Well I would guess its go surprise to people here if I do a Transgender posting here, even if strictly I’m intersex, but I will still always relate to mtf transgender issues, even when I do finally get the operation out of the way, and yes, I hope the brain issues wont stop that at least. But making a post where I disagree with the transgender crowd, well…
Its fair to say at my age, even ignoring the new health issues, that I’m never going to play sport again at my age. The only sport I really played at anything more than basic level more than a couple of years after leaving school was cricket, and though I was a decent player (I played both at school, and club levels), I was never going to be a world beater. I did play a little recreational golf after I left school, but that soon stopped after a couple of years, due to lack of time, and not being a Nick Faldo/Laura Davies at the game, it was never going to go further. I think at one point I was a 13 handicap, which isnt amazing, but not awful either. I did try again, about 25-30 years later, but lets say I was more like a 113 handicap by then.
But then, since I started to transition, apart from the issue of getting old, I decided it was the end of my sporting career anyway. I know, strictly, I could play as a woman, especially after transition was confirmed, but even if I’d been in a position to play sport as a woman, I dont think I would. I know, you look at me, and apart from perhaps the height issue (I’m 5ft 9 tall/ 1.74 m?) I’ve got the build of a woman, but anyway…
I know some have, and more will, but its just how I feel about things, OK?
But it seems that some are so determined to make it at sport, that they have less morals about matters than me. It seems one team in the Kent Women’s Cricket League are so determine to succeed that rules, well… Now let me say I’ve only read one article about this, and the club, and the player involved dont want to say anything on the subject, but… One ladies team seeming include a ‘woman’ who is strongly built, 6ft 1 in height in their team.
Fine, but this is seemingly a woman who hasnt declared to be transitioning, isnt taking female hormones, and according to reports only declares as a woman on cricket match days, which seems very convenient. Of course she’s scoring lots of runs, taking lots of wickets, and all that stuff. So suddenly a moderate team has become a league winning capable team, isnt that handy?
Now, I wouldnt want to say she isnt genuine in the transition, but if so, why isnt she living as a woman for 7 days of the week? Yes, I do cynically wonder if this will be a 1 year wonder, or not? Handily for them, in England, unless you get into National Squad contention, you dont get sex tests done!
In the sense of glory, I dont care how desperate this team are to win, by doing things like this, but my concern is the simple one, if as I suspect it will, this is proved to be a fraud, where does it leave genuine transgender people in the future, both in terms of general life, and things that are gender related, from public conveniences upward? But yes, life is hard enough for us, without people working the system for the sake of glory, because lets face it, as has happened with this, its eventually going to get out, and probably in a negative way.
OK, rant over. Mind, I’ve acted as a woman, even before I started transitioning (long before in fact), but that was just a part I was needed to play, that I didnt cheat anyone out of, so… The fun is, if it wasnt for the health issues, I might have been acting this autumn as a woman again, ah well…
Right, video time. One of my favourites of all time, in truth. Yes, I’d love to be the lady in grey, with the helmet in this, seriously
OK, its a play on words, given what this blog is about, and oh fine, the video too.
I mentioned in the previous blog about the Test Match starting next Wednesday between England, and Ireland at Lords, the first between them. Its too much to hope for a repeat of what happened to the 1966 World Cup winning soccer team, giving they played Scotland, as world champions, and lost. But goodness, wouldnt that be funny.
But before then, there is actually a major sporting event happening in Ireland, The Open, for the first time since 1951 is being held in Northern Ireland, at Portrush. Not that I will be around that far into the future but I hope it doesnt take 68 years to return again.
I was politely asked if I could request an Irish Passport, to get round this whole Brexit thing, but sadly I’m one generation too far away for that. I remember visiting ancestors on my father’s side in Tralee, Kerry when I was a child, though given he left my mother when I was 9, and never saw them again, I have no idea where anyone on that connection of my ancestry is now. Lets face it, its over 50 years since I had any contact, so…
The thing I never remember doing is visiting anyone on my mothers Irish side of the family, ever. Now whether thats because by then there was no one left in Offaly on that side of the family, or if someone, somewhere along the line was disowned, I have no idea. But yes, being of Nicholls extract, from Banagher, living in Haworth has amused me for all of my life. Confused? Look up Charlotte Bronte’s husband, and… clearly I have no idea how strong, or loose the link is, given I’ve never had any connect to that side of the family, but I think its fair to assume there must have been some?
