, so… And yes, its the cleaned up version that even children can listen to, lol!

Expecting the unexpected

Thats fooled you, you’re never going to work out the video from that title without looking down this blog! 😛

So, the meaningful subject for tonight, you could say its work related, of a sort. Sport!

This weekend, in both versions of the rugby game, saw the start of a competition. In rugby league, generally more my sport, both the Superleague, and lower leagues got under way this weekend. Talking of lower leagues, I support the Keighley Cougars in the Championship, and they lost today, not even narrowly, 42-10! I gather from the forum they were as awful as the scoreline suggested, so lets leave it at that, and just hope they improve from here. However, my home town now, Huddersfield travelled last night to St Helens in the Superleague, and general conclusion was that there would be a comfortable winner. There was, 40-4 in fact, but not to the expected favourites, instead Huddersfield wiped them off the pitch! No, I’m not a big fan, but its a home town thing, so…

Rugby Union, I can really only get interested in international stuff, and that generally means the World Cup, and the 6 nations championship, and of course I support Ireland. Last season, any day I was working when they were playing, I wore green to work. To be honest, they were pretty awful. So yesterday, I wore a pink top to work, given I had no great expectations of a result away to Wales. So alright, when the phones calm down enough to look at the score, its 20-0 to Ireland! It ended up 30-22, whether because Wales fought back, they eased off the gas, or a combination of both, I have no idea. But yes, I enjoyed the victory.

Then today, France travelled to Italy, clearly with expectations of an easy victory, despite losing in Rome 2 years ago, the last time they were there. Hadnt learnt, started off very slowly, and Italy were soon 10-0 up. France righted the ship, and led 15-13 at half time. But then, instead of pushing on, and winning, they eased off. Soon after that, 23-15 to Italy! France only really woke up in the last 5 minutes, but it was too late, what a shame, not!

So next weekend, England come to Dublin, and though the winner wont have the title sewn up, it would put them in a pretty strong position. Go Ireland!

No, its not the Irish national anthem, or even Irelands Call tonight, its not that classy to be honest. But shall we say it sums up the Italian performance today, and leave it at that.

And yes, that is Noel Edmonds! facepalm moment lol