Monthly Archives: October, 2018

The Dapper Flapper?

Yes, some of you may have noticed there wasnt a blog on Sunday, as per the normal routine? Some of you might even have been concerned by that, lol? Well, darlings, I ended up in Bradford a day earlier than normal this weekend, and was a bit engaged that evening, maybe in the style of a different era?

Yes, Bradford went back to the 1920’s (well, one ballroom at the Midland Hotel did at least) on Sunday evening, and I was there. Sadly, bar prices stayed in the modern day, but I’d have been more surprised if they hadnt, lol! Not that my drinks (orange juice darlings, not bootleg gin as rumours might suggest!) seemed that expensive, but I have no idea of bar prices nowadays, in truth.

Sadly, I wasnt staying at this delightfully old fashioned hotel, a bit beyond my budget (though seemingly not as much so as I expected it to be, I found out afterwards), and was at the modern delight that was the Travelodge instead. I know, its only a dozen miles, but was a late finish for public transport, and how much travel my back could take nowadays, I took the easy option. Place was fine, other than not enough warm bedding for this time of year, but other than that, pretty good.

I did take a short (and more apt) flapper dress with me, but it was way too cold for that, even if I only had a short walk, my bare legs would have hated that. I would say, and I’m 60, but there was a woman at least my age, in a dress that just about covered her ‘modesty’ but I suspect she had to walk no further than the car park!

The night was fun, even if I wasnt actually dancing like most, partly because of my back, and mainly because I have no dancing skills anyway, I claim Clara Johnson used up all of those. Might also be all that knee damage, who knows? And yes, I had a ‘partner in crime’ for much of the evening, as Madi came along, suitably dressed.

The band was decent, and some of the outfits were amazing. A good number of the flapper dresses I recognised from Amazon, Ebay and the like, though there were a few that definitely looked vintage too, I must say, and probably were! I do wish I was able to dance at something like this, but such is life. I might have to work on some dancing skills before March, but more on that nearer the time, darlings! But yes, Blackpool, 15th – 17th March, you might want to be there! 😉

And yes, I know its the travel that is my main pain issue, not work, as yesterday was the least painful Monday I have had in a long time. Yes, no journey by bumpy bus to work!

I did do the ‘survey’ for the hotel this morning for the stay, and commented about the bedding situation. I will see on 14th December (staying there again, works dinner) if they’ve taken the advice, but I doubt it!

But yes, 1920’s in Bradford was fun, and maybe I should have gone full flapper, even so, but my knees would have hated me if I did. Maybe next time, hmm?

Right, video time. To be honest, I think some of the dancers on Sunday were better than these, but anyway, gives an idea as to what was going on. Boop, boop a doo! 😉

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Semi sexed, suburban Miss Carpenter

I’ll be honest, until earlier this week, I had no idea that tomorrow was Intersex Awareness Day. In truth, there are so many ‘days’ nowadays that its nigh impossible to keep up with them all, and also there are so many you dont want to keep up with (today is World Pasta Day, seriously?), that its got beyond the point of sanity, really?

It seems the Civil Service are actually doing a Twitter Chat (whatever that is?) on the subject tomorrow evening, but I wont be able to get involved as its between 6.00 and 7.00 tomorrow evening UK time, when I will be at work, and irony, we arent allowed Twitter at work in the office. I can fully understand the reason for that, in truth, but it is a shame that one of the (probably) few Intersex Civil Servants cant get involved.

I know, I can hear you saying it, she says she’s Trans, now she says she’s Intersex, so… But strictly, its true, as I have girl bits (a womb, maybe more?), as well as the obvious boy bit, which makes me intersex. I may have had more as a new born baby, that was ‘tweaked’ when the doctors decided what gender I was (and got it wrong), but impossible to know now, and the hospital I was born at was demolished decades ago, and even if it wasnt conveniently not recorded at birth, I’m sure the records are gone with its demolition, for sure.

So yes, in truth, and to keep it simple, its easier to say I’m Transgender, as some will have known me formerly as a man, and now as a woman. In fact, that number is pretty small, how small depends on the date you use as when I first accepted I was a woman. If you call it 2010, then a lot more know than if you say 2000, when I first found out. And fine, even if for some it takes some explanation, its still a lot less than being intersex.

