Category Archives: Julia Kneale

Moods, memories, and a book review!

Before I get started, let me just mention that the 2 ‘youthful’ people who went to Inverness got home fine, with no incident, other than the obvious Trans Pennine Express train delay. Seriously, 12 train journeys in total, and only 2 were late, both you know who! Strictly, the return train from Aviemore to Inverness was nearly 2 hours late, but for us, it meant we ran 7 minutes early, so…

Anyway, I took a book away with me to read on trains, given that the life of my old computer, not plugged in, was roughly 20 minutes at the end. Yes, this is first blog, on new computer, all seems fine. Well, I prefer the old email collection method to this, but other than that…

Oh, that book? Well, it would be this one

http://www.omd-messages.co.uk/product/moods-memories-and-other-manoeuvres-julia-kneale/

Which if anyone wants to rush out and buy, you’d make us both happy! I’ve never actually met Julia as yet, but I feel like I’ve known her for years through social media, perhaps because I have! She’s a wonderful lady, just slightly younger than me, and its been a privilege to chat with her as much as I have. We’re not that far apart distance wise, so maybe while our bodies are still up to it, we may yet meet, but otherwise…

Oh fine, she’s got me beat, the closest I’ve ever got to Andy McCluskey is the third standing row at Leeds, in 2013, on their tour that year. That was the night that I pledged all further concerts in my life would be seating only! So sadly, I missed this in 2017, as there were only standing tickets left by the time I got back from US

Would definitely have met her there, if I’d gone, but anyway…

Oh, the book. Its well written, telling a fascinating tale of real life, interspersed with a brief moment of fame, or two. Seems we have one thing in common at least, both of us had parents who divorced while we were young. Beyond that, we’ve both had interesting, but different lives, brought together by the medium of Facebook! I’m not going to say too much about the book, because I want you to go out and buy it for yourself, and read it, because its that good. And no, if you’re not anΒ  OMD fan, there is still plenty in there for you.

To my knowledge, I have met 4 ‘pop stars’, 1 you will know, 1 you might know, and 2 you definitely wouldnt know! Geri Halliwell was a case of just being in the right place, at the right time, as a couple of acting contacts who I was meeting in London, were working with her just after she left the Spice Girls, and she was there when I arrived! Nothing like Ginger Spice, in any sense of the word! Simon Crowe, of the Boomtown Rats had a second living, post group fame, doing watch repairs, or something. Anyway, we’d needed a vintage pocket watch for something acting wise, and guess who delivered it? Yes, him!

The other 2, well, bit of a cheat, but when I was much younger, I had 2 friends who worked in the band at Pontins, Camber Sands, but also got seconded into Womble suits for some of their TV performances, when others werent available. I only wish I’d got the chance to do the same, but never did!

Thats it, so after watching the next video, go back to the top of this blog, click on the link, and do yourself a favour, and buy the book!

That video. Well, its the connection between Julia, and OMD which has meant the relationship between them has lasted longer, than it might have done otherwise. Amazing what some ‘scribblings’ can lead to!

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Well, I guess this makes me a pro?

Firstly, let me go back to events yesterday. Yes, Julia went on stage at York, and from what I’ve seen, was brilliant. Yes, I’ve seen the film via Facebook, cant yet find it on You Tube, so you will just have to take my word on that. Hopefully, at some point…?

Yesterday also ranked as the weirdest day at work I’ve ever done, and given thats a 43 year period, that takes some doing. I did consider whether a very wintry day in the betting shops, where there was 1 greyhound meeting that survived, and we took 12 bets all day might top it, but I doubt it.

Basically, the system was down for the day, so there was a message on the phone system advising prospective callers of this, and advising them to ring back during the week, but we had to have a few of us in, just in case people ignored that, and came through to us, so…I got 1 call all day! Day not wasted though, did lots of my apprenticeship stuff (yes, I know, at 59, but has to be done, so…!), also applied for a pathway course to management in Civil Service as well. Yes, diversity candidates desired. I’m not sure, I’m going to be 61 by the time the course ends, and even if they dont give in on retirement age, I’ll only have 5 years to go, so…But yes, I needed to do something! Did some practice tests, seemed to go OK, but anyway…

The other thing I did, technically, was become a professional performer. Yes, I got ‘paid’ for my presentation last week. Oh fine, technically it was a reward payment for doing it, but yes, I’m an actress with a mischievous sense of humor, so I’m saying that makes me a professional performer. No, I dont expect that to create a rush of offers from Broadway, Hollywood, or even small professional companies, but you never know, lol! Professional speaker on LGBT and Transgender issues, hmm? No, I doubt that very much either!

