Next week, the Open golf tournament (its not the British Open, as some call it, by the way) heads to Carnoustie, a course at which I can proudly say I played at, in the dim distant past. No, dont get excited, I didnt play the actual course that those top pro golfers will be playing at, I played the 18 hole putting green, with my partner of the time, but it was literally next door to the 1st hole, close to where all those players will be teeing off, to start their round. No, seriously, we couldnt have afforded to play the course, my partner was never more than a ‘pitch and putt/Par 3’ player, and by that age, in truth, neither was I. My days of being a 13 handicap golfer had long since passed by then.
We also played St Andrews on the same trip, probably the most unique putting course I’ve ever seen. You know, most of these things are on a pretty much flat surface, and if you just hit it at the hole, it goes in? No, St Andrews was nothing like that! Slopes, twists, and turns, the complete works! And yes, again, you could see the Old Course while playing it! Yes, now, most definitely the closest I will ever get to playing one of the famous name golf courses.
But back to Carnoustie…
For me at least, even having played in the hallowed grounds, my most amazing memory of the place was when the Open was previously held there, in 1999. Anyone who saw Jean Van De Velde conjure up defeat from the jaws of victory on the last hole, is never likely to forget that. What people forget is that Paul Lawrie wasnt even in contention going into the last day, shot the round of the tournament, but even then, Van De Velde only had to play the last with an element of care, and the title was his. As history shows, he didnt! Unfortunately, his career never really recovered after that.
As for this week, I hope the tournament is exciting, but I hope no one throws it away like that on the last hole of the tournament.
Oh, and while talking matters French, I suppose I’d better congratulate France on winning the Football/Soccer World Cup today. No, I didnt see any of the game, but the scoreline (4-2) suggests it was exciting at least? To prove how unnecessary it is to know anything about the sport, I entered a competition online. Thousands of entries, end up tied for 36th!
Seeing I cant find a song about Carnoustie, or Mr Van De Velde, lets go with a French video tonight. I have to say it, their anthem is a hell of a lot more inspiring than ours! From the World Cup, no less!
Oh fine, I thought I was going to be reminiscing about the previous time that England were in a World Cup Final, even more so when I got in last night, and saw the score was 1-0, but everything went downhill after that, so you’re getting this instead! 😛
To be honest, I guessed I’d see less people around last night than normal, but in truth, during the walk into Bradford from work, I hardly saw anyone at all. Well, apart from inside the bars, showing the football, lol…Little did I know that by the time I walked past, England was already winning. Even the Interchange was almost empty, and the bus had a fraction of the normal amount of passengers too. Despite a few ‘idiots’ (signalled the bus to stop, just as he was passing at speed, but he managed to stop, and wait for them to sort out their fares) for the first time in memory at that time of night, the bus actually had to wait for the clock to tick round at Brighouse before we could complete the trip to Huddersfield. Despite that, I got off at Huddersfield 4 minutes early, and got a bus towards home that should leave a minute before I get there, and thats with a couple of minutes walk. That bus was quiet too.
As for this end, well, I could have walked home in a swimsuit, and pretty much no one would have known! I saw a driver, and 2 passengers on a bus heading into town at a respectful distance, but I doubt they saw me. Other than that, no one!
For the first time this tournament, I switched on the football at home, and discovered the news, England were winning. By the time I’d gone downstairs, put my dinner in the microwave, and got back upstairs, they were drawing! Then I jinxed them, I left the football on, and the almost inevitable happened, they lost! At least it wasnt on penalties this time, lol. So sadly, it seems like we will have to put up with Baddiel and Skinner for 2 more years at least, singing about 3 lions on shirts, ah well…
For me, the more exciting potential news was another chance to dress up old fashioned style, and work in the Blackpool area (Lytham, to be precise) as an advertiser for the Film Festival next March, but its a weekend in August (18th and 19th), so not even worth asking in truth, as Saturday’s are short staffed enough as it is, without being in School Holidays (we have a number of term time only staff), and besides which, I suspect finding accommodation over there in mid August, no chance! Its not even like its just a Saturday anyway for me, I’d need to finish early on the Friday to get there, would need the Monday off to recover afterwards, so… No, I dont know what era, or look just yet! Probably better I dont know, might regret not doing it!
