So, as promised, the review of the year starts here. It will finish tomorrow, and then at the start of the new year, I’ll take a look at what 2019 might hold, some of it very likely, some of it unlikely, but might be fun if it does.
2018 actually saw something happen, that I’d never done in my 44 years of working life, I was told not to go to work! Yes, a combination of the fragility of my back, and some very cold, and icy weather saw me put on ‘winter weather leave’ for a few days. It made sense in so many ways in truth, but was still a bit of a novelty to me. But agreed, if I’d slipped over, landed on my back, and especially my spine, well you wouldnt want to think about the potential outcome, lets face it. Pretty sure its likely to happen early in 2019 too, especially given the deterioration in my wrist too, but we will have to wait and see on that. In truth, after about a week of that, I was getting a bit of ‘jail fever’ but it was a very wise move, so kudos to my employers for letting me do it.
While on about work, I started working on an LGBT committee at work, which was definitely a fun thing to do. Yes, was, more on that over next couple of posts.
Something else that happened early in the year was also work related. One of my colleagues got notice of volunteers needed for the Blackpool Film Festival in March, and the rest, as they say, is history! I wont claim it as strictly the revival of my acting career (its more a natural performance thing, no scripts), but it was a moment that led to the return of my time performing in public.
This year, it was a flying visit, arrived in Blackpool on the Friday afternoon, left again on the Saturday morning, due to fate, and a memorable date. Yes, the night of my flapper revival was my 60th Birthday! The works celebration was done a week earlier (would have been anyway), but the ‘house’ version was delayed until the Saturday night, which was why we needed to get back as we did.
Yes, a decade or so ago, that would have been it, retirement, which in truth, the body probably needs already. Now, officially it will be March 2024, though I have my doubts my body will hold out that long, but we will see? If it does, I might plan to retire (or take holiday) from work a couple of weeks early, because as things stand, the Iditarod race will start from Anchorage on 2nd March (restart at Willow on 3rd), and that would be an amazing thing to do, and a sort of dream come true. Nome as well? Well, maybe, but all that is a long way off. More on my preferred retirement option in part 2 tomorrow night.
May saw my return to Seattle for the first time in a few years. A few firsts there. Another state bagged, as I flew in via Las Vegas, so getting Nevada as my 24th state. Hopefully get 25 ‘somewhere’ next September, maybe? Ask Kate on that one, lol. She knows the one I’d love it to be, but its not renowned as the most friendly LGBT state in the US, so maybe not? There are a couple of New England options for that title too, so we will see.
The other big first on that trip, was my first Mariners game. It was memorable for more reasons than one, good, and bad. Good, they won. Bad, disability related issues. To be fair to the club, I complained, got a free ticket in the disabled area later in the week, and a few souvenirs as well, they handled it all very well.
Lastly, in the first half of the year, was a return to Blackpool, for World Pier Day. Again I have to thank a colleague for covering my Saturday shift to enable me to do this. Went back even further in time, as an Edwardian Lady, though I never got tightly corseted, cant have everything, lol. Amusingly, it was also Blackpool Pride day, and though I heard a lot of that, didnt get to see it at all. 2 trips already planned for Blackpool in New Year, but more on that on Tuesday, one of which you may not want to miss!
Well, the year certainly hasnt been a drag, but when this came up in my You Tube suggestions tonight, I couldnt resist this 1930 offering. And yes, a certain ‘fluffy haired’ blonde definitely looks like it could be Clara Johnson!
Tomorrow night is that annual tradition known as the Works Christmas Dinner, version, who quite knows? There were a few while at William Hill in Leeds, and this wont be the first Civil Service one, but its certainly a more interesting location than the norm. Why, dinner is at a casino, darlings!
In my life, I’ve been into 2 casino’s, and thats it. The first of those was actually at Philadelphia Park racecourse and casino, and I simply passed through the building on the way to the racecourse viewing area via a lift. Just a way of getting somewhere, never looked at anything. I have also been to the one we’re going to tomorrow night in Bradford, on a Saturday afternoon, after work, with a colleague, to waste an hour between the finish of work, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the works Christmas dinner! Must have been the 2016 version, because I was able to drink back then!
The amusing thing for me tomorrow night, beyond the opportunity to dress up a bit, is that one of the things that we get for our price, is a £5 gambling chip! No, I dont expect it to last more than 1 play, lol! And what to play it on, no idea! I suppose that if it was a real Hollywood movie, I would walk up to the roulette table, coolly put the chip on a number, and it would win! But given the most glamorous place I ever acted was the Octagon Theatre, in Yeovil, its fair to say it will lose! Yes, its still there, about 30 years on, so I didnt close it down, lol! In truth, I knew it survived at least until 1999, when I left Yeovil, but have never been back since, so had to check on Google!
