Oh fine, I thought I was going to be reminiscing about the previous time that England were in a World Cup Final, even more so when I got in last night, and saw the score was 1-0, but everything went downhill after that, so you’re getting this instead! 😛
To be honest, I guessed I’d see less people around last night than normal, but in truth, during the walk into Bradford from work, I hardly saw anyone at all. Well, apart from inside the bars, showing the football, lol…Little did I know that by the time I walked past, England was already winning. Even the Interchange was almost empty, and the bus had a fraction of the normal amount of passengers too. Despite a few ‘idiots’ (signalled the bus to stop, just as he was passing at speed, but he managed to stop, and wait for them to sort out their fares) for the first time in memory at that time of night, the bus actually had to wait for the clock to tick round at Brighouse before we could complete the trip to Huddersfield. Despite that, I got off at Huddersfield 4 minutes early, and got a bus towards home that should leave a minute before I get there, and thats with a couple of minutes walk. That bus was quiet too.
As for this end, well, I could have walked home in a swimsuit, and pretty much no one would have known! I saw a driver, and 2 passengers on a bus heading into town at a respectful distance, but I doubt they saw me. Other than that, no one!
For the first time this tournament, I switched on the football at home, and discovered the news, England were winning. By the time I’d gone downstairs, put my dinner in the microwave, and got back upstairs, they were drawing! Then I jinxed them, I left the football on, and the almost inevitable happened, they lost! At least it wasnt on penalties this time, lol. So sadly, it seems like we will have to put up with Baddiel and Skinner for 2 more years at least, singing about 3 lions on shirts, ah well…
For me, the more exciting potential news was another chance to dress up old fashioned style, and work in the Blackpool area (Lytham, to be precise) as an advertiser for the Film Festival next March, but its a weekend in August (18th and 19th), so not even worth asking in truth, as Saturday’s are short staffed enough as it is, without being in School Holidays (we have a number of term time only staff), and besides which, I suspect finding accommodation over there in mid August, no chance! Its not even like its just a Saturday anyway for me, I’d need to finish early on the Friday to get there, would need the Monday off to recover afterwards, so… No, I dont know what era, or look just yet! Probably better I dont know, might regret not doing it!
OK, video time, at least you’re saved from Keith Allen, aka Fat Les, due to last nights calamity with England. I had no idea how good Marlene Dietrich’s singing talents were by 1963, but they were bearable. And yes, its more than one glorious link to the past that I love, so…
Friday night was an ‘interesting’ journey home in more than a few ways, in truth. I didnt think it was going to be anything out of the ordinary when the bus finally pulled into the bay at Bradford, a few seconds before it was due to leave, with a long queue of people to get on. Lets just say he gave me a pleasant surprise, all loaded quickly, and actually arrived in Huddersfield on time, so fine!
What did make it interesting though, was a couple of events en route, back to Huddersfield. Having made it back almost into Brighouse, we stopped at a bus stop to pick up 2 adults, and 1 child, all seemingly with no health issues, given the full show they gave me. Yes, there is a point in saying that. Clearly there was a discussion going on between the woman, and the driver, as to where they were travelling to, but anyway…
Lets just say, no sooner had they sat down on the bus, and he pulled off, they rang the bell to stop the bus. Yes, thats right, 1 bus stop, and about 500 yards later, they got off the bus again, and walked away! As I say, all could work easily, they were carrying no heavy bags, or anything, and they caught a bus 500 yards! How long they’d waited for that bus, to do that, who knows, but it would only have taken them 3 minutes top, to walk it!
Me, with my damaged back, I walk about 15 minutes, to, and back from Bradford Interchange for work! And they wonder why people are unfit, seriously?
OK, the other amusing event from Friday is something I’m ashamed to have assumed. On same bus journey, on the outskirts of Huddersfield, we stopped to pick up 3 people of around my age, 1 man, and 2 women. I must admit, even when the 2 women sat together on one double seat, and the man sat behind them, that he was the partner of one of the women, and the other was a neighbor, or friend, or… Even when the 2 women were talking happily to each other, and occasionally turning round to talk to him, I still assumed the same, but…
We all got off at Huddersfield Bus Station, the end of the line. Yes, you’ve probably already guessed it, the 2 women walked off arm in arm, the man following behind them! As I say, as an LGBT person myself, it shouldnt throw me, but it did. Just shows, never assume anything!
