Category Archives: Elton John

The circles of life

OK, two fun things that came out of the trip to London this week, for my Department LGBT committee meeting, both representing a circle of sorts.

The first one isnt related to work, mind, it actually relates to the London Underground, hows that? Yes, that yellow line that goes around, and around, with seemingly no end, the Circle line. As a child, I always wondered how they decided where, and when to end a service that went around in circles, as at some point it had to start at the beginning of the day, and finish at the end. Equally, I have no idea how they reduced the service outside of peak hours either, but anyway, enough childhood musings, as I’m sure they had some clever way of doing it, but I just have no idea what it is.

But seemingly, now, its not a circle anymore, even if its still called the Circle line! Strictly, the trains do a circular route, with a ‘tail’ on one end, to take it to Hammersmith, but when that ‘circle’ gets back to Edgware Road, after a full loop, it stops, and runs back the other way. I found this out yesterday, as I thought I was being a shrewd ‘old bird’ by just staying on the Circle Line, all the way from St James Park, to Kings Cross, but still ended up having to drag my body across platforms, and up stairs (no lift) at Edgware Road, to be able to do so. If I’d known that, I could have saved myself a whole lot of time, changed at Victoria, but anyway… But yes, the Circle line is very much a misnomer nowadays, great shame, in more senses than one. It seems (thank you, Wikipedia) that it has been doing this since December 2009, which shows just how often I go to London nowadays!

I actually had another train first, the first time I’ve travelled under London, other than by tube, when I rode a Thameslink train from St Pancras, to Abbey Wood. Again, its been happening for a while, but was my first time.

The other circle I did, was a circle of work. My first ever (unsuccessful) job interview in 1974, at the age of 16, was for a junior position in the Ministry of Defence, in Westminster. I remember nothing much about it, other than that it was a very imposing building, everyone was dressed immaculately, and I had to sign various documents before I could even have an interview. This week, of course, I visited the imposing building that houses my Department in Westminster, almost certainly completing the London works circle in my life! I’m not sure if it will be my last visit to London in a works related role, though given the frailty of my back now, it might be.

But yes, the changes in 44 years, quite incredible. And yes, I wore a formal black dress, but I was the only one I saw dressed formally in that sense, lol! Back then, I’m sure every woman wore a dress, and probably heels too, which I passed on.

Next Thursday, not only am I involved in another LGBT event, this is a complete Civil Service one, and I will be there. I’m sure if you’d told that nervous 16 year old, on that first day in a government building, that this would be happening, I would have laughed at you. But yes, things have changed, for sure.

Right, video time. I didnt even need to tweak the blog title to work this one in, lol!

Dont go breaking my purse!

One of the things I’ve got used to over the years, when flying to the US, is that the airlines provide you with a meal on the flight, each way, so its not something I think about too much any more, when making flight/holiday bookings. Some charge for seat selection, especially in economy class (I tend to fly premium economy now, when available), but meals, and soft drinks at least, are provided.

So, anyway, today, I was booking my trip to Portugal for November, to try and get some healing sun, and heat into my back,  before the UK winter, package holiday style. Hey, given I have all these hotel chain cards, I normally book everything separately, but needs must…

So yes, cleverly, I put enough on my prepaid credit card to cover the cost of the holiday (which has gone up since first checking, due to pound collapsing against Euro, due to Brexit, rolls eyes…), and a little bit to spare. Only, by the time I’d selected my seats (I’m a window person, darlings), and paid the cost of package, I was beginning to cut it fine. That was when I found out I had to pay extra, again, for meals on the plane! Oops! Anyway, I’ve compromised, I’ve got a meal going out, but nothing coming back, but beyond boredom issue, shouldnt be a problem, as its an afternoon flight, and I should be able to have lunch before leaving Portugal, and survive till after I get back to UK. Of course, alternatively, before November, I can put more money on card, edit the booking to add a meal, and issue solved. But, old habits… No, cant remember last time I paid for a meal on a plane! Oh well… Oh fine, the card now has a balance of £0.04! Lol!

Who knows, I might even get to wear that cute little swimsuit I got yet. Yes, the skirt kind, which will hide a million sins. Unless anyone buys me a burkini in interim (are they legal in Portugal?), and dares me to wear it, at least!

