So this is it, the last blog from LA for a considerable period of time at least, if ever again. I know, I could come back again, and may even need to come back again sooner than that, but being practical, I have many other places to see, some for the first time, some for repeat visits, so its going to be a while, if ever again. And yes, at my age, with the distance involved, and I’m sure the deterioration of my physical health, which is far from perfect even now, I’m sure I wont be able to do as much then, as I can now, anyway. I’m already suspecting that delights like walking up the long hill at Forest Lawn might be beyond me by then at least, but we will see.
To be fair, if you’d told me back in October ’15, that my next holiday would be back here, I would have laughed at you, but its happened. I guess I just wanted to show this city that I’d battled through everything that life had thrown at me, and got here again. But now thats done…?
In some ways today has been a light day, I havent actually left Hollywood. However, I spent a lot of the day on my feet, walking, so maybe not as light as all that? It was actually interesting going on a guided walking tour of Hollywood, where I knew the guide! I know, end of holiday, but in truth, it didnt matter, as I got to visit lots of old buildings that I’d never have got into myself. Oh fine, the one that amused me the most, has to be Musso and Frank’s! Yes, I finally got to go in there, if only for coffee, but at least I now know what it actually looks like from the inside. Of course, for works of fiction, thats a mere technicality, but at least I’ve made it there now. Yes, its every bit as impressive as I’d been led to believe. So if I ever want to use it in a story again lol…?
The other thing I’d already decided was where my last big meal in town would be, and though its not bargain basement, its cheaper than that legendary place. So I settled for the 50’s feel of Mels Diner, for one last time. After that, a couple of final, final goodbyes, at the star, and prints of Jean Harlow, before heading back to base. I do wish there was a star to the uncredited chorus girls/bit part actresses of the world, but no, there isnt, so I just said goodbye to Clara Johnson generally, as I turned off the Boulevard for the last time, on foot at least.
What can I say? You can take a woman out of Yorkshire, but you cant take Yorkshire out of a woman? Yes, I stopped off at a gorgeous, quirky, vintage clothing store on the way back, and saw the most gorgeous, silver flapper dress, really looked the part. Had my size too, but I didnt get it. Why? Because I cant justify spending $65 (plus tax, I’m sure) on a dress I have no idea when, or where I would ever wear it. So yes, I know I’ll regret it, but it stayed in the shop. I could get it in the morning (shop opens at 11, I have to be ready to go at 12.30, and its about 5 minutes walk), but I know I wont.
The only walk I’m planning at present to do in the morning, is a short trip around the block, so that I can walk a little way up Beachwood Drive, looking at the Hollywood sign, one more time. No, I’m not going as far as Verbena though, thats far too far for the short period of time I have left ‘in the sun’ of LA.
Yes, thats it for here. Pretty sure you’ll have to wait until Monday for the next blog, I’ll have too much catching up to do on Sunday for that.
The video. I’m surprised I havent used this Elaine Paige classic before, but seemingly I havent (well, on 1 blog at least), so lets use it now
Apologies for the lack of the obvious video here, but seemingly his purple-ness doesnt like them up on You Tube, so I discover. In truth, given the eras I’ll be talking about, this might be more apt, anyway.
Earlier today, I got a message about an event being arranged at the National Rail Museum, in York, which not surprisingly, appealed to me greatly. This one, for those interested, and at least gives another clue to the year in the blog title.
Yes, not hard to see why it appeals to me, is it? And free too! At the moment, the fact that its a Thursday evening isnt a problem for me at present, its the issue of the fare to get there, and back, and the expenses of the evening, that however restrained you are, there are going to be some! Even more so, as “The Flapper” would need a taxi back from town, as the buses would be long stopped by the time I got back. And if you think I’m walking up from town, at 11.30 at night, in a flapper length dress, no chance! So, even being good, I suspect not much change out of £40, and could easily add £10 to that, given I’d probably want to get my hair done, and everything!
The only consolation is, there is no need to buy tickets in advance, or even reserve anything, so I can think about it, at least. But being practical, and being broke, not going to happen, I’m sure. Unless some dashing beau, or girl, wants to take me…? You’re talking just over £25 of that cost is travel, so without that?
