Fine, fooled you, everyone thinks they know the song, and you’re wrong! Right group mind, just wrong song!
Yesterday morning, as per normal on 4 days of the week nowadays, I set out for work. In terms of distance from home, the furthest I got was about 200 yards! The sad story of why, follows:
I got to the bus stop about my normal time, and waited for the bus to arrive. It didnt, but in all truth, given we’re talking about First buses, no great surprise there. The one thing I quickly realized was that no buses were going by, in either direction. About 30 minutes later, I was getting cold, damp, and sore, when someone checked on their phone, and discovered there’d been an accident between my home, and town, and no traffic was getting through. I did briefly consider just walking the 2 miles into town, getting the bus to work once there, and taking things from there. However, having stood around in said cold, damp weather for 30 minutes, my back objected to the idea, even wearing a brace.
So I went for Plan B, probably a wise starting point anyway, as I would have been pretty late for work, I came home and rung in. Thankfully, a combination of my bosses not thinking it was a wise idea for me to walk 2 miles with my back, in such weather, and the fact there was sufficient staff that day not to need me, I just took the day off, and stayed home. It did finally start to clear about 12.30 (over 3 hours later, 4 hours after accident), but by then, I was going nowhere.
Due to the wonders of the internet, I was able to track down what had happened, and where the accident was. Lets be honest, a horrible sight, as a BMW had crashed into a bus shelter that I’ve used many times when heading for the health center where I get my massages done, and when heading for Wakefield too. A link?
Sadly, late last night, its been announced that one young lady who was standing at the bus stop has died, the other woman there has had major surgery, and quite possibly wont be able to get around easily for about a year, possibly more. Yes, it makes you think, doesnt it? Just because the bus stop I use here has got ‘road bumps’ just before it, doesnt mean it couldnt happen to me. Other stops I use, no such thing, and then…?
I’m sure that at some point that more details of what caused it will come out, but nothing said as of yet. Was he speeding? Was he, heaven forbid, but possible, on his phone, and lost control? I know it shouldnt happen, but lets face it, it does!
Thankfully, all I lost was one day of work, or in a sense, one day of my holiday allowance, which I used to cover it. One poor family has lost a young lady, and another has got an older lady, whose life is going to be ruined for a year or so. Fact is, the next time, well, who knows?
Yes, you’ve worked out its an REM video, I’m sure. I’m only surprised I havent used it before, but seemingly not. I’ve no idea if the traffic in Huddersfield yesterday was as bad as this, but…?
As I mentioned a couple of months back, I had actually managed to build up the funds to pay for my holiday next May, and at that point, normally I would pay for it, get the whole matter sorted, and in this case, look forward to Seattle. But yes, there was one thought nagging at the back of my head about whether the body was up to a West Coast flight, and stay in a hotel, given the state of my back. In truth, my biggest concern wasnt the length of the flight, though that doesnt fill me with joy, it was the idea that if I stay in a hotel, I will be expected to get out, at least for a while each day, and I had no idea how that was going to work out. In truth, in a sense, I still dont, as of course, I dont go out every day, just 4 days a week, and even then, the 2 days in a row leaves me a bit sore, let alone 7! In truth, I think the public transport is probably a bigger issue than the work, and walking around, though most likely, its a combination of all those things.
But equally, I said that, in January, I’d have to make a decision on the matter, and its now January! In truth, Thomas Cook have sort of twisted my arm by having a sale at present, so it makes sense to get in during that, if I’m going for it. Given that the back doesnt seem to have deteriorated further, I’ve decided to give it a go, and see what happens. Crazy? Yes, maybe, but if I dont try it, I’ll never know. Its not like I dont know I cant do a US flight, I did one with same issue in September! But that was East Coast, not West, a whole lot shorter flight.
Even more so, given that flying out, I will need to travel all the way down to Los Angeles, and then fly back up to Seattle. Thankfully, coming back, its a direct flight. Yes, Thomas Cook only start their new direct flight service that weekend unfortunately, or I could have done it both ways. I would love to have flown out via Las Vegas (gentler route on back, and would allow me to add Nevada to my States visited list, earlier arrival too), but thats £50 extra, and thats an extra too far on my new budget restrictions lol!
