Category Archives: Abba

Saturday everywhere, when all is said, and done

Let me say that tonight, you’re getting a bonus, of sorts. Yes, 2 blogs tonight, but neither of them actually written tonight. This is the one I wanted to post last night, but wanted to do at least 1 blog without politics, but its too important not to post it tonight, so…

Right wingers, look away now!

So fine, its happened, Trump is now President. The world hasnt ended yet, though I have little faith that given 4 years minimum in charge, he might try for that yet. Yes, I deliberately set out to avoid all coverage of the Inauguration, though with a combination of being at work when it happened, and avoiding the news channels since then, its not one of the harder challenges I’ve faced. Irony is, I remember a time when there were 2 channels on the TV over here (the 3rd began in 1967), and it would have been on the news on both here, if not a live broadcast!

I think most here know I’m not a Trump fan already, but equally, not a Clinton one either. I suspect if Sanders, or Biden had been the Democratic candidate, we may not be in the position we are now, but we will never know? As is the way with so many fake news websites nowadays, I have no idea how many people attended the Inauguration. I’ve seen tiny crowds in pictures, but I’m told there were more than that, though not as many as either of Obama’s, but anyway…

Today, what was initially planned as one protest about Trump, and his sexist, racist ways was meant to happen in Washington. Indeed, probably has already happened, but I’m still on news avoidance at present lol! But there hasnt been just one protest, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, all around the world. Probably not in Moscow, mind, but fine, thats getting sarcastic, so…

I’d love to think these protests will make a difference, but in truth, Trump is such an egotist, and his friends on the ‘religious right’ are so oppressive towards women, and other minorities, I doubt it will. Great shame, but being realistic… Still, for now at least, I can hope! To counter that, some people have over reacted to matters, and lets see what actually comes about before screaming louder.

To which: Yesterday evening (my time), and today, there have been numerous people complaining about the pages taken down from the White House website. Yes, the ones concerning, LGBT, Climate Change and Disabled being the main ones noted. Thing is, they dont remember, or dont want to remember that the same thing happened 8 years ago, when Obama came to power, they archive off the previous presidents work. And expecting Trump to have people in place to put them back up, with his opinions, oh please. Fine, the fact that he hasnt even started on replacing all the Ambassadors is beside the point, and probably of as much concern. In truth, he wants the power, without the hard work involved, and everyone else (but his wealthy friends) will suffer accordingly.

So no, I’m not saying those things will go back on the website, but he needs to be given time to do so. Hopefully not 3 years, 364 days, though with him, that wouldnt surprise me! But when all is said and done, USA, he’s your President (unless impeached, or resigns) for at least 4 years, we just have to survive that time as best we can.

The video, one of those last Abba songs, from 1981, very poignant, very sad, but possibly very apt at the moment.

Going head over heels

So fine, let me just say before I get started, that in an ideal world, I’d be covering the women’s protests today, but after 3 political postings, that might be pushing my luck too far, especially if I do happen to have any right wing readers here, so lets give it a miss, and settle for a short piece about why you’re getting a blog on a Saturday, when you wouldnt normally!

Thursday evening, as seems far too often the case with First buses of late, the 8.12 from Bradford was running late. Badly enough that I thought I would have missed my normal bus home, but thankfully not late enough (unlike twice in the last couple of weeks), that I would at least get a bus that runs 12 minutes after that is due into Huddersfield, if I ran. So I did!

In fact (unfortunately as it happens), my normal bus hadnt gone, despite being nearly 5 minutes late, though ironically the one after it (there are three buses in about 6 minutes, then nothing for 30. Yes, you tell me, though they go in different directions after getting out of town) had already gone. So I increased my speed, as much as a woman of my age can do (which isnt much!) to try and get it.

What I didnt notice until I was pretty much on top of them, was a group of roughly dressed, very drunk men stood at one of the interim bus shelters. So fine, I moved out slightly to avoid them. Snag was, as I was going past, one moved across towards me, and the next thing I knew, I felt my ankle tapped, and the inevitable happened, I went forward, less than gracefully, landing on the pavement with a thump. One of the others, to be fair, did ask if I was OK, but given it was his friends that had done it, I gave him nothing more than a glare.

