Firstly, to warn people, you’ll get 2 blogs this weekend, just that it will be one tonight, and one tomorrow. Firstly because I’m running a bit late to do 2, and secondly, I havent really got an obvious subject for the other blog at this moment. Well, not on the blog where most readers think I’m a natural woman, anyway… So why do this tonight? Well, I’ve got time to do one, and its also a special date.
Yes, someone a ‘little bit naughty’ was born on this date, 126 years ago. How she lastly to 87, given her lifestyle, I have no idea, but she did. Yes, Mary Jane (better known as Mae) West is the lady I’m talking about. Its amazing only to think that by the time she became the ‘saucy minx’ of pre code movies, she was already fast approaching 40! By which point, a few years earlier she had served a short prison sentence (only 10 days) for creating a show so naughty that she upset the authorities. I suspect it would probably be seen as fine now, but back in 1927, well… OK, fine, she set out to upset them, but anyway…
Its fair to say I wasnt upset to be told I looked a lot like a classic era movie star after the first photo shoot I did with a very talented guy in Leeds, the thing that surprised me was that it was Jean Harlow. Well, given I was in my fifties, she died at 26, so… but fine I could see the resemblance to her mother, who would have been closer to my age at the time. But yes, if you’d showed me a set of pictures of blonde, movie stars from the early 30’s, and asked me who I looked most like, I would have said Mae West. So yes, how close was I to being named Mary/Mae Stephanie West, who can say?
I think its fair to say that apart from the sex thing, my attitude to life is probably closer to Mae, than Jean, though the latter was a little minx when she wanted to be, I must say. Oh, a picture of the lady, well? And for comparison?
My next acting part, Mae looking back on her ‘quiet’ life, hmm? Oh goodness, that would be naughty, but nice! Somehow I dont see me being as sharp as she was at 87, even assuming they can rebuild me enough to get that far! One thing is for sure, somewhere, today, she will be celebrating her birthday in style, maybe?
OK, video time. I’m not sure if beyond Steve Harley, any of this band were in the original Cockney Rebel, but its a live version, which they definitely werent back then! And its almost Mae’s most famous line, lets face it
No, darlings, I’m not getting keen, and getting ready for the 2020’s, heaven forbid, though if anyone has an astronaut suit (supposed to be going to Mars in this decade), or a nice robot suit, I wont say no. But no, seemingly, in the next 6 months or so, the 1920’s will feel like my favored destination. Not that I will complain, and if I can find that time travel window back to that era, just think how far my bank balance would go, lol. Four figures must have been a decent fortune back then, I’m sure?
Tomorrow, I will be wearing something far more interesting at work than a top, and slacks, believe me. We’re having a ‘dress up’ day, to hopefully raise some money for charity, and I was playing up my options as to what dress to wear. I did consider the ‘wedding day’ dress, or a blue, sparkly 30’s number, but both are fairly short (just about knee length), and the weather forecast for tomorrow (wind and rain) suggest those options might not be wise, even if the only trip outdoors in them would be to get lunch, not wearing a nice dress on the dirty old buses, lol. Yes, credit to First Buses, some of them feel like they were built in the 1920’s, though the licence plates suggest the turn of the century is as old as they get, but even so… Mind, if anyone in area has a car free tomorrow, complete with rumble seat? 😉 Boop, boop a doo!
And yes, even though I’m going to be a thoroughly modern flapper, the short dresses in that style wont be coming out just yet, either. Maybe soon (see shortly on here), but not tomorrow, as they show the knee, let alone just about covering it. I know, darlings, shocking at 60, but we girls have to have fun, giggle! So yes, planning on taking the long flapper dress I wore on my Birthday with me, though I suspect some ‘more modern’ woman will probably beat me to the prize, as I’m not the cutest beauty!
On top of that, at the end of October (Sunday, 28th) in Bradford, there is going to be a Gatsby evening, and fine, given it wont be far from work, I cant resist that. It is principally for a dance, which I might try and do, even though saying I’ve got 2 left feet would probably be kind. Might be my knee damage, might be that Clara stole all the dancing skills, but cant dance to save my life. But yes, darlings, short flapper dress, giggly attitude, and who knows, I might be the Cats Whiskers, but I doubt it.
Then in March, another 20’s event in Leeds seemingly, which I could easily be convinced to go to, though dress length might depend on decorum, and the weather at the time. Would love to say short, but it wont be warm, especially when I come out, and a ‘young lady’ will probably have to get back to Huddersfield afterwards, so…tries to look angelic…?
