A few months ago, it was announced, with big, bold headlines that the railways over here in the UK would be running a much improved timetable, and service, from 20th May this year. Me, who has suffered the whims, and incompetencies of Trans Pennine Express, and Northern Rail for far too many years, just laughed at this fact, and said on my blogs at the time that it would never happen.
Well, in theory, 2 weeks ago, it did. I managed to miss what was seemingly the first week of total chaos, as I was away in Seattle at the time. However, my first glance back at a UK rail service last Monday, told me the truth about what was happening. I thought maybe it was the fact that rail staff, despite it being in their contract to do so, didnt fancy working on a Bank Holiday, which led to numerous cancellations due to lack of train crew.
However, as the week went on, it became obvious that wasnt the case, it was an everyday event to have lots of train cancellations due to lack of train crews. And it wasnt down to sickness, holidays, or other absences, it was, as I forecast months ago, none of the train companies had the staff to run the new service, and yes, chaos ruled! Guess what, the train I would have caught in the old days, on Saturday, before they changed the time, and ruined it as an option for me, was cancelled!
So therefore, it was no surprise to me to get home last night, and read that 3 of the train companies in this country, have now admitted they cannot run the new timetables, and therefore have introduced temporary timetables in numerous areas to get around the issue. Thing is, some lines arent just going back to service levels before the new service was introduced, its far worse than that!
Given Northern Rail is one of those 3, its easiest to pick on their biggest failure, in the Lake District. The one line going into the Lakes used to be about 1 an hour in each direction, which they tried to improve on, for the summer at least. So, as of tomorrow, how many trains will be running on that line each day? Would you believe, a big round zero! Yes, a replacement bus service all day is as good as it will get. And given its a major holiday area, and summer is coming, the chances of those buses getting caught in traffic jams, and missing connections must be high!
Still, give one piece of kudos to Northern Rail, and the other 2, they’re admitting they’ve got it badly wrong. Trans Pennine Express are making a total mess of things too, but just not prepared to admit it! Cancellations by the dozen, long delays, you name it, they’re doing it!
Do you know the funniest thing about all this, a Japanese Rail Company recently apologized for their train leaving 25 seconds early! As to what they would make of our train service, I dread to think!
Right, video time. To have heard this song before, you either were a huge Gerry Rafferty fan, or just struck lucky, as this is from long after his Baker Street days. But the title sums up what the train companies would like us to do, but have little chance of us doing so. Oh, the blog title? Its the album title!
No, not literally, even if there is one twisting so and so out there that owes me, but anyway…No, that line gives away the video, and also is a potential clue to something I might go and see on Saturday night. Might, comes down more to travel issues, especially coming back, as the cost of getting to the movie, getting into the movie, and something to eat/drink (maybe?), could probably be done for about £15, or so. I know, but getting out, and having a good laugh, might help to keep me sane! Thats not to say that if someone wants to take me to Elland, or treat me, that I wouldnt say no!
What I’ve discovered, is that there is a delightful little cinema over Elland, called the Rex, very old fashioned look, but fitted with all the modern things you’d want in a cinema. But yes, you’ve probably guessed it, its not a modern movie that I’m thinking of going over there to see, oh no! What they’re showing on Saturday night, is 4 Laurel and Hardy movies. One full length one, 3 shorts, making up just over 2 hours of hilarious entertainment. So yes, I’m tempted to say “what the hell!” and go.
OK, what tempts me even more is that in one of the shorts, is some blonde, bit part actress, playing the wife of one of Stan, and Ollie’s comic victims. Yes, thats right, some unknown (well, she was at the time) named Jean Harlow! The movie, ‘Bacon Grabbers’, which is 20’s slang for a repo man, which is where the blog title, and the video come from. Thats right, I’ve never seen this one, so in that sense, its the one I’m going for, even if its not the main movie, and she’s probably in it for 3 minutes maximum! Still be fun to see the other 3, all the same.
Getting back “should” be fine, though obviously there are less buses around at that time of night, after the movies are finished. Metro convinces me that it can be done, and it is my birthday this week, so…I may well give it a go. And yes, getting out, and having a good laugh, might just do me the world of good, I guess? Oh, and fine, its another Harlow movie I can tick off my list lol! So?
