If anyone was expecting me to start the final week of radiotherapy treatments with a health posting, well you’re going to be wrong. For that fact, you can either thank, or be annoyed with Eric, though in truth, as I will know far more after tomorrow, and probably more on Thursday, it would be a bit of a wasted exercise anyway. Though you could say both have a tunnel in common, but seriously…
I dont know exactly when the first time I travelled under the Channel was, though given it was with my partner who I parted from in 1999, you’re talking quite a while ago, but anyway… In those days we travelled from Waterloo, not St Pancras as you would now. Indeed, even my last journey on the Eurostar was prior to 2007 (as thats when the train service was seemingly transferred), though in truth it was before moving to Yorkshire in 2005, so…I could only have travelled from Waterloo, lol.
That first time, the only high speed section of the Eurostar route started at the tunnel entrance, and continued in France and Belgium. Yes, the whole UK section prior to then was over the standard rail lines, not the special high speed one you get to travel on now. Yes, I will need to try and put that fact right once I’m up to it, wont I? I have been on weekend trips to both Brussels, and Lille, and indeed Bruges (via Brussels) with her back in the 90’s, as well as with Eric to Brussels, in the early part of this century. I know, never been to Paris, but if I’m doing the trip again, I’m sure it will be Brussels again, because I’m awkward like that, and Paris has less appeal in truth.
Thing is, if I do it now, the trip to the tunnel entrance would be totally different to anything I’ve ever travelled, literally. St Pancras International, Stratford International, and Ebbsfleet didnt even exist when I first went under the Channel. I’m not sure what the set up was at Ashford back then, but I’m pretty sure it didnt have an entirely separate International station, but dont quote me on that! Seems that now the only section that isnt really high speed is the last section into/first section out of Brussels for about 12 kilometres, though that might have changed now from when the journey was filmed that I saw (care of Eric) earlier this evening. Beyond knowing its after 2007 obviously, I dont know when it was done, in truth.
Of course, the most amusing thing about all of this is the naming of Stratford International station. Why? Simple, there are no international trains serving said station! Care of Wikipedia, I gather the plan was to use it for the trains going further north than London, but of course they never happened (not even during Olympics!), so only domestic trains have ever stopped there! In theory I could get a domestic train that stops there (remember I used to live in nearby Leytonstone, change at Ebbsfleet, or Ashford, to travel abroad, but seriously…?
Either way, the UK part of the journey would be very different to my first Eurostar journey, that is for sure.
OK, video time. Most people of my age grew up on the Roberta Flack version, people younger than me will have grown up on more modern versions, but its right to say this is far more the version as originally written, for sure
So fine, its Halloween, and I’m going to do a blog. So what are you expecting, Boris not doing Brexit, oh seriously, no!!! In truth, I’ll be glad when thats all over, whatever happens from here, but anyway… No, lets stick with the obvious Halloween stuff, lol, witches, and the like.
Technically as someone of Gaelic ancestry, I wouldnt do Halloween, because Samhain is the Gaelic significance of the day, but besides that…OK, I live in the UK, and though we arent as big on Halloween as America, it does seem to be getting bigger over here, all the same. But when I was young, we pretty much ignored it, has to be said. And given I was never in Ireland at Samhain, well…
But fine, would I dress up now, in a wonderfully over the top Witch’s outfit, especially if matched with an actual flying broomstick, well… I know, latter is not going to happen, but a woman can dream! But an over the top outfit, well, maybe this?
No, its fair to say its not going to arrive in time now, is it, lol? But would I wear it, given the chance? Well, possibly…Oh fine, I would.
As to the chance of finding an actual flying broomstick, think thats far less likely, lol.
But to all those enjoying Halloween, Samhain, or any other special day today, I hope you have a wonderful time. Just do your best not to imagine this 61 year old in that sexy Sorceress outfit, lol.
OK, video time. I very much doubt any UK readers will have heard of this song. Hey, given its 50 years old, I’m not sure how many of my North American ones will have done too. But fine, Terry Jacks, Seasons In The Sun, well maybe a few…? Apologies for poor quality of video, but best I can find
OK, given I have no idea if I’m going to be up to blogs over the next few days, lets toss one out tonight. I suppose one for Halloween would be apt, but given thats Thursday, and I have a middle of the day session of radiotherapy that day, dont hold it against me if I dont.
