Monthly Archives: November, 2018

The ultimate choreographer?

I thought I would need to blog on some depressing news relating to an area of Huddersfield, but thankfully I’ve been saved by events, but I’m not going to mention what that was, in case I need some inspiration for Sunday’s posting.

Officially, for most of her known dancing career in the movies, there is one choreographer, who it seems Clara Johnson danced in most of his routines. She certainly did dance for others (she seems to have danced for most studios, despite being a Goldwyn Girl for at least part of her career), but its rare to find a Busby Berkeley movie where she isnt in the chorus line. In fact I’m not concerned there are any she missed, but as I havent seen everyone of them, dont quote me on that, she might have missed one, lol.

Oh, why am I posting this today, you ask? Well, on this day, in 1895, the (probably) ultimate choreographer was born. He did do numerous Broadway productions in the 1920’s, but when sound, and musicals struck gold in Hollywood, he went to work there, and of course, because we still have film record of it, its what he’s remembered for.

The man was a genius in a choreograph sense, but clearly no angel. Married 6 times, had issues with alcohol, but somehow survived to 80, before dying of natural causes. He always said he only ever wanted to touch his previous routines, and in truth, he did a pretty good job of it. What I dont know, is what he was like to work for? I suspect he worked the girls hard, but was he fair with it, or did ambition ever just win out?

Just saying that Clara was happy to dance for him for about 7 years isnt really a big clue. She was never more than chorus line material, he was master of the dance routines, so it might just be she had to survive working with him, to pay for the rent, and other things, who knows? Whether he ever knew her as more than ‘one of the dance team’, again who knows?

But yes, when you think of 1930’s choreographed dance routines, in the Hollywood musicals, there is one name that probably comes to mind before all others, Busby Berkeley.

So therefore, ironically, for the video tonight, you get none of the music that the young ladies danced to, just their amazing routines. But yes, got to go with this, as it shows the full gamut of the dance routines he created. And yes, Clara Johnson appears in this mix numerous times!

I want to be free?

Well, actually, I’d like to be really expensive, have some wealthy man, or woman prepared to buy me, and pamper their little queen, but lets face it, thats not likely to happen in the case of a 60 year old Trans woman, is it? Besides which, as a submissive who loved bondage in the past, maybe being free is a bit too boring, lol?

OK, to the serious stuff.

One thing I am looking forward to being free of, very shortly, is the need to take exams. Lets face it, at 60, that should be a thing in my deep, distant past, not even allowing for the fact that less than a decade ago, I’d be retired by now. But no, naughty girl, mustn’t get into UK politics, so… Lets just say that the odds of me reaching my new retirement age, in one piece, given its 66, even money, maybe, at best?

Was actually told at Physio today that much as I suspected, after the flotation tank session, my back is showing signs of improvement. No, I dont know how it works, and at this point at least, its improvement, but we’re starting from such a low point, anything is good, but I’m still not going to be running far, anytime soon! But walking is less of an issue, which is good.

Oh fine, back to Exams. One of the things I had to do for my new job, because I couldnt find exam certificates from 42 years earlier, which would have been 2 names, and 1 gender change ago, I had to take an apprenticeship course. I cant say the people running it (not my department) have made a good job of it, but anyway… In the end, its come down to finishing the last few outstanding exams, and thats it.

Currently, the last set of tests are 3 down out of 5, 1 of which I know I’ve already passed. Results seem to take a long while to come through, anyway. Tomorrow evening is exam number 4! The last exam is probably 2 weeks away, because tomorrow I need to do revision for exam 4, and given that next week involves a lengthy LGBT committee meeting on Tuesday (with travel), the idea of being in a fit, healthy state to take the final exam next Wednesday would be doubtful. Havent even done all the learning for it yet, so pretty certain it will be the 12th December that I get to sit that.

Yes, I sincerely hope that will be the last exam I have to take in my life! I know, I’ll possibly have to retake something, but I hope not! After that I hope the only exam I ever have to take in the future will be related to gender change stuff, and nothing to do with learning facts!

