Category Archives: Bradford

2018, part 2, the last pre-code lady

And so to the second half of the year.

In truth, personal things prior to September were fairly limited. Mainly because I was at work, through the school holidays, covering for those who need the time off.

One sad thing that did happen before then, happened in August. To many, it probably seems amazing that an adult actress from the early 1930’s had survived this long, but one of them had. But eventually that tie was cut, when Mary Carlisle passed away at the grand old age of 104. She was pretty sharp to the end, if less mobile, and for a while she had been the last, and all knew the link was coming to an end, but for those of us who love that era, it was still a sad moment when it arrived.

September saw me going back to a place I hadnt visited in nearly 40 years, Inverness, taking Eric away with me for a few days of fun. Well, as much fun as two people with disability issues can have, anyway. I managed to fulfil one ambition I’d had for about that long, if not more, by travelling the Skye Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The fact that the last time I was there, the only way to Skye was by ferry, and now a bridge has been there for decades, all a bit strange. There are still a couple of railway lines in Scotland I’d love to do (Oban line, Fort William to Mallaig), and the Cambrian Coast line in Wales to a place I could never pronounce correctly (Pwllheli) that are a challenge for another day, health permitting. There are also a couple of very long distance ones in North America too, though they may be less likely, and trickier to do.

At one point I thought that November would see me doing a Transgender Awareness Week speech in Florida, but it soon seemed that someone was all talk, and no reality, so it never happened. So instead, I headed somewhere nearly as warm for the week, to the Algarve, to give my back some heat before winter kicked in. I wont deny I might have done a little bit of apartment prospecting while there, should the chance arise, and yes, if things work out, my old age could well be spent out there. There is a financial issue (not enough money), and a political issue (post Brexit residence rules) that may stop that, but fingers crossed… A lottery jackpot win before March 29 might be very handy! But lifestyle, and health wise, I could do a lot worse.

Then we come to the old chestnut, my health issue. In recent weeks my left wrist seems to have developed issues, probably due to too much typing, and stuff, for the last 40 years or so. So now I have 2 issues leaving me wondering how much longer work is going to be possible? More amusingly, due to coming 4th in a year long Golf tipping contest on Twitter, I gained £100 for my pains, and thought I’d give some new therapies a try, rather than frittering it on clothing, and the like. So yes, I got to discover just how amazing a flotation tank (sensory deprivation tank) is, and even better, the weightless floating does seem to do my back a lot of good too. Fine, the tank hasnt tried to brainwash me yet, though I’m still hoping!

Oh, and December saw the Works Christmas dinner, in a new dress, in a casino, and my first ever bet in such a place. Yes, I lost quickly, but it was a free £5 chip, so nothing lost really!

Lastly, and sadly, the Department I work in, in their wisdom, have decided to move our section out of Finance, and into a new Collection based group. So unfortunately, just as our LGBT committee were getting ready to do something really exciting, I’m out, as from tomorrow. I cant see me going quiet on LGBT issues, but it may give me less options now, though I have applied for something for the whole Department, not just Finance, but will be over a month before I hear about that. Ah well…

Right, tomorrow I will close the trilogy, with a look at New Year happenings (and possible happenings) on the first day of 2019. But until then, let me wish all my readers, those who arent there already at least, a Happy New Year in 2019.

OK, video. Just a quickie tonight. Its hard to find anything for Mary Carlisle other than a couple of full films, and sets of pictures. But I found this, Bing Crosby singing to her, 85 years ago!

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When a Broadway Baby says goodnight?

Its early in the morning, right? Well, I hope most of my readers spotted that line coming at least? And yes, I can claim to be a Broadway Baby last night, even if it refers to the shopping centre in Bradford of that name, not the more famous street in New York! And no, I wasnt that early in the morning, though someone thought maybe I was, more on that shortly?

Last night was the works Christmas dinner, as mentioned in the previous blog, and 10 ladies headed into a local casino, to have a meal, and some fun. No, not that sort of fun, lol! 😛

The meal, and company was very good, I have to say, was a great evening. Lastly, we all headed for the casino, to play our free chip, and see if we could win our fortunes, on the spin of a roulette wheel. No, I didnt, and indeed, at time of leaving, no one had. Some were making a profit, but I lost on my first, and probably last spin on a roulette wheel in my life. It was amazing how many chips some seemed to be gambling on the spin of a wheel, but given I had no idea of the values of the chips, it might not have been as much as it seemed?

Anyway, shortly after that, this little ‘Broadway Baby’ slipped back to her hotel, and slept all night. Well, with the painkillers I take, thats not hard, but anyway… No, I didnt find a wealthy ‘sugar daddy, or mummy’, no great shock there! So, given I didnt bother to take my laptop with me, I got up, took my pills, had breakfast, then headed for home.

