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!
One is a date one, that I mentioned recently, which was a fun, pleasurable thing. The other is a day one, of which the memories arent quite so sweet.
So, yes, briefly, one year ago today, the 18th April was a Saturday, and I transformed my self into a 40’s girl for a Film Noir party, and movie showing. It was one of many real delights of that first break in Hollywood, possibly only topped by spending 40 minutes or so, outside of the crypt where Jean Harlow sleeps away the years. Fine, walking a mile in high heels, after midnight might have been a bit of a killer, but I lived, and it did prove to me, that if need required it, I could walk in those things, if maybe a little slower than normal!
So fine, now, its not even my best film night in Hollywood, the rooftop viewing of Sunset Boulevard just about tops that, I guess? Yes, mid October, sat in just a summer dress, at night, watching a classic movie, just incredible.
But yes, to the sadder anniversary now. In Boston, today is Patriots Day. Which means something very rare, a morning start for a baseball match, as well as the Boston Marathon. Yes, a few of you might have guessed where we’re heading? 3 years ago, the baseball match was over, the marathon was down to the more ‘fun run’ finishers, and the Red Sox players were getting ready to head out to Cleveland. Then it happened, a pair of explosions, in the area of the race finish, and sadly people lost limbs, and more pertinently, lives, in the ensuing events. Eventually the terrorists involved were rounded up, caught, and brought to justice.
What also happened, was that Boston rallied around itself, and ‘Boston Strong’ became the rallying cry. The baseball team joined in with this, in an amazing way. Lets just remember, at the end of 2011, when set for the play offs, they totally collapsed in September. They didnt collapse in 2012, only because they were shocking the whole season long! But 2013, after this, so early in the season, there was almost a feeling they wanted to perform for the people of Boston. Yes, it worked, quite literally all the way to winning the World Series that year! The 2 years since then, back to awful, sadly. Still, today, watching them play against Toronto (they managed to conjure up defeat, from the jaws of victory), and everything, it was funny, remembering back 3 years, when I again watched the game, then later heard about the tragedy. Today, thankfully, all peaceful.
Right, the traditional ending, the video. I’ve no idea how hilly the course is in Boston, but I thought of this one. A very rare bird, Kate Bush live!
Yes, I know, I’ve been quiet for a week, apologies. Two reasons for that, firstly, not a lot really has happened that would make for a decent blog posting, then the last few days have suddenly got a bit crazy. But feeling I owe something at least, lets bring you into the loop.
Firstly, the flight back, all very smooth, well but for one interesting event that I first got annoyed about, but then when I realised why it had happened, and I’d calmed down, turned to amusement. I arrived at Boston Airport, with boarding passes in hand, so I just joined the baggage drop queue, to get rid of my case, and start the trek through to the gate. I have no idea why, but some ‘jobsworth’ woman at Boston decided that my boarding passes werent good enough, and that she had to print them off again at the airport. But, instead of letting me put my details into the machine, she decided to do it for herself. What happens, it asks for all your passport details, and presumably checks everything is OK. Well, one of the questions I noticed, was gender. Of course, if I do that currently, I put male, to match my current passport. What I realised after the event, was that of course she put me through as female. Due to that, my ESTA didnt match up, it asked for my visa details, and of course I didnt have any.
So, for the next half hour or so, I’m stood in a queue at Customer Services, so they can sort out the issue. He just took my passport, put it in the machine, smiled at a raging old lady, and tagged my bag, and that was it. I glared at the lady accordingly as I passed, but only about an hour later did I realise what had happened, so American Airlines were saved from a blistering email lol.
