Category Archives: Monkees

I should be on that train, and gone

Fine, today I proved to myself why I dont bet, and its because I’m a lousy gambler. More on that shortly.

Yesterday, the first target was to turn my little phone into an active one, by getting its umpteenth new Sim card over the years. Basically, they last 90 days, and apart from 2 occasions, everytime I travel to the US, I need a new one. And so, choices, choices…

Because I wanted to go back to Pasadena at some point on the holiday, and there was an AT&T store near the metro station there, I went over there to do it. I could have done it locally, but it would have needed a fair walk, so fine, excuse made. Pasadena is a lovely place to visit, except for this weekend, when I gather it will be chaos there, with pop concerts, museum tours, and roadworks, all adding to the racing at Santa Anita, so yes, glad its done.

After finishing there, I did the opposite to the Pet Shop Boys, and went East. The line has been extended eastwards to Azusa, so I took a chance to travel on it. A bite of lunch, then back to Pasadena for the bus journey home. Apart from 4 people each travelling just one stop (one may have had health issues, the other 3 definitely didnt), it was a fairly dull affair.

This morning is when I gambled, and got it wrong. I walked down to the Metro station to get a train downtown, to find that an ‘every 10-12 minute service’ wouldnt be along for 21 minutes! So fine, I thought, I’ll walk down, get the bus to Santa Monica, and get the train back. Yes, another new line I wanted to go on. Oh fine, I picked the crazy bus, clearly! So yes, with all the delays with those folk, I could have waited over 20 minutes for the train downtown, gone back out to Santa Monica, and still have been quicker!

I did my stroll around town, stopping off for a coffee, before heading to the biggest Santa Monica landmark, the pier! Which supposedly is the end of Route 66, halfway down its length, according to the sign. I strolled to the bottom, said my close up farewell to the Pacific, in case I dont go down there at Pacific Palisades, though I will see it as I fly out, but thats not the same thing. Lunch on the pier, then finally I got that train I could not miss, back to LA.

In truth the most memorable bit of the journey was 2 teenagers being ‘tough’ until some guy actually stood up to them, and then they quietened down! They had reminded me why I’m not a fan of modern music at least!

Tomorrow evening, is dress up time, as I’m off to the movies at the Egyptian Theater. I know, I dont have to, especially nowadays, but it will be fun to put a dress on, so I will. Sunday afternoon, a Women in Media event, so a chance to try and sell my talents, maybe? Other than that, I’ll see what the morning brings!

I’ve given a couple of clues to the video, so hopefully you know what it is, without looking!

Advertisements

Its my proposal, anyone want to accept?

So fine, given a weekend filled with sickness, we wont focus on that too much. Beyond saying that I’m fine now, and thats all you need to worry about at this point. Unless you have a job to offer me, just about anywhere, then feel free to show concern, and interest.

But lets instead look at a piece of leap year silliness that we only get to enjoy once every 4 years, that day when ladies are free to propose to their man, and (in Scotland at least) if they refuse, the man has to pay the fine of a kiss, a dress, and a new pair of gloves! This law dates back to the 13th Century, though the legend of how this date came to be, relates to 2 Irish Saints back in the 5th Century! The famous Patrick, and the less famous Bridget. No, not that she wanted to propose to him (though maybe she did?), she just wanted the right to do so, if she fancied it. Seriously, 1 day, every 4 years, gee, thanks, Patrick!

Now, of course in these glorious days of single sex marriage, and everything else, this might make things a whole lot more complex, if ladies could only propose to their lady, on one day, every 4 years! Besides which, in modern times, I suspect that if any good lady really wanted to get things moving on that front, she’d just get on and do it, though hopefully only after dropping a few less than subtle hints to the guy that he should get it done!

No, dont worry guys, I have no plans to propose to anyone, would be a bit hard, given I’ve got no one in my life at present, nor am I likely to have, to do so in 4 years time, I suspect! Equally, I’m not really expecting anyone to propose to me, for much the same reason. Would I do it, even if I could? Probably not, mainly because I am that old fashioned type of girl, who wants that proposal made to her, should it ever (be a miracle if it did) happen to me.

But, at least unlike Bridget, I wouldnt actually have to wait 4 years for my next chance for it to happen, should I need it.

The 29th February, inevitably holds less birth, and death anniversaries than most days, as events can only occur every 4 years, not every years, as per normal. Alright, before anyone writes (ha ha) to tell me that 1700, 1800 and 1900 werent Leap Years, I know, but generally…

4 Years ago today, we lost one of the original Monkees, Davy Jones at the age of 66. I know, I was only young when they were famous, first time around, and everything, but…It makes you think about your own time, all the same.