I tried to get up, and to my delight, I could. My left knee was tender, my right knee hurt like hell, but I could walk. Thankfully, the bus driver had waited for me, so I got to the bus, got on board, and got home. In truth, the right knee didnt look as bad as I thought it might, but it wasnt a pretty sight, all the same. Dave helped to patch me up, took one of the painkillers I had in my bag, and survived.

Yesterday, given the fact I could walk of sorts, and I could flex my knee of sorts, I did what I typically do under those circumstances, I went to work. Yes, it still hurt a lot, but I had some mobility, so…in truth, I’d decided I’d get the bus into town, see how that went, and then take the next step from there. Seeing I hadnt ‘broken down’ completely, I carried on.

Fine, in these days of social media, a few people already knew by the time I got to work. I reported that in the 0.001% chance of a fire alarm going off, I wasnt going to be able to do the stairs on my own, fine! In truth, when I didnt have to move, it wasnt too bad, but everytime I had to stand up, sit down, and the like, yes, it hurt, a lot! So, after much discussion about work today, mainly involving whether it was the best thing to do, I agreed on a compromise. I didnt want to take it off as sick leave, because as things were at the time, I could get to work, I could do my work, but it wasnt easy! Equally, I didnt want to wake myself up at 6.00 this morning, find out the knee was in no fit state to go to work, and not be able to get back to sleep.

So fine, compromise. I had built up a little bit of flexi time at work, so I took today off against that. Fine, I am now behind slightly, but I will catch up in time, might just take a few weeks. In truth, by now, tonight, it might be starting to improve. And yes, it probably wasnt bad enough that I couldnt have gone to work today, if I had to. But sense prevailed, and I never had to ask myself that question!

Let me lastly add, for those thinking otherwise, this was not a Trans related incident. I heard one of them (probably my assailant) say something about a lady running as I started to pass them, and it just developed from there. No, they just thought it was smart to trip up a running lady, for the fun of it! And people wonder why I dont fancy men lol! No, I know, most men wouldnt do that, but…

Right, as songs, and videos by Abba go, this is one of the lesser known, later songs. Doesnt make it a bad song, just saying…?

Gimme, gimme, gimme a greedy landlord!

So yes, firstly to confirm, I do have somewhere to stay in Hollywood, its just not where I expected it to be! Landlord greed, which backfired on him badly. What would you rather have, £747 for a booking 4 months in advance, or nothing because seeing someone wanted to book your place, you hike up your rates 15%!

For those who dont know, when you try to book somewhere on Airbnb, you end up having to request the apartment, and it gives the landlord 24 hours to accept, or reject, or whatever. So yes, given I’d been told which place to book, and that he’d love to have me stay, I thought this would be a formality, but wrong. He just ignored it for the 24 hours, much to my surprise. Until…

Before I went looking elsewhere, under the circumstances, I sent a line to check why he hadnt taken the booking. Back came a reply saying that seeing he was starting to get interest, he wanted to raise the prices slightly. Fine, it was near the top of the range where the apartment option was only slightly cheaper than the budget hotel, but fair enough. A couple of days later, I checked again, to find out the price had gone up by 15%! Despite a request to let me know when he’d done it, I’d heard nothing! So funnily enough, I’ve gone elsewhere! I know, in town, he’ll probably get others who will pay the new rate, but seriously…!

In a matter of irony, I went and looked again. Now, whether this was down before because of a request, or whether he’d taken it down while he did something with his ad, or whether I had just been blonde, but who knows? OK, it doesnt look quite as nice as the other one, but it looks fine, its in an area I know (Just slightly further down towards town in Hollywood Hills area, and quite a bit cheaper! So yes, I applied, got accepted, and am now sorted! The other guy, well fine, serve him right if no one books it, but I doubt that will happen!

