Its funny how things work out, isnt it? Or is it just the new female me?
I’ll openly admit, that back in 2001, when I finished managing various betting shops, something I’d done for over 20 years in total by then, I said, never again, that I just wanted to be a humble worker after that. I know, but the idea of being in charge for so long, for the shy, confused me (I discovered the trans thing just over a year before then, but was still having acceptance issues for a while, mother problems with it, lol), I’d had enough, and just wanted to be a humble worker after that, no great power.
Fine, it didnt work totally, given I got promoted to a new, more important team at Farnell, and I ended up as an Escalated grade agent at William Hill, but strictly, no management involved. So fine!
Then I got to my current job, and maybe its the atmosphere, maybe its just that the ‘old girl’ is slightly more ambitious than the male version of me (without a shadow of doubt, thats true), and I’ve started to think about improving myself again, and maybe end my working career in one last bout of management glory.
So yes, baby steps, nothing dramatic as yet, but I’m covering as team leader next week at work, for the first time. Incredibly, if in temporary role only, it will be my first time leading people for 17 years, but I’m looking forward to the experience. On paper, its for a week. In practice, due to the way things play out, I’ll get a whole 2 days as team leader this time around. Yes, that wont be it, will be doing it again later this year, if all goes to plan.
Why you ask, 2 days, when I do a 4 day week? Well, Friday is Good Friday, so a Bank Holiday, so we wont be open. Wednesday, I’ve got a meeting in Newcastle to go to, for the LGBT related committee I’m a member of. Oh, to add to the amusement, the Saturday, I’ll probably be the only one of my team in, as its not our Saturday to be working as a team, this one is. Still, will allow me to catch up on things, at my own pace, so probably not a bad thing!
After that, will wait and see? Certainly the next time vacancies come up for that role within the whole office, I’ll definitely consider going for it, providing I enjoy the experience next week. Whether I’d get it, who knows, but if I dont, it would be more down to my lack of talents in the ‘selling yourself’ front, than any issue of being Trans! And yes, the former has never been a strong point of mine, shall we say? But no, I think all the ‘Sir Humphrey Appleby’s ‘ of the world dont need to panic lol! But taking that first step forward again, yes, I think I’m ready for it, as a woman!
Video time. Normally its hard to find really old songs, with a genuine live performance, even so with some groups, like the Carpenters. But tonight…
Well, maybe I have been talking to myself, and feeling old? Fine, if that, and the blog title dont give you a clue to the video tonight, you’re way too young! Unlike me, but anyway…
I dont ever remember school closing for bad weather, but then again, that was about 50 years ago, so I’ve either forgotten, or it never happened? And given my first year at school included the brutal winter of 1962/63, I might be wrong, but hey, I was only 4, or 5 at the time, so something like that would easily pass me by, I guess? Nowadays, it seems to happen in a lot of winters. Is it just health and safety, is it just people getting softer, or is it quite possibly, the thought that if someone has an accident in said weather, that accident compensation claims will fly like confetti?
Up until yesterday, I’d had one day off work since moving up to Yorkshire, due to the weather, and even then, I walked into Huddersfield through the snow (about 2 miles), and it was only when I got to the railway station, to find that no trains were running, that I gave up on the prospect of getting to work that day. Yes, I then walked back home, there was no public transport whatsoever. But then again, I was healthy back then, so…
As those in the UK know, and maybe others too (at least 1 US friend commented on our winter weather overnight), we’ve had a ‘bit’ of snow this week. And yes, fine, at the time I was due to leave for work, the buses were running, just. Let me add, that about 35 minutes after that scheduled time, both the buses from the estate, and the buses to Bradford got suspended for a while. So whether I would have got to work, who knows?
As you might have gathered already, I have no idea on that, I never left home. Nowadays, there is an allowance called ‘snow days’ for when travel to work, especially for as distant as I am, is tricky, or impossible, you dont go. Normally you’d go to your nearest office (I could have gone to Job Center in town, I’m sure), but it was quickly agreed that I would be going no further than the front door. Lets face it, the last thing you’d want is me trying to get into town, having an incident, and being out of action for months, due to my back, or my knee issues. Not that I’m one of those ‘sue at all cost’ types, but still, if I damaged my back really badly…?
