Assuming that plans arent weather affected, or a rail strike gets cancelled (Northern Rail are due another one day one, next Saturday, my only normal train travel day), the next time I travel by train, I will look more dressed for the 1920’s, than the 2020’s, which are fast creeping up on us. I guess I might take the dress in with me, and change at work for the evening do, but if you asked me to put money on it, I’d say a flapper would be working the whole day, in truth! Hopefully I can use more modern equipment than a 1920’s telephonist would have had, all the same. Though fine, that might be fun, but…
I was tempted to suggest to Northern Rail that on the morning of the 10th March, on the 7.50 train to Bradford, that they might need to provide me with a steam train to get me there, but I didnt, as I was certain they wouldnt get the comment. But yes, it would be fun, given that Halifax station at least, apart from the modern lift to, and from the platform, probably wouldnt look too out of place back then, especially with the surrounding buildings as well. But fine, the diesel multiple unit train does rather ruin that image lol!
In truth, I do wonder how weird life would be for a modern person, if truly whisked back into the late 1920’s? Ignoring the fact that even a weeks wages would go a very long way back then! For example, my wage per week now, is roughly equivalent to the same wage per year back then! But yes, even ignoring the loss of things like internet (and Transatlantic flights). its fair to say that even things like the language used would be different back then. Not literally, we’d all still speak English, but taking one obvious word as example, the word gay meant a whole different thing back then, to the way its generally used today!
But is all this modern life for better, or for worse? I know, in so many ways its better, but I’ve got the golf on from the US (TV in 1929, lol), and the commentators were saying that the people at the course were watching the golf, not through their eyes, but by watching it on their phones. Yes, seriously? Fine, I suspect some were recording it, to put it up on You Tube, or the like, but even so…?
The other thing, going back to our original subject of railways, was when earlier I was checking for engineering works on the railways. At Easter weekend, some lines will be closed for work on the 2nd High Speed Train Line in this country. Yes, thats right, a line that wont even start to open until 2026 (if not delayed), and will finally reach Yorkshire in 2035! By which time, with any luck I wont be around to care! I know, I’d only be 77, but the pain I’ve got already, I dont want to get that old!
But fine, if anyone from Northern Rail should read this, 10th March, 07.50 train from Huddersfield, to Leeds, via Bradford, make it a 1920’s steam train, pretty please. Alternatively, on my birthday, 16th March, 14.07 from Preston, to Blackpool South would be equally fun by steam, though I wont be dressed in flapper mode at that time. Though if you let me know, it could be arranged? 😉
Right, video time. Definitely a more modern girl, though in truth, this performance is from 36 years ago! Yes, I had this record on a 45 single, really showing my age!
Oh fine, lets have an amusing rant tonight. And oh, just to confuse my US readers even more, all sizes quoted are in UK figures, which are different to yours. I think you take 2 off those numbers for US sizing, but dont quote me on that?
Well, 4 weeks from now, I will, in my eyes at least, be officially ancient, as I will have had my 60th Birthday, 2 days before. Given that I will be in Blackpool on my Birthday working (though in 1928 mode, its fair to say), I’ve worked the Birthday meal here to one day later, on the 17th. Yes, I know what date it is, but the only thing green I might drink that day would be a fizzy lime drink!
Given that its one of those rare landmarks, and the fact that I’ve pretty much ignored all of them up to now, I thought I’d go wild, and celebrate with workmates as well. Given events of my birthday weekend, the plan is that will be the previous Saturday, after work, in Bradford. Well, I got asked, do I want a theme to things? And I thought, as long as its not compulsory, why not?
Lets be fair, the robot look isnt going to work in a public restaurant, so the obvious answer was 1920’s, or 30’s style. And yes, 20’s is such a fun era (ignoring Crash at the end) that it works perfectly for a party. No, for some at least, it wont be a prohibition era scenario, lets face it. In truth, I do have a couple of flapper style dresses, but as was the want back then, both are above the knee, which has numerous issues in Yorkshire, in March, mainly the weather! Fine, my knees arent a pretty sight, but…
So anyway, today, I thought I’d take a look for longer length flapper style dresses. I found some really nice ones on Ebay, but they’re dispatched from China, so no guarantee of delivery in 3 weeks! In fact some, they definitely wouldnt! So over to Amazon I go, and unsurprisingly, most flapper dresses are above the knee. Then, lo and behold, some maxi length ones! Yes, even in an XL size! But…some of those advertised as XL equate to a UK Size 12! Thats right, a UK size 10 (US size 8) is regarded as large! Seriously?
Who, me? Well, because I’m Trans, and therefore my waist isnt as tapered as a ‘natural’ woman, I tend to swing between size 14, and 16. But yes, seriously, my issue is some people who see a size 10 as a large! I suspect its because many of these dresses originate out of Asia nowadays, and those women can be tiny, but…?
Anyway, if I can convince myself to buy a dress that I probably wont wear often (a 60 year old flapper, seriously?), this is the one that at least ticks all boxes.
I know, its not expensive, but when you’re only able to work 4 days a week, due to your health, money is tight! I’ll probably do it (will probably get killed if I dont now, lol), but if anyone wants to help…? https://ko-fi.com/merrybrooks I suggest you make a comment that its for the dress, not the meds, if donating! No, wont hold my breath!