No, the womb never fully developed, presumably because at puberty, my body went with the outside image, and therefore the boy bits developed, and the girl bits pretty much didnt. I do actually have pretty small boobs, but nothing you’d really notice, believe me, lol!

Hopefully I havent got too many readers here who cant accept there are more than 2 ‘genders’, and that anything other than ‘hetro sex’ is a shameful sin, but if I have, maybe you’re in the wrong place? One ‘friend’ (I have never actually known him, and have no idea why he friended me in the first place) on Facebook posted one of those crazy religious postings today about how sinful it is to be anything but in a man/woman marriage, and he’s no longer a friend. He’s unfortunate, as with the new way Facebook do things (which I hate), he’s one of those people who I dont often see posts for, but maybe that was for the best?

Does make me wonder, if I’d transitioned young enough, and had taken all those female hormones, would my womb have developed, and heaven forbid, could I have got pregnant? No, we’ll (thankfully) never know the answer to that!

I’m sure that some day, long after I have left this life, this whole issue of LGBT, and Intersex, and everything else will be looked back on, and people will wonder why we were so backward on these issues, but anyway…

But yes, tomorrow at least, just remember that man, or woman you see during your day, might not just have the sexual parts of one gender. And yes, please accept that as something not to be frightened by, OK?

Right, video time. Its rare to find film of 60’s groups on You Tube, even rarer to find a live performance, but I found one. Which explains the corny blog title, lol!

Money for nothing, no service provided

Its always handy when somebody gives me the chance to be a grumpy old lady, and for once its not that idiot across the pond, with the orange face. Though yes, I could say something extremely rude about him at present, and his latest imbecilic ideas about Trans people, but lets not give his ego a boost by mentioning him. Hopefully, 2 weeks today, he gets a nasty surprise, as long as Russia dont fix another election for him.

No, lets have a snipe at another thing that is the bane of my life, First Buses. Fine, yesterday they weren’t aided by my back being in a really bad way, because of the weather and stuff, but they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot, so lets try and bury them too.

Yesterday, a far too regular event happened, they put their fares up. Fair enough, there are things called inflation, but currently thats a lot less than the 5% that fares went up yesterday. The thing is, I wouldnt object to them raising fares, if the quality of service got raised too, but as was shown yesterday, its a one sided deal.

As I say, yesterday wasnt a lovely day weather wise, it was pretty cold, and my already sore back reacted to the cold weather like bees having their hive smashed to pieces by a hungry bear. Yes, not good.

So finally, about 2.20, after a couple of ‘not great’ calls, due to the pain being too intense to focus on work, I gave up on a bad deal, and decided to call it a day, and head home to rest up. The journey would normally take about 75-90 minutes or so, which is long enough, but had to be done. In truth, I probably would have paid out, and got a train instead (far smoother ride), but there werent any, engineering works! So it was bus, or rail replacement bus, so…

I finally got to the bus station at 3.07, as I had to stop to get a drink, to take some painkillers, to try and ease the pain in my back a bit. There is meant to be a bus to Huddersfield every 10 minutes. There should have been one at 3.10, but I never saw it. There should have been another at 3.20, again it never showed! The 3.30 finally showed at 3.32, and by the time everyone was on board a now overcrowded bus, we left about 3.36.

That bus is due into Huddersfield at 4.08. Actual arrival time, 4.23. No, not because of traffic, simply because there were dozens of people en route wanting to get on, given the lack of 2 buses before it. As quickly as I could (limited), I walked down for the bus home, due to leave town at 4.25, which again, never showed. The 4.35 finally turned up about 4.40 and I got indoors just after 5.00!

By which time the pain in my back was considerably off the scale, lol! Even now, 26 hours, and numerous painkillers later (I’ve taken more than normal today for a non working day), I’m still pretty sore. Now I’m not going to blame First Buses entirely for that, there’s been a bitter wind blowing most of the day, which doesnt help, but even so, they are definitely the main culprit.

