Well, if I were to update you on what I did yesterday, you’d be bored stiff, because I did pretty much what an ‘old crock’ like myself should do, I had a relatively easy day. I went out for a gentle stroll (bit further than planned), had a bite of lunch, then headed back to the hotel again, via a stop for an Ice Cream. Fallen asleep yet? 😛
Today however, was far more amusing, which is the only reason you’re getting this tonight. My original plan had been to head into town (about 11.15), have a stroll, get a coffee, then head down and get the 12.30 bus to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, have a bite of lunch, then hop on the ferry, cross into Spain, just because its easily done (ferry takes 15-20 minutes to cross), have a look round, then come back again. No, as you gathered, I didnt do that!
Instead, as I got into town, just after 11.30, the seemingly slightly delayed 11.27 bus to Faro swung into sight, so I got on that instead! I will do the other trip later in the week, but for now… There may not be a bus every 10 minutes, but they do believe in comfortable bus seats over here, so nice! Fares are similar for distance as at home, for those interested, so it can be done, First Buses!
But the sweetest thing for me, was one of my fellow passengers, at least until Tavira, where she got off. To say this woman was the spitting image of an elderly Gloria Swanson (as in Sunset Boulevard era, or just later) was remarkable. Gloria (if I remember right) was tiny, under 5 foot tall, I believe, but in truth this woman wasnt much taller than that! Oh, and this woman was speaking fluent Portuguese, but other than that… She had the perfect diva attitude too (though I’ve heard nice things said about Swanson, so maybe she didnt?) as she showed when someone was trying to help her with her bags, after she got off the bus.
The rest of the drive to Faro was positively sedate, other than the song that got stuck in my head, this one
In truth, after just over 20 years, I didnt remember much of Faro, beyond the basic set out, but I suspect its changed in that time anyway. Bus station is still as ancient as it was then, mind, certainly no overhaul there!
At home, generally the bus fares are cheaper than the trains, and they take longer to get places, though because of the route the train takes, that doesnt work between Huddersfield and Bradford, because the train ambles round via Halifax. In the old days, the train was also more reliable, but that no longer happens! Here in Portugal, the bus fare was actually more expensive than the train (5.70 Euros, to 5.05 on train), takes longer to do the journey, even allowing for the long walk to the station (about a mile) from here. The snag is, Portuguese trains make Trans Pennine Express look reliable, and thats quite an achievement!
The train back to Monte Gordo from Faro was meant to leave at 3.00, and take 62 minutes for the journey. Even with a 20 minute walk, that should beat a 3.15 bus that takes 83 minutes for the journey! The thing is… The train pulled in from Lagos (yes, Nigeria isnt the only one to have a place of that name) at 3.03, about 4 minutes late, so we all get on. Then a minute later, we all get told to get off again. I have no idea what the announcement said, as it was only given in Portuguese, not a lot of use to most passengers who were tourists! Anyway, said train reversed back down the platform, and sat just outside the station. Just after 3.25, it plodded back into the station, we all got on (and stayed on) and a few minutes later, it set off for Vila Real De Santo Antonio!
I finally got back to Monte Gordo about 30 minutes after I should have, and still nearly made it into town before the bus passed me! Ah well…
Oh, and this leads to the second video of the day, the song I was singing to myself at the station, when I was wondering what the train was doing!
I’ll be honest, until earlier this week, I had no idea that tomorrow was Intersex Awareness Day. In truth, there are so many ‘days’ nowadays that its nigh impossible to keep up with them all, and also there are so many you dont want to keep up with (today is World Pasta Day, seriously?), that its got beyond the point of sanity, really?
It seems the Civil Service are actually doing a Twitter Chat (whatever that is?) on the subject tomorrow evening, but I wont be able to get involved as its between 6.00 and 7.00 tomorrow evening UK time, when I will be at work, and irony, we arent allowed Twitter at work in the office. I can fully understand the reason for that, in truth, but it is a shame that one of the (probably) few Intersex Civil Servants cant get involved.
I know, I can hear you saying it, she says she’s Trans, now she says she’s Intersex, so… But strictly, its true, as I have girl bits (a womb, maybe more?), as well as the obvious boy bit, which makes me intersex. I may have had more as a new born baby, that was ‘tweaked’ when the doctors decided what gender I was (and got it wrong), but impossible to know now, and the hospital I was born at was demolished decades ago, and even if it wasnt conveniently not recorded at birth, I’m sure the records are gone with its demolition, for sure.