One thing I do know, that will be the only trip to the US this year, for sure. Yes, the second trip was always an interesting (but doable) budget challenge when on a 5 day working week, but on 4, impossible. Possibly for the better, less strain on the back, and all that, but sad news, all the same. I’ll do something in September, only over here, and just for a few days instead.
But yes, I’ve decided I will throw my back into the unknown, and hope it doesnt fail me!
The amusing, and some might say, annoying thing about my planned hotel is that as a ‘group member’ I get a discounted rate. Whats annoying about that you’re probably asking? Well, its the fact I can get said discounted rate for a standard room, but not an accessible one! Fine, I probably dont really need it, but extra mobility room, and a suitably designed bathroom might have been handy. But again, $17 per night, for 8 nights, just to get that, I dont think so!
So now, once the money has been transferred, I can get it all booked, and get my wheelchair rides booked! Yes, this time, no qualms about doing that lol, I am officially disabled, though thankfully just mildly!
If anyone knows anyone in the Seattle/Seatac area that I can use as a ‘support’ during my stay, I’d love to know. Positive I wont need it, but just handy to know that if one day I need a little assistance, its only a call away! I know, but no harm in asking?
Right, video time. As so often with me, big clue in the blog title!
In truth, when I look back on most of the things I’ve done in my life, there are numerous things that I’ve done to a decent level, without really excelling at anything. Acting, writing, playing various sports, all of which I’ve done to a reasonable level, without ever getting to exciting levels of skill. Among those sports, I would mainly rate athletics, cricket, golf, and darts as the best. There were a couple of others that I could get by at, but was never going to represent anyone at, so lets ignore them for now.
Oh fine, of those, I’d probably most love to think I could have made it in acting, or writing, but in truth, I probably reached, or nearly reached my mark. Acting probably is the one I could have done more, but more like Clara Johnson, than Jean Harlow, I doubt I would ever have made it big. Ah well, but as that isnt what this blog is about…
I had played darts a few times before I moved to Somerset in 1983, but it more related to throwing 3 darts in a board back then, and hoping they went roughly where I wanted them to go! But anyway, one of my shop customers (a lovely gentleman) was determined I wasnt going to just spend all my off time back at my lodgings, but get me out a bit. One of the things we did was go to Bingo, though in truth it was probably more a chance for both of us just to get out and have some fun, than anything else. The other thing he got me into, was darts. There was a pub next to his office, and on a Saturday night, before he went home, he tended to drop in there for a drink or two, play a few games of darts, then get a takeaway meal, and go home. I got talked into going along after I finished work as well.
I got talked into joining in, though at first I was pretty terrible. But as with so many things, if you practice, you get better, and I did! Thats when I found out he played in a couple of local leagues, so I went to those, and in one at least, started to play. No, I didnt become an overnight world beater, I was still pretty moderate, but the aim got better, the scoring, and double hitting improved. I even got decent enough to play 2nd Division County Super League in time! As I say, decent, without being great.
OK, the link between this, and tonight. On a number of those Saturday’s, a well known darts player would turn up at the pub, join in with the social fun, and all that. Normally we all played that the winner stayed on the board, but he always only played so many games before standing down. Why, you ask? Because that player was Mike Gregory, a professional darts player of the time, who in fact played in the World Championship Final in 1992. In that final, he lost to the new ‘big thing’, a player named, yes, you’ve guessed it, Phil Taylor!
Tonight, in one of the versions of the 2017 World Championship finals, Taylor is playing his last match before retirement! He has, in all, won 16 World titles, and could well make it 17 tonight! Dont get me wrong, by all reports, he’s not the nicest man to know, but I guess to some degree, anyone as driven to win as him is unlikely to be that friendly to others, part of the game, I guess? But yes, for one man to so dominate his sport for 25 years, an amazing achievement.
So no, I’ve never known what its like to play sport at a top level (School county championships, 2 sports, best I’ve done), and certainly wont now, so have no idea what that pressure is like. Nor have I appeared on a really big stage, so never known it as an actor either. But yes, I know what it takes to get that far, and I admire those who do.
So enjoy your retirement Mr Taylor, and thanks for lots of amazing darts memories.
Tonights video. Well, I thought his walk on song to be the obvious one. Not a song I’m a fan of, but could hardly not use it, could I?