Right, video time. I never thought I would find a live version of this, but lo and behold, I have!

The future for Thanksgiving?

Well, for those with long memories (one year required), you might remember that I contemplated what those Pilgrims of 396 years ago (now) would make of modern day Thanksgiving. So tonight, lets try to look into the future of Thanksgiving, and try to imagine what they will make of us.

In truth, we probably dont have to go several hundred years into the future to imagine that scenario, a couple of decades will probably do! If things go to plans (and lets face it, how many plans surrounding space missions havent happened?), there will be people celebrating Thanksgiving on a different planet. Yes, Mars! Might be even less, but I’ll believe that when I see it, and in all likelihood, in 20 years time, I wont be around to see it! I know, I’d only be coming up on 80, which nowadays isnt that huge a number, but given all my physical pains already, I sort of hope I wont be suffering them for that long!

Even without that, if you consider that just 15 years ago, computers were large, clunky, and had a fraction of the memory that smart phones have now! So what these will be like, 20 years from now, impossible to think! Of course, those brave voyagers to Mars probably wont have fresh Turkey to celebrate with, though I suspect most eaten today will have been frozen, in truth.

Even here on Earth, I suspect things will be very different then. I mean, when I was young, the idea of being able to put a pre packaged meal into an oven, and a few minutes later, have a meal ready to eat, definitely not. But now, far too many of us, me included, survive to a great degree due to these meals! One thing is for sure, a bit like how we look back on the quaintness of a 50’s family now, they will do the same with us, 50 years from now!

So, to all my US readers, and those with US friends, just look back on today, enjoy the events, but consider, 50 years from now, people will look back on you as antiquated! Me, I wont care, I will be long gone, and forgotten!

OK, the video. Well, with all the talk of people living on Mars in the near future, I thought this apt. Lets face it though, when this was recorded, just under 50 years ago, the idea of people actually living on Mars…? Because of the age of the song, there was no actual video, before that time. But earlier this year, 3 of Elton John’s songs were given the video treatment, and this was one of them.

Oh, and if my ancestors in Ireland had gone West, about 120 years ago, instead of East, I would probably have been one of those millions celebrating today!

Song for Guy?

Now given I’ve checked the details, and realize that the US dont have anything to do with Firework night, perhaps hardly surprisingly, given it was a very British matter, over 400 years ago that led to this celebration, maybe this will be lost on some of my readers, but hey, unless someone has something better to suggest…?

Its fair to say, unsurprisingly, that actual details of events are limited to the traditional tale, which may be true, may be an approximation of events, or whatever? Its an example of religion getting in the way of daily life again, as the conspirators were seeking a more Catholic supporting Queen on the throne, than the Protestant king currently in that position.

Whatever the tales of secret tunnels, spies in the camp, letters sent to assumed supporters (who weren’t) and everything else, history is clear on 1 thing. Just before the 5th of November, 1605, the cellars under the House of Lords were checked, and along with a considerable amount of gunpowder, was found a man guarding it, said Guy Fawkes. Also known as Guido Fawkes, and another pseudonym or two, he was quickly taken to the tower and tortured. Eventually he gave out the names of the other conspirators, and in January 1606, justice was quickly meted out to all. Seemingly hanging, drawing, and quartering was only part of it!

The amusing fact, Fawkes wasnt actually hung, he either fell off, or was pushed off the scaffold as he was about to be put in the noose, broke his neck, and died. Yes, they still quartered him, despite that!

And thats why, all over the UK tonight (including here in Huddersfield) it sounds like a battlefield as numerous people set off fireworks to celebrate his failure! In truth, its the third night of it, because of falling at the weekend, but anyway…tonight is the loudest!

Alright, the video. I decided to go a little into left field this one, as the song most definitely is not about Guy Fawkes, but its for a Guy, and I cant think of any other way I’m ever going to use it!

Your candle burnt out long before

I know, the blogs have got a bit of a mess day wise this week, due to sad events, but whether this just rights the ship, or whether you still get one tomorrow night, lets wait and see. But yes, with all the news sources mentioning this, and the fact that I do remember a few other events around it, lets mention what happened 20 years ago today, the death of Princess Diana.

