Monthly Archives: January, 2019

I’d like to buy the world a (Diet) Coke

Some of my more senior readers have probably already worked out the video, but hey, the song is 47 years old (eek!), so maybe not all?

The thing that probably inspired this blog was an advert, at a bus stop that I passed today. It was selling Tesco Diet Coke (which I already drink, save promotion claims), but the sale point was the fact that a 2 litre bottle of Diet Coke had 55 less lumps of sugar in it, than standard coke. Now I knew there was sugar in standard coke, and some form of sweetener (Aspartamene?) in diet coke, so its not as innocent as it seems, but I was still stunned by the amount of sugar in standard coke!

Let me add, that like the sweetener name, I havent checked whether the claim is correct or not before posting this.

I actually prefer Diet Coke, to Standard Coke, the taste suits me better. Fine, a little bit of mild weight watching probably helps to fight off the middle aged spread I’m developing (Hey, I am 60), but I’d rather drink the diet version anyway. Yes, I’d actually drink diet Pepsi in preference to standard Coke, though most places nowadays dont seem to sell both, unlike the good old days. No, I really cant tell any significant difference between the 2 brands, in fact. Just me, I know…

And yes, as you’ve also noticed, I dont actually buy the ‘real thing’, I’m on a budget, lol! Its fine for what I need it, which is basically to help me with food digestion (hiatus hernia), and to take painkiller pills! As a drink, unless its really hot, probably not? Fine in the old days, when I could drink it with vodka, but now I cant do alcohol…

So readers, how is it for you. Coke, or Pepsi? Standard, or diet? Or doesnt it really matter to you? Feel free to comment here, though I doubt anyone will.

OK, video time. Yes, this started as a Coke advert song, and turned into a gold record selling hit! I will always have a soft spot for the New Seekers, as in 1972, it was the first pop concert I ever went to by myself! And yes, I wanted to be Eve Graham, lol! Her parts were the ones I sang along to, even then!

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All together now? Not my back!

Well, I wonder how all together things will be after the Brexit votes tonight? Fingers crossed for some positive, sane news, and I will leave it at that.

Unfortunately I had to venture out today, for a good reason, but its been freezing cold, and my back has been complaining loudly ever since I did so. I must admit, I felt like stepping into the TV last night, and hitting (as best I can) the local weatherman who was getting horribly over excited at the thought of the forthcoming snow. Yes, he’s young, and in perfect health, so good for him, have fun, but a bit of consideration for his viewers, of more mature years, and more damaged bodies might be nice, just saying. Not saying his name, as it would mean nothing to people who dont watch BBC regional news in Yorkshire, but if they do, the hit is ordered. No, seriously its not, but the sentiment was there. Oh, we havent had snow, and ice here yet, but he was gleefully forecasting it again tonight. I hope not, for his sake. And mine, I really cant afford a hitman, lol!

The reason I had to go out today, was because thanks to the deteriorating state of my back, I need to cut back my working week even further. Yes, the poor old girl cant even survive a 4 day week at this time of year at least, any more. I suspect it cant survive it regardless, but in current temperatures, no chance! So therefore, off to try and get some benefits to help me do this. The irony was, my own department that I work for, and I failed the verification system online. Probably because of all the name changes, and the fact that I dont apply for hundreds of credit cards, but I’m on the electoral roll, I’m on the Civil Service workers list, but anyway…

Universal Credit seems to attract an amount of media flak, but most of the postings at work tell me its actually a delight to be involved in. My feelings after today, somewhere in between. (Let me add I definitely did not get the feeling of special treatment, lol) I cant say that the lady I saw was overly welcoming, but she wasnt overly hostile either. Then again, I’m not out of work, so…? In truth, it seemed more an exercise of ticking her boxes, and that was it. I was trying to make it clear that my reason for claiming was that I needed to cut back my hours because of health issues, so the wages I’m currently on, wouldnt be the wages then, but not sure she really heard that. We will see?