Lastly, when I got home, there was a letter waiting for me, government envelope, not shocking to see for a Civil Servant. I assumed it was my pension position letter (which actually arrived Saturday), but no, it was from the Tax people, I’d paid too much income tax on the year. Given I was in the same job for the whole year, and pay tax as I earn, I have no idea how it happened. But yes, a nice surprise of £78.20 for me. I fought (quite literally) the government website to be able to reclaim it, but having used it at work of course, that was no great surprise. Eventually, at the second attempt, I wrangled it into submission, and the money will soon be on its way to me.
Sensible says, I put it all aside for savings. Practical says, I put some aside, and treat myself with the rest. Stupid says, spend the lot, its money you didnt know you had, so…
So yes, on Friday, 3 things I couldnt explain! Which leads to tonights video…
Yesterday evening, when I got home from work, I found out we were going out for a meal that evening, as the others had been busy doing some roof repairs while I was at the ‘day job’, and part of the reward for the hardest working pair, was not having to cook that night.
The most difficult bit I had to do, given it was a Saturday evening, and seemed wise for a party of 4, was to book a table. I assumed they would be popular, but in hindsight, they weren’t when we got there, and discovered why. But more on that shortly…
As is my whim, I decided I was going to slip on a dress to go out. I know, old fashioned thing, but something I dont often do in public, so… Given I have a fairly new pair of sparkly blue shoes, and I have a less new 30’s style blue dress, I decided to combine them. Fine, it shows a bit of leg, but no knees, so who cares? Funny thing was, when we got there, I was greeted by 2 ladies dressed in flapper style dresses, so I guessed at the wrong era lol!
The pub/restaurant that we’ve gone to for years, wasnt as busy as I expected for 7.00 on a Saturday evening, and in truth, not booking a table wouldnt have been an issue. Surprising, but a few months ago (just before my birthday), it changed style, and branding, and as we know now, it changed service quality too!
After ordering our drinks, and our meals, we waited for them to arrive. And waited, and waited…about 30 minutes later, the drinks arrived, about 10 minutes after that, the meals. Nothing complex, nothing they shouldnt have served in about half the time!
Then, after about 10 minutes trying to catch a waitresses eye, to clear the table, and order desserts, I had success. We ordered them, a couple of drinks, and then waited, and waited, with nothing arriving. Anyway, 40-45 minutes later Ella queried the matter, and we found out the waitress hadnt even put the order in for us! Nor had she ever collected the last plate, in truth. We did get the desserts, and drinks free (though as one of the 2 latter was a free refill, no great shout), but nothing else off the bill, shocking, really. Not sure if the staff simply didnt care, or were new to the job, but…
Lets just say we wont be going back there anytime in the near future, and leave it at that. So, if anyone in the Yorkshire area is reading this, and is thinking of going to the Yorkshire Rose, in Huddersfield, I’d advise against it! Given most of my readers are in the US, probably an unneeded piece of advice, but anyway, its done. It used to be nice, but now its out of time for future trips!
Talking of which, the video, from the 60’s. Some may know the Rolling Stones version, but this is the one that topped the charts over here in 1966.
Its funny, isnt it, but misfortune can be a wonderful thing.
I must admit, when my right knee gave way under me about 6 weeks ago, I feared the worst. Well, I see it as the worst at least, because I’m not a fan of surgery if I can help it nowadays, in the slightest! Too much when I was growing up I think, just put me off the idea nowadays. I’ll openly admit it, its probably one of the reasons I havent rushed to have the sex reassignment surgery done, is the thought of all that pain, and stuff afterwards. But yes, having been warned many years ago that I was a certainty to need knee replacement surgery, probably sooner than later, I sort of thought it was probably inevitable after that. Well, it probably still is at some point in the future, but not for now.
One of the blessings of where I work (those that need to know, already know, those that dont, well lets just say its a wonderful place) is that we have something called an Occupational Health Scheme. After the problem occurred, I discussed it with them, and said, as I thought at the time, that realistically there was only going to be one outcome to this, surgery. Not unreasonably, they thought I was probably right. However, between us, in our wisdom, and given that the NHS would probably have asked me if I’d done so first, we decided to take a chance on a course of physiotherapy before doing that.