OK, we’ll get to the funny moment now. I hopped on the bus to come home, dressed in my (very fake) fur coat, with an overnight bag, and a glint in my eye. Oh, and hair only roughly tousled, as some silly blonde forgot to take a comb with her, so I had that tousled, fresh out of bed look to my hair.

To be fair, the driver never said a word as he gave me my weekly pass that I’d purchased from him, but the look said it all, and I was more than happy to play him along. 😉 Yes, wicked minx, had a saucy night, and got up too quickly to do her hair, lol. I didnt think the coat looked that real, but well, maybe it does?

I played it up beautifully, giving him the cutest, “Thank you.” as I got off the bus in Huddersfield. Yes, why not play along if he thought I’d been to see ‘Daddy’ overnight for some fun? Of course he might have been thinking I’d been earning money in another way overnight that would give me the ‘fresh out of bed’ look, who knows, lol?

So, video time. This song has actually been in a few movies in its time, but this is the longest section I can find, featuring both song, and dance. 42nd Street, its actually about a 13 and a half minute number, and yes, Clara Johnson was dancing on that movie. Gold Diggers of 1935 too, she was there.  But longest snippet I can find of those is just some of the dance, just under 3 minutes long. So I’ll roll with the 1951 Doris Day version, from the film of the same name.

Viva Las Bradford?

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…

 

The Dapper Flapper?

Yes, some of you may have noticed there wasnt a blog on Sunday, as per the normal routine? Some of you might even have been concerned by that, lol? Well, darlings, I ended up in Bradford a day earlier than normal this weekend, and was a bit engaged that evening, maybe in the style of a different era?

Yes, Bradford went back to the 1920’s (well, one ballroom at the Midland Hotel did at least) on Sunday evening, and I was there. Sadly, bar prices stayed in the modern day, but I’d have been more surprised if they hadnt, lol! Not that my drinks (orange juice darlings, not bootleg gin as rumours might suggest!) seemed that expensive, but I have no idea of bar prices nowadays, in truth.

Sadly, I wasnt staying at this delightfully old fashioned hotel, a bit beyond my budget (though seemingly not as much so as I expected it to be, I found out afterwards), and was at the modern delight that was the Travelodge instead. I know, its only a dozen miles, but was a late finish for public transport, and how much travel my back could take nowadays, I took the easy option. Place was fine, other than not enough warm bedding for this time of year, but other than that, pretty good.

I did take a short (and more apt) flapper dress with me, but it was way too cold for that, even if I only had a short walk, my bare legs would have hated that. I would say, and I’m 60, but there was a woman at least my age, in a dress that just about covered her ‘modesty’ but I suspect she had to walk no further than the car park!

The night was fun, even if I wasnt actually dancing like most, partly because of my back, and mainly because I have no dancing skills anyway, I claim Clara Johnson used up all of those. Might also be all that knee damage, who knows? And yes, I had a ‘partner in crime’ for much of the evening, as Madi came along, suitably dressed.

The band was decent, and some of the outfits were amazing. A good number of the flapper dresses I recognised from Amazon, Ebay and the like, though there were a few that definitely looked vintage too, I must say, and probably were! I do wish I was able to dance at something like this, but such is life. I might have to work on some dancing skills before March, but more on that nearer the time, darlings! But yes, Blackpool, 15th – 17th March, you might want to be there! 😉

And yes, I know its the travel that is my main pain issue, not work, as yesterday was the least painful Monday I have had in a long time. Yes, no journey by bumpy bus to work!

I did do the ‘survey’ for the hotel this morning for the stay, and commented about the bedding situation. I will see on 14th December (staying there again, works dinner) if they’ve taken the advice, but I doubt it!

But yes, 1920’s in Bradford was fun, and maybe I should have gone full flapper, even so, but my knees would have hated me if I did. Maybe next time, hmm?

Right, video time. To be honest, I think some of the dancers on Sunday were better than these, but anyway, gives an idea as to what was going on. Boop, boop a doo! 😉

The second hand unwinds

One thing I have never been, is one of these people who have to have numerous accessories to cover every occasion. Therefore, for me, one handbag pretty much does all, until its worn out, and then I get one replacement, and nothing more. Another thing I feel the same way about, is watches.

Therefore, despite having hit 60, and always wearing a watch when out, I doubt the number I’ve owned in my life would reach double figures, or if it has, literally only just. Yes, thinking about it, I’ve had my last watch for over 10 years (probably nearer 12), and not bothered with another watch in the interim. But yes, as they say, everything comes to an end, and given I’ve only just put a new battery in it, and its still losing time, I think I’ve worn it out! Given it cost about £6 back then, I think its been a value buy, lol!

