Category Archives: Bradford

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…

Lets fly the broomstick!

Well, I guess that on Thursday, the next blog might have to mention some soccer tournament, if the result is right tomorrow night, but other than that, I’m running a bit low on ideas now I’m producing 3 blogs a week, for 2 blogs, so if anyone has any subject matter they want discussed, with weird being fine, feel free to suggest away! And by the way, if you thing this blog is a bit out of left field, you should see the other one, or perhaps you will? 😉

Lets just say that if I wait for a polite, sweet greeting from Eric when I get home from work, I’ll have a long wait. Dont get me wrong, thats not in the nature of either of us, and being truthful, I’d wonder what was up if he did!

So, to cut a long story short, I got home last night, to discover that Eric had lost his broomstick that he uses in the back yard. Yes, thats right, I was asked if I’d taken it out for a flight, as, you know, like witches do! Well, I suppose it makes a change from the alien, or dinosaur comments, but besides that… No, before you ask, I hadnt seen it, and definitely hadnt taken it out for a flight, though in truth, I only wish I could, as it would be far more reliable than First Buses will ever be! And equally, as per last night, if I got a late call, as its about time to go home, thereby missing my normal bus, it would be so much easier if I did have one.

Instead of then leaving Bradford 22 minutes later than normal, and then suffering a journey where the driver seemed to think that 30 mph would be excessive, so I was late back to Huddersfield, and therefore missed the bus I should catch home off that one. I ended up blowing some of my tax refund on a taxi fare home, so that I could avoid being 30 minutes or so late home.

Yes, just imagine the convenience, if all I had to do was pick up my broom, get to my take off space in the car park, and fly home. Fine, I might prefer a helmet, to a witches hat, but hey, I guess if I had magical powers, it probably wouldnt matter? Get home, and indeed to work far quicker if I could too, what a bonus! And fine, I know witches arent meant to be the prettiest of creatures, but given this is me we’re talking about, lol…?

Wonder if I could make the TV news, flying to and from work on one of those? I suspect the answer is yes, most definitely, but then again, I would in a flying saucer too! Mind, one of those, and the trip would probably be down to minutes, I suspect a broomstick might be slightly slower, lol?

But yes, if anyone has a flying broomstick (ideally with safety harness), or even better, a flying saucer, or space craft that I could use for commuting, please, please let me know! Seriously, I’d love to have to not rely on First Buses, believe me!

OK, video time. Sadly, You Tube couldnt provide me with a live Brenda Lee performance of this song (just a small snippet), so you’ll have to settle for the more recent (still 37 years old) Coast To Coast version. Yes, that blonde dancing in the background, I wish!

 

All we need is love?

I had the misfortune this afternoon to look at my Twitter feed, nothing wrong with that in itself, I hear you say? Well in the trending topics section was something marked #PunishAMuslimDay . My first thought was ‘what the hell?’, followed by a great deal of outrage on my part. My second thought was to go and look at the thread out of curiosity. Thankfully, most people posting there seemed to be as outraged as me about the whole matter. Apparently, some letter from some right wing group had got itself a larger audience than planned, and had gone viral on there. So hopefully, on the whole, its had the opposite effect to the one desired, I just so hope no one has been hurt, or worse, due to this nasty piece of work.

Irony is, I went back a couple of hours later, and it had disappeared off of the trending topics list, and had actually been replaced by one, #LoveAMuslimDay! This one seems to be an eclectic mix, about half being people supporting Muslims, and the other half seemingly being right wing extremists (mainly from US, despite the whole thing starting in the UK) doing just the opposite. The funny thing is, none of these had locations on their profiles, while having very similar profiles, how strange? Russian bots, supporting Trump, oh surely not? Sadly I know there seem to be far too many Americans with these sort of views, so I’m not going to say they are, but its strange how none have any location against their name?