Maybe she’s just had too many ‘grumpy’ customers, because my attempts to be polite, and helpful really got me nowhere, beyond getting my identity verified. So yes, I can see people with less of a link might think the service a bit too formal, and fierce. At the same time, the number of people they must get in work, wanting to do a health based hours reduction, not many, I suspect. So, I would say its not as bad as some portray it, but its not as good as others do. I suspect how much I get offered, if anything, if they think thats still going to be my salary, might tilt me one way or the other, we will see?

OK, video time. Hopefully my back will be roughly ‘all together’ in the morning, though I suspect if the weather forecast is right, that might be wishful thinking, but fingers crossed. The song, I find hard to believe is nearly 30 years old, but it is. And it proves Paul McCartney wasnt the only one to feature Christmas Day, 1914, in a song!

Something’s going to stop us now!

Fine, hopefully from here, for a while at least, normal blog service will be resumed. As in, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, other than maybe the odd surprise, or non appearance. Well, for 6 weeks at least, until my next holiday at least. When, shock horror, I’ll be returning to Blackpool again! I’d love to say that hopefully it will be built by then, but that might be way too optimistic. No, not the whole of the town, but they’re currently working on extending the tram route, up to the main station (Blackpool North), so navigating your way around town can be challenging!

This time around was a brief, 2 night stop, as it was Open Day at the Winter Gardens yesterday, and some of us were busily promoting the Film Festival in March. Oh, and possibly digging myself a hole outfit wise for some events at the festival too. No, seriously, bring them on, especially Wizard Of Oz, as well as That’s Entertainment over the weekend. Oh, and yes, got a new photo of me, ooh…

me at blackpool

Little Miss Glamour Kitten, lol! Sharon looked even more amazing, but not posting pictures of others without permission, sorry. Also thanks to Catherine for providing me with the picture.

Poor Eric was going to come and visit me at the Winter Gardens, after his morning out, but failed the maze test, so I only saw him when I got back to the hotel. The only other ‘silly’ moment of the weekend was that some blonde bimbo left her reading glasses at home over the weekend, so I’ve been peering blindly at the laptop, and menus over the weekend. Yes, I moved them on Friday, to put them in my handbag, got called away, couldnt see them, so assumed they were in the bag, ah well, I survived…just!

Ah well, back to work tomorrow, heaven knows how many emails await me! Tuesday sees a benefit meeting, as I try to get sufficient benefit to enable me to cut back my working week further, as the back isnt even holding up to a 4 day week any more. Well, unless we’ve won the lottery, on the syndicate while I’ve been away, but pigs flying seems to be more likely than that, lol.

I might be working like a maniac on Tuesday morning at this rate, to get all the paperwork I will need together. I might have been off, but with 2 sessions of physiotherapy, and all the travel involved, plus all the film work, darlings… Not got as much done as I hoped!

Right, video time. I’ve heard this song seemingly a million times recently, on a car advert doing the rounds at present over here. But it involves a film (not on festival list), and some great mannequin stuff (I would love to do that, if could be arranged?), and something is definitely stopping pedestrians in Blackpool at present. So…

Apple Pie, anyone?

Yes, a bonus blog, make the most of it! Well, unless I decide not to bother tomorrow night, in which case we’re level, anyway. Yes, its one of those ‘days’ today, it seemingly being National Pie Day. Well, I had a Fisherman’s Pie tonight, if that counts? In truth, it probably doesnt, as there is not a flake of pastry involved, and lets face it, for most people, thats what really makes a pie. Oh, and fine, that was a ready meal, out of a pack. What do you think I am, the perfect housewife, lol?

Of course, if anyone wants to send me to the Stepford School for creating the perfect housewife, count me in. Yes, I know, I’d enjoy being turned into the robot version of the perfect 50’s housewife far too much! And yes, in truth now, thats probably about the only way I could be a perfect housewife ever again, the robot upgrade, as my physical health is now certainly not up to basic things like cutting up vegetables and the like, and after nearly 20 years, the concept of me cooking anything from scratch is pretty much zero, anyway.