I know, but if any generous person wants to whisk away a poor, broke Flapper, for the night, would be nice! I’ve even got a headband somewhere, though I have no idea where at present! But I could find it, I’m sure…
Talking of irony, and mentioning 2 people I talked about in the last blog, I discovered tomorrow is actually a major anniversary. Yes, one year ago today, I was excitedly preparing for my first trip to Hollywood, 10 days, starting the next day. I know, if you’d told me then that my work situation would be as glum as a Flapper’s in 1929, I might not have been so excited. But back then, in those glorious days…
And yes, I was getting ready for, and excited at the thought of a night, in vintage style, back then, as well. Yes, slightly more modern, the 1940’s, but a vintage party, all the same. That delight was an incredible birthday present, from James, and Kate, and included a meal, some dancing (no, not me, 2 left feet), and a film, all with a vintage feel, at the Egyptian Theater, in Hollywood. Wow, that was some night. Even more so, as I think that walking back to the hotel afterwards, is the furthest I’ve ever walked in high heels, and will hopefully stay that way. Nearly a mile, in high heels, not used to wearing them, ouch! Actually, it wasnt as bad as I expected, but dont tell everyone that! Even so, normally, if I’m walking far, it will still be flats, or low block heels, at best.
But, yes, if someone wants to enable me to party like its 1929, a fortnight from now, I’d love to!
The video, as I say, I couldnt get the “more modern” Prince song. But I found this random gem, which is probably more apt!
One of the things that I did when finally submitting, and signing up to Twitter, was to take the chance to take things on a slightly different route, and sign up for Tweets from a lot of places selling vintage clothing, and the like. I know, shock horror, absolutely no interest in the 20’s and 30’s lol! In fact, much of the stuff advertised as vintage, is from the 60’s, to the 80’s, when I was actually live, if very young! And alright, back then, I hadnt realised why I loved looking at women’s clothing so much for me. Well, maybe not back in the 60’s, but yes, I can see signs in the 70’s that probably would have been a major signpost, if only I’d realised.
There is some older stuff, but the one thing I’ve really noticed, is the sizing of it. I’ve seen the odd item in medium size, but the vast majority are either small, or extra small! Yes, I know, when I look back at my 4 ladies from the past, at least 3 of them were small, and slim. Clara Bow, seems to have a bit more shape to her, but it could just be angles, and things?
But then, it could just be deceptive. I checked Jean Harlow’s stats on the modern BMI index (the only one I have an official weight for, as well as height), and do you know what, her BMI index comes up at 20.4! Me, 21.9! To match her index, I’d have to lose about 10 pounds! Yes, fine, I’m fairly slim for my build, and would struggle severely to lose that much, but its not a huge figure! I know, when it comes to clothes sizings, I’m hampered to some degree by having a waist/hips proportion that doesnt match a natural woman’s, but it doesnt match a natural man either! So yes, in UK terms, I’m about a 12-14.
I’m suspecting Brooks would have had a lower BMI, she was tiny, very slim, no cleavage to speak of, and a dancer’s body. But this vintage stuff I’m looking at, is not what the Hollywood stars would have worn, but ordinary folk, if probably the middle class ones!
Yes, diet also plays a part, the fast food we eat so much of nowadays simply didnt exist back then, and going out for a burger was a delight, not a regular event as it is for some now. And of course, people walked more back then! But they didnt have the current trendy gyms, so…
So hey, I might look bigger all round than Jean, but in reality, I’m not that much larger! Slightly, but not a lot!
But if anyone has any really vintage stuff, in bigger sizes, I’d love to know.
The video, well being a Cougar fan could be said to have 2 meanings. One, the one I’m more known for, is as a Keighley Cougar rugby league supporter. But equally, Cougars are a breed of older woman, looking for a younger man to please them. That theory only falls down for me in that William Powell, Jean’s last famous beau, was nearly 20 years older than her!
But anyway, this ‘Jean’, in search of her beau, might just sing this!
Well, its the look I’ll be aiming for, at the Christmas Dinner at least. Snag is, whether I can pull off the sweet bit might be a whole different ball game altogether lol!