OK, video time, at least you’re saved from Keith Allen, aka Fat Les, due to last nights calamity with England. I had no idea how good Marlene Dietrich’s singing talents were by 1963, but they were bearable. And yes, its more than one glorious link to the past that I love, so…
Yesterday, being the first Saturday in July, was Founders Day at the Grammar School that I went to in Rochester. Shows my age, I left there 44 years ago, though my last Founders Day there would be 1982, the last summer before I moved to Somerset, and I’ve never been back! In truth, but for the fact that I was involved as a scorer, and player for the ‘Old Boys’ cricket team, I probably wouldnt have gone back after 1974, anyway. In fact, the last time I would have done the ‘tour’ of the school on Founders Day would have been 1972, as I was involved with the traditional cricket game in the 2 years after that.
Thing is, said Grammar School was boys only, hence the title of the blog. Title came to me, mainly because of some TV show a few years back (whose name I’ve forgotten), where the punchline item was the ‘Only gay in the village’ for one of the sections of the show. So, is the question right, am I the only girl who has ever gone to that school?
The answer is possibly yes, but at the same time, sheer numbers (120 or so new entries each year) say that over all those decades, there must be more trans, or intersex girls who went there? It was funny, because I was only across the road from where I should have been. Yes, the girls grammar school was literally across the road from us! Yes, strictly I’m intersex, not trans, as I’m the proud owner of an undeveloped womb!
No, I dont suppose now, that I will ever go back. No real desire, and besides, after nearly 50 years, the school would have changed beyond recognition, I’m sure. So probably best to stay away, regardless, as all those cricketers I knew would be retired from the sport, or dead by now.
But yes, wouldnt it be fun, if someone looked back on the list of past pupils now, and by some fate of history, saw a female name on that list! Oh the fun, and go back, and someone asked me if I had a relative at the school, and said no, I was a pupil here, as a woman. Hmm?
Right, video time. I wanted to use Girls School, by Wings, which was actually a double A side, with a far more famous record, Mull of Kintyre. Yes, one is remembered, one isnt. But no, nothing, no video, no live performance, so… I tried a You Tube search, and it came up with this. Not my type of music, but it works, with a one word change!
1948 was a notable year for a few reasons. In a personal sense, it was the year my parents got married, and stayed together for about 20 years or so. About 10 years into that marriage, I came along, and for whatever reason, they decided that was enough children for them, and no more appeared. It might have been that my father was at several of the nuclear bomb tests in the 1950’s (he was in Navy), and I was born intersex, that may have either put them off having more, or they might have been advised to do that, of course?
At the start of 1948, the railways here in the UK were nationalized, after years of deterioration due to the war, it was the only way that many of them could be rescued for public use. Of course, in the 90’s, they were privatized again, and I think most can work out how I feel about the outcome of that decision, given my comments on the local train companies around here previously!
A horse called My Love won the Derby that year, and much though I considered using said Wings song for this blog, I’ve gone for something way out of left field instead!
But why I’m writing this tonight, is for something that has celebrated its 70th Birthday today, the National Health Service! Strictly its called a free medical service, but of course, it isnt, we all pay for it out of our taxes, and other deductions, but because of that, its a case of service for all, paid to varying degrees, according to how much you earn. Some countries (Yes, US, I’m looking at you), have still not caught on to the benefits of this system, but anyway…
Its fair to say there have been many changes over the years since then, hopefully all for the better, but not being that old, I cant tell you what it was like back then. My first real experience (that I remember, so being born doesnt count) of the NHS would be about 9 or 10, when I wrecked my knees. I’ve been a few times over the years since then, though thankfully, other than the knees, not too much surgical matters have been required.