Firstly, let me say I’m not a royalist, and leave it there. So if you’re expecting a gushing tribute to her, just move on. Not that I’m one of those great anti-monarchy types either, to be honest, I can just take, or leave them, but agreed, pretty much most of the time, its to leave them well alone.

Given that back in those days (gasp, shock horror, for some), betting shops werent open on Sundays, I got up about 9 am, switched on the TV, and it was wall to wall news about her death. Given that for me, and I suspect most others back then, this was in the days before internet, and mass swamping of satellite channels on your TV, your choice was limited, to Diana, or Diana! Mind, if they had existed, I suspect they would have been swamped by the news too.

This actually happened a week before me, and my partner at the time were due to go on holiday to the Baltic States. The irony of events for me was that, they cancelled all the racing for the day of the funeral, the following Saturday, so I actually finished work a day early. Now, they’d probably not shut the shops for anything, have wall to wall virtual racing, plus those ghastly machines going all day, but back then…nothing!

I saw bits of the funeral, though I took the chance to pack for the holiday in a slightly saner way than I would have done had I been working. There are 2 things that will always stick with me from that holiday, even when most of the details are faded by time. Firstly, just about everywhere out there, you heard this catchy tune, which I could tell was going to be a huge hit, if released in the UK. Yes, it was the second biggest selling single that year, aka Barbie Girl, by Aqua. You’ll be thrilled to hear that isnt the video! Second one, and more pertinent, was when we walked into a church/cathedral (please, its 20 years ago, I cant remember) in Tallinn, and saw a shrine to Diana there. Yes, her mark, and her fame had clearly spread that far.

I suppose it has to be mentioned, was it an accident, or was it murder? The rumor conspiracies both ways are quite amazing. My answer, I really dont know. I’d like to think it was a genuine accident, but given all that came out afterwards, well, you do have to wonder, but anyway, no comment…!

Sadly, the funeral I’d rather be here for, out of that, or my friend, is the one I wont be here for, as its happening on the first Monday I’ll be in the US. And given it will be 4.30 in the morning where I will be, and everything else, I will just wait to hear how it goes, by email, or message service. I know, thats life, I guess?

OK, video time. No, I’ve not picked the ‘obvious’ version of the song. I’m more of a Monroe fan, than I will ever be of Diana, so…

Look into my big blue eyes, and…

…fall into a deep trance, just maybe?

Why, because today, I signed up to try a beginners course in hypnotherapy, and I might just put you into a deep sleep, and turn you into my entranced slave. Oh fine, yes, I’m kidding on the last point, honest I am. But put someone into a deep trance, and help them with something wrong in their lives, wouldnt that be wonderful? However, given that the course isnt until May, even assuming I get on it, I will be trying for other jobs in the meanwhile too.

But yes, what I’m trying to do, even at my age, is to maybe find something new, and challenging as the later years of my working career approach, and not just only go for roles in call centre, or data inputting. I know, its probably what I will end up doing, but for now…

Having been hypnotised a ‘few times’, I know what a pleasurable experience it can be, and I hope that at some point again, I’ll be the one deeply relaxed, and in trance. Especially if its in New Hampshire, and I get to find out more about my past self, by doing so. So yes, wouldnt it be lovely if I could be trained to do the same to others?

And no, honest, I wouldnt use my hypnotic powers to convince anyone to give me a job…Oh fine, I might, for the perfect job, if I’m really good at it. But if I’m that good at it, I’ll probably stick to being a hypnotherapist anyway!

But, if anyone really wants to be my hypno slave, then, hmm…angel.

In other news,

When I originally planned to spend some time in Hollywood, I was assuming I would have to fit it into my holiday allowance at work, so I only booked for a week. So now, under the circumstances, I’ve decided to be a little devil, and go for 10 days. I dont doubt I will find plenty to fill that time, and probably more, even without all the auditions to play Jean, from all the Hollywood studios lol!

The only fun. I’ve already booked my hotel for the 7 days I was planning to be away, booked in a non smoking king bed somewhere in Hollywood, and…the snag is, for the 3 extra days I now want to book, that room option isnt available. The 2 double bed room option is for all 10 days, as is the larger king size room, but…I dont really want to book one room at the hotel for 3 days, then move to another room for the next 7, obviously. But, the booking is of the non cancellable type, to get the discounted price open to members of the hotel group scheme. If worst comes to worst, I’ll do just that, but I have enquired by email, if it can be changed (seeing I still want to stay at the hotel), and just pay the extra as necessary.