Right, video time. What would a large dress do, that was a size 10, if I tried to put it on?
Firstly, let me go back to events yesterday. Yes, Julia went on stage at York, and from what I’ve seen, was brilliant. Yes, I’ve seen the film via Facebook, cant yet find it on You Tube, so you will just have to take my word on that. Hopefully, at some point…?
Yesterday also ranked as the weirdest day at work I’ve ever done, and given thats a 43 year period, that takes some doing. I did consider whether a very wintry day in the betting shops, where there was 1 greyhound meeting that survived, and we took 12 bets all day might top it, but I doubt it.
Basically, the system was down for the day, so there was a message on the phone system advising prospective callers of this, and advising them to ring back during the week, but we had to have a few of us in, just in case people ignored that, and came through to us, so…I got 1 call all day! Day not wasted though, did lots of my apprenticeship stuff (yes, I know, at 59, but has to be done, so…!), also applied for a pathway course to management in Civil Service as well. Yes, diversity candidates desired. I’m not sure, I’m going to be 61 by the time the course ends, and even if they dont give in on retirement age, I’ll only have 5 years to go, so…But yes, I needed to do something! Did some practice tests, seemed to go OK, but anyway…
The other thing I did, technically, was become a professional performer. Yes, I got ‘paid’ for my presentation last week. Oh fine, technically it was a reward payment for doing it, but yes, I’m an actress with a mischievous sense of humor, so I’m saying that makes me a professional performer. No, I dont expect that to create a rush of offers from Broadway, Hollywood, or even small professional companies, but you never know, lol! Professional speaker on LGBT and Transgender issues, hmm? No, I doubt that very much either!
Oh, my fee? £25, but seriously, thats the first time I’ve been paid to perform, ever! Well, that I remember, anyway…? Treated myself to an Amazon voucher (email version), but have failed to find a controlling robot suit at any price, let alone £25 lol! 😛 Question is, if I find a stylish (ideally full length) flapper, or 30’s style dress, does that count as a business expense for an actress? 😉
Lastly, lets get this mentioned on the right day of the year this time around, its Nancy Carroll’s birthday today. She would have been 114, so you wont be surprised to hear she died over 50 years ago. But…? I have a friend in Australia, named Diane, who uses a picture of Nancy on her Facebook page, which leaves me wondering if…? No, I’m sure she didnt really time travel, just before her death, move to Australia, and…? 😉 All the same, she’s a lover of movies from that era, so…hmm? Yes, she probably will kill me for this, or would if we werent on opposite sides of the world!
Lets see, video time. Well Nancy Carroll was a fine dancer, as was my past life self, Clara Johnson. Indeed, they may well have worked together, who knows? Thing is, last year, I used the best video of Diane, sorry, Nancy dancing, and its possible Miss Johnson was there too. So lets do something different tonight instead. This was a hit in the 1970’s, recorded live at the start of this year. Very good it is too, and its what both young ladies did
No, dont get excited, I havent got a movie, or theater offer just yet. But next month I’ll be doing a Diversity & Inclusion presentation for a large group of people (about 110, I’ve been told) in Leeds, about life in my Civil Service Department, ooh! No script, well, not unless I write my own, anyway. To be honest, I might do a few notes, but generally I’m pretty sure I’ll just go with the flow, so often its the easiest way with things like this. A fortnight on Wednesday, for those interested, though I’m pretty sure there will be no tickets for the general public lol. Yes, it is a piece on Transgender life, so yes, I do know the subject matter pretty well, I guess?
Seemingly the approach was made on Thursday, though I didnt pick it up until Friday, as I’ve cut back on my working week of course. A quick check for approval from bosses (its on a working day), and I replied positively. One moment of amusement was when she rang up later that day to confirm details, she mentioned the numbers involved, and asked if I would be OK with that, and then after she’d said it, remembered I’d said about being an actress, so…all fine! In truth, it will be interesting to see how I react, given its been a while, other than the wedding, where I have been ‘on show’ to this number of people, but I’m sure its just like riding a bike, anyway.
I have no great idea what the dress code is for a presentation like this, but I’m going to assume, unless told otherwise, its going to be business smart wear. So yes, I will wear a nice dress, and get my hair curled 30’s style, either on the day, or the day before, depending what time I need to be there. No, I wont wear anything as clingy as Harlow would, or as revealing as a chorus line dancer (Miss Johnson) would have to for such an event, principally because I have an obvious issue with too revealing (unless a surgeon is offering to remedy that quickly), and besides, its not fit for a moment like this. I think my ‘publicity manager'(Yes, Madi, I mean you) would love it if I went all flapper, and agreed it might be fun, but apart from the fact those dresses are quite short, they arent winter wear over here, and November might be cold lol! So I’m pretty sure that it will be 30’s look, to some degree. More classy look anyway lol. There is also the factor that I need something that I can hide the brace corset underneath, lets face it, only way I’m going to stand for about 15 minutes or so!
No, sadly I’m not expecting any Hollywood, or Broadway agent representation at the event, a girl can only wish! Nor do I expect them to be able to grab it on You Tube either, ah well…
But who knows, getting back on a stage might just get infectious, and I’ll see where it goes from there. In truth, my long term standing issues might make things complex, but…its a comeback at least!
The video, well, its one word different to the blog title lol! 😛
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?