Author Archive: stevielounicks

They’ll be a lot of cutting

Well yes, the big decision has been made, the hair (or pretty much all of it) is going before the radiotherapy, and chemo gets to influence the matter. In truth, I cannot even vaguely remember the last time I went over 7 months without getting my hair cut, but tomorrow marks the day that I finally catch up with it. I will probably just go for pretty much a ‘enough to leave a minimal something’ cut, rather than getting rid of every last hair, especially as the only wig I have actually got at the moment is the silver bob one, though the 2 redhead (1 bob, 1 just below shoulders), better quality ones are due for delivery by 21st (Monday) at the latest, and in truth, I have no known reason why I would need to go out before then anyway. So, the only one really likely to see the ‘silver robot’ is Linda when she calls at the weekend anyway, assuming the redhead ones dont arrive earlier. Well, the robot will need to put the dustbin on Sunday, but if you think I’m going to worry about that, lol?

Funny thing is, it wont be my first time of using a wig by any means, as in the transition period, between 2003, and 2009, my standard way of doing things was keeping my own hair short, and then using a wig for all the girl moments, so…

Yes, I did try to get the silver wig on already, but seriously, my hair is now far too long, and amazingly thick for anything like that to work well. But tomorrow afternoon… I might, or might not pass on wearing one of my old silver lycra suits (assuming I can still get in them, they are well over 10 years old) at some point over the weekend too!

Funny thing is, after tomorrow, I cant be a bobbed blonde again until the 29th, at the earliest. Did think it was going to be 24th, but had a call this morning changing the appointment to a better day for the team, which is fine by me. In truth, I had plans of going redhead anyway, before all this happened, but will be fun to have options, anyway. Still going in on 24th anyway, to meet the team providing my treatments, so as long as they arent expecting a blonde, lol? Long haired redhead, might be fun!

Then beyond getting the letter from the Doctor’s to confirm the ‘unfit to work in a call centre’, as voice, and mouth are still not working right, or likely to be anytime soon, on top of the treatment/recovery period issue, for which I’ve already told them I dont need before Monday, and sent off to work, thats pretty much everything prepared forms wise, other than when the PIP (Independence payment) forms arrive, which could be, you tell me! Hopefully before 28th, as my time will get more limited after that, but other than that…

OK, no rhinestones, unless someone wants to provide me with a suitable dress (that would be fun), but some might regard me as a bit of a cowgirl, so…

 

 

 

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Its down to the station, err, staff

In a way, I sort of feel sorry for the lovely guy named Geoff Marshall, and his partner Vicki, because every time I go to give them a mention in my blogs, someone else ends up stealing some of their glamour, and promotion situation.

The Rail Delivery Group have been running a World Cup of Rail Stations in last week or so, and yesterday marked the final, between 4 stations, 3 of which I’ve been to in my life (Bristol Temple Meads, Birmingham New Street, and Huddersfield) more than a few times, and one that I probably now need (according to Geoff, and station concerned) to visit, once I’m healthy again, Wemyss Bay.

Yesterday, to mark the day of the final, Geoff, and Vicki started the day in Bristol, then travelled to Birmingham, then on to Huddersfield, getting there in the early evening. To be fair, Bristol is a lovely historical station, even if it isnt Brunel’s first, its gloriously old, and a lovely place to visit. Birmingham is far more modern station, but its a fantastic building, all the same. Wemyss Bay looks glorious too in pictures, which is all I can go on for now. I might be slightly biased, but Huddersfield is another glorious old building, with modern facilities inside, but in truth, what I think helped to tip the vote heavily in its favour might have been a couple of the station staff. Yes, the pair of station cats, Felix, and Bolt!

I know, British people, and cats, who would have ever thought it, lol?

Anyway, to get back to Geoff promotion, today he started his annual event, involving all the tube lines, and a few other Transport for London groups, to make up 16 teams, so if you follow him, go on his Twitter account, and vote. First 2 first round matches started this morning, go on until tomorrow, and then matches follow from there until we have a winner.

