Category Archives: Newbury

Truly Jean Harlow? Only in the land of make believe!

Oh fine, if that title doesnt give away what the video is, I give up!

Its fair to say that in the last 18 months or so, I havent taken as much care physically of myself as maybe I should have done, but the irony is, since I’ve had the money again to do so, I havent really done a lot of that. Maybe because I now have the challenge of finding the time for everything? And ironically, just as I need to do it, I hit another bottleneck in getting things done. Yes, its called needing to work on Tuesday’s! I know, it means having Saturday’s off, but getting bookings at beauty places on a Saturday, not so easy.

My hair has at least been colored in November, but is now a bit overdue, to put it mildly, but now I’m trying to be tactical. Practically, I want to go to LA in May, freshly blonde. I know, still wont be natural, but…thing is, if I get it done now, its going to (realistically) needed about a month before then. I know, modern stuff, would probably be fine done professionally, but alright, I’m a Yorkshire lass, so spending more money than I have to…snag is it will either have to be this week, or next week, if I want it done before I head South (more on that shortly), as the following 2 Tuesday’s, I’ll be working! Hmm? In truth, I’ll probably end up doing it this week, if I can get an appointment at late notice.

Oh, and my feet are long overdue some TLC, which is my own fault entirely. I used to make my next podiatrist appointment at the previous one, so I had to go, but when I started work, I didnt know how my hours were going to go, and fine, it hasnt happened. Again, I must try and make that appointment on Tuesday at least, though practically, its going to be my holiday week in March before I get chance to get them done, I suspect.

The other thing I do need to get done, even if remarkably I’m not that hairy, is to be fully waxed. Most of which is just to get it done, but the eyebrows need doing for a special reason. But fine, I might as well get everything done in 1 go, so…

Why, you ask? Because next month, at the beginning of my week off in mid March, I’m going down South for what I jokingly call my Jean Harlow makeover. No, sadly not true, though how I’d feel being 25 again, and only 5 foot 2 inches tall, I have no idea. Mind, if anyone should know how to do it, count me in! Just over 2 years ago, as the longer term readers will know, I had some semi permanent make up done by a wonderful lady, and friend, in Newbury. Me, I have a very slight hand tremor, but doing my own make up, no chance. Now I’m due for the top up session! But yes, one of the things to get done, is my eyebrows (not true Harlow, I’m not a fan of that 30’s look), and they need to be hairless!

Yes, I suspect it will hurt after this amount of time, and I know my underarm hair will, but the rest should be fine, I hope? So yes, yet another appointment I’ve got to make!

In theory thats all the ‘treatments’ I need to get sorted, and then continue until the end of the year, when I suspect more serious surgery might be needed with the right knee. No, that I definitely am not looking forward to, but after that tumble, what looked probable, has become almost definite, sadly.

But yes, if any ‘mad scientist’ has a chamber they want to try out, that will literally turn me into Jean Harlow, then fine, call me quick! 😉

The video, as I say, given away in the title, enjoy…

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The way things were

Before 6 weeks ago, I hadnt visited Newbury since the end of 2001, when I left here, to head back to Kent, for reasons I’d rather not mention here, as they are rather personal. The way I left, to rush home to Kent, did mean that I didnt get much of a chance to say goodbye to the town that had been my home for about 2 years. And to be honest, for a very long time, I assumed I wouldnt be back, given how far it is from where I live now, and the fact that I had no ties to lead me back to the place.

Then, about 6 months or so ago, I heard from someone I used to work with, when I was the contact for reps at Farnell, who had now moved into the beauty business. And yes, as the story has already been told, I had the chance to get some semi permanent make up done, at a reduced rate, and I grabbed the chance. Fine, if I’d known then that 4 months later I was going to be on a redundancy list, I might have been more cautious about the money. Though equally, I must say, having it done has done wonders for my confidence, the look is amazing, and I cant thank Paula Elvey enough for that.

But this blog isnt about me, and the make up, its about me, and Newbury.

When I had the initial work done, it took up most of the time I was here, I stayed 2 nights at Paula’s house, and beyond a brief sojourn to eat on the 2nd night, I really didnt come into town, just passing it by as I headed to the station, and home.

This time around, I’ve had the chance to see a lot more of Newbury, and its been fun doing so. There are one or two places that are the same as when I was here, but most of it has changed pretty dramatically, hardly surprising in nearly 14 years, I guess? But am I glad I stayed 1 extra day, and had a look around? You bet I am! But no, I quickly decided that going out to see the building I lived in for those 2 years was not a wise idea.