Who, me? Oh please, the moment I saw that, my inclination was that if I had a Burka handy, I’d have been dressing up in it, and going out in support of Muslim women as a whole! I must admit, in this corner of West Yorkshire, that might attract less attention than it would in some places, though there may be a few who would…? But no, as unsurprisingly, I dont have one, nor did I have immediate access to one, so I didnt do it of course.

I suspect it could be ‘actress curiosity’ that I would dearly love to wear the Burka out on the street, to find out what life is like from the other side. I’ve seen it worn numerous times in Bradford especially, and indeed in Huddersfield, and wondered what it would be like to be out, with only your eyes visible to the world? So please, if anyone reads this, who wants to give me the chance to wear this item, and solve this piece of ‘actress curiosity’, please, let me know, because I’d love to find out what its like to wear. I’m not sure if, as a white woman, whether a ‘minder’ might be wise, if I went out wearing it, though I suspect in Bradford at least, probably not!

I know, some might suggest that as a Trans, Bisexual woman, Muslim people might have issues with a woman like me. However, in an office with numerous Muslim people working there, not once! I suspect there is one that might try to avoid me on the whole, but I’m not even certain on that! So let me say, if anyone has issues with Muslim people, because of issues like LGBT, come and see me, and learn about my world!

Equally, I’m not saying all Muslim people are a delight to know, but lets face it, its equally fair to say that of some supposed Christian people either!

OK, rant over. Yes, that means video time. Big clue in the blog title? Well, maybe…?

The Roaring Teenies

Well, fine, a couple of years younger and I really could have posted this as the roaring twenties lol, albeit one hundred years on from the original, but anyway…

So, last night, for the first time (but not the last) in a week, I got into flapper girl mode last night. Oh fine, pushing 60, girl might be being a bit optimistic, but hey, all I need is a good rejuvenation machine, and a dancing skills neural download, then watch me go! Open to all mad scientist offers to arrange that, by the way! 😉 Oh please, dream birthday present, and all that! Then I could show Clara Johnson how to dance! Well, probably not, but…

So yesterday, after the working day, I, and several work colleagues (8 in the end) showed up for a lovely meal, at a lovely restaurant in Bradford. 3 of us at least probably had the staff wondering which decade they’d opened the doors into! No, to be fair to the others, notice was limited, and it is a cost, so… still kudos to Madi, and Rebecca for putting on a show too. What, you want proof, of me at least? Oh fine!

 

 

Now where did that time travel portal disappear to? As you cant see from these shots, my dress wasnt quite as short as the ones being worn by the young ladies in the video, but hey, I’m very nearly 60, so… Not sure the dress on Friday will be as long lol! But yes, if I get pictures, and my legs arent too shocking a sight…? 😉

In truth, my dress was very maxi in length, and even after Ella took it up (thanks given) a few inches for me, it was still touching the ground! Taking it up again, and then I might even flash a little ankle, ooh! If done, I might take it to Blackpool on Friday as a back up, as I know it fits, and then I might wear it again next Saturday, for the birthday meal for the home group. If not, it will get worn again, I’m sure, just not quite sure when!

Still, until next Friday at least, I will have to live in this strange thing called the modern world! Unless I can find that portal, and then wouldnt I be the cat’s whiskers, darling!

Video time. No, I didnt do any dancing last night, nor will I be planning to dance on Friday without a lot of assistance mentioned above. My dress last night wasnt this short, but next Friday, who knows?

 

If I was?

Firstly let me say that I didnt see this on TV last night, only finding out about it after it had all happened. Besides which, given I tend to avoid this sort of reality TV, I probably wouldnt have watched it, even if I had known, given what I’ve since read of her views beforehand. Yes, but for Twitterverse, I might never have known about it, though given the coverage it got this morning, that might have been hard to miss!
So my views are more my own, and as much as I could gather from comments from Twitter, and various media outlets, which may not be all that reliable.

Right, disclaimer over. Thats right, for those in the UK at least, who might know about it, the C4 program last night, A Week As A Muslim, is what I’m talking about tonight. For those elsewhere in the world, well, you’ve seen as much of it as I have!