After that, there is a possibility of a closed lines one, run by Paul Whitewick, so watch this blog, just in case.

As to the famous staff at Huddersfield station, I’ve seen Felix a few times in the past, when I was using the station, but I’m yet to see Bolt as yet, mainly because my train travel dropped off dramatically in 2015, when I got made redundant by William Hill in Leeds, but there is still time, so…

(Oh, just to mention, I also would have York and Newcastle high on my loved stations list, of those I’ve been to)

OK, video time. What is Huddersfield stations main claim to fame? Why, a pair of pussycats! This, seemingly is the original promo video, not the one that most people know for this song, ooh!

It ain’t what you do, its the time that you do it

Ah yes, timing is a wonderful thing, or the opposite, just maybe?

The last 2 years, in the baseball playoffs, my team of sorts, the Los Angeles Dodgers have taken me all the way to the ‘final’ of the playoffs, then managed to lose at that point. But yes, they got there at least.

So fine, this year, yet again they have clearly the best record in their half of the baseball league, so hopes raised again, and all that. Except that the final in the National Division, to decide who plays the winner of the American Division  is, err, St Louis, and Washington.

Basically, all season long, for 162 games of regular season, the team managers have a system that they work to. You have a team of 5 starters (though obviously injuries, and form can change who they might be), and when they are either having a bad day, or when they have thrown their designated number of pitches, they switch to the pitchers who are selected to finish the games for their teams. Simple logic, OK? Especially with a team like the Dodgers, who generally have a good group of pitchers to finish off the games.

Then you get to the playoffs, and simple logic goes straight out the window. You have all these people used to pitching in the late innings, so you turn to someone who started a game 3 days earlier (and had an exhausting cross country flight in between) instead of them. Yes, it went wrong, of course. Then, for a reason best known to the manager, after that, he doesnt go with one of the better later pitchers, he picks one of the worse ones, he gives up 4 runs in 1 innings, and out go the Dodgers.

No, it wont stop me watching some of the playoffs, though mainly the next day, as most of the games now will be night games in the US, in other words, the middle of the night for me. Its actually been a funny playoff season for me of course, after the last few weeks of the regular season, because I’ve actually missed so much of it with hospital time. But put it this way, however many wigs I end up getting (4 is current plan), none will be in Dodgers blue, lol

Right, video time. Getting back to the old system, there is quite a clue in the blog title

 

Second chance in line?

I would say strictly that this is probably the last double blog for a while, but in truth it wont be, even if the actual subject matter will be. Thats because something will be mentioned here, where readers know I’m Intersex, which wont be on the other one, where they think I’m a natural woman with a robot fetish, lol. Heaven knows what twist I give on the subject matter there, unless I know Rotwang, or Frankenstein is reading that one!

The day started in amusing fashion, as the advice you’re given is to be ready 2 hours before your appointment, which for me yesterday was 2 in the afternoon. So… 10.50 in the morning, the vehicle taking me to the hospital is parked outside, waiting for me! I assumed there were only 2 other people from this area going to the hospital, with an earlier appointment, so…Anyway, upstairs, get shoes on, get coat on, grab handbag, and ready to go. Actually, the restaurant at the hospital, where I ended up having lunch was fine, if more expensive than eating at home before leaving, lol.

So I switched my plans around, and started with getting the blood sample taken, instead of after everything else was done. After that, I went to check my transport for Occupational Therapy today had been sorted out (not, but very swiftly sorted) before heading to the bowels of the hospital (2 floors below ground floor) for the fitting of the mask, and stuff. No, not a full face, iron one, but anyway, was all good fun. All followed up about an hour later by a scan to check the fit, and basic comfort of wearing it, both of which were fine…on the second machine. First CT scanner they’d used in the morning was throwing a grumpy moment, but all soon sorted, and done.