Well, if anyone was expecting something Halloween related today, you’re going to be disappointed. Thats because today, thanks to a friend telling me, its the 500th anniversary of the day when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Well supposedly is, there is some feeling that it didnt actually happen, but 500 years on, proving it, or disproving it is nigh impossible, so lets just accept it for now. But yes, regardless of how it was done, it happened, and the Roman Catholic Church, which had reigned supreme in Europe until then, got a nasty surprise! Yes, the Reformation era had begun.
I’m not going to go through the whole history of everything, my knowledge isnt all that great, and Wikipedia can tell you all you need to know in truth, far better than I can. Equally, lets just say he wasnt perfect. He was anti Semitic, no fans of Muslim people either, but of course, 500 years on, trying to define on what led to those feelings, who knows?
My religious upbringing was a complex one. My Father was of Irish, Roman Catholic ancestry, my Mother came from Irish, Protestant ancestry! How they got together, who knows? All I know is that my Mother had to become Catholic to allow them to be married, but whether matters have changed in the 70 years (nearly) since then, I have no idea. All it meant was that for the first 10 years of my life, I went to a Catholic Church, and indeed, as I was trying to be a boy back then, I even served as an altar boy. Then my father left my mother, and I stopped going to a Catholic Church, and ‘changed teams’ lol. Then somewhere around 16, I left school, and slowly, but steadily, I stopped going to church every week. For a few years, I still went from time to time, but by the time I moved to Somerset in 1983, I’d stopped altogether. I was still Christian, you understand, just not a church going one!
And in truth, thats pretty much where I’ve stayed from that day, until then. I went a few times at Christmas in the past, but other than that, no. And yes, they were all definitely Church of England, not Roman Catholic. The last time I went to church, for a service, was at a Reformed Church, in Albany, to hear said friend preach, and to enjoy the whole service. Since then…
No, I have no time for those ‘fire and brimstone’, so called Christian Preachers in the US. Not that they would have any time for a bi, trans woman anyway, but thats beside the point. I did actually, when in Seattle in 2003, get invited to a service, not realizing it was going to be one of that type of preacher. I had to stifle several giggles, as he proceeded to say terrible things about Gay people during his sermon, I must say. No, the person who invited me didnt know at the time, nor did I tell him afterwards. The amusing thing was, that this preacher was quite keen to help me find a job over there, and that as far as he was concerned, the immigration issues could soon be got around, by his friends. No, I never did take up that offer, never saw him again. In fact I was offered other jobs while out there, but I said no, thinking I wanted to come back to the UK. What would have happened if I’d accepted, I will now never know.
But yes, October 31st may be famous for being Halloween, but its also Reformation Day, and this year, even more so, its 500 years since that incredible moment, for Luther, and history.
The video, yes, I spent at least 15 seconds choosing this one lol. Though my blog title might be more apt today?
Oh fine, there I was wondering what I was going to write about tonight, and then along came this piece of news, solved the issue. Fine, there might be a few that wish I didnt have this to write about, but hey, he was 91, so…
As someone old enough (just about) to have lived through the whole of the 60’s, its fair to say that Hugh Hefner, and the whole Playboy thing left its mark on me over the years. I do wonder what it was like back then, wearing the whole bunny outfit while working in a club, but of course, I never got to know. Nor now, regardless, am I ever likely to find out, even if I did get a certain issue sorted out! Age counts me out now, if nothing else! No one would certainly want a bunny when she’s 60 lol!
But yes, if I ever got the chance, I would! Before anyone says that Hefner used women for his own purpose only, then fine, maybe to some degree, he did. But as far as I know, all those girls that worked as Bunnies, or Playboy models knew what they were doing, or were willing to take the money to do it, regardless. So yes, they might have been used to some degree, but they used the men who enabled them to be paid to do it in the first place!
However, lets have a look at a different side of Hefner that not many people know about. This is the Hefner that helped to preserve vintage movies, both silent, and those made soon after, so that generations like us would be able to see them. What he also did, was make documentaries covering the career, and lives of many of those early actors, and actresses that we would probably not know, or barely know today, but for him. So for that at least, many of us owe him a great deal of thanks for a matter entirely not related to the whole Playboy franchise.