Net result, 6 weeks later, my right knee is probably in the best condition its been in for decades, let alone weeks, or years. Simple exercises that even an ‘old crock’ like me could do with ease, some ultrasound on the joint, and fine, something I loved, that most probably wouldnt, some electrotherapy! I think I amused the therapist by enjoying voltages that most people would suffer having done to them, but anyway…Fine, must be that inner robot in me, lol! 😛
And yes, there has been running jokes about plugging me into the mains and the like, snag for them is, I just say “Yes please, how soon?” when they do! Yes, we have talked about things like the stories I write and stuff, so she does know!
Lets just say I thought it might help a bit, but wasnt expecting this much improvement. Another blessing is, the electricity has at least awakened the circulation in my legs, so my feet are getting more blood flowing to them (We did one electro session on left knee, rather than right, to improve both legs), and look a lot more pink, and are a lot less sore than before.
I asked, and was told that something could be done for my back too, and fine, I’m tempted. Even though its a private clinic, and I really cant afford to pay it myself currently (would need about £200, I guess, for same number of sessions?), I’m thinking about it. And no, not just because I’ll feel even more like a robot if I have electricity zapping up and down my spine (not sure if they could, electricity near heart?), but if it was going to make that dramatic an improvement, well…? Sadly, unless I have a relapse (which I pray I dont!) with my back, I dont think I can pull that one now with Occupational Health lol, so I wouldnt have to pay.
No, I’m not going to name the clinic here. Lets face it, if you’re close enough to Huddersfield that you want to know, ask! If not, you’re not going there anyway, lol! But yes, lets just say they’ve made my knee feel ‘brand new’, now if I save a few pounds, if they can do the same to my back, then Betcha by golly wow! Yes, those of an age, and when you see the video will get that comment. If not, just look up their singles list!
Fine, video time. Big clue in the title, but given I was only 15 when this song came out, it might be too old for many to know it. Just enjoy, and lets say I could easily have girl crushed on the singer with the high pitched voice!
As I have discovered before, and will probably discover again at some point, trying to work around an issue doesnt work! So yes, trying to be clever on Tuesday, and taking the pressure off my damaged right knee, in the end, didnt work! To put it bluntly, Wednesday morning, when I got up, my left leg was a bit stiff, and walking wasnt easy. Anyway, I managed to get down the stairs, just about, and with difficulty, pick the cat bowls off the floor, fill them, and drop them back down. Didnt think much more of it at the time, until 2 hours later…I tried to get up, to get breakfast, and could barely move. Yes, left knee had seized up in sympathy, probably because I’d been overdoing it on a knee that is better than my right, but that isnt saying a lot! So long story short, I wasnt getting to work, as a normal 15 minute walk at other end would have been like a marathon!
Thankfully, use of a healing gel which I was given for my right knee, on my left knee has eased it up a bit, so unless I have a relapse in morning, will be back to work then! But lets face it, being practical, something needs to be done about it!
So, this morning, I had a discussion with the Physio people who deal with such matters for the Civil Service about it. In truth, I’d already worked out that I’d probably reached the point where I’m going to have to grin, and bear it, and get the knee joint replaced. Yes, surgery, which as regular readers will know, is something I’m not a fan of, as that sort of pain isnt my thing. But being honest, I think the right knee is probably not much use any more, as it is.
Anyway, I’ve managed to convince them that I really ought to try some physiotherapy first, though I think we both know its pretty much a last resort measure, but given I’m sure the doctors will want it done first, lets bite the bullet. So yes, next Tuesday, I head to a clinic in Huddersfield, for what I’m jokingly terming last chance saloon! Fingers crossed something can be done, to delay surgery further, but I have my doubts. Only consolation now is that given the lifetime of these things is about 20 years, I should get by with having it done once. Well, I’ll probably have to get the left one done as well, in time, but…
So yes, please note, if anyone out there is working on developing a cybernetic knee joint (or two) that they want a volunteer to try out, then let me know. Given the state of my back, a full replacement cybernetic body might be even better, but anyway…? 😉 But yes, I suspect my surgery avoidance days are nearly over! 😦 Wonder if I can get my bits ‘bobbed’ at the same time, lol? After all, if I’m going to be out of action for a while, might as well make a good job of it? 😉
OK, video time. I used this song about 2 years ago, and found a very ancient, poor quality Cat Stevens version of the song. Yes, he wrote it, everyone else just covered it! This version, 3 years old, in color, ooh!