The video, the late great, Gerry Rafferty, with what was pretty much his first solo performance as an artist. It wont keep you long, much as a 20 minute, silent movie would do!
Yes, I know, I missed one last night. Sorry, but health issues have got to me the last couple of days, and last night, about 8.15, I started to collapse with nervous exhaustion, so retired to bed. To be honest, it had all pretty much built up by Thursday evening, and I pretty much knew I’d had enough of the job. To say the company (I still refuse to divulge the name, though maybe I should, to stop others going to work there) dont believe in good customer service, would be a massive understatement. Yes, just the opposite seems the rule, in fact.
It got to the point, where, to avoid us giving any useful information to our clients, they took the system away from us. We werent allowed to give customers any information from it, we had to simply take messages, and call them back. Like a few others, I was not using it to give information to anyone, but as a means of checking I had the right case, I kept the screen up. Clearly we were still being too efficient for their liking, as the next day, they switched off our computers! All we could literally do was hope we had the right details. Seriously, this is not great customer service. That was exacerbated by the fact that despite the fact we were promising customers a call back, within a maximum of 24 hours, it was clear this wasnt happening on a regular basis, and many tended not to believe us, seemingly quite rightly.
After a day of sheer frustration doing this on Thursday, I’d pretty much had enough, and wondered if I wanted to bother going in on Friday. Ironically, having decided that I’d battle through to the weekend, and then make my decision, my body decided to step in. Lets just say Thursday night involved a few visits to the bathroom, and leave it at that. Despite this, I got up Friday morning, at my normal time, but quickly realised that was going to be a step too far. Exhaustion, a still far from happy stomach, and everything else, I retired back to bed, and slept for about 3 hours, until about 10.00.
Yesterday, for a while at least, I felt better. Then as I say, mid evening, I crashed completely about 8.30, went to bed, and slept for 12 hours straight, barring 1 brief visit to the bathroom. And yes, I still felt tired when I got up, despite that.
Today, I’ve realised one thing, if I go back, I’m probably going to kill someone, possibly myself, as my sanity is beaten up beyond belief. So, I’ve done one thing, I’ve emailed their HR department, telling them I wont be going back, and please just arrange to pay me for the hours I’ve done, and leave it at that. Yes, I’d heard what a lousy group of companies they were to work for, but its been beyond even my belief just how bad they are.
Oh, and for information sake, 2 others from my group had walked out, even before I left!
Oh, and the crowning moment? Well, yes, obviously, if I’d chosen the other option, and done the trial, as I should have done, I’d never have been through all this. Double irony, because of my stress, and stomach issues, I cant do the trial starting a week tomorrow, as my issues might affect the results! That was going to be my money get out, but now… Yes, I rang them Friday, as I knew by then that I really didnt want to go back, and wanted to get things started. Even knowing that, I cant go on with them.
So yes, today, I’ve gone back to sending in job applications, and hoping for a lucky break. I know, it might not be the wisest move overall, but for the sake of my sanity, it was one I had to make. I think I’ve got past bend, and was reaching break, and thats not a good thing. So…If anyone has a few spare pounds lol…
I’m not saying its bad, but when I’m looking at jobs in a betting shop, it has to be bad!
And yes, just think, right now, I could be resting up in a clinic, as a guinea pig, and the most stressful thing I would be doing is having blood samples taken. Boy, can I really mess things up!
Right, the video. I’ve gone and done what was written for me, in my heart, that I knew I had to do, for better, or worse.
And before you query matters, for those who don’t remember, and it has been a while, that’s my author name, for publishing purposes.
I know, its been a while, but thats what work will do for you! But while I was taking it (relatively) easy, before I headed to Hollywood, I wrote this. Yes, I know, I write this before I get to see the city, but on the whole, I made a good premise of it. Yes, Google maps helps in that sense, but anyway…
If you want an idea what its about, before you buy, there’s a guide in the synopsis. All I will say, is that there are 2 very famous actresses mentioned here, 1 of whom gets to try life in a modern era too (technically, she also appears as a ghost, but…). There is also 1 less well known actress, who gets to live 2 lives as well, for whom I have a special affection.
As I say, think the tale of Christmas Carol, hitting Hollywood, only the visitation is not just the sight of things, you get to experience the whole thing.