But now, getting back to the golf…I was watching early, and it was mentioned that Shane Lowry’s family would be heading up from Offaly, as he is currently (at time of writing) joint leader in the Open. No, he’s not from Banagher, he’s from Clara, about 20 miles away, but many decades ago, there was a railway line between the 2. Clara is still served by Irish railways, Banagher isnt! In truth, I guess the place I havent visited that I really should have done is Banagher, but not sure I ever will now. Hey, I dont even know if my ancestors were still living there, when they emigrated! I know, Clara’s birthplace county in Oklahoma ranks close second, but…
So yes, I might not have Lowry in any of my fantasy golf teams this week, but wouldnt stop me being so proud if someone from Offaly made it big!
OK, the video is corny, but I had to include something green, lets face it. And besides, flapper wise, was that a speakeasy hidden behind that green door?
Yes, I know, the Golf season has been going on forever already. Indeed, in the case of the US tour, nearly 8 months ago, well before 2019 was in the mirror, and it will all be over again by August. The ‘delights’ of commercial demands to fit in with TV, in this case, so the big events are over before the NFL gets under way. At least the Euro tour goes a bit further into the year, though yes, 2020 season will still start before the next decade begins.
However, for all that, one tour only gets under way this week, the second division challenge tour here in Europe. In truth, until this year, my interest in it has been the same as anyone other than the golfers, and their families have been, pretty much none. I might have to show a bit more interest this year, mind. Unless there is some lady golfer on either of their tour’s who comes from Huddersfield that I dont know of, we only have one professional golfer from this town. For a few years, up until last year, he’s been on the main Euro tour, though it tended to be more in survival fashion, than glamour. Last year, he got relegated! He did have a second chance, through qualifying school, and until the last day of 6, it looked like he might ‘stay up’ that way, but it wasnt to be.
So this year, and hopefully only for 1 year, Chris Hanson is on the challenge tour, here in Europe. As I say, the tour starts tomorrow, in Turkey. Conveniently for me, the Sporting Life golf team posted a podcast this week with him, discussing said season, so I now know what he sounds like.
As it says, it was recorded a mile back, and no, he didnt do well at the Kenya Open mentioned, missing the cut! No, I’ve never met him, and never likely to meet him, but I hope he does well this year, just because of the Huddersfield connection, and gets back on the main tour.
OK, video time, also with a Huddersfield connection, this time, Billy Currie. This song wasnt a big hit for Ultravox, and the song is OK, but fine, I love the video. It has the feel of a movie from the period when silent was turning to sound, and black and white was turning to the first attempts at colour, which is probably why I love it. OK, fine, the doll/robot movement stuff at the start probably helps too.
Though the 2019 golf season started last September (no, don’t ask), this week sees the first ‘major’ of the season, the only one that has the same home every season, the Masters, at Augusta, Georgia.
Its fair to say that until recently, the people who run golf at Augusta were a little behind the time, would be putting it mildly. The first to break the race barrier at the golf course, 1975, and only then because they had no choice, because he’d qualified for the Masters. Just imagine if they said Tiger Woods couldnt take part, well… 1990 saw the first African American member, only after numerous complaints by members…about letting them in! Lovely people, but this is the deep South, so…?
For women, it was even worse, the first female member, with all the consternation it caused about having a woman on the grounds, not until 2012. The first competitive rounds by a woman at Augusta? Yesterday! Yes, a small number of female amateur golfers were given the ‘honour’ yesterday of being allowed to play competitive golf at Augusta. Wow!
I’d love to say this was the exception to the rule, but it isnt. Muirfield, near Edinburgh, only permitted women to be members in 2017 when they were told they would be taken off the Open circuit if they didnt. Even then it took 2 votes to ‘convince’ them to agree to this, and the secretary of the course described it as a sad day when they did eventually approve it, what a lovely gentleman, not!
Of course, whats happened now is that the ‘gentlemen’ in charge of Augusta are claiming this as a very special event, and in 1 sense at least, it is. But at the same time, the fact that it should have happened about 50 years ago is irrelevant to them! So congratulations are due to Jennifer Kupcho, for becoming the first woman to win a competitive tournament at Augusta (only last of 3 rounds, for leaders played on course), but Augusta, dont be so proud of being such a dinosaur that its taken you until now to catch up with the modern world.
How to annoy a bunch of grumpy, white, misogynists with a video? Oh, easy!
No, not politics, not that I would blame anyone for expecting it with that headline at present, lol.
