Category Archives: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

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? £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 £25 lol! 😛 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? 😉

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…? 😉 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

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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! 😉

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…)

Is that all it takes?

Much though I hate doing politics, there are times when events happen that just cannot be ignored.

Yes, this weekend in Charlottesville, is the subject I cant ignore. I probably would have diplomatically avoided it, but for the death of one person, ran down by one of the extreme right wingers involved in this ghastly event, and the way that Trump has tried to avoid blaming the ghastly right wing people involved in this, because lets face it, he pretty much supports them! It seems that even after being advised to condemn them, that he couldnt do it! Too busy trying to start a nuclear war with North Korea to care, I guess? Sorry, but thats two people with the IQ, and temperament of infants, playing with very dangerous toys!

My sympathies to the family of poor woman who died, and to all those injured by that idiot yesterday. I only hope he gets punished as he should, but with Trump, and his right wing pals in control, I fail to be convinced of that. But I hope its the case.

The other depressing incident I have to report today, revolves around the fans of a certain NFL team I sort of follow, the Buffalo Bills. Though how much longer I want to follow them, if this is the way the other fans think, I’m not sure?

Yesterday, Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland (for now at least) Raiders, sat through the National Anthem, in support of Colin Kaepernick, amongst others. Kaepernick being the quarterback who knelt through said Anthem last year, in protest at police violence, and has since been seemingly black balled by every NFL team because of it. Given some of the names getting contracts as back up quarterbacks, there is no other good reason, I have to say. Let me add, that its not the first time Lynch has done this, but…some would make you believe it was.

Anyway, if I say that one of the more ‘polite’ comments (and sadly, I’m not being facetious) involved Lynch being so filled with lead that they couldnt put him back together to bury him, it shows what a depressing state of events is prevalent in parts of the US at present. Yes, seriously, there is a difference between being proud of your country, and being a dangerous person, and too many seem to have crossed the line to the latter, now.

No, I’m not a lily livered leftie, before you ask. I see myself as a sane moderate, but yes, some of these people scare me, a lot!

Fine, video time. A song about a massacre by the KKK, surely not? Yes, you got it! An OMD song that not many will know, for sure.

Brace yourself for the news

Yesterday was a funny sort of day. Sort of carried on today, but anyway…

Sadly, it was funny, but not in a good way. It was one of those cool, damp days that this British summer has specialized in, and yes, when you’ve got joint issues, thats not a good thing. The fact that my anti inflammatory steroid cream was on the end of its supply probably meant I was trying to ease up on the use of it, but whatever, my back wouldnt stop aching yesterday, even on painkillers, and using up the last of the cream.

So eventually I had to bite the bullet, and having done the necessary part of the day to avoid it counting as a sick day, I gave in, and came home. Only via the pharmacy, where I got a different formula cream, of a similar kind, and yes, fingers crossed, issue seems to have eased. Not going to be perfect until after scan, and properly medicated, but…

One thing that was awaiting me when I got home was a letter from the NHS. Yes, I needed to ring up and make an appointment for my bone density examination scan, good news. Well, so I thought, but…I was too late to ring up last night, I got home about 4.45 pm, but they shut at 4.30! So, with it being my day off today, I rang this morning instead. After the traditional lengthy wait, I finally got through to the booking office, went through my details, and then she said,

“Our first available appointment is…”

Now dont get me wrong, I wasnt expecting anything very immediate, this is the NHS we’re talking about, but I was thinking a couple of weeks or so, but…

“…Friday September 8th at 11.00!”

Fortunately its the last day before I go to the US, but I’m going to have to mess with plans, as I was planning to get my hair colored, and styled for my holiday that morning, before the rest of my body got sorted out in the afternoon. Now I’m probably going to have to get it done on the Tuesday, which is OK, but not perfect. But no, my main problem is that it means I will not be ‘sorted out’ before I go on holiday to the US for a week, and a bit.

Yes, I’ll survive, though I now have the issue that no cure will have started before the wedding, on my 2nd Saturday away, which will involve some standing still, which is the only real issue I have, as mentioned before. What I’m planning to do is wear a back brace, or a corset, as a back support, and hope that does the job!

The funny related fact today was that a guy came round asking if I would do a survey, and wonderful irony, a few of the questions related to the NHS! Yes, lets say I might not have been their biggest fan lol! I know, I wont have to pay for the service directly, but I do in my taxes, so all in all…Yes, if I had the money, I’d probably get it done privately, and I bet I wouldnt have to wait nearly 5 weeks for that! Ah well…No, I couldnt wear brace for flights, because the internal stuff to brace my back is made of metal! Fine, I’d enjoy it if I was made of metal, but anyway…

Right, video time. Given its a radiology department I will need to go to (in Bradford, ironically, as if I never travel there), I thought of this new OMD song. Fine its Isotype, not Isotope, but close enough! 😛

Everyday in (West Yorkshire) Metroland

Oh fine, I know, you’ve been waiting a week to hear the news about the job, but now I’ve got something else I want to tell you about, so…Fine, you can wait until tomorrow to hear about that!