So, rest in peace, Mr Hefner, and be proud of what you’ve done. Apart from the movie things, he probably played an indirect part in liberating women back in the 60’s, proving there was more to life than just getting married, and having babies, or a boring little job, or whatever. If you had the go, and the gumption, he gave girls the chance to become famous. Maybe the bunny outfit wasnt the greatest office wear, but in terms of allowing some women to express themselves…
Goes off to wiggle my cute bunny tail, I wish!
The video, well there’s a clue in the title at least, and I guess it wouldnt take too much effort to change the lyrics to fit, lol…
No, if you think I’m wearing a yellow polka dot bikini, you’re going to be disappointed! Not even post surgery, if/ when it happens, lol! 😛 But the video, well, maybe…?
Fine, after the deservedly serious nature of Monday’s blog, lets get a little more fun, if only to allow me to let off some steam.
One issue I have with standard swimsuits for women, and the cut of them, is the fact that they really arent designed for pre-op Trans women, lets face it. Fine if there is only me, or people who know, and no one else, but otherwise, some might object lol! Me, in an ideal world, I’d go with the burkini, because it hides all issues quite nicely, and besides which, I love the design of them. But yes, for a white Trans woman, I’m just concerned that it might cause more issues than its worth, if I got one. And before anyone says anything, I’d be more concerned about white right wing men, than I would from Muslims! Sad, but true.
So in truth, I’d pretty much given up on the whole idea of swimming, or even wearing a swimsuit ever again, but then along came my back issue, that you already know about. Lets face it, one gentle form of exercise that would do me good, involves swimming, or even just walking across swimming pools full of water, working against my back.
Now in a perfect world (joke), some surgeon would immediately offer to remove, err the obstacle to wearing a swimsuit, with no recovery issues whatsoever. In a practical world, it would take time to arrange, and post surgery, it would be a while before you swam again!
There is however, one intermediate option, to get a swimsuit with a skirt! It enables me to swim as a woman, the skirt will hide the obvious issue, sounds good? So yes, I’ve ordered one today. Just hope it arrives before I fly out on holiday, as that will be a good time to wear it. Not just in water, but if I’m relaxing outside, at the place where I’m staying with my friend, if the weather is decent, then perfect! I have another friend (the one getting married) who would probably get me in water too, but I suspect we wont have the time. I suspect the Friday will be lively, in preparation, and I think she should have other plans for the Sunday than me! Then on the Monday, its back to NYC, and home. So…?
So yes, if you’re on Cape Cod in a fortnights time, and see a middle aged woman relaxing, in a cute swimsuit, complete with skirt, it might just be me! Well, unless someone wants to buy me a burkini, because then…? 😉 Just hope it arrives in time now!
OK, video time. Yes, its the obvious song from the title, but not the obvious version. Sorry, Brian Hyland, but… This version actually topped the charts here in the UK in 1990, and its just one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, so apologies!
Who, me, would never do such a thing! Its funny, at the time when various firms either said I hadnt got the job for the most tenuous reason, or more likely, never bothered to contact me at all, I might have got angry about it, but in truth, now, I’m very grateful that they did! Because, in truth, after about 15 months (from being made redundant, to hearing I’d got the job) of effort, I struck gold!
Great place to work, interesting job, plenty of great workmates who dont care if I’m trans woman, natural woman, or whatever. I swear that if I did actually turn up as a fully chromed robot, as long as I was happy with that, they’d be fine for me. They also dont seem to care if I get my ‘bits’ bobbed or not, as long as its my decision. I’m just treated as a woman in that place, and its wonderful.
You might ask why I’m writing all this today? Well, there is a simple, but good reason, it was on 22nd August, 2016 that I first walked into my new place of employment, as a worker, for the first time, and as they say, the rest is history! As I see it, hopefully, body permitting (and thats questionable at present?), its 1 year down, just over 6 and a half to go, as thats the date I’m due for retirement from the work force, as things stand. I know one or two saying that retirement at that point is purely optional, and I might have a think at the time, as 7 months later than that date, would mark the 50th anniversary of my first official job! As I say, I dont think it will be all my choice, or down to my physical health by then?
