Monthly Archives: August, 2017

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…

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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…

The Run For Home

OK, some sports fanatics might like to look away at this point, just saying…right, have those crazy folk gone? 😉 Dont get me wrong, there are some sports I enjoy, baseball, and cricket being 2 of the obvious ones, but equally there are a few I cant stand, which include the soccer version of football (for US reader purposes) and boxing. So if you love those last 2 sports, and are still reading, get ready for ‘grumpy old woman’ moment lol!

I see myself as a sports follower, rather than a fan, in that yes, I have a few teams I follow, but none of whom do I get overly passionate about. No, not even the Dodgers lol!

Its fair to say I’ve been bored senseless by all the hype, and drivel that has been about over the Mayweather, and McGregor fight last night. Thank goodness its finally over, though I’ve no doubt its still going to get mentioned way too much over the next few days. Hopefully now, mighty mouth, aka McGregor will now keep quiet about it all, but I suspect that might be wishful thinking.

I’m sure most of the US sports actually have the infantile behaviour, relating to rookies joining the team, but I have to say that the NFL seems to take the biscuit. Fine, I know that by my standards, even the rookies in the NFL are on salaries beyond my wildest dreams, but why the senior players seem to find it amusing to get the rookies to pay absolutely preposterous amounts for a dinner, I have absolutely no idea? Seriously, does anyone with an IQ over 50 find this sort of behaviour amusing, because I dont! The latest team to involve themselves in this stupidity are the Green Bay Packers, where 12 players ‘took out’ some rookies to dinner, ordered the most ridiculous items, and presented them with a bill for over $34,000! Some of them will probably be cut before the season even starts, so how they are meant to afford this? Sadly, this isnt the first time, or even the second time I’ve read of this immature stuff this summer from NFL teams, so I really despair. Along with the whole Kaepernick based anthem stuff, I’m wondering if I really want to bother with the sport any more. Yes, CFL seems a lot more fun!

Ah, and finally the sport that inspired this rant, football. Though to be fair to the animals that support this sport, they were unlucky I saw this last night, because if First Buses ran a half decent service, I would have been out of Huddersfield before this happened. I got back into town last night, just before 5.00, and if the bus home had turned up, I would have missed the arrival back in town of the so called fans. Unfortunately it didnt, the next bus 10 minutes later (supposedly) actually left nearly 10 minutes late, so I saw the whole affair.

Not that I would have missed everything, because even as I was walking to the bus stop, I saw 2 fans having a punch up. Ironically, both were Huddersfield fans! Soon after I managed to see 4 people go by the bus stop, knocking 6 bells out of each other, but that was the more traditional 2 from each team stuff! Lastly I saw a group of about 20 men run by, shouting “Lets get the Bas****s” towards a group of visiting fans, but unluckily for them, a group of police were with said fans, so they were quickly cordoned off, and hopefully arrested!

Baseball at least seems to save all its punch ups to on the pitch, between players, most of which I see as pretty childish. Yes, I’m sure the Dodgers get involved in those, but never seen one yet!

But yes, all this only makes me grateful I dont get fanatical about sport, if thats what it does to you.

Fine, rant over!

Video time. A song from the 70’s, which I’m sure most will never have heard. But yes, I’m old, remember it, and it seems rather apt, given what I was trying to do last night

An Englishwoman in New York

Given how many times I have visited since the turn of the century, its hard now to believe that the first time I visited the US was only 30 years ago. Yes, it took me half of my current lifespan (more or less) before I actually flew across the Atlantic to make my first visit. That first flight, flying with TWA (who no longer exist) was into Boston, a city I have visited several times since, under my own steam. But like I will be doing this year, flying Thomas Cook Airlines, I didnt fly out of the same airport, or city, as I arrived at. For the last few days, we took the hire car back to Boston, then took a train to New York City. Funnily enough, this year will involve a shorter trip on the same railway line (to Stamford), and no, I havent travelled down it, in all that time! Yes, I suspect its changed.

I guess NYC is one of those cities that you either love, or hate. Its loud, in your face, and very, very busy. Yes, I enjoyed seeing the sights, and I loved seeing 42nd Street on Broadway, but the place as a whole wasnt my scene. The strangest memory is that we got the tickets for the musical, in a ticket booth which was either just outside, or just inside (it is 30 years ago!) the World Trade Center, which 14 years later, attracted news headlines for all the wrong reasons.

