One of those matters I missed blogging on, because of all thats been going on with me, has been the demise of Thomas Cook, the travel agents, and airline over here in the UK recently. Originally started in 1841, strangely enough by a man called Thomas Cook, it decided it needed to expand its base in 2007, and combined with some of the choices made, and the fact that more people now make their own holiday plans online, rather than using travel agents in town centres, they began to run into trouble, and its all just fallen apart from there. I mean, I cant remember the last time I used a travel agent to book my holiday package, so suspect its the last century, in those good old pre internet days.
Funnily enough, in recent times, I’ve only tended to use 3 airlines for my flights (though last flight was actually with Jet 2, to Portugal) to the US, Delta, American, and Thomas Cook, though I have actually flown with Virgin American, and Alaska, on connecting flights for 2 of the above, but all bookings made through those 3.
Though I would never have called Thomas Cook a luxury airline, the premium economy section was fine, all the same. I couldnt say more, because the staff were clearly not that attentive, as my most ‘ironic’ flying memory is flying that way from New York to Manchester. Firstly, despite having booked a seat (and paid extra to do so), they moved me,with no reason given, from a window seat in one row, to a middle seat in the row in front of where I should have been. As far as I could tell, a couple had wanted seats together, despite not booking them, instead of sitting across the row from each other, and what did other passengers who had booked seats, at a cost, matter?
The thing is (strictly not their action, but?) the guy I was now sat next to, was politely asked to switch off his mobile phone for take off, as he should have done, an action he just ignored, continuing to talk to someone on his phone regardless. In fact, he only stopped when presumably we’d reached a height where he lost his connection! Nothing done by plane staff at all, despite him not even hiding the fact he was still on his phone all that time!
To be fair, I had any number of good, and pleasant flights with them too, but given all the safety talks you get, it did make me wonder just how vital they really were at the time? All the same, I will miss Thomas Cook Airlines, they did tend to be the cheapest way to travel to the US, which when you’re on a budget, was always handy. So who I fly with next time, who knows? But Thomas Cook, no more.
OK, video time. For those of you old enough to remember 10CC, I’d call this line up 2, with half of the original group, plus a few others. I’m sure I must have flown with a few Mandy’s in my time, though thankfully none under the sad circumstances of this song
Is this LGBT issue? Is this politics? Is it both? Well, maybe…?
In truth, on 24th May 1988, I didnt know I was transgender, intersex, and heaven forbid, bisexual to top it all. I knew I was a bit (to put it mildly) confused about my sexuality, and other stuff, but didnt really know what it all was. Funnily enough, I was supposedly in a straight relationship, with a woman, that in truth, never had a hope.. The fact that we lived together for as long as 11 years, in hindsight, was pretty amazing, but we did. I mean, there was a spell before the end, when we knew it was coming to the end, but didnt really know why, other than my feelings of it being wrong, trying to be in a straight relationship with her. I wonder if we could ever have made it as 2 lesbians, lol? Probably not, but I have to wonder?
Anyway, on above date, something critical happened, that at the time I didnt really know applied to me, but now… Section 28 was introduced by the Conservative government of the time, which made it even harder to be LGBT, especially in an education sense, but done damage to numerous LGBT people over the years it lasted. Funny how things go round, about education, and LGBT issues in the UK, isnt it?
So, one year later to the day (yes, 30 years ago today), Stonewall was founded, to fight this ghastly legislation. Eventually, thankfully, Section 28 was repealed, and things improved to some degree for LGBT people. Equally, thankfully, though that fight is over, Stonewall is still here to support us, and judging by recent happenings, we still need them today, I only wish we didnt. Not helped by the fact that TI people seem to need ever more support against others that are meant to be with us, a section of the L’s! Me, on 2 counts!
Firstly, lets deal with the one that annoys me, those that wont accept that Trans Women are real women, even after their bits have been ‘bobbed’, for those that applies to. I dont know exactly what TERF stands for, but thats the general term for them. What is even more hypocritical about them isnt just the fact that they are against Transgender women using the same facilities as them (because we were born men, or for intersex folk like me, born also with boy bits), they are against Transgender men sharing facilities with them, even if by their ‘reasoning’ they were born with girl bits, but now have boy bits! They see them as men too, so you tell me? As for those of us with both genitalia, as to what facilities we’re meant to use, heaven knows?
The other thing that amuses me with some lesbians (generally, but not exclusively the same ones) is their abhorrence to relationships with bisexual women, because heaven forbid, we’ve had sex with men, as well as women. Seems with some, that even looking at a man in ‘that way’ is enough to condemn you. So yes, any time you think all LGBTI+ people support each other, please think again.
And yes, guess what, Stonewall is more than happy to support both these groups, despite their own brands of bi, and trans phobia. So Stonewall is good, but like regulations, still has a long way to go, dont kid yourself.
I tried to come up with something original for the video, and seeing Section 28 was designed to make LGBT activity illegal in so many ways, I came up with this! Maybe we now need to load up with rainbow, rubber bullets?
Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.
OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.
Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!
I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?
The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?
For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?
The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?
Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?
Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…
Earlier today, while trawling through the headlines at MSN, I came across a list of the supposed best 10, and worst 10 airlines in the World. Now, forgive me, given how much of these sort of things are personal taste, and about getting the right, or wrong flight, and things can lead you wildly astray. But anyway, curiosity, and all that, I went and took a look.
As to the best 10, I’ve only ever flown on 2, and one of those (British Airways), has never jumped out at me, as being that great. The other was Air Canada, about a decade ago, and I must admit, I was impressed. The fact I havent flown with them more recently is down to the fact that the 1 time I flew to Canada since then, Air Transat had the direct flight from Manchester, so hey…
Up until now, I’ve had concerns about returning to Canada, as a woman, because their security/immigration folk are supposed to have changed the rules that you have to look like the gender on your passport, and well, up to recently…Can do it again now, without issues, if I ever get enough money to do so.
The one I thought that might have made it, and didnt, was Jet Blue, who seriously impressed me when I flew with them. But as I say, these things are personal taste, so…
I’ll be honest, the worst list had a few culprits that I wasnt surprised to see there, from past experience. Easy Jet, and Ryanair, no, I wouldnt rush to fly with either, given the choice. Aer Lingus also made the list, and I will say that their express flights are an awful experience in economy. Their long distance flights wouldnt win any awards, for leg space, service, or food, but I have been known to bite the bullet, because doing Immigration in Ireland is a million times easier than doing it in the US, compared to certain airports over there!
But the one that surprised me, on that list, was Virgin Atlantic. Third worst, seriously? I first flew with them in April, it was great, one of my better flights of all time. And yes, they matched it in October too. Now I know I might not be the most demanding passenger in the world, but they would be on my praise list, not bad one! I know, that was the premium economy experience, but I saw the other seats, they didnt look that bad!
A couple of my ‘favoured’ airlines made neither list, American Airlines, and Delta. Yes, I’m in their frequent flyer schemes for a reason! If you asked me to pick between the 2, probably say Delta, but I’d happily fly with either, or most definitely, with Virgin Atlantic. Certainly would rather fly on any of them to British Airways, for sure.
But if anyone wants to pay for me to do flights on these other airlines, purely for survey purposes, I wont say no.
As I say, surveys are funny things, arent they?
Right, the video. I dont think I’ve used this one before, and besides its a lovely song, if I have.
I hope a friend of mine doesn’t mind me pinching a rant of hers, from Facebook earlier today, but it gave me an idea for a blog, and its so true, even for me
I f’ing swear to God, if one more Facebook guy I’ve never laid eyes on asks me to marry him, I’m opening a mail order bride service on here. I don’t know you. I’m not marrying you. And I’m not setting you up with any of my friends. That’s how I manage to keep my friends. By not pimping them out to total strangers!
Yes, it was tongue in cheek, Teri often is, but equally, it does happen.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have numerous Facebook friends that I really dont know. Mostly through cricket, mainly Irish, but what those groups attract for some reason, are followers from the sub continent. Hey, I dont mind, if they follow us, and associate cricket, then why not? Mind, I’ve seen more than a few banned for getting over enthusiastic about Indian cricket, and rapidly thrown out. They are fine, to be honest, and not the cause of this post.
But, on several occasions, I’ve had ‘friend’ requests from people in that area, and because I’ve assumed its cricket related, I tend to accept. However…on more occasions than I would like to imagine, they show no interest in the cricket boards, but show interest in me. You know the stuff, it starts off with a ‘hi’ message, and then goes from there. Me, being the cynical bitch that I am, quickly spot them, weed them out, and lo and behold, friends no longer! Didnt stop at least one of them still sending me messages about how he was looking for a beautiful English lady, and all that. Sure, nothing to do with the fact that he just wanted a free pass to get into England of course! They’re young, I’m in my fifties, so…the perfect match lol!
I know, I run the risk of missing out on a man who genuinely fancies me, but I suspect if that happens, he will be in the UK, probably my region, and not somewhere in India, or Bangladesh and the like! I’m not stopping marriage proposals from the US either, though not seriously expecting any! More on that shortly…
The other area of these that I see plenty of (despite being female), is the Russian bride stuff. Yes, I get emails from Russian ladies, saying what a wonderful partner I would make, and that I should visit whichever website, and look at their profile. Seriously, I doubt they’ve even noticed I’m a woman, or a lot of them are bi! Well, maybe they are, but…I doubt most are, just desperate for a meal ticket to the West!
No, I’m not saying that I’ll never fall in love again, as a few friends have told me, this thing called love has a habit of creeping up on you, and the next thing you know…me, a blushing bride lol! But 15 years of being alone have made me highly independent, and it would be quite a man who took me on, thats for sure!
But taking one of my quotes from that Facebook thread
Who knows, I might get to Hollywood next year, find the ‘William Powell’ of my dreams, and we can live a happy married life, as he, and Jean should have been able to. But the words, pigs fly, do come to mind on that front!