Now all I need to sort out, nearer the time, is my ESTA clearance, my travel insurance, and my shuttle. And then, California, here I come!

The video, some live Abba, for which the clue is in the blog title!

Its time to make your mind up

And to think, at one point I was working out what I was going to blog today, and then I realised what was happening later today, Eurovision! Apologies to any North American readers seeing this, you wont have a clue what you’re missing out on. Mind, nowadays, thats probably for the best. Or is that just because I’m getting old lol?

At this point in time, I have no idea what year I first saw Eurovision. I’m guessing somewhere mid 60’s, but its the old story of, did I see that live, or just years later, and I cant be sure. What I do know, is that by the early 70’s, I was hooked! Whereas nowadays, half the world seemingly takes part in it, including Australia in the last 2 years, but back then, entries were pretty much limited to Western Europe, not how it is now, with just about every possible East European country taking part eagerly.

What I, and just about everyone around at the time remember, is 1974! Yes, some Swedish group that most of Europe had never heard about, called Abba! And yes, the rest of that story is history! In fact, that was probably the height of Eurovision, as about half a dozen entries from that contest went on to find fame. Nowadays, most acts are forgotten in weeks! It could also be said that in a few hours, on a Saturday night, and that was it! Nowadays, we have to have 2 semi finals, and a final, just to include everyone that wants to take part! Yes, the collapse of the Iron Curtain, and even more so, the break up of the Soviet Union has led to that.

Ah, the voting! Well, that has always been amusingly political, but even more so nowadays, given the large clump of ex Soviet countries supporting each other. Oh, and the Scandinavians, and…say no more!

One sad fact this year, for us Brits, even if he hasnt presented it for years, no Terry Wogan! Graham Norton has continued to present it, in a similarly irreverent style, and in truth, thats the best bit nowadays, at least for me. No, I havent see it in years, just tending to watch You Tube on Sunday, for the collection of commentary funny bits, and thats it.

Yes, the UK hasnt won it in a long time. Hardly surprising given the lack of friends in Europe that we have. Oh, and the fact that most of our songs are awful too, in all probability! But yes, its that night when camp fun rules all!

OK, the video. Yes, its a UK winner, and fine, the clue is in the title. Interestingly enough, this was the first time any one heard it, as its the performance from when the UK was deciding its entry for that year.

Time to move on?

I can think of a few people who will see that blog title, and think “what the ….?” but no, currently at least, its not related to me. Thats not to say it might not happen. Who knows where this dating lark might lead me, ha ha? Yes, fine, since changing the ad, the only inbox message I’ve had is from one of the men I was talking to before, and thats been it. So maybe it just wants time, or maybe I’m right, lesbian women arent interested in women with extra bits, such is life. Still think I’m happier making that my main hunt, but thats not to say that if the right man came along, I couldnt swing back the other way. Especially if it was a wealthy man from LA, and then…Fine, stop laughing now!

But actually, this piece does relate to moving to Los Angeles, though sadly not me. This piece relates to an NFL team taking that step. Back in the early days of the NFL (and yes, I am a history nut) in the 1920’s, teams upped, and changed homes more often than you could imagine. Even more teams turned up for a couple of years, then disappeared without trace, especially after the 1929 Crash. But the first ‘big’ move didnt happen until 1946, when the Cleveland Rams became the first team west of the Rockies, when they moved to Los Angeles in 1946. This was because until then, travel simply couldnt cope with the distances to have teams placed out there. It was not until 1960, and the introduction of the AFL, that numerous teams sprung up on the western coast.

There were a few changes in location for those new teams in the first few years, but after that, with few exceptions, things calmed down until the 90’s. In the 80’s, the Raiders moved from Oakland to LA, and the Baltimore Colts sneaked off to Indianapolis. Oh, and irony, a team left St Louis, though in this case, heading for Arizona.