In truth, its no better today, and I doubt it will be much better in the morning, but I will see what its like before making a decision on that. I have this old fashioned feeling called guilt over such matters, even if it is the sensible thing to do. But fine, if its really crazy to try to get to work? I know, if it wasnt for my back, I would probably have tried it yesterday, but age, wisdom, and pain have made me more cautious, I guess? Ah well…?
Oh, and second piece of amusement, I’ve decided to give into modernity, and get a mobile phone. A very basic one, as a birthday present, but in truth, probably a wise call. I’m sure it will only get used in emergencies, or as on my birthday, as a means to call for a taxi (at Blackpool, to get from station to hotel, would be one of those), maybe? But fine, I’m getting old, I’m getting fragile (fine in both cases, should be got, not getting, probably), so having something like that to hand, not a daft idea. But yes, nice and simple, it will make and receive calls, it will be able to send and receive text messages (dont wait for me to do so), but that will be it! Oh fine, if you believe rumors, lots of 20’s and 30’s movie stars had one, care of time travel lol. I mean, there are pictures, there is film on You Tube, and…I’ll stop laughing now! But I wont be advertising the number, for sure!
Oh, and one last thing to show I’m old. This weekend (tomorrow, if I need another snow day), I’ll be ordering a Senior Railcard for myself. Yes, you can still get those at 60 (regardless of gender), and you can place the order online 14 days before your birthday. So… Will definitely get used this month, thats for sure. Blackpool (for myself), and Newcastle (for work) will both be a third cheaper thanks to it. Fine, it costs £30, but when you add in Scotland, in September… way in front!
OK, video time. Big clues at the start. Sadly, one lady who has never had to concern herself with the issue of getting old, she died far too young!
Very strictly, the answer to that question, is wherever life takes me, I guess? But strictly, for 2018, assuming I live out the year, some things will happen, some things may happen, and some things almost certainly wont happen, but it would be fun if they did!
Anyway, lets be boringly practical first, things that will happen, assuming the life quotient of course. The biggest, and most obvious one to mention, is that I hit the big 60 next March. I know, who would ever have believed it? But yes, the body is definitely now giving me more than hints that its not as strong as it used to be, so… Hard to believe, that 25 years ago, when a woman hit 60, she retired from work! Now, with a longer life expectancy for everyone, and things, its another 6 years to go! Still, gives me chance to build up my pension, I guess, body permitting. Lets face it, I’ve already had to cut back to 4 days a week, and the back isnt likely to get better, only worse, so…?
The only other definite things at this point, are the fact that I will be heading to Seattle in May for 8 days (yes, already decided the back will be up to that, fingers crossed it stays that way once booked), though that will be the only US trip this year. Yes, thats one cutback due to the financial situation. I thought I might be able to pull it off this year, for the last time, the double trip, but no, now know its not going to happen! I have got a few thoughts for a break in September, but will only be a few days, and will only be in Europe. Well, unless the work syndicate wins the lottery lol! So yes, I’ll be using an airport wheelchair (or 5) in May again on that trip. Hopefully, all will be a little smoother than last time!
The other is, of course, working on a group on LGBT issues at work within our section of the Civil Service. First actual meeting is planned for some point in New Year, but location and date, TBA at present. Quite an honor, quite a challenge!
The maybe’s look trip related. I might try to get to Ireland, for at least some cricket this summer, though sadly it wont be that first Test match, as its literally the week before I go to Seattle. But other games are planned, so time, and finances permitting, it will be nice to meet old friends again, and maybe make a few new ones.
Hey, another maybe, I might write another story or two lol! I really ought to, I have a few ideas, but getting around to it, but yes, I’ll risk putting it on the maybe list, rather than the unlikely one! The other maybe, is my first ever ‘senior citizen’ pass. Yes, the Railway senior discount pass still is permitted from 60, so if I travel on the Railways in September, as I might, I’ll get one then!
The unlikely ones, but not impossible? Well, the first one obviously relates to performing, in an acting sense. I suspect a presentation style performance might be more likely, probably on LGBT issues, but I suspect that will be it. Lets face it, who’s going to want an actress who hasnt done anything much in years, and now has back issues, which means standing for long periods for a role, is nigh out of the question! But maybe, out there is a director/producer who wants to do something crazy, and then, well…?
