Let me add that the ‘again’ in the title of the blog is only technical, as I never remember playing a pilgrim girl in any of my acting parts, or even more likely, a pilgrim guy, and refers more to the video tonight than any part I might have played. Doesnt mean I havent (if I remembered every role I’ve played, I’d be stunned), mind.
But what I have done, just once before, is celebrate Thanksgiving Day in America, a few years ago in Albany, New York (well, technically it was that place across the river, beginning with R, but I’d never spell that right, and my hotel was in Albany, so…), though I intend to add to that number now, if possible, now I’m retired.
I dont actually remember when the snow started, so whether it was the Thursday, or the Friday, when I went to a nearby (to my hotel) shopping centre for my first experience of ‘Black Friday’, long before it spread like it has over here in UK. Beyond the fact that even if my second Thanksgiving experience was with the same wonderful host, it wouldnt now be in Albany, as he now works, and lives some way south of there. Any details he wants to give away (including which year it was!), I will let him decide how much to say!
Its fair to say that my second experience is not going to be as a hostess, just saying before anyone suggests it! I know of others who are happy to host me, and previous host will be among them, I’m sure, but we will see who gets the ‘honour’ of that. Only way it will be LA is if Musso & Frank offer to host me for free, lol!!! Not going to happen, I’m certain. Well, I’m open to LA offers, but know of few there who would want me at a family gathering, so…?
But yes, next year, might be that year, or might need to be 2021, as Eric is 80 on 24th next year, and looking at calendar, Thanksgiving will be 26th, so possibly doable, but tricky, and probably pricey, so…? Maybe I need to find that Pilgrim girl outfit, lol?
So to all my American friends celebrating Thanksgiving day today, have a wonderful day. Well, assuming you read it on the right day, lol? If not, I hope you had a good one!
Video, well my favourite ‘suitable’ singer recorded a song called ‘I’m Going To Be A Country Girl Again’, hence the twist for the blog title. Just to say for those seeing both, the blogs will be same tonight, with one omission which some might work out. This is full version, by the way
OK, lets deal with these in turn, and allow people to catch up on everything.
- Yesterday, a certain, very cute silent movie actress celebrated her birthday in heaven. Yes, hopefully at least some might work out, yes, Gertrude Ormstead was born on November 13th, 1897. No, I’m not really into dead 122 year old’s, but if she was young, and actually fancied me, well… Today in 1906, another famous silent movie actress was born, one who found more fame thanks to OMD, Louise Brooks, but besides that…
- Progress for me. Well, tomorrow marks the halfway point in my treks to Leeds for treatments. Yes, after tomorrow morning, it will be 15 down, and 15 to go, ooh! As I was told this morning, things seem to be going well so far, but we still have plenty more to do, thats for sure. But tomorrow, when I pick up my new supply of steroids I need to take each morning, I’m reducing the daily dose from 2 mg, to 1.5 mg, and if all is fine, might well be down to 1 mg by this time next week. Equally, if I’m not happy with the new dose health wise, I’m to go straight back up, but for now…Just think, I was on 16 mg daily at the time of the surgery!
- The wild boys? While getting your radiotherapy treatments, you get a musical soundtrack played in the room. They’ve got me worked out well, as most mornings up to now, I’ve had the delights of the sort of music I love from the 1960’s. This morning I moved on a decade, to a couple of punk songs from the end of the 70’s. I cant remember the first one now, in truth, believe me, thats what radiotherapy can do to your memory at times. But anyway, as the video will show, it was the second song that had me smiling more anyway. Never thought I’d be laid on a bed, being treated for cancer, and hearing Jimmy Pursey blasting out that song.
- A fact that some will get the comment, others wont, but anyway… I was asked at the end of the session today if I was planning to take my face mask home with me when all this was over. Answer is yes, I thoroughly plan to do so, but… I joked it will need a silver paint job, which I got round by mentioning I’d written science fiction, but lets face it, thats not the whole reason! But yes, I might need someone to do a decent paint job for me, but fine, that would be fun!
Yes, Gertrude nearly lost her soul, with the help of Lon Chaney in ‘The Monster’, could I lose my humanity to a silver face mask, even if only plastic, lol? Then, if I could get matching body suit, giggle.
OK, the video comes from item 3, but I suspect you’d worked it out. Been brave, gone with a live version, but if you want the studio version, not hard to find. Will warn, there are a couple of uses of the f… word in this live version, so if you are of delicate nature?
Lets start by saying that unless you hear otherwise, everything is fine with me, and the radiotherapy sessions, and the chemo tablets, so that it doesnt become a regular start point here, OK?
One thing I very quickly have learnt is that the time of travel makes a lot of difference mind, as yesterdays ‘rush hour’ journey back from the hospital to home took 100 minutes to complete, today’s off peak one, just 35! Thankfully, as things stand, I only have one more rush hour journey home next Wednesday, so fingers crossed, not too much of an ongoing issue.