I suppose the year when the difference between when Europe puts the clocks back, and when the US did it was 2015, when I technically never put my clocks/watch back, because I was in LA when Europe put the clocks back, and a week later, when the US did it, I was back in Europe. Of course, strictly I did, as it affected the arrival time of my flight back, but other than that…
So yes, at 2.00 in the morning today, we here in Europe put the clocks back by 1 hour, whereas (I believe?) the US doesnt do it until next weekend, leaving me 4 hours ahead of the East Coast, and 7 hours ahead of California for a week. So this week only, instead of the usual 6 pm, and 9 something pm kick off’s in the NFL , its 5 pm, and 8 something, lol. (1.00, and 4 something games for my US readers). It also means the remaining World Series baseball games will be starting just after midnight over here, instead of 1 in the morning, but thats of minor concern to me at present, or indeed ever!
There is also a slight cross over in Spring (US go forward 1-2 weeks before us) but because its NFL season on TV, I tend to notice this one more.
Not surprisingly, I woke up about an hour earlier this morning, but did manage to roll over, and get about 45 minutes extra sleep, even if my sleep clock is still about an hour earlier than standard, as still working on hospital wake up times at the moment. Going to get messed up this week anyway, as I have a 9.00 am radiotherapy session on Wednesday, so will have to be ready to leave here possibly by 7.00 am, though thats now the only really early one this week, as Thursday’s has now been moved back a couple of hours.
Tomorrow has a meeting with a speech therapy expert before leaving here, see if we can at least ease the mouth issue, but this is more of a meet each other thing, so it can be discussed than anything else. Tuesday sees the official wig fitting session, when I will go blonde again for a while, so will have a nice choice to make in look after that. Wednesday is the start time I’m not looking forward to, but I guess it gets it out of the way, but will mean going to Leeds in the rush hour, so…
It has been ‘suggested’ that I really ought to do a session wearing the silver Lycra bodysuit, and silver wig, and yes, I can definitely see that it would be great to do, but clearly not going to happen before Thursday at the earliest, but after that…Now if only I could get a metal full face mask for that, as opposed to the plastic one, lol…?
OK, lets get to the video now. Technically thats in the midnight hour, as opposed to the mid night hours, but close enough!
As regular readers might know, I’m an old fashioned girl, into old fashioned dress styles, and old fashioned movies. I seem to cross the period between the end of the silents (the only Lillian Gish film I’ve seen is The Wind), and the early years of talkies, up to about 1939 or there about, though I do love my 50’s sci-fi, probably because of all those robots, lol. But a 20’s sci-fi, crossed with horror, crossed with an adorably cute lady, well…? Not that I suspect most of you will have heard of Gertrude Olmstead, but more might have heard of Lon Chaney, I hope?
Yes, they acted together in a film in 1925, named The Monster, when Lon planned to do wicked things to Gertrude, but beyond ‘very loosely’ restraining her, none of them came to be. Someone described this as horror-satire, and it certainly works as a genre, in the sense that Chaney overacts delightfully, dies in the end, and Gertrude gets to flutter doe eyed looks at a couple of guys (not Chaney) at regular intervals. I will provide a link at the end to the full movie, but its not great film quality (it is nearly 100 years old), it is silent (no musical accompaniment), but if you can take 95 minutes of that, feel free to watch it. If not, just start at about 75 minutes where the ‘horror’ begins, if you wish to see any of it?
Yes, Gertrude is my silent movie crush, guilty as charged. I have no idea what she was like as a person in real life, but given she married only the once, for 42 years, until her husband passed away, I would assume she couldnt have been that hard to live with? Joan Crawford didnt like her, but many would see that as a good thing, lol!
