Monthly Archives: February, 2018

Here Comes The Snow Again

No, dont worry, it was nothing significant today when I woke up, and though we’ve had a few snow showers during the day, it still hasnt amounted to anything dramatic. Yes, I hope its the same when I get up in the morning, though if you believe the so called weather experts, I might be disappointed. They do say the worst day will be Thursday, when thankfully I dont have to leave home, but I wouldnt mind even that being something that doesnt come true.

To show how slight it was up here, the buses kept running, no issues. And lets face it, they are more than happy to stop running at the slightest excuse. Yes, I walked through snow on the way to Physio this morning, though such an insignificant amount that even a ‘frail old lady’ like me could cope with it, very easily. To be fair, I think its been worse down south, than up here, but believe me, I have no desire to go and investigate that.

Therefore I was surprised when I reached the Physio clinic this morning, to hear that I was the first to turn up for my appointment. Yes, there should (probably) have been 3 ahead of me, and the 1 behind me had cancelled too. Yes, there was snow on the ground, but no, it wasnt slippery out, and the roads were clear, as per the fact that the buses were all running around town.

Of course, to be fair to those people, as the clinic said, most, if not all of those people would have been older than me, and lets face it, you have to have some level of frailty to be going for Physio in the first place! Still…?

I have to admit, in advance of my last treatment next Tuesday, that I can honestly say my knees havent felt as good as they do now, in years. I’d love to say thats just down to the electricity that has got pulsed through my knee, but I’d be lying if I did. Not saying that that, and the ultrasound treatments havent played a big part, but so have the very simple exercises I have to do, as they have definitely strengthened the muscles in both knees that needed it. Oh, and the electrics have definitely made my circulation better, both my feet are pink (or almost pink) again, as blood has started to be forced to flow down to them. The old scars on the right knee are never going to go away fully, but they’re far less noticeable too, for the same circulatory reasons.

Now, if only she could zap my back (or my whole body?) like that…? 😀

But yes, seriously, I’ll be glad when the weather gets a lot warmer, especially for my back. Unless someone wants to buy me a home, somewhere with all year round heat…? No, thought not!

OK, video time. Its the wrong type of weather, technically, but its a gorgeous song, so lets roll with it tonight

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Not A Modern Girl

Assuming that plans arent weather affected, or a rail strike gets cancelled (Northern Rail are due another one day one, next Saturday, my only normal train travel day), the next time I travel by train, I will look more dressed for the 1920’s, than the 2020’s, which are fast creeping up on us. I guess I might take the dress in with me, and change at work for the evening do, but if you asked me to put money on it, I’d say a flapper would be working the whole day, in truth! Hopefully I can use more modern equipment than a 1920’s telephonist would have had, all the same. Though fine, that might be fun, but…

I was tempted to suggest to Northern Rail that on the morning of the 10th March, on the 7.50 train to Bradford, that they might need to provide me with a steam train to get me there, but I didnt, as I was certain they wouldnt get the comment. But yes, it would be fun, given that Halifax station at least, apart from the modern lift to, and from the platform, probably wouldnt look too out of place back then, especially with the surrounding buildings as well. But fine, the diesel multiple unit train does rather ruin that image lol!

In truth, I do wonder how weird life would be for a modern person, if truly whisked back into the late 1920’s? Ignoring the fact that even a weeks wages would go a very long way back then! For example, my wage per week now, is roughly equivalent to the same wage per year back then! But yes, even ignoring the loss of things like internet (and Transatlantic flights). its fair to say that even things like the language used would be different back then. Not literally, we’d all still speak English, but taking one obvious word as example, the word gay meant a whole different thing back then, to the way its generally used today!

But is all this modern life for better, or for worse? I know, in so many ways its better, but I’ve got the golf on from the US (TV in 1929, lol), and the commentators were saying that the people at the course were watching the golf, not through their eyes, but by watching it on their phones. Yes, seriously? Fine, I suspect some were recording it, to put it up on You Tube, or the like, but even so…?

The other thing, going back to our original subject of railways, was when earlier I was checking for engineering works on the railways. At Easter weekend, some lines will be closed for work on the 2nd High Speed Train Line in this country. Yes, thats right, a line that wont even start to open until 2026 (if not delayed), and will finally reach Yorkshire in 2035! By which time, with any luck I wont be around to care! I know, I’d only be 77, but the pain I’ve got already, I dont want to get that old!