But no, the video is not a Monkees one, unsurprisingly, the clue is in the blog title. And tonight, you get 2 choices. The first, being the wonderful, extended 12″ version, with no video attached.

The second, is the standard 7″ version of the song

What was he doing?

Firstly, may I say this has never been an issue for me, probably for obvious reasons. And equally, I must say that the only modern day cricketers I have come close to, are members of the Ireland Cricket team, and they have been gentlemen, in the extreme. So…Yes, we’re talking this awful Chris Gayle moment, arent we?

The thing is, as far as I can tell, this wasnt a first! Not in the sense of West Indies cricketers, but him! Though I gather at least one other…rolls eyes.

Fine, I’m not going to say much about the actual chat up, other than to comment that its clear that some supposedly famous people think they can get away with this sort of thing, even on TV. Not that he has, heavily fined, and seemingly he wont be invited back to said Cricket tournament again either. But what, apart from ego, ever made him think he could get away with this in the first place?

I may not be the best person to comment on the nature of West Indian men. Apart from 1 incident, all the fun I’ve had as a woman has emanated from West Indian (or people of that background) ancestry. So maybe I’m a bit jaded by them, but in this case, I dont think that really matters, this was awful.

But do you know what really concerns me? The fact that on Social Media, in several places, I’ve seen men (mainly Australian) saying that what he did was fine, and that she should ‘balls up’ about the whole thing. Seriously, guys? The Big Bash League has said its trying to attract women to the games, and maybe their reaction to this shows that they are. But at the same time, the TV commentators are very ‘boyish’ in their behaviour, so forgive me for not being convinced.

Not that its just cricketers, or sportsmen that seem to think they are above the law, actors seem to think the same at times too. Seriously folks, you might be (or at least think you are) famous, but it doesnt mean you can behave in such a misogynistic manner.

OK, rant over.

You could ask ‘what was he doing hanging around’, but of course, the TV channel were entitled to interview him, but not for him to behave like this! So the video is

A day at the races?

Well, I had a couple of options lined up for tonight, but given the seeming popularity of the last post, maybe I should follow up in the same style? I may come back to the other matter, if I lack for ideas on Saturday, but for now… more of the joys of womanhood.

When I was a guy, a very, very long time ago, I used to go horse racing. No, I never gambled great sums of money, it was more of a fun day out, though if I could win a few pennies into the bargain, then great. But otherwise…

Most of the meetings I went to, back then, were humble affairs. The like of Taunton, Wincanton, Newton Abbot and Exeter in the 80’s never had dozens of women dressing up in style. Some would dress nicely, but a good percentage, well, they were just there for the racing.

But even back then, when the big meetings came along, the men would be nicely dressed, the women dressed up even more so, but to be honest, those werent generally the meetings I went to. Besides which, most of those were on a Saturday, and in the betting industry, even more so back then, you never got the day off.

Now to be fair, I havent been racing in this country since 2001, when I left Newbury. I dont know, even when I worked at Blue Square, and William Hill again, I didnt show interest in going, no idea why? But yes, many a time, at Huddersfield station, on race day, principally at York, I would see the ladies dressed up, in dress, and heels, heading off to the races. Maybe its a flat racing thing, thinking about it? And yes, just maybe, I have wondered what fun it would be, to square that circle, and go racing as a woman?

No, I dont think I’m ever likely to do it on my own. It either seems a couple thing, or a group of girls thing, if its not just men heading to the races. But yes, maybe one day, I will have to get to the races, in a dress, and high heels (eek), and see what its like, to see it from the ‘other side’ of life. But given I’m unlikely to get such an invite…ah well…

As for Royal Ascot, I dont think so! But I suppose nowadays, with the right hat…just maybe…?

The video, a slight connection. One of those Monkees songs that doesnt get remembered as much as others

Even a Red Sox fan has to mention this.

Yes, we’ve come to that time of year when summer sports come to an end. The last rites of the cricket season are being played out over here, and in the US, the last week of the regular baseball season is doing the same thing. And yes, this blog is more related to the latter, shall we say.

Tomorrow, for the last time in Yankees Stadium, Derek Jeter will play for the New York Yankees at home. Seriously, in these days of free agency, and transfers, he has played for the Yankees, his only team, since 1995, quite a record. Ironically, given the rivalry between the 2 teams, its ironic that his career will end with 3 games at Fenway Park, against the Boston Red Sox. Even more remarkably, given the history of the 2 teams, they are likely to be 3 meaningless games, unless the Yankees win both their last 2 games at home, and Kansas lose both of theirs!