The amusing thing was, that today, I had an appointment at the local Doctor’s practice, for my quarterly meds check up. So yes, there for the anniversary, lol. The outcome was my prescription, with which I then proceeded to visit 2 pharmacies, who couldnt fill it! Thankfully, I have enough supplies until Wednesday, so I can collect them on Tuesday! In truth, the current weather makes it slightly less of an issue, hopefully that will last.
I wonder what they will be celebrating at the Centenary, as I’m pretty certain I wont be here to find out!
OK, video time. Any reader who can put their hand on their heart, and say they remember this song, I’m impressed! A few minor hits in the 70’s, and that was it. But yes, the name of the group seemed apt for the day!
As some readers may already know, and others outside of the UK might not, summer has officially arrived here in the UK of late, and quite delightfully so, for me. Why, you might ask? Simple, as with so many joint issues, they tend to flare up in cold, or damp weather (or worse, both), and ease to some degree when the weather is warm/hot, and dry.
So yes, at present, I’m in a lot less pain than I was a few weeks ago, when it was cold, and damp, shall we diplomatically say? In truth, I have contemplated easing off on the meds while its like this, but in truth, I’m practical, would hate to have any issues, of my own making, so have stuck to standard levels of painkillers for now. Mind, I’m due my quarterly review on Thursday, and I’m sure the matter is going to be discussed. After all, the Naproxen was only meant to be a top up while the weather was bad, so whether I really need it currently, who knows? But yes, I’ll let the medical experts make the call on that! Have to say that its lovely that on an evening like this, I can sit here typing this, not wearing the brace. Mind, it might mainly be because, being neoprene, I sweat like hell underneath it when the weather is like this, and even if I could do with losing a couple of pounds, maybe, thats not my planned way, or probably the best way of doing it!
As previously mentioned, I did a pre retirement course through work yesterday, and a rewarding experience it was too. Fine, a lot of it related to Civil Servants, with decades of work, and very nice pension funds, unlike my modest amount, but it gave me things to think about, and plan for my future. Hopefully I’ve got nearly another 6 years to give that pot a boost, but whether my back will let me go on, that long, I wouldnt put good money on it. Of course, a new option could come into my life anyway, and change matters, and I dont just mean the lottery jackpot at work, because I’ve never won anything in life, so cant see that happening. Yes, a jackpot win would very quickly see retirement on the grounds of health, believe me! I’d love to say enough to move somewhere hot, all year round, but given there are about 25 of us in the syndicate, it would need to be a rollover jackpot to do that on my own basis, probably!
Yes, I notice the difference with the weather. When its bad weather (cold, damp, or both), the 0.7 miles from work to bus station (or other way round) seems like the end of a marathon by the time I get there. Even in average weather, its about my limit. In the heat of yesterday (Low 80’s, I guess), I walked back from the course location, to Leeds station, about a mile, no issues whatsoever! Was just starting to tire at the end, but seriously… And yes, in Seattle, I was probably doing as much, if not more, at times!
So yes, somewhere warm/hot to live, post retirement, I really need to! Either that, or find someone daft enough to marry me, who lives somewhere hot, lol!
Right, video time. I’m sure many will have worked out the song tonight already. Of course The Kinks couldnt do anything too seriously, so they filmed the video on a freezing cold day in winter!
Oh, and as an added extra, another song of a very similar title, from about 10 years later, though to some degree, it sounds like something from 30 years earlier. Well, maybe not the electric guitar, but…
Friday night was an ‘interesting’ journey home in more than a few ways, in truth. I didnt think it was going to be anything out of the ordinary when the bus finally pulled into the bay at Bradford, a few seconds before it was due to leave, with a long queue of people to get on. Lets just say he gave me a pleasant surprise, all loaded quickly, and actually arrived in Huddersfield on time, so fine!
