Category Archives: Cliff Richard

Power, to the people we want to be

I know, ideally I would have written this on Friday, but like most things in this world, everything cant be perfect! Yes, Friday was International Woman’s Day, something that I wish that one day, like Pride, like Transgender Day of Remembrance, we dont need to celebrate, to make a point to some. Not because its not worth celebrating, it is, but that the need wont be relevant any more.

To be fair, things are a lot better now than they used to be for women, and I mean in terms of events far more recent than the freedom to vote, which of course we recently celebrated the centenary of. Over the decades, birth control, wage equality, and other various issues have been solved, or at least made an awful lot better for women than they were when I was young.

Of course, this is coming from the woman who would love to be the ‘Stepford’ housewife of the 1950’s, running the perfect marital home, and a dream cook to boot. Yes, seriously, I would need the robotic housewife makeover to be able to do all that, believe me. Mind, back then, I would have been able to retire at 60, which might have been handy, given my back gave out at 59 and a half (well, close enough)!

Not that I will be around to see it, but when the women starting out on their working lives now, reach my age, things will be more equal for them. There was actually an IWD event in Huddersfield yesterday that I got an invite too, and a possible chance to make a speech too, but unfortunately it clashed with the 1 Saturday in 5 that I have to work, but hopefully it works better next year, even assuming my back still allows me to work by then! I’ve heard it was popular, which was good news for me at least.

Right, just to let you know, as I will be doing on the other blog too. I’m off the next week (20th is next day I’m working), and with Blackpool, schedule might get a bit erratic during that period. You might get more (if events need it), or, at the end of the week, you might miss out on them too. But tomorrow, and maybe the next 2 days, you suggest suitable material, I’ll write about it, with the obvious exclusion of UK related politics at least! No, I dont expect any suggestions, but…?

OK, video time. The Eurovision song from 1973, in fact! So, power to all my friends, especially female ones, cisgender, trans, or non binary. Fine, every woman, lol! No, I dont mean in the voltage sense, but if anyone is offering…? 😉

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Not quite so much the young ones

Right, firstly for those who know how to read both blogs, they’re going to be the same for the rest of the week, as the old lady is away on holiday, so pretty much all events will relate to that, and there’s no point writing pretty much the same stuff twice. Yes, in Portugal, on the Algarve for those who care, and want to flood me with money to spend…? Oh fine, teasing on last points, though after one item I saw today, I wouldnt say no to 32.50 Euros, if anyone is offering, more on that shortly.

In truth, getting here (Monte Gordo, for those who’d like to know, hotel details for a reasonable bribe! See above!) was pretty straightforward. Flight left on time, landed on time, and wheelchair soon arrived to take me through. I dont know the name of the gentleman, but not only did he get me through passport control, and handle my case for me, he literally wheeled me all the way to the minibus to take me to the hotel, which was far more than I was expecting. If anyone at Faro Airport can work out who this was, give him my thanks, and yes, I tipped accordingly! Minibus driver tried to match him by taking both my bags right up to hotel counter (I was last dropped off) for me, and yes, he got tipped too!

Dinner last night was fun. Nothing to do with the food, which was basic, but good, but the age of the people eating there. Yes, when at 60, you’re one of the youngest there, well… I think that its because a lot of senior citizen Europeans from chillier climes now come south for the whole of the winter (if they can afford it, not me!), and clearly this hotel is a prime destination for that! There were a number of younger people at breakfast this morning, so I think its just us that are less able, or less inclined to go out to eat who do this, me included now!

Anyway, after a gentle morning catching up on internet, and watching a bit of the remembrance service, I went out for a stroll around town. Its a typical, out of main season, seaside tourist resort, nothing exciting in truth. But it will more than do me. Nice boardwalk along the front, which I walked along, with several breaks to let my body recover, including one for coffee, and one for lunch, as well as a few just breaks for rest.

After that, I took a stroll more into the built up area of town (still not large), and looked in a few shops. I saw one lovely top that would definitely work as a 20’s look, and at about 14 Euros, will definitely be coming home with me, if I have the money at end of the week. I also saw the most gorgeous (fake) fur jacket type thing, which I loved, partly because it was gorgeous, and partly because it was so 30’s, though of course it would more likely have been real fur back then! Yes, shopkeeper saw me looking at it, so I asked price, see above, 32.50 Euros. No, I came on a tight budget, so probably not, but if I do have that much at end of week, its coming home for sure! Can just imagine Clara Johnson wearing something like that, though probably in real fur! Love, love, love!

Oh, lastly, the hotel. The front looks very modern, but the rooms (well, the one I’m in, anyway), have a much more old fashioned feel. Its not literally on the corridor, the rooms are set back a little, in pairs, and are huge by hotel standards. I literally have a double sized bedroom, a bathroom, and a large lounge area, where I’m typing this. It lacks coffee making facilities (I’ve been spoiled by UK/US hotels, I guess?), but other than that, its gorgeous!

Oh, the other weird thing? In the UK, and US nowadays, its prohibited to smoke pretty much anywhere indoors, in public buildings. Seems in Portugal, thats not the case. I finished my coffee this morning, turned to get up, and got ‘hit’ by the smell of cigarette smoke. Then I noticed the ash tray on every table, lol. Ah well…

Fine, video time. I’m guessing from the 50th Anniversary tour thing, that this must be from about 2008/09? Cliff, and the Shadows definitely still had it back then. Though no, I have no plans for any young ones of my own! 😛

We dont talk (or move) any more

No, not literally, even if I’m not as quite as active as I was when young, but thats what getting old will do for you, sadly. Oh, and a bit of arthritis doesnt help either! And that only covers the move bit, I talk as much as before, working in a call centre has something to do with that!