Normal regime since then, not a lot of excitement. Well, apart from initiating job hunts, both sides of the Atlantic. Just before I came back, I started hunting for jobs with a November start date. One of those led me to an interview yesterday in Bradford, which I’m still waiting to hear back on. The other is a job in Huddersfield, due to start on November 2nd, the Monday after I get back. Online typing tests, piece of cake. Led to a phone interview today, which ended with a couple of competency based questions, which as you know, I love…not! From somewhere came 2 brilliant answers, and I’ve progressed to an office assessment next Tuesday. I have also got a couple of prospects I need to ring people about when I get back, so all in all…
Other side of the Atlantic, no, nothing very dramatic. Just signed up with a few agencies who might help me to fulfil my Hollywood dream, but I doubt it. One guy seems to be keen on me, I spent an hour or so talking to him on Skype this afternoon, which consisted of me trying to get him to set me up for work, and him trying to get into my knickers, for want of a better term! I suspect he hasnt read the stuff about me being a pre op Trans, but anyway… its amusing all the same, but under the circumstances, I’m not expecting much to happen through him. Memories of the old casting couch days there, lol. Hopefully one of the others will at least lead to something! Not holding my breath, mind.
Fine, the video. Not quite in the title, but it sort of sums up my current job hunting situation
Yes, I know, its been a while, but in all honesty, there hasnt been a lot of wild excitement to report. But in the sense of what I needed in a break, thats been the perfect situation. Another good reason why nothing has appeared in a week, might be the fact that I would have had to write it, with the laptop perched on my lap, and thats not the best way to do anything like that. Wonderful hotel resort, but the socket positioning was a little interesting lol!
Fine, lets go back a week, and get started…
Last Friday, the trip to the overnight hotel went fine (not sure what went wrong with TPE?), beyond the taxi driver overshooting at the roundabout near the hotel, and going the wrong way round (very briefly, as there was no traffic around), rather than circling around, as most sane people would! Meal was fine, room was fine, so…Oh, amusing moment, I paid just over £56 for the room for the night, good value at the price. So I checked for the night before I fly to Hollywood, just in case, got quoted £141! Wtf! I know its a Wednesday, not a Friday, but even so…Ah well, if Nicole cant get me there, I’ll book a taxi from home on the Wednesday morning! Seriously, I dont mind paying a little extra, for a bit more sleep, but seriously…?
Saturday started fine, and stayed that way until I reached JFK. Yes, I’d read a few bad reports about Immigration process there, but even so…it was shocking! 95 minutes, seriously…? Getting back through security wasnt quick either, and it was about 2 hours in all before I was back in the terminal, waiting for my flight to Boston. Thankfully, I had nearly a 3 hour break, so…phew! Trip on to Boston was fine, met up with Kate as planned, and eventually my case turned up. Actually one of the first, but it took forever for them to start coming through. Then on to Cape Cod, and our hotel for the night. Internet was err, patchy, but otherwise, not too bad.
Then on the Sunday, on to the delight that is the Pelham House Resort, at Dennisport. Seriously, a room with a view over the pool, out on to the ocean, a real delight, as were the rooms. Apart from the esoteric placing of sockets in the room, and (for me at least) the lack of a coffee machine, the place was heavenly. As was the result of the Buffalo Bills game lol.
The rest of the week developed into a wonderful period of gentle travel, and lots of relaxation, just what I needed in fact. Oh, and excellent company in Kate, too. Plenty of food, a delightful massage, and generally just a totally relaxed state of mind, heavenly stuff. Yes, a couple of weeks time, when I’m selling myself in Hollywood wont be quite as relaxing, but this trip has got me in the right frame of mind to really go for it then.
Today, we’ve come back to Boston, as both of us are flying out tomorrow. Her to the Mid West, me back to the UK, though her flight is at a much more crazy time than mine, rather her than me! In fact very soon after I finish this, it will be our last meal together, the final farewells etc, though I’m sure we will talk regularly when I’m in LA. Yes, I know, 11 days after I fly back to the UK, I cross the Atlantic again, to the other side of the country. Maybe if both had been planned at the same time, I might have done things better, but anyway…its all part of the fun!
So thats it, no wild happenings, just a really wonderful, relaxing week, with a great friend. Absolute heaven. Now behave, or I’ll get back to writing blogs whining about job hunting lol, for 10 days or so!