Funnily enough, when I left Newbury, I was still living as a man, about the last time that I was, in all honesty. I sort of knew, but tried not to accept the fact I was living in the wrong body then, but it didnt last very long, about a month in fact! So yes, coming back here as a woman makes it extra precious for me.

But I know one thing for sure now, I can never return to Yeovil, where I worked for 16 years up to ’99, or to the Medway Towns (last seen in 2003), where most of my formative years were where I lived. I know that the changes would look strange to me, and for that reason alone, I dont think I want to return to either, after this trip back here. I guess I sort of knew this might be the case, because I know what it felt like when I returned to Jersey after 30 years, but…like there, at least I’ve finally closed the circle on that place in my life.

The last tale from today.

As is my style, when out down town today, I visited a ‘few’ charity shops. In one, I found a pair of absolutely gorgeous dresses, both on sale at £12. The snag, both had zips at the back, not something I can easily cope with, with my limited joint flexibility, and things. One very 20’s style dress was divine, and a size 14. But as it was therefore a perfect fit, there was no way I could get the zip done up from behind me, and no way I could get it on without undoing the zip.

But there was another, a size 18, in silver, that looks like it could quite easily have blown in from the 30’s! Now, because this was a larger size, I can get into it, without having to play with the zip. And thankfully the material clings to a girl’s figure, it still looks snug on me. So yes, I bought it. Oh, and by the way, it still had the original price tag in it, £200! Looks like someone who was a size 18 bought it, couldnt get into it, and just sent it off to the charity shop! Crazy! But I’m glad they did!

The video, well its almost the title of the blog, but its apt

Too clever for my own good, aka train issues!

Yes, thats right, tomorrow I head down south, to Newbury, for the top up session of the permanent make up look, after which I might look so much like a middle aged version of Jean Harlow, it might be scary! Fine, maybe a very slight exaggeration, but possibly not?

The funniest point about all this, and sheer coincidence in the planning, its all going to happen on what would have been Jean’s 104th birthday. Yes, on March 3rd 1911, somewhere in Kansas City, a new baby was born, to be named Harlean Harlow Carpenter, and the rest was history! So what better day could there be, to complete my new Harlow look?

As far as I know, my mind is not being changed to match the look, but dont quote me on that! 😛

But fine, that has nothing to do with being too clever for my own good, does it? Well, unless someone thinks that ending up thinking I’m Jean Harlow would be a bad thing, anyway.

No, what happened was that because I knew when I was travelling to Newbury well in advance, I bought the train ticket about a month ago. Shrewd move, what could go wrong? Well, in this case, and not in the sexual sense, the earth moved, quite literally. Somewhere between Banbury, and Leamington, at about the same time as I booked my tickets, there was a landslide. And yes, you guessed it, the line is still closed! There is a bus service between the 2 points, but it adds an hour to the journey time, which I really havent got to spare.

So now, I’ve cancelled those tickets, rebooked by a different route, all of which costs me a few extra pounds, but not too many. Which gives me the chance to try out the latest in the long line of privatised train companies. Until Saturday, the East Coast line was ran by the publicly owned company, the eponymous East Coast Railway.

But now, for better, or for worse (and judging by todays reports, its worse), it has been added to the privately owned railways, nominally Virgin East Coast, though I gather Stagecoach actually owns a large share.

Part of the problem for many is a simple one. East Coast ran the line very successfully, the private companies who ran it before them, didnt. Virgin, we shall see…

The video, a tribute, or otherwise, to the train company concerned

Lay back, and deliver

Well, alright, fine, its a play on the video title, but given that I wont be doing so much standing the next day, more laid back being turned into a beautiful Harlow swan, it seems more apt!

Yes, tomorrow is the big day, when I travel down south, and come back looking a lot more made up (not hard), and all designed to help create the whole Harlow look. And produce the beautiful, stunning me. Oh fine, a much better looking me, but anyway…who knows? 😉

Yes, I’m really looking forward to it, though beyond a few brow pictures, I have little idea of what I’m letting myself in for. But I’m sure it will be quite something. And yes, I will provide pictures of Jean, sorry, the new me, later this week, possibly Wednesday, more likely Thursday.