I also wish I could be free from travelling long distances to work by bus, but unless someone can rewire my mind, turning me from the worst driver in the world, to one of the best, at my age, its not going to happen. I know, trains and planes, I’ll travel on them, but they dont have the start/stop, bumps and jerks motions of buses. But practically, to get to work, buses are the only easy way. Well, if a friendly alien is reading this, and wants to provide me with a flying saucer that does Huddersfield to Bradford in a few minutes, send it my way, ideally with driving instructions, or an alien chauffeur!

Fine, ideally, I’d love to be free at my age of the need to work at all, but the powers that be have decided otherwise…

OK, silly rant over.

Video time, some more Toyah. Firstly, the promo video

Secondly, a rather wonderful live version, with a few extra lines thrown in for good measure! This would be my preferred shout, but your call…?

Its a mystery, but a nice one!

I must admit, when someone suggested using a flotation tank to me, for my damaged back, I couldnt see the logic of how it could bring me long term benefit. Let me just say, 5 days later, I’m convinced.

Even when I walked out on Tuesday, in no pain, I put it down to short term effect, and all that, and nothing more. I then proceeded to have an awful journey home, in cold, wet weather, and still no issues. More of the same on both Wednesday (including a lengthy period of standing still, waiting for a bus, normally a killer), and on Friday, and fine, the worst I’ve had, a bit of minor (and I do mean minor) pain!

I’m not saying I could run a marathon (or even a mile), but its fair to say I currently have more mobility than I’ve had in 15 months! No, I’m still not trying the stairs at work though, or on a bus, lol!

Yes, I’m still taking all my painkillers, and stuff, but I was previously hurting with them, so thats not a major issue. Funnily enough, I’m due at Physiotherapy on Tuesday, and I’m fascinated to see what she thinks of my ‘new’ back! I know I said I was going to do acupuncture anyway, but seriously, I’m thinking of revising that comment, as the flotation tank is cheaper, seeming to work, so why change something that is clearly working? Plus, I get the whole sensory deprivation thing doing this, even more so as I’m getting shown how to put the lid of the pod down next time! Maybe I can come out reborn as twenty something Clara Johnson, lol?

Well, I can answer my own question in truth, I’ve booked 2 more sessions already! I was a bit concerned how to work things, as my next Physio session would be on Christmas Day, so not going to happen. And yes, the following Tuesday is New Years Day, so… it could have been a long wait. But now, not an issue! 😀

Normally I would have booked the first session for next Tuesday (4th December) but I’m in Manchester that day, LGBT committee meeting. In truth, before this, I was a bit concerned about that week, as it would have been 5 days of travel that week, but now…not! So I’ve booked for the 6th, my 1 day of rest, to use as a recovery session. The other booked is on 18th, to hopefully get me through the whole long festive period! Now all I need is someone to create a brainwashing tape, to play into the pod while I’m in there, lol… 😉 OK, thats hoping for a bit too much?

But yes, beyond the lack of pressure on my back while floating, I havent a clue why it works. So yes, you could say its a mystery! Which leads us to the video. Its not often you find someone from the punk era singing live in a studio (music too), but Toyah does here! And yes, its good enough, and different enough to be the pick for tonight!

Lost in something?

To all my US readers, reading this on the day, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, as I said previously, was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Lets just say that here in the UK, yesterday, as far as one TV channel was concerned at least, was Transgender day to forget!

Someone at work told me yesterday that there was a programme on Channel 4 last night, called Trans Kids, and asking if I was planning to watch it. All instinct was to say no, I wouldnt watch anything on TV relating to Transgender issues, as its usually road crash TV, and for me at least, best avoided.

However, feeling brave, or more correctly crazy, and given there was nothing else on, I gave it a try. In truth, the first 20 minutes or so wasnt too awful, and I thought maybe I’d been wrong about C4. No, I wasnt, as from there, the show went very quickly downhill, somewhere towards the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

I had a bad feeling when the presenter, speaking to a couple in their forties, of whom the father of 3 children had transitioned to a woman, she asked her wife, if that made her a lesbian. No, her husband changing gender does not change her sexuality in the slightest, you stupid woman! The wife seemed shocked, said no, just stating that they still lived together, but were no longer a couple. Unfortunately, the presenter couldnt just leave it there, and accept they could happily live together, with no sexual interest.