Then we come to the silly stuff, that ‘could’ happen, but you can be sure wont. Winning a lottery jackpot (I know, theoretically, but me, win anything, dont think so!), getting abducted by aliens, turned into a robot, or regenerating (well, if Doctor Who can do it?) as a young(ish) Clara Johnson might all be fun, but none are going to happen, I think we can safely say!
Lets finish with a dramatic, stat based thing. Look back through early film history, and you find a lot of famous actresses who passed on at 60. Clara Bow is one that immediately comes to mind! Now its fair to say that health matters have improved nowadays, and I have never been a famous actress, so I’m probably safe, but… Still, hopefully we will be doing this in a years time!
The video tonight, isnt a proper one, but it fits the title, and yes, its the Carpenters, so just rolling with it. Just a nice song, that hopefully you can enjoy.
So, one blog to go for 2017, as its back to work tomorrow. Any ideas for something you’d love to hear about, either from this year, next year, or Clara Johnson’s era, feel free to suggest in comments
OK, I’ve got a conundrum to try and sort out, and I cant say its doing anything for my sanity.
At the beginning of last week, I applied for a job with a building society in Bradford, and just rashly assumed that their head office would be in the centre of town. The advert for the job just said Bradford, at their head office, so I thought, fine. Then they sent me their details, for a proposed telephone interview, on Thursday, and I saw their post code, and realised thats not the centre of Bradford, but about 3 miles out of town! So I took a look, and the only consolation was that it was at least on my side of Bradford, even if not easily reachable by public transport. At which point, I took the consolation that given my record with competency based questions, on phone interviews, it probably wouldnt go any further.
Anyway, Thursday came, and so did the phone call. I thought I did OK, but no more, but I’ve thought that before and been told my answers weren’t good enough. So, when I got a call back on Friday morning, I was expecting my usual answer, that they were taking it no further, but no, they fooled me, invite to an assessment centre next Saturday!
Yes, I’m going, I have my reasons. Firstly, I can find out whether in reality, in the middle of Saturday morning, just how hard it is to get to by public transport. There would still be a major difference between doing it for 11.15, and doing it for an 8.00 am start, or after an 8.00 pm finish, but I can see how bad it would be. There is a second reason to my logic, because in truth, I know the first isnt going to work. Simple, they also have a vacancy for a customer service role, in their branch in Huddersfield. Fine, that would be face to face, not over the phone, but I’ve done it before, so…?
The only other feasible option would be to move out from here, and move to Bradford, but thats not really a road I want to go down, at this time of life. I know I live in a pretty solitary manner, but there’s still a difference between living alone, and having people around, should an emergency arise. There is also the problem that I couldnt raise the rent, plus deposit for that at present anyway! I still have the outlet that I probably wont get through the assessment centre, on past record, and if I do, they might give me the option of the Huddersfield job, but…? Never rains, but pours lol, which with the weather at present, is quite true!
The other snag with this job, is the financial one. Even if I get it, and I can do the travelling from here, it doesnt start until 7th of March, by which time, the money funds will pretty much (if not totally) be bare. And thats right, I wont get paid until the end of March, so…help?
So yes, if I feel like screaming loudly, and ending it all, can you blame me? Mind, if someone wants to put me somewhere safe, far away from all this, I should hopefully have a passport again very soon!
Right, the song. Big clue in the title lol!
No, seriously no, please dont. But the title fits in with the video, and that fits in (of sorts) with the location, so…
Yes, you’re right, the search is over. For better or worse, for crazy or totally insane, or whatever, the sanity break is officially settled, booked, and everything else. And no, not Plan B either! Which is why I can use the location connected video tonight. OK, the story, before the headline stuff.
I finally heard from Plan A man, apparently he no longer owns said cottage, but for whatever reason, the website wont let him delete his advert. Funnily enough, by the time I heard from him, I was booked! Plan B lady also had an interest for a 3 month stay, that would have overrun with mine, so decided to pass on me. I hope she doesnt end up with mud on her face over that, but anyway, not my concern now, really.
