Category Archives: First Buses

Girls, boys, and so much more

I’m not claiming that I thought I knew all of the LGBT+ terms that people use nowadays, but I thought I knew most of them, but showed up my lack of knowledge yesterday.

Had a request by email, and on the work intranet yesterday for people to act as representatives for a Princes Trust panel early next year. Thing is, as they put it, they were after the lesser represented groups to come forward. And yes, seemingly according to this, Intersex, and Non Binary are far too normal, lol. As for Transgender, and Pansexual, and the like, no thanks.

No, the people they were looking for, were from the following groups, and in truth, I had to look these up to know what they were.

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Bigender

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demigirl

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demiguy

So yes, even someone with as much involvement as I have, can learn something new!

In truth, I dont really mind what term any person chooses to select for themselves, its all a personal choice. At the same time, there is a point where you can see why the ghastly ‘rabid right wing Christian nutcases’ might be entitled to shout enough, in their eyes at least?

Oh fine, if someone wants to offer me the chance to be officially designated as a Fembot, I wont say no! šŸ˜› Ooh, zap me baby, lol! Yeah, I wish!

………….

Lastly, my patience finally ran out with First Buses again. 3rd letter of complaint in about 6 months, not that I’ve even had the courtesy of a reply to the previous two, so this time I’ve mentioned passing it on to the controlling board if I dont get a reply.

I wasnt looking forward to a physio appointment at 4.45 tonight, travel wise, and I was proved right. I got back to the bus stop at 5.17, raining, and cold, less than perfect conditions for me. Still, by using all options, I should have had a bus coming along every 5 minutes. I waited 29! After all that, the bus driver had to go ‘somewhere’ when we finally reached town, and that was another 10 minutes delay. Yes, I might have just ‘slightly’ laid on how disabled I am, but by the time I got home, the back felt pretty dreadful, so… and Monday’s journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and was only that because I got a taxi home from town!

Still wont hold my breath for even the respect of a reply, despite all that, mind, they really are a dreadful company.

Right, video time. Back to the initial subject for this. Some live Blur, though to say Damon Albarn looks less than enthused would be putting it mildly!

Well, if you ask nicely?

For once, the title of the blog has absolutely zero to do with the video, so dont try to stress your brain cells, lol.

Today was flotation tank day, and in truth, my back really needed it this time around. Sunday, the 4 of us went off up to Skipton, and had one of those canal boat, Christmas Dinner meals. The meal was very good, the service speed a little, err, entertaining, but the seats we were sitting on had all the back support of a brick wall. And yes, when your back is as damaged as mine… The only other entertaining moment was the Sat-Nav system, which insisted on calling Keighley (pronounced Keith-Lee), as ‘Key-Lee’, which of course had me in a total fit of giggles. I think its safe to say that it would probably call Slaithwaite, as spelt, and not Sla-wit, as its pronounced too.

Anyway, with a back that was already ‘grumpy’, I went to work yesterday in the cold, and the rain, and the inevitable happened, it flared up badly. So, halfway through the day, came home, a journey which should take about 75-80 minutes at that time of day. It took 140, and only that short as I gave up on First Buses, and got a taxi home from town!

Thankfully, today, I had the ‘miracle treatment’ booked, the flotation tank. Lets just say back pain wise, if last night was a 10, and this morning about a 7, its now about a 2.5! Yes, that, lack of pressure on the spine is just amazing.

This time around, Donna showed me how to seal the pod properly (assumed I would spot handle first time, and didnt, and someone else showed me through last time), which was simple when shown, but anyway…So, lights out, and yes, that pod really is sound proofed, among other things, never heard a thing once the music stopped, before it started up again.

So, I cleared my mind completely of thought, and imagined being transformed into a ‘beautiful swan’ when I got out again, but no, that never happened. Nor was I turned into an alien, which might have been fun, but anyway… What I did this time, when nice and tranquil, and safe in the womb of the pod, was leave space for Clara to come through in time, but only if she wanted to, under the circumstances. Yes, she took up the offer!

I know it was her, as the second comment she made was about someone fetching her a cigarette, and I’ve never smoked! Well, there was also the fact that she was talking with a very cool, mid west accent, but distinctly noticeable, which is maybe why she never got too many lines in movies, just stuck to dancing. She hung around, saying things about the crazy things that Mr Mayer (of MGM), and Buzby Berkeley got her to do, in the cause of dancing. Lots of toe splashing, and giggling too, but then (I guess after about 15 minutes or so, its hard to tell time in a place like that), the music started back up, and as I told her beforehand, that meant it was time to go. Yes, she did.