Pie is one of those strange things, that comes in so many guises. You get those savoury pastry covered pies, filled with meat and vegetables, and at the same time, sweet pastry clad pies, containing fruit, for desserts. You also get those pies that never get to see pastry, settling for a potato based topping, and nothing more to keep the ingredients in place. Strictly, you can have a savoury mince pie, and a sweet mince pie, even in the same meal, though of course they’re a different type of mince in each of them. And no, I couldnt tell you the last time I created a pie myself, though I have heated up a few of those that were ‘made earlier’, generally by a handy baker, or supermarket!

As I say, I’d love to be ‘transformed’ into the perfect cook, and housewife, but it would definitely take a miraculous, or Stepford makeover for that to happen nowadays. The latter might be better, as at least I might get a new robot body capable of doing all that chopping, cutting, and other preparation stuff, that I currently havent got a clue about.

As you might have got the joke, the thing that Stepford Wives used to be famed for, was their apple pies, which explains the title of the blog. And of course, if they made it, it would be bound to be perfect. Robotically perfect, some might say. Which explains the choice of video…

Where will all the tourists go?

In truth, I tend to avoid watching the news too often nowadays, as its usually pretty depressing stuff, especially if Brexit, or Trump are involved, and at present, they usually are! But for once, tonight, I’m glad I watched the regional news at least, as it gave me something to blog about, a matter I was seriously lacking until then.

Before I was born, the plan my family had, was that I would be born in Yorkshire. Apart from being the home county at the time, there was also all this thing about only people from Yorkshire could play cricket for the county, so my father, in his wisdom, wanted his child born in the county, just in case. The snag was, my father was in the Navy, based in Chatham, in Kent, and I decided to enter this world a few days early. Thats why, sadly, I have Chatham as my place of birth, and not Haworth, or Keighley. Not that I would ever have been good enough to play cricket for Yorkshire (School team was highest standard I reached), so that didnt matter at least. I did get the consolation prize of being baptised in Yorkshire, but that was it.

So, intermittently, for the first 3 or 4 years of my life, we lived in Kent, and had a small place in Haworth too. When I say small, that, and the house next to it, are now one dwelling, and its still just a reasonable size!

Haworth is generally famous for 2 things. One is the steep climb up Main Street, which believe me, from experience, I can say isn’t fun in winter! The second are a family including 3 authors, from the Victorian era. Anyone who didnt know they’re the Bronte sisters, hold your head in shame!

Back in the 60’s, and 70’s, when I used to live there/visit, beyond a small area at the top of the hill, it was a typical Yorkshire mill village. Life wasnt easy, and even worse for Haworth, with the regular influx of tourists. Then slowly, during the 80’s, the tourism area began to spread down the village, and now its pretty much the whole area, in truth. So what does a village that attracts so many tourists need? A tourist information office, of course! And very popular in summer it was too.

But now, due to all the cutbacks, one of the prime tourist destinations of West Yorkshire, no longer has one, it closed recently, as part of the council cutbacks. I know, I doubt it will stop tourists invading the village in large numbers, in the tourist season, but it still seems crazy to me. Hopefully someone will see sense before the summer, but who knows?

One certainty as an author was though, that no matter how successful I was, I was never likely to be more than the 4th most famous author from Haworth! Ah well…

Right, video time. I doubt many will remember this song, it was a very minor hit. Some might recognise 2 of the group, as they went on to far more success, as The Eurythmics! Tourists, get it?

What is their future?

Right, I’ll make the offer loud and clear, and see if anyone will take me up on it. I am off work this week, and I hereby pledge to fill the usual blog spaces for you. Given that I’m not planning on anything more than a relaxing week until Friday (more on that Thursday) other than treatments, I’ve got the time to do more blogs. But if you want them to appear, I need some suitable subject matter, thats all. No UK/Europe politics, but other than that…? No, I dont expect to hear from anyone, but I can hope. stephmajor8@hotmail.com for emails will be fine, if you dont want to join on here.

What struck me on Friday morning, and to a lesser degree, yesterday morning, was the number of children under 5 on the buses I caught. One woman had 3, of different ages, all under 5, or they should have been at school!