You would think, with inflation, that its replacement would be more expensive, right? But of course, anything that has improved with technology, even things that were cheap in the first place, not true! If I could have waited about 3 weeks for a new one to arrive from China, I could have got a very nice one for about £3. When I need one A.S.A.P, and have to buy one from the UK, its still only £5! Its got a large face (ideal for short sighted old biddies), and its silver (ideal for robot wannabees), and will arrive early next week, so I’ve bought it. Just think, if it lasts as long as this one, and given my fragile body, it could outlive me! Hopefully not, but unless the pain really can be eased, I might be grateful if it does.

The other thing that I’ve done today, that tells me that I’m getting old, and practical, is booking a hotel stay. On 14th December, we are having the staff Christmas do, at a nice place near to work. To sum up, there are 11 going, all ladies! Now, because this only gets started at 7.45 – 8.00 pm, or so, after work on that day, its going to be a late night, by the time it finishes. Yes, I’ve already got the day after off, though only to allow the back to recover, not a hangover recovery in my case.

But yes, this means, its not going to finish early, lets face it? So, given that at best, I’d need a late night taxi home from Huddersfield, and possibly a late night taxi home from Bradford, I’ve got boring, and sensible. Yes, I’ve booked a hotel nearby for the night, and will come home the next morning. Its literally 5 minutes from work, 5 minutes (in a different direction) from where we are eating, so all makes sense. And besides, it gives me somewhere decent to change in the evening too! Well, as decent as a Travelodge can be at least, lol! In truth, with the discount I’ve got from them, its no more expensive than a taxi from Bradford to Huddersfield, even at the budget end of things! I know, where’s the excitement in that, but fine, I’m too old for excitement now, lol!

And besides, if I pull (stop laughing now!), I’ve got a double room in town! No, not going to happen, but thought has given me a fit of the giggles at least!

Right, video time. It is 3 years since I used the Cyndi Lauper version of this, so it would have been fine to use again. But then I found this, from a talented artist that not enough people know, who died way too young.

Getting ready for the 20’s

No, darlings, I’m not getting keen, and getting ready for the 2020’s, heaven forbid, though if anyone has an astronaut suit (supposed to be going to Mars in this decade), or a nice robot suit, I wont say no. But no, seemingly, in the next 6 months or so, the 1920’s will feel like my favored destination. Not that I will complain, and if I can find that time travel window back to that era, just think how far my bank balance would go, lol. Four figures must have been a decent fortune back then, I’m sure?

Tomorrow, I will be wearing something far more interesting at work than a top, and slacks, believe me. We’re having a ‘dress up’ day, to hopefully raise some money for charity, and I was playing up my options as to what dress to wear. I did consider the ‘wedding day’ dress, or a blue, sparkly 30’s number, but both are fairly short (just about knee length), and the weather forecast for tomorrow (wind and rain) suggest those options might not be wise, even if the only trip outdoors in them would be to get lunch, not wearing a nice dress on the dirty old buses, lol. Yes, credit to First Buses, some of them feel like they were built in the 1920’s, though the licence plates suggest the turn of the century is as old as they get, but even so… Mind, if anyone in area has a car free tomorrow, complete with rumble seat? 😉 Boop, boop a doo!

And yes, even though I’m going to be a thoroughly modern flapper, the short dresses in that style wont be coming out just yet, either. Maybe soon (see shortly on here), but not tomorrow, as they show the knee, let alone just about covering it. I know, darlings, shocking at 60, but we girls have to have fun, giggle! So yes, planning on taking the long flapper dress I wore on my Birthday with me, though I suspect some ‘more modern’ woman will probably beat me to the prize, as I’m not the cutest beauty!

On top of that, at the end of October (Sunday, 28th) in Bradford, there is going to be a Gatsby evening, and fine, given it wont be far from work, I cant resist that. It is principally for a dance, which I might try and do, even though saying I’ve got 2 left feet would probably be kind. Might be my knee damage, might be that Clara stole all the dancing skills, but cant dance to save my life. But yes, darlings, short flapper dress, giggly attitude, and who knows, I might be the Cats Whiskers, but I doubt it.

Then in March, another 20’s event in Leeds seemingly, which I could easily be convinced to go to, though dress length might depend on decorum, and the weather at the time. Would love to say short, but it wont be warm, especially when I come out, and a ‘young lady’ will probably have to get back to Huddersfield afterwards, so…tries to look angelic…?