And thats it! Sorry, but I have to be up reasonably early in the morning, so need to get to bed soon. But given my ill health of late (nearly better now), there isnt much else to say anyway.

Oh, the video. A man who used to wear make up, created an amazing sound, of whom it was said could do nothing outside of the music, and video studios. This live performance proves that wrong, though the music holds up slightly better than the vocals. But even so, pretty good

2015 – The will happens, the maybes, and just the ‘seriously’?

So yes, Happy New Year, and all that jazz.

The working year for 2015 starts tomorrow, with, err, a 12 hour day! Ah well, can only get better from there lol?

So, at this point in 2015, I know some things that will happen, some that will probably happen, and some that might, though I wouldnt necessarily put good money on it.

Fine, lets start with the secure, will happen stuff.

11 days from now, unless we get several feet of snow, I will be heading down south, and by the time I come back 2 days later, I should look even more like Jean Harlow. Yes, the ‘unable to do make up’ problem is being taken out of my hands, by a wonderful friend, and ex workmate, by giving me the permanent make up job of my dreams. As far as the eyes go, brows (though not those hideous ones Jean had in the mid/late 30’s), liner, and temporarily at least, lashes, should give me a real Harlow look. Not stopping there, as the lips will end up with a cute Harlow bow look too. Oh, and a beauty spot. Yes, a beauty spot, though unlike Jean, mine will stay in one place, almost certainly on a cheek.

Fine, I’m going to have to quickly learn how to apply foundation, but as thats slightly less of an art form, hopefully I’ll get there. I know, famous last words, but…Might even go mad, try and put blusher on the cheeks too!

Who knows, if the men swoon, and start asking me for dates, what might develop from there? More on that, in the last group for now. Of course, the whole new look might start me looking for men, instead of letting them chase me, and then, who knows!

The other main definite I know of at present, the Hollywood trip in April, which really will be something. Yes, there are a few stars on the walk of fame I want to see, as well as Jean’s! Sadly, Louise Brooks lacks for one, because of not bowing to Hollywood desires, but anyway…The one slight disappointment for me, is that I can get to Forest Hills, where Jean (and a few others, Bow amongst them) are buried, but her crypt is not in one of the public areas, so how close I can get, no idea? But I’ll try to see one of her old homes at least, all things permitting. Meet her ghost (allegedly she shows from time to time), that would be something, but unlikely.

I plan to add Dodger Stadium to my collection of visited baseball parks, all things permitting while there.

One other thing really needs to happen (so will), and thats a new pair of glasses. I’m 14 months overdue in doing it anyway, and the anti glare on my current pair is pretty blurred, so all in all…I’m hoping that one of the ‘big name’ opticians over here has got some 30’s looks glasses in their collection, but that might be pushing optimism too far.

OK, to the probables.

September will see a return trip to the US, just a matter of where, which is why its only in the probables. Depends entirely on how my body reacts to a long trip to LA, as to how far I want to fly in September. Well, it will either be Boise, Idaho, to a friend I’m looking forward to meeting for the first time (though I spoke to him in September), or if the body complains, it will be to meet up with Kate in New England, heading mainly to the north of the region, not a part I have really seen much of.

Quite likely, given there are no major sporting events this summer, if it works out, I will have a few days in Ireland, taking in some cricket. Just depends, because there are a lot of expensive ‘musts’ this year, so I will have to see how affordable that is. But ideally, it will happen.

Fine, the less likely, but might happen.

As my regular readers know, just before Christmas, Nicole took the big step, had the op, and became a woman. Shortly after she got back from holidays, it was being suggested that I should at least apply to go on hormones, either by battling again with the NHS, or going privately, a lot less hassle, but a bit more expense. I’m told (at this time at least) that there is no pressure to go down the full op route, but I know with me, once I get started, I will almost certainly want to finish it.

Fine, people older than me do it, but lets face it, their physical state might be a bit stronger than mine. And yes, age does come into it for me too. But equally, I have this suspicion (dont really tell them I wrote this) that if the Harlow look attracts any romantic interest, or feels really great, I’m going to want to go down that road anyway! No, Nicole, and Denise, you didnt read that, just read on, and ignore! 😛 Equally, if the men just continue to ignore my charms, I might just stick with the current figure, current cleavage, and roll with that. We will see, but I wouldnt put large sums of money on that happening!

Of course, as some will know, the irony is, pre op, you have to live full time as a woman for 2 years, I’ve been doing so for nearly 5 already! So thats not the challenge, its the condition of my body, my view on the age thing, and…I suspect how I look and feel, post Jean Harlow transformation even further.