So yes, in truth, and to keep it simple, its easier to say I’m Transgender, as some will have known me formerly as a man, and now as a woman. In fact, that number is pretty small, how small depends on the date you use as when I first accepted I was a woman. If you call it 2010, then a lot more know than if you say 2000, when I first found out. And fine, even if for some it takes some explanation, its still a lot less than being intersex.
No, the womb never fully developed, presumably because at puberty, my body went with the outside image, and therefore the boy bits developed, and the girl bits pretty much didnt. I do actually have pretty small boobs, but nothing you’d really notice, believe me, lol!
Hopefully I havent got too many readers here who cant accept there are more than 2 ‘genders’, and that anything other than ‘hetro sex’ is a shameful sin, but if I have, maybe you’re in the wrong place? One ‘friend’ (I have never actually known him, and have no idea why he friended me in the first place) on Facebook posted one of those crazy religious postings today about how sinful it is to be anything but in a man/woman marriage, and he’s no longer a friend. He’s unfortunate, as with the new way Facebook do things (which I hate), he’s one of those people who I dont often see posts for, but maybe that was for the best?
Does make me wonder, if I’d transitioned young enough, and had taken all those female hormones, would my womb have developed, and heaven forbid, could I have got pregnant? No, we’ll (thankfully) never know the answer to that!
I’m sure that some day, long after I have left this life, this whole issue of LGBT, and Intersex, and everything else will be looked back on, and people will wonder why we were so backward on these issues, but anyway…
But yes, tomorrow at least, just remember that man, or woman you see during your day, might not just have the sexual parts of one gender. And yes, please accept that as something not to be frightened by, OK?
Right, video time. Its rare to find film of 60’s groups on You Tube, even rarer to find a live performance, but I found one. Which explains the corny blog title, lol!
Some of my more mature readers will know what song that line is from, long before reaching the video, but for those who dont, you’re in for a live treat.
The next 2 days see two of those ‘days’ that I feel close to. Thursday is National Coming Out Day, and fine, I came out nearly 2 decades ago, but it still is a landmark date for some, that might inspire people to come out as any variation of LGBTI+ that they feel they are.
Me, strictly I’m intersex, but I relate most closely nowadays to Transgender I guess, so lets settle for either, both, or however you want to see it. I’m marking the day at a Civil Service wide conference, in Manchester, which should be a tremendous event, and I will review it, but might be Sunday before I get to it (or any next blog), just saying.
But for now, lets focus on tomorrow, which is World Mental Health Day. I’m sure I suffered with mental health issues of sorts, from the age of 6 onward, when I first realised that I didnt feel right as a boy, though I had no idea why at the time. Probably grew worse as I got older, and its fair to say that by the 90’s, I knew something was wrong in my head, though I had no idea what. Of course, in 2000, I found out what it was, but my mental state had probably been limited in efficiency in the meanwhile.
Nowadays I think I’m relatively fine, due to living as a woman for many years, but I suspect that my mind has been pretty scrambled in the past, if not now, which dont quote me on, either way!
At the time, in 2005, when I first decided I wanted to formally transition, one of the conditions before you could do so, was a mental health check. No, not to see if you were normal enough to be able to make said decision, but to see if your ‘mental health issues’ in wanting to change gender were genuine. Yes, I passed, but before much happened (other than confirmation I was mentally a woman, in a mans body), I moved to Yorkshire, so the process sort of stopped for a while. I have no idea if I would still, officially have to prove I was ‘crazy’ in wanting to become a woman now, no idea.
But yes, tomorrow, just think of all the people suffering from mental health issues, from mild depression, to the most serious matters, and either be grateful its not you, or that hopefully, if it is you, that you can get through it, and recover.
Equally, if on Thursday, you want to use that as the chance to ‘come out’, then take it, please!
Right, video time. Its fair to say this is the first transgender related song I ever remember hearing, long before I knew I was a girl, underneath all those layers. Not sure I got it at the time, but sure did a few years later!
Tonight, for both blogs, I have people to thank for providing the image inspiration. In this case, its a lovely guy named Matt, that I used to work with, in my last long term job before this one, from which we both took redundancy at the same time. Fortunately for me, the last couple of days he’s been in Scarborough. So, given that info, and the blog title, well, if you havent worked out the song, I’m disappointed!