Wouldnt that be sweet, and ironic? Of course, he might be waiting for me in Kansas City, where Jean was born, but again…He doesnt have to actually look like Powell, just be as sweet as he seemingly was, from all I’ve read about him.
The video, well, I’m saying this for now, but how much longer…? Live, orchestra version, slightly different
Seems to be true for the Irish cricket team at least, again after last night, when they beat the West Indies in a 20 over match, at which they are the current World Cup holders!
The first time an Irish cricket team turned up in Jamaica, was 2007, at the 50 over World Cup, their first major event. For most, expectations weren’t high, and though I watched their first game against Zimbabwe, due to national loyalties. I didnt know an awful lot about them as a group. Lets just say that a few had interesting Irish accents, and leave it at that! Somehow, a tie was conjured up, in a stunning finish, and Ireland had gained a point in their first game.
Next, on St Patricks Day, was that game against Pakistan, that has now gone down in history for so many reasons! An Irish win, and all of a sudden, a bunch of part timers are in the Last 8 of the World Cup, against all expectations. Another win against Bangladesh, and the road to glory was truly being ridden.
Anyway, coming forward to now…As part of the build up to the next 20 over World Cup, Ireland have been in the West Indies getting in some preparation. To say the early results were a bit mixed, would be putting it mildly! But now, at the end of the tour, comes the big 3 matches, against the West Indies. Firstly, two 20 over matches, then a 50 over match on Sunday.
Well, the first of those matches was last night, and Ireland won! I only wish we could bring Sabina Park back to Dublin (or Belfast) and we could be unbeatable! The bowlers were brilliant, restricting the hosts to 116, which didnt look a major target. However, when we were 8-2 in reply, I was beginning to despair, but…Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson and Andrew Poynter turned things around, and led us to victory. Funnily enough, my shift at work ended at 10.00 last night, and the winning runs were scored literally seconds before that, so I knew we’d won before leaving for home, really proud. Hopefully, a repeat tomorrow night.
The video, yes, pretty obvious, isnt it? Live version from 2011, not the original
Oh, and an endpiece. I know its been a while since I really did a transgender issue, which I do like doing, so would love to know what you’d like to hear about. So, either comment here, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I’ll do my best to answer
Though this one is nothing to do with me, and all to do with one specific form of cricket. For those who dont know it, there are a number of adverts that have done the rounds over the years about Marmite, in that you either love it, or hate it, no in between.
That form of cricket I’m talking about, its that 20 over stuff!
Yes, fine, guilty as charged, I’ve been watching 2 of the quarter finals today, and will probably do the same tomorrow for the third one as well. The last, on Thursday, I’ll see some of it, but not all, due to my work shifts. But seriously, if you asked me, as a cricket lover, whether I really like it, then the answer is no. It doesnt have the same level of disdain for me that soccer does, but compared to the longer versions (1 day included), I’m not really a fan.
At the same time, its introduced a lot of people to cricket, because of the short period of time it takes, and generally its exciting to watch as well. But if you like a good challenge between batsmen and bowlers, and tactics, then maybe not!
Talking of the longer game, its now less than a month until England travel to Malahide (Dublin), to play the might of Ireland in a 1 day international. I’m told that sales are really good, almost certain to be a record crowd for a match in Ireland, has to be a great thing. Be an even greater thing if we beat them again! Sadly for me, I will only get to see it on Sky, but thats better than nothing, I guess?
Oh, alright, the video is the obvious one, with all this talk of cricket. The current incarnation of 10CC live, in fact.
Oh no, I love it, oh yeah!
Well maybe I wont go as far as saying I love cricket in a literal sense, but enjoying watching it on a nice day, that I can definitely go for. Alright, there was at least one occasion last year that I watched Ireland when it wasnt a nice day, but we got play in eventually to some degree, and won, so it wasnt too bad.
But yes, watching cricket on a nice day is far more enjoyable. And currently the rumours on the weather forecast suggest I might get one of those tomorrow, though it will be Yorkshire in Leeds, not my beloved Ireland that I’ll be watching. With luck, one Irishman, Niall O’Brien might be playing, but thats it. Not that he’d know me, but…
Sadly, it does seem the weather is about to break, but hopefully not until tomorrow evening, and I will have got my cricket fix by then, with luck. I’ll only go to the first 2 sessions anyway, so that I can get home before the rush hour strikes, and in time for dinner! And lets face it, there are a lot worse grounds than Headingley to visit, that has to be said.
I dont know when things changed, but I’m far less of a general sports addict now than I used to be. To be honest, the only sports I get into nowadays seem to be Cricket, Baseball (you can see the connection?) and NFL, and thats about it. I can take Snooker, Golf and Horse Racing, but dont get the same feel for them anymore. Maybe it coincided with an influx of female hormones into my system, maybe it was something else, I really dont know.
No, I wont get to see Ireland live this year, and given other things, this might prove to be my only chance of any live cricket this year, so have to take it. Just hope the weather forecast is right, thats all.
Yes, a video tonight, and some might even have worked out what it is lol!