Oh, and it features a couple of guys as well, who might be a bit sinister, but have a dry sense of humour too, purely fictional.
No, I dont expect to sell enough copies to give up the job hunting lark, but hopefully enough to boost my sagging funds, pretty please!
OK, you had this video only a couple of months ago, but who’s counting. Its a much under rated Gerry Rafferty gem, that deserves some love, so…
Oh, and this lady might appear in it
So, yes, fine, its time to stop concerning myself with job hunting, and the like, for a couple of weeks, and look forward to what happens on Wednesday, the flight to Los Angeles, and even more so for me, the stay in Hollywood. Yes, I know, Jean preferred to live in Beverly Hills, but anyway…
Strictly, there is one more job thing before then, got a phone interview at some point tomorrow, but that will be it. One face to face interview on the 30th, after I get back, hopefully after tomorrow, that will be 2!
But yes, when most tourists fly into L.A for a movie related holiday, they are thinking Disneyland, and Universal Studios, and I have no great plans to visit either, far too modern for me. Now, if I could visit MGM, in the 1930’s lol!
So yes, as things stand, with the exception of the baseball game (and Vin Scully is pretty vintage there!), I will be looking back into the past on my trip. The walk of fame stars, the most modern one I’ll be looking for, is Doris Day! The oldest, Mary Pickford, and Clara Bow, I should think. Yes, one or two in between, especially Jean’s!
The Hollywood Museum, as things stand, with a Twitter friend, who knows my love of Harlow, and wants to be there when I see all her stuff, and swoon probably. April is wonderful, and why I already have a picture of Jean’s star, but want to see it for myself. Jean was tiny though, couldnt get into her stuff, even if I was allowed, or tried!
I also plan to get up to Forest Lawns, where she is buried, and pay my respects, though by all accounts I’m unlikely to get that close to her last resting place.
There is one more golden moment I’m looking forward to, a chance to meet the actor, Bruce Glover while out there. Yes, anyone who remembers ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ has seen Bruce, plus lots of other work too, but thats probably the most famous one. I was going to go to one of the acting classes he runs, but have got invited to a private meet instead, which is just a total wow moment for me. The idea I’m going to ring, speak to, and meet a movie star, as I say, just wow!
But no disrespect to anyone (unless Jean’s spirit wants to arrange a meet), the thing that has me most excited, is a party next Saturday, this one.
Yes, that amazing birthday present from James, and Kate. Feel free to say hi, if you are there, and see me.
I have the dress, or I will have, assuming I can be zipped into it, at least. Its a back zip, and with my hands, there is no way I can fully pull up a zip behind my back. So, when she returns tomorrow, I’m going to see if Nicole can zip me into it, and if so, I’ll rig something so I can zip it up myself. Fingers are ‘so’ crossed that works. My plan is to go for the Mae West look (not far off Harlow, only fuller figured, like myself) for the evening, hair, and make up, care of a local salon that has good reports.
One last thing, where the movie is old, but the surroundings are modern, that I’ve been invited to
Yes, it will be last, its the evening before I fly back! Well, unless I make the right contacts, and then…lol! I guess, Jean Harlow, or Mae West mark 2 might happen, but seriously? But look how Jean got her big break, so…!
The video, great artist, and summing up how I plan to see LA, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood
Yes, fine, I know, ideally this would have been written yesterday evening, but lets just say that given what I discovered yesterday, I wasnt in the right frame of mind to do so. Hey, some of it is still whirring around my head now, but…
Monday started in a dull fashion, the delights of the Greyhound bus station in Albany. No, its not the most delightful place to spend the best part of an hour, waiting for your coach, but hey, thats America, and public transit for you. Most people of even moderate incomes drive, so many of those on the buses are the less fortunate ones. Not that the place felt dangerous as such, just a bit of a depressed area, I guess?
Anyway, about 15 minutes late (making me feel at home, with TPE), we pulled out, heading for Worcester, where S was meeting me. Yes, thats all you’re getting of identification, for his sake. Driver must have known what he was doing though, as we pulled into Worcester, pretty much on time. Then the fun began.
Lets just say that neither of us knew the city at all, and we had some fun ‘getting together’, and getting out of town. But soon, we were heading north, to New Hampshire, and his place of work.