As I said, if they provided a service that justified a fare increase, then fine, but they dont. Seemingly like most nowadays, all they care about are extra profits, and no service to customers. Its not hard to see why everyone knows them as ‘Worst Buses’ lets face it.

Oh for a flying saucer, or even more aptly at this time of year, maybe, a flying broomstick! At least I’d have reliable transport, and wouldnt mind paying for it. Fine, rant over. Now all I need is a spell to turn a certain US/Russian(?) wigged man into a frog, or a newt, and…? 😉

Right, video time. I cant imagine too many of my readers will remember this TV series, as its one from my childhood. But some will hopefully, and its Al Yankovic, so its crazy, so…

Not a proud moment for Huddersfield

I must admit that I dont often watch the news on TV nowadays, generally too depressing for my tastes, with Trump, Brexit, and various LGBT hate items seemingly filling the airwaves nowadays. Fine, I might have been better off if I hadnt made one of my rare sojourns to the news on Friday evening, as Huddersfield was making the news, for the wrong reason.

The only child grooming I remember as a child, was my mother combing my hair! Though I remember the news about the Moors Murderers when I was young, and all the children they killed, which was bad enough, but still less perverse than this.

There seems to have been a bout of this in recent years, a group of older men (generally men, though the odd woman has been involved) getting teenage girls, and sometimes younger, involved in sex, for their own perversity, and pleasure. There have been times when its got close to here (Rotherham being the prime example), but I was always glad it was never Huddersfield. Well, until that illusion was shattered on Friday evening, when the news broke that it had happened around here, mainly between 2004, and 2011, and the announcement that 20 men had been found guilty of grooming charges. 16 have already been jailed for a total of about 220 years in total, the other 4 havent been sentenced yet, but 8 years apiece, at a minimum would seem likely to be their sentences, given what the others have got.

It might sound a lot, but when you think those young girls have virtually got a life sentence, after whats happened to them, some might see it as generous? I do, but anyway… I doubt that bewigged, orange idiot in the US would, he would probably say the girl’s cases was fake news!

The thing that annoys me the most, is if comments are to be believed, the police knew about it for years, before doing anything about it, and the question has to be why? Were they being paid to ignore it, were they involved, who knows? Probably never will, as they are refusing to comment at present!

Also sadly, do I think this will be the end of this type of happening, no, I dont, I only wish I did! My faith in human nature recedes by the year, I’m only glad I’m beyond the halfway point in my life, thats all I can say.

Right, video time. I was trying to think of something apt for this blog, and with the aid of You Tube, I found this. Not perfect, but yes, those 20 men deserve to be kicked somewhere very painful, for sure!

The second hand unwinds

One thing I have never been, is one of these people who have to have numerous accessories to cover every occasion. Therefore, for me, one handbag pretty much does all, until its worn out, and then I get one replacement, and nothing more. Another thing I feel the same way about, is watches.

Therefore, despite having hit 60, and always wearing a watch when out, I doubt the number I’ve owned in my life would reach double figures, or if it has, literally only just. Yes, thinking about it, I’ve had my last watch for over 10 years (probably nearer 12), and not bothered with another watch in the interim. But yes, as they say, everything comes to an end, and given I’ve only just put a new battery in it, and its still losing time, I think I’ve worn it out! Given it cost about £6 back then, I think its been a value buy, lol!

You would think, with inflation, that its replacement would be more expensive, right? But of course, anything that has improved with technology, even things that were cheap in the first place, not true! If I could have waited about 3 weeks for a new one to arrive from China, I could have got a very nice one for about £3. When I need one A.S.A.P, and have to buy one from the UK, its still only £5! Its got a large face (ideal for short sighted old biddies), and its silver (ideal for robot wannabees), and will arrive early next week, so I’ve bought it. Just think, if it lasts as long as this one, and given my fragile body, it could outlive me! Hopefully not, but unless the pain really can be eased, I might be grateful if it does.