But fine, if anyone from Northern Rail should read this, 10th March, 07.50 train from Huddersfield, to Leeds, via Bradford, make it a 1920’s steam train, pretty please. Alternatively, on my birthday, 16th March, 14.07 from Preston, to Blackpool South would be equally fun by steam, though I wont be dressed in flapper mode at that time. Though if you let me know, it could be arranged? 😉

Right, video time. Definitely a more modern girl, though in truth, this performance is from 36 years ago! Yes, I had this record on a 45 single, really showing my age!

Making my entrance this way

Given this is LGBT History month, I thought I’d better slip something in, before it disappeared out the door. I suspect some of my readers do actually come here for LGBT issues, others come here for all the vintage stuff, and others for the simply weird stuff I occasionally come up with! To be fair, most of the really weird stuff tends to go in the other blog, but not all of it lol!

So yes, given that fact, I’ve been quite busy with the LGBT group I’m a member of this month, with regular weekly tele-conferences to discuss what we were going to promote the next week to our fellow workers. Unfortunately for me, in one sense, I work later hours than every other member of the group, who all seem to do 9 to 5 (No, the video is neither Dolly Parton, or Sheena Easton), so generally these are called for 9.00, and I do them at home, delaying my exit for work, and meaning I have to pay for the involved phone calls myself! Therefore I’m delighted to say that tomorrow’s has been moved to noon, so I will actually do it at work, for once.

So instead, I spent money today for another purpose, a discussion about the history of the whole LGBT situation, in one of our offices in Leeds at lunchtime today. Got to meet some different people, who it was a pleasure to meet, and hopefully an interesting chat for all. I may be getting involved in something due to that, but as I’ve always said, the more I can do to show people that all we LGBT folk are no different to everyone else, the better. Subject to approval from my bosses, at least.

But yes, I did something new today, I actually caught (one way at least) a Trans Pennine Express train that ran on time! No, I jest, it has happened a few times before, but not as often as it should. As far back as I can remember (and thats going back about 50 years), there was always one main exit route out of Leeds station, and a couple of side routes added as time went on, and the station extended. But they were all on one side of the station, the North side.

Then the city developed business wise to the South, and there was talk of developing a South Entrance, to save the long journey round. A few years ago, it finally happened, though I never had the need to use it, until today. Yes, the time I saved getting to my destination today, dramatic! Even more amusing, coming back, I was on top of Platform 16 almost instantly, instead of the lengthy obstacle course to get there from the Northern Entrance.

When, and if I use it again, who knows? I suspect that if things discussed today come to anything, then yes, I will. But yes, it was funny today, not fighting through Leeds city center, but just coming out the back way, quite a lot closer to my destination. No, the train journey hasnt changed at all, and neither has the service, as the train coming back home was about 5 minutes late into Huddersfield, ah well…! And sadly, no, no sign of the famous station cat either!

But seriously, the choice to commute to Bradford, by bus, or to Leeds, by train, no contest, the current route is so much better!

The video, well for those who know songs from the 70’s, there’s a clue in the blog title. Judy Collins, live, what more could you ask for?

How Short?

In truth, my hair currently is too long for my preferences. No, that doesnt mean its halfway down my back, or more, but its well below the bottom of my neck, which in my ‘vintage’ eyes, is way too long! What happened, you ask? Simple, I tried to grow it out for last September, and the wedding, because I thought I needed it a bit longer than the back of the top of the neck, or just below, which is my norm. It did get trimmed in November, in truth, but my hairdresser took off about the normal amount, so it was about my normal ‘just before cut’ length, rather than its normal level.

Lets just say I’m the low maintenance type, so keeping my hair in a respectable mane, at this length, not so good. Anyway, looking at the March calendar, it now seems that I have 2 20’s related events coming up in quick succession. And yes, what does that mean, in a hair sense? Yes, the bob!

No, I’m not thinking anything too drastic, a la Louise Brooks version, far too boyish in style, and lets face it, the last thing I want to look is boyish, lol! But a slightly less dramatic bob, why not? Sadly, with my hairline, I have no chance of getting anything even vaguely resembling the Brooks bangs, or the helmet fringe, only wish I could! But a longer bob, without the dramatic bangs, at least I’ll look the part, if not the age. Lets face it, those flappers were young, in their twenties at most, and one of those events is on my 60th Birthday! So fine, unless someone can make me look a whole lot younger, lol…? And yes, the dress will be the one in the last blog, not one that will be above my knees!