After this, the presenter went into a lengthy piece about how she was a tomboy as a child, and that maybe she should have become a boy. No, it just meant you were a tomboy type, you daft woman! Thankfully she didnt transition, though transitioning to a human who could think logically might have been a blessing!

After that, the show went into deep dive, going to a meeting of a bunch of extreme feminists, who dont believe that women can be women unless they were born one, the irony that none could see was that one of their spokespersons was a Trans woman, who couldnt see that they wouldnt believe in her. She seemed to think she was the only Trans Woman who was genuine, oh good grief!

Just when you thought they couldnt sink any lower than that, it did. Its fair to say the TV company had set things up so that a bunch of militant millenials, supposedly supporting Trans Women were protesting outside. All very angry, all wearing masks, and naturally the 2 sides came to blows. Mainly verbal, but anyway… Didnt show either side in a good light, and helps to explain why I just do my own thing.

To be fair to the presenter, she did query whether some children starting to transition are doing it all too young. I hate to say it, but the answer is yes. Pre puberty children dont have a clue about such matters, as a life long experience, and should do nothing before the age of maturity, in my opinion, be that 18, 21 or whatever, where you are?

If at that point, you’re sure you should transition, and are happy to go through due processes, fine! But no 14 year old should be making a decision that will affect the rest of their life, before their body settles down hormonally.

Sorry, but next time, I’ll be sensible, and go back to avoiding these shows like the plague.

OK, video time. Lets do something a little out of left field, to match the TV show. It is 20’s, and if I was young enough, I’d love to wear that dress, but…

Silent Floating

Oh fine, I hope I know what everyone wants to hear about, so lets have a duplicate blog tonight, so I can cover all events.

But before we get to that, let me just mention that today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, to remember those less fortunate than myself, over the years.

OK, to business, the flotation tank experience. I did check, and double check directions on Google Maps before leaving, but still managed to turn the wrong way when I got off the bus, but realised that in seconds, so no great issue.

The owner of the business quickly made me feel at home, and after the necessary form filling, I was soon in the room with the flotation tank. A shower, then in I went, and ‘laid’ down. If the roof was meant to come down to seal you in the pod, I never worked out how to do it. I’ve certainly seen enclosed pods, but whether this isnt set up for that, or was just me being blonde, no idea? Would have loved that, but in truth, once I turned out the lights, it was very dark, and apart from the whole enclosed sensation, would have been hard to tell the difference.

Yes, I relaxed easily, and just lay there enjoying the whole sensation, and loving the lack of any pressure on my fragile back. Anyway, once comfortable, settled, and everything else good, I decided to do a little experiment with self hypnosis, try to empty my mind a little (or ideally a lot) and see what developed from there.

It took me a while to get there (about 5-10 minutes too long, as I was to discover), but when I did, I tried to get a little bit of robot into my mind and body, but couldnt really get it to work, probably because robots dont generally float in water, lol.

So I went to Plan B, this time with startling success. Having emptied my mind of myself, I tried to self regress myself back to Clara Johnson. Incredibly, it worked. Snag was, Clara wasnt quite certain where she was, as these new age things werent around in the 1930’s, and panicked a bit finding herself seemingly floating in a dark room. I did set to trying to calm her down, and had just succeeded, and was just beginning to let her take control when I heard something I didnt want to hear, the music starting up again, which meant I had only 5 minutes left. So unfortunately, I had to say ‘goodbye’ to her, start to switch back to me, so I was back in control at the end of the session.

In truth, I have no idea if I was just going to let Clara experience the float, or whether I was going to ask her questions, as I never really reached that point. Not quite sure if I could ask her questions anyway, or whether someone else would have to ask ‘me’ them, in truth? I suspect would have to be the latter, as my mind was in Clara mode? So asking questions of herself, without a script?