I think its fair to say, that unless I had miraculously became a major acting sensation, I was never in danger of being the most famous woman who lived her childhood in Haworth! Funnily enough, neither of us were actually born there. Her, because her famous Father only took up the pastor role there when she was a babe in arms, and me, because my family couldnt get my mother back to Yorkshire in time! Some of whom probably never forgave her for the fact I couldnt have played cricket for Yorkshire (as things stood at the time), but my father was based in Chatham, in the Navy, so…
Yes, I wonder if the treatment of an intersex baby might have been different in a West Yorkshire hospital, to a Kent one, but we will never know!
But yes, just under 140 years before I went home to Haworth for the first time (I was told within a few weeks of birth), a far more famous family to be arrived in the village for the first time, the Bronte’s! The youngest, seemingly the sweetest, and the one I took most interest in, was Anne. No, not the most famous of the 3 writers by far, but maybe thats why I was always closest to her, her lack of relative fame!
In the end, only 2 members of the ‘family’ who lived in that Parsonage arent buried in the little church at Haworth. One is cheating a bit, because he was never a Bronte. Charlotte’s husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls, who returned to Ireland after their father died in 1861, and wasnt offered the parish priesthood is one, the other of course, was Anne.
In her life, she fell in love with Scarborough, and decided that was where she was going, to end her life. As much as history tells us, Charlotte couldnt summon the means, or enthusiasm to take her dead body back to Haworth, or of course, its possible that Anne made it clear she wanted to be buried there. So, in St Mary’s Churchyard, just under the Castle, she was put to rest. I have visited her there, more times than you can imagine, though not in recent years, for various reasons, at least partly, health! Its quite a climb up there, believe me!
Anyway, I asked Matt very nicely to pay my respects for me, and not only that, but I found a picture in my Facebook timeline today, this one.
The new plaque is actually more recent than my last visit, but is a nice touch, as the old one, like me, is very much showing its age! Maybe, like a few other places, one more visit is called for at least? I really should, but… we will see!
So yes, I dont think, that now, whatever I do, I’ll ever be more than the 4th most famous woman to live in Haworth, lol, and I’m not even sure I’d rank that high!
So, video time. I only know one song title mentioning Scarborough, and if there is more, this is the most famous one!
I know, an asexual, and the second blog in a row including the word love, shocking stuff, lol!
To reprise a quote, I was reading a story earlier today, and…it was this one
It just set me thinking, is it fair, or right when I enjoy a story when a very straight girl is transformed into a happy lesbian, even if they were making the mistake of signs of homophobia, in a gay bar? To be fair, I’m equal opportunity in these matters, and tend to enjoy stories where girls who are sapphically inclined, are made to go straight, so dont throw that brick at me.
And fine, I know its only fiction, but hypothetically, is that actually any better than homophobia, lesbian girls hating the straights, you tell me? I mean, as an Intersex/Trans Bi lady, its hard for me to say, even if I probably am more girl inclined if pushed, but not sure anyone of either gender would want me, lol! I personally prefer the neutrality route, make someone bi, rather than turning their sexual compass through 180 degrees, but I guess some deserve it, maybe?
Anyway, as I say, its purely a fictional theory, cant be done for real, but how would you feel, readers, if your sexual orientation got changed in that way? Now if only I could find a way to make women fall in love with a woman that comes with an unwanted added extra, lol…? Hmm?
Right, video time. Everyone knows the Soft Cell version of this, and I’ve used it before, I’m sure, so lets go with the original! Sadly, not a live version, but given the song was less than a major hit, 54 years ago, hardly surprising?
I’ll admit it, I did wonder if I was pushing my luck earlier this week, when doing 3 days of travelling in a row, 2 of them for work, 1 for a meeting, but I gave it a try. Outcome was, I did push my luck too far, lol. By the end of Wednesday, I was having issues, and even with rest (barring a trip to collect meds) on Thursday, things didnt improve totally. I then had the ‘delight’ of a pretty bumpy journey to work on Friday morning, and that finished me off, seemingly. So yes, gave up on work, middle of Friday afternoon, and didnt even try yesterday! Thankfully I was far enough up on flexi time that I’m still just about in front on hours, despite that! It is now, finally beginning to ease off a bit, so hopefully with another night of rest tonight, and hopefully a bearable journey to work tomorrow, all should be fine. Well…?
In truth, after the excellent service I had at the physiotherapists with the knees, over the winter, I’d said I’d go back when I could afford to do so. Yes, easier said than done when you’re only working a 4 day week, because of your back issues. Still, if I was a good girl (and I was), there was a bonus due in July, which would enable me to get the work done. Only, its not arriving until end of August! But yes, last week settled it for me, regardless of that, I need to get something done, and soon. So yes, appointment booked for Tuesday morning!