What did make it interesting though, was a couple of events en route, back to Huddersfield. Having made it back almost into Brighouse, we stopped at a bus stop to pick up 2 adults, and 1 child, all seemingly with no health issues, given the full show they gave me. Yes, there is a point in saying that. Clearly there was a discussion going on between the woman, and the driver, as to where they were travelling to, but anyway…
Lets just say, no sooner had they sat down on the bus, and he pulled off, they rang the bell to stop the bus. Yes, thats right, 1 bus stop, and about 500 yards later, they got off the bus again, and walked away! As I say, all could work easily, they were carrying no heavy bags, or anything, and they caught a bus 500 yards! How long they’d waited for that bus, to do that, who knows, but it would only have taken them 3 minutes top, to walk it!
Me, with my damaged back, I walk about 15 minutes, to, and back from Bradford Interchange for work! And they wonder why people are unfit, seriously?
OK, the other amusing event from Friday is something I’m ashamed to have assumed. On same bus journey, on the outskirts of Huddersfield, we stopped to pick up 3 people of around my age, 1 man, and 2 women. I must admit, even when the 2 women sat together on one double seat, and the man sat behind them, that he was the partner of one of the women, and the other was a neighbor, or friend, or… Even when the 2 women were talking happily to each other, and occasionally turning round to talk to him, I still assumed the same, but…
We all got off at Huddersfield Bus Station, the end of the line. Yes, you’ve probably already guessed it, the 2 women walked off arm in arm, the man following behind them! As I say, as an LGBT person myself, it shouldnt throw me, but it did. Just shows, never assume anything!
Lastly, when I got home, there was a letter waiting for me, government envelope, not shocking to see for a Civil Servant. I assumed it was my pension position letter (which actually arrived Saturday), but no, it was from the Tax people, I’d paid too much income tax on the year. Given I was in the same job for the whole year, and pay tax as I earn, I have no idea how it happened. But yes, a nice surprise of £78.20 for me. I fought (quite literally) the government website to be able to reclaim it, but having used it at work of course, that was no great surprise. Eventually, at the second attempt, I wrangled it into submission, and the money will soon be on its way to me.
Sensible says, I put it all aside for savings. Practical says, I put some aside, and treat myself with the rest. Stupid says, spend the lot, its money you didnt know you had, so…
So yes, on Friday, 3 things I couldnt explain! Which leads to tonights video…
OK, a piece of sentiment, as this will probably be one of the last written on this old laptop before its honorably retired from duty. This will be number 970 on here, seemingly, for this blog, though its written quite a number for the other blog too, so its coming up on 1900 altogether, wow! Only needs 3 more blog days (at 2 blogs a writing day), so whether I let it get to its milestone or not, no idea, but I suspect not, as its getting a bit weighty for an old lady like me.
I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been using this, but it must be getting close to a decade, and it was only second hand then, so in laptop terms, its even more ancient than me! In truth, like me, its got a few ‘physical issues’ nowadays, as the battery now has an unplugged life of less than 30 minutes, and as I’ve already mentioned, in terms of weight, compared to modern machines, its the weight of a dinosaur! Apart from that, its moody (just like me), and its relationship with Internet Explorer nowadays has almost reached divorce status lol! But yes, I suspect I’m going to find the leap from Windows 7, to Windows 10 a bit of a shock for this old dinosaur! But seriously, my new one will be about half the weight, or less of this one, an absolute blessing for me, especially when travelling!
Do you know the irony though, I paid more for this second hand (£200), than my new one (£165) will cost me, even not taking inflation into account over nearly 10 years? My first ever computer, at the turn of the century, about £900, back then!