Today’s amusing moment occurred after I’d had my treatment, had my breakfast (cant eat for 4 hours before session) in the cafe, and while I was waiting for my transport back home. A man came into the area where you wait for your vehicles a little while after me, saw me sat there, and took a second glance. To be fair, I took a second glance back at him too, as I think it was fair to say a glimpse of recognition hit both of us. Equally, given that if it was who I thought it was, the most recent time he would have seen me is nearly 5 years ago, I think we have fair claims for neither of us being certain, especially as I’m now a redhead, not the blonde he would have known, in a place he wouldnt have been expecting to see me. Anyway, after a few minutes, my transport home called for me, so I will never know.
But basically, I think he worked at William Hill head office when I did, though he was on a different team to me, which probably added to the fact that neither of us was sure the other person was who we wondered if they were? Just shows that even 5 years down the road, you never know who you ‘might’ meet when out at a hospital!
Video time. One from my teen years, but managed to find a live (well, mimed) version of it all the same. Well, in his case, had he seen someone he used to know?
Alright, I’ll get to the blog title in time, but in the meantime, news about today (and tomorrow), I guess?
You know all this stuff about best laid plans, and not working out, well fine, today, but no, nothing to do with my actual treatment today, I might add.
Generally, even though officially I have to be ready for transporting to the hospital 2 hours before my appointment, its generally an hour, to an hour and a quarter before the appointment that the vehicle generally turns up. So confirming an appointment with a speech therapy person (because of my weak right side of my mouth) for 2 hours, and 10 minutes before that time should be fine, right? Well…? They only turned up about 15 minutes after planned time, which I still thought wouldnt be a problem, as it would only be a 20-30 minute meeting anyway. But of course, you guessed it, 5 minutes into our chat, my transport vehicle turned up, almost at the start of the 2 hour period. Anyway, they are meant to be rearranging, so…
As to the actual treatment, it was fine. I know, might catch up on me later, but at the time I was only surprised when they said we were done! So yes, officially 1 down, 29 to go, lol. The only sad news for those wanting me to do the full silver look for a session, I’m sorry, but the wig has to come off for the actual treatment, so cant be done. Could still do the silver bodysuit, but thats as good as it will get. Machine isnt really going to turn me into a robot anyway, but besides that… wearing that mask, hearing the machine doing its thing, its easy to let the mind wander into weird ideas, lol.
Tomorrow actually is my second latest treatment of the whole 6 weeks, due to be at 2.25 in the afternoon. Whether I can then beat the early rush hour to get home, by time transport is arranged, who knows? The latest is a week on Wednesday, at 4.05, so definitely going to have rush hour fun with that one, but anyway… Mind, I’ve got a number of early ones where I’ll hit the other rush hour, anyway, so swings and roundabouts I guess? Tomorrow also holds the wig appointment before treatment, after which I will be able to go blonde again, if so desired. I have no idea what I’m going to do most regularly, as I’m still to go with the redhead bob, but maybe tomorrow?
But looking ahead…December 12th?
Seems to currently be a lot of fuss about that date, according to the news. Well, yes, I know its the works Christmas dinner that night, but I didnt know it was that critical an event? Fine, its probably the last thing I will do with my work colleagues before medical retirement kicks in, but seriously?
Oh, whats that, possibly an election? No, I’m not making any comment on the politics of that, just the fact that someone wants an election on that date. Hopefully my postal vote will be sorted out by then, or I might have to try and get up the road to vote before heading to Bradford for the meal. As a good flapper, I probably should vote for a 20’s US presidential candidate, but…at least I wont need to get my hair done for the night, lol.
Its come to my notice that I have one more issue I need to get sorted out soon, after having dealt with the hair issue, but this one is a little bit more delicate. The other matter I’ve ignored with everything going on is the state of my ears. My hearing is a bit down, to put it mildly, but I cant blame the growth for that, its more they havent been cleared out in far too long, but I’m not actually in a good position to do it at present, ah well…I’m sure something can be done. At least I cant hear the politicians waffling (on all sides) clearly at present, but other conversations, not so good a position.
OK, the video. Well, going back to the non Christmas Dinner matter that might happen on December 12th?
Oh, fine, I’ll be amused to see how many people can work out the video song before they reach that point in their viewing? Seriously, there are enough hints in there, but anyway…
Well yes, we’ve reached that point in the ‘performance’ where we get to the main part of the show, the radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, main section. Yes, today was the last visit to the hospital in Leeds before the big event begins on Monday. No, I’m not going to bore you with the details, as beyond going through the details, and collecting all the additional pills, and when to take them, there really is nothing exciting to report from that, in truth. Well, except that in Week 1 (the only week I know times for at this time) I now only have one really early start, instead of two, which I’m not going to cry about, in truth. Does mean my first Speech Therapy visit at home has now got a new time on Monday, before I head to Leeds, but other than that.