OK, the video. A suitable song, with a neat connection to the Republican Presidential Debate, I, err, experienced on Wednesday, see if you can work it out
Yes, lets get in the holiday mood tonight. Fair thing to do, as looking at matters, this is likely to be the last blog from the UK for a little while. Tomorrow is getting my body ready for the trip day, which at my age, is going to take a while. Friday, I will need to pack, get to the overnight hotel, and not be too late to bed, given I will have to be up reasonably early the next morning, for my 10.15 flight. So yes, next blog should be from Cape Cod.
I have been there once before with Kate, I think it was 3 nights, spent at 2 different hotels, in the same group. Why, because the first hotel had internet in reception, but not in the rooms, not much use for either of us. So they moved us along the coast the next day, to a hotel that fitted our needs, and that was that. A trip to Martha’s Vineyard, a trip out whale watching, and some nice places, and thats about all I can remember. Ironically, this time will also be 2 hotels on the Cape, one for the first night only, as we couldnt get in the planned hotel all week. Then back to a hotel near Boston Airport for Friday night, after a relaxing week.
Yes, a relaxing week. Its fair to say that both Kate and I need a break, though for differing reasons. Her, because work has been crazy, and me, because job hunting has got stressful in the extreme! I must say I’m looking forward to the company, and the break.
And then, after that, get ready for part 2, more of which after I get back.
The video, an absolute oldie, found via a You Tube search
But no, you’re not getting the Queen video, though you probably should do! Yes, honest, the last Red Sox posting for the year, and if I can remember how to do it, I’ll change the blog back to something more ‘normal’ in a few days time!
Those who care about Baseball will probably already know who won the World Series, but for the few who dont, it was Boston! 🙂 It was a great series, which Boston won 4-2 in the end, with several outstanding performances, including the incredible David Ortiz, the only man now to have been involved in the 3 series won by Boston this century. He wasnt the only hero, just one of the biggest ones, but anyway…
Given that elsewhere, my friend Kate pretty much talked about the series, I decided my tribute would be what Fenway has meant to me over the last 25 years. So, with my permission, I’m going to re-post it here
Back in September 1988, I arrived in the US for the first time, lets just not mention how many times I’ve been there since, but its a few! :laugh:
Sheila and I flew into Boston, from London, collected the hire car we were having for the next 2 weeks, and headed into Boston, and our pre booked hotel, the only one that was pre booked for the trip. No, I have no idea which one it was, but it was somewhere near the bar that Cheers was based on, dont even know which area of town that was.
That night, after our meal, we started out on a walk before going back to the hotel, and ended up at (I believe?) the John Hancock Tower, which had one of these viewing levels, many floors above the ground. That night, in the (relatively?) near distance, I saw a sports stadium all lit up, so I looked at the display to see what it was. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it was Fenway Park!
Didnt mean a thing to me at the time, the only US sport I’d been infected by at that point was the NFL, due to its coverage over here on TV. But yes, that was the first mark that Fenway Park left on my life…but not the last.
Then when I was over for a while in 2003, I switched on a hotel TV, and discovered Baseball. For some reason I will never know, I got hooked, I assume its the fact it came across as a sort of cricket alternative (hitting the ball a long way with a bat), with so many tactical facets that grabbed me. As I was in Seattle at the time, I took the Mariners as my team, even though strictly, my first ever baseball team were on the opposite coast. If I’d only known better…
On one of the sports forums I went on, there was a discussion on which US stadiums you should visit. When it came to Baseball, two principally got mentioned, Wrigley Field…and Fenway Park, though I was told getting tickets for the latter was quite a challenge.
A few years later, I went to Wrigley Field, and yes, they were right, it was an amazing place to see Baseball live. An evening game at San Francisco was something quite special too, among my collection of stadia visited over the years. ironically, I’ve never been to a game at Seattle yet, but anyway…I would have done, but for a massive delay by American Airlines, but hopefully one day…
Lets go back now to 2011. For some reason best known to herself, Kate was quite keen to team up with me, when I was visiting Boston in September. James was too, and arranged my accommodation place, far better than many hotels in hindsight, but anyway…and yes, for one marvellous day, teamed up with both of us. Kate covered it brilliantly on the Forum, though I suspect its very buried by now.