In the 90’s, both Los Angeles teams decided they couldnt make it pay there, the Raiders headed back to Oakland, and the Rams to St Louis. Yes, I know, amusing thing, hindsight? Cleveland moved to Baltimore, though ironically we now have another team there, also called the Browns, but anyway…And Houston left for Nashville, though Houston now has another team, though with a different name! But then, nothing.

Until in the last couple of years, the corporate clamour to get a team into LA has grown again. Ironically, the 3 teams most mentioned had all been there before, and left! The other? The Chargers played 1 year in LA, before moving to San Diego. And now, St Louis no longer has a team, the Rams are moving to LA for next season. San Diego may, or may not have a team, and Oakland might find itself in the same situation too. Ah well, crazy world, I guess? Or is just money talking, who knows?

Fine, the video. Well, this has been all about moving on, so I guess the video might as well be too.

California, here I come…probably?

OK, the title of the blog gives a pretty good clue what happened with the council job, doesnt it? Those famous words, “You did really well, but…” were heard again yesterday. In the end, the fact that others of a similar standard had done that sort of work before, and I hadnt, pushed me the wrong side of the line? Or is that the right side of the line? Really, dont ask, I dont know!

So fine, by now, I should have taken the steps towards booking my trip to Hollywood, you reckon? Well, depends what you call taking steps? If you mean checking what the current flight situation is, and selecting an elite list of places that I would like to stay at, then done. If I’m doing the 4 week trip (just about doable), then I need to fly out on the last day of September, because for the Thursday, the air fare goes up by about £240 return, and the weekend is fully booked, for the flight coming back. If I settle for 2, or 3 weeks, then I could still do it on the Thursday. But you know me, assuming I havent got a job to come back for, in mid October, and the figures look the same when I check them again, then its going to be 4 weeks!

So why you’re asking, hasnt she gone ahead and booked it yet? Err, a job interview? Let me explain. About a month ago, almost to the day, I applied for a job in a call centre in Mirfield. It was only 28 hours a week, which would be at the bottom end of fine, but it did say there would be plenty of opportunities for extra hours, so I went for it. And heard nothing…until yesterday morning! In fact, they rang while I was signing on, but got a message, and phoned back. And so, I’ve got an interview there on Tuesday morning! I know, I know, I’m daft, but anyway…its sorted now. The way I look at it, they arent going to start me now before my holiday. Even if I started the following week, it would be 1 complete week before my holiday! And therefore, about a month before I could realistically get started there. So, someone else is going to get it, who’s readily available, right? But still, I feel its right not to book it until after that. I know, being daft, but…suppose they offer me a mid October start, because then…could do it, for 2 weeks! And have a job to come back to, so…

Fine, yes, I expect on Wednesday to be booking the trip, for 4 glorious weeks in Hollywood, and even though I know its not going to happen, maybe I get that lucky break, and get to stay there. Fine, stop laughing now! Sadly, the place I originally had my eyes on, is no longer available, but I’ve found at least a couple more that would be very nice, all the same, at a fair price.

So now you know. OK, the video. To say this is early Abba, would be putting it mildly, this is several years before they became world famous. But hey, what can I say, the first song is very apt, and its better than Al Jolson…just!

Someone needs love (or a new job, at least)

Before you ask, no, I still havent heard back about the last interview, have no idea if thats a good thing, or bad? Given its internal, I would at least expect to hear something, but nowadays…

Anyway, beyond all that, 3 weeks from now, I will have been made redundant. That last shift might be quite a funny thing, though as things are beginning to play out, it may not be my last day of work at William Hill. Confused? Well, it seems they may well be covering themselves against the whims of the new system, as I have already been asked if I would be interested in working ‘casually’ for the next couple of weeks (minimum), just in case. Happy to do Cheltenham week (w/c 9th March), and do the weekend of the previous week, but of course, midweek that week is back to Newbury, for the make up top up, plus finally getting those big eyelashes to flutter too!

Beyond that, I assume that if the new system works fine, then that will be it, and on paper at least, my 5 week notice period would take me up to my Hollywood holiday. If it doesnt, then I may well be working on, and off, until 11th April, Grand National day! We will see…

As is always the case at times like this, there will be some people I will miss, some I wont, and a few in between!