Right, the big date, I suppose you want to know? First session will be on Monday, 28th October which is actually a week or 2 earlier than I’d been expecting from what I was told, but thats good news! Sessions will then be 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) for 6 weeks, which means the last one should be Friday, 6th December. After that its meant to be a minimum of 4 weeks of recovery period, though I’m working on 6 weeks personally, partly because of my age, and my back issue, and also because it will be fine to allow extra because of Christmas/New Year period, even if I’m sure I wont be overexerted by anyone, but…

Oh right, that subject I can mention here, but not on the other blog? Yes, like any good flapper, getting the hair bobbed isnt an issue for me, but I always said that after I retired I was going to get something else ‘bobbed’ too, the bits! No, not going to rush it, but I’m thinking that end of Summer 2020, or far more likely the Autumn, maybe my thoughts need to turn to that matter, and another operation in time, lol? I’d always said after retirement it would be a plan anyway, but I cant deny that all thats happened over the last 6 months has made it more of an issue I want sorted, just in case. Yes, already checked, and been told this cancer issue makes no difference to getting it done, so… I have no idea at this point where I stand on the matter, medically, to be honest.

Technically I’ve lived fully as a woman for 10 years, so I’m way over the limit on that point. Equally, I’ve never actually done hormones, but given I’m Intersex, I have no idea where I would place on a hormone test anyway. Its quite possible I have one obvious boy bit, but that could actually be it, especially given I have a womb! Never had children, but then again, was never in a position to have them, as the only woman I ever had ‘unprotected’ sex with, wasnt in a position to have them by then anyway!

Yes, its about a year down the road, for sure, but an interesting thing to think about, for sure?

Its funny how things happen, this morning was meant to be last trip to Leeds for nearly a fortnight (24th), but it never happened. Irony, my Occupational Therapist rang in this morning to the hospital, unable to go to work. It will be rearranged, but for now, just when…?

Right, video time. The cancer treatment, very rightly is first in line, but after that, well, second in line?

 

 

 

 

Repair needed for the Western World?

OK, this is where I get sneaky, and do politics, without really doing direct politics, lol. How, by avoiding the obvious comments, but at the same time, discussing a matter caused by all that ghastly politics, both sides of the Atlantic.

I think the one thing we all have to accept, whichever side of the Brexit issue (in UK) you fall on, or in the US, whichever side of the Trump issue (in US) you back, the one thing both matters have done is polarised views. Lets face it, both issues tend to mean you fall either on one side of the fence, or the other. I suppose it is just about possible to sit on the fence, with some clever thinking, or more likely, the fact that you’re sick of it all, and just want to let it all play out around you, but anyway…

The problem with all of this, however it all plays out, will be getting people back together living in a way where politics isnt going to get in the way of something, at some point in the near future, especially in the ‘I’m the only person that matters’ lifestyle that so many seem to live nowadays. I know, all ramped up by Social Media, and You Tube and the like, but all the same…

Trouble is, with some, its creeping into other areas of life too. Last night, on a forum, actually related to Horse Racing, there was a LGBT attack by someone, that to say was awful would be putting it mildly. Sadly I have to say, I reported it quickly to said forum as a hate posting, but as of about an hour ago, it hadnt been taken down, which says very little about them, I guess? It was someone who had made more than a few right wing comments on Brexit, but I’d ignored those, but this, seriously…

The other matter that makes me despair about how all of this actually gets fixed in time actually relates to a right wing, US based former friend on Facebook, who even after I stopped being his ‘friend’ because of his views, continued to follow me on there instead. Anyway, at some point yesterday morning, on a vintage movie group, someone asked if he was still posting, as they hadnt seen anything from him for a while. They must have been having sight issues, as he’d posted on said group about 10 hours earlier, but anyway… so I just pointed this out.

A matter of a few hours later (given he’s 5 time zones behind me), there is a post on there from him saying he doesnt need a black woman loving, communist posting information on Facebook about him. (It relates to the more left wing Democrat possible candidates for next US election) Given I’m asexual, and of moderate political views, he was quickly blocked, and reported to Facebook (hate posting). I dont know what they’ve done, if anything, because of the blocking, obviously, but at the same time, something like that is downright scary, if not more, and I’m only glad there is an Ocean between him, and me! Not that he knows exactly where I live, but anyway I’m glad I never ordered a vintage movie copy from his collection!