So yes, I’m going to have to go back again, for sure, and this time get her involved far more quickly. If nothing else, seeing life through her eyes, and feeling her thoughts, for more than a few seconds will be amazing.

Another shower, a glass of water, then back to real life. Yes, cold, wet, and lousy services by First Buses!

Oh, and by the way, yes, the back feels a whole lot better too! So 2 pieces of good news, for the price of 1!

I can hear you asking, is she still going to try acupuncture now? The answer is yes, got to give both a chance, lets face it. And besides, they might use the needles loaded with robotising nanites! Yeah, I wish! 😛

But yes, the whole flotation tank experience, truly amazing for me, and maybe Clara needs to try it again, just to see how she really feels, lol?

Right, video time. Well, I was floating, not running, but otherwise it was certainly silent when the music stopped.

 

Hello darkness, my new friend

No, not politics, not that I would blame anyone for expecting it with that headline at present, lol.

All year long, up to now at least, I’ve been involved in a really good golf competition on Twitter. Somehow, I ended up 4th on the regular season, which qualified me as 1 of the higher seeds in the 16 person field. I crept through the first 2 rounds, not entirely skilfully, but as I was playing lower seeds, I had a points advantage which proved critical. Then came the semi final, against the number 1 seed, which not surprisingly I lost. This put me in the 3rd place playoff, which is pretty good, given my limited sports knowledge nowadays. Thing is, there were only 3 prizes, so now I had to win this, admittedly against a slightly lower seed to get any prize money. £100, so not something to be sneezed at, for just coming 3rd. Lose that match, get nothing. Yes, readers, you guessed it, I lost, today, in the final Euro Tour event.

Except, in the end, for some reason best known to others, and for which I’m very grateful, a 4th prize, matching the 3rd prize suddenly appeared! Put it this way, apart from the remaining £23, I have no plans to spend this on fripperies, or stuff. My plan was, and always has been, to try a couple of different therapies to try and ease my back, for which the extra expense was beyond my normal pocket, so now…

One is acupuncture, which I’ve fancied trying for years, even before my back went, but now I’ve got no excuse not to do so. I know, having needles stuck in you, for pain relief might seem weird to some, but it supposedly works, has been advised for me, so I will give it a try, and see, in near future.

The other is what they call a flotation tank therapy. Seems that floating, with zero pressure on my back might be a very good thing to do. Oh fine, the whole thing of being in a soundproof chamber, in the darkness appeals to me no end, though I doubt anyone is going to play a voice in the chamber, saying I am being brainwashed or the like will be available to me, lol. Maybe I can get that thought into my mind, but besides that…I can help my health, and help to have a fantasy come true!

So, with big thanks to Gareth, and ‘Scoled’ for their generosity in events today which have led to this happening. This old lady, and her back appreciate it far more than you can ever know.

You may have worked out tonight’s song, but you might be expecting, especially from me, Simon & Garfunkel, but you’d be wrong. This came out about 2 years ago, a stunning cover of said song, and we have a live version here.

She (was) on the beach

OK, fine, they think its all over, well it pretty much is now, lol. No, I’m not talking about the current government, though that might yet prove to be apt. But being strictly politically neutral on UK matters…well…? No, seriously, I mean my little break in the sun.

Of course, the sixty four million dollar question is, has the break in the sun done my back any good? Well, I’ve been taking less pills than usual, so I guess thats a good sign, but how long the effects will really last when I get back to the UK, who knows? I certainly havent missed not hearing all about the chaos at home over Brexit, and other stuff, for sure.

Yesterday, I headed to Vila Real De Santo Antonio as planned, and had a look around. In a sense, its more my sort of town than Faro would be, more peaceful, laid back, and dare I say it, old fashioned? Sadly I didnt get to Spain, as I reached the ferry terminal after town, and lunch, to see it pulling out for Ayamonte, across the river, in a different country, and given the next one wasnt for another hour in the off season, I didnt wait. That would have put me on the 2.30 ferry across, so earliest back at 4.00, and then needing to get back to Monte Gordo, all would have got a bit late for me. Maybe another time, maybe not, who knows?