So yes, big question, just how short do I dare go, without the boyish looks issues, both length, and volume? And yes, I am staying blonde! Perfectly natural, oh I wish!

But yes, if I’m going to do this 20’s thing seriously, for 2 lovely events, I need a bob cut… just how much of a cut?

Fine, video time. Lets just say its someone asking the opposite question, and leave it there!

Crazy sizing!

Oh fine, lets have an amusing rant tonight. And oh, just to confuse my US readers even more, all sizes quoted are in UK figures, which are different to yours. I think you take 2 off those numbers for US sizing, but dont quote me on that?

Well, 4 weeks from now, I will, in my eyes at least, be officially ancient, as I will have had my 60th Birthday, 2 days before. Given that I will be in Blackpool on my Birthday working (though in 1928 mode, its fair to say), I’ve worked the Birthday meal here to one day later, on the 17th. Yes, I know what date it is, but the only thing green I might drink that day would be a fizzy lime drink!

Given that its one of those rare landmarks, and the fact that I’ve pretty much ignored all of them up to now, I thought I’d go wild, and celebrate with workmates as well. Given events of my birthday weekend, the plan is that will be the previous Saturday, after work, in Bradford. Well, I got asked, do I want a theme to things? And I thought, as long as its not compulsory, why not?

Lets be fair, the robot look isnt going to work in a public restaurant, so the obvious answer was 1920’s, or 30’s style. And yes, 20’s is such a fun era (ignoring Crash at the end) that it works perfectly for a party. No, for some at least, it wont be a prohibition era  scenario, lets face it. In truth, I do have a couple of flapper style dresses, but as was the want back then, both are above the knee, which has numerous issues in Yorkshire, in March, mainly the weather! Fine, my knees arent a pretty sight, but…

So  anyway, today, I thought I’d take a look for longer length flapper style dresses. I found some really nice ones on Ebay, but they’re dispatched from China, so no guarantee of delivery in 3 weeks! In fact some, they definitely wouldnt! So over to Amazon I go, and unsurprisingly, most flapper dresses are above the knee. Then, lo and behold, some maxi length ones! Yes, even in an XL size! But…some of those advertised as XL equate to a UK Size 12! Thats right, a UK size 10 (US size 8) is regarded as large! Seriously?

Who, me? Well, because I’m Trans, and therefore my waist isnt as tapered as a ‘natural’ woman, I tend to swing between size 14, and 16. But yes, seriously, my issue is some people who see a size 10 as a large! I suspect its because many of these dresses originate out of Asia nowadays, and those women can be tiny, but…?

Anyway, if I can convince myself to buy a dress that I probably wont wear often (a 60 year old flapper, seriously?), this is the one that at least ticks all boxes.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01M70L8Q4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AHNM721RF1ZD1&psc=1

I know, its not expensive, but when you’re only able to work 4 days a week, due to your health, money is tight! I’ll probably do it (will probably get killed if I dont now, lol), but if anyone wants to help…? https://ko-fi.com/merrybrooks I suggest you make a comment that its for the dress, not the meds, if donating! No, wont hold my breath!

Right, video time. What would a large dress do, that was a size 10, if I tried to put it on?

 

 

Walk on the shore in the moonlight

Its strange for someone from ‘The North’, but I guess in all my life, and I’m nearly 60, that I’ve previously been to Blackpool, famous for its lights, at most, 3 times. Probably twice, but I’m not quite positive on that, so lets play safe, and go with the higher number. In truth, because my childhood years involved me living in Kent, the lights of Southend are far more familiar to me. Not for about 40 years now, but… Then again, I’m pretty sure my last visit to Blackpool would be at least 30 years ago! So yes, technically, next month, I’m going back, but in truth, I remember nothing about the place, so it really will be seeing something new.

And no, none of those visits to Blackpool have been to see the lights! All have been in Summer, long before the lights go on, so in that sense, Southend has definitely got it beat! In truth, Santa Monica is ahead of it, though I’ve seen the lights of the pier there more often on TV, than in person.

In truth, I’m not going to see much of Blackpool this time, and again, its well out of the season of the lights on the front. Practically, I’m going to arrive by train, get to the Hotel, get to the Winter Gardens venue, do my thing for the evening, head back to the hotel, then next morning, back to the station, and home. So I will see a little bit, but I suspect it will be a bit of a blur.