Yes, to a degree myself (I follow Boston), and my friend Kate (passionate fan) hate the Yankees for all the obvious reasons. But one person, the thoroughly likeable Derek Jeter almost transcends all this.

My biggest Jeter memory, would be his 3,000th hit for the Yankees. I knew he’d been creeping up to the landmark, and by sheer luck, the magical moment occurred on a game being carried by ESPN over here. Within a few minutes of getting home from work, and switching on the TV, Jeter came to bat, and proceeded to hit the ball out of the park, and make a mark on history. Thats right, not just a hit, but a home run!

I’ve never seen him play live, only on TV, so I was denied that pleasure. But all in all, I’m delighted to have seen him play many times, and even more delighted when the Yankees lost, sorry, Derek. To say he’s a Hall of Fame certainty, is to put it mildly, the only talk seems to be whether he will get the highest percentage of votes ever, quite likely, I suspect. Lets just say that next season, it will be funny watching the Yankees play, and not seeing Jeter there, ever again.

Thanks for many memories, all the same

The video, a very late Monkees number

Indirectly at least, more about train journeys

Annette Mary Budgett Meakin (1876-1959)

Yes, I fully expect all my readers at this point to be saying, who? And yes, in all honesty, I dont blame anyone in the slightest for that. And until that point a good number of years ago now, when I picked up an anthology on travel on the Trans Siberian Railway, I would have said the same thing.

What she was, was along with her mother, she was the first English woman to travel the full length of the Trans-Sib (for short) on the route as it was then. Many believe they were the first non Russian women to do so, certainly without male company. But thats just the least of her talents, as I will mention later.

The thing is, her section wasnt written as a travel journal, this was wonderful, ;warts and all’ stuff, of a railway in its early existence in the wilds of Siberia, and she told it as it was through her journey. if you can track down any section of ‘Ribbon Of Iron’, you will see what I mean. Just remember this was written around 1900-1901, and attitudes were very different back then. Poor folk were poor, and Miss Meakin doesnt always hide her distaste for their behaviour, as culture was so different back then.

But strictly, thats half the story. What happened was her, and her mother set out for the World Fair in Paris in 1900 (yes, same time as the Olympics), and got caught up in the PR there for this amazing new railway through Czarist Russia, on wonderful trains. Nowadays we”d probably make notes, do some planning, and then maybe book the trip. Annette, nothing of the sort, her and her mother (I assume they had decent wealth) set off for Moscow by train, to travel on this journey to Siberia! Unsurprisingly, the trains when they got to Moscow didnt match up to the claims. But undeterred, off they went! And yes, after a few social mismatches and the like on the way, they reached Vladivostok. Now unlike today, they couldnt just hop on a plane and fly back, no one had even flown at that point! So what do they do, board a ship to Japan, cross the Atlantic, go across Canada, down to New York, and boat back home! The whole trip took about a month and a half!

All very wonderful you might say, but…this wasnt her only trip! She is widely believed to be one of the first women to travel through Turkmenistan (pre WW1) pretty much on her own, and interact with the natives. She also visited the USA in 1906(?), writing up her adventures for more books. By modern standards, her comments about blacks in America are far from flattering, indeed quite racist, but attitudes have changed since then, I suspect her views were the norm back then.

Oh, and she trained as a chemists assistant during WW1 as well, and some reports state that she actually qualified as a nurse too. Yes, details are unfortunately hazy, a hazard of trying to find out information about a less than famous person nearly one hundred years ago! She was also a strong campaigner for female rights as well, though there is no mention of Suffragete involvement.

Sorry, I’d love to tell you more about this amazing woman, but even tracking down more than the years of birth and death have pretty much drawn a blank. The only thing I do know is that she never married! I know at some point she lived near Reading, another period in Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, but no details of how long, or when have come from my searches. Place of birth and death, not a clue!

What I do know, is that at a time when most women were shy, quiet creatures, she wasnt! And I so admire her for that, and what she did in her life. Hopefully now at least a handful more people know of her, and what she did.

The musical choice, purely random I think its fair to say. But its a group I knew as a young child, a group manufactured for TV, an irony nowadays given X Factor and the like. I assume there is a place called Clarksville in the US, but I know no more than that. Were there trains there, are there still trains there?

Enjoy one of the great Monkees songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3_bSfBaPVg