Category Archives: 70’s pop

There’s some regrets

There are times when those things that make you feel old all build up in a hurry, and I seem to be going through a few of these at present. Oh fine, I’m only 61 (just), but its clear my health isnt all it could be. Hopefully all the blood, heart, and brain checks will provide results not as pessimistic as I think they might be, but the voice isnt improving much, and lets face it, medical people arent going to suggest early retirement unless they really think its going to be needed, are they? No, the thing that has come up again today, which is thankfully a generation ahead of me, is the death of one of those pop stars I grew up listening to, Scott Walker. The funny thing being, I’ve chosen one of their bigger hits, but this wasnt there single that I owned, but I did own a version of this, but it was the Midge Ure one.

I first listened to, and bought singles by the Walker Brothers (technical, as my parents provided the money at the time) in the middle 60’s. They hung around for a few years, had a few hits, and then they split up. No, it wasnt a family thing, they werent really brothers! Then in the mid 70’s, for some reason, probably financial, they got back together again, again not for very long. Out of that brief period of time came one further big hit, the one in the video. The song, as I say, was later a solo hit for Midge Ure, post Ultravox, and that was the version I actually bought. It seems more apt, in the week that culminates in the Transgender Day of Visibility, as an apt sentiment for me.

So though the Sun is going to shine some more, and hopefully my medical reports wont be too (un) easy on myself, it seems another of those pop acts of my childhood wont be around to know. Not that the one remaining Walker Brother, Gary (the third, John passed in 2011) would know, or care about me, but anyway… Its not so much the death as such, its their dying of old age that concerns me! As for regrets over Brexit, no comments either way, whatsoever!

So yes, as quoted, a Walker Brother video. Enough clues as to which one, I’m sure?

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Giving up a little bit

Lets say that this might be getting a little bit ahead of myself, but given comments I’ve got from 2 sets of medical people in recent days, quite possibly I’m not, though equally now, I do wonder if I’m officially healthy enough for a certain option to happen, rather than being able to bide my time?

Yes, those of you with reasonable memories, and who have been reading these musings for a while, may remember that during Transgender Week of Awareness last November, I pledged that post retirement, I would actually go ahead and get the ‘big snip’ done, never imagining just how soon that moment might arise? Well, at this point, pre blood tests, pre neurological checks, and probably some heart checks too, I dont officially stand at a point where I’m immediately looking at medical retirement. But yes, over the weekend, the thought did more than cross my mind.

No, I’m not considering not going through with the pledge, all things permitting. Firstly (though seemingly likely), its not yet confirmed that I cant recover sufficiently at some point, that I will be able to go back to work. But fine, unless my speech improves dramatically, fairly quickly (I’m 61 already, lets face it), I wont be able to do call centre work, lets face it. Equally, there is the counter issue, my health. Would they actually be happy to do the sex reassignment surgery on someone whose health is as questionable as mine is now?

One thing would then be for sure. In good time, post-op, the issue of a ‘little bit’ that a chorus girl dancer’s outfit might tend to reveal, would no longer be a concern! In truth, I have no idea how the timing would work out. Strictly, I’ve lived as a woman for nearly 10 years, so that qualifying period is more than over. Equally, though that ‘little bit’ hasnt worked in even longer than that, I havent actually been taking female hormones either. Indeed, another thing, as well as the actual surgery that I’m not sure how keen they would be to let me do, given the seizures, and stuff?

Anyway, lets see what the results of the tests are first, shall we? So what do you reckon, was it someone trying to stop me being a chorus girl, or was it someone trying to ensure I become a proper chorus girl, with proper bits? Hmm?

So will it be 5 years time before I complete transition, or a lot sooner? Or, hopefully not, medically unable to do so?