In truth, I’d love to be able to think that one day, all will be able to live together in a decent way, but I must say, sadly, I have no idea when, at present. Ah well…

So, video time. A new live version of a song I’ve used in the past, but not recently. Lets just say, that red dress that one of the backing singers is wearing, oh please…!

My feelings still remain

To be honest, its worked out for the best that I had the taxi drive home from hell yesterday afternoon, which meant that all I wanted to do yesterday evening was have an evening watching baseball (though sadly the Dodgers lost, after I’d gone to bed), and not writing up blogs, as I can now cheat, and cover 2 days of news in one blog.

Oh, the taxi driver, no wonder the NHS funds are needed, because he cheated the route home so much, that fare must have been nearly double what it needed to be, but anyway. I was going to report him to Leeds City Council over it, but unsurprisingly, given everything now, I cant remember his licence number, so sadly he will now get away with it, but anyway…

Yesterday afternoon was the day the plan got sorted out, and signed off. I also delighted myself by finding out my walking distance without hurting myself, is getting better, though we are still talking in terms of about 100 yards, than London Marathon stuff, lol. Still, Occupational Therapy in Leeds on Friday morning will hopefully see a bit more improvement too. Other than that, a bit of Speech Therapy help to be arranged, not because words arent right, though still faint, more down to the fact that I have a dribble issue at moment, though even that seems far less today, good news. Other thing is a Social Help contact, to sort out things like Disabled Bus pass, postal vote stuff,and the  letter I need so that work can take the last step for medical retirement process. But as that couldnt be done before I agreed plan yesterday afternoon…

Plan is to start Radiotherapy in about 3 weeks time, for a period of 6 weeks, 5 days a week. Some might be shrewd enough to notice, that the exact start date is going to mean it might be over just before Christmas/New Year period, or just after, no guarantees either way, but holiday period, no treatments anyway, quite rightly. I will be doing Chemo tablets too during this period, and then do a few more of those in the 6 month period that follows too, but only a handful or so. I’ve been told that I need to allow about 4 weeks after that to get over the treatment, and then about a couple more weeks or so before contemplating flying or anything, all fine by me. Which in my eyes, gives me a probable date to do much at all as towards the end of February in likelihood. No promises on date, but it looks a fair date to me, with an anniversary on the horizon, March 15th, the first big seizure!

Just after the time, the lovely people at the guest house, sent me an email re the 3 nights that we never stayed there, saying the credit would stand for future use when I needed them. To be fair, I doubt they imagined it would take a year to get to that point, but it will. So, being the polite, and fair lady I am, I just asked if that date would still be fine to use it. Took about 20 minutes to get an email back confirming it would, so…Kudos to Pelham Lodge Guest House, Blackpool! No, Film Festival is later next year, but there is still the matter of the tram journey I never completed…

OK, end piece, got the call this morning, going to Leeds on Thursday afternoon to get measured for my plastic mask that will be used to direct the treatment to the needed area. Will also have CT, and blood test done on same trip, to give them the base settings they need pre treatment. As a few friends would know, I’d prefer a full face Iron Mask, rather than a positioned plastic one, but hey, its a start! Maybe the latter can follow post treatment, lol?

Right, to video now. One of my favourite groups of all time, one of their very early hits, live

 

 

 

 

 

 

The non logical advertising method

OK, lets run with something that would annoy me, even if I wasnt disabled in truth, and thats the stuff that some modern advert agencies produce for their TV adverts.  So, yes, if anyone reading this works for any of those people who think those adverts are the work of smart minds, they might want to move on here and now.

I’m not saying that Nat West bank are the only ones going down this route, because they arent, but it seems to be the main ad that is annoying me in this sense at the moment, so lets pick on them, especially as I bank with someone else, thankfully. In truth, if I did bank in the past with Nat West, I certainly wouldnt be now.