It was only after the event, after my stay in Chicago, that I realized that I’d taken to the noise, and bustle in a much easier way than I had in NYC about 20 years earlier. Had I changed in myself, or was it the start of the whole transition thing that lightened me up, who knows? Either way, Chicago is on the list of places I hope to get back to, sometime soon. Will be next year, if I get back to a 5 day week, and 2 holidays next year, but lets see how the health issues play out first. If not, Seattle is calling to me even louder, so if it comes to 1 slightly longer holiday, that will probably win out.

But yes, its my strong love for LA, which lets face it, is very loud, very bustling, especially Hollywood, that makes me wonder how I’d feel about NYC nowadays? I know I’ve changed since then. The whole becoming a woman matter has made me feel so much better about myself, made me more self confident, and probably livelier, that makes me think that I might now see NYC in a different light? Yes, the expensive nature of the city will make it hard for me to visit, but maybe at some point…?

No, it wont be this year. I will pass through the city on the way to JFK airport (which is where I flew out of, 30 years ago), but it will only be passing through, nothing more. And thats assuming I dont get driven to the airport, which I’m not expecting, but then again, I had to convince someone she wasnt driving to Cape Cod to pick me up, and I might still need to try and convince her again lol!

So yes, maybe at some point, I will go back to NYC, and see how I feel about it now. Hey, if I love Hollywood, I might love NYC now? But yes, even at 2 holidays a year, it will be a few years yet, as beyond the 2 mentioned for next year, San Francisco, Kansas City, and Minneapolis St Paul (probably in that order of preference) are all cities I want to go back to.

San Francisco for so many reasons, KC to see if I can find any more Harlow landmarks, and to see more of the city. MSP, no idea why, but I feel I want to go back, all the same. And thats all assuming I cant find where Clara Elaine Johnson was born in Oklahoma, and visit there! Texas, where she moved to LA from, I’ll see how they feel about transgender women by then, even if I do find out where in the state she lived. Mind, I might have had the op by then, so…lol?

But yes, in 30 years, the only place in NYC I’ve visited, is a couple of transits through JFK. Maybe someday, I should go back?

The video? Big clue in the blog title, how original!

Don’t look back in anger?

Who, me, would never do such a thing! Its funny, at the time when various firms either said I hadnt got the job for the most tenuous reason, or more likely, never bothered to contact me at all, I might have got angry about it, but in truth, now, I’m very grateful that they did! Because, in truth, after about 15 months (from being made redundant, to hearing I’d got the job) of effort, I struck gold!

Great place to work, interesting job, plenty of great workmates who dont care if I’m trans woman, natural woman, or whatever. I swear that if I did actually turn up as a fully chromed robot, as long as I was happy with that, they’d be fine for me. They also dont seem to care if I get my ‘bits’ bobbed or not, as long as its my decision. I’m just treated as a woman in that place, and its wonderful.

You might ask why I’m writing all this today? Well, there is a simple, but good reason, it was on 22nd August, 2016 that I first walked into my new place of employment, as a worker, for the first time, and as they say, the rest is history! As I see it, hopefully, body permitting (and thats questionable at present?), its 1 year down, just over 6 and a half to go, as thats the date I’m due for retirement from the work force, as things stand. I know one or two saying that retirement at that point is purely optional, and I might have a think at the time, as 7 months later than that date, would mark the 50th anniversary of my first official job! As I say, I dont think it will be all my choice, or down to my physical health by then?

Seriously, the only thing that will have me leaving, of my own choice now, is the sort of acting role that I couldnt say no to, and there might be a few of them lol, though probably not offered to me! But fine, if it happens…I might try to make an arrangement for after the dream is over, lol!

No, I’m not going to pick out any names, too many lovely people to do anything like that. But this ‘old crock’ just wants to show her appreciation, not only for the lovely way I get treated at work generally, but the quickly obliging way things happened, when (hopefully just for 12 weeks) I had to cut my workload, things got sorted out, just like that!

So yes, to all those places who turned me down for a job with them, in hindsight, thank you so much! I just wish it didnt take 17 months, from being made redundant, to starting to work there, but maybe these things are meant to be?

If you havent worked out the video from the title, I’m shocked! Though its not the original one, a more recent live one from Noel Gallagher instead.

There was light in the sky, now there’s only the dark

Yes, I’ve rather cribbed the lyrics of the very obvious video to fit in with tonights blog. I did think about something like the ‘Darkness over the US’, but some might have thought that was about politics lol! Mind, dear Donald is such an idiot that be probably thinks tomorrows eclipse is more fake news from us moderates, and lefties lol!

A wonderful woman I know (though only in an online sense) told me today that tomorrow will be the first total solar eclipse to pass over the entire US since Independence in 1776! So yes, been a while! I remember the one here in the UK in 1999, though the only way I saw the total eclipse was on TV, as it passed through the South West corner of the UK, and even though I was in Somerset, that wasnt enough for the total version, though it did get pretty close, all the same.