To be honest, I’ll probably be happier living in the 1920’s, though ideally with modern conveniences, as I’m sure I’d make a lousy housewife nowadays if I had to cook everything from scratch! Might give my loving husband a ‘little shock’ too, at present, lol! 😛
I wonder if Clara Johnson frolicked as a young flapper back in the real 1920’s? I suspect she did, but no evidence of course. But no, cant imagine a dancer being shy, and retiring, somehow?
Right, video. I’ve used this song before (not hard to work out with 1 hit wonders), and I might have used this video before as well, but just seems rather apt. No, tomorrow at least, I will not be flashing this much leg! Other 2 Flapper events, who knows, darlings, but I wouldnt have high expectations, lol? Couple of weird, added extras in this, but this is only copy I can find.
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
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 an 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!
One thing I’ve had to accept is the fact I’m getting old now. How much longer I’ve got, who knows? How much longer (given the pain I’ve got now) I want to last, who knows, but in this current organic body (yes, I’d love a cybernetic upgrade, if offered, lol), I dont want it to be forever. Whats the pleasure, when you’ve got a body with permanent ache, and lets face it, even if its now my personal choice (due to no pleasure in surgery pain), I’ve got a body thats screwed up gender wise too! If asked my ambition, I’d aim for a few years of retirement, but not too many, then just leave the world to the next generation. Fine, we dont get all the say we want in that matter, but anyway… But yes, I’ve started planning for the next stage now, that of retirement.
Let me say, I have no idea if my body is still going to be up to work by the time I hit the current retirement age of 66. I’m hoping it is, to build up the work pension, but in truth, not sure that I will. But while I can, I will, at least unless they change the retirement age for women again, something I think that despite campaigns, is not going to happen, but besides that… Not going to hold out for the suggested compensation payment either!
But yes, facing facts, as things stand, just under 6 years from now, I can retire from work. Now, I probably will. Until the back went, given that I could have carried on for a short while, I was considering October 2024 as retirement date (50 years of working life), but now, the sooner the better!
Anyway, last week, got an email at work for a pre-retirement advice course from work (well, I work in right department, lol), but unfortunately saw it one day after the closing date to apply. Anyway, yesterday, got an email that someone had dropped out, I was top of reserve list, so now I’m going. Just under 2 weeks time, in Leeds. I hope I can learn a lot, including how you apply to a previous job for your pension that they owe to you, when you’ve had 2 name changes, and a gender change! I guess the name change isnt going to be new to them, women get married, lets face it, but the gender change might be new to them! Thankfully my National Insurance number hasnt changed, so they should be able to trace it, but… Another advantage of that, payment was due to start at 63, even when the retirement age was 65. It wont be a fortune, but if it makes the differenece between the need to do a 3 day week from 63, instead of a 4 day week, might be handy!
But yes, who knows where life will take me between now, and then, anyway? But hopefully, on 2nd July, I can learn a lot more about that next step in my life thats fast approaching. No, I dont expect the robot body offer in my lifetime, lol!
Right, the video. I always assumed that the US Sports video of this song was the original one, but seemingly not! Bit dated with things like £1 pound notes and the like, but hey, its old, just like me!
Given this is LGBT History month, I thought I’d better slip something in, before it disappeared out the door. I suspect some of my readers do actually come here for LGBT issues, others come here for all the vintage stuff, and others for the simply weird stuff I occasionally come up with! To be fair, most of the really weird stuff tends to go in the other blog, but not all of it lol!
So yes, given that fact, I’ve been quite busy with the LGBT group I’m a member of this month, with regular weekly tele-conferences to discuss what we were going to promote the next week to our fellow workers. Unfortunately for me, in one sense, I work later hours than every other member of the group, who all seem to do 9 to 5 (No, the video is neither Dolly Parton, or Sheena Easton), so generally these are called for 9.00, and I do them at home, delaying my exit for work, and meaning I have to pay for the involved phone calls myself! Therefore I’m delighted to say that tomorrow’s has been moved to noon, so I will actually do it at work, for once.
So instead, I spent money today for another purpose, a discussion about the history of the whole LGBT situation, in one of our offices in Leeds at lunchtime today. Got to meet some different people, who it was a pleasure to meet, and hopefully an interesting chat for all. I may be getting involved in something due to that, but as I’ve always said, the more I can do to show people that all we LGBT folk are no different to everyone else, the better. Subject to approval from my bosses, at least.
But yes, I did something new today, I actually caught (one way at least) a Trans Pennine Express train that ran on time! No, I jest, it has happened a few times before, but not as often as it should. As far back as I can remember (and thats going back about 50 years), there was always one main exit route out of Leeds station, and a couple of side routes added as time went on, and the station extended. But they were all on one side of the station, the North side.
