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.
But I dont drive an Ice Cream van. Sadly, I suspect the vast majority of my readers wont get that comment at all, at least not until they click on one of the videos! Yes, a bonus blog, though sadly, not for a good reason, just that my back is living up to the title of the blog, nothing more.
Its fair to say that for far too many years, I’ve suffered with intermittent back issues, mainly of the joints locking up type, probably related to the amount of arthritic joints I have, to various degrees, and my back is one of the longer term ones. Normally it will hurt for about 24-48 hours max, and then return to a level that I can cope with, even if some might not call it comfortable. But yes, when you’ve had joint issues, and aches since the age of 10, you get used to it.
Snag is, this time around, its been about 7-10 days! Most of that time, its been in the range where I could ‘just about’ get to and from work, and do a day at work, but the last couple of days, not so good. So I finally had to wave the white flag, and take time off work with it. Today, firstly, that involved a trip to the Doctors surgery, to seek medical advice. I know, appointment on the same day, wow! Yes, it was the Surgery nurse, but in truth, thats all I really needed.
Fine, fun moment, she couldnt find me on the records. It is actually my first visit under my new name, but under 3 guises, I’ve been registered there since 2005. Even trying under the old names, no joy. Anyway, to cut it short, some hydro-cortisonal cream, and painkiller prescriptions later, and a form to go and get my back X-Rayed at the hospital (which will be tomorrow morning), I was off again. Yes, I had one of those ‘How much?’ moments with 2 prescription items, but I guess if you only buy these things once every eternity, its not too bad, I guess?
After that, was the work related Occupational Health appointment over the phone, explaining everything again, letting them know what had been prescribed, and said X-Ray screening, their advice was to do all that, and to stay off work until next Monday, and hope its cleared by then. Yes, I hope its cleared by then, too! So a call to work to update them on everything, then start to use the cream. Yes, it has a mild steroid count, so thats my Olympics career over, lol! It was anyway, but…
I guess the results of the X-rays will be interesting, though I suspect at fast approaching 60, a lot of my issues are just down to my age? But fine, I have to say it, if they find something that needs surgery, at least it will take the choice over the matter out of my hands, which has to be good? Osteoporosis? Why not, I seem to have suffered several ‘woman’ issues over the years, so it wouldnt totally surprise me! But generally, yes, I’m just ancient!
Which leads us to the videos tonight. Yes, 2 of the same song, but very different stylings. Firstly, the full length version, which presumably was the one used on the album?
Secondly, a version of the same song, but so different to the original, and probably not so often heard. No Tammy Wynette, but otherwise…
Oh, and lastly, if I do need surgery, can I please, please have a new internal body system like this one?
I guess its a natural tendency of the internet world, that we have friends, who we have never met, are never likely to meet, but at the same time, love dearly, and enjoy what they do. Tonight’s piece is about one of those people, someone named Betsy. Well, fine, I know her as Betsy, but whether that’s her real name, I have no idea. What I do know, is that she is a great writer, and I’m thrilled to be an online friend of hers, even if it never goes further than that.
Anyway, just over a week ago, she sent me a piece for approval. Not because it mentioned my name, let alone my full name, but fine, to anyone in the mind control story writing field, they’d know it was about me! I did object to the name she’d used for me. Fine, Seraphina might be a lovely name to some, but doesnt work for me. So I offered a few options to her as alternatives, and she decided on Maria. Yes, Metropolis robot connection, very apt for me. So last night, I found this on the archive update:
Yes, any resemblance to me would be entirely deliberate, I’m sure. In truth, Wakefield indoor market used to be one of my favorite places to shop, but I havent been over that way in over 2 years, and I know it was threatened with closure at one point, so I have no idea if its still there or not? In her defence, I have my doubts that Betsy has been there, but hey, I wrote a story about Hollywood before I went there, and another involving ECT, without having had the treatment lol!
No, for those that dont know already, I’m not telling you my author name there, though if you want to know, ask. Maybe that can get my ‘stalker’ in the US to write to me, if they’re curious lol!
No, I dont know how like Rhia that Betsy is. Nor I suspect will I ever know, for sure. But the little I know about her from our writings to each other, I think I would say, yes, there is plenty of Betsy in her! Though I should add, as far as I know, she doesnt control minds! But seriously, anyone who can use Letsby Avenue as an address in a story (think about it), is someone I love, in that non physical sense at least!
So yes, Betsy, I may, or may not ever meet you, but one thing is for sure, stories like this will always guarantee you a special place in my heart, all the same.
OK, the video. Big clue in the title, I guess? But no, its not the version you’d probably expect of an old wrinkly like me, its the Fugees version. I have no idea why I like this so much, but I do. Mind control, hmm?
One issue I have found over the years when trying to arrange, or pay for things in the US, is that so many companies, and websites are just not designed for dealing with someone who isnt in North America. I’ve tried to buy things through websites over there, but unless your credit card details have a zip code, that you cant use them. Some, like AT&T have given me work arounds, that using 00000 as a zip code will work on their sites, and some others.
Other times I’ve tried that, no joy! The funniest thing was once when I was ordering a food delivery over there, tried to do it on their website, no joy. Rang up, they settled it, some way or another, no idea how. Another time I rang up, only to be told that I couldnt purchase what I wanted, because I didnt have a US address, no way, no how!
Recently I found out that its not only credit cards that cause issues with US firms. On my 2 previous trips to LA, I’ve used a company called Prime Time Shuttle to get me to, and from where I have been staying in Hollywood, ordering it online, no issues whatsoever. Anyway, somewhere in the last 18 months they’ve changed their site to something that I assume is more tablet/cell phone friendly, as a lot of sites seem to have done of late. Generally I tend to find these sites less laptop/PC friendly, which is what I use of course, but I survive all the same.
No, the snag is now, that before they will take a booking from you, they have to send you an authentication code to your cell phone. Even ignoring the fact that I dont have one over here, I certainly dont have a US one, as indeed anyone travelling from Europe, to LA would be in the same position. So yes, you’ve guessed it, I cant do a booking with them. I actually checked, to see if I had a UK cell phone, if I could get the code that way, but no, it could only be sent to a North American phone anyway! Fine, I have a way around it, by using a friend, while on Facebook messenger, get the code sent to her, she pass it on to me, and then… But seriously, should it come down to doing something like that, just to make a booking for a shuttle?
There is also an alternate company I can use, without the same issue, though of course I have no idea how reliable they are? I’d rather use Prime Time, who I know are reliable, but equally why should I support a company that doesnt seem to realize that people from outside the US would like to book with them? Or that there are still people in the world who feel no desire to own a cell phone! 😛
Of course, if anyone wants to solve the issue for me, by picking me up from LAX, late afternoon on 17th May, and get me to my apartment in Hollywood, then let me know! It would cost me about $25-30 by shuttle, so happy to pay that amount to anyone doing the same job for me, and saving me the whole US company insularity issue! Return trip would be early afternoon of the 27th if anyone wants to offer that too, same arrangement!
Shout here, on Facebook or Twitter (if seeing this there) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if a willing chauffeur. Sorry, I’m not yet a movie star, but maybe one day lol…?
Video, a take your pick moment, from one of my favorite LA groups. First one is a live performance from Hollywood Forever cemetery in 2013. Seriously, if you havent been there, and get the chance to, its a must, especially if you like seeing the last resting place of movie stars, including Valentino!
This version is a symphonic version of the same song, which I love, but naturally, no live performances this way!