Today, as I have done most days (gentle exercise, which is good) I took my stroll down along the front, and down part of the boardwalk, over the beach. I did some shopping, a little bit more than I’d planned, but nothing too dramatic. Oh, I got one of those coats, seems they had a zip up version as well for same price, so deal done! So I guess at some point soon I’ll need to go into work looking like a 30’s film star, lol. No, its silly really, I dont need a winter coat, but… Yes, I found the PIN for my credit card, but then found they only took cash, no cards, aargh!

I must admit, if, as I hope, I can retire somewhere with all year round warmth, then Monte Gordo has done a pretty good publicity job this week. I know its off season, but its quieter than the more popular end of the Algarve, its pleasantly warm, even in mid November (70 today), and cost of living is definitely lower than the UK too. But whether I will be in a position to make it happen, who knows? Will it even be possible once we’ve left the EU to move out here easily? Rolls eyes… Who me, a remain vote, well, you might think that, but I couldnt possibly say! 😛

Last amusing note, before I close for this holiday. There is a spa at the hotel I’m staying at. I did notice on their website that the spa does those body wrap things, and I’ve always fancied that. Go into my cocoon as the ugly caterpillar, come out the beautiful butterfly, yeah, I wish! So today, with budget sorted, I went to see how much it was. Yes, as I expected, way above what I had left, 80 Euros, for admittedly 80 minutes of pure pampering heaven. So, a fair price, but… To be honest, it was pretty much all above my budget, but I guess a 4 star hotel with spa (I’d say closer to 3, but anyway…), thats probably going to be the case. The thing was, they had a special offer for a hot stone massage, at 49 Euros. for 50 minutes of pampering, which I could just about scrape together. But anyway, being practical, I checked on Google, and it said not advised for people with Osteoporosis issues, so I ended up passing. Probably would have been fine, but better safe than sorry with boring old me!

It was funny tonight at dinner, I got asked why I was drinking Coke, when everybody else was drinking wine, so I explained about the painkillers, and all that. Again I wonder if thats just me being extra cautious, as I know people taking those pills, and drinking booze, and being fine, but…I am being boring, lol!

Tonights video is a song that might have passed most people by, especially as its now 33 years old! The late, great, Kirsty MacColl for your delight

Oh, and as a test to see who actually reads these things, given its Transgender Awareness Week. Yes, somethings been annoying me this week, and I’ve decided he’s got to go! Its fair to say, dont get excited, its not going to happen before retirement, as I’d need way too much time off work otherwise, to get it done before then. Yes, been looking at clingy dresses again, lol, and the desire to wear them, and the current impracticality of doing so. Latex would be fun, but at 66, I dont think so! Of course, the back could have a major relapse over the winter, I need to retire on disability grounds, but until then…?

Might give me a clue as to who ‘likes’ the blog without reading it, lol. 😉

Happy hour again?

Oh fine, I lied when I said that the 2 blogs would be the same all week, because they wont be. Mainly because some people reading on the other blog think I’m a natural woman, and for some, after about 18 years, I’d hate to break the news, lol. So we’ll keep this here, and I have an idea for the other place, which I’m sure you wont mind missing. Mind, a lot will know where to find it, anyway!

This week, for those who didnt already know, and I hope most in the LGBT community at least do, is Transgender Awareness Week. I know, preaching to the converted, as lets face it, if you dont like Trans folk, you’re not likely to be reading this!

Anyway, no, I’m not going to preach, so dont worry if you thought this was going to be just that. What I am going to tell you is the amusing story of how I ended up in Portugal during T.A.W (for short) in the first place. Earlier this year, I was talking to someone in the US (if I get too specific, some will know who I mean, so to protect the guilty…) and it was suggested (see, no personal pronoun) that maybe I could go out there, and speak to the Trans community in their state, and try and convince them that things arent as grim as they seem, even with that LGBT hating idiot they have in charge over there. See, not playing to someone’s ego, either, by mentioning his name! Not that I have for a while, but he’s orange, and wears a wig, so… 😉 So, I booked this week off at work a long while back, to cover for this eventuality. As you might have guessed, in the end, it came to nothing. What they have done to mess me around since then, absolutely no comment!