No, I dont think its going to get me back into any form of gambling habit, somehow! Beyond the race that everyone in the UK bets on, the Grand National, I havent had a bet since 2013, until now. I dont think I’m going to say I broke that streak for 1 free chip in a casino, lol. Maybe I should get into cool flapper mode before playing that chip, mind? Not that I can smoke (not permitted by law), or drink (not permitted by painkiller pills I’m on), but I can think the part! Oh, and partly look it, at least.
Yes, the hair, darlings! Had it done today, so I’m ‘properly’ blonde again, with a neat layered bob look, and probably the attitude to match? I did actually go under a hair dryer today, but unfortunately it wasnt in the mood to ‘transform’ my thoughts into those of a 20’s flapper! Ah well…
Oh fine, if this is the last blog for a while, you know I broke the bank at Bradford, and have moved somewhere warmer abroad. So yeah, you’ll get a blog again soon, probably Saturday (recovery day after tomorrow), rather than Sunday (out for some of day), but anyway, just saying… 😉
Right, video time. Another one from the TV series set in Blackpool, a rather apt song for tomorrow night. Sadly the very dishy David Tennant isnt seen in this one, ah well…
Yes, tonights blog might, ever so slightly, be tongue in cheek, just saying? 😉
One thing I’ve come to the conclusion of, is that if I really want to revive my ‘acting’ career, once I reach retirement age, I need to move to the Blackpool area. No, I know, there probably are opportunities elsewhere, if I put my mind to it, but in terms of fun, one off roles, it seems a good place to be. Maybe thats because the lady behind the Winter Gardens Festival Volunteers is just good at going out, and advertising these things, and maybe its just due to the fact that a workmate, and friend tipped me off about them at the beginning of this year, but either way…it works for me.
Yes, I’ve done a couple of things already, and try keeping me away from next years film festival (its my birthday week in March, so work wont be an issue), believe me. There might be at least a couple of us hoping the movie will be a 30’s musical for the outfits, though the audience (and some of the other volunteers) might wish otherwise, lol! But yes, doing my best ‘Clara Johnson’ routine would be a lot of fun! At least 2 of us are trying to get this to happen regardless, so fingers crossed.
OK, back to the title. October 26th (Friday), there is a film showing at Lytham, and they are seeking volunteers to dress up as witches. Yes, thats where the ‘no makeup’ comment for me fits in, as lets face it, witches arent meant to be the most beautiful of creatures, are they? Besides which, it would be fun pretending to be wicked, lol! 😉
I suspect I might have played a witch, or a wizard in my time, but just cant put one to mind. However, at the Boys Grammar School, we did ‘that Scottish play’, and I had a minor part, so just maybe I did? 😉 Oh god, I must have been in heaven back then, a need for ‘boys’ (strictly, in my case) to play female parts, oh love it! Now I could play a witch legitimately, but…
Sadly, no, its not going to happen, for so many reasons. A good one is that I really havent got the holiday allowance left, as I need to save some days for January, to try and pace breaks for my back, especially in winter, and I think I’ve just about got a week left at this time! Next is distance, doing a trip from here, to Lytham, and back, all in 1 day, not going to happen, especially as we will be required until about 8 pm. Throw in cost, as its the weekend of the Gatsby Dance in Bradford, even more no go!
But yes, when I retire, either at 66 (legal) in about 5 and a half years, or whenever my back gives up the ghost for that much physical exertion (far more likely, I fear) involved in getting to and from work, I might just have to move to somewhere where I can get my acting skills put back to good use yet again., maybe?
Unless any generous benefactor wishes to subsidise a new acting career for me? No, thought not, lol! 😛
Right, video tonight, its one of those progression things. No, there is no song of such a title that I know of, but there is an album with a similar name. And one of the singles taken off that LP is…
You know something? How you sometimes feel that nothing is going to work out for you, and all that? Oh fine, after today, maybe I can still be a chorus line dancer in a Hollywood musical? OK, seriously, that isnt going to happen, but at the same time, something good might happen soon, more in the near future on that, I hope. Alright, Adriana, or Angie, I might at some point soon dress up like a dancer, but I’m not going to turn into Ginger Rodgers overnight!
But yes, had a couple of feel good moments that happened today, that make you do believe anything is possible. Strictly, one of these happened yesterday evening, California time, but here in the UK, it was early hours of this morning.
A few days ago, in the world of baseball, in an event that no one beyond his family, and friends would have noticed, The Los Angeles Angels called up a back up catcher, named Francisco Arcia. Well yes, fine, players get called up every day, and all that, so…? The significant thing here is, this guy has been playing Minor League Baseball for 12 years, never been in danger of the call up to the Major League, and all that. Then the Angels traded a player away, and for reasons best known to themselves, they called up Arcia to the ‘big boys’.