Oh, and the highly unlikely.

A new job? And no, I dont mean the Jean Harlow lookalike role in Hollywood that doesnt exist anyway! Probably not, but once I have the make up, look smart, and everything else, well, it might be fun, but 56 year olds, and new jobs dont really go together, do they, in the modern world? Lets face it, its only going to be another call centre (could do data input, but convincing an employer that I would be a better bet than a younger person, already doing that work), so is it better the devil you know?

OK, the video, Jean gets a mention in the first line (hair), but one of the big changes will be to how my eyes look, so I went for this.

Have a good 2015, readers

Rainy Days And Mondays

Are supposed to always get you down, and yes, that is a huge clue as to what the video is lol!

But given summertime is now over, on both sides of the pond, its pretty clear that very soon, winter will be on its way. Indeed, just about an hour ago, they showed the view from Foxboro, where the New England Patriots play, and it was snowing! Hopefully there wont be too much of that in Albany, in 3 weeks time, but at the same time, I wouldnt be shocked if there was.

The biggest change at work, is the horse racing. It now starts much earlier, and in terms of the non floodlit meetings at least, it has to end earlier too. Lets face it, most sports nowadays pretty much take place under lights at all times anyway. Flat racing does, though for obvious safety reasons, jump racing doesnt.

So, the baseball season is finally over, after about 7 months of non stop play, I’m sure the players will be grateful for the break. Kansas City fell at the last step, a shame, but after 29 years of nothing post season, pretty awesome all the same. I must admit, Ice Hockey and Basketball dont have much interest for me, though I do plan to take in an Ice Hockey game in Albany, while away.

Yes, 3 weeks from now, you’ll be getting blogs from there, the next big event in my seemingly growing social schedule. 2 weeks later, the works Christmas dinner, for which I booked my hotel room earlier today. I will probably wear the new dress, though the mischievous Harlow element in me wants to wear the much shorter, sexier, blue sparkly dress instead, and show off some leg! I’m sure sanity will prevail, the longer dress, but we will see… 😉

The other thing I did today, was to book the rail tickets for Newbury, for January, after which I will definitely have the Harlow look, in style! Not that I’m as shy as I used to be, but I suspect that once I have the full look (including beauty spot) I might be even more confident in my new self. As far as I know, Paula has no way to make me think I’m actually Jean, but…

Oh, and the boring winter thing, I need to get sorted in the New Year, an eye test, and new glasses, I suspect. If I can find an optician, offering 30’s style frames…they might get some business! if anyone knows one, in the UK, let me know!

Yes, you should have worked out what the video is, at least I hope you have

Going back?

I suppose if you’ve lived in, or around one area all your life, then this probably wont mean much, but if you’ve lived in a few areas of the country as I have, then…

I lived in, or around Yeovil for nearly 17 years, arriving early in ’83, and leaving there late in ’99, working in one place in town, all that time. ironically, I work for the same company again now, though the shop has moved in the meanwhile, but not far! From there I moved to Newbury for a couple of years or so, before various events meant I had to move on again, which I’d rather not talk about, as they are of a personal nature.

I know Yeovil has changed a lot since then, had contact with a couple of people in that area, and they tell me I wouldnt recognise parts of it. Newbury, havent really got much idea, but I suspect its changed a bit too.

The silly thing is, I sort of have a strange hankering to visit these places again, but I’m just not sure its a wise thing to do after so long. Not only will the places have changed, the people will have done so too, and I’m unlikely to meet anyone I knew back then, and even if I did, they probably wouldnt recognise me for obvious reasons lol! I sort of initially discovered what was ‘wrong’ with me when I moved to Newbury, but was still trying to deny it, in public at least at that point. Yeovil only ever knew me as a guy in all honesty, though neither place ever saw the female me, its fair to say.

So, is it just a silly idea to want to go back after so long, or is it something I should do, if only so I can toss away a few ghosts of that time? As you might gather, I definitely have mixed thoughts over the idea.

Right, musings over, I suspect some are only waiting for the video option anyway lol! This is one from my teen years, the first group I ever saw in concert, in Chatham, though this lineup isnt the one I saw, there had been 2 changes by then. Always wanted to be Eve Graham, 30 years or so later, I found out why! Hope you enjoy, as always…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l821Jx1hxyY