So I had 2 options, I could cancel the week of holiday at work, save it for another time, but then my back came up with this bright idea, how about a week somewhere warm, to ease both my pain, and my back pain. So, to cut a long story short, go on budget holiday website, find what seemed a nice option (and most definitely is), and take the week off, and go elsewhere, in this case, Portugal! All seems fine, right?

Well, the thing is, I did a piece for T.A.W for work, both for our group section, and ultimately, for the whole department as well! A lovely piece, a letter to my younger self, explaining to her whats going to happen in her future life, and all that. Of course, the snag is, normally the writer is around to respond to comments at work, and I’m in Portugal, and no access to our Department Intranet. I suspect from the ways its playing out, they’re probably planning to put it up on Friday, so people will barely realise that the ‘old lady’ isnt there until Monday to reply to comments, shrewd move.

Yes, I will let blog readers see it at some point, though as its currently only on my work computer, it wont be until after I get back, and can send the document home! If I dont, remind me, please! Well, assuming anyone wants to see it, of course?

Irony is, me personally, the last thing I want people to be aware of, is that I’m Trans. Me, I’m just another woman, OK? But yes, if you have any Trans friends in need of extra support, this is a great week to do it, just saying…

Right, this is almost the Beautiful South, doing a Housemartins song, which you might have guessed the title of already?

Calling Gloria?

Well, if I were to update you on what I did yesterday, you’d be bored stiff, because I did pretty much what an ‘old crock’ like myself should do, I had a relatively easy day. I went out for a gentle stroll (bit further than planned), had a bite of lunch, then headed back to the hotel again, via a stop for an Ice Cream. Fallen asleep yet? 😛

Today however, was far more amusing, which is the only reason you’re getting this tonight. My original plan had been to head into town (about 11.15), have a stroll, get a coffee, then head down and get the 12.30 bus to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, have a bite of lunch, then hop on the ferry, cross into Spain, just because its easily done (ferry takes 15-20 minutes to cross), have a look round, then come back again. No, as you gathered, I didnt do that!

Instead, as I got into town, just after 11.30, the seemingly slightly delayed 11.27 bus to Faro swung into sight, so I got on that instead! I will do the other trip later in the week, but for now… There may not be a bus every 10 minutes, but they do believe in comfortable bus seats over here, so nice! Fares are similar for distance as at home, for those interested, so it can be done, First Buses!

But the sweetest thing for me, was one of my fellow passengers, at least until Tavira, where she got off. To say this woman was the spitting image of an elderly Gloria Swanson (as in Sunset Boulevard era, or just later) was remarkable. Gloria (if I remember right) was tiny, under 5 foot tall, I believe, but in truth this woman wasnt much taller than that! Oh, and this woman was speaking fluent Portuguese, but other than that… She had the perfect diva attitude too (though I’ve heard nice things said about Swanson, so maybe she didnt?) as she showed when someone was trying to help her with her bags, after she got off the bus.

The rest of the drive to Faro was positively sedate, other than the song that got stuck in my head, this one

In truth, after just over 20 years, I didnt remember much of Faro, beyond the basic set out, but I suspect its changed in that time anyway. Bus station is still as ancient as it was then, mind, certainly no overhaul there!

At home, generally the bus fares are cheaper than the trains, and they take longer to get places, though because of the route the train takes, that doesnt work between Huddersfield and Bradford, because the train ambles round via Halifax. In the old days, the train was also more reliable, but that no longer happens! Here in Portugal, the bus fare was actually more expensive than the train (5.70 Euros, to 5.05 on train), takes longer to do the journey, even allowing for the long walk to the station (about a mile) from here. The snag is, Portuguese trains make Trans Pennine Express look reliable, and thats quite an achievement!