I ‘came back’, stunned at what had happened, but thrilled. Lets face it, I wouldnt ask for a cigarette, nor would I naturally have a mid western accent like she did! Of course, I cant get her to answer questions from me under those circumstances, but it was fun sensing things through her ‘eyes’.

Sadly, its going to be mid January before I can follow up on this, as the place is either full, or more likely closed for all the holiday period, or a combination of both. So first appointment I can get, that really works for me is 15th January. I could have got in the week before, but I have the other physio that week, so spreading them out is wiser.

But yes, on that day, is Miss Johnson going to come out to play (and splash toes) again, who knows? But the answer, probably?

OK, video time. 1930 is the oldest date I can find conclusive evidence of Clara dancing in the movies. She may well have danced in 1929, but I havent seen clear evidence as yet. As I’ve said before, 1937 is the last date I have evidence for. This technicolor movie from 1930 features the Goldwyn Girls, of which she was one, but faces arent clear enough to be conclusive that Clara is, or isnt in this. I think I see her there, but cant be sure. But yes, regardless, its something a little different to the normal Berkeley routine

Money for nothing, no service provided

Its always handy when somebody gives me the chance to be a grumpy old lady, and for once its not that idiot across the pond, with the orange face. Though yes, I could say something extremely rude about him at present, and his latest imbecilic ideas about Trans people, but lets not give his ego a boost by mentioning him. Hopefully, 2 weeks today, he gets a nasty surprise, as long as Russia dont fix another election for him.

No, lets have a snipe at another thing that is the bane of my life, First Buses. Fine, yesterday they weren’t aided by my back being in a really bad way, because of the weather and stuff, but they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot, so lets try and bury them too.

Yesterday, a far too regular event happened, they put their fares up. Fair enough, there are things called inflation, but currently thats a lot less than the 5% that fares went up yesterday. The thing is, I wouldnt object to them raising fares, if the quality of service got raised too, but as was shown yesterday, its a one sided deal.

As I say, yesterday wasnt a lovely day weather wise, it was pretty cold, and my already sore back reacted to the cold weather like bees having their hive smashed to pieces by a hungry bear. Yes, not good.

So finally, about 2.20, after a couple of ‘not great’ calls, due to the pain being too intense to focus on work, I gave up on a bad deal, and decided to call it a day, and head home to rest up. The journey would normally take about 75-90 minutes or so, which is long enough, but had to be done. In truth, I probably would have paid out, and got a train instead (far smoother ride), but there werent any, engineering works! So it was bus, or rail replacement bus, so…

I finally got to the bus station at 3.07, as I had to stop to get a drink, to take some painkillers, to try and ease the pain in my back a bit. There is meant to be a bus to Huddersfield every 10 minutes. There should have been one at 3.10, but I never saw it. There should have been another at 3.20, again it never showed! The 3.30 finally showed at 3.32, and by the time everyone was on board a now overcrowded bus, we left about 3.36.

That bus is due into Huddersfield at 4.08. Actual arrival time, 4.23. No, not because of traffic, simply because there were dozens of people en route wanting to get on, given the lack of 2 buses before it. As quickly as I could (limited), I walked down for the bus home, due to leave town at 4.25, which again, never showed. The 4.35 finally turned up about 4.40 and I got indoors just after 5.00!

By which time the pain in my back was considerably off the scale, lol! Even now, 26 hours, and numerous painkillers later (I’ve taken more than normal today for a non working day), I’m still pretty sore. Now I’m not going to blame First Buses entirely for that, there’s been a bitter wind blowing most of the day, which doesnt help, but even so, they are definitely the main culprit.

As I said, if they provided a service that justified a fare increase, then fine, but they dont. Seemingly like most nowadays, all they care about are extra profits, and no service to customers. Its not hard to see why everyone knows them as ‘Worst Buses’ lets face it.