To be honest, I’ll probably be happier living in the 1920’s, though ideally with modern conveniences, as I’m sure I’d make a lousy housewife nowadays if I had to cook everything from scratch! Might give my loving husband a ‘little shock’ too, at present, lol! 😛

I wonder if Clara Johnson frolicked as a young flapper back in the real 1920’s? I suspect she did, but no evidence of course. But no, cant imagine a dancer being shy, and retiring, somehow?

Right, video. I’ve used this song before (not hard to work out with 1 hit wonders), and I might have used this video before as well, but just seems rather apt. No, tomorrow at least, I will not be flashing this much leg! Other 2 Flapper events, who knows, darlings, but I wouldnt have high expectations, lol? Couple of weird, added extras in this, but this is only copy I can find.

 

You make me feel…

I knew it was somewhere around this time, 2 years ago, that the ‘old lady’ started back at work full time, 15 months after being made redundant, but couldnt have told you the exact date if you paid me. Anyway, according to a congratulations from someone on LinkedIn, the anniversary was today, or looking at a calendar, more likely yesterday, because he’s 5 time zones behind me, and the Monday was the 15th, but anyway… Yes, I know, I did do a couple of temp things in the interim, one OK, one I’d like to wipe from the annals of history, and which I can safely say, never made my CV, being only just over a week that I could stand the place.

Well, as it stands, I’m hoping its the last time I ever start a job here in the UK. Well, because even if the back holds out that long, and I’m not convinced that the attrition of travel to, and from work wont get it before then, I’ve got less than 6 years to go, and no huge ambitions, in a work sense at least. Well, unless someone wants to offer me a major acting role, but at my age, with my back disability, and my ‘push’ all gone, I dont see that happening. That doesnt mean I’m not going to appear on a stage again, mind, before Angie says anything, because if something in that sense can be arranged, I am more than up for it, believe me. I might say that my singing isnt great, I suspect my dancing would be limited now, even more so than before, but that chance, on a stage, to do either, you bet I would!

There is also a distinct chance that I might be getting a new role in life, but if so, that will be outside the UK. Possibility I’m going to be a companion, and part time P.A to a wonderful lady, somewhere across an expanse of water, well, thats all I’m going to say at present. But given the chance, the warmth on my back, amazing company, no travel on buses, and everything else, no way am I saying no! Oh, and her biographer, maybe that too?

But while I need to drag my aching body to work in the UK, there is only one place I want to go to, until they sling me out at least, either due to age, infirmity, or the fact I’m moving abroad (at which point I guess its me slinging me out). And yes, thats where I am now, because not only is it a great place to work, but as the video says, they do tend to make me feel like a natural woman too!

Right, video time. I did think of doing a tribute to Aretha Franklin, who left us today at the age of 76, but fine, I’d just be cribbing Wikipedia if I did, and thats being lazy! But musically, oh absolutely! RIP Aretha, has to be said, and thanks for the memories

Not everything is visible

A few weeks ago at work, something happened that I didnt exactly feel thrilled about, but decided to give it a pass at the time, but then yesterday, to misquote Jean Harlow in Dinner At Eight, “I was reading an article yesterday, and…” discovered that someone else at work had also suffered a similar issue, which for want of a better term, I shall call ‘Invisible Disability’.

The shameful thing, for which I blame the fact that I was reading it between several phone calls at work, is that I cant remember her exact issue. All I can remember is that someone called her out at work, over a disability that most of her colleagues knew about, and that he either didnt want to accept, which I think it was, or was the one person in the office who didnt know, but either way, she was rightly distressed by the events, and I dont blame her in the slightest for being so.

Mine, funnily enough, I can remember. I arrived at work, and headed for the lift, to get up to the first floor. I can just about cope with standard stairs, though even then, I dont tend to tackle them unless I really have to. No, that doesnt yet stretch as far as using Eric’s stair lift at home, but other than that…I tend to be practical. Down isnt as bad as up, but Bradford Interchange is still the only place (other than home) where I tend to do that, but only because there is only 1 small lift, which has actually been out of order for quite a while, but anyway…

Oh, and workplace is an old mill building, those steps are large! So no go, either way, believe me! So yes, I use the lift, but then again why shouldnt a (partially?) disabled old lady do so?

Fine, what happened, I can hear you shouting! There was one other man waiting for the lift by the time it arrived, having been outside for a smoke. Anyway, he started asking me why I was using the lift, and why shouldnt I use the stairs. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt, explained the situation (lets face it, my brace is hidden under clothing), and he wasnt impressed. So, I showed him the brace, same reaction. But agreed, I shouldnt need to have to explain why I was using the lift in the first place.