One delight Kate had lined up for me, a game at Fenway Park. I think pre trip she told me I was going to see the stadium, but I assumed on a tour. Oh no, not only was this a seat at a game, it was in one of the nice areas, not one of the cheaper seats I tended to sit in. The stadium was incredible, an amazing experience, and visiting a nice in stadium restaurant, and then sitting in a nice seat, it was an amazing day, an afternoon game against Baltimore (the one stadium I havent been to, that James says I should visit)
Yes, they lost, it was one of those dark days of the September 2011 collapse, that cost Francona his job, and Boston their play off place. But it was early enough in September, that we didnt know that! Then came the Valentine disaster of 2012, lets just leave it at that.
I rated Farrell as a manager, and thought the Red Sox would be far better this year, but seriously, if you’d told me this would happen, I probably still would have laughed. But its been a joy for me, all season long.
Little did I know, when I saw Fenway Park for the first time, 25 years ago, that it would lead to this. But its been a great journey, and thanks, Kate, for taking me to that amazing stadium.
And that is why, despite being a Mariners fan, Fenway Park, and the Red Sox will always hold a special place in my heart.
Boston Strong! :-*
As I say, back then, if you’d told me that 25 years on, I would have seen a game live at Fenway Park, and celebrated their 3rd World Title in 10 years, I would have laughed at you. But now… I leave you with one of the highlight moments from the series, from the MVP, known as Big Papi, or more correctly, David Ortiz
Yes, I know it could all still go wrong from here, but seriously, if you’d told me that 1 win back at Fenway from the last 2 games of the World Series would be enough for the title, I would have taken your offer, happily.
Dont get me wrong, it wont be easy, because as this incredible series has proved, nothing is straightforward. We’ve had a win (for Boston) on an attempt to steal a base, and we’ve had a win for St Louis on an obstruction ruling, a pretty rare event. There have also been 1 or 2 ‘normal’ games, but lets not worry about them!
Oh, and in game 6, St Louis have a pitcher that gives up as many runs as Trans Pennine Express trains run on time, in other words, not very often! But hopefully, one good hit, and 🙂 If not, we can try again in Game 7, I guess?
No game tonight, both teams are heading back to Boston today, and start off again tomorrow night, when I suspect Fenway Park will be crowded, and loud! I only wish I could be there, but might be for the best I’m not, I dread to think what the tickets cost! But yes, all the same, I’d love to see it live on TV at least. Unfortunately, my shifts this week make that an impossibility, given the games start after midnight our time, and I have to be up early the next day!
But in my dreams, I’ll be imagining Big Papi hitting that winning home run…I hope!
The video, well, the group have the right name at least. The song, the clue is in the usual place lol!
Yes, I’ve decided to give the old blog a makeover, at least for the length of the World Series, and maybe, should the right team win it, a few days longer too! Yes, of course I am, go Cardinals…not! 😛
In a sense, its even more special for Boston this year, given the bombings at the marathon and everything, that something special should happen for the city. And yes, it would be pretty special if the Red Sox won the World Series this year. Because in a sense, of all the New England/Boston teams, the one closest to that horrific day were the baseball team.
They had played earlier that afternoon, and just as they were readying themselves to fly out of town for their next matches, a loud noise was heard at the stadium. Yes, those horrific bombs going off, rather taking the shine off another successful Red Sox day earlier. And yes, like the Cardinals, in the National League, they had 97 of them this season, an American League best. Its only the 3rd time since 1995 that the best team from the season in each league have met in the World Series, a stunning fact.
So, about 4 hours from writing this, the World Series will start in Fenway Park, and hopefully the only explosions will be fireworks celebrating a Boston victory. Yes, I’m biased, so sue me! 😛 Hopefully history will repeat itself, because when they broke ‘the curse’ back in 2004, they beat the Cardinals too!