The lady I know is driving up to Wyoming to get to the total eclipse zone, from her home in Colorado, I hope she has a safe trip, and a wonderful time. Apparently the solar eclipse is seen as a portal for change, and liberation, but lets stay away from US politics lol! It seems some of this will be seen in the UK, just before sunset, though better in the north of Scotland, than here in Yorkshire, because it stays light longer up there at this time of year, but I should get something, which will be nice. To quote her, re the eclipse

Once darkness passes over the sun and is cast aside like an old cloak, allowing brightness to shine forth again, who will you be?

No, I dont expect to come out of the eclipse, looking like Clara (Elaine) Johnson, or Jean Harlow, or the robot from Metropolis, but never say never, lol. In truth, at the moment, it might be handy if I come out the other side as a woman more comfortable with the fact that she’s going to need a wheelchair to get her through all the airports when I fly to, and from the US in 3 weeks time, for starters! I know, not my fault that my body is starting to fall apart, but all the same…I must admit, it will be an interesting experience, all the same, but still wish I didnt need to do it!

Seemingly the next total eclipse in the UK isnt until 2090, so definitely wont be around for that! There is a pretty good (over 90%) eclipse in 2026, which I might just manage, though whether I’ll be spending more time in a wheelchair by then, who knows? Or maybe I’ll change tomorrow, into a young Elaine Johnson, and get myself a role dancing in theaters? Yes, I know which I think is more likely lol!

Right, video time. Yes, the very obvious one. I decided, perhaps rashly to try and find a live version of this, and found this one from this year. Yes, not surprisingly, Bonnie’s voice isnt what it used to be. But if you want to give it a try?

Oh fine, for those who prefer the original…? Or simply love the Jim Steinman orchestration as much as I do?

Does A Doctor Contemplate My Fate?

Well, indirectly, though they wont know about it at the time,yes, they will.

Assuming that the fairly obvious is correct, and after the bone density scan, they do decide that my issue with my back is osteoporosis related, there are a couple of fairly obvious supplements I could be given to try and ease, and hopefully cure the issue, to some degree at least. One is calcium supplements, which would help to strengthen the bone, which I’m pretty sure is needed. The other one, and more relevant to this blog, is (o)estrogen supplements, as would be given to menopausal women under these circumstances. Yes, I’m sort of doing the double spelling thing here, as both options seem equally used, though I will settle for the estrogen version from now on, when writing this. In fact, its quite possible, and some say quite likely that I will get both!

One thing I’ve always said is that if the situation arose, where I felt the need, or desire to have the actual Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), then I would get it done. In truth, the main reason I’ve put myself off it, is the surgery issue, I’m not one of those people who love pain, in that sense at least! So given I have no sexual desires, and no partner, or potential partner who wants to get close in that way with me, I’ve passed on the matter, up to now.

But yes, I have had a think about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if a doctor, or group of doctors think I should be on estrogen supplements, then maybe I should take that as a hint that I really ought to take that last step to womanhood after all. I know, its still going to hurt, but I’m not sure it could be much more hellish than the pain I went through before getting on serious painkillers for the fracture in my back. And hey, lets face it, if anyone ever actually enters my new vagina sexually, I will be amazed. But yes, going to meet my maker, as a proper woman, it would be nice, I must admit.

But equally, I’m not going to be the one that actually makes the decision for me, as in truth, I’ve got a life now that suits me fine. All my paperwork says I’m a woman, and thats the main thing for me, but all the same…? So yes, if I get put on estrogen supplements, for my osteoporosis, I’m going to take that as a signal from a doctor, or ‘higher person’ that I really ought to become a woman for real. I know, a proper get out, but at least this way, I know its destiny, if it happens, which is fine by me.

I suspect its fair to say that therefore, a number of people will be hoping that the doctors do decide to put me on estrogen, so I go ahead and do it. There might be one or two hoping otherwise, but I suspect the vast majority who know me, and know about me would love to see me do it. Hell, I’d probably be glad I did it, after its done, but just at the moment, yes, the pain issue concerns me!

But yes, if in about 6 weeks time, or so, I announce that the decision is estrogen supplements for me, and I try to get out of this, dont let me! An angel will have contemplated my fate, made that decision for me, so…it will be done! Mind, unless someone wants to pay for me to do it privately, the length of time it might take on the NHS, well who knows when it will actually happen lol?

Oh fine, I might have given a couple of clues to the video here. This is a delightful live version, from the concert in Manchester that happened after the awful events there at a concert earlier this year.