Well, the good, and obvious news, I’ve survived the first week back at work, after too long away from it. Equally, I cant say I’ve enjoyed in the slightest, the need to be up before 5.45 in the morning to get to work, but fine, I’m getting there. In fact, frighteningly, so far the journeys to work havent been too bad. Had a couple of not so great journeys home (buses, not trains), but that was principally down to road works in town, and not the inabilities of First Huddersfield, though that may be being kind to them?

As to work, its been fine, but given the whole week (and next week) is dedicated to training, I’d be surprised if that wasnt the case at present. I’m the oldest in the group of 9, by far, and with the exception of one other, all are 24 or younger! Lets just say 3 are very loud, and leave it at that! No, sadly, I havent yet seen any sign of a silver bodysuit that we are expected to wear, or been told that the headset will have interesting effects on the mind, but I can hope I get offered that option at the end of next week lol! Headset is actually wireless, so I’m told, that will be interesting at least.

Alright, what other job related news can I tell you? I’ve been to other work places where tea, and coffee is provided for free, but this is the first (and probably last) place I’ve known where you’re provided with lunch for free! Yes, seriously, apart from travel card, I havent paid for anything all week! Just a sandwich/roll (and fruit option), but that suits me fine, so…For those fascinated, still waiting to hear on checks for other job at the moment.

But yes, the most amazing thing for me, its the first job where everyone has only known me as a woman, wow, just wow, its wonderful!

OK, the video. For those who think commuting isnt anything like this, you’re wrong, it is! Only difference is that now everyone is staring at their phone, or tablet device, not a newspaper, but otherwise. And no, the woman drinking wine isnt me, she’s not blonde! No, going back to work hasnt yet driven me to drink, but it might!

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

Trying to foresee the future

Normally, even when I’m writing science fiction, I tend to work in the period I would call the near future, usually about 10 years ahead, maybe stretching to 20, at a push. Beyond that, I tend to think that we really havent got a clue how things will be in 100 years time, just the same as people about a century back had no idea how things would be now. Its fair to say this video rather proves that.

Actually, some of it they got right, though not necessarily in the right decade, as per the Channel Tunnel. Others, lets just say they got it badly wrong! London to New York, taking a day by air, its about 7-8 hours, and far less when we had Concorde operating! But hey, they forecast the need for men to have pockets for their mobile phone, though I dont remember seeing too many with candies, for cuties!

So yes, for us now to imagine what this world will look like in 2100, no idea? I’m sure, like a century ago, we’d get a few things right, and a good few horribly wrong too.

So fine, you can imagine my reaction when I was supposedly setting a story in 2999, as per someone else’s story idea. What the world will look like by then, even if its still here, how can we possibly comprehend. Even by moving it to 2099, I still ended up with conundrums that I couldnt hope to get right. So I ended up playing it simple, making a few dramatic changes, and leaving it at that.

I mean lets face it, when we look back at the 1920’s, and the only practical way to cross the Atlantic was by ship, and it would take a week to cross, hard to imagine. Mind, looking back at the wild innocence of the Flapper era, maybe we’re missing out on something? Just think, 100 years from now, people will look back on us, in exactly the same way!

I guess it might be interesting to see this world in 2100, not that I will, but anyway…I suspect it would be one hell of a culture shock, for sure!

Unlike OMD, I cant see the future being silent, but I wont know, for sure.

A 30’s girl, and modern technology

One thing that always amuses me, is the look on people’s face when I say that I dont use a mobile phone…ever! I would love to say I dont own one, but that wouldnt be true, and strictly, I actually own two. But on an everyday basis, I dont use a mobile phone.

One is actually a US phone, that wouldnt work over here anyway (different transmission systems) which might, if its lucky, get used for 2 weeks a year, and thats it. Pretty much got it for the convenience of Kate, and a couple of others being able to contact me, when over there, and not in the same hotel. As in, when Kate was at work last year, it was easier to ring me on there, as regardless of whether I was in my room, or out, she could get hold of me. Also handy with all these hotel shuttles if I can ring up, and arrange a lift of course. But 50 weeks a year, its not used.