All year long, up to now at least, I’ve been involved in a really good golf competition on Twitter. Somehow, I ended up 4th on the regular season, which qualified me as 1 of the higher seeds in the 16 person field. I crept through the first 2 rounds, not entirely skilfully, but as I was playing lower seeds, I had a points advantage which proved critical. Then came the semi final, against the number 1 seed, which not surprisingly I lost. This put me in the 3rd place playoff, which is pretty good, given my limited sports knowledge nowadays. Thing is, there were only 3 prizes, so now I had to win this, admittedly against a slightly lower seed to get any prize money. £100, so not something to be sneezed at, for just coming 3rd. Lose that match, get nothing. Yes, readers, you guessed it, I lost, today, in the final Euro Tour event.
Except, in the end, for some reason best known to others, and for which I’m very grateful, a 4th prize, matching the 3rd prize suddenly appeared! Put it this way, apart from the remaining £23, I have no plans to spend this on fripperies, or stuff. My plan was, and always has been, to try a couple of different therapies to try and ease my back, for which the extra expense was beyond my normal pocket, so now…
One is acupuncture, which I’ve fancied trying for years, even before my back went, but now I’ve got no excuse not to do so. I know, having needles stuck in you, for pain relief might seem weird to some, but it supposedly works, has been advised for me, so I will give it a try, and see, in near future.
The other is what they call a flotation tank therapy. Seems that floating, with zero pressure on my back might be a very good thing to do. Oh fine, the whole thing of being in a soundproof chamber, in the darkness appeals to me no end, though I doubt anyone is going to play a voice in the chamber, saying I am being brainwashed or the like will be available to me, lol. Maybe I can get that thought into my mind, but besides that…I can help my health, and help to have a fantasy come true!
So, with big thanks to Gareth, and ‘Scoled’ for their generosity in events today which have led to this happening. This old lady, and her back appreciate it far more than you can ever know.
You may have worked out tonight’s song, but you might be expecting, especially from me, Simon & Garfunkel, but you’d be wrong. This came out about 2 years ago, a stunning cover of said song, and we have a live version here.
You know something? How you sometimes feel that nothing is going to work out for you, and all that? Oh fine, after today, maybe I can still be a chorus line dancer in a Hollywood musical? OK, seriously, that isnt going to happen, but at the same time, something good might happen soon, more in the near future on that, I hope. Alright, Adriana, or Angie, I might at some point soon dress up like a dancer, but I’m not going to turn into Ginger Rodgers overnight!
But yes, had a couple of feel good moments that happened today, that make you do believe anything is possible. Strictly, one of these happened yesterday evening, California time, but here in the UK, it was early hours of this morning.
A few days ago, in the world of baseball, in an event that no one beyond his family, and friends would have noticed, The Los Angeles Angels called up a back up catcher, named Francisco Arcia. Well yes, fine, players get called up every day, and all that, so…? The significant thing here is, this guy has been playing Minor League Baseball for 12 years, never been in danger of the call up to the Major League, and all that. Then the Angels traded a player away, and for reasons best known to themselves, they called up Arcia to the ‘big boys’.
Thing is, in his first 2 games, he’s taken 5 of his 8 bats for hits, had a home run, and batted in 10 runs for his team. For a super prospect, this would all be quite something. For a guy who has spent 12 years in various minor league teams, totally unnoticed, its really quite something! Now I’m not saying this will last, or that he will become an All Star or anything, but for a player who had probably given up on the big dream by now, he must feel like he’s in heaven!
The other 2 feelgood stories from today both relate to golf. The European tour was in Germany this week, and the tournament was won by a player most wouldnt have heard of, Richard McEvoy. This was his 285th tournament on the main tour, had never won one before. He did have 1 second, 1 third, but that was it. Today, he won! Now, to be fair, he has got a few wins on lesser tours, but until today, he was so far down the rankings, he was struggling to retain his playing rights for next year. Now, for 2 and a half years, no issue!
The other from the same tournament? There was a German amateur player, by the name of Allen John, and by the end of today’s play, he was joint runner up. No prize money, as an amateur, but the prestige… He turned pro in 2011, and his career was so ‘good’, he gave up, and became an amateur again! Got an invite, as a local this week, and almost took the event by storm! Oh, did I say, he’s 30, and profoundly deaf! Just shows you, if you’re determined enough, nothing can stop your dream.
Who, me? Audition for Broadway, or Hollywood, I dont think so now! But if I really still wanted to, and put my mind to it, well, maybe…? Kudos to all 3 of these guys, anyway
The video lyrics, so untrue for this trio, as it happened for all of them today.
Next week, the Open golf tournament (its not the British Open, as some call it, by the way) heads to Carnoustie, a course at which I can proudly say I played at, in the dim distant past. No, dont get excited, I didnt play the actual course that those top pro golfers will be playing at, I played the 18 hole putting green, with my partner of the time, but it was literally next door to the 1st hole, close to where all those players will be teeing off, to start their round. No, seriously, we couldnt have afforded to play the course, my partner was never more than a ‘pitch and putt/Par 3’ player, and by that age, in truth, neither was I. My days of being a 13 handicap golfer had long since passed by then.