I have actually had this film saved on this free site for a while, but was saving it for the right moment, but thought this weekend was probably it. Yes, it was. If anyone can find, and wants to buy me another recommended Olmstead film, California Straight Ahead in a version that works in the UK (cant find it online, and only US Zone DVD), I’d be so grateful. (Thanks to @MoviesSilently on Twitter for that tip)
But yes, if I had got the chance to do naughty things to a young Gertrude Olmstead, I might not have said no, so…
Right, firstly the video. This is old fashioned in more senses than one, though it might be handy if I could find myself an old fashioned millionaire, lol
Secondly, for anyone who wants to see my secret silent movie crush (even if I’m 100% certain she had no lesbian inclinations)
OK, the sentiment relates more to Bride of Frankenstein than Metropolis, but besides that…But in actuality, my little bit of hair that I have left is a mix of dark, and white, just like Elsa Lanchester in the film, though sadly I wasnt given the lightning treatment, but other than that…
I have done a bit of walking of late, partly because I’m determined to try and improve my mobility, and partly because while in the warmth, and safety of the hospital, why not? But outdoors, havent really done more than a couple of hundred yards at any single time until today. Not that I walked a mile today, about 600 yards at most each way, with a nice gap in between trips, but I did it, and it wasnt too bad at all. Agreed, it helped the only real road I had to cross both ways, I timed it well traffic wise, just as well, because I’m still pretty slow but better than I was.
In truth, I feel better now all that hair is gone, even if I hadnt really noticed how much I now had until I tried to put the wig on at least. Yes, funnily enough, it fits very nicely now, lol. No, havent yet matched the outfit to the hair, but thats coming tomorrow for sure. Well, providing the over 10 year old silver Lycra suit doesnt fall apart with age when I try to put it on. Seems OK, but giving it a little stretch, and trying to actually put it on might be different issues?
Though yes, hair wise at least, I’ve been a silver lady ever since I got back from hairdressers, and fine, I’m loving it. I’m not sure whether Eric didnt notice it, decided to ignore it, or just not comment once I had it on, but anyway? Ella did at least, the moment she saw it, in a positive way. I’m not sure how the hospital staff would take to it if I wore it next Thursday to the meet the staff/machine appointment, so I guess the safe thing will be to go as a redhead, but maybe…?
Funny, next week is the last non 5 day week of travel to Leeds for a while, though I now have 2 trips over there at least. As well as the one mentioned, the rearranged Occupational Therapy appointment is now on Tuesday afternoon, for which I will definitely have to be a redhead. Short bob, or shoulder length look though? Choices, choices, as those 2 wigs are due to arrive on Monday. But fine, I admit it, I do love the silver look to the hair in truth, though I will need a newer, and less figure hugging clothing option if I’m going to match that in look, for sure. Well, people have been asking what I wanted for Christmas, so… Might also want a better quality silver wig too, lol! I know, but I thought this was only for fun, but the look is definitely growing on me!
I know one thing that probably wont be growing on me after the next 7 weeks or so, travelling to Leeds, and back! But other than that…
So, to the video. Well I walked to the hairdressers today, and then walked back, happier with the hair length, so…
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…!
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
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!
Oh, there is plenty of news events I’d love to comment on this week, but as strictly at this time I’m still a civil servant, I will pass on them, even if the PM, and the police seem to want to break those rules, I’ll be good.
But yes, for both my past life self, and this one, it seems its going to be quite a weekend. Well, I’ve got through the first week, weekday wise at least, without a minder in the house, other than the cats, and I dont think they care how I’m getting on as long as I need feed them anyway!
So, lets start with my past life self, who might also lay in my future, but more on that shortly. Yes, on this date, 114 years ago, a new baby girl entered the world in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, to be given the name of Clara Elaine Johnson by her parents. 20 years later, via a stay in Texas, moved to Hollywood, dreaming of making herself a career in the movies, probably as a star. Well, she got one, the career, more so once talkies took off, and musicals, because clearly she’d had dance lessons at some point, done decently, and after that, the chorus dance lines at various studios (principally MGM, Warner, and RKO) beckoned until at least 1937 (last year I’ve traced her, the first being 1929) and she would have been 32 by then, so that might have been it?
After that, marriage, a daughter, and a death around 50 (I’m certain smoking related) for which I lack much detail, as I dont know her married surname, and then shortly after that, a new life, me! I might manage more years than her, but unless they can solve my health issues, it might not be a ton more!
Which leads on to me, as tomorrow marks the date of my rearranged MRI at Huddersfield Hospital. Heaven knows what they are going to discover there. Will it just be Epilepsy, or something more serious, heaven knows. But at least its the big step to finding out at least. I’ve no idea what it will be like, but I want it sorted, regardless. Despite them saying they couldnt find anything new at the Hospital, I definitely dont feel as strong now as I did before then, but I will try to survive to let the Neurologist make the calls on that. Reading earlier suggests it will be a week or two to hear, but hopefully soon. I need to get the rest of my life mapped out, whatever it might bring. Hopefully the finish of gender change, but will have to see what I’m allowed to do on that front.
