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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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…
In a way, I sort of feel sorry for the lovely guy named Geoff Marshall, and his partner Vicki, because every time I go to give them a mention in my blogs, someone else ends up stealing some of their glamour, and promotion situation.
The Rail Delivery Group have been running a World Cup of Rail Stations in last week or so, and yesterday marked the final, between 4 stations, 3 of which I’ve been to in my life (Bristol Temple Meads, Birmingham New Street, and Huddersfield) more than a few times, and one that I probably now need (according to Geoff, and station concerned) to visit, once I’m healthy again, Wemyss Bay.
Yesterday, to mark the day of the final, Geoff, and Vicki started the day in Bristol, then travelled to Birmingham, then on to Huddersfield, getting there in the early evening. To be fair, Bristol is a lovely historical station, even if it isnt Brunel’s first, its gloriously old, and a lovely place to visit. Birmingham is far more modern station, but its a fantastic building, all the same. Wemyss Bay looks glorious too in pictures, which is all I can go on for now. I might be slightly biased, but Huddersfield is another glorious old building, with modern facilities inside, but in truth, what I think helped to tip the vote heavily in its favour might have been a couple of the station staff. Yes, the pair of station cats, Felix, and Bolt!
I know, British people, and cats, who would have ever thought it, lol?
Anyway, to get back to Geoff promotion, today he started his annual event, involving all the tube lines, and a few other Transport for London groups, to make up 16 teams, so if you follow him, go on his Twitter account, and vote. First 2 first round matches started this morning, go on until tomorrow, and then matches follow from there until we have a winner.
After that, there is a possibility of a closed lines one, run by Paul Whitewick, so watch this blog, just in case.
As to the famous staff at Huddersfield station, I’ve seen Felix a few times in the past, when I was using the station, but I’m yet to see Bolt as yet, mainly because my train travel dropped off dramatically in 2015, when I got made redundant by William Hill in Leeds, but there is still time, so…
(Oh, just to mention, I also would have York and Newcastle high on my loved stations list, of those I’ve been to)
OK, video time. What is Huddersfield stations main claim to fame? Why, a pair of pussycats! This, seemingly is the original promo video, not the one that most people know for this song, ooh!
I would say strictly that this is probably the last double blog for a while, but in truth it wont be, even if the actual subject matter will be. Thats because something will be mentioned here, where readers know I’m Intersex, which wont be on the other one, where they think I’m a natural woman with a robot fetish, lol. Heaven knows what twist I give on the subject matter there, unless I know Rotwang, or Frankenstein is reading that one!
The day started in amusing fashion, as the advice you’re given is to be ready 2 hours before your appointment, which for me yesterday was 2 in the afternoon. So… 10.50 in the morning, the vehicle taking me to the hospital is parked outside, waiting for me! I assumed there were only 2 other people from this area going to the hospital, with an earlier appointment, so…Anyway, upstairs, get shoes on, get coat on, grab handbag, and ready to go. Actually, the restaurant at the hospital, where I ended up having lunch was fine, if more expensive than eating at home before leaving, lol.
So I switched my plans around, and started with getting the blood sample taken, instead of after everything else was done. After that, I went to check my transport for Occupational Therapy today had been sorted out (not, but very swiftly sorted) before heading to the bowels of the hospital (2 floors below ground floor) for the fitting of the mask, and stuff. No, not a full face, iron one, but anyway, was all good fun. All followed up about an hour later by a scan to check the fit, and basic comfort of wearing it, both of which were fine…on the second machine. First CT scanner they’d used in the morning was throwing a grumpy moment, but all soon sorted, and done.
Right, the big date, I suppose you want to know? First session will be on Monday, 28th October which is actually a week or 2 earlier than I’d been expecting from what I was told, but thats good news! Sessions will then be 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) for 6 weeks, which means the last one should be Friday, 6th December. After that its meant to be a minimum of 4 weeks of recovery period, though I’m working on 6 weeks personally, partly because of my age, and my back issue, and also because it will be fine to allow extra because of Christmas/New Year period, even if I’m sure I wont be overexerted by anyone, but…
Oh right, that subject I can mention here, but not on the other blog? Yes, like any good flapper, getting the hair bobbed isnt an issue for me, but I always said that after I retired I was going to get something else ‘bobbed’ too, the bits! No, not going to rush it, but I’m thinking that end of Summer 2020, or far more likely the Autumn, maybe my thoughts need to turn to that matter, and another operation in time, lol? I’d always said after retirement it would be a plan anyway, but I cant deny that all thats happened over the last 6 months has made it more of an issue I want sorted, just in case. Yes, already checked, and been told this cancer issue makes no difference to getting it done, so… I have no idea at this point where I stand on the matter, medically, to be honest.
Technically I’ve lived fully as a woman for 10 years, so I’m way over the limit on that point. Equally, I’ve never actually done hormones, but given I’m Intersex, I have no idea where I would place on a hormone test anyway. Its quite possible I have one obvious boy bit, but that could actually be it, especially given I have a womb! Never had children, but then again, was never in a position to have them, as the only woman I ever had ‘unprotected’ sex with, wasnt in a position to have them by then anyway!