In truth, I have no idea how much can be done for it, but will have to wait and see. All I know is that this is the same place which worked on my knees, and apart from one minor bout of cramp, I’ve had no issues since then, and yes, I still do exercises from time to time too…angelic look… But lets be fair, this is more than a damaged muscle, and circulation issues, as was the knee, this is talking a fracture of some kind! Not sure if you can put electricity through the spine, as you can a knee, but I’m sure I’ll find out if it can be done! 😉 She did threaten me with it, but thats a lot closer to the heart, so not sure if it was fact, or tease? But on Tuesday…?
My plan for now, is initial appointment, and assuming she can do something with it, 4 follow ups, which will take me up to my holiday in September. After that, will have to wait and see, I guess? Not sure I can afford more than that, anyway, in truth.
So, unless someone has a cybernetic spine, or full body unit they want to trial (oh, I wish), I’ll see how that goes. Mind, I might get a shock (in more senses than one) on Tuesday, who knows? 😉
I was trying to think of an original video for this subject, and pretty much failed, the only obvious ones used, one as recently as January! So, yes, this explains the corny blog title, lol!
Oh fine, I thought I was going to be reminiscing about the previous time that England were in a World Cup Final, even more so when I got in last night, and saw the score was 1-0, but everything went downhill after that, so you’re getting this instead! 😛
To be honest, I guessed I’d see less people around last night than normal, but in truth, during the walk into Bradford from work, I hardly saw anyone at all. Well, apart from inside the bars, showing the football, lol…Little did I know that by the time I walked past, England was already winning. Even the Interchange was almost empty, and the bus had a fraction of the normal amount of passengers too. Despite a few ‘idiots’ (signalled the bus to stop, just as he was passing at speed, but he managed to stop, and wait for them to sort out their fares) for the first time in memory at that time of night, the bus actually had to wait for the clock to tick round at Brighouse before we could complete the trip to Huddersfield. Despite that, I got off at Huddersfield 4 minutes early, and got a bus towards home that should leave a minute before I get there, and thats with a couple of minutes walk. That bus was quiet too.
As for this end, well, I could have walked home in a swimsuit, and pretty much no one would have known! I saw a driver, and 2 passengers on a bus heading into town at a respectful distance, but I doubt they saw me. Other than that, no one!
For the first time this tournament, I switched on the football at home, and discovered the news, England were winning. By the time I’d gone downstairs, put my dinner in the microwave, and got back upstairs, they were drawing! Then I jinxed them, I left the football on, and the almost inevitable happened, they lost! At least it wasnt on penalties this time, lol. So sadly, it seems like we will have to put up with Baddiel and Skinner for 2 more years at least, singing about 3 lions on shirts, ah well…
For me, the more exciting potential news was another chance to dress up old fashioned style, and work in the Blackpool area (Lytham, to be precise) as an advertiser for the Film Festival next March, but its a weekend in August (18th and 19th), so not even worth asking in truth, as Saturday’s are short staffed enough as it is, without being in School Holidays (we have a number of term time only staff), and besides which, I suspect finding accommodation over there in mid August, no chance! Its not even like its just a Saturday anyway for me, I’d need to finish early on the Friday to get there, would need the Monday off to recover afterwards, so… No, I dont know what era, or look just yet! Probably better I dont know, might regret not doing it!
OK, video time, at least you’re saved from Keith Allen, aka Fat Les, due to last nights calamity with England. I had no idea how good Marlene Dietrich’s singing talents were by 1963, but they were bearable. And yes, its more than one glorious link to the past that I love, so…
As some readers may already know, and others outside of the UK might not, summer has officially arrived here in the UK of late, and quite delightfully so, for me. Why, you might ask? Simple, as with so many joint issues, they tend to flare up in cold, or damp weather (or worse, both), and ease to some degree when the weather is warm/hot, and dry.
So yes, at present, I’m in a lot less pain than I was a few weeks ago, when it was cold, and damp, shall we diplomatically say? In truth, I have contemplated easing off on the meds while its like this, but in truth, I’m practical, would hate to have any issues, of my own making, so have stuck to standard levels of painkillers for now. Mind, I’m due my quarterly review on Thursday, and I’m sure the matter is going to be discussed. After all, the Naproxen was only meant to be a top up while the weather was bad, so whether I really need it currently, who knows? But yes, I’ll let the medical experts make the call on that! Have to say that its lovely that on an evening like this, I can sit here typing this, not wearing the brace. Mind, it might mainly be because, being neoprene, I sweat like hell underneath it when the weather is like this, and even if I could do with losing a couple of pounds, maybe, thats not my planned way, or probably the best way of doing it!