I know what my biggest hell is going to be, in changing computers, even assuming Ella can simply transfer my favorite lists over? Passwords! Because everything is preset on here, I have no idea what password I am on for lots of sites nowadays! Yes, that could be fun…rolls eyes…
But yes, its going to be nice to be able to run things on IE again, that I cant run on here anymore, just because of the way websites have changed over the years. Mind, I will probably still use Chrome for some stuff, regardless, just out of habit! Yes, if only it was easy to change for a nice new body, lol. Mind, I’d make sure I had all the ‘right parts’ if I did that, believe me!
Oh, and while I’m mentioning the blessings of technology here… Having accepted I need a mobile phone for security/health reasons (mainly the latter, given my physical state), I have the nightmare of trying to do teleconferences on a tiny mobile phone, for lengthy periods of time, with arthritic hands, which get very sore gripping a tiny phone for 30 minutes, or more at a time. So yes, I’m getting one of those headset set ups, so I can listen, and talk, without needing to hold the phone. Mind, I do swear, if someone sees me out, seemingly talking to myself like an idiot, please shoot me! Maybe not, but you get my drift, lol!
So yes, honest, I am trying to drag myself into the modern world, though both are down to need due to age, and health, than any desire to be technologically cool!
I’m not going to say anything about the political sentiments behind tonights song, however tempting it might be, from both sides of the pond. But yes, they’re talking about events of over 50 years ago, within my lifetime, but a whole different world for so many, I guess?
Firstly, let me say that the title is simply a play on the video song, I have no idea what the lady who is mentioned here, as to what her name was! Secondly, for the few who dont know, and are saying the blog is by Stevie Lou, not Harlean, its one of my transition names, now gone.
Well, summer has most definitely come over here at long last, the weather is glorious, and hot, and my back is thrilled by all that. Beyond a short trip out to get my meds supply earlier today, I havent worn a back brace all day, and its been heaven! Just shows how much heat does my back good, I guess? Fingers crossed the works syndicate was the lucky winner of the £17.9 million on the lottery last Saturday, because if so, I’ll be house hunting soon, somewhere warm. Dont think that idiot Trump will let me move to US, unless I marry, or something, but any offers, lol? No, pigs flying is more likely, on both counts!
So, given the wonderful weather, I’ve gone totally into summer mode, when at home at least, and I’m typing this in a short (above knees, ooh!), 20’s flapper style dress, in a glorious shade of pink. Sadly, I dont know if its the bra (slightly push up), or the dress, but it seems determined to show off my cleavage, and given they are prosthetic’s (vanity, darlings), I cant really flash them to the general public. But no, in truth, I’m not sure if, at my age, I’m prepared to flash this much leg in public, anyway! So, no, sadly, wont be work wear, lol! I know, could be done, but… especially when…
I was coming home from work last night, on the 7.20 bus from Bradford to Huddersfield. I know nothing surprising in that, other than maybe the fact it turned up! On said bus, when I got on, was a woman of my age (or slightly older), who had one of those dresses that you pull up over your boobs (in her case, no bra, unless it was bandeau), and hope it stays there! Yes, why not? And indeed, why not? What really got me though, was when she went to get off the bus. The factor I couldnt see before then, was the bottom of the dress. Lets just say it just about covered her rear!
So is it her thats got it wrong, and that women of our maturity should be a little bit more ‘modest’ than that, or is it me that has it wrong for thinking women in their 60’s shouldnt wear short, revealing dresses like that? Oh fine, I thought, for at least 2 seconds about wearing this dress out to the pharmacy, before deciding no! Now, whether that was due to length at all, or simply the cleavage issue, I decided against it. Yes, I might have thought about it longer, but for the cleavage issue, but even so…
So am I right, or am I just a little too modest for my own good, you tell me! Not that anyone will, I cant remember the last time I got a comment on here, though I usually get a few on Facebook!
Right, video time. It was a toss up between this, and a Kinks song, but voted for this, in the hope I can use the latter later in the summer. Not only do you get Rod, you get the DJ legend that was John Peel too! Yes, this is very much mimed, lol!