Yes, its about a year down the road, for sure, but an interesting thing to think about, for sure?
Its funny how things happen, this morning was meant to be last trip to Leeds for nearly a fortnight (24th), but it never happened. Irony, my Occupational Therapist rang in this morning to the hospital, unable to go to work. It will be rearranged, but for now, just when…?
Right, video time. The cancer treatment, very rightly is first in line, but after that, well, second in line?
OK, lets run with something that would annoy me, even if I wasnt disabled in truth, and thats the stuff that some modern advert agencies produce for their TV adverts. So, yes, if anyone reading this works for any of those people who think those adverts are the work of smart minds, they might want to move on here and now.
I’m not saying that Nat West bank are the only ones going down this route, because they arent, but it seems to be the main ad that is annoying me in this sense at the moment, so lets pick on them, especially as I bank with someone else, thankfully. In truth, if I did bank in the past with Nat West, I certainly wouldnt be now.
To be fair, for my non UK readers, which judging by the stats are most, and will never have seen this piece of rubbish, let me do a brief sum up of it. Basically, the ad seems to focus on the life of a guy, who needs to go to the bank that day. The thing is, the ad agency, presumably with the agreement of the bank seem to think its fine for him to go out in town, ‘wearing’ a pair of very badly penned on glasses, and a moustache, equally badly drawn on his top lip, and having people laugh at him as he goes through town.
Rather than go to the bank, someone from the bank goes to a cafe somewhere in town to meet him, by which time he is in a somewhat distressed state, obviously. Given this is presumably their attempt to get people to do their banking online, and deal with queries by video contact, the next thing you see is this guy back home, making video contact with the bank representative, or trying to. Thing is, the guy at the other end of the video has a real, but similar pair of glasses on, and said moustache too. So, unsurprisingly, the video contact lasts, oh, seconds, when the bank rep looks at him in a less than polite manner.
From here, the matter seemingly gets settled by text messages between our client, and the bank, at least. After that, we get a look at his wife, who has an equally badly drawn ‘rabbit’ look, in truth. So for me at least, the whole ad is road crash material, and makes me think of a bank I would never want to trust with any dealings, let alone trust them with my bank account.
Seriously, I do wonder if these sort of adverts make anyone feel that a bank that treats its customers like that is someone you really would rush to deal with? I know, I’m old, but I remember a time when TV adverts were designed to make you buy a product, not put you off it. Or is it just that young people, who presumably this is aimed at, just have a sense of humour that this appeals to, which I dont get?
Given I dont get the logic of adverts like this, and this song, despite the title seems to be taking a shot at such people, lets roll with this
I suppose the irony of doing this blog tonight is that it wont mean an awful lot to all my US readers, but apologies, just humour me for once. Yes, that strange sport you dont understand, Cricket.
The things it has in common are England, Australia, and a ground in Leeds, named Headingley, given thats the district of Leeds where the ground is.
Back in 1981, England seemed to be losing yet another test match to the old enemy. Well into their second innings they hadnt scored as many runs as Australia had in one. Then Ian Botham found a partner who would hang around with him, named Graham Dilley, and they managed to add a lot of runs, and at least make Australia bat again, even if they didnt need to score that many runs to win anyway. Then Bob Willis bowled like a demon, the Australian batsmen froze like rabbits in headlights, and the rest was history. Yes, from the pits of defeat, England actually won the game. I never saw those events, was working, and then at club cricket when this all happened.
So, to this week! Same venue, same teams, and… When Australia batted first, and only made 179, it looked like England were set for glory…maybe? To cut a long story short, a few hours later, England were all out for 67! Pathetic! So out went Australia to bat again, and totalled 246 this time around, leaving England the seemingly impossible task of needing 359 runs to win, and keep the series alive.
Not long after that, England were 15-2, and 59 looked challenging, let alone 359. For a while from there, things improved, and it looked like maybe a miracle was possible. Then finally, they collapsed again, and the last batsman, Jack Leach walked to the wicket, with England still needing 73 runs to win. But there was another batsman there, named Ben Stokes who proceeded to put on a batting masterclass. So here we are, now 351-9 when the fun really begins.
Teams are allowed 2 appeals against Umpiring decisions, and at this point, Australia rashly used their second for a LBW decision not given by the umpire, that even a short sighted biddy like me could tell couldnt possibly be out. Without getting technical, where the ball had pitched, LBW cannot be given. A decision that came back to bite them.
6 runs later, when Australia would still win by 1 run, the bowler dropped the ball that was passed to him to run out the last batsman, so England survived. A matter of balls later, the ball hit Stokes on the pads, in front of the wickets, but the Umpire didnt give it out. If they hadnt made that pointless appeal 6 runs earlier, they could have appeal, the off pitch umpire would have given him out, and Australia would have won.
Then Leach went and faced the next over, managed to score a run (his first, and only one in his lengthy innings) to tie the scores. Stokes then scored the winning runs, and the series continues in a meaningful way. Yes, this time I saw the events play out, and would have done, even if not now disabled, as it happened on a Sunday. Seriously, if I hadnt seen it, I would never have believed it!