It seems to be the classic TV take on something like this, take a self admitted non-fan of Muslim people, and get her to live as a Muslim for a week, and film events as they happen. I’m going to use that term, for now. She might have been worse than a non-fan, but as I wasnt witness to that, I’ll leave it there. Part of the reaction against her seems to have related to the fact that she was ‘made up’ to look like she was a Pakistani, which worked both ways, garnering complaints from those who wished to point out that there are white people who are Muslim, so she didnt need to be ‘colored’, and from those who said that it wasnt done in a flattering way to Pakistani Muslims, but as that is Twitter hearsay, I’m not sure how much credence to give to that. None would probably be close to the mark, there are some ghastly views on Twitter, on both sides of the fence!

Of course, as fate would happen, she went to live with a Muslim family in Manchester, and it coincided with the bombing at the Manchester Arena, which led to her realizing, even more, just what ordinary, innocent Muslim people have to put up with from some ‘idiots’! She only faced it for a few days, but for so many more, its a sad fact of life, at all times. So wrong, so sad that there are people like that, but anyway…

For me, I think it would be fascinating to spend a week as a woman in a Muslim family. But yes, I wouldnt make for ‘great TV’ because I’m pro ordinary Muslim people anyway. No, I dont support the terrorist branches, but neither do most Muslim people here anyway! And lets face it, there are some pretty awful right wing white supremacist types around too! Oh fine, she wore a Hijab, but I know that if I was in that role, I would have wanted to go out in a Niqab, or Burqa, just to find out the real truth. Mind, I suspect the reality in Bradford might be different to Manchester, but in truth, no idea.

I have some experience in these matters now, of course. Before September, I’d heard stories of people deliberately ignoring people in wheelchairs, trying to pretend they werent there, but I hoped it was being exaggerated. Sadly, the answer was no, it isnt. When sat in one, people just looked away, had to literally be shouted at, to stop them walking in front of the moving wheelchair, and so much more. All the same, I’m looking forward (hopefully, health permitting) to experiencing ‘Round 2’ in May, in 3 airports (I need to transit going out, direct flight back), I must say.

I guess it might be an actress thing, the challenge of a new role, either in a production, or in this case, a real life situation. So yes, a week as a Muslim would be a very different show with me, but I guess I’ll never know what its like. Unless…?

Equally, of course, if Channel 4 want to consider making a show, a week as a robot, hmm, lol? 😉

The video, massive clue in the title. Live version, a very good one, mind, as I’ve used the original before.

My life in a Northern Town

Firstly, let me say, that for those who are curious, this video was shot, not a ‘million miles’ from where I live in Hebden Bridge! I suspect it might have changed a little in 30 years, but it paints an accurate picture of a small northern town back then. Well, put it this way, I remember Haworth back then, and it looks a fair match!

However, my northern town, as such, as you should already know, is Huddersfield. No, I cant remember what that looked like back in the 70’s, or early 80’s, because back then, it really wasnt on my travel route when heading up north. In truth, my memories of most of the places around Yorkshire from that long ago are fairly vague, apart from probably Haworth (and maybe Keighley?), because I either didnt see them at all, or only saw them in passing in a car, or bus.

Of course, that adds another alternate universe thing to the whole of my life. Suppose we hadnt moved down South permanently when I was 3 or 4, and suppose I had grown up from a young girl, in a northern town like Haworth. Marriage, children, work in a mill, who will ever know? Or working in one of the multitude of tourist type shops that grew through the village, as time moved on. No, I havent even been back in recent times, I know its not the village I grew up knowing, and though part of me wants to see it now, to see what its like, another part of me just wants to stay away, and preserve the memories, as they were. I know, I know, I have no idea which is the best route to go down, but I’m sure, at some point I will go back, like it or not!

Ironically, the only city I have really seen through all ages, is the one I now work in, Bradford. Even more amusing, where I work, I remember that area when it was actually a mill, and that children were told to stay well away from that area. Now across the road is a shopping centre, and our mill building is an office! Not hard to tell the latter mind, when you see the stairs inside the building, they’re steep, which is why this poor old crock has to use a lift at present, due to the state of her back.