OK, video time. Just over 40 years ago Supertramp were one of those bands you tended to avoid admitting you loved. Probably still are, but I’m past the point of caring! A lovely live version from more recent times

Power, to the people we want to be

I know, ideally I would have written this on Friday, but like most things in this world, everything cant be perfect! Yes, Friday was International Woman’s Day, something that I wish that one day, like Pride, like Transgender Day of Remembrance, we dont need to celebrate, to make a point to some. Not because its not worth celebrating, it is, but that the need wont be relevant any more.

To be fair, things are a lot better now than they used to be for women, and I mean in terms of events far more recent than the freedom to vote, which of course we recently celebrated the centenary of. Over the decades, birth control, wage equality, and other various issues have been solved, or at least made an awful lot better for women than they were when I was young.

Of course, this is coming from the woman who would love to be the ‘Stepford’ housewife of the 1950’s, running the perfect marital home, and a dream cook to boot. Yes, seriously, I would need the robotic housewife makeover to be able to do all that, believe me. Mind, back then, I would have been able to retire at 60, which might have been handy, given my back gave out at 59 and a half (well, close enough)!

Not that I will be around to see it, but when the women starting out on their working lives now, reach my age, things will be more equal for them. There was actually an IWD event in Huddersfield yesterday that I got an invite too, and a possible chance to make a speech too, but unfortunately it clashed with the 1 Saturday in 5 that I have to work, but hopefully it works better next year, even assuming my back still allows me to work by then! I’ve heard it was popular, which was good news for me at least.

Right, just to let you know, as I will be doing on the other blog too. I’m off the next week (20th is next day I’m working), and with Blackpool, schedule might get a bit erratic during that period. You might get more (if events need it), or, at the end of the week, you might miss out on them too. But tomorrow, and maybe the next 2 days, you suggest suitable material, I’ll write about it, with the obvious exclusion of UK related politics at least! No, I dont expect any suggestions, but…?

OK, video time. The Eurovision song from 1973, in fact! So, power to all my friends, especially female ones, cisgender, trans, or non binary. Fine, every woman, lol! No, I dont mean in the voltage sense, but if anyone is offering…? šŸ˜‰

I’d like to buy the world a (Diet) Coke

Some of my more senior readers have probably already worked out the video, but hey, the song is 47 years old (eek!), so maybe not all?

The thing that probably inspired this blog was an advert, at a bus stop that I passed today. It was selling Tesco Diet Coke (which I already drink, save promotion claims), but the sale point was the fact that a 2 litre bottle of Diet Coke had 55 less lumps of sugar in it, than standard coke. Now I knew there was sugar in standard coke, and some form of sweetener (Aspartamene?) in diet coke, so its not as innocent as it seems, but I was still stunned by the amount of sugar in standard coke!

Let me add, that like the sweetener name, I havent checked whether the claim is correct or not before posting this.

I actually prefer Diet Coke, to Standard Coke, the taste suits me better. Fine, a little bit of mild weight watching probably helps to fight off the middle aged spread I’m developing (Hey, I am 60), but I’d rather drink the diet version anyway. Yes, I’d actually drink diet Pepsi in preference to standard Coke, though most places nowadays dont seem to sell both, unlike the good old days. No, I really cant tell any significant difference between the 2 brands, in fact. Just me, I know…

And yes, as you’ve also noticed, I dont actually buy the ‘real thing’, I’m on a budget, lol! Its fine for what I need it, which is basically to help me with food digestion (hiatus hernia), and to take painkiller pills! As a drink, unless its really hot, probably not? Fine in the old days, when I could drink it with vodka, but now I cant do alcohol…

So readers, how is it for you. Coke, or Pepsi? Standard, or diet? Or doesnt it really matter to you? Feel free to comment here, though I doubt anyone will.

OK, video time. Yes, this started as a Coke advert song, and turned into a gold record selling hit! I will always have a soft spot for the New Seekers, as in 1972, it was the first pop concert I ever went to by myself! And yes, I wanted to be Eve Graham, lol! Her parts were the ones I sang along to, even then!