The other thing that I’ve done today, that tells me that I’m getting old, and practical, is booking a hotel stay. On 14th December, we are having the staff Christmas do, at a nice place near to work. To sum up, there are 11 going, all ladies! Now, because this only gets started at 7.45 – 8.00 pm, or so, after work on that day, its going to be a late night, by the time it finishes. Yes, I’ve already got the day after off, though only to allow the back to recover, not a hangover recovery in my case.

But yes, this means, its not going to finish early, lets face it? So, given that at best, I’d need a late night taxi home from Huddersfield, and possibly a late night taxi home from Bradford, I’ve got boring, and sensible. Yes, I’ve booked a hotel nearby for the night, and will come home the next morning. Its literally 5 minutes from work, 5 minutes (in a different direction) from where we are eating, so all makes sense. And besides, it gives me somewhere decent to change in the evening too! Well, as decent as a Travelodge can be at least, lol! In truth, with the discount I’ve got from them, its no more expensive than a taxi from Bradford to Huddersfield, even at the budget end of things! I know, where’s the excitement in that, but fine, I’m too old for excitement now, lol!

And besides, if I pull (stop laughing now!), I’ve got a double room in town! No, not going to happen, but thought has given me a fit of the giggles at least!

Right, video time. It is 3 years since I used the Cyndi Lauper version of this, so it would have been fine to use again. But then I found this, from a talented artist that not enough people know, who died way too young.

Soft Drinks In The Sky

Well, yes, if I was allowed to drink alcohol nowadays, the title might be an even bigger clue to the video, but I suspect some will work it out anyway. Lets just say I would love to have been one of the ladies in this crazy video. As for all those spirals…?

Its funny, you know how you get those emails from companies, pretending to be sorry that they’re messing up your plans, but you know they dont really mean it? Yes, had one of those last night, from the Flight/Holiday company I’m going to Portugal with next month. Yes, they’ve changed my flight time. But yes, actually, they’ve done me a favour by doing so!

Originally I was due to fly out of Manchester at 9.30 in the morning, a thought that wasnt actually filling me with joy, even more so as I cant see a practical way of having the day off before that, due to holiday time, and flexi time having been rather used up thanks to my health issues, and stuff. Even more fun, as I’m planning on being out on the Thursday evening too, that really should be fun, I dont think?

So yes, when I opened my email box last night, and saw I had an email from Jet2 Holidays, stating that my flight time had changed, I groaned. Then I saw it, it was now leaving 90 minutes later, so I changed the groan, to a grin. I mean, dont get me wrong, still going to be early enough, for an 11.00 flight on a Saturday morning, but its better than 9.30! It also means I’ll be 90 minutes later coming home, the following Saturday, but thats less of an issue for me.

I mean, call me a cynic when I say that I find it hard to believe they didnt know they were changing the plane time 5 weeks ago, when I booked it (Yes, flying with Jet2), and just didnt want to admit it? As it happens, it does me a favour, but if it had been the other way around? Especially as I booked with them because it was a reasonable flight time, but anyway…

No, funnily enough, no mention of a reduction, or anything like that for the inconvenience, isnt that strange? Of course, for me, its a good thing, not bad, but I’m sure there are others who dont see it that way? Would all be so much easier if I had my own personal space craft/flying saucer, but sadly, thats not been delivered as yet, nor I suspect, is likely to be, lol!

Ah well…

Right, video time. Probably the only song that has been a one hit wonder, twice!

Walking in Wembley

Its funny how things play out, isnt it? Oh, I know I say I’ve never seen an NFL game live, but strictly, thats not quite true. What I should say is that I’ve never seen a regular season game live. Thats because, just over 28 years ago, in those deluded days when I was trying to be a guy, and failing miserably, I went to one of those pre-season games, that neither side takes seriously, at Wembley. I dont actually remember much about the game itself, only that it took forever to get out of the stadium parking afterwards.

But the connection between that, and today, is one team. Then the Los Angeles Raiders, now the Oakland Raiders, and soon (presumably?) to be the Las Vegas Raiders played that day, and today is the first time they’ve been back since. Yes, I know, its a different stadium now, but besides all that…they’ve returned.