So, head to Plan C. 2 options, slightly further out from the centre of things, but very nice places. One, the current renter had just extended their stay, but yes, the other was free! And yes, its not free now! Thats right, however sane an idea it is, and I’m still not thoroughly convinced myself on that front, the deed is done, apartment and flight booked, for a 4 week stay in Hollywood. No one amazingly has yet told me what a daft idea this all is. Now whether thats because it isnt, or whether its because no one is just prepared to say it to my face, no idea! Too late now, either way! If nothing else, the air fare is booked, and thats non refundable!
Whats that? You want a look? Oh fine… https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/5857564 should take you through to have a look. Nice, isnt it? Well, you werent expecting a Harlow mansion on my budget lol? 😉 But its got everything I should need though, for my sanity break, and everything else. The oven (and microwave) gives me the option to buy cheap meals, and eat in, at least to some degree, probably wise under the circumstances, as well as eating out sometimes.
Plans, apart from the crazy one of attracting the eye of someone from a movie, or TV studio, and getting employed by them (which may have worked in the 20’s or 30’s, but not now), are simple. Hopefully get to see some of the sights I didnt get to see in April (and there are plenty), see some again (including a return visit to Forest Lawn), and hopefully get some useful things, like writing done. And fine, should I see a suitable job opening while there, I might just have a go. Not going to happen, unless they are really keen on me, but hey, who knows? Would be wonderful though, but I’m being realistic. I’m sure there will be a couple of “silly”, more expensive excursions (Dodgers are at home my first weekend, end of season) as well, but on the whole, I will have to be practical on such matters.
Of course, I might get wined and dined by someone romancing me, but I suspect thats as likely as becoming a movie actress! If someone offers to buy me a coffee, I suspect that will be quite something! But hey, I’ll be in the home of romantic movies, so…no, not really!
Fine, yes, and not just in case someone at the Job Centre is reading this, I’m still job hunting. But clearly, I’m now looking for something starting at the beginning of November. Christmas season might provide some temporary work at least, if nothing else. So fine, now you know.
Miss Harlean Carpenter (I might have been, if I could have fitted the name change in, between trips) will be taking up residence in a private apartment in Hollywood for the month of October (close enough, 30/9 to 28/10), and open to all offers in that period
I will have to wait until I get back from the trip to arrange that, but I’ve left the money in the secure Paypal account until I’m ready. Thank you to 2 people for at least paying part of the cost of that. Anyone else that is still inclined to help, just ask, and I’ll pass you my Paypal account details. And yes, the idea of a major change, and going with Harlean Stephanie as my name is definitely winning out at the moment.
OK, finally, the video. Its a slightly different spelling, and definitely will not be my phone number while there (that will be a modern AT&T cell phone number), but its close enough
National Classic Movie Day, so I’m told.
I do think that just maybe we are getting to a point of overkill with these things to be honest, but as it is one with a special meaning for me, I’ll roll with it.
When I was younger, I was fortunate enough to watch the likes of ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘Wizard Of Oz’ and ‘Casablanca’, and realise just what amazing movies they were. Yes, there were many others too, too numerous to mention, but they are pretty much 3 films that everyone has heard about, so…
Of course, in terms of personal classics, everyone has their own. Some of those films probably werent classics to most, but to the person who really matters, you, they are, and thats all that really counts!
A lot depends on your preference, I guess? Musicals, light comedy, war films, westerns, and so much more, all have their fans. As of course, do silent movies! In terms of personal tastes, both ‘Metropolis’ and Pandora’s Box’ get mentioned in such terms, though neither was wildly popular at the time they were made.
Of course, for many of my readers, their personal classics will be a lot more modern than mine! The only recent one that stands out for me in that sense, would be ‘Titanic’, but as you know, in terms of modern movies, I’m not a big fan.
Oh, and before you ask, no, I dont think Jean Harlow made a movie that would truly be regarded as a classic. She may well have done, had she lived a bit longer, and indeed there are tales that she had been asked to audition for the part of Scarlett O’Hara, but I have no idea how true that is. The one thing known, is that she was reading the book at the time of her death, and most suspect that was related. But given events, we will never know…
‘Dinner At Eight’ is probably her gem, but that is probably as much due to the supporting cast, as well as her personal skills. But believe me, if you get the chance, watch it. If not, try and find the segment of the closing lines, one of the greatest “put downs” of all time, hoisted on Jean!