Seriously, the only thing that will have me leaving, of my own choice now, is the sort of acting role that I couldnt say no to, and there might be a few of them lol, though probably not offered to me! But fine, if it happens…I might try to make an arrangement for after the dream is over, lol!
No, I’m not going to pick out any names, too many lovely people to do anything like that. But this ‘old crock’ just wants to show her appreciation, not only for the lovely way I get treated at work generally, but the quickly obliging way things happened, when (hopefully just for 12 weeks) I had to cut my workload, things got sorted out, just like that!
So yes, to all those places who turned me down for a job with them, in hindsight, thank you so much! I just wish it didnt take 17 months, from being made redundant, to starting to work there, but maybe these things are meant to be?
If you havent worked out the video from the title, I’m shocked! Though its not the original one, a more recent live one from Noel Gallagher instead.
Well, indirectly, though they wont know about it at the time,yes, they will.
Assuming that the fairly obvious is correct, and after the bone density scan, they do decide that my issue with my back is osteoporosis related, there are a couple of fairly obvious supplements I could be given to try and ease, and hopefully cure the issue, to some degree at least. One is calcium supplements, which would help to strengthen the bone, which I’m pretty sure is needed. The other one, and more relevant to this blog, is (o)estrogen supplements, as would be given to menopausal women under these circumstances. Yes, I’m sort of doing the double spelling thing here, as both options seem equally used, though I will settle for the estrogen version from now on, when writing this. In fact, its quite possible, and some say quite likely that I will get both!
One thing I’ve always said is that if the situation arose, where I felt the need, or desire to have the actual Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), then I would get it done. In truth, the main reason I’ve put myself off it, is the surgery issue, I’m not one of those people who love pain, in that sense at least! So given I have no sexual desires, and no partner, or potential partner who wants to get close in that way with me, I’ve passed on the matter, up to now.
But yes, I have had a think about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if a doctor, or group of doctors think I should be on estrogen supplements, then maybe I should take that as a hint that I really ought to take that last step to womanhood after all. I know, its still going to hurt, but I’m not sure it could be much more hellish than the pain I went through before getting on serious painkillers for the fracture in my back. And hey, lets face it, if anyone ever actually enters my new vagina sexually, I will be amazed. But yes, going to meet my maker, as a proper woman, it would be nice, I must admit.
But equally, I’m not going to be the one that actually makes the decision for me, as in truth, I’ve got a life now that suits me fine. All my paperwork says I’m a woman, and thats the main thing for me, but all the same…? So yes, if I get put on estrogen supplements, for my osteoporosis, I’m going to take that as a signal from a doctor, or ‘higher person’ that I really ought to become a woman for real. I know, a proper get out, but at least this way, I know its destiny, if it happens, which is fine by me.
I suspect its fair to say that therefore, a number of people will be hoping that the doctors do decide to put me on estrogen, so I go ahead and do it. There might be one or two hoping otherwise, but I suspect the vast majority who know me, and know about me would love to see me do it. Hell, I’d probably be glad I did it, after its done, but just at the moment, yes, the pain issue concerns me!
But yes, if in about 6 weeks time, or so, I announce that the decision is estrogen supplements for me, and I try to get out of this, dont let me! An angel will have contemplated my fate, made that decision for me, so…it will be done! Mind, unless someone wants to pay for me to do it privately, the length of time it might take on the NHS, well who knows when it will actually happen lol?
Oh fine, I might have given a couple of clues to the video here. This is a delightful live version, from the concert in Manchester that happened after the awful events there at a concert earlier this year.
One thing I’ve often heard said by disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs, is that a large number of people either tend to look away, or look over them, trying to pretend they’re not really there. In honesty, I’ve got to the point where I nearly always try to acknowledge them, even if only briefly in passing, simply to prove that I do know they’re there, and are happy to be seen with them.
The other group of people that I always try to acknowledge in a friendly way, are Muslim women wearing either the Niqab, or occasionally the Burqa, simply to show that I want to be friendly, and supportive of them, unlike sadly too many people nowadays. One thing I enjoy about Bradford is that nearly everybody I see, if not approving of such wear, at least doesnt react in a bad way. Mind, that might be because I only really see it being worn in the city center, though hopefully not the case.