Looking back, I have no idea why I went to that game that year, but didnt go and see Buffalo (my team) the following year, but I suspect cost, and probably time were the big issues for that? Regardless, I wouldnt rush to see the current Bills team, for sure!

I wonder if anyone who was there, just over 28 years ago, is there today? Maybe a few, but not many, I’m sure? The funny thing is, I’ve been to their stadium in Oakland, though for a baseball game (now only NFL/MLB cross sports stadium), and I’ve seen the Coliseum in Los Angeles, though never (as yet) been inside it. So maybe, after the move, I really will have to visit Las Vegas, and take in a game? Wouldnt it be funny if my first real NFL game also involved the Raiders, in their new home?

So yes, in terms of NFL, me and the Raiders go back a long way. Further than that, in fact, as before I left home in 1983, one night, I was playing around with my radio, and found US Forces radio station, and they were covering an NFL game. Yes, no prizes for working out who one of the teams were, it was the Oakland Raiders!

Right, video time. Couldnt think of anything really apt, other than ‘Walk of Life’, which I’ve used a couple of times, so not using again. Then I thought of this…

LGBT United

I know, blog is supposedly a day late, sorry, and all that. But yes, I was busy yesterday, very sore when I got back, which is why you’re getting this tonight, as work was a no go today, but thankfully the hours from yesterday sort of make up for that.

Yesterday’s trip out actually began, and ended with something that was not out of the ordinary, Trans Pennine Express trains running very late, to, and from Manchester. If I say the departures/arrivals, the closest to punctuality was 7 minutes, you get my drift!

As stated in the previous blog, my first ever Civil Service Conference was related to LGBT issues, so no shock there. The toilets were strictly gender neutral, but yes, the women all stuck to the ladies, and the men to the gents side. Hardly surprising given we cant use urinals, lol! But a lovely gesture, all the same.

The first talk was a pair of people from the Welsh Government Civil Service, and their thriving LGBT section, and the work they do. Very good, very impressive, and just showed how much my department has to do if we’re going to get Stonewall awards too. Got some good tips about what we might want to do, at least.

Talking of Stonewall, our next speaker was actually representing them, giving us lots of useful information on what they do, what they can do to help us improve our diversity standings, and what we could get involved in, if we wanted to, which is probably more useful for London folk, than us a long way from town, but still stuff for us.

Then into the first panel discussion of the day, which was interesting to listen to, though you can never be sure if leaders are saying what they think, or what they think we want to hear? Probably just being cynical on that front, but I’ve been there so often in my life, probably just me jaded by bosses at my previous job, who wouldnt have known what Diversity & Inclusion was, if it had bitten them on their backsides!

After lunch we broke off into selected rooms, for various sessions. Firstly I went with my own department Pride group, who were looking for suggestions on ways to improve matters, both for members, and those of us on committees, and groups as well.

My second session was in the same room (tactical health planning, lol), and was 2 Team Leaders advising us on how they dealt with someone who transitioning in their section. Now, without wishing to show bias, I would say the TL’s at my place handled it with me in a far better way. Mind, I guess its easier when someone has already transitioned, not transitioning in that role, but anyway…

Lastly, I went to a heart rending session, which was a Trans male, writing to his younger self, about what was going to happen in the rest of his life. I could relate to this so easily, because other than a reversal of genders, it was pretty much my story too.

After that, a different panel, for another panel discussion, which summed up the day, and yes, confirmed what a great success it was. We had a good split on the LGBT rainbow, and allies there, which was a good sign. What I did realise, and that Stonewall had mentioned can be an issue, was just how ‘white’ the room was. Hopefully, the next time, assuming there is one (and there should be), we can get a little more widespread representation on that front at least.

But was it a worthwhile event, absolutely, and praise goes to all who helped to arrange it, especially Rachel, who did incredible stuff, just to get this on. Who knows, maybe the next time, I’ll be one of the speakers, or presenters, we will see. But put it this way, I will, if I can!

Oh, and if any readers came out yesterday, on ‘World Coming Out Day’, I say congratulations, and wish you well for your future.