You darken my lights

Also known as how to ensure you dont lose a cricket match.

I’m old enough to remember a time when all cricket matches were played in the daytime, though in truth, thats probably a thing many younger than me can say, though I do remember all the hype about the first game being played under floodlights.

Now even the odd test match is played under lights, and lots of limited over (especially the 20 over games) are only played under lights nowadays. Before today, my funniest memory related to this was an English game, Kent playing someone at Canterbury, and before the game even started, they knew the floodlights werent working. Now, knowing they had a couple of hours before it would get too dark to play, you’d think they’d reduce the overs, get the game in before it got dark, and get a result, right?

No, too simple for the jobsworth’s, they started a 20 over game, and about 4 overs into the second innings, it got too dark to continue, match abandoned, no result! Spectators were only ever going to get about 24 overs before dark, but if they’d had a 12 over match, they would have seen a result. Seriously?

So this morning my time (evening Australia time), one of the teams from Sydney, were playing Brisbane, in Brisbane in that 20 over league over there. Sydney batted first, made a pretty good score of 186 in their overs, and then Brisbane came out to bat. Quickly, their 2 star opening bats were out, and they were in a lot of trouble. Suddenly, as their second star bat is walking off the pitch, one of the banks of floodlights ‘fails’. ‘Remarkably’, given that it was the home team in a big hole, despite not much visible effort to sort the matter, they claimed they couldnt get the lights to work again, and the match was abandoned, how convenient? Even 10 minutes, and 2 overs later, they would have declared a result (Brisbane would have been losing heavily), so handy, wasnt it?

I know, it might have been a genuine issue, but the timing was rather immaculate if that was the case? Of course, suggesting someone conveniently switched off the lights, surely not, lol?

Fine, its a 14 game season, but if Sydney miss the playoffs by 1 point, then well, they might be a bit more than annoyed?

OK, video time. A rather cynical song for a Brisbane cricket team, given they did just the opposite. Oh, and before anyone thinks Christian Music, and an LGBT person promoting it, her Episcopalian Church is one that is very pro on LGBT issues! So thanks, Debby, in more senses than one tonight

 

 

Doctor, Doctor, so whats the news?

Right, for the handful of people who dont already know through Social Media, I’d better let you know (as a bonus blog) the news re my health issues, namely my wrist.

I shocked the doctor by appearing at his part of the surgery on Wednesday (I see the nurse re my pill check appointments) to get it checked over. No, thankfully, its not another bone fracture, just a totally worn out joint/tendons in my wrist. The official name for it is Tenosynovitis, but if you think of RSI, its not much different to that. Basically, after far too many years of thumping away on computer keyboards, my forearm is making an official complaint about that issue, lol. Seemingly not terminal, and a period of rest should improve it, which is what I’m doing for rest of the week. Doctors advice on Wednesday was not to do much typing before end of week, so I’ve learnt the delights of trying to type (to some degree) with my right hand! I’ve also now got the forearm in one of those compression sleeve things, hopefully that will improve circulation, and help with healing. Not that the expert I spoke to at our own Health Group People this morning seems all that impressed by them, but anyway… They’re going to arrange Physiotherapy for me for it, anyway. I think a new body might be easier, but anyway… šŸ˜‰ Something like this, maybe?

Miss Johnson at Christmas

Yes, some might recognise her, its the earliest picture I have of Clara Johnson, from 1929! Might need her dancing skills in March, anyway!

Oh, and last amusing moment, the doctor asked me when I was planning to retire, in that tone of voice that suggested that it was a case of the sooner, the better! So if anyone has a spare couple of hundred thousand pounds laying around, I can make him happy! I’ll go down that route, as I doubt any wealthy man (or woman) would want to marry an old Transgender crock like me! šŸ˜› Half that, I could retire from work, full amount, well, I might know a nice place to live in Portugal, so… šŸ˜‰

Right, video time. For once, totally unrelated to the blog. This is because yesterday saw the passing of one of the great geniuses of the Punk era, in Peter Shelley, best known as a member of the Buzzcocks, at the age of 63. Now, I know I’m getting old,Ā  lol. RIP, Pete! Probably their best known hit!

