If anyone was expecting me to start the final week of radiotherapy treatments with a health posting, well you’re going to be wrong. For that fact, you can either thank, or be annoyed with Eric, though in truth, as I will know far more after tomorrow, and probably more on Thursday, it would be a bit of a wasted exercise anyway. Though you could say both have a tunnel in common, but seriously…
I dont know exactly when the first time I travelled under the Channel was, though given it was with my partner who I parted from in 1999, you’re talking quite a while ago, but anyway… In those days we travelled from Waterloo, not St Pancras as you would now. Indeed, even my last journey on the Eurostar was prior to 2007 (as thats when the train service was seemingly transferred), though in truth it was before moving to Yorkshire in 2005, so…I could only have travelled from Waterloo, lol.
That first time, the only high speed section of the Eurostar route started at the tunnel entrance, and continued in France and Belgium. Yes, the whole UK section prior to then was over the standard rail lines, not the special high speed one you get to travel on now. Yes, I will need to try and put that fact right once I’m up to it, wont I? I have been on weekend trips to both Brussels, and Lille, and indeed Bruges (via Brussels) with her back in the 90’s, as well as with Eric to Brussels, in the early part of this century. I know, never been to Paris, but if I’m doing the trip again, I’m sure it will be Brussels again, because I’m awkward like that, and Paris has less appeal in truth.
Thing is, if I do it now, the trip to the tunnel entrance would be totally different to anything I’ve ever travelled, literally. St Pancras International, Stratford International, and Ebbsfleet didnt even exist when I first went under the Channel. I’m not sure what the set up was at Ashford back then, but I’m pretty sure it didnt have an entirely separate International station, but dont quote me on that! Seems that now the only section that isnt really high speed is the last section into/first section out of Brussels for about 12 kilometres, though that might have changed now from when the journey was filmed that I saw (care of Eric) earlier this evening. Beyond knowing its after 2007 obviously, I dont know when it was done, in truth.
Of course, the most amusing thing about all of this is the naming of Stratford International station. Why? Simple, there are no international trains serving said station! Care of Wikipedia, I gather the plan was to use it for the trains going further north than London, but of course they never happened (not even during Olympics!), so only domestic trains have ever stopped there! In theory I could get a domestic train that stops there (remember I used to live in nearby Leytonstone, change at Ebbsfleet, or Ashford, to travel abroad, but seriously…?
Either way, the UK part of the journey would be very different to my first Eurostar journey, that is for sure.
OK, video time. Most people of my age grew up on the Roberta Flack version, people younger than me will have grown up on more modern versions, but its right to say this is far more the version as originally written, for sure
I did actually mean to do this blog just over a week ago, on the anniversary, but various things got in the way, mainly my health. But anyway…
2019 seems to have been the centenary of a large number of events. I suspect its because of the end of WW1, and the freedom to use technology for beneficial reasons, and not just to kill as many of ‘the enemy’ as possible. In 1919, if you wanted to cross the Atlantic, you had one choice, you went by ship, and it took more than a week to do the crossing. Nowadays its possible to cross the Atlantic in a matter of 6 hours or less! Certainly, on a jet plane, I would guess (if possible) that St Johns, Newfoundland, to Clifden in the West of Ireland would probably be about 4 hours or so. Heck, I can fly from Manchester, to Los Angeles (against the jet stream) in just under 11 hours.
However, on 14th June, from St Johns, Newfoundland, 2 British RAF Officers, Alcock, and Brown, set off to do something that had never been done before, to cross the Atlantic by plane. 16 and a bit hours later, on June 15th, they crash landed into a bog, close to Clifden, in the North West corner of Ireland. There was a prize of £10,000 for doing this, which seemingly equates to about £450,000 today!
In case anyone is wondering, it took another 20 years before the first Transatlantic passenger flight happened, a matter of months before the start of WW2!
The sad thing for Alcock at least, was that 6 months later, he was dead, at 27. He crashed while trying to deliver a plane to France, and died shortly after, from his injuries. Brown, and his son both actually served in WW2, he as an instructor, his son as a pilot who tragically died in the war. Supposedly that led to his retirement, and a deterioration in his health, so much so that he died 5 years later, at age of 52.
Incredible to think that 50 years later, man landed on the Moon!
I wonder how, 100 years from now, people will travel between Earth, and probably places beyond this planet as well. One thing is for sure, I personally wont know, but I wonder if a reincarnation of myself will do so?
This song has been recorded more than a few times, but in truth, this is the group that are probably most famous for doing so
Given my love of movies of a certain age (older than me!), I have to accept that some of the things seen as ‘fine’ back then, just look horrid now. In truth, I dont even have to go back that far for a prime example, there was a 1970’s TV series called ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, which at the time was designed to show off the racist attitude of one of the actors, when a West Indian couple moved in next door. In truth, the humour was probably pretty dodgy back then, but if people watched it now, with modern eyes, they’d probably want to burn all the tape of the program. Fine, now, it would probably be for the best, but back then, well, lets just say there were people, like myself, who found the attitudes to be horribly wrong, and there were others who just couldnt see what was wrong with his opinions!
There is a ‘much discussed’ silent movie dating from 1915, called Birth Of A Nation, that, to put it bluntly, shows the KKK in a good light. No, to modern eyes, that isnt good, and hopefully to some