S is a really interesting guy, much my age, and we had some great conversation en route, a lot of it 70’s related, so before a lot of my readers time! 😛 We arrived, and after a short while, set to the first event of the day, my past life regression. Thankfully, he let me remember things, but only after events. I started by getting younger, and younger, until eventually I was back in the womb. Then we went one step further back. I’m guessing we did it this way, to ensure I got the relatively recent life we were looking for, but dont quote me on that.
It worked, I ended up back in the 1920’s…in Hollywood! But no, not Jean, before you ask. In a sense, that might be for the best, because now I know it was real, and not just my influence on things. A dark haired actress, doing bit parts, and extras, named Clara Johnson. Hey, we found one mention of her on Imdb, in a 1937 movie, so she was real! Nothing else, but as a friend who knows these things told me, bit part actresses didnt get the credits back then, that they do now, so nothing to concern myself about there.
But fine, the most stunning part about all this, Clara got married, had a baby girl. Yes, I was a mother, seemingly a good one, oh wow! Died in her early 50’s, sounded like the cigarettes got her in the end, but I suspect she drunk a bit too! Unlikely, but I may have a daughter, or grandchild somewhere in the world!
Yes, fine, as S realised afterwards, he should have asked Clara if she knew Jean at all (possible, they would both have been doing that sort of thing in the late 20’s), but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Lets just say that it took me a while to get over this news, to any degree. As I say, even now, I’m still trying to comprehend it all. So little I can find out about her, so I suspect sometime, I’ll have to arrange for someone (possibly S, via Skype) to talk to Clara again, and find out more that way.
Then, after enough recovery time for me to stop saying “Oh my God” at regular intervals, we went for part 2. Yes, the Jean Harlow moment. He handled this in a fun (for me especially) way, by creating Jean-bot, via a nanite injection (a pen pressed into my hand, he showed me afterwards), and we took things from there. So fine, I might know a few things about Jean, and her life, but some of the stuff that rushed into my head, no way! Or at least I didnt think I did!
I have no idea why, unless Jean sort of absorbed my thoughts, along with hers, but her reaction to modern life was pretty blase. Or maybe thats because she knew she was a robot, not the real person, but I’m guessing S is the only one who could truly answer that, he created her, after all! Then we did it, the mirror test. I was walked to a mirror, looked at it, and it wasnt my face looking back at me, oh wow! My voice changed, my attitude did too, all quite something!
Anyway, after a brief interview, and Jean seemingly hinting she wanted a drink, stronger than water, I was brought out of trance, and allowed to remember things. Just as I was doing all this, he turned me back into Jean for a few moments, and the voice was back.
Then, after a brief recovery period, I was whisked (film star style lol) to my hotel nearby, for the night. Monday night football, including that gorgeous Jon Gruden, and then to bed.
Truly quite a day, and so many thanks to S, for letting me experience all that. As I say, at some point, I’m going to have to let Clara be interviewed again, absolute must!
The video, seemingly quite apt, seeing I was a bit part movie actress in the 1920’s, and 30’s, and it gives me a chance to let you hear a lesser known Gerry Rafferty piece.
So fine, when I wrote the Robin Williams tribute last night, I wasnt seriously expecting to cover the same ground tonight. But lo and behold, when I woke this morning, it was to the news that Lauren Bacall had gone to her maker overnight, admittedly at a far grander age of 89, and not by her own hands.
Its a sad fact for folks like me, but the number of stars from that ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood is nearly gone. Day, De Havilland, and Reynolds are 3 names that come to mind, and I’m sure there are others, but not many. Hard to believe that its not that long that we lost our last connection to the silent era, but then again, she was about 113 when she died! Not the normal lifespan lol!
I guess, to bring up the line from so long ago, Bogart whistled, and Bacall came.
Rest in peace, Lauren.
I’ll include the video at this point, it seems the right place. Another who has departed this world, a beautiful song
Right, and on a more light hearted note…
Some time ago, in a charity shop in Wakefield, I found a top that looked like it had appeared from the 1920’s, and said, buy me. The label in it definitely isnt that modern, but whether its genuine vintage, who knows? Lets just say that in the area of the boobs, its definitely a V cut. So fine, this week, I felt guilty about never actually wearing it, so I’ve put it on. Now, all this might not be helped by the bra I’ve got on, I’ve a feeling its one of those ‘push you up’ bras, so the combination of the 2…has my boobs shouting quite loudly, ‘hello boys!’