But until now at least, the one thing I’ve never discovered is what life is like on the other side of the issue. Yes, I’d be fascinated to know what life is like inside of the Niqab, or Burka, and show my support for Muslim women who wear it that way, but I suspect its too complex a religious matter for it to ever happen. But yes, it would be both fascinating, and probably informative to spend a day wearing the Niqab, and seeing how people react to those wearing it. Probably only brave enough to do it somewhere like Bradford, or similar community, if going out, but as a whole, just seeing what life dressed like that would be a fascinating experience, and probably one that if more people tried it, we might have a lot less religious issues in the world too.
Yes, I am saying that if someone offers me the chance to wear Niqab, or Burka, either privately, or outside, then I would love to do it. And if it can be done in a way that brings up positive publicity for Muslim women, then so much the better!
Equally, fortunately, up to now, I’ve never known what its like to spend time in a wheelchair. I must have done as a child, when my knees were wrecked at the age of 9 or 10, but you dont expect me to remember that, do you? But at least on that point, in 5-6 weeks time, I’m going to get to see how people react to me in a wheelchair. Will they look me in the face, and be supportive, or will they try to pretend I’m not really there, hmm?
Yes, I have to be practical about my flights in a few weeks time. Currently I can walk to a pretty reasonable degree, and I can sit down without too many pain issues, though how much of that is currently clouded by painkillers, I have no idea! However, the one thing I cant do at present for more than a few minutes, is stand still. And yes, while the check in queue, and the security check queue will require some standing in line, you usually move along at regular intervals, which may, or may not be sufficient for my back not to lock up completely. However, when it comes to the queue at Boston, to go through Immigration principally, and Customs to a lesser degree, is that you tend to stand in 1 place, in a queue, for far longer than that. Now it is possible that in 5 weeks time, my back may be less of an issue, but until I’m on proper medication, I wouldnt like to bank on that. Even if on proper medication, I dont want to be confident on that, and not sure we will reach that point in 5 weeks, anyway.
So yes, today I’ve bitten the bullet (you have to give a minimum of 2 weeks warning, but being realistic, I’m not going to improve dramatically in 3 weeks), and requested assistance from the airline for my travels through the airports. Yes, I know I need it, but that doesnt stop the guilt factor, when I can walk reasonably well, but thats just my nature, I guess?
But yes, it will be fascinating to see how ‘fit people’ react to this ‘poor old lady’ in a wheelchair, I must say. So yes, if on 9th September, at Manchester Airport (or Boston later that day), you see a middle aged lady in a wheelchair, be nice to her, it might just be me! Yes, same plan booked for JFK flying back on evening of 18th, just saying…I wonder?
Right, video time. No, I have no plans to be wearing this while sat in my wheelchair, though it might be fun if I was! But yes, feel free to look at me, all the same!
I must admit, I think that nowadays there is a mass over abundance of ‘days’ for various things, varying from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. For me, this falls somewhere in between.
For reasons best known to others, and not to me, today seemingly is Yorkshire Day, and given thats where I live, and work, it would be remiss not to mention it. No, I have no idea why the 1st August was chosen for this, if there is any special significance, or it was just picked at random, just because…?
I spent the first few years of my life intermittently in Yorkshire, given my father was in the Navy, and based at Chatham Dockyard (down south, lol), but then when I was about 3, or 4, the family moved down to Kent officially, and that was that! Which sadly explains my accent, in that my educative years, I was developing a Southern accent, not a Yorkshire one, as I should have done!
And then finally, about 43 years or so later, I finally became a Yorkshire resident again, after all that time, and addresses all over the country. No, I’m not saying I’m not moving away ever again, because lets face it, if I got the chance to move to LA, I’d probably leap at the chance! Or indeed, work in the US for a while, which is less likely at my age, but who knows?
But for now, I’ll stay in my home county, and see where the rest of life takes me, I guess? But I suspect, unless something amazing happens in my life, its probably where it will end too. Ironically, no, I wasnt actually born in the county. My parents were down south when I decided it was time to be born, so my passport actually has me born in Kent. But in every other sense, I’m a Yorkshire lass, and proud of it.
Right, video time. Had to be a Yorkshire artist tonight, didnt it? Probably not the most famous one of all time, but I love the feel of the video, so went with this one regardless.