We also played St Andrews on the same trip, probably the most unique putting course I’ve ever seen. You know, most of these things are on a pretty much flat surface, and if you just hit it at the hole, it goes in? No, St Andrews was nothing like that! Slopes, twists, and turns, the complete works! And yes, again, you could see the Old Course while playing it! Yes, now, most definitely the closest I will ever get to playing one of the famous name golf courses.
But back to Carnoustie…
For me at least, even having played in the hallowed grounds, my most amazing memory of the place was when the Open was previously held there, in 1999. Anyone who saw Jean Van De Velde conjure up defeat from the jaws of victory on the last hole, is never likely to forget that. What people forget is that Paul Lawrie wasnt even in contention going into the last day, shot the round of the tournament, but even then, Van De Velde only had to play the last with an element of care, and the title was his. As history shows, he didnt! Unfortunately, his career never really recovered after that.
As for this week, I hope the tournament is exciting, but I hope no one throws it away like that on the last hole of the tournament.
Oh, and while talking matters French, I suppose I’d better congratulate France on winning the Football/Soccer World Cup today. No, I didnt see any of the game, but the scoreline (4-2) suggests it was exciting at least? To prove how unnecessary it is to know anything about the sport, I entered a competition online. Thousands of entries, end up tied for 36th!
Seeing I cant find a song about Carnoustie, or Mr Van De Velde, lets go with a French video tonight. I have to say it, their anthem is a hell of a lot more inspiring than ours! From the World Cup, no less!
Yes, the blog title is a play on a song title, but unless you’re as old as me, until you reach the video, you may well not know it.
OK, fine, non sports fans might want to walk away here. Its funny, I remember when sport had deep bred traditions, but seemingly nowadays, thats not enough. In golf, for example, in the old days (and not that long ago, in truth), with the exception of the Ryder Cup (which used to be GB v US, but changed to make it competitive), and a Matchplay Championship once a year, everything was individual play, strokeplay, mostly over 72 holes, over 4 days.
Now, we have a tournament in Australia where they play 18 hole strokeplay for 3 days, with a cut after 2, before having a wild 24 person knock out tournament, with matches over 6 holes on the last day! This week, for the second year, we have a pairs tournament going on in the US, with 2 different formulas of play over the 4 days. Next week, in the UK, we have a round robin group tournament, involving 16 pairs in matches over 6 holes, with all sorts of weird rules (time to play shot being one of them), and in a few weeks, in Belgium, we have 1 with 2 days of standard strokeplay, followed by a 64 player knock out thing on strokes, over 9 holes!
I guess this is all to try and bring in a new audience, or maybe its because I’m just old, and set in my ways, but seriously…do we need all this?
The other sport in the UK that seems to be desperately trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’ is cricket. Not satisfied with the rapid fire 20 over stuff, someone has now come up with the idea of 100 ball cricket, 15 standard overs, plus 1 10 ball one! And instead of counties, and affiliation, there are going to be just 8 franchises. Now, lets face it, for example, if there is a franchise for the North, in Manchester, if they think Yorkshire folk are going to support it? Or vice versa? I suspect, in truth, both will get one, for the rivalry. But equally, if they think a West Country franchise based in Bristol, would get support from Somerset?
For US reader sake, imagine a baseball team, over 5 innings, 5 outs per innings, and 1 franchise in Los Angeles. You seriously think Angels fans would support it in Dodgers stadium, or vice versa?
The big snag with the cricket one is also the one our cricket board, as opposed to India, Australia and the like dont, is the financial one. Unless these teams employ international names, as opposed to county journeymen, who’s going to come and watch? Snag is, these things cost money, and the ECB dont like spending it, so…?
Oh fine, guilty as charged, I will probably watch some of it, when Sky Sports pay for the rights to show it, I’m sure. But do we need all these gimmicks in our sports, or not?