And yes, I wondered what their life will be, when they reach my age? What will their retirement age be by then, for starters? Expected life span was about 71 when I was a child, and now its 81! Pretty certain my body isnt going to last to 81, but some of us have to live less than average, lol! But will it be 90 in 60 years time, or more, or less, or…?

Look at phones nowadays, and move them on another 60 years. Back then, you had to book an international call about a week in advance, and you paid a fortune, and were limited to a few minutes, and no more. Now (and I have) I can speak to the West Coast of America, on a whim for the US, and it doesnt cost a fortune, even if you have to pay for it. Yes, I dialled a freephone number, and got connected to the US, crazy stuff.

Oh, and because of where we’re heading with the video, when I was born, no man had flown in space, it was a year after I was born that it first happened. Satellites were just about to be launched for the first time, so watching pictures, as we do now, from the other side of the world, live…wow! Hey, it was such a novelty that one adult worker included the novelty of a satellite in her outfit

space suit

Yes, Sputnik, the first Soviet satellite. And before you ask, would I wear that helmet, of course I would! I would say the full outfit, but I am 60, so if anyone wants to create it for me…?

I’m not even going to try and comprehend what will be the novelty item 60 years from now! One thing is for sure, I wont be around to find out! Will someone be experiencing a past life regression then, and finding me? Interesting thought!

One thing is for sure, there is no way we could even vaguely imagine what life will be on Earth in 2080, so I’m not even going to try. You can assume there will be bases on the Moon, and Mars, and maybe more? Will they look back on our movies, and be amused by how retro they are? Oh, and will they be able to transform humans into robots? 😉

Right, video time. This may look very basic now, but in 1962, this was cutting edge music. Oh, and of course, it also relates to a different satellite! Oh, and at the grand old age of 4, I bought this single!

 

You darken my lights

Also known as how to ensure you dont lose a cricket match.

I’m old enough to remember a time when all cricket matches were played in the daytime, though in truth, thats probably a thing many younger than me can say, though I do remember all the hype about the first game being played under floodlights.

Now even the odd test match is played under lights, and lots of limited over (especially the 20 over games) are only played under lights nowadays. Before today, my funniest memory related to this was an English game, Kent playing someone at Canterbury, and before the game even started, they knew the floodlights werent working. Now, knowing they had a couple of hours before it would get too dark to play, you’d think they’d reduce the overs, get the game in before it got dark, and get a result, right?

No, too simple for the jobsworth’s, they started a 20 over game, and about 4 overs into the second innings, it got too dark to continue, match abandoned, no result! Spectators were only ever going to get about 24 overs before dark, but if they’d had a 12 over match, they would have seen a result. Seriously?

So this morning my time (evening Australia time), one of the teams from Sydney, were playing Brisbane, in Brisbane in that 20 over league over there. Sydney batted first, made a pretty good score of 186 in their overs, and then Brisbane came out to bat. Quickly, their 2 star opening bats were out, and they were in a lot of trouble. Suddenly, as their second star bat is walking off the pitch, one of the banks of floodlights ‘fails’. ‘Remarkably’, given that it was the home team in a big hole, despite not much visible effort to sort the matter, they claimed they couldnt get the lights to work again, and the match was abandoned, how convenient? Even 10 minutes, and 2 overs later, they would have declared a result (Brisbane would have been losing heavily), so handy, wasnt it?

I know, it might have been a genuine issue, but the timing was rather immaculate if that was the case? Of course, suggesting someone conveniently switched off the lights, surely not, lol?

Fine, its a 14 game season, but if Sydney miss the playoffs by 1 point, then well, they might be a bit more than annoyed?

OK, video time. A rather cynical song for a Brisbane cricket team, given they did just the opposite. Oh, and before anyone thinks Christian Music, and an LGBT person promoting it, her Episcopalian Church is one that is very pro on LGBT issues! So thanks, Debby, in more senses than one tonight

 

 

An invitation to dinner?