Oh for a flying saucer, or even more aptly at this time of year, maybe, a flying broomstick! At least I’d have reliable transport, and wouldnt mind paying for it. Fine, rant over. Now all I need is a spell to turn a certain US/Russian(?) wigged man into a frog, or a newt, and…? šŸ˜‰

Right, video time. I cant imagine too many of my readers will remember this TV series, as its one from my childhood. But some will hopefully, and its Al Yankovic, so its crazy, so…

Getting ready for the 20’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sign of the times?

When I was a young girl (artistic licence, so sue me!), buses and trains used to work to pretty much 3 entirely different timetables during the week. Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday timetables, which reflected the need for public transport, which mainly revolved around getting people to, and from work, or school, and the like.

Yes, back in the 60’s, nearly everyone worked from 9 to 5 during the week, and the weekend was a time of rest. There was some need for a decent service during the day on a Saturday, as people would need to go shopping, but then on Sunday, barely anyone was travelling, so there was barely a service!

Of course, nowadays, not only do people work outside of those 8 hours on a regular basis, they also work at weekends, including Sunday, shock horror! To some degree, the train companies have finally caught up with this fact, and though ‘peak hour’ trains might be shorter on a Saturday than midweek, its pretty much the same level of service. They are even catching up with the strange concept of people needing to work on Sunday’s, as the service on that day seems to have grown over the years.

The thing I’ve noted though, especially as they are now my means of commute, is that the bus companies still seem to be operating as in the 1960’s. The Saturday service, before about 9 am, and after 5.30 pm (got to get those football fans home) is still pretty much a token issue, despite the fact that large numbers of people now have to be in work by that time, and finish later. Sunday service, and indeed the midweek evening service, after about 7 pm, is well, just token!

For example, the normal service (when First actually run as they should) between Huddersfield, and Bradford, is every 10 minutes. Up to about 9, Saturday morning, its every 30! The evening service is every hour! Unsurprisingly, these buses tend to be as overcrowded as a peak hour commuter train, crazy!

I guess that at some point, bus companies will catch up on the reality of modern life, though I’m not sure when. Especially as some buses I’ve had to travel on have looked like they served Flapper passengers at the start of their working life! OK, maybe slight exaggeration, but not much!

Fine, rant over.

Video time. An apt piece from the 1980’s, from a group I suspect that most today will barely know?

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.

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? šŸ˜‰

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!

 

So Lonely? Hope so!

Fine, I havent done any sport in a while, so lets do some tonight, of sorts at least.

For those who care about football/soccer (depending which side of the Atlantic you are), the World Cup is on, in Russia. Irony, given its in the country of Trump’s best buddy, the US arent there, so probably a lack of interest over there, maybe? Or maybe all those ‘immigrants’ he so hates, and I dont, are celebrating Mexico’s victory over Germany earlier today?

But yes, tomorrow, at 7 pm my time, just as IĀ  come out of work, England start their campaign, against Tunisia. Yes, I know, I’ll miss it, what a shame, she facetiously says. No, I havent watched a minute of it yet, nor do I plan to. But what this does mean, with luck, is that most of the English male population will ensure they’re home, watching the game! Which hopefully means a few less people on the streets to the bus station, and on the buses tomorrow night. Of course, knowing the awful service provided by First Buses, I am assuming that their bus drivers will still be working, and not watching the games themselves, and therefore the bus doesnt turn up! Thankfully Northern Rail arent on strike again until Tuesday, so I have a back up at least!

But yes, with luck, a quieter journey home than normal, unless I pass a bar showing the game, I guess, then all bets are off!

The video, a Police oldie, one of their lesser hits, but a hopefully apt one.

A presentation, and 2 farces

And before anyone asks, thats 1 good farce, and 1 typical farce, which I will come to shortly.

The classic farce, technically twice over, was unsurprisingly First Buses in Huddersfield. The first was Wednesday, when I just missed the bus I was hoping to get, by about 20 yards, because the bus driver chose to ignore me racing for the bus. Or fine, racing as much as I can nowadays, with my ailments. No great issue, they’ll be another in 10 minutes, which would still be fine. 28 minutes later, 2 buses turned up at once! Mind, by that time, a third should nearly have been due, and indeed passed us on the way into town! Not a shock, as everyone got on the first 2 (different directions up my road, but both going into Huddersfield), but anyway…

Mind, the First farce (beneficially) continued, as the 9.27 Trans Pennine Express train was running 7 minutes late (the last of the 3 I was hoping to catch), so got it by the skin of my teeth. Just as well, because the 9.46 was late as well, and I would have been late on its normal time, so by then…rolls eyes…

The presentation went fine, as much as I can tell, I tried to entertain, as well as inform, and hopefully that worked for 10-15 minutes. Got a round of applause, which I hope wasnt just polite, anyway… No, sorry readers, no film of that presentation exists, so you’ll just have to believe me lol! But yes, praise for where I work, and attitude to transgender workers, and all that, played up just how lovely our office was!