Oh, and something more my American friends, a piece of Baseball irony. Just got an email from Seattle Mariners (signed up for trip, never cancelled), and apparently, having just played my beloved Dodgers, thats where the Yankees have now gone. On Wednesday night, Justus Sheffield (ex Yankee) will pitch for the Mariners, and James Paxton (ex Mariner) will pitch for the Yankees. I think they actually changed teams in the same trade! In other circumstances, it could have been reversed!
OK, video time. If Clara Johnson had been around 40 years later, or if in my teens, I’d been a dancer, just like her (with her looks, and non intersex), well, this could have been me. Magic?
Firstly, to warn people, you’ll get 2 blogs this weekend, just that it will be one tonight, and one tomorrow. Firstly because I’m running a bit late to do 2, and secondly, I havent really got an obvious subject for the other blog at this moment. Well, not on the blog where most readers think I’m a natural woman, anyway… So why do this tonight? Well, I’ve got time to do one, and its also a special date.
Yes, someone a ‘little bit naughty’ was born on this date, 126 years ago. How she lastly to 87, given her lifestyle, I have no idea, but she did. Yes, Mary Jane (better known as Mae) West is the lady I’m talking about. Its amazing only to think that by the time she became the ‘saucy minx’ of pre code movies, she was already fast approaching 40! By which point, a few years earlier she had served a short prison sentence (only 10 days) for creating a show so naughty that she upset the authorities. I suspect it would probably be seen as fine now, but back in 1927, well… OK, fine, she set out to upset them, but anyway…
Its fair to say I wasnt upset to be told I looked a lot like a classic era movie star after the first photo shoot I did with a very talented guy in Leeds, the thing that surprised me was that it was Jean Harlow. Well, given I was in my fifties, she died at 26, so… but fine I could see the resemblance to her mother, who would have been closer to my age at the time. But yes, if you’d showed me a set of pictures of blonde, movie stars from the early 30’s, and asked me who I looked most like, I would have said Mae West. So yes, how close was I to being named Mary/Mae Stephanie West, who can say?
I think its fair to say that apart from the sex thing, my attitude to life is probably closer to Mae, than Jean, though the latter was a little minx when she wanted to be, I must say. Oh, a picture of the lady, well? And for comparison?
My next acting part, Mae looking back on her ‘quiet’ life, hmm? Oh goodness, that would be naughty, but nice! Somehow I dont see me being as sharp as she was at 87, even assuming they can rebuild me enough to get that far! One thing is for sure, somewhere, today, she will be celebrating her birthday in style, maybe?
OK, video time. I’m not sure if beyond Steve Harley, any of this band were in the original Cockney Rebel, but its a live version, which they definitely werent back then! And its almost Mae’s most famous line, lets face it
I know, two in a row, but lets get them out of the way when I can remember what the blog subject is, OK? Probably nothing tomorrow mind, just saying.
A couple of days ago I saw an article which saddened me, but didnt surprise me, in truth. I dont expect every in my life for there ever to come a time when the LGBT hate percentage reaches single figures, let alone zero. But over the last decade or so, the reported homophobia/LGBTphobia percentage had been going down. The last survey a couple of years ago showing 25% of people being anti LGBT people, from dislike, to downright hate. Too high I grant you, but better than the 34% it was a decade ago. This year, for the first time since 2007, the figure went up, back up to 28%.
Of course the increase may not be a genuine increase, its just that now, with seemingly the whole world swinging further to the right, it might just be that people are more emboldened to say what they really think. It certainly seems the case in the US, and has been so for a while, but now it seems to be growing in the UK too. I suspect, as I say, that some of this is people who never liked LGBT people, but didnt say anything are now opening coming out and showing their hate, though I suspect others are being influenced by social media and friends too.
Especially when you see pieces that show LGBT people infecting others by spraying them with ‘gay water’ and the like, which is comical, but frighteningly, some believe it. There is also the fact that so many LGBT people (notably a group of Lesbians, and young Trans Activists) nowadays believe they literally have to get in the face of straight people to get their message over, rather than polite education.
I dont see what straight people have to worry about in truth. We dont secretly slip potions, or inject people with anything that instantly turns them gay. I hate to break it to the cranks, but it cant be done. Though mind, its believed all people are born bisexual, its just that tradition, and peer pressure means that most believe that boys will date girls, and anything else will destroy the world. Sorry, it wont! But equality, when there is a group of lesbians who wont date bisexual women because they might taint themselves with a date (or more) with a man, what hope is there of putting on a united front?
I know, I’m preaching to the converted, the LGBT haters arent going to read a blog by me, lets face it. But if any read this, just ask yourself why you’re afraid of LGBT people, realise how daft you are, and accept us. No, feel free to be an ally, and no more, thats all we ask.
Of course, if it makes someone feel better about coming out, by thinking I’m twisting your arm, or your mind, with this blog, why not? But I’m not, OK?
Right, the video. most women of my age nowadays, chasing younger men, or women, are known as cougars. But guess what, we used to be called wily old foxes. And yes, who knows, very soon, I might be out there, on the run for a young partner to care for me? Tenuous, but its the excuse for tonights glam rock video, just saying…