Oh fine, I did fool someone who saw me in hospital, was looking for a blonde, then realised I was now a redhead, but other than that… As she got me to go upstairs to collect my new pills, I did think about changing to my silver wig, but given the lift was busy, it didnt happen, so I didnt fool her again! Oh, and she tipped off the next person who would be seeing me, under same circumstances, ah well… Oh, and for those who read the last blog, yes, I did wear the silver bodysuit under my clothes today!
The one thing I have been told I should have, for post treatments, is a series of achievable events that I can aim to look forward to, to keep me going. And yes, they mean before March, lol, principally from December, to about March, so strictly I can stick the Blackpool tram on the end, but before then…so…
As things stand at this moment, and already mentioned, the first is easy to go with, on December 12th, the works Christmas Dinner, in Bradford, probably the last work related event in my working career, in truth. Still, if you go with the formal leaving date, not the last working day, I’ve done 45 years, which for a woman, when I started work in 1974, would have been seen as quite an achievement, as women only worked until 60. Of course, I wasnt strictly a woman back then, but now…
After that, the next one that comes to mind is Christmas Day, when not for the first time, the dressing up suitably option is the one that comes to mind. I had original thought of a fairy outfit, but quickly discovered that fairies dont believe in covering their knees, let alone anywhere lower, and seriously, at 61, no! Thankfully I found a nice Mrs Christmas dress, of a more suitable length, which will now be the planned purchase.
In truth, January, beyond Ella’s birthday, which isnt strictly anything out of the ordinary, I’m drawing a bit of a blank, principally because of the likely questionable winter, so if anyone has any ideas, I’m happy to listen. The only thing I can think of as a possible is the photo shoot with Angie, who tells me there is a dress waiting for me for that, though from which decade I’m not quite sure, hence the hedge in the blog title, though I’m certain it will either be 20’s, or 30’s, rather than an actual harem girl look, lol. But yes, that worked for the video, so…
February, all I can think of at this point is a couple of things I used to do, havent done for a while, but work as nice ‘possibles’ at least. One is to go back in the flotation tank again, which I loved doing, but I would need to be pretty well recovered, given the amount of salt needed to make you float. The other is a trip to Wakefield, and see if the charity shops have got as much ‘old fashioned’ clothing on sale at decent prices, though as that will take a bit of walking, my mobility might need to improve for that option, lol?
After that, and the last that I see as short term of course, mid March, the anniversary (of sorts) weekend, and Blackpool, and then, well, who knows? Will all this happen, who knows? Some will, some might, others might be a step too far, but there is only one way to find out…?
So, have you worked out the video yet? If not, I’ll put you out of your misery, as its…
One of those matters I missed blogging on, because of all thats been going on with me, has been the demise of Thomas Cook, the travel agents, and airline over here in the UK recently. Originally started in 1841, strangely enough by a man called Thomas Cook, it decided it needed to expand its base in 2007, and combined with some of the choices made, and the fact that more people now make their own holiday plans online, rather than using travel agents in town centres, they began to run into trouble, and its all just fallen apart from there. I mean, I cant remember the last time I used a travel agent to book my holiday package, so suspect its the last century, in those good old pre internet days.
Funnily enough, in recent times, I’ve only tended to use 3 airlines for my flights (though last flight was actually with Jet 2, to Portugal) to the US, Delta, American, and Thomas Cook, though I have actually flown with Virgin American, and Alaska, on connecting flights for 2 of the above, but all bookings made through those 3.
Though I would never have called Thomas Cook a luxury airline, the premium economy section was fine, all the same. I couldnt say more, because the staff were clearly not that attentive, as my most ‘ironic’ flying memory is flying that way from New York to Manchester. Firstly, despite having booked a seat (and paid extra to do so), they moved me,with no reason given, from a window seat in one row, to a middle seat in the row in front of where I should have been. As far as I could tell, a couple had wanted seats together, despite not booking them, instead of sitting across the row from each other, and what did other passengers who had booked seats, at a cost, matter?
The thing is (strictly not their action, but?) the guy I was now sat next to, was politely asked to switch off his mobile phone for take off, as he should have done, an action he just ignored, continuing to talk to someone on his phone regardless. In fact, he only stopped when presumably we’d reached a height where he lost his connection! Nothing done by plane staff at all, despite him not even hiding the fact he was still on his phone all that time!
To be fair, I had any number of good, and pleasant flights with them too, but given all the safety talks you get, it did make me wonder just how vital they really were at the time? All the same, I will miss Thomas Cook Airlines, they did tend to be the cheapest way to travel to the US, which when you’re on a budget, was always handy. So who I fly with next time, who knows? But Thomas Cook, no more.