Fine, fooled you, everyone thinks they know the song, and you’re wrong! Right group mind, just wrong song!
Yesterday morning, as per normal on 4 days of the week nowadays, I set out for work. In terms of distance from home, the furthest I got was about 200 yards! The sad story of why, follows:
I got to the bus stop about my normal time, and waited for the bus to arrive. It didnt, but in all truth, given we’re talking about First buses, no great surprise there. The one thing I quickly realized was that no buses were going by, in either direction. About 30 minutes later, I was getting cold, damp, and sore, when someone checked on their phone, and discovered there’d been an accident between my home, and town, and no traffic was getting through. I did briefly consider just walking the 2 miles into town, getting the bus to work once there, and taking things from there. However, having stood around in said cold, damp weather for 30 minutes, my back objected to the idea, even wearing a brace.
So I went for Plan B, probably a wise starting point anyway, as I would have been pretty late for work, I came home and rung in. Thankfully, a combination of my bosses not thinking it was a wise idea for me to walk 2 miles with my back, in such weather, and the fact there was sufficient staff that day not to need me, I just took the day off, and stayed home. It did finally start to clear about 12.30 (over 3 hours later, 4 hours after accident), but by then, I was going nowhere.
Due to the wonders of the internet, I was able to track down what had happened, and where the accident was. Lets be honest, a horrible sight, as a BMW had crashed into a bus shelter that I’ve used many times when heading for the health center where I get my massages done, and when heading for Wakefield too. A link?
Sadly, late last night, its been announced that one young lady who was standing at the bus stop has died, the other woman there has had major surgery, and quite possibly wont be able to get around easily for about a year, possibly more. Yes, it makes you think, doesnt it? Just because the bus stop I use here has got ‘road bumps’ just before it, doesnt mean it couldnt happen to me. Other stops I use, no such thing, and then…?
I’m sure that at some point that more details of what caused it will come out, but nothing said as of yet. Was he speeding? Was he, heaven forbid, but possible, on his phone, and lost control? I know it shouldnt happen, but lets face it, it does!
Thankfully, all I lost was one day of work, or in a sense, one day of my holiday allowance, which I used to cover it. One poor family has lost a young lady, and another has got an older lady, whose life is going to be ruined for a year or so. Fact is, the next time, well, who knows?
Yes, you’ve worked out its an REM video, I’m sure. I’m only surprised I havent used it before, but seemingly not. I’ve no idea if the traffic in Huddersfield yesterday was as bad as this, but…?
And no, for once, its not Trans Pennine Express! No, this time its the tale of a Northern Rail fail, and other events yesterday.
Saturday is the only morning where I need to get to get the train to get to work. Earlier start, plus public transport is a bit more limited early on a Saturday morning, so…Into Huddersfield station, train supposedly on time, all looking good, you’d think? Even less of a shock, the Trans Pennine Express services looks a mess, but nothing new there!
Thing is, I look out to the platform where the train should be, nothing there! Not a first, this is 10 minutes before its due to leave, assume its just waiting to pull into the platform. No, it wasnt. There were a couple of Northern Rail people stood near the platform, not looking like they knew what was going on, never a good sign. Well, time for the train to leave came, still no sign of it. 5 minutes after its due to leave, still no sign of it. So given my total lack of faith in Northern Rail, I headed off, and got a slightly later bus to Bradford. Only just gets me in the office by 9, but anyway…I got to Bradford Interchange, and apparently it had finally left Huddersfield, but was going to arrive 22 minutes late! Me, I got there 10 minutes before then! Seemingly left about 8.15, 25 minutes late, as a work colleague had the misfortune to wait for the train to arrive.
Funnily enough Northern Rail had a staff strike on Wednesday, trouble is, it might have been hard to tell the difference in service provided! And no, sadly, this isnt a first! But anyway…
There was something else waiting for me at work when I got there, my new chair. Specially designed for an old crock like me, due to my back issues. Yes, its nice, and yes, I noticed the difference at the end of the day too. No, it shows no signs of shocking, or brainwashing me, but hey, a girl cant have everything lol! 😛
Right, video time. In tribute to a rail company that cant provide the service its meant to (and despite that, in 2 months time, they will hoist up fare prices!), a group that were also waiting for a train that never comes!
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! 😛
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!
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! 😛
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!