But the old fashioned look, most definitely, dress fits in so perfectly with that. The one thing left that I’d love to get my hands on for the night, is one of those wonderful black, helmet bob wigs, as modelled by the dummies in BHS in Leeds, and I suspect elsewhere too. Anyone know someone who works there, so I can borrow one? Or if some BHS worker reading this can get me hold of one, principally only for the night, I’d be so grateful. Yes, I’ll probably end up splashing out for one, knowing me! No, I think I’ll forego the cigarette holder though, thats a step too far lol!
And alright, I wont be so old fashioned that I wont be on the internet beforehand, something no one in the 20’s could have even vaguely dreamed about. But look for the do, oh absolutely, darlings! Make up is going to depend on the luck of the dice, as there is no way I will do it myself. If I’m off, I’ll probably get it done before I go, if its after work, it will probably be the scrubbed look, and people will have to live with it.
Yes, you’re right in assuming I’ll book a hotel room nearby for the night, same place as last year in fact. Two single beds, so if I pull (yes, you can stop laughing now!), I’m made for the night! I have two chances of that, even if I was interested, thats none, and less! Irony is, all summer long, I’ve been getting discounts offered for hotel stays, now I want one to appear in my email box, nothing! Still, fingers crossed, and there is a while yet, so…
Yes, the big date is not until the 5th December, but it was announced this week, hence the blog.
So, does anyone want a sweet old fashioned (flapper) girl? No, thought not! :p
Talking of which, there is a vintage fashion fair in Leeds this weekend, planning to go pay a visit after work tomorrow at 5.00, to see what I can find.
The video, a song older than me, and thats saying something. The star of the video, even older, boop, boop a doo!
Where, to the works christmas dinner of course, darlings!
Its funny, every year at the Queens, its been very formal, suit for the men, dress or suit for the ladies. Yes, I know I could have been an utter rebel, and worn a dress, but I really have no desire for controversy and the like, so I’ve always worn a trouser suit, albeit very much a woman’s one. If anyone wants to argue that, the jacket lining is pink, so…! I think if there was such a thing as a formal blouse and skirt, I might have gone with it, but a dress…no, step too far for some, I suspect, and I like to keep my job.
Therefore I assumed this year, despite the new venue, that the rules would be the same? Got a nice blouse or two picked up over the months, and the suit is around, err, somewhere! Its in my room, just dont ask exactly where lol!
But like with so many things, I was wrong. There is the option to dress formally, but there is also the chance to go in fancy dress, and there will be prizes for such things. It could actually be fun, those that are considering it seem to be doing so with style, so it should work out fine. No, I’m not trying for the Cinderella ballgown look before you ask, couldnt afford one probably even if I was feeling that brave! And besides, I cant think of anything classy femme fancy dress, within a reasonable budget that would fit the bill anyway, especially if I’m excluding nice dress styles lol! The thing is, I sort of gather that a few (maybe more?) expect something from me this year, given I suppose you could claim that fancy dress gives a transgender girl more options to dress in style?
Clearly one does at least, and I doubt she’s alone. Sunday morning, someone (no name, though a few at work might guess) turned round to me and said, “And I expect you to be wearing a dress this year now!”. It has to be said no one agreed, or disagreed with her, so whether thats a general view, or just hers, not a clue! What didnt get specified was if she meant a normal dress, or a femme fancy dress, though my suspicions go to the former, with my get out (if needed) being the latter as a reason for doing so. Lets face it, I have got dresses, though they are nearly all of the practical kind, not the evening wear type, and the latter would tend to give away that the cleavage isnt entirely natural anyway, though I guess that wont surprise that many, but…
My main concern is what I call the ‘other departments’. My department know, probably wouldnt be totally shocked to see me in a dress in one sense, though as they’ve never seen me before in anything but trousers, they might still get a surprise! But there are other parts of the building, who dont know me, only ever see me on one night, and might not see it as favourably as some, and as I say, I have a job to keep, if nothing else! So no, I think that person will be disappointed, just dont tell her that in advance!