To be fair, for my non UK readers, which judging by the stats are most, and will never have seen this piece of rubbish, let me do a brief sum up of it. Basically, the ad seems to focus on the life of a guy, who needs to go to the bank that day. The thing is, the ad agency, presumably with the agreement of the bank seem to think its fine for him to go out in town, ‘wearing’ a pair of very badly penned on glasses, and a moustache, equally badly drawn on his top lip, and having people laugh at him as he goes through town.

Rather than go to the bank, someone from the bank goes to a cafe somewhere in town to meet him, by which time he is in a somewhat distressed state, obviously. Given this is presumably their attempt to get people to do their banking online, and deal with queries by video contact, the next thing you see is this guy back home, making video contact with the bank representative, or trying to. Thing is, the guy at the other end of the video has a real, but similar pair of glasses on, and said moustache too. So, unsurprisingly, the video contact lasts, oh, seconds, when the bank rep looks at him in a less than polite manner.

From here, the matter seemingly gets settled by text messages between our client, and the bank, at least. After that, we get a look at his wife, who has an equally badly drawn ‘rabbit’ look, in truth. So for me at least, the whole ad is road crash material, and makes me think of a bank I would never want to trust with any dealings, let alone trust them with my bank account.

Seriously, I do wonder if these sort of adverts make anyone feel that a bank that treats its customers like that is someone you really would rush to deal with? I know, I’m old, but I remember a time when TV adverts were designed to make you buy a product, not put you off it. Or is it just that young people, who presumably this is aimed at, just have a sense of humour that this appeals to, which I dont get?

Given I dont get the logic of adverts like this, and this song, despite the title seems to be taking a shot at such people, lets roll with this

Trains are less around

Right, given there will be no further health issue news for general release before Monday at the earliest, and might be Tuesday before I feel like, or am in a place to release anything, as ‘family’ and close friends deserve to get it before the blogging masses, lets do something different today on both blogs, one serious (the one here), and one downright silly (apt for that blog) today, as I’m not saying I will ever get back to count, but for now.

A very few might even notice the very early posting time, but there is a reason for this too. A boring one, baseball. Tonight (UK time at least) is the first of 2 occasions when its possible there will be 4 play off games in one night. In theory, it could happen again Monday, but as 2 of the games would have to go to 4th match of 5 for that to happen, its less than likely, so…

So, as hinted, we are talking rail lines here, but some longer term visitors will already know, I enjoy scenic long distance rail journeys anyway. So… When I was young, the only way to see rail lines some way from me, was to plan holidays with something called a railrover, and draw up pages of station times to get connections, write by something called letters to hotels in suitable areas, and hope you could get the 2 to match up. Most of time it worked, a few times it didnt, but this was the 1970’s, so…

Now, all you need to do if desired, is go on You Tube, and you’d be stunned what you could find. I hope you cant find a full 40 hour plus film covering Winnipeg to Churchill in Canada, but beyond that…

Here in the UK, there are a couple of people called Geoff Marshall, and his partner/Wife?, Vicki, who in time have covered the whole network, post any number of helpful videos, and who seem a lovely couple in terms of the limited contact I’ve had with them. All The Stations is their best site on You Tube, go look them up, and stuff at least. But finally, this is it for them, they’re famous enough anyway, lol.

The other thing anyone who has known me for any length of time will know, I love rail journeys, but its the lines that are no longer with us that appeal to me far more than current ones. Thankfully there are another lovely couple on You Tube who have taken up the abandoned line challenge, Paul, and Rebecca Whitewick, their You Tube site being https://www.youtube.com/user/pwhitewick1

Go check it out, take a choice and watch a video or two, or more.