Stop breaking free!

Yes, I know, a blog on a Saturday night, shock horror! Sadly, as is often the case, extra blogs, outside of holidays are not usually the tiding of good news, and this is no exception. So all those who had ‘wrist’ on the sweepstake as my next physical issue to arise, you can be paid out. I have had issues with my left wrist, ever since fracturing it about 1980, in a fall on ice, and as I’ve got older, the arthritis in said wrist has been known to show itself more often.

It hasnt been right for a couple of weeks or so, bit more soreness than normal in the lower arm, but nothing I couldnt survive…until yesterday. I know the weather hasnt been great for someone with joint issues (no, not that sort of joint, lol), but even so I’ve been getting by. But yesterday, every time I tried to type on the computer, pain went through my left wrist, and not in a good way.

Right, the good news, I dont think anything is broken in there, but dont quote me on that. Prior to the back issue, I would have been certain of that fact, but yeah, nowadays I’m not so sure. If it is, its minor, like the back, just pretty sore. It could just be that repetitive stress syndrome thing of course, a hazard of my sort of job. Anyway, I’ve learnt my lesson after the back, when I thought it was just standard back pain until the X-Ray, this time I’ve quickly contacted the Physio assistance line at work, and got an appointment at the doctor! Probably an over reaction this time, but better to be safe, than sorry.

Anyway, when I finished (early afternoon), IĀ  headed back to Huddersfield, and tried to buy a wrist brace of some kind in the shops in town, since retail people have been complaining because of everyone buying online. Tried 4 stores in all, all of which you would think store something like tbis, and nothing. So ended up coming home, buying on Amazon, and getting one delivered today! And that, dear retail outlets, is why I buy mainly online!

So now I have a back brace, which I have to wear pretty much all of time I’m awake, temporarily, I hope, a wrist brace, because of issues with that, and I own a knee brace, which thankfully I dont need at present. What next, I only ask? Probably an arm sleeve, because I’m not convinced just bracing the wrist is enough, seems to be soreness above that point too. Ah well… šŸ˜¦

So, just asking, if anyone has a spare, cute looking (ideally) young female body I can have my self downloaded into, please let me know, as its getting more of an urgent issue! Not too slim ideally, as I’ve already got my dress for the Christmas do, and if I’m too slim, it will be way too large! But then again, I have dresses I havent been able to squeeze into, so fine, lets discuss! šŸ˜›

OK, the video, what all my bones seem to want to do, break free. I’m sure a few of my friends, especially Angie could tell me the Coronation Street characters portrayed here, but I havent a clue!

Needles and pins?

You know, I hate technology, I had nearly 500 words written for this, and it just vanished. Supposedly this site saves these things, but when I looked, nothing! Ouch!

When it comes to my back, I’m prepared to try just about anything to ease, or even better, clear the pain. No, I dont think any handy person is going to give me a cybernetic upgrade, even though I would enjoy it way too much, simply because I dont think its actually possible at this time. Even just a spine upgrade would be nice, though full makeover would be so much more fun.

The thing that has been in the news this year, and which I would love to have done, if I had the money (Fund me campaign, anyone?) would be that spine fusion thing that Tiger Woods had done. But yes, I think that probably costs a small fortune, way beyond my pocket, sadly. No, I dont think it would make me a good golfer though, lol.

There are 2 things however that have been suggested to me, that are practical, are probably priced that I could try them in my more humble budget, and yet, just have that slightly weird feel that makes them appeal to me even more.

