Category Archives: Jon and Vangelis

The issue of trusting Google maps

I know, running a bit late with these this week, due to being away, and stuff. I’ll make up for it with one tomorrow anyway, so you wont lose out on numbers this week.

The journey to Newcastle was fairly straightforward, arriving almost on time, which is quite a pleasant surprise with Trans Pennine Express. Oh fine, they only done it because of planned lengthy layovers at Leeds, York, and Darlington, of far more time than needed to put down, and pick up passengers! Without that, who knows?

In truth, the only way I was able to find the hotel from the station was thanks to my Google map directions, which I’d printed off before leaving work on Monday, a blessing of modern life, I guess, but more on that later. The hotel was very nice, both food, and room, and I had good company for a few hours, of a writer friend, who I can now put a face to the words of! The one piece of depressing news is that I’ve discovered just how much the body is wearing out, as carrying the bag, complete with laptop about 500 yards is a far harder challenge than it used to be! I know, there’s wheeled cases nowadays, but seriously for 1 night away, ah well…? And whether thats more effort, and space than you’re allowed on some airlines as hand luggage nowadays?

So, Wednesday morning, I set out for Longbenton, and the office I was aiming for, again with my Google map directions in hand. Its fine, apart from the fact about 20 minutes later, I discover that said directions send me to the back entrance, not the one I need to be at. So, 15 minutes later (Yes, I was pretty much out of fuel by then, with the weight of bag), I stagger up to the right entrance, and meeting takes place.

Yes, a very good, and interesting discussion takes place, for a couple of hours or so. Then someone else offers to show me the ‘best way’ between the office, and the station. Yes, took about 10 minutes! I’m told that no one knows why Google Maps does what it does, mainly because most people dont understand how Google Maps work, lets face it! After that, the journey home was fairly straightforward in truth, arriving back in Huddersfield on time, not too hard when you have a 7 minute layover in York, and a further 6 in Leeds scheduled. No, wouldnt have been on time without those!

Ah, I hear you think, she’ll know where to go next time, right? Actually, wrong, because we’re going to rotate it around locations in the next couple of times. But hopefully, when we next meet at Longbenton, I remember not to trust Google Maps at all!

Anyway, despite the efforts of Google, I (eventually) found my way there. Closest video I could find, with a degree of aptness. I know, its just Anderson, and obviously without the lack of keyboards, does sound difference. So if you’re concerned about that, just go find one of them miming on Top of The Pops lol!

Greece is the word

No, the obvious play on words is not the video tonight, either. Far less subtle than that, lol! Been a day when different job opportunities to the norm have played out.

Lets just say that the majority of my job applications revolve around call centre work, somewhere convenient to get to by public transport, in West Yorkshire, generally at modest to reasonable pay rates. Today, I’ve dealt with 3 job possibilities, none of which fall under that banner.

Firstly, showing the depths of desperation that I’ve reached, was a part time role in one of these shops that does loans at an extortionate rate, or pawnbroking, or what I’ve used them before, a little foreign currency stuff. Only 20 hours a week, only about minimum wage rates, so wont even pay all of the rent, quite, but it would go a good way to doing so. Just a little phone call, to see what I knew about them, to give me a few more details, and that was about it. At least I know the company, and what they stand for, never a bad thing.

Second one, goes from the sublime, to the ridiculous wage wise. I received an email this afternoon from a delivery/ travel arrangement company that I’d never heard of, wanting to talk to me about a possible role locally. Thing is, the wage is way above the norm for call centre work, which would be wonderful, but its more than you even see for public sector, inconvenient hours work, so I’m thinking what the hell, but anyway…I’ve got someone ringing me up about it tomorrow afternoon, but you know what they say about ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’, well this one has that feel to me, but anyway…we will see!

Third one, and this is the one the blog title refers to, is due to a phone call I received from a recruitment agency earlier today, is for a call centre job (stop groaning), but its in Greece! Yes, speaking English, I’m not that clever yet! As far as I can tell, Mastercard have their call centre over there, probably because they can offer less wages, because the cost of living is so low. But they want people who speak fluently, in English, to work there. Now, anywhere else in Europe (certainly west of the old Iron Curtain at least), I’d jump at the chance to work abroad, even now, but Greece? Yes, you know the country, the one in a total financial mess, that has more trouble in that sense than anywhere else, and all that! In truth, I’d seen these roles before, at the time of the complete collapse over there, and thought, no thank you, because of the state of the country. But now, desperate for anything…?

Thing is, has the Greek crisis disappeared out of the news because of other events, or is the worst of it over now? I mean, if things are bearable, I could be tempted, but I dont want to walk out of one hellish situation financially, into another! Actually, the other obvious thought I had that might put me off going to Greece to work, was I was expecting to discover it was only slightly better than Russia in welcoming LGBT folk. Orthodox religion, and all that, so…? Fine, pleasant surprise there. Yes, its not the most loving country in the world to LGBT folk, because of the religious homophobics, and the like, but it came out surprisingly well, according to Wikipedia! So maybe?

No, I dont fit all of their desired qualifications perfectly, but as the person from the agency admitted to me, a lot of that is because (even now?) people dont want to go to Greece, to live and work, so maybe they are having to lower expectations? I mean, most of it I can do, but they are looking for people with a finance industry background, and I dont really think betting is that! Anyway, we will see…

PS If anyone in California, especially LA has been holding back on offering me a job, just in case, shout now! If any mad scientist needs a victim/guinea pig, also shout now!

Right, the video. When it comes to Greece, and modern music, one name comes to mind, Vangelis. So yes, its him, with a partner, the obvious song.

I’ll find my way home…to Kansas City

So fine, sue me, its a lie, until tomorrow, I’ve never been to the place. Well, not in this life at least! But who knows what might have happened in a past life, and yes, just maybe I’m thinking of one particular person, however unlikely that will be the case, when I do a past life regression later this year.

But yes, for Jean Harlow at least, finding her way home to Kansas City would be a reality, as of course, thats where she was born in 1911. Alright, strictly, Harlean Carpenter was born in Kansas City, in 1911, but with a change of name (and a boost in fame), it was Jean. It was her mother’s name in fact, which is where she took it from, when getting her first audition in Hollywood. And as they say, the rest is history!

Beyond the obvious, I know very little about the city, so it will be interesting to see if I show any amount of familiarity to the place. Mind, given how much would have changed over the 100 years, beyond obvious landmarks (her homes, for example), there probably isnt much remaining that Jean would recognise anyway. But yes, I’m looking forward to seeing the modern city, with interest, I must admit.

Oh, and fine, I know most know it anyway, but the fact that most of Kansas City, isnt in Kansas amuses me no end. Harlow in fact lived in houses in the city, on both sides of the state line.

As Dorothy said, in a certain film, there’s no place like Kansas.

True, not many places are that flat!

But the charms of Kansas, most particularly Cherryvale wait in store for me too. A trip to the birthplace of Louise Brooks is just going to be amazing, I know.

Neither however, will be the first new state for me on this visit, that will be Georgia, if only as a transit through Atlanta Airport. All in all, one state short of halfway, in the sense of visiting US states for me.

Yes, the whole thing is a trip I’m looking forward to greatly, and getting to meet up again with Kate will be super too.

But fine, the video, is a moment where I look at Kansas City on the map, step into Jean Harlow’s shoes, and say, somehow I’ve found my way home.