Then the city developed business wise to the South, and there was talk of developing a South Entrance, to save the long journey round. A few years ago, it finally happened, though I never had the need to use it, until today. Yes, the time I saved getting to my destination today, dramatic! Even more amusing, coming back, I was on top of Platform 16 almost instantly, instead of the lengthy obstacle course to get there from the Northern Entrance.
When, and if I use it again, who knows? I suspect that if things discussed today come to anything, then yes, I will. But yes, it was funny today, not fighting through Leeds city center, but just coming out the back way, quite a lot closer to my destination. No, the train journey hasnt changed at all, and neither has the service, as the train coming back home was about 5 minutes late into Huddersfield, ah well…! And sadly, no, no sign of the famous station cat either!
But seriously, the choice to commute to Bradford, by bus, or to Leeds, by train, no contest, the current route is so much better!
The video, well for those who know songs from the 70’s, there’s a clue in the blog title. Judy Collins, live, what more could you ask for?
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!
No, dont get excited, I havent got a movie, or theater offer just yet. But next month I’ll be doing a Diversity & Inclusion presentation for a large group of people (about 110, I’ve been told) in Leeds, about life in my Civil Service Department, ooh! No script, well, not unless I write my own, anyway. To be honest, I might do a few notes, but generally I’m pretty sure I’ll just go with the flow, so often its the easiest way with things like this. A fortnight on Wednesday, for those interested, though I’m pretty sure there will be no tickets for the general public lol. Yes, it is a piece on Transgender life, so yes, I do know the subject matter pretty well, I guess?
Seemingly the approach was made on Thursday, though I didnt pick it up until Friday, as I’ve cut back on my working week of course. A quick check for approval from bosses (its on a working day), and I replied positively. One moment of amusement was when she rang up later that day to confirm details, she mentioned the numbers involved, and asked if I would be OK with that, and then after she’d said it, remembered I’d said about being an actress, so…all fine! In truth, it will be interesting to see how I react, given its been a while, other than the wedding, where I have been ‘on show’ to this number of people, but I’m sure its just like riding a bike, anyway.
I have no great idea what the dress code is for a presentation like this, but I’m going to assume, unless told otherwise, its going to be business smart wear. So yes, I will wear a nice dress, and get my hair curled 30’s style, either on the day, or the day before, depending what time I need to be there. No, I wont wear anything as clingy as Harlow would, or as revealing as a chorus line dancer (Miss Johnson) would have to for such an event, principally because I have an obvious issue with too revealing (unless a surgeon is offering to remedy that quickly), and besides, its not fit for a moment like this. I think my ‘publicity manager'(Yes, Madi, I mean you) would love it if I went all flapper, and agreed it might be fun, but apart from the fact those dresses are quite short, they arent winter wear over here, and November might be cold lol! So I’m pretty sure that it will be 30’s look, to some degree. More classy look anyway lol. There is also the factor that I need something that I can hide the brace corset underneath, lets face it, only way I’m going to stand for about 15 minutes or so!
No, sadly I’m not expecting any Hollywood, or Broadway agent representation at the event, a girl can only wish! Nor do I expect them to be able to grab it on You Tube either, ah well…
But who knows, getting back on a stage might just get infectious, and I’ll see where it goes from there. In truth, my long term standing issues might make things complex, but…its a comeback at least!
The video, well, its one word different to the blog title lol! 😛
In the last week or so, I’ve actually got around to starting to look for options, beyond the ones I already knew about, for my trip to LA. Sadly the only thing that the Rooftop Cinema was playing, that was old enough for me to be interested (in other words, early 50’s at the most modern) was already a sell out, so no go. I would say the one modern film I’d love to see, and havent yet, is La La Land, for obvious reasons, and ironically, thats playing there the weekend that I come back to the UK. But fine, it was sold out already, anyway!
So, play Plan B, which I probably would have looked at anyway, which is the Egyptian Theater. Bit further away from where I’m staying, but still only about a 20 minute walk, and…oh joy! My only Saturday evening in town, not only is there 1 movie there that I would love to see, but 2! And all for 1 price!
These wont be the first Brooks films I’ve seen on a big screen, Pandoras Box, in Leeds, was the first. And now I get the chance to see 2 of the 3 next most famous Brooks movies (Prix De Beaute would be the other for me) in Hollywood, in a historical setting! Fine, I’ll advertise it too much, and it will be a sell out, and …No, sadly I’ve failed to find any Harlow movie being shown on a big screen in town, while there. If anyone knows differently, second half of May?
I did think about taking a flapper style dress with me, and trying to find a black bob wig, but in truth, these 2 movies are pretty removed from Brooks, and the flapper look. One is a pretty dark movie, the other has Brooks trying to look like a boy, so…Besides, I’m not sure my knees should be seen in public!