Oh, my fee? Β£25, but seriously, thats the first time I’ve been paid to perform, ever! Well, that I remember, anyway…? Treated myself to an Amazon voucher (email version), but have failed to find a controlling robot suit at any price, let alone Β£25 lol! πŸ˜› Question is, if I find a stylish (ideally full length) flapper, or 30’s style dress, does that count as a business expense for an actress? πŸ˜‰

Lastly, lets get this mentioned on the right day of the year this time around, its Nancy Carroll’s birthday today. She would have been 114, so you wont be surprised to hear she died over 50 years ago. But…? I have a friend in Australia, named Diane, who uses a picture of Nancy on her Facebook page, which leaves me wondering if…? No, I’m sure she didnt really time travel, just before her death, move to Australia, and…? πŸ˜‰ All the same, she’s a lover of movies from that era, so…hmm? Yes, she probably will kill me for this, or would if we werent on opposite sides of the world!

Lets see, video time. Well Nancy Carroll was a fine dancer, as was my past life self, Clara Johnson. Indeed, they may well have worked together, who knows? Thing is, last year, I used the best video of Diane, sorry, Nancy dancing, and its possible Miss Johnson was there too. So lets do something different tonight instead. This was a hit in the 1970’s, recorded live at the start of this year. Very good it is too, and its what both young ladies did

Dear Mr McCluskey

(Something different tonight, I’ll try and come up with something more normal on Sunday)

Or can I maybe call you Andy? After all, I’ve been following that band of yours right from the early days, and though that vinyl copies of those first LP’s disappeared somewhere along all the moves in my life, I went to the record shop, and bought them, and listened to them. Not that I knew any of you, beyond the odd performance on TV, and 1 early concert at Drury Lane, London, but yes, I was there, in those days. And indeed, at the last UK tour before this one, I went full circle, and saw you, this time in Leeds. I know, I’ve moved a few times since that first concert in London.

So anyway, imagine my delight when I heard you were touring again this year. Fine, York wasnt as good for a non driver like me as Leeds was, but there’s a train company that runs trains between there, and Huddersfield, even if they’re not too reliable! Snag is, my body. I stood in the crowd at Leeds for that show, and my knees seized up so much that I could barely walk to the station afterwards. Yes, arthritis is a horrible thing. I dont know how you keep going so strong, at our age, but anyway…kudos! Unfortunately, now, its not only my knees, its my back as well, osteoporosis, and all that. So it had to be a seat for York, or nothing. Sadly, when the tickets went on sale, I was in the US, and unable to get one. By the time I got back, all the seats were gone, a few standing places, but unless know a ‘genetic engineer’ to turn me into a ‘Tesla Girl’ they were of no use to me.

Oh, I know, there was Manchester, and there were spaces for that, but you know what, there was only one show I wanted to see, and how do I break this to you, it wasnt for you! No, it was for someone else, not part of the band. You see, through the wonders of social media, I’ve got to know a mutual friend of ours, a lady named Julia. Yes, that Julia! Yes, it would have been nice to meet her, and see her walk on stage, but its not to be. Oh fine, she might point out that I’d love to meet Martin too, but thats besides the point! Yes, I’m that one awkward fan whose principle admiration isnt for you, or Paul! Yes, I’m weird that way! Oh, and PS, you’re the only band I’ve seen both as a man, and a woman, hows that?

So all I’m saying, is that the concert would be a bonus. A really good bonus, but not the main thing. Yes, if you can fix it (I know your name isnt Jim, lol) for me to be able to get into York, meet Julia, and maybe meet Martin, it would be appreciated. Snag, I work in Bradford, and wont finish there until 4.00, and then I’d have to get to York, so…not easy, is it? Before you ask, no, I dont want to appear on stage. I have acted, but the biggest audience I’v ever appeared in front of is about 800, and I’m told by Julia that it will be about 3500 on Saturday. I know, probably fine, but anyway…unless you want a robot for those apt songs, or someone to have their memories erased…? Yes, I’m definitely weird like that too!

Oh fine, end of beg. I just hope if, and when you do the next tour, you check with me to make sure I’m in the country before putting the tickets on sale, OK? And yes, when you do, can you please arrange for Julia to appear at the Yorkshire concert again! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and Andy, I normally finish these blogs with a video, but I’m going mad tonight. Yes, two. Hopefully you’ll forgive me that neither are you, but both are Julia related. I did ask her if there was a video of her, with the Id on You Tube, but sadly, no. But I found this piece that she wrote the words for

And this interview she did when we were both much younger women (well, technically I was a woman, but…)