But beyond that, its the big, bad world of job hunting for me, and indeed, to some degree, before then as well. Ideally, I’d love to find something nearer to home, though I’ll travel to Leeds if I really have to, though the body would prefer otherwise. I’ll take full time happily, but equally, if I can find something about 25 hours or so, I will split it between that type of work, and make a few extra pounds as an author, hopefully.

So, if anyone reading this locally (or wants to tempt me greatly otherwise) knows of call centre work, data input work, or indeed retail cashiering, or similar, then let me know, especially jobs that wont appear on the obvious websites.

My thought was always to temping, or the like, prior to my holiday, as I couldnt see employers being keen on me disappearing for a week, so soon after starting, but who knows? But for now, I might as well temp with the firm I know, as a firm I dont! And yes, if I work through to Grand National day, I’ll just take the week off, beyond job interviews (maybe?) until I go away.

Yes, fine, if there is a Hollywood studio out there, who wants to sign me up to play Jean (or her mother), then wonderful, but seriously, I dont expect that to happen! But lets face it, Jean’s big break came out of pure chance, so…as Yosser Hughes said many years ago, Give us a job!

The video, some very early Abba. You can tell that, just look at how different Agnetha looks to the glory days! As I say, someone needs love, and a new job!

Take a chance on me

Well, so onwards and upwards to Plan B!

I have actually currently applied for one role at work, one that gets me away from the phones though. Our pre match trading department needs an assistant, and I’ve gone for that, given that a lot of it is data, and mathematics, areas at which I’m pretty strong. Unfortunately, the occasional challenge of conjuring up football prices from time to time, might, err, be more entertaining, shall we say? But as someone in the team said to me, my knowledge of other sports is so strong, it might override things. Probably not in a supposedly 54 runner field I suspect, but who knows?

Anyway, apart from all that, I cant deny that the redundancy package on offer isnt tempting, and reasonably generous. So yes, I’d love to pull something out of the hat, so I can get a job, and get the money. At my age, this might prove interesting, but I’ve been having a dabble on Reed’s website today, in the valiant hope that…you just never know! Havent yet had any offers from Hollywood, to play Jean, or her mother, but I guess thats hardly surprising, seeing they dont even know about me lol!

There is one other job at work that I could apply for, but it holds little appeal. But as they say, any port in a storm may come into it, especially as with the months trial option, I can always find something a (little) later, and still get the money as well.

So the black dress, or indeed, another dress, may yet get to go on show again, sometime soon.

The video, my appeal to all those employers I’ve sent applications to, via Reed

Oh, and a momentary amusement. I put this photo up on Facebook as a liked link, and someone I know asked if it was me. I think she was kidding, but I can see her point. This is the photo

Is it me or Jean

This is a similar one of me

photoshoot 8

Yes, I can see it, I guess. And no, the CV has gone in as Ms Nicholls, not Ms Harlow!

Those David and Goliath Moments

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a football (soccer) fan in the slightest. But every so often, something comes along that amuses me, and this weekend has provided plenty of those moments.

Yes, that wonderful English tournament, when David gets to come up against Goliath, and try and give them a surprise. Well, this weekend, its been a bit more than surprises.

It actually started off last night (TV, and sport timings, ah well…) with the minnows of Cambridge, taking on the might of Man United. If you havent heard (and I have no idea how you havent), the game ended as a draw, and in all honesty, from reports, Cambridge deserved to win.
To say the Man United manager blamed everyone, but himself, and his team, would be putting it mildly. Bad loser syndrome, and all that.

A fellow workmate (passionate Cambridge supporter) enjoyed that no end, and I gather he plans to go to the replay.

On to today.

Liverpool only drew, at home with Bolton, and get to live again, the week after next.

But, for 4 of the top teams in the Premier League…oh dear!