Well, its done, the hotel is now booked! Yes, it will actually be the first time I’ve ever slept in Blackpool, always just passed through before! Sadly, the hotel booking is showing as 2018, not 1928, though my mind, and my style at the event will probably be more the latter, than the former! Costs are definitely 2018 lol!

Its funny, I’m torn on a certain matter. Much though it might be fun being totally a 20’s flapper for the night, I have to face facts, by then, I will (just, literally) be 60, and a dress that hangs above the knees, well…? Mind, whether the organizers have remembered that, when ordering my outfit lol? But yes, I’m sure the outrageous actress in me will just live with it regardless of how short the dress is! Unless I can suddenly develop dance skills way beyond my current health, and ability, I wont be dancing the Charleston though, at the party afterwards!

But yes, is it irony that yet again I will have visited the queen of beach resorts, especially in the North of England, and still will barely know it? Maybe one day, Blackpool, maybe one day…?

OK, video time. This may not be the greatest live performance of all time, but its a rare chance to hear the actual singer of the song performing it. Thats because its the legendary Tony Burrows, and someone else mimed to the song on all TV performances.

Will you still love me tomorrow?

Well, if that doesnt give away the song, and the occasion, then I dont know what will! Which version, and there are many, you’ll either have to look at the video, the tags, or both!

Yes, tomorrow is that supposedly most romantic date on the calendar, Valentines Day!. Apart from one gift from a friend, who I was pretty sure didnt really mean it (in hindsight, and from details someone else discovered about her, she definitely didnt), I havent had anything from a Valentine this century! No, I’m not going to name, or shame said woman, who was never more than an online friend, in case you were wondering! A few might know her, it was more than a few years back, but most wont!

So, in truth, the chance of anyone still loving me tomorrow, is pretty much zero, or less. Fine, its probably for the best now, I’ve probably grown horribly independent now, doing pretty much what I want to do at all times, so the idea of coming to mutual agreement on such matters now, would be nigh impossible. Oh, and all that besides, if I get involved, it may well mean a need for a certain form of surgery, and I’m trying to avoid more imminently needed pain, without adding to the pain by having my bits ‘bobbed’ and stuff like that, lol.

But fine, if ever there are a pair of days when it hurts to be single, this is the first one, and then there’s tomorrow! So yes, I suspect the only way I could now make a good wife/partner, would be if someone arranged me to go to the ‘Stepford School For Good Housewives’, but fine, I would enjoy that, given the chance!

Otherwise, I guess I’d better just get on with being an old maid, until 13th February 2019, at least, lol! Mind, if someone is feeling suitably crazy, or there’s a mad scientist out there that fancies customizing his ‘perfect wife’, well…? No, dont have any great expectations, somehow!

The Shirelles were the group that made this song famous in the first place, and my personal pick would be a catchy version by Middle Of The Road, which I cant find on You Tube! So, lets settle for a version sung by the person who should know the song best, as she co-wrote it!

I can tell (and see) the difference

One of the interesting happenings during the Physiotherapy on Tuesday, was that she used some Ultrasound thing on my right knee, and then gave it a nice electrotherapy experience, to try and improve the way it felt. Thing is, there’s been one interesting side effect of that. To be fair, one of the aims of this is to improve the circulation, but given the state of my knees, I wasnt holding out too much expectation on that. However…

Before Tuesday, it was fair to say that neither of my ankles was a pretty sight, mainly because not a lot of blood gets to flow down there, so the skin has got dry, flaky, and in truth, pretty sore and itchy. What I’ve done is use some moisturizer on my ankles, to try and keep them slightly better, but it works for a couple of days, and then its time to repeat! Generally I keep my ankles well hidden, for good reason.

Thing is, now, my left ankle looks just the same, pretty horrible, in truth. The right ankle, the leg that had all that treatment, well, the ankle looks normal! I can only assume this is because blood has been forced to flow through to my foot, and lo and behold, the transformation is amazing. I’m not saying men would swoon at the sight, but I’m happy to let them look at it! Whereas the left ankle, no chance!

Question is, assuming I cant convince her to let my left knee have a little session (and there is no reason she should), should I try and put the money together to get a session done on that leg too? No, I have no idea what this costs, and I have no idea how long this situation is going to last, but if it will…? Suspect I cant afford it, in truth, ah well, but I might have to try and find out how much it would be…?