But you know, the reason I still nearly reported him, he got off at the first floor as well! Admitted he was just using the lift because he couldnt be bothered to go up the stairs. Anyway, rather than asking him why it was fine for his lazy self to use the lift, but not a disabled lady, I just walked/hobbled away before I erupted in his face, and let off the verbal backlash.

Strangely enough, he’s avoided me ever since then!

So yes, people, before any of you comment about a ‘lazy person’ using the lift, instead of using the stairs, just stop and think, there may be an unseen reason why they cant use the stairs, before putting your foot in your mouth. Not that it seemed to concern him, but anyway… Just please, dont let it be you, next time!

Right, video time. Some old Genesis for you, with as apt a title as I could think of.

The sound of silence?

Well, last night, trying to get home from work, given I was running late, due to a late phone call meaning I missed my usual bus, there was a deafening silence in the sense of the bus that should have been taking me home instead, was nowhere to be seen. Oh fine, in the sense of this really being surprise news, with First Buses, no great shock. They are known by most, as Worst Buses, for a very good reason.

Thankfully, rather than an extra half hour of delay, even assuming the bus after actually turned up, I bit the bullet, paid the extra, and dashed off, and got the train instead. To add to the wisdom of that call, the train driver seemingly raced along, I got the bus I should have got from travelling on the bus to Huddersfield, probably easier than I would normally do that. So in the end, given I have less distance to walk, I was less than 10 minutes late home. If I’d waited for the bus that didnt show,who knows how late I would have been?

But the actual silence I’m writing this blog about, is hopefully not a temporary one, though I’m not going to put good money on it. From mid afternoon onwards, somewhere along the street, an alarm has been going strong, until recently. Given the heat, I wouldnt want to shut the door, but its a horrible sound. Goes off for about 20 minutes, then stops for about 10 minutes, then repeat and rinse. Yes, we checked, no one anywhere to be seen doing anything ‘naughty’! Just a lot of noise from somewhere nearby.

But now, for the first time in hours, seemingly, a long period of silence, which even the cats arent disturbing!

Right, video time. The obvious song from the blog title, but not the obvious version.

Where had all the people gone?

Oh fine, I thought I was going to be reminiscing about the previous time that England were in a World Cup Final, even more so when I got in last night, and saw the score was 1-0, but everything went downhill after that, so you’re getting this instead! 😛

To be honest, I guessed I’d see less people around last night than normal, but in truth, during the walk into Bradford from work, I hardly saw anyone at all. Well, apart from inside the bars, showing the football, lol…Little did I know that by the time I walked past, England was already winning. Even the Interchange was almost empty, and the bus had a fraction of the normal amount of passengers too. Despite a few ‘idiots’ (signalled the bus to stop, just as he was passing at speed, but he managed to stop, and wait for them to sort out their fares) for the first time in memory at that time of night, the bus actually had to wait for the clock to tick round at Brighouse before we could complete the trip to Huddersfield. Despite that, I got off at Huddersfield 4 minutes early, and got a bus towards home that should leave a minute before I get there, and thats with a couple of minutes walk. That bus was quiet too.

As for this end, well, I could have walked home in a swimsuit, and pretty much no one would have known! I saw a driver, and 2 passengers on a bus heading into town at a respectful distance, but I doubt they saw me. Other than that, no one!

For the first time this tournament, I switched on the football at home, and discovered the news, England were winning. By the time I’d gone downstairs, put my dinner in the microwave, and got back upstairs, they were drawing! Then I jinxed them, I left the football on, and the almost inevitable happened, they lost! At least it wasnt on penalties this time, lol. So sadly, it seems like we will have to put up with Baddiel and Skinner for 2 more years at least, singing about 3 lions on shirts, ah well…

For me, the more exciting potential news was another chance to dress up old fashioned style, and work in the Blackpool area (Lytham, to be precise) as an advertiser for the Film Festival next March, but its a weekend in August (18th and 19th), so not even worth asking in truth, as Saturday’s are short staffed enough as it is, without being in School Holidays (we have a number of term time only staff), and besides which, I suspect finding accommodation over there in mid August, no chance! Its not even like its just a Saturday anyway for me, I’d need to finish early on the Friday to get there, would need the Monday off to recover afterwards, so… No, I dont know what era, or look just yet! Probably better I dont know, might regret not doing it!

OK, video time, at least you’re saved from Keith Allen, aka Fat Les, due to last nights calamity with England. I had no idea how good Marlene Dietrich’s singing talents were by 1963, but they were bearable. And yes, its more than one glorious link to the past that I love, so…