OK, video time. Showing my age, as this is 48 years old! And before anyone says this isnt Brotherhood Of Man, because they know the Eurovision group, you’re right, this is an entirely different line up, but they predate the other line up by about 6 years, but given these were all session singers… they needed replacements, lol

 

Mixed up, muddled up world

Some of my more mature readers will know what song that line is from, long before reaching the video, but for those who dont, you’re in for a live treat.

The next 2 days see two of those ‘days’ that I feel close to. Thursday is National Coming Out Day, and fine, I came out nearly 2 decades ago, but it still is a landmark date for some, that might inspire people to come out as any variation of LGBTI+ that they feel they are.

Me, strictly I’m intersex, but I relate most closely nowadays to Transgender I guess, so lets settle for either, both, or however you want to see it. I’m marking the day at a Civil Service wide conference, in Manchester, which should be a tremendous event, and I will review it, but might be Sunday before I get to it (or any next blog), just saying.

But for now, lets focus on tomorrow, which is World Mental Health Day. I’m sure I suffered with mental health issues of sorts, from the age of 6 onward, when I first realised that I didnt feel right as a boy, though I had no idea why at the time. Probably grew worse as I got older, and its fair to say that by the 90’s, I knew something was wrong in my head, though I had no idea what. Of course, in 2000, I found out what it was, but my mental state had probably been limited in efficiency in the meanwhile.

Nowadays I think I’m relatively fine, due to living as a woman for many years, but I suspect that my mind has been pretty scrambled in the past, if not now, which dont quote me on, either way!

At the time, in 2005, when I first decided I wanted to formally transition, one of the conditions before you could do so, was a mental health check. No, not to see if you were normal enough to be able to make said decision, but to see if your ‘mental health issues’ in wanting to change gender were genuine. Yes, I passed, but before much happened (other than confirmation I was mentally a woman, in a mans body), I moved to Yorkshire, so the process sort of stopped for a while. I have no idea if I would still, officially have to prove I was ‘crazy’ in wanting to become a woman now, no idea.

But yes, tomorrow, just think of all the people suffering from mental health issues, from mild depression, to the most serious matters, and either be grateful its not you, or that hopefully, if it is you, that you can get through it, and recover.

Equally, if on Thursday, you want to use that as the chance to ‘come out’, then take it, please!

Right, video time. Its fair to say this is the first transgender related song I ever remember hearing, long before I knew I was a girl, underneath all those layers. Not sure I got it at the time, but sure did a few years later!

Call the Doctor?

Fine, I was lacking inspiration for tonight, when thankfully I was tipped off (Thanks, Twitter) that tonight saw the introduction of the new Doctor Who, and oh golly gosh, its a woman! Alright, we’ve known this was the case for a while now, and yes, if I had realised in time, I might have switched on for the start, to see how the Doctor reacted to her new body, after 55 years of being a man, when she discovered she’d had a change of image. But unfortunately too late for that, so I will have to just give her a try at some point.

I know, its probably not my thing any more, but I have one record to keep up, so I will have to at least watch 1 episode with her in it, at some point. Yes, up to now, because technically now, I’m down on the streak until I see an episode with her in, I’ve watched an episode (or more) with each of the 12 doctors prior to her. Some (Capaldi, Ecclestone, and of course, McGann) I’ve only seen one episode of, to keep up the streak, others, especially the earlier ones (and Tennant), I saw lots more episodes of, of course.

Did I ever think we’d see a female Doctor? No, I didnt, much like I wouldnt have expected a female James (Jemima?) Bond, and still think that day will never come, but who knows? Lets face it, most of the films now arent related to original books, so…?

I wish Jodie all the best in her new role, though fine, me, I’d rather play a Dalek, or even better, a Cyber(wo)man, of course, much more fun for me. Yes, I’d love the Cyber upgrade done to me! 😛 And yes, Jodie, I’ll take a look at you soon, and see what I think, I have a record to preserve. I know, at some point, I’m probably going to start missing them, but for now, while I can…

OK, video time. Nothing very original, in truth. The 12″ version, with a tribute to all the Doctors, barring Capaldi, and of course, Jodie Whittaker.