Fine, there is one political item tonight I’d love to comment on, but I mustn’t, I really shouldn’t, so I wont! But will I take a swipe at someone else in politics, oh fine, I will, seeing he’s not in the UK. 😛

The tale that had me roaring with laughter this morning was the news that Donald Trump had invited the Clemson college football team to the White House, given they won the National Championship recently.

Given that the percentage of white players in American Football isnt all that high, I’m slightly surprised they accepted the invitation to the White House anyway. Of course, how many turned up out of the team group, I have no figures.

Anyway, the picture showed a number of them turning up to the big event, immaculately dressed, with expectations of a fine meal provided, to discover a large pile of burgers to greet them! Yes, still in the boxes, in fact. Meaning a lot of them were probably less than hot too.

The thing is, I know these players tend to be on the large side, so I assume he thought they’d just eat anything, right? Truth is, most of these players probably avoid large amounts of fat, but besides all that…

I know, due to his own stupidity, most of the staff at the White House are currently not working, because he threw a temper tantrum, possibly under instructions from his best buddy in Russia! But if you are seriously telling me that the best he could find, even if he couldnt have simply bought in some staff to provide a feast (he is a billionaire, allegedly), was McDonalds, and the like, its not saying much, is it?

Oh, and according to the bewigged, orange one, he ordered Hamberders. Yes, seriously, according to his own Tweet! Ah well…

No, I’m not a big burger eater, especially of the fast food variety kind. In truth, I cant remember the last time I ate one! So yeah, when it comes to the video, I’m going to pick something with a cynical look at this item of food. I suspect many havent heard of Lorraine Bowen, but maybe you should? Warning, this video is only for over 18 viewers, just saying…

Still KC, after all these years

Old friends, and all that stuff. Mainly because everything else I can think to rant about is my health, or politics, so lets avoid those for once…

The first time Kate, and I met up in Boston, I got to fulfil one of my baseball dreams, a visit to the legendary Fenway Park, to watch a game. What you have to allow for, is that when I buy a baseball ticket for myself, its at the budget end of the range. Not the bleachers, even before my back went, but nothing very stylish either, usually an ‘up in the gods’ job. So, not really knowing Kate all that well before the trip, I was assuming much of the same.

Yes, wrong, one of the much nicer seats, and a restaurant available, where the staff cared for our needs before the game, oh wow. The next time we planned to go to the baseball together, I was therefore suspecting more of the same. Let me add, this wasnt in Boston, this was in Kansas City, but yes, the Red Sox were the opposition, so yes, there might have been some friendly rivalry between the 2 of us. Yes, and nice viewing seats too. Oh, and they got better! Kate has some health issues that make mine now look less of a concern, and though the seats were great, she couldnt get comfortable. So she asked nicely, and we quickly got moved to more suitable seats, and had attentive staff caring for us for the rest of the afternoon! It was the year the Royals lost in the World Series, but they got their reward a year later!

So far, thats the only game we’ve been together at, where there has been a friendly rivalry between us. We do tend to have a friendly tease when Kansas State (my team to follow) play Oklahoma State (her university) each year, but nothing too serious, all the same.

Now it looks like we are going to get an extra ‘tease’ next weekend in the NFL, as the Kansas City Chiefs (won last night) are set to host her New England Patriots  (35-7 up, as I write) in the AFC Championship. No, I wont actually see the game, as it will start at 11.40 pm next Sunday, UK time, and thats way too late for me. I’ll have to settle for catching the highlights the next day, I guess? But I bet Kate watches it, as it will be early evening for her, and yeah, its the Patriots!

Of course my added amusement is, we could yet have a Jean Harlow Superbowl, lol, though I’m sure Kate wont want that to happen. Yes, KC, where she was born, against the Hollywood team, the Los Angeles Rams!

One of these days, Kate and I will get to another sports game together. When, and where, to be advised, lol!

OK, the video tonight has no relevance to the blog! I know, shocking stuff. But fine, in some of my short mind control story pieces, I use Clara Johnson, and get her turned temporarily into a robot. So imagine my amusement when I found a musical number, where she’s wearing a metal outfit…