To be fair to Tottenham, and Southampton, they were playing other Premier League teams, but they were at home, the opponents were well below them in the league, so all in all…

Then we come to the 2 that amuse me the most, the top 2 teams in the league, at home to lower league opposition.

Firstly, Man City hosted Middlesboro (a league below them), and lost 2-0. At least their manager was gracious enough to admit that once their opponents scored, they deserved the win.

But lastly, but very much not least, for a Yorkshire lass, Chelsea hosted Bradford City (2 leagues below them). To cut a long story short, Chelsea led 2-0, and seemed to be cruising…to defeat! Yes, Bradford came back, away from home, to win 4-2! Truly amazing stuff, and as someone born in the Bradford council boundaries, I’m thrilled.

The Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho may have justifiably called his teams performance a disgrace. I have no idea, havent seen any of it. But what seemingly he did do, was go into the celebrating Bradford dressing room, and congratulate each player personally, a lovely touch.

And for those with long memories, of the Bradford City fire back in the 80’s, you would understand that the club has a special relationship with the local burns unit at the hospital. Chelsea FC gave them £25K towards that cause!

But no, despite these 2 wonderful gestures, I’m still thrilled that Bradford beat them.

An Abba tribute to all those big names, no longer in the FA Cup

Life can get crazy at times!

Yes, I am back! Sorry, but the last 10 days or so have been a bit crazy (to put it mildly), and I really havent felt in the right state of mind to post things, for various reasons. Hey, I’m not sure I am now, but lets give it a whirl.

Firstly, the body work job! Yes, that worked wonderfully, really, really pleased with it, though I must admit, it was a few days before my lips recovered, even after the rest of the body looked fine. But everything is great now, in that sense, and as promised, I will post a photo at some point, just havent got any at the moment that I can use, so… But yes, the whole thing made me realise maybe how physically frail I am, as on top of the bug, the whole thing just knocked me over completely. Lets just say I slept well, and leave it at that.

There had been rumours at work of changes being made in staffing, most of which didnt sound good to me. So, when I got an email late Tuesday evening, asking me to ring one of the bosses, I had an inkling, I didnt want to know. Due to my lack of mobile phone, and a lengthy delay on the train, care of Cross Country (over an hour, compensation requested, though nothing heard yet on that front), it was actually about 4.45 on Wednesday before I heard the news, that my section of the department would soon be no more. Various options available, so on to Plan B, more of which later.

Yes, that bug, virus or whatever it was, combined with everything else, has still been laying me low, until the last couple of days. Even now, the cough isnt entirely gone, just better, but…

But as I say, Plan B. A job had caught my eye anyway, that was just the push needed to really do something about it. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had a phone interview on Sunday morning, and I’ve got a ‘proper’ interview in London, on Monday. Would be quite something if I can get that, and get the redundancy money from my current job, but these sort of things dont usually happen for me, so…lets wait and see.

Looks like the black dress will be coming out again, though I’m not sure if I can face wearing heels all the way to London and back. Might take them with me, might just wear my wedge heels (no balance issues), or I might go mad! Suspect the first option is the most likely one.

Apart from all that, the only other big event was Nicole’s birthday, also on Sunday. Dinner out etc, had a wonderful time.

And really, thats it, or the edited version of it, anyway. As you can see, its been a bit crazy, a bit tiring on the middle aged body, but finally, I’ve appeared again.

The video, not the greatest Abba song of all time, but it seemed apt.

Due to work shifts, and things, its quite possible it will be next Wednesday before I write again. My only day off in that period is Monday, and well, I’ve got an interesting trip to make then!

Oh, I forgot, the wonders of online shopping, and the like. Due to the snow today, I didnt get out as planned. Therefore I thought I’d get my railway ticket online, using my pre paid card, once topped up. Only thing is, it didnt work! Got an error message on the East Coast website when I went to buy, but the system has taken the money off the card, but no tickets! Seemingly, it will be about 7 days before this corrects itself. So in the meantime, I’ve got to pay again for the railway ticket, and then I’ll have money on the card that I dont need! Aargh!