The UK mobile, that got even less work, even when I was actually bothering to carry it around, so much so, that the credit expired, then the SIM card expired, so for at least 2 years, its been sat on the side, in my bedroom. No, I have no immediate plans to reactivate it, but maybe, one day…

I do occasionally use the land line at home, though there is no truth in the rumour that the phone looks like the one in the picture below. It would suit me fine if it did, but the others here might object!

Jean on the phone

And no, that isnt me, despite rumours lol!

Alright you say, how can a true 30’s girl own a laptop? And yes, guilty as charged, its about my one allowance to modernity, in all honesty. And fine, I have a nice colour TV, complete with cable, but hey, TV existed in the 30’s, just looked a bit different back then! 😛

But sorry, to have a mobile phone, that you literally have to have with you, at all times, no thanks! Unless someone wants to create one for me, that looks just like an old fashioned phone, then I might consider it!

The video, a quick one tonight, which pretty much sums up the life of so many mobile users, especially those with those trendy internet connection things

The delights of social media

Yes, I’m old enough to remember a sweet time, when Facebook and the like wasnt even dreamt up, and the only friends you had were actually in your social circle in real life. Nowadays I’m sure we all have numerous friends on places like Facebook that we’ve never met, and in all probability, never will. Hey, I know I’ve got my fair share of them, thats for sure.

But anyway, despite eventually succumbing to the charms of Facebook at my previous workplace, I didnt get involved anywhere else. To be honest, the only reason I’ve really stuck with Facebook is for a few groups I’m a member of, mainly relating to Irish cricket. Beyond that, and nowadays, OMD related pages too, I dont post there much, beyond using it to advertise the blogs in a (seemingly vain) attempt to boost visit numbers to here.

Its OK, and I go there far too often than is good, but…its as far as I went…Until now!

To those who have been around a while, you will remember I had a photo shoot session last year, with a lovely group called Cocoture, a few pictures from which have been posted here. So fine, they are now looking for a face of Coco, and I decided to give it a go. No, under the circumstances, I dont expect to be selected, but you never know, stranger things happen! But to enter, you had to post a picture, in a specific way, and when I tried, I kept getting error messages. Now, despite being blonde, I suspected I knew why, there seemed to be a Twitter connection to the place they were holding it, and yes, I wasnt a member. So, I signed up for Twitter, heaven help me, and it worked!

Oh, if you want to vote for me, go to https://www.facebook.com/Finestportraits?sk=app_451684954848385&brandloc=DISABLE&app_data=dlt-1 and vote for the blonde doing the Jean Harlow look, I need all the votes I can get!

So far I’m showing moderate enthusiasm for the place, and have posted 4 ‘Tweets’ there since last night, but how long it all lasts, not quite sure? Ironically, at the time I finally succumb to the place, it seems the need for story advertising is dying off, but I might write more in the future, and then…?

Oh, my tag, or whatever they call it? @Harleanlook. I thought I might as well play up the whole Jean Harlow lookalike thing, without taking it too far. Besides which, Stevienicks was gone, I suspect the singer has that one, and Stevie Nicholls was gone too. So, having fun…if you want to follow, feel free to do so, make me feel good about the whole Twitter thing!

Hopefully thats it though, I’m too old for all this young, trendy stuff!

Talking of all that, the video relates to a wonderfully old fashioned method of sending messages, probably used in the good old days of the 20’s and 30’s! I selected this video, rather than the official one, for one good reason, Martin Cooper is in it. For some reason, he wasnt in the original one. I’ve heard it was because he was working on a soundtrack at the time, but dont quote me on that. And yes, Martin is my favourite in the group, so! 😛

Pretty in pink?

Yes, happy birthday to me, and all that! Along with all the ‘regular’ birthday presents today (thanks, guys), I got a pair of very special treats, one deliberate, one by sheer luck. But both I love.

Firstly, this morning when I signed into Facebook, I found this new addition to the Colorised Hollywood collection (yes, the US spelling, its a US artist)

jean harlow coloured

which I thought was beautiful, and might take some matching, even if the guy didnt mean it as an actual present for me. But tonight, a wonderful friend named ‘Kris’ posted this up for me as well

jean harlow coloured 2

So I’m in Jean Harlow double heaven tonight, its fair to say! Hopefully after Tuesday’s hair makeover, I’ll look even more like her myself!

The other big news of the day, and the clue might be in the title, is that when we went out to dinner tonight, I wore the pink flapper dress in public. Yes, I wore matching hose, its too cold for bare legs, even if my knees could be shown off in general public, which they shouldn’t be! And seriously, that dress is above the knees, far too short for a 56 year old! But it was lovely wearing it out again, I must say.

So yes, to the video. Its (probably) my favourite group, and the song is from the movie, Pretty In Pink.