The first is acupuncture. Yes, laid on my front, while an ‘evil doctor’ (yeah, I wish) sticks needles in my back, and then tweaks them around, or runs electricity through them (seemingly it does happen) might be interesting. However, as much as I could see, that works more for things like trapped nerves, than a fracture in your back, but no idea? I asked my physiotherapist, and she was typically non committal, saying it might, or might not do me good. And there is a place in Huddersfield that does it, at a not too crazy price, so I will have to consider giving a go, though probably will now be after my holiday, just over a week away, as I really havent got time before then. Oh, and how much do those needles hurt?

The second one suggested was a session in a flotation tank. Now, beyond the logic of taking all the weight, and pressure off my back, I find it harder to see the logic of that one, myself. I mean doing that will probably do it some good, but anything significant, no, cant see it.

Of course, from a weird point of view, the flotation tank idea appeals to me totally. All that sensory deprivation stuff, with the lid shut down, and all, talk about imagining yourself in a brainwashing chamber, lol. I possibly could, and certainly with headphones giving me the suggestion, imagine being brainwashed in on of those chambers. And yes, that appeals totally. But no, in the sense of healing my back, I just dont see it?

Is there anything else slightly weird, or just a little bit different that I could try too, or instead of them?

Just to add, that if anyone has any thoughts on the use of one of them, or both, or something else, please let me know here, or by email at stephmajor8@hotmail.com, or on the Social Media threads if you catch up with this at those places.

Fine, in the sense of having wanted to try them for years, and never got round to them, both appeal, the flotation tank, sensory deprivation thing especially, though to me, thats the least effective choice, but the kinkier one!

So, try one, try both, as I dont think I’ll find anyone who does acupuncture in a flotation tank, lol!

Right, video time. Lets go back to the acupuncture, and the very obvious song. Yes, the Bradford connection version!

 

LGBT United

I know, blog is supposedly a day late, sorry, and all that. But yes, I was busy yesterday, very sore when I got back, which is why you’re getting this tonight, as work was a no go today, but thankfully the hours from yesterday sort of make up for that.

Yesterday’s trip out actually began, and ended with something that was not out of the ordinary, Trans Pennine Express trains running very late, to, and from Manchester. If I say the departures/arrivals, the closest to punctuality was 7 minutes, you get my drift!

As stated in the previous blog, my first ever Civil Service Conference was related to LGBT issues, so no shock there. The toilets were strictly gender neutral, but yes, the women all stuck to the ladies, and the men to the gents side. Hardly surprising given we cant use urinals, lol! But a lovely gesture, all the same.

The first talk was a pair of people from the Welsh Government Civil Service, and their thriving LGBT section, and the work they do. Very good, very impressive, and just showed how much my department has to do if we’re going to get Stonewall awards too. Got some good tips about what we might want to do, at least.

Talking of Stonewall, our next speaker was actually representing them, giving us lots of useful information on what they do, what they can do to help us improve our diversity standings, and what we could get involved in, if we wanted to, which is probably more useful for London folk, than us a long way from town, but still stuff for us.

Then into the first panel discussion of the day, which was interesting to listen to, though you can never be sure if leaders are saying what they think, or what they think we want to hear? Probably just being cynical on that front, but I’ve been there so often in my life, probably just me jaded by bosses at my previous job, who wouldnt have known what Diversity & Inclusion was, if it had bitten them on their backsides!

After lunch we broke off into selected rooms, for various sessions. Firstly I went with my own department Pride group, who were looking for suggestions on ways to improve matters, both for members, and those of us on committees, and groups as well.

My second session was in the same room (tactical health planning, lol), and was 2 Team Leaders advising us on how they dealt with someone who transitioning in their section. Now, without wishing to show bias, I would say the TL’s at my place handled it with me in a far better way. Mind, I guess its easier when someone has already transitioned, not transitioning in that role, but anyway…

Lastly, I went to a heart rending session, which was a Trans male, writing to his younger self, about what was going to happen in the rest of his life. I could relate to this so easily, because other than a reversal of genders, it was pretty much my story too.