Yes, before you ask, that, and the exercises I’ve been given to do (suitable for a lady of my age too), have definitely eased the pain in both knees, I must say. Now, if I can get some blood flowing through my left leg…? Oh fine, I’d love that electrical jolt through both legs, and a few other places too, in truth!

OK, video time. I cant believe I havent used this before, but checking back, havent done so, so lets use it now. Sums up delightfully the position with my right ankle over the last week. Now if only I can find a way to get the left leg done too…?

Just An Old Fashioned Girl?

I must admit, I’ve always seen myself as an old fashioned woman, and in many senses, I am, in the sense that I avoid the idea of owning a mobile phone, of any kind, like the plague. Fine, I have got a very cheap, very basic US one, but thats it, and I plan for it to stay that way.

However, as might be gathered from the fact I’m typing this here, I make one allowance to modernity, my laptop. Well, my current laptop is barely modern, probably on its last feet at present, and even its replacement wont be a new one, but fine, unless you believe the time travel stuff, its more modern than anything Clara Johnson would have known lol! And fine, I use a microwave, and a cable TV system, but…

I didnt buy my first computer in the initial rush of purchases, it would have been about 2001 before I bought my first one. Paid over £800 for a computer that probably had less function than a modern smart phone! And yes, that computer was bulky! Somewhere along the line I decided that I preferred the convenience of a laptop (probably because of all the travel I do, as you can take that with you), and swapped to one of those.

I did, briefly, try using an I-pad, and hated it. I eventually passed it on to someone who did like them, whose old one had packed up, and never again! As for getting a Smart Phone, no way! Besides anything else, those small screens, with my arthritic fingers, no chance!

So fine, I admit it, last night I got home to the news we had no internet, and hated that piece of news. Please, 20 years ago, you’d said that to me, I would have thought so what! But now…? Yes, as you might have gathered, we’re back on now, got back on about lunchtime. But fine, being without it was like being without a close friend! So me, an old fashioned girl? Well, I’d still like to think so, just that I’m one that likes a few modern luxuries, thats all.

Hey, I’m sure that Hollywood actresses had the best stuff in their days, even the chorus line dancers, I’m certain didnt starve! So do I still qualify as an old fashioned girl at heart? Please…?

Fine, video time. The recording is nearly 30 years old, the song over 60! Considering that Eartha Kitt was in her 60’s at the time, its a fantastically sexy performance. And yes, I could do with an old fashioned millionaire myself!

(Don’t) Take It Away

Yes, I’m doing UK Politics, ooh! But before anyone gets over excited, or panicked, its not modern politics, and very strictly its not even a matter of politics. And oh, its an event that happened 100 years ago today!

Yes, on February 6th, 1918, for the first time, an act was put forward to allow women to vote. In truth, it wasnt the complete victory for equality, that would only come about 10 years later, but as a day when the right to vote was first offered to women, this is the anniversary one.

As I say, hollow victory. Whereas at the same time, all men of 21 or over was given the right to vote, only women of 30 and over, and who had to live in the same property as a man who could vote, or who was certified in some way (remembering that at this time, most womens education was inferior to that given to men) were able to cast a vote.

From there, as I say, it took until 1928 before all women aged 21 and over (the voting age at that time) had the legal right to vote.

Of course there are a few famous Suffragette stories, one of them being of course the sad fate of Emily Davison, who threw herself under the hooves of the King’s Derby runner in 1913, and died. Its fair to say we will never know whether this was a deliberate act, and if it was, its hard to believe she could pick out one horse at the speed they would have been travelling at. The fact that she had purchased a return rail ticket, and had tickets for an event that evening would lead you to assume she expected to go home that night. In truth, the answer to these, and other questions are never going to be answered now.

The biggest question is, but for WW1, would it have happened when it did? Its fair to say that the sudden need for women to do all the work at home in England let to a change in authority attitudes, and this may have been an agreed compromise, to keep everyone happy? If not for that, when would women have got the right to vote, who knows? I’d like to think it would have happened at some point, but exactly when…?

But today, lets just remember all those brave women, from so long ago, who helped to give women the right to vote.

The video, there is a clue in the blog title, and its why 1 word is in brackets, shall we say? Paul McCartney made some great videos back then, and this was one of them.