As previously mentioned, I did a pre retirement course through work yesterday, and a rewarding experience it was too. Fine, a lot of it related to Civil Servants, with decades of work, and very nice pension funds, unlike my modest amount, but it gave me things to think about, and plan for my future. Hopefully I’ve got nearly another 6 years to give that pot a boost, but whether my back will let me go on, that long, I wouldnt put good money on it. Of course, a new option could come into my life anyway, and change matters, and I dont just mean the lottery jackpot at work, because I’ve never won anything in life, so cant see that happening. Yes, a jackpot win would very quickly see retirement on the grounds of health, believe me! I’d love to say enough to move somewhere hot, all year round, but given there are about 25 of us in the syndicate, it would need to be a rollover jackpot to do that on my own basis, probably!
Yes, I notice the difference with the weather. When its bad weather (cold, damp, or both), the 0.7 miles from work to bus station (or other way round) seems like the end of a marathon by the time I get there. Even in average weather, its about my limit. In the heat of yesterday (Low 80’s, I guess), I walked back from the course location, to Leeds station, about a mile, no issues whatsoever! Was just starting to tire at the end, but seriously… And yes, in Seattle, I was probably doing as much, if not more, at times!
So yes, somewhere warm/hot to live, post retirement, I really need to! Either that, or find someone daft enough to marry me, who lives somewhere hot, lol!
Right, video time. I’m sure many will have worked out the song tonight already. Of course The Kinks couldnt do anything too seriously, so they filmed the video on a freezing cold day in winter!
Oh, and as an added extra, another song of a very similar title, from about 10 years later, though to some degree, it sounds like something from 30 years earlier. Well, maybe not the electric guitar, but…
Friday night was an ‘interesting’ journey home in more than a few ways, in truth. I didnt think it was going to be anything out of the ordinary when the bus finally pulled into the bay at Bradford, a few seconds before it was due to leave, with a long queue of people to get on. Lets just say he gave me a pleasant surprise, all loaded quickly, and actually arrived in Huddersfield on time, so fine!
What did make it interesting though, was a couple of events en route, back to Huddersfield. Having made it back almost into Brighouse, we stopped at a bus stop to pick up 2 adults, and 1 child, all seemingly with no health issues, given the full show they gave me. Yes, there is a point in saying that. Clearly there was a discussion going on between the woman, and the driver, as to where they were travelling to, but anyway…
Lets just say, no sooner had they sat down on the bus, and he pulled off, they rang the bell to stop the bus. Yes, thats right, 1 bus stop, and about 500 yards later, they got off the bus again, and walked away! As I say, all could work easily, they were carrying no heavy bags, or anything, and they caught a bus 500 yards! How long they’d waited for that bus, to do that, who knows, but it would only have taken them 3 minutes top, to walk it!
Me, with my damaged back, I walk about 15 minutes, to, and back from Bradford Interchange for work! And they wonder why people are unfit, seriously?
OK, the other amusing event from Friday is something I’m ashamed to have assumed. On same bus journey, on the outskirts of Huddersfield, we stopped to pick up 3 people of around my age, 1 man, and 2 women. I must admit, even when the 2 women sat together on one double seat, and the man sat behind them, that he was the partner of one of the women, and the other was a neighbor, or friend, or… Even when the 2 women were talking happily to each other, and occasionally turning round to talk to him, I still assumed the same, but…
We all got off at Huddersfield Bus Station, the end of the line. Yes, you’ve probably already guessed it, the 2 women walked off arm in arm, the man following behind them! As I say, as an LGBT person myself, it shouldnt throw me, but it did. Just shows, never assume anything!
Lastly, when I got home, there was a letter waiting for me, government envelope, not shocking to see for a Civil Servant. I assumed it was my pension position letter (which actually arrived Saturday), but no, it was from the Tax people, I’d paid too much income tax on the year. Given I was in the same job for the whole year, and pay tax as I earn, I have no idea how it happened. But yes, a nice surprise of £78.20 for me. I fought (quite literally) the government website to be able to reclaim it, but having used it at work of course, that was no great surprise. Eventually, at the second attempt, I wrangled it into submission, and the money will soon be on its way to me.
Sensible says, I put it all aside for savings. Practical says, I put some aside, and treat myself with the rest. Stupid says, spend the lot, its money you didnt know you had, so…
So yes, on Friday, 3 things I couldnt explain! Which leads to tonights video…