I’m glad I stayed the rest of the day, some other very interesting talkers as well, I must say.

And then yesterday, in the end, I ended up in Leeds again. I know, dont go there for 15 months, then twice in 2 days! First ‘excelled’ themselves again on that journey too, the bus from here was a few minutes late, but nothing dramatic. Snag was, I needed to then get a bus to Bradford, to meet up with someone to get to a meal, and a play last night, and that was pretty much due. 8 minutes later, it finally turned up! So much for going a bus early, so I could draw some money for the evening. In fact, due to her inability to drive at a reasonable speed, and her desire to argue with customers, we rolled (finally) into Bradford 16 minutes late! I got some money out of a machine, and moved as quick as my body would take me to the office, and was only just late!

The meal was nice, the amusing moment being my first UK meal as a ‘senior citizen’. Yes, its 4 months away, but i’m sorry, a bargain is a bargain, and I’m close enough! :p Yes, not my first, because in the US, at Denny’s, if you have a British appetite, and a friendly server, you can get senior meals before you’re 50 lol! Been there, done that!

Ah, now to the play, which was a good type of farce, and very entertaining too, thanks to Cookridge Amateur Dramatics Society. Very funny, well acted, and set in the West Country, which explains the video shortly. Traditional stuff, lots of confusion over identities and the like, lots of other mayhem, and a delightful ending. Been there, done that probably, but about 20 years ago (or so), so it was fun to see one done from an audience perspective. For readers in the Leeds area, I gather there will be a Panto, sometime around February, so keep your eyes peeled.

Tomorrow, for the first time in 5 days, I need to find my way to the office again. Wednesday was the presentation, and I took today off, because I knew I’d be late home last night, and wouldnt want to get up early. Unfortunately, someone forgot I was off today, and woke me at 6.30 when I hadnt showed signs of life! Still, went back to sleep, all fine…

Oh, and one more thing for tomorrow, my new ‘old crock’ chair has seemingly arrived in my absence. I assume it wont look like a brainwashing, or electric chair, but a woman can hope! šŸ˜›

Right, the video. I was thinking of ‘Let Me Entertain You’, but then I found this. West Country, pertinent title for a farce, and…those of a sensitive nature probably shouldnt play it!

First Buses, you’re driving me crazy!

For those of you fortunate enough not to live in West Yorkshire, or who do, but are not dependent on this awful bus company, it may mean less to you than some. But fine, because I’m lacking for blog material (feel free to suggest ideas, ideally non political), its the best I can do tonight.

Today, First Buses increased all their bus fares around here. Fair enough, its only once a year, and if they provided a decent service, I wouldnt object. But thats the critical term, provided a decent service, because they dont! Thankfully my experience of their evening bus service is now restricted to 3 nights a week, instead of 4. However last week, twice, the bus turned up more than 10 minutes later than scheduled (and after 8pm, that can hardly be down to traffic), and the other night, I have no idea, after more than 20 minutes, there was no sign of any bus, so I gave up, and paid out for a taxi home!

I’d love to say this was the exception to the rule, and in a sense, it is, this is worse than normal, but that doesnt mean normal is a good service, because it isnt! In truth at 9.15 in the morning, when we are meant to have a reliable service, we went for about 2-3 weeks where if a bus turned up less than 5 minutes late, I never spotted it, and I’m near the start of the route, so…

Yes, sadly, like so many things in life now, the reliability of their service is awful, but they still feel free to raise fares by far more than inflation! 5-10%, if you really wanted to know!

So yes, First Buses, feel free to raise your fares, but you need to raise the quality of the service you provide too! I know, wild dreams, but…

Fine, grumpy old lady rant over! šŸ˜›

Video time. Well, in a sense, its the same group as the last video, but it isnt. Thats because this is the 70’s version of the Temperance 7, complex stuff! And yes, it sums up how I feel about First Buses, and all they dont do!