No, what I’m actually talking about is this years crazy trend, at least in the US, which is the mannequin challenge. Appeals to me far more than the ice bucket craze from last year, but thats age, and sensibility talking as much as the fact that this one appeals to me. Oh fine, this appeals a lot more to me, but anyway…

I hadnt actually seen much of it until just over a week ago, when one of the US NFL channels covered on Sky (so probably Fox?) had their half time reporting team ‘frozen’ in place when the team went over to them, just before half time, obviously all set up! But yes, it looked good, and looked fun to me! I’ve seen it a couple of times since then, including one college cheerleader team on one of the replay coverage things on ESPN from last weekend.

Sadly, I have the feeling that unless you have a group of you, a camera team (or at least a camera person), and a good setting, its not something that everyone can just do, unlike last year, shame! Yes, I most definitely would love to, given the chance. But yes, if anyone wants someone to help with a body, I’d love to do so, though I guess its going to have to be in Yorkshire, or nearby, to be feasible to join in. 😦

But yes, (sadly) its only a temporary thing, but how would you feel if it wasnt? As in http://www.mcstories.com/StatueInSiliconOne/index.html and the follow up story http://www.mcstories.com/StatueInSiliconTwo/index.html

Me, I suspect in the right pose, and the right outfit, I’d love it. Sure about that though, hmm? Fine, I probably would!

But fine, even temporary, and not actually turned to mannequin, yes, I’d love to give it a go! So, please…?

OK, video. Guess theres a decent clue in the title, though the younger ones may know a different song, of the same name, but thats far too modern for me!

Wired up, though not to be zapped.

Well, I dont know if any of my readers have ever had a full medical screening, in relation to going on clinical trials, or for any other reason, but now, I have! Really enjoyable experience, I must say, I only hope that the test results come back fine, and that I get selected to go on the actual trial now. If not, I’m sure a certain wonderful lady will be trying to find me something I can go on, even if the stay isnt quite as long. But hopefully, this will be the one…

OK, fine, dont laugh. The hardest thing this morning, the fact that I could only drink water in the last 6 hours before the screening. Yes, I know, I could, and did survive without coffee for that period, but it was hard! Someone here was trying to tell me it would do me good, but I still dont believe her. That first post screening coffee (free, at the screening place) may not have been the greatest cup of coffee of all time, but I didnt care!

Anyway, before we got there…

I actually got there a few minutes before planned, as for the first time ever, public transport ran smoothly, and got me there before the time the route planner said! Anyway, the lady on reception rang through to my contact, Ruth, and we met in person for the first time, as opposed to chatting on social media. Yes, she’s a lovely person, and I’m not just saying that because she’s going to read this. The guided tour impressed me, the facilities available, a comfortable bed in the ward, and everyone I met seemed nice. I was taken in a room where some ‘experiments’ are done, mainly in the sense of eating food in an isolated setting, and seeing how much people would eat. There was some interesting looking machine in there, but I cant now remember what Ruth said they used it for. Sounded interesting, but doubt it will get used on me, all the same. Well, fine, they want me as a clinical guinea pig, but besides that, I felt welcomed regardless of that.

Then, screening proper. All the relevant form filling, and signing, just to prove I was doing all this of my own free will, and nothing else. Breath test collected, urine test delivered, and then down to serious business. Yes, I really, really got wired up, and connected to a machine. Fine, it was an ECG machine, and those electrodes were taking readings from my heart, not zapping me in any way. It probably was longer than it felt that I was connected up, but it did seem very brief to me. But…

OK, then the fun bit. Well, I’m not sure fun was the right word, more like frustrating, but anyway. Yes, blood test. The lovely lady tried to find a vein, suitable for drawing some blood, from my right arm. Seriously, nothing suitable! Thankfully after a bit of effort, we found a vein on my left arm willing to give up blood, and problem was solved. Only downside, I’m told I wont be able to do any research involving IV’s in the future, as you need at least 1 good vein in each arm for that, shame!

And then, starvation over! Yes, allowed to eat and drink again, provided with a free sandwich, and hot drink. After that, a quick physical checkover from the Doctor, of my lungs, heart, and stomach, and then that was it. Finished my food and drink, signed out, and headed for home. Now all I can do, as I say, is await the results of the tests, and hopefully hear the good news that I’m selected for the course.

Lets just say the journey home wasnt as smooth as getting there, and leave it at that!

So fine, part of my reasoning for doing this, is the one that probably gets many people doing them, the money! Yes, I’m not down to my last farthing or anything, but a major boost to the bank account will be useful, all the same. But do you know what? At the same time, I said all along that I wanted to do something different, and interesting, and this definitely fits that bill.

Yes, seriously, you can pay me the money, I need it, if only for Christmas gifts and things. But to be honest, doing something like this is going to be a new experience in my life (if selected), and I’m really looking forward to finding out what its like to be a clinical guinea pig. Of course, if someone wants to upgrade the experiments, or do some surgery on a part I’d rather I didnt have, then great. But no, thats not going to happen, but I think the ‘real thing’ will be exciting too.

Would I be doing this, if it wasnt for some wonderful, and witty lady doing their social media? Maybe, I’d seen the adverts on Facebook before I spoke to her, and considered doing it, but she just settled the issue. So hopefully, 2 weeks tomorrow, I’ll be fasting again for a while!

Video, well, I was wired, though not for sound!