After that, a different panel, for another panel discussion, which summed up the day, and yes, confirmed what a great success it was. We had a good split on the LGBT rainbow, and allies there, which was a good sign. What I did realise, and that Stonewall had mentioned can be an issue, was just how ‘white’ the room was. Hopefully, the next time, assuming there is one (and there should be), we can get a little more widespread representation on that front at least.

But was it a worthwhile event, absolutely, and praise goes to all who helped to arrange it, especially Rachel, who did incredible stuff, just to get this on. Who knows, maybe the next time, I’ll be one of the speakers, or presenters, we will see. But put it this way, I will, if I can!

Oh, and if any readers came out yesterday, on ‘World Coming Out Day’, I say congratulations, and wish you well for your future.

OK, video time. Showing my age, as this is 48 years old! And before anyone says this isnt Brotherhood Of Man, because they know the Eurovision group, you’re right, this is an entirely different line up, but they predate the other line up by about 6 years, but given these were all session singers… they needed replacements, lol

 

No more doing the rock and roll

Oh fine, the title is a pure fix to tie into the video, let me say…looks angelic…

As regular readers will know, nowadays, I’ve got some major back issues, better known as a wedge fracture, care of osteoporosis. So yes, my dancing days are in theory over, though a certain ‘flapper’ might try and prove otherwise at the end of this month, though I wouldnt put good money on that, lol.

Saturday just happened to be one of those days when everything that could go wrong for my back, happened, so much so that by Saturday evening, getting home was enough of a challenge, let alone anything more. As for walking, yesterday morning, beyond a few steps, no chance. So, another day of sickness, but I couldnt have walked 50 yards to the bus stop here, let alone the 3/4 of a mile or so at the other end, to get to work, and then back.

Fortunately, today was an already booked physiotherapy session, so I decided to see what the experts said before doing anything too drastic about my body, though as always, if anyone wants to offer me a new, cybernetically enhanced body, try and stop me downloading into it!

Long, and short of it, I’ll live, and I will still be able to walk. There are some small issues further up the spine, which she puts down to my spine, and my body trying to compensate for the damaged section, and therefore hurting everything else. Nothing major at this point, but advised to be careful, and keep an eye on it too. I must admit, I pretty well wear the brace most of the time now, other than sleeping, advised that really ought to be a must now, so given I tend to do as I’m told… If someone fancies designing some sort of support I can wear while asleep, not too restrictive ideally, but supporting the back…? I know, it would get warm, but winter is coming, so…

OK, the amusing bit. Second part of the treatment is some device with a pair of electrode things placed on the back, in the area of the spine, to try and ease the inflammation. I’m told many people dont enjoy the treatment being done at more than 11 milliamps (mA), me today, I got up to 55mA, and was loving it! She tells me that one client has gone up to 100mA, but thats as high as she’s ever gone. Given not much more than that can be lethal, mmm. šŸ˜‰

Hopefully at some point, I do get to find if I do have an electro treatment limit that is non lethal, lol! I can definitely go up from 55mA, but by how much, no idea! I might have a bit more idea in 4 weeks time, I suspect! šŸ˜‰

So yes, how much longer the back will be up to much, I have no idea, but I’ll just take all the precautions I can, and see when I have to call it a day. Even more convinced now that I’m not going to make it working until retirement date at 66, for sure. Ah well…

So yes, I think my Charleston dancing days are probably over, darlings, let alone that new fangled rock and roll thing!

Right, video time. If you want the full, complex story about Rockpile, go look it up on Wikipedia. But basically, there were 2 singers in the group, both contracted to different record labels, so though technically they were a group (and played live together), in terms of music contracts, it was 2 solo artists. This song is one of the rarities, a song recorded by both Dave Edmunds, and Nick Lowe! This is the Lowe version, though Edmunds is most definitely in the video!

And just so I cant be accused of bias, the original Dave Edmunds version of same song