But on a fancy dress front, would a flapper girl look qualify, do you reckon? I could go get my hair bobbed I guess, though not that short, I’d hate people to think I was a guy lol! But a shoulder length bob style, maybe…? But no, flapper dresses are generally far too short anyway, I need something below the knees, injuries ensure they arent a pretty sight! Maxi length flapper dress anyone, one that doesnt show too much cleavage, hmm…?
No, seriously, my money is on the standard trouser suit, but…just maybe…
The video, lets just call this ‘Flappers having fun’ and leave it at that!
Its funny, both blogs today relate to a roughly similar theme, get the same video, but in case anyone does know the secret of both (and there are at least 3 who do), they arent identical other than that.
Me, I’m in my fifties, so I remember what life was like back in the 70’s and 80’s, and even the 60’s through the eyes of a child. So I remember a time pre mobile phones, let alone the early clunky ones that weighed a ton. Hey, I remember when there were only 3 TV channels in the UK, not 300 or more! In fact, I just about remember when it was just 2, but only very vaguely. But go back another generation or 2, and by modern standards, things get very basic! The fact that by the standards of their time, they had modern gadgets too, but…hey, go back to the 50’s, and smoking cigarettes was trendy, unlike today!
What got me thinking this way was actually a story for my writing contest under my other persona, which included a reality TV programme. Cant stand that sort of TV, but the story was fun. But anyway…What I was thinking was that these Big Brother contestants think they suffer for their 15 minutes of fame. Hey, I only wish they suffered more, but besides that…Can you imagine how they would cope with a 70’s, or 80’s lifestyle while in ‘The House’, instead of the modern one they get. Take it back to the 20’s or 30’s, I hope you’re roaring with laughter at the thought as much as I am!
Seeing them find out what life was like back then, hey, even I might watch some of Big Brother to see that! So, to those awful people who produce Reality TV, try thinking outside the box for once. As for those awful singers on X-Factor and the like, if they really had to sing, without technological assistance, hmm…?
Its funny, looking the opposite way to wonder what life will be like 40, 50, or 80 years from now, a whole different world quite literally I suspect? I will be too old (or dead, quite likely) to worry about it, but suspect some of my readers might. Anyway, as a thought about this, and to pay reverence to my whole Brooksie thing, just think, this was a highly radical step in the 20’s!
Apologies for the film titles, but its worth it for all the expressions Julie Andrews provides, I think?
Yes, those linking through facebook might have already seen the video, but if not, you get a second chance! 😛 Oh, and James, you might have seen it at the other blog too!
I’ll be honest, if I’d known what a reaction mentioning I was going to get blonde hair extensions was going to cause, I’d have had a whipround for a collection to pay for it earlier lol! It seems a lot of people want to see it, others want pictures posted of it when done, what a crazy world! Its not like I’m even a natural blonde in the first place, but maybe that doesnt matter to some? I’m also not sure if not being a natural girl has raised interest or not, hard to say I guess, but I suspect it has? Any wealthy benefactors want to help put that right lol?
I’m sort of hoping to get some done post make up as well, but that might depend on time and occasion, because unless I manage to get a solo picture taken, I wont be able to use any from the works dinner of course. Funnily enough, people at work are also quite keen to see the ‘extra’ blonde me as well.
Oh, and lastly tonight, its amazing what good buys you can get in charity shops over here. The four of us went off to Ilkley in the rain today (had a hat in my bag, but didnt wear it. Some will get the inside joke I trust?), and us two girls went in a charity shop there. I found a wonderful silver sequin (for want of a better word) top, that not only appeals to a certain kink, its so 20’s flapper like in style, its quite amazing. Yes, I love it, apart from the fact that when I got it back I found out it was dry cleaning only of course, aargh! Wont say the price, lets just say it was a lot less than I suspect it cost originally!
Oh, and really lastly tonight (well apart from the video), I’m back in ‘print’ as an author today, its been quite a while, but Chapter 1 passed the test with the wonderful man at the website, and was posted up tonight. No prizes for working out who it might be based around though! Her first name was Mary, though thats not the name all know her by! 😉
The video, just love the sentiments of this, though my blonde hair wont be as easy to remove as the beauty pageant girl!