The thing is, this sort of thing isnt cheap, even more so for abandoned lines, hotel costs, video prep, and everything else, so they have a Patreon to help, and thats what I’m pushing now

https://www.patreon.com/everydisusedstation

Neither me, nor them (unless Bill Gates reads this, lol) expects you to pay a fortune, either as a one off, or monthly, but if you can help at all (or more)… I obviously cant with my health position, lol. But anything helps, so…they are a lovely couple, and if you comment on a video, you’re going to get a reply, believe me. And yes, you’ll be helping this old lady to get her fill of abandoned UK rail lines too, at a time when my mobility, and stuff is all compromised.

OK, video time. I know, their rough home area, thats it, but its somewhere not a million miles from Andover. A famous old group from Andover, then, the Troggs, though Wet Wet Wet made this more famous, but this video is so 60’s, when Beeching closed so many lines, and its set on a train too!

 

Avoid stress, so a little Rugby, hmm?

OK, lets amuse a few at least, and confuse the rest of my readers, lol.

One of the things I was told to avoid this weekend was stress, especially politics, both sides of the pond, so clearly Saturday morning I was going to avoid the News channels. But yes, the Rugby World Cup is going on at the moment, and my Irish ancestry means I support the Ireland team when it comes to matters like this. And they’re supposedly one of the best at the sport currently, so even a game against the home nation, Japan shouldnt be an issue, or stressful, right?

Even less so when they quickly take a 12-3 lead, right? Thing is, someone, in their stupidly decided they could take the rest of the game as a stroll, oh dear. Thing is, Japan didnt get that message, got their way back into the game, and won 19-12 in the end! Dont get me wrong, I have no sympathy for Ireland, and in the end was glad Japan hung on for the win, they deserved it. As it proved, dont assume anything in life, just saying…

It may not prove fatal, as 2 teams get out of group, but a little bit too much ego, and then…

OK, video time. I know, yes, its back, lol. PS, singer is actually Scottish, but regardless

Right, lets see how this goes…

Now forgive me if this isnt perfect English, or gets a repeat or two, but anyway… and for those who do both blogs, it will be one version for both, so no point reading both. If you subscribe to both, whatever…

I might try and cover a few recent events in next few days, but politics on both sides of pond will not be among them, believe me… both because I’m not allowed stress, and we dont all agree on matters (I have blocked 2 people on my Social Media for 30 days for awful postings, if they werent work related, would be gone), easier just to go without.

As was stated, I went for an MRI at Huddersfield Hospital on the last stay, as a result of which, they found a growth on a part of the brain. For all the talk about the NHS over here, from here, referral to the expert department in Leeds was arranged very quickly. From there, entry into hospital to deal with it was also rapid, for biopsy primarily, though they did say that any growth that was easy to deal with would also be got out.

The latter was all done on Monday, I was released on Thursday back home. Provisional feelings are that March was first sign of it, so results look promising, but it will be the end of week before I know more, so no point making comments asking! Follow up, and plan visit will almost certainly be Wednesday, but to cover me…

Plan, and next step will depend on results, just saying, so see above. Brain gets better every day slowly. Mobility is awful, but thats my spine issue, not this. Until Wednesday, I’m not certain if my spine pills are compatible with stuff for brain, so laying off until I can ask then. Equally, I will only make decisions on things like work after meeting, and see a timetable, and plan. Though as my wonderful benefits lady, and a wonderful lady here as pointed out, 2 medicals (benefits and incapacity) passed would settle that matter just on spine damage, regardless. Both are sure I would pass in a negative sense/fail (depending on how you look at it) them anyway, so can do the medical option if I wish to.

I will do a couple of follow ups on this, but be patient. One at some point after follow up, so probably end of week, or next weekend. The other will be after talking things over with friends, and my unofficial family as to what route I go after this, but until I have all the info, and a plan, no point doing so. That might be a few weeks at least, just saying…

Oh, and to finish on something different, more for my US friends, but anyway…

Dodgers are in the Baseball playoffs again, hopefully this year, one step better? And in NFL, Bills are 3-0 till tonight, though I doubt that unbeaten record will last the visit of Kate’s Patriots tonight (my time), same as her college team took our unbeaten record last night. Still love her, and her support regardless, lol.

As I say, no video, but I’m not sure how many watch them anyway!