So, unless its late in the day, as it is here, take a portion of your day, go watch a classic movie. After all, its the day to do so. Even if it is late in the day, and you havent seen one lately, spoil yourself.
Lastly, as always, the video. What were those great actors, and actresses, I ask you? Super stars, of course.
Yes, sorry, I know, its been a week since I last posted, been a lot going on in that time. Fine, most of it was work, but I would have posted Thursday, if I hadnt been being wined and dined by the company lol. So, there is a bit of news to catch up on, so lets deal with that. If all goes to plan, it might be a little tribute piece tomorrow night to someone I work with, even if it is a working day. Early finish, and all that, so hopefully…
Right, starting with Nicole’s operation, all has gone fine, I’m pleased to say. Yes, I know, maybe one day I’ll do the same, but for now…
Thursday, and the dinner. Yes, I’m told I looked good, though I havent yet seen any of the pictures taken of me (beyond one of my back) from the do, so can’t say for myself. The meal was good, much better than last year, and the hotel was very nice too. Only shock to me, no phone in the room! I know it was only a Travelodge, and most people have mobiles nowadays, but…I had to go back down to reception to book a taxi, aargh!
After that, nothing really worthy of note happened until 10.00 last night, or a few minutes after, when I got into my taxi home. It is absolutely pot luck as to who you get, but last night, I got one of my favourites, a wonderful lady, somewhere about my age, and its always a pleasure travelling with, and chatting to her. Most of the drivers have the radio on some station playing modern music, which I cant stand, so I’m glad to get home.
Yes, she had something different on, Radio Leeds! Playing lots of 70’s and 80’s stuff, bringing back plenty of memories for me. For example, album of the day, Carpenters singles 60-73, pure heaven for me. Got 3 more late’s this week, I hope I get her again, but I should be so lucky!
But the first record, had me going into pondering mode. What would it really be like to be in someone else’s shoes, even for just 1 day (hopefully that gives away the video), especially in my case, Jean Harlow. I have no idea what the general life of a 30’s movie star was like, but it would be amazing to find out, for me at least. Hopefully it would be a relaxing day, not one when she was filming lol!
And yes, on Sunday, it suddenly dawned on me that its only 4 weeks to my Harlow make up look, and not just for 1 day! Its going to be amazing (especially without those awful 30’s eyebrows), I’m sure, at the very talented hands of Paula. Really looking forward to that, I must say, but more on that nearer the time.
Oh fine, the video
Are supposed to always get you down, and yes, that is a huge clue as to what the video is lol!
But given summertime is now over, on both sides of the pond, its pretty clear that very soon, winter will be on its way. Indeed, just about an hour ago, they showed the view from Foxboro, where the New England Patriots play, and it was snowing! Hopefully there wont be too much of that in Albany, in 3 weeks time, but at the same time, I wouldnt be shocked if there was.
The biggest change at work, is the horse racing. It now starts much earlier, and in terms of the non floodlit meetings at least, it has to end earlier too. Lets face it, most sports nowadays pretty much take place under lights at all times anyway. Flat racing does, though for obvious safety reasons, jump racing doesnt.
So, the baseball season is finally over, after about 7 months of non stop play, I’m sure the players will be grateful for the break. Kansas City fell at the last step, a shame, but after 29 years of nothing post season, pretty awesome all the same. I must admit, Ice Hockey and Basketball dont have much interest for me, though I do plan to take in an Ice Hockey game in Albany, while away.
Yes, 3 weeks from now, you’ll be getting blogs from there, the next big event in my seemingly growing social schedule. 2 weeks later, the works Christmas dinner, for which I booked my hotel room earlier today. I will probably wear the new dress, though the mischievous Harlow element in me wants to wear the much shorter, sexier, blue sparkly dress instead, and show off some leg! I’m sure sanity will prevail, the longer dress, but we will see… 😉
The other thing I did today, was to book the rail tickets for Newbury, for January, after which I will definitely have the Harlow look, in style! Not that I’m as shy as I used to be, but I suspect that once I have the full look (including beauty spot) I might be even more confident in my new self. As far as I know, Paula has no way to make me think I’m actually Jean, but…
Oh, and the boring winter thing, I need to get sorted in the New Year, an eye test, and new glasses, I suspect. If I can find an optician, offering 30’s style frames…they might get some business! if anyone knows one, in the UK, let me know!