But yes, I have now got 1 definite date on my holiday calendar lol! There are numerous things I will do at some point, but no planned date yet, including Dodgers baseball!
No, I havent gone for the obvious OMD, Louise Brooks video here, which might surprise some. And in truth, this is more 30’s, than 20’s, but fine, its catchy, and when I might get to use it, if not now…?
No, not in a bad way, and certainly not for me, but then again, I’m one of the fans of the city, so maybe I dont get it, but anyway…
Ever since I was a child, and even more so today, there seem to be lots of people who want to put down Bradford, and praise Leeds. Now, dont get me wrong, there are parts of Bradford that arent all that pretty, but there are a few of them in Leeds too.
As to the city centres, a lot of people rave about Leeds, but I’ve never been a fan. Maybe its because I’m older, have grown up with that as a place of work, whereas Bradford has been a place to visit, but in truth, my feelings about Leeds, as a city centre, date back long before then. In truth, I prefer Wakefield to both, as a place to go shopping, but fine, I’m weird that way lol!
I have now, at least, seen the new super shopping centre in Bradford, the Broadway, as I believe its called, though I havent been in it yet. I know the shopping park, opposite to work, a bit better already, mind! Mainly for lunchtime food stores, but hey, I’ve looked at a few other stores, just not bought anything quite yet, even though I have £30 worth of vouchers to spend in the Arcadia Group stores, in their unit there. I guess I’ve got so used to charity shops, Primark, and Peacocks, that paying ‘normal’ prices for clothing, even when its not going to cost me, is going to take some getting used to!
Its ironic, the area where I’m working, I can remember when it wasnt a nice area to go to, about 40-50 years ago, but things have changed dramatically on that front, at least! I still think that I might prefer to have a mobile phone (eek!) when I’m finishing at 8.00, when its all a lot darker, and things, so might have to break the habit of a long while, and get a cheap, basic one again. I suppose, also, if as that offer earlier that year came up, if I ever take the plunge to get back into acting again, I’ll need one anyway! Still, all for the future…
But yes, when it comes to the old Bradford v Leeds argument, call me awkward, but it will always be Bradford, of choice, for me. Yes, in a small minority lol!
Video time. Probably, for me at least, the most famous Bradford group that I know. First hit, not sure if the singing is live, but I think it is, doesnt seem to quite match single version.
Here in the UK, this seems to be Pride weekend, certainly is in Leeds, and from what I’ve seen advertised, it is in a few other cities too. Yes, I’m too old nowadays for these sort of things, and besides, this year at least, I havent really got the money to go this weekend anyway. But as I say, its for younger folk than me really, anyway. Doesnt mean I’m not supporting them in spirit, mind.
Its funny, I was born, and indeed lived life at a time when homosexuality was regarded as illegal. Thankfully, things have changed dramatically since then, and fine, even if a few religious cranks (mainly in the US) think its a ‘disease’ that can be cured, the vast majority of people at least accept it, to various degrees. Hopefully, in a few years time, transexuality will be treated in the same way. Its getting there, the latest generations seem to be finding it ever easier to accept who they are, and in time, older generations will generally get to acceptance of it, I’m sure.
So fine, you’re expecting me to say that I’m proud that the Pride festival takes place, and all that? Right? Wrong! Dont get me wrong, I’m glad that LGBT folk can go out on a weekend like this, and show their pride at being who they are, but I’m still sad it needs to happen. Why? Because for the same reason there isnt a Hetro Pride weekend, in an ideal world, it wouldnt need to happen! I know, maybe its like the football fans on a Saturday, they like to go out and celebrate, and if it was just that, then great, but in our hearts, we know it isnt. Oh, the amusing thing in my new job, when discussing this, I had to settle for the Bi option, lol!
Its like all the fuss the press make, when someone comes out as gay, or lesbian, one great day, it wont be news, and no one will really care! Probably not in my lifetime, but compared to how things were, 50 years ago, we’re getting there, and life’s a lot better for LGBT folk. But one small day, in the future, we wont need Pride parades to prove it, I hope!
The biggest irony, Leeds NHS have made great show about Pride weekend, and how their Trans related unit will be taking part in the parade. Irony, their waiting list is by far the worst in the whole of the UK, and their reputation is dreadful! Yes, another reason why I cant be bothered to get my bits ‘bobbed’ around here!
Just one closing thought, though I’m not entirely saying it was Trans related, but here’s something to think about. Job hunting, as a woman, with my old male passport, I went 0 offers, out of a lot. As a woman, with my new female passport, 2 offers out of 4. Hmm?
Video, a bit of live Ultravox. Fans might have worked out the song from the blog title, though as it was a minor hit, others might not have done?