Thing is, in his first 2 games, he’s taken 5 of his 8 bats for hits, had a home run, and batted in 10 runs for his team. For a super prospect, this would all be quite something. For a guy who has spent 12 years in various minor league teams, totally unnoticed, its really quite something! Now I’m not saying this will last, or that he will become an All Star or anything, but for a player who had probably given up on the big dream by now, he must feel like he’s in heaven!
The other 2 feelgood stories from today both relate to golf. The European tour was in Germany this week, and the tournament was won by a player most wouldnt have heard of, Richard McEvoy. This was his 285th tournament on the main tour, had never won one before. He did have 1 second, 1 third, but that was it. Today, he won! Now, to be fair, he has got a few wins on lesser tours, but until today, he was so far down the rankings, he was struggling to retain his playing rights for next year. Now, for 2 and a half years, no issue!
The other from the same tournament? There was a German amateur player, by the name of Allen John, and by the end of today’s play, he was joint runner up. No prize money, as an amateur, but the prestige… He turned pro in 2011, and his career was so ‘good’, he gave up, and became an amateur again! Got an invite, as a local this week, and almost took the event by storm! Oh, did I say, he’s 30, and profoundly deaf! Just shows you, if you’re determined enough, nothing can stop your dream.
Who, me? Audition for Broadway, or Hollywood, I dont think so now! But if I really still wanted to, and put my mind to it, well, maybe…? Kudos to all 3 of these guys, anyway
The video lyrics, so untrue for this trio, as it happened for all of them today.
I realized one thing earlier today, when Eric was watching the Darts here (recording of last night), and I was trying to get on with stuff on the laptop, that this time around, there was something a little bit different about it.
No, not strictly the fact that the walk on girls are now gone, though I did find that sort of odd. Personally, I disagreed with that decision, as if ladies are willing to do that, for good pay, and good publicity for themselves, then why not? As far as I know, no one is forced to do it, all free will, and all that stuff, so…? Would I have done it, if I’d been a woman back then, young, pretty and all that stuff, and good money was on offer for doing that, oh, absolutely! But now…
Its fair to say that before this year, I’d never performed anywhere famous. Yes, village halls, school stages, and the like dont tend to attract the celebrities of the world. Whereas now, I’ve done the North Pier, at Blackpool, and more critically, in the same location, the Winter Gardens, which is of course, where the darts are being shown from this week.
No, I never got up on the stage, but plenty of people saw this Flapper, strutting her stuff on the ‘meet and greet’ stuff, and directing people after the film show. And no, even on the Pier, unlike my friend, Angie, I missed getting up on stage at the Pier, something I do regret now, but can hopefully right, some day. Or at the Winter Garden, maybe…? I hope she sees this, and maybe Catherine too, because I know the 2 of us would love to do something there next March, probably before the public get in, and I suspect one or two of the others would too!
But yes, now I can say I’ve seen a venue that I’ve performed at, on TV. No, at my age, I dont think (certain, in truth) I’d get the job as a walk on girl this week, even if they had any, but…
Oh, next month, those at the Lytham Festival (18th and 19th), watch out for some stylishly dressed people, doing pre publicity for next March. No, I wont be there, its a Saturday/Sunday in August, and getting time off work would have been a no go. Besides which, finding anywhere to stay in mid August, no chance, I’m sure! But next March, just maybe, on a stage where a few dart players have been…? 😉
Right, video time. I did use this a couple of years back, but when I found a live version, lets say it wasnt a great performance, and leave it at that!
Fine, for those privileged to see both blogs tonight, you’ve got one serious one, and a silly one. Of course, in either case, if you only know of one, or the other, well, its pot luck, in that case! In case you needed tipping off, this is the serious one.
Today I got to find out where I’d be changing on Saturday, for my ‘performance’ as an Edwardian Lady in Blackpool, in the chorus girl changing room at the pier! Yes, who could I possibly know who would have changed regularly in such a place? Hmm, Clara Johnson, just maybe? But no, having either always worked in school plays, am dram, and the (very rare) theater, I’ve never had the delight of being a chorus girl. Played a number of girl parts, long before transitioning, but in this life, a chorus girl, oh I wish!
So, unsurprisingly yes, I’m looking forward to this moment more than I probably should, even though my outfit will be far less revealing than anything thats normally worn on the chorus line at Blackpool, or in all likelihood, anything Clara got to wear, in that sense! I mean, some of her outfits were relatively normal, but revealing, though others were crazy, and revealing! One of them shortly, honest… I do suspect that if ‘someone’ gets her chance, in November, I’ll probably get to wear something that would make Clara giggle, blush, or both! Yes, I probably will, even at my age, just because it would be fun, however silly it might look. So fine, A, if you can find something in my size, bring it on!