Take it easier

One thing I’d been suspecting for a while, was that trying to carry on with life, as I was before the back issue, wasnt really a practical option. I’ve been trying to do just that, but yes, what I hoped I could do, and what I can actually do, two different things!

No, I havent had to cut out the sky diving, the deep sea diving, or anything like that, you understand. The first has never ever appealed, and though I might have fancied the latter when I was much younger, its past me now. In fact, most energetic things are past me now, even before the back quite literally fell apart.

No, in this case, its work! Even on strong painkillers, and steroid cream, my recovery time for more than a couple of days at work isnt good at present. So yes, on Friday morning, which would be my 3rd day in a row at work (Tuesday being my day off for week, working on Saturday), even after all the treatments, I still hurt a bit. And by now, I’m getting practical about the issue, its recovery time I need. In truth, I suspect as much of the issue is the bus seats to, and from work, but yes, work would play a part too.

So I decided to ask a question, and see if I could ease the load. So on Friday, I asked my team leader, very nicely, if it was possible, just temporarily, hopefully, to cut back to a 4 day week. Obviously it wasnt just her decision to make, especially in the Civil Service, but I was told to leave the matter with her, which is as much as I hoped for. Anyway, to cut a long story short, yesterday afternoon, it was all sorted out, and for the next 12 weeks, including this one, I’m doing a 4 day week! So much is said about work life, but I have nothing but praise for my workplace, for sure.

Mind, tomorrow might be fun at work. Have now used the last of my strong painkillers, and I rang the surgery today, hoping that I could go along and get a new prescription straightaway, but will be tomorrow afternoon before I can get it, or in my case now, Thursday morning. I have got some, but about half the strength, so tomorrow might be, err, fun!

In other related matters, I am now the proud owner of 2 back braces, or will be when they arrive! Yes, Ebay moment lol! One is just a simple brace, which supposedly has lots of magnets in it, which is supposed to be good for you, or so the people trying to sell it tell me! Snag is, after I pushed the button to buy, I discovered that its a Chinese company, supposedly located in London, so how good it will be, no idea? But fine, its cheap, so…

I also bought a corset type one, which thankfully involves zipping yourself in, not lots of tying yourself in, because lets face it, I’m useless at things like that! It claims it will give me a sexier waist too, but I’ll believe that when I see it. But who knows, a bit more of an hourglass figure lol…?

Right, video time. Fine, its depressing, as this is 40 years old, and I remember the song when it first came out. But what I need to do, at least until I get my back sorted out, is…

Is that all it takes?

Much though I hate doing politics, there are times when events happen that just cannot be ignored.

Yes, this weekend in Charlottesville, is the subject I cant ignore. I probably would have diplomatically avoided it, but for the death of one person, ran down by one of the extreme right wingers involved in this ghastly event, and the way that Trump has tried to avoid blaming the ghastly right wing people involved in this, because lets face it, he pretty much supports them! It seems that even after being advised to condemn them, that he couldnt do it! Too busy trying to start a nuclear war with North Korea to care, I guess? Sorry, but thats two people with the IQ, and temperament of infants, playing with very dangerous toys!

My sympathies to the family of poor woman who died, and to all those injured by that idiot yesterday. I only hope he gets punished as he should, but with Trump, and his right wing pals in control, I fail to be convinced of that. But I hope its the case.

The other depressing incident I have to report today, revolves around the fans of a certain NFL team I sort of follow, the Buffalo Bills. Though how much longer I want to follow them, if this is the way the other fans think, I’m not sure?

Yesterday, Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland (for now at least) Raiders, sat through the National Anthem, in support of Colin Kaepernick, amongst others. Kaepernick being the quarterback who knelt through said Anthem last year, in protest at police violence, and has since been seemingly black balled by every NFL team because of it. Given some of the names getting contracts as back up quarterbacks, there is no other good reason, I have to say. Let me add, that its not the first time Lynch has done this, but…some would make you believe it was.

Anyway, if I say that one of the more ‘polite’ comments (and sadly, I’m not being facetious) involved Lynch being so filled with lead that they couldnt put him back together to bury him, it shows what a depressing state of events is prevalent in parts of the US at present. Yes, seriously, there is a difference between being proud of your country, and being a dangerous person, and too many seem to have crossed the line to the latter, now.

No, I’m not a lily livered leftie, before you ask. I see myself as a sane moderate, but yes, some of these people scare me, a lot!

Fine, video time. A song about a massacre by the KKK, surely not? Yes, you got it! An OMD song that not many will know, for sure.