As someone who loves her sports history as much as her sport, its great to see 2 senior clubs there, the Red Sox have been in Boston since the start in 1901, the Cardinals (under a few guises) have been in St Louis since 1882! And of course Fenway Park has been around for over a century itself! The St Louis stadium is a modern one, but as a friend would remind me, Boston doesnt have a view of the Arch!
And yes, my choice might be favoured by my dear friend Kate, who is a proper passionate Red Sox fan, who I’ve just tagged along with for the ride. Her cute little dog, named Fenway (surprise!) might be a little less biased, given the folk who look after him while Kate is away at work, are Cardinal fans. Therefore his chances of getting fed treats will only rely on which house is the one celebrating the win. All he will be hoping for is a 7 match series!
The video too, is a very special one. A few days after the bombing, the Red Sox came back to Boston for their first home matches. There is a 7th innings tradition in the stadium nowadays, the singing of Sweet Caroline. Kate isnt a fan, but anyway… Totally unexpected, totally at his own expense, who should turn up at the stadium, and offer to lead the singing that day, but the man himself, Neil Diamond! This is the performance. It is live, the double sound is due to the tape the Red Sox use normally, when he isnt there, which was the only music format available, given the visit was so unexpected
Boston Brave, and Boston victory…I hope.
Yes, I do hope to get in one more post this year on Saturday, but that will be looking forward to 2012, so call this the annual review lol.
2011 has been an interesting year to say the least. Its the first year I actually travelled on a passport that said Ms, rather than Mr, and believe me, that was a special moment. Even if due to the wonders of our ‘beloved’ passport office, I still have to show gender as male! The good news, it seemed most places I travelled, the vast majority of people disagreed with that, assuming I was, or making it very clear they thought I was female. Its another reason for loving Boston to be honest, no one would have believed my gender on my passport lol! Nowadays I use the unisex toilets at work, solves all problems for everyone, and is fine by me to be honest.
The only down side to the whole thing has been Leeds GIC, who I have now totally given up on doing anything to help my gender change, and just settling for what changes my body wants to make for itself, some of them quite remarkable ones it must be said.
I guess its not hard to work out my cricketing highlight of the year, Ireland beating England in the World Cup just has to be the one. For a while I was just hoping for respectability, but Kevin O’Brien ensured so much more than that. Getting to see them play live in Belfast beating Namibia twice, was a treat all the same. We’ve made a good start to qualifying for the next World Cup too, lets hope that continues in the New Year, as well as hopefully retrieving the Inter Continental 4 day cup as well, though it will actually be 2013 before both of those conclude.
International travel wise, there were 3 trips this year, 1 mentioned above. The other 2 were Toronto (for the first time beyond the airport transit area) and Boston (for the first time in nearly 25 years!). I really enjoyed both cities, and would love to get back to both soon, though 1 is more likely to happen very quickly (like next year maybe?) than the other, though hopefully it wont be too long before I’m in Canada again. People I met have been well covered in previous postings, so just a brief thanks to Kate, James, and the people of those 2 great cities for some wonderful memories. Especially those in Boston that made it clear they wouldnt have thought I needed any surgery to be a woman!
Work, well its been a pretty good year, no real hassles beyond toilet issues (now solved) and the need to find somewhere else for next years Christmas dinner, please! The staff in the shops I have to take calls from, mmf, no comment on some of them!
Life, well I’ve started writing again, though my suspicion is the current story is going to be a one off, well who knows, I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it, though I suspect the inspiration has helped on that front all the same. The one thing I have noticed is that my body is beginning to age, and not gracefully in terms of joints. The knees are beginning to give me more grief, the back definitely is, and thats why next April will be the last west coast of US trip for the foreseeable future, it just hurts the body too much with all that sitting still on the planes for so long. It might be daft doing one more trip, but did want to see Seattle one more time at least.
The blog however will hopefully go sailing on sweetly, at least thats the plan.
The video, well I’m told there is an artist with a very similar name to mine, so lets give her a run out here. Funnily enough I knew the Corrs version of this song better, and had no idea she had written it in the first place. So, for the penultimate video of the year (and yes, the last one will be utterly obvious) lets see what dreams we can come up with for next year.