The train back to Monte Gordo from Faro was meant to leave at 3.00, and take 62 minutes for the journey. Even with a 20 minute walk, that should beat a 3.15 bus that takes 83 minutes for the journey! The thing is… The train pulled in from Lagos (yes, Nigeria isnt the only one to have a place of that name) at 3.03, about 4 minutes late, so we all get on. Then a minute later, we all get told to get off again. I have no idea what the announcement said, as it was only given in Portuguese, not a lot of use to most passengers who were tourists! Anyway, said train reversed back down the platform, and sat just outside the station. Just after 3.25, it plodded back into the station, we all got on (and stayed on) and a few minutes later, it set off for Vila Real De Santo Antonio!

I finally got back to Monte Gordo about 30 minutes after I should have, and still nearly made it into town before the bus passed me! Ah well…

Oh, and this leads to the second video of the day, the song I was singing to myself at the station, when I was wondering what the train was doing!

Not quite so much the young ones

Right, firstly for those who know how to read both blogs, they’re going to be the same for the rest of the week, as the old lady is away on holiday, so pretty much all events will relate to that, and there’s no point writing pretty much the same stuff twice. Yes, in Portugal, on the Algarve for those who care, and want to flood me with money to spend…? Oh fine, teasing on last points, though after one item I saw today, I wouldnt say no to 32.50 Euros, if anyone is offering, more on that shortly.

In truth, getting here (Monte Gordo, for those who’d like to know, hotel details for a reasonable bribe! See above!) was pretty straightforward. Flight left on time, landed on time, and wheelchair soon arrived to take me through. I dont know the name of the gentleman, but not only did he get me through passport control, and handle my case for me, he literally wheeled me all the way to the minibus to take me to the hotel, which was far more than I was expecting. If anyone at Faro Airport can work out who this was, give him my thanks, and yes, I tipped accordingly! Minibus driver tried to match him by taking both my bags right up to hotel counter (I was last dropped off) for me, and yes, he got tipped too!

Dinner last night was fun. Nothing to do with the food, which was basic, but good, but the age of the people eating there. Yes, when at 60, you’re one of the youngest there, well… I think that its because a lot of senior citizen Europeans from chillier climes now come south for the whole of the winter (if they can afford it, not me!), and clearly this hotel is a prime destination for that! There were a number of younger people at breakfast this morning, so I think its just us that are less able, or less inclined to go out to eat who do this, me included now!

Anyway, after a gentle morning catching up on internet, and watching a bit of the remembrance service, I went out for a stroll around town. Its a typical, out of main season, seaside tourist resort, nothing exciting in truth. But it will more than do me. Nice boardwalk along the front, which I walked along, with several breaks to let my body recover, including one for coffee, and one for lunch, as well as a few just breaks for rest.

After that, I took a stroll more into the built up area of town (still not large), and looked in a few shops. I saw one lovely top that would definitely work as a 20’s look, and at about 14 Euros, will definitely be coming home with me, if I have the money at end of the week. I also saw the most gorgeous (fake) fur jacket type thing, which I loved, partly because it was gorgeous, and partly because it was so 30’s, though of course it would more likely have been real fur back then! Yes, shopkeeper saw me looking at it, so I asked price, see above, 32.50 Euros. No, I came on a tight budget, so probably not, but if I do have that much at end of week, its coming home for sure! Can just imagine Clara Johnson wearing something like that, though probably in real fur! Love, love, love!

Oh, lastly, the hotel. The front looks very modern, but the rooms (well, the one I’m in, anyway), have a much more old fashioned feel. Its not literally on the corridor, the rooms are set back a little, in pairs, and are huge by hotel standards. I literally have a double sized bedroom, a bathroom, and a large lounge area, where I’m typing this. It lacks coffee making facilities (I’ve been spoiled by UK/US hotels, I guess?), but other than that, its gorgeous!

Oh, the other weird thing? In the UK, and US nowadays, its prohibited to smoke pretty much anywhere indoors, in public buildings. Seems in Portugal, thats not the case. I finished my coffee this morning, turned to get up, and got ‘hit’ by the smell of cigarette smoke. Then I noticed the ash tray on every table, lol. Ah well…

Fine, video time. I’m guessing from the 50th Anniversary tour thing, that this must be from about 2008/09? Cliff, and the Shadows definitely still had it back then. Though no, I have no plans for any young ones of my own! 😛