And thats a matter I will soon know the state of, given that I rang the surgery today, and found out my scan results are back. No details yet, as the Nurse dealing with my case was off today, and to quote the receptionist, the results were all in medical talk, so none the wiser at present. I’ll find out Thursday, I’m told, and will report accordingly. I’d love a new cybernetically upgraded back, or full body, but pretty sure that offer isnt available! Most likely some more pills to take, will be interesting to see if estrogen is amongst them, given what I said I would do if they were!

So I guess I might yet end up as a Northern housewife, but I wouldnt put good money on it, lol! Would be amusing though, over 50 years on from when a ‘young girl’ might have had that planned out for her?

Video time. How this group was a one hit wonder, no idea, but they were. There is a different version of this video, filmed across the Pennines, near Manchester, but this is the Yorkshire version!

Two out of three aint bad

Well, this is it, last UK blog for a little while, though I’m sure that if you’re good, you’ll get a few from the US, assuming Hurricane Irma doesnt decide to come and visit Cape Cod at least. If it does, all bets are off lol!

If you’re wondering about the blog title, its a ‘witty’ comment on my week. Tuesday, I became an, err, natural blonde again, when I went and had my hair colored around the corner, in preparation for the holiday. Yes, I am joking about the natural bit, if anyone was stupid enough to think otherwise! I will be back there shortly after the holiday is over, for another reason. Due to the wedding, I’ve been trying (mostly in vain) to grow my hair out, in case I need to put it up for the wedding. Well, I still wouldnt call it bounteous, but its more than I normally have. And yes, its beginning to annoy lol. So it will be getting clipped back to a more 30’s length very soon after I get back!

Secondly, yesterday, a lovely lady named Linda did her best (my body is the spoiler, not her skills) to get me in reasonable shape for the trip, and to get my nails looking all pretty as well. In truth, beyond my back, my body actually isnt in bad condition (relatively) at present, due to some suggested knee exercises given to me by the Occupational Health Dept at work. I must admit, I was cynical as to how well they would work, but fine, I’ve been amazed how much better they are, so…

Lastly, and with no thanks to First Buses on this (invisible bus syndrome this morning), I went over to Bradford today, for the bone density scan tests. Yes, I know, dont have to go to Bradford today for work, and still end up going there! I must say the staff at St Lukes were nice, and very efficient, so swiftly dealt with, and on my way again.

Oh, the two out of three bit? Well, it was a radio-logical x-ray, and I was sort of hoping that those beams would do something amazing to my body, and I’d come out looking like a 30 year old version of my past life dancer self, but it never happened. No, I didnt really think it would, but no harm in hoping lol!

Beyond that, most of the stuff I’m taking with me is packed in the case, pretty much anything left out is the stuff I need tonight and/or in the morning. I plan to wear the corset brace in the morning, because I will have to wait at check in, before being put into a wheelchair, and also to offer some support for moving the case along. I plan to get it off before the flight though, its just too warm wearing something made of neoprene for about 12 hours. Maybe I need to lose a few pounds in weight, but thats not a favored way of doing it!

Ah, the wheelchair. Yes, I’m still trying to get my head around the idea that it is wise, fine, and fully permitted for me to have one, but I still feel slightly guilty, all the same. If anyone wants to mentally solve that issue for me, feel free to do so! Yes, I’d enjoy that! 😉

At least there was one other piece of good news today, the swimsuit finally arrived, with the emphasis on finally. I’ll be honest, after 2 false starts, I didnt believe it was coming, even when I had an email telling me it was, until they delivered it at the door. Studio.co.uk are the shambles of a company that I would advise anyone not to ever purchase from!

Right, video time. Going back to the blog title, for one of the lesser known Meatloaf/Steinman songs, that is very apt here.

PS, If anyone does want to put me in a transformation chamber, and make me look like a young Clara Elaine Johnson, or Jean Harlow, feel free to contact me lol!