Oh, and lastly, while talking of spending extra…I’ve decided to treat myself, and my creaky joints out of my redundancy fund. Yes, I’m going to fly to Los Angeles, not in economy class, but in premium economy, with Virgin. Yes, I know, but I’m sure my joints will appreciate the extra space, and luxury, lets face it. I would love to have gone business class, but I really cannot justify that much money when I havent yet got a new job lined up.

Anything will be fun, and a delight for someone who has never flown anything but economy in her life anyway!

I know, evil mind controller, sorry, budding hypnotherapist, but thats a while off yet, and I have to prove I can do it first.

Oh, sorry, I forgot, I was right, no valentine cards again this year!

The video, what my hypnosis patients will get to see, putting them into trance

You have to at least try these things

Yes, I know, one of the things (probably the only one in fact) that I dont like about most of the 30’s images of Harlow, is her eyebrows. Seriously, how anyone back then thought these were attractive, no idea, but they were, incredibly so in the 1930’s

jean harlow preen

I mean, I keep mine natural, and I give them as much of an arch as I can get away with, but to get them looking like that, no way! Fine, if you take them off completely, just use an eyebrow pencil, it could be done, but…besides which, because of my slight hand tremor, I couldnt regularly draw a line like that on myself anyway.

But, if you want to be a true 30’s girl, I suppose you have to at least give it a go? And given the blessings of modern make up, with enough concealer, I’m told it can be done, without actually having to remove my eyebrows, or have it for more than one night. So…fine, I’ve decided to give it a go, and I hope Jean is proud of me for doing so. But not just yet, so you will have to wait for the evidence.

In November, Eric has his birthday, and normally, we would go out for a meal that night, to celebrate. But, I wont be here, I’ll be in Albany by then. Anyway, I suggested that we go out as a group before I go, and he’s agreed. So, whether we go on the Thursday, or the Friday, thats the day I will get everything done, and include a make up session, and yes, get those eyebrows done! I cant seriously believe I will want them for more than one night, so I dont see it as a problem, but at least I will have tried it…once! I will certainly have to wear a 30’s style outfit that night, for sure!

If by some miracle I do like it, I’ll have to get a friend down south, who does this permanent make up thing, to do them for me, but I cant see it being a problem!

Oh, and thats not the end of my adventurousness either. To be fair, I’ve heard, and seen some horrific stories of spray tanning in the past, with the ‘orange look’ and things. Well, apparently you can have 4 different degrees of tanning, including the fairest one, which would probably work quite well for ‘Harlow with a tan’, so I’m going to give it a try. My initial plan was to do so for my holiday, but Linda has suggested trying it before then, so I’m going to, on my next visit. If I like, get it done again for Kansas, where my thinking is that not being quite so pale might be a good idea, if I dont, then I will go with the very fair look lol!

If it does work, I’ll probably get it done again, for Hollywood, but otherwise, no! Or so I say now at least!

The video, well I’m getting the lashes for the holiday, I’m getting the eyebrows for one night, so given the colour of my eyes…

It’s a little bit funny…

…and maybe convenient too, in the way that the US shutdown ended just before the real crisis moment occurred. Yes, I think it was a battle between 2 stubborn forces, and reality kicked in, just before the critical meltdown, how handy that was!

To be honest, the Republicans seem to be getting most flak for this, and fine, that probably is to some degree justified. Dont get me wrong though, I dont see the Democrats as the innocent party that they are trying to portray themselves as. No, both sides were making a pretty good mess of this, with the poor public stuck in the middle of the 2 squabbling parties.

As I say, one side, or maybe both, bottled out, quite rightly, just before catastrophe struck. No, it wasnt the first US government shutdown in recent times, nor will it be the last, I suspect, but its the longest one I remember.

Funnily enough, and maybe conveniently enough, I left the US just before shutdown struck. Given that airport security and the like continued much as normal, I doubt I would have seen much sign of it anyway, but who knows? But given the mess their economy is in anyway, this isnt going to help! Fingers crossed it does sort things out though, especially for someone hoping for an opening to go over there and work, at least for a while.