Video time. The snag with 70’s songs is finding live video performances from back then. Pre video cameras, and at a time when film of so many shows were wiped after use, ah well… So strictly, this is 10 cc. In reality, its one of the original group, but all the same…
I’ve had some fun today, given there’s been little of interest on TV in other matters for me today, I’ve been watching some cricket. Yes, I know, I like cricket, but the Indian Premier League (IPL) just tends to leave me cold for some reason. In truth, I blame the commentators for that, mainly because they tend to fawn over the Indian cricketers as if they were gods, and well, when Danny Morrison starts commentating, lets just say it starts to grind on me. So lets leave the actual cricket there, OK? Tonight, given that ESPN are giving baseball a pass on the early games tonight, I’ll have the Masters on until bedtime, much more sedate. And beyond the fact of commenting that I’ve just seen Tiger Woods knock in a long eagle putt, and do nothing more than acknowledge the crowds (no fist pump, as it used to be with him), I’m beginning to hope he wins again sometime soon, and if you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be saying that, I’d be laughing at you!
But going back to the IPL, and that ‘other universe’ life I might have had. Yes, I was watching the cheerleaders doing their routines, and wondering what that sort of life might be like? Well, without the bit of checking their smart phones while not dancing, but hey, if I was young now, like that, maybe I would do that sort of thing? In truth, I have no idea how well paid they are, or anything? I assumed all these Pro Sport cheerleaders were well paid, well pampered, and everything else, and then I read an article about how badly some NFL teams treat their cheerleaders, and it shocked me. Basically their attitude seems to be that of supply and demand, but I wonder how much demand there will be in future when they find out how badly the women are treated, but anyway…?
Alright, I suspect Clara, and all those other chorus line dancers were on pretty strict diets during their working years, to keep them slim, all the same. Probably why most only did a few years, before getting married, and retiring, I guess, as they could then eat more normal amounts?
But fine, if I had the youth, the looks, and the dancing skills, that sort of life might just be fun? I know, I’ll never know, I guess, unless Clara gives her full life story if I ever get regressed again! Either that, or a wonderful lady I know online, who worked in Vegas tells me. Not that either give me that personal experience, but short of a rejuvenation chamber, or something, not going to happen to me!
Fine, video time. I apologize for the less than regular quality tonight, but this is from Top Of The Pops in 1974, basically a lost episode, but someone found this bit at least. The actual song, and routine is fine (very vintage, apt for the song), but a couple of, err, interesting interludes. No, I know nothing of the artist, beyond this song!
About the only blessing of being unable to get through a whole day at work yesterday, because of my back flaring up badly again, was the fact that I got the chance to catch some of the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters, from Augusta, Georgia. In truth, seeing the actual coverage of the event only started at 8 pm my time, I would have been home in time for most of it anyway. Yes, the program started about an hour earlier, with the presenters just talking, but anyway, I survived all of that!
When I was young (mid – late teens or so), I was actually a reasonable golfer, think I got to a 12 or 13 handicap at one point. Not good enough to do anything major, but at least I could have a decent walk around a course without having to wander off into the rough too often! After that point, I started getting more involved in cricket, and I started to play less, and less, until I reached a point where I just didnt play any more. 20 years or so later, I was playing what the US people call Par 3 golf (UK folk probably know it as pitch & putt) for fun for a while, and while the basic skills were still there, its fair to say that my body meant much of the talents had receded, not helped by various injuries, arthritis, and the like. Now, with my back gone, I wouldnt even try any more, though in truth, its been a few years now, anyway.
All that meant though, that I’ve tended to follow golf over the years, to some degree or another. More so back then when I was playing a bit, than now, though I still watch some, and unless there is baseball on, I will probably watch the final round of the Masters on Sunday, for sure.
But yes, on the Wednesday, before the big event gets started, Augusta has this sweet little par 3 event, which seems to be played by a selected number of the tournament players, past champions who will, and wont be playing the main event (because of age), and randomized others! The others are mainly relatives of the players, usually children, but not always.
Anyway, when I was a young ‘woman’, one of the players I grew up loving to watch was Tom Watson. Always seemed a nice guy, though in truth, he was probably as competitive as the rest of them! Still, if I say that now, he’s one of those that no longer plays in the event proper, due to his age, it shows we’re all getting old! Amazingly, less than a decade ago, he was runner up in the Open, at the age of 59, and nearly won it!
Still, the story is, last night, despite age, despite everything, every putt he hit seemed to drop, whatever the distance, and some were lengthy. Yes, he won the whole event, though I suspect that some of today’s players dont try too hard, partly not to risk injury, partly as they’re just having fun, but anyway… There is 1 strange jinx, no player who has won the Par 3 event has won the Masters in the same year. Its going to happen at some point, but not this year, for sure!
But yes, for an old lady like myself, it was lovely to see the likes of Watson, Player, and Nicklaus doing so well in the tournament. We all grow old, and weary, but seemingly some less than others! Congratulations, Tom, enjoy the moment.
Yes, the video tonight is the blindingly obvious one, given the blog title. A live performance by the late, great, Ray Charles