Yes, you should have worked out what the video is, at least I hope you have
Yes, absolutely no prizes for working out the video tonight lol! 😛
Equally, apologies if you were looking for something meaningful after almost a week away, but sadly no, maybe next time? So yes, the snow is gone, but currently we’ve got about as much rain falling here, as there is in Lake Windermere! Alright, slight exaggeration, but it feels that way at least. I had to go out tonight to the podiatrist (miracle foot worker, for those who dont know), and found out just how wet it was out there. Seriously, there was one of these path crossings between pavements, and it was like a lake. I know how it must feel for a horse jumping a water jump now lol! Yes, its mild, but seriously, a scuba suit would be the most suitable clothing item to wear out around here at present, though I’m not sure if the breathing gear is actually needed lol! But…
Beyond that, its been a funny sort of day. I seem to have done a lot, without really having much to show for it. Well alright, I have a pair of feet in better condition than they were a few hours ago, and I have the hotel in Rochester booked and paid for, for April, but otherwise…Where did my day off go? And yes, its funny how apt the first few lines of lyrics here are as well! Yes, in less than 7 weeks, I will be 55, eek! And what have I really done with my life? Ah well… And as for talking to myself, yes, plenty of times lol! Sometimes I even get sense when I do that!
Next week is going to be a weird one, I’m only working 4 days. Before anyone says anything, I’m doing my full hours over 4 days! Yes, I’m soft, helping out work again. The extra day off might be nice, but the 4 days I’m working are going to be tough. Does mean you might get an extra blog, or I might just take a days sleep, to make up for things. No, unlikely, given I’ve got 1 long appointment on Tuesday, and really ought to get my hair cut at least, probably coloured again too, given I should have the time. Sadly, as they tend to shut on Mondays, and thats one of my days off, it doesnt help!
Right, enough rambling waffle for now, got another blog to do, and a couple more things that I’d like to get done before bed, so…lets cut to the video. Yes, its the obvious one, and yes, I wish I could sing like Karen Carpenter, and indeed look like she does here, but I fail on both counts. So, please enjoy…
One thing I’ve noticed on my trips to North America, is that generally the transit (bus/metro) fares are all the same. Both Boston and Toronto (Minneapolis was, I think?) were this year, and I know Seattle and San Francisco do, though some routes into and out of the city do have 2 zones at least. Inner Seattle has free fares during the day though, a real surprise nowadays, I assume they still do. Personally I like the idea, you know what the fare is going to be, no arguments.
Over here however, nearly all bus routes have fares related to the length of journey made, though I’m not sure if London doesnt use the fixed fare method now? I would love to say this leads to all sorts of hilarity, except for the fact that much of the time I find what I have to report more as frustrating.
There are fares related to distances, based on what they call fare stops, as opposed to the inbetween bus stops. At these points, fares change, should be simple? But no! There are some who think that just because they are getting on the bus one stop before the fare break, that they can ‘barter’ the fare down accordingly. Hey, some think that at any point, they seemingly should get the next fare down anyway. Most of these, to put it diplomatically, are the ones with Indian sub continent (and neighbouring countries) ancestry, though there are one or two others. As far as I know, mainly because in the end they seem to slam down extra coins, they dont win, but that doesnt stop them trying again next time seemingly! Fares are fixed, just pay them!
I guess I get frustrated with them because 99% of my bus journeys either relate to getting into town to go to work, or getting home after a day at work, and I really dont want unnecessary delays!
Saturday, I also got ‘entertainment’ on the train, thankfully they dont stop the train while the conductor checks tickets lol. This woman (yes, you’ve guessed her origin) got most angry when the conductor wouldnt accept her expired (by 3 days apparently) Metro card could no longer be used to make journeys, and the whole carriage got to know it! He politely explained that she would have to buy a new one now, but she wasnt keen on that idea! She eventually paid out for a return ticket for that day, but she wouldnt have won any prizes for charm in doing so.
So, to anyone reading this, you know what your bus/train fare is, just pay it, dont try and get a lower fare, its not going to happen, and all you do is annoy fellow passengers. And as ‘The Hulk’ used to say, “You wont like me if I get angry!” lol!
The song, suitably apt for this rant I guess? One of my favourite groups, one of their early records, a cover version.