I think its fair to say that I’m going to walk out of that dressing room in an outfit that a chorus girl would be unlikely to wear, given the era its from. I suspect that even if they’d made a musical based in the Edwardian era, that the outfits that the girls wore would be more revealing than mine, lol. But equally, wouldnt it be funny if I walked out of that changing room, went through a time warp, and out walked a young dancer, wearing not a lot, onto a Hollywood studio dance stage? As long as I had Clara’s dance skills too, at least!
“Yes, Mr Berkeley, I’m ready for my dance routine.”
Sorry, Miss Swanson, couldnt resist pinching that idea! Yes, other than maybe A, I suspect this is as close as I will ever get to chorus girl life!
Right, video time. Among the numerous movies that Clara danced in, was one called Footlight Parade. Why I’ve picked this one is simple, earlier today, someone posted a picture of 13 chorines from that movie, pictured in a row, and asked if anyone knew any of them. Yes, you guessed it, one of them was Clara! So… And also, yes, she is seen in one of those cute, crazy cat outfits in this number. So…Yes, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell star, but there among the cat girls…
Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!
Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.
I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!
Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…
Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.
Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!
OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…
Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…
Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.
I must admit that I had a great time in Blackpool in March, and definitely made a diary note to repeat the experience next year, but I was assuming I wouldnt get back there before then. And to be fair, up to a few days ago, that was still the plan! But then…on Thursday…
The same lovely lady who posted previously for March, posted that she was looking for volunteers again, this time for Blackpool Piers Watch day, on Saturday 9th June. Yes, you Brits, get that date in your diary immediately, lol. Yes, I can say that now, my guest house room is booked! No, I cant find a link to it, but trust me, its not fake news! Sorry…he may be a jerk, but…
In truth, I had no idea whether I could do it at short notice with work, given that Saturday is part of my standard working week, and for most other people, its a working day to avoid! Anyway, one wonderful workmate agreeing to swap the Saturday she works on her rota, and management being wonderful, all was settled, I can go to the, err, ball! Will be nice to have a long weekend away, as I’m going to travel down on the Friday, and only come back on the Sunday, just being sensible with my back, thats all!
Yes, there are numerous people I’m looking forward to meeting again, sooner than expected, I must say. In truth, I have no idea what I will end up wearing this time, because though the Pier is of Victorian origin, I dont know if our manner of dress will go back that far, or not. As long as its not bikini’s, all will be fine, lol. Mind, Victorian look would be interesting, for sure, as long as the corset isnt done up too tightly lol! I might enjoy it, but for a whole day, in summer, hmm…? Oh fine, mermaid might be fun, but would need to be a body stocking look, at my age! Might make moving tricky too!
Yes, this time I’ve planned better, found a guest house at the right end of town, near the pier, and near the railway station. And good ratings on Expedia, and Trip Advisor, so… Funny isnt it, you go about 40 years without visiting somewhere, then go there twice in 3 months!
Fine, video time. An oldie, but not quite Victorian. Not quite flapper era either, but not far off!
Alright, lets get back to a more ‘me’ issue, that of LGBT matters. Yes, done my duty, and voted, in case anyone was doubting it.
On one of the numerous golden age (or earlier) movie groups that I’m on, on Facebook, a few days ago, a picture appeared of a pretty looking actress of the past, name of Wynne Gibson. Nothing stunningly beautiful, not a major star, but if you’re asking me that if it arose, could I fancy her as a sapphic partner, oh definitely! But hey, thats not the issue here. Picture came, picture went, thought no more about it.
Then yesterday morning, when I went on the group, some man had posted there, a little too over excitedly for my liking, that there were rumors that she was gay. In truth, a quick glance at Wikipedia suggests it was probably more than a rumor, as she lived closely with another movie actress for a number of years. She also briefly married a man, but whether that was a token thing (it was before her movie career took off), or whether she was bi, who knows, or who cares?
So pretty much, without giving the game away at the time that I was bi, I just asked him,
‘Yes, and so what?’
Anyway, I got a reply that made it clear that he found the idea of a movie actress being sapphic as an ‘exciting’ one to him. So fine, I pretty much left it at that, after an inward role of my eyes. Some other guy then wrote in support of him, I just let that be!
I admit, I’ve heard numerous tales over the years of men, who think that all a lesbian needs is a good man, to see the light, and I’m guessing he’s one of those? Either that, or he’s one of those men who like to be out of the equation, and just see 2 women show how they feel for each other?
I still hope that one day in the future, anyone coming out as gay, lesbian, bi, or whatever really is just treated by everyone as ‘so what?’. Not sure if, and when it will happen for us Trans folk too, but hopefully one day, it will.
Right, video time. Given this song is nearly 30 years old, I’m not sure how many will remember this? Probably more than I think, but will have to wait and see. Yes, strangely enough, the title is in the blog title! Shock horror, almost as shocking as me admitting I’m a Bisexual Trans Lady lol! 😛