I’m not going to do a long piece on Obama care, I dont know enough of the details to do so, but a lot of the angst, and stubbornness seems to relate to that. Hey, I’ve grown up used to the NHS in this country, but have no idea how closely that matches up to it.

To be honest, I have no idea how long this current solution will work for, debt still seems to be a growing issue, and I get a feeling this is more a plaster on the wound, than an actual cure. But I’m glad its over, for now at least.

The video, well there’s a sort of clue in the title

Oh, and while on things American, can I please point out that the Boston Red Sox (or bad beards) are only 1 win away from the World Series, I hope they make it. And no, my cheerleader outfit has failed to be delivered as yet, no generous benefactor so far lol.

Yes, I am still around

Yes, I know, its been a while since I posted anything here. I am still about, and active, though not necessarily in a literal sense. If you work on the basis that I generally post on my days off from work, you were probably expecting something Sunday, and it never happened. To be honest, I felt like death warmed up, and doing anything much, and certainly eating very much proved a challenge beyond my skills, so the blog was ignored.

I’m slightly better today, though far from at full strength, which is why you’re just getting an abbreviated apology tonight. To be honest, it wont be long after I finish this before I head to bed, and yes, I know its just gone 9.00, but I have no strength whatsoever. I’m just glad I was off today, and tomorrow, hopefully I’ll have a bit more life in me by Thursday, when I go back to work. Just ironic that the really bad weather hasnt even started yet, and I’m struggling with my nose, and chest again.

So yes, I started feeling guilty that I wasnt going to post again tonight, so came up with this. Hopefully I’ll feel a bit better tomorrow, and you might get something decent lol. So though its not a hard word for me to say, this does seem rather apt.

Saturday night (well, afternoon actually)

Its famous last words, isnt it? I said that getting home at the weekend was far easier than rush hour. Ah well, I was so wrong! It took the best part of 2 hours to get home tonight!

No, for once, not Trans Pennine Express’s fault, even if I was on one of their trains when the delay hit home. But not their fault all the same, I suspect it was a combination of testosterone and alcohol, somehow, though I cant confirm it.

This is the story as I was told by the train intercom. A group of men appeared on the platform at Huddersfield station in the middle of a brawl. Just off the end of the platform is a large viaduct, carrying the line over the ring road around the centre of town. This group proceeded to take their rumpus onto the viaduct, therefore blocking both rail lines for traffic. My train sat a short distance out of town for about 30 minutes while the police presumably arrested them, and cleared the area. Finally, we did get into town, but my hope of getting home at a decent hour had disappeared.

Why did this happen? Well, I cant say for certain, but I have a good idea. During the football (soccer for James, and other US readers) season, large numbers of men go to ‘the match’ and rabidly support their team. Some teams fans are better (or worse) than average in behaviour, but most have a few idiots in support who are more interested in fighting, and drinking, than the match. So why this week? Simple, the football season ended this month. Well, alright, Huddersfield have a play off match next weekend, but in terms of weekend activity, the animals got restless this week.

I suspect they got together in the bar somewhere, instead of the ground, imbibed copious amounts of alcohol, and any braincells they may have had, got wiped out! So then, with judgement tainted by alcohol, they seek out an argument. Given there are no opposition fans to take this out on, they start to take it out on each other, and things exploded from there. Sadly, the line is run by diesel trains, so no chance of them getting on to an electric line, or anything like that.

What baffles me though, is what I call the sports fan mentality over here. Here, for soccer games, fans have to be separated from each other for every game, large numbers of police have to be employed, so that there is a good chance of the 2 sets of ‘fans’ being kept apart, and ensuring the town survives the visit of the opposition fans. But this doesnt appear to just be a British thing, seems to be needed throughout Europe.

But in the US…

Last night I was watching one of the great baseball local derbies in Chicago, between the Cubs and the White Sox. There the fans sit together, chat together, and have fun together. No need for several hundred police officers, no need to keep the fans apart at any point. And the only delay post game would be all the fans getting on the trains and buses together in large numbers.

And next month, we have Euro 2012 championships, when England fans will take their style of mayhem and violence into Europe, oh joy! Makes me proud to be British, not!

Ah, the video, what could be more apt? Well alright, it was afternoon, not night, but otherwise…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EadIvDAWkf8