OK, video time. For those of you old enough to remember 10CC, I’d call this line up 2, with half of the original group, plus a few others. I’m sure I must have flown with a few Mandy’s in my time, though thankfully none under the sad circumstances of this song
OK, fine, this one doesnt fit in with the general blog sequence, but given it relates to a picture taken of me today, and is something a bit silly, and fun, and its posted everywhere else but the blogs, I thought I’d throw it up quickly here.
As mentioned yesterday, I decided not to bother with waiting for the hair to fall out, I decided to get rid of most of it yesterday, as the silver bob wig had arrived, and roll with that while at home for weekend. I also have a very old (nearly 15 years old) silver Lycra bodysuit, which I can report I can still get into, though the zip no longer functions, hardly a great surprise. But anyway, put the two together, along with a silver top, to help keep me warm, and…arrange to get a photo taken, this one in fact,
Now the wig isnt amazing, but given it cost about £7 ($10). thats hardly the biggest shock in the whole world, but it will do for this. The ‘bulge’ is actually the connection point for the zip on the back brace, in case anyone thought it might be another trans girl issue, lol. No, believe me, that is miniscule nowadays!
The amusing moment from all this is that the 2 better quality redhead wigs were marked to be delivered on Monday, so wearing this all day (given picture wasnt being taken until teatime) wasnt going to be a problem, as no one would be calling until then, and Linda knew the plan anyway. So yes, the doorbell goes about noon, its the delivery man with the parcel with the wigs in it. Not that I really cared, answered the door, got the parcel, and…he didnt say anything, but didnt hang around more than a few seconds either!
I must admit the silver lycra bodysuit with ‘extras’ had its advantages to wear, and its disadvantages too. The big advantage, extra support for my spine, which was heaven in truth, could do with at least a dozen (15?) with a working zip (sponsorship deal?), both for support, and for the fact that the table set up for treatment isnt designed to support a damaged spine, and they would help. Why so many? Well simply, 5 days a week, with 15-20 miles of travel in each direction for radiotherapy plus waiting for transport home afterwards, I’m not going to have time for matters like laundry and the like for the 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Oh, and lets face it, if you think I wont want to do more with a silver wig, and silver bodysuits, well… Email me at email@example.com if you want to help with that matter. Need to get suits in UK for delivery here soon, thats all, as treatment starts on 28th.
(Note for those getting both blogs, though not identical, close enough for most)
Fine, video. Not Dawn’s greatest hit, by any stretch of the imagination, but the title tweak works, OK?
Well yes, the big decision has been made, the hair (or pretty much all of it) is going before the radiotherapy, and chemo gets to influence the matter. In truth, I cannot even vaguely remember the last time I went over 7 months without getting my hair cut, but tomorrow marks the day that I finally catch up with it. I will probably just go for pretty much a ‘enough to leave a minimal something’ cut, rather than getting rid of every last hair, especially as the only wig I have actually got at the moment is the silver bob one, though the 2 redhead (1 bob, 1 just below shoulders), better quality ones are due for delivery by 21st (Monday) at the latest, and in truth, I have no known reason why I would need to go out before then anyway. So, the only one really likely to see the ‘silver robot’ is Linda when she calls at the weekend anyway, assuming the redhead ones dont arrive earlier. Well, the robot will need to put the dustbin on Sunday, but if you think I’m going to worry about that, lol?
Funny thing is, it wont be my first time of using a wig by any means, as in the transition period, between 2003, and 2009, my standard way of doing things was keeping my own hair short, and then using a wig for all the girl moments, so…
Yes, I did try to get the silver wig on already, but seriously, my hair is now far too long, and amazingly thick for anything like that to work well. But tomorrow afternoon… I might, or might not pass on wearing one of my old silver lycra suits (assuming I can still get in them, they are well over 10 years old) at some point over the weekend too!
Funny thing is, after tomorrow, I cant be a bobbed blonde again until the 29th, at the earliest. Did think it was going to be 24th, but had a call this morning changing the appointment to a better day for the team, which is fine by me. In truth, I had plans of going redhead anyway, before all this happened, but will be fun to have options, anyway. Still going in on 24th anyway, to meet the team providing my treatments, so as long as they arent expecting a blonde, lol? Long haired redhead, might be fun!
Then beyond getting the letter from the Doctor’s to confirm the ‘unfit to work in a call centre’, as voice, and mouth are still not working right, or likely to be anytime soon, on top of the treatment/recovery period issue, for which I’ve already told them I dont need before Monday, and sent off to work, thats pretty much everything prepared forms wise, other than when the PIP (Independence payment) forms arrive, which could be, you tell me! Hopefully before 28th, as my time will get more limited after that, but other than that…
OK, no rhinestones, unless someone wants to provide me with a suitable dress (that would be fun), but some might regard me as a bit of a cowgirl, so…