New AI brain would be nice, but just wishful thinking I’m certain. Full robot body definitely would be, sadly.
As to where the rest of my life might be spent, who knows, or how long it will be. Though if the only brain I can have is busted, maybe I dont want to live too long anyway?
Right, video time. What might the future hold. I’ll say it, I’d love one of those Metropolis Robot body’s, and brain capacity, if offered. Yes, both of those things in the video
Yes, I know its been a long wait for this, and I only wish I could say it was for a good reason, but it isnt! Yes, I know, I wasnt meant to go to the hospital before next Saturday, but I couldnt wait that long, I was there in advance, last Saturday. Funny thing is, I dont actually think I passed out, but I probably wasnt far from doing so, and certainly wasnt capable of simply things like getting to my room upstairs, even with the aid of the chair up the stairs, I still couldnt get to my room, so off I end up going to hospital again in an ambulance, but at least this time I knew the journey was happening.
No, they couldnt find anything seriously wrong, so I got released at the end of the evening, and ended up getting a taxi home. I’m not convinced how well I really was, and in truth, anything up to this Morning is a blur. Better now, though I wouldnt expect to do anything clever today, put it that way. Computer wasnt working too well either, but seemingly back to normal today.
Hopefully now my next visit to the hospital will be this Saturday, for my session in the MRI tube, to see just how busted my brain really is. Fine, I would like the tube to do more than just check on my brain, but anyway…No, I dont think brainwashing service is available lol! In truth, I, and a few friends in the US, as well as the ones over here will be glad when thats done. Yes, Kiefer, I wouldnt put the brain rearranging system past you, oh I wish!
The only other planned change in the near future is a change of hair colour, yes, getting it done after the MRI tube experience, going to be a redhead of some hue! Suspect more strawberry than fluorescent, but I dont know exactly what June has in mind. Fun thing is, the only colour picture I have of Clara Johnson is from 1935, when she was very blonde, but thats as natural as mine! The picture from 1929 in black and white is either soft blonde, or maybe red, hmm? Either way, it will be fun to have a change after all this time.
Hopefully soon I can start planning a trip to the US, just not sure where, or when at this point. Whether its holiday, health, or combination at this point, who knows. Might even come back a whole new woman, physically, and or mentally, who knows. I suspect hoping to come back with an AI brain, or whole new robot body might be hoping too much lol. Would love that though! Clara Johnson, 20 something lookalike, oh heaven!
Right, video. A clue in the blog title. Gone with the Cat Stevens version of the song, as finding live from 60’s isnt easy!
I was reading an interesting article yesterday about something very relevant to many transgender women. Strictly it doesnt apply to me for two reasons. First, I’m strictly too old, and secondly, strictly, I dont need one, already got one. Yes, wombs, and baby bearing for transgender women. As I say, I’m too old genetically, and never had any desire to have babies anyway. But yes, I’ve got a womb anyway, even if not fully developed. I do actually wonder if I’ve only got one (obvious) piece of male genitalia, but until they take a look, who knows?
Equally, I do know a number of younger transgender women who would love to have a baby, so if this concept actually comes to fruition, its going to leave them with an interesting decision to make, for sure. Dont get me wrong, the whole act of changing your ‘bits’ isnt an easy operation, but compared to the whole act of designing internal bits to allow for the fitting of a womb, I suspect its a whole less lot complex. Why I say a decision is because its obviously not something they are initially do for everyone transitioning, because lets face it, for those like me, its a wasted effort. Also, seemingly, as to start with at least, its going to require a donor womb, its probably going to delay your op being done.
Yes, donor wombs can be done, thats what the article was about, that a 35 year old woman has just got pregnant using a donor womb originally from a 45 year old women, who was sadly killed in a road accident. And yes, someone raised the question of whether in the future, the same could be done for a transgender woman, and of course, the answer was yes, though as they said, there may be unknown physical issues that a natural woman wouldnt have, but until they look into it…?
Me, I’ve never wanted to be a mother, or indeed any kind of parent, but that might just be my physical build? But no, I have no desire to have my womb made usable, even more so at my age, but hopefully it brings hope to the younger transgender generations at least.
OK, video time. I was thinking of something different, but then You Tube put this on my suggested list, so saved me the search. Lets face it, its not even about the same generation of baby!