Now I know some Trans folk quite like to flaunt their figure, but I’m not one of them!
I think part of the thing is, that girls, back in the 1920’s tended to either have very small boobs, or barely anything at all. Whereas modern girls…lets just say that 20’s tops are not designed for modern cleavages, unless you want them to poke a man’s eyes out.
OK, some might say, it might help me find a man, but do I really want a man who could only possibly love me for them? So fine, when I went out this afternoon, I put on a different top, one that kept my ‘puppies’ under wraps, so to speak.
Given that one guy, in a car, noticed them anyway, is beside the point, god knows what he would have done had I been wearing this top, had a crash, probably! But fine, given I dont want my boobs regarded as weapons of mass destruction, I definitely had better not wear this top out.
I love it, but…I’m a 30’s girl, fuller figured, not a flat chested flapper lol!
Ah well, live and learn…
No, seriously, that title is very tongue in cheek, unless my tipping skills take a turn for the miraculous over the next few days at least. Yes, that time of year has crept around again, the Cheltenham festival starts tomorrow. And at work, there is a meeting long tipping contest, for all the shrewdies, and the one or two like me, with little clue, to take our chance on winning a few pounds. Or most likely in my case, lose ten pounds! But given its the only gambling I will do all week…
But it helps to break up the insanity of the week, checking your selections in the vain hope that they might be running well, only to find they’re still running 15 minutes later, or fell at the first fence! Well, for what its worth, I’ve already done tomorrows picks, so I will apologise to those trainers in advance for ruining their chances! As long as no one expects me to show as much interest when the World Cup football starts, all will be fine!
The only advantage for me this year, with Cheltenham, is that the overtime this week will get paid at the end of April, just in time for my holiday in May! Even more so, as I did a little bit last week, and have some more in 2 weeks time, which will help pay some of the expenses at least! Might have some prize winnings too, though the term ‘pigs might fly’ comes to mind on that!
My favourite race, the cross country race, but I always was a strange soul, in more senses than one!
The video, well, its definitely in the title tonight!
In other news, which may amuse some, I’ve decided to accept my very nice fate, and accept I’m a Jean Harlow lookalike. Hey, I could do an awful lot worse in life, lets face it. So I’ve decided (for now at least) to stay blonde, and go for a 30’s style look with my hair, which given my fringe (or lack of it) might not be a bad thing. I will still (probably) wear a flapper style dress to my birthday dinner on Sunday, but given my hair, and my eyebrows arent being ‘rearranged’ until Tuesday, that should be fine. Well, I’ll wear it if the weather stays like this at least, they are both too short if it turns cold again! In which case, given my finger nails are now gun metal in colour, I might wear the grey dress, seen at Christmas, or I might wear a nice black one, from, err, a Wakefield charity shop!
So, I’ll let you decide, is this me, or is this Miss Harlow, hmm?
Mind, I’m led to believe that we are so similar (or will be when my hair is restyled) that telling the difference is tricky. Ah well, I can dream…
As some on here at least know, my regular commute is from my current home town, Huddersfield, to the place I work, Leeds. Today, I was fortunate enough to be finishing early, because of a sporting event tonight. Rugby league, the proper rugby, as we Yorkshire folk would call it, has a super league match between those 2 cities, and I should imagine the early evening trains, as well as being full of commuters, were full of rugby fans too.
No, I dont have any real problems with either (well, if commuters dont allow me to get a seat lol, but otherwise…) but the trains are overcrowded enough, thanks to Trans Pennine Express’s incompetence, without even more people trying to force their way on to the trains.
City to city, in this case, should take just under 20 minutes. I say, should, because we’re talking TPE here, and their timekeeping is about as good as their provision of carriages for passengers! To be honest, apart from the trains betweem them, the 2 stations have little in common. Huddersfield’s station is still pretty much the original look, which makes it well over 150 years old. The internal offices are a bit more modern, but the building has a generally old fashioned look. Oh, and despite have platforms numbered up to 8, there are only 6, no platform 3, or 7. I presume both disappeared with the mass line closures of the 60’s, but dont quote me on that!
Leeds station, is very modern, less than 20 years old, and it shows! It does its job, but in terms of atmosphere, there’s only one winner! At least Leeds actually has platforms all the way from 1 to 17 lol!
Shopping wise, Leeds has never grown on me, over all the years of my life, not just since I moved back up here. Probably just a personal thing, I guess? Huddersfield is nicer, but as regular readers know, Wakefield is my favourite around here.
Yes, as some might point out, both places are also in the same division in football, but as I dont care for that sport, lets leave it there! 😛
No prizes for which team I want to win tonight, though neither are of course the team I support, thats Keighley! But, one is my home town, so…
2 videos for the price of one tonight, so take your pick. The first is the genius who wrote this song, and sang it originally, but is clearly mimed
This is the Proclaimers live, from the Gerry Rafferty tribute concert
Yes, Huddersfield to Leeds, isnt 400 miles, more like 15, but who’s counting?
On one of the writing forums that I’m a member of, the monthly contest is to write a story, based on a historical event, only with a different timeline, and supposing what happens from there. Say, as an example, Buddy Holly hadnt died in that plane crash, back in the late 50’s, and that his career had continued from there. If, as Don McClean put it, ‘the music hadnt died’. He might have became as legendary a figure as Elvis, or his career might have waned within a few years. One thing is for sure, we will never know.
Equally, close to my heart, and especially given that it would have been her 103rd birthday today, suppose Jean Harlow’s kidney failure had been curable in the mid 30’s, and she hadnt died at 26. Would her career have briefly flickered, and died within a short period of then, or would she have become as big a Hollywood legend as she did, had she lived?
The other semi topical one, had the Tsar seen off the potential revolution in 1917, what would Russia be like today? Given the tyrannical rule of some of the Tsar’s in the past, would it be for better, or worse?
Lets face it, in these, and other cases, we will never know.
Of course, for me, the timeline that could have been so different, is if I’d known I was transgendered when I was 20, not when I was into my forties! Of course, in this world, finding out such things back then was far harder, and the surgery not as good as today, but anyway, as we are talking different timelines, lets bring today’s perspective to events that might have happened back then.
In all likelihood, its fair to say I would have gone through all the hassle, and all the surgery back then, because my whole life would have stretched before me. Its also fair to say that with less male hormone having pumped through my body, my look post change, would probably be more feminine too. I know, I know, I pass with many, but all the same, with female hormones pumping through me, and all the right bits physically, life might well have been good.
I might, might have even enjoyed sex, with the right body, or I might have been as asexual as I am now, who knows? Hey, if I’d passed well enough, I might even have found myself a man, got married, and all that. No, using current surgical limitations, I couldnt have had a baby, even though I have an undeveloped womb. Who knows, back then, if I’d started on female hormones…no, I’ll settle for not being a mother lol!
But, and its a big but, if I had gone through the change back then, would my life have been so rich? Yes, I would be a woman, and in that sense, at peace, but…Ironically, there is one precious man in my life, who I would never have met, if I’d been a woman about 15 years ago. Why, because at the time, he wasnt interested in women, only men, and if Stephanie Louise had written to him about matters, she would have been ignored! But because Steve wrote to him…
When I first met him, it was as a friend, it was only after a whole stream of events around 2002/2003, when I needed somewhere as a base, to get my life back together, and things, that he was there for me. And yes, although its now in a different house, in a different part of the country, we are still in the same house, even now, and are still friends. Yes, I’ve mentioned him, its that lovely gentleman I escort on train journeys through the North of England, twice a year, amongst other things.
And yes, he, his friend, and his partner are very special to me, for many reasons. But, if I’d become a woman, in my early twenties, I’d never have known any of them, and thats a hole in my life that I’m glad not to have.
So, this different timeline thing, its not just one thing it alters, its the rest of your life.
Interesting concept though, isnt it?
The video, one of my favourite artists, sadly no longer with us, but thankfully the music lives on.
Maybe, one day, I’ll find the ‘right moment’ to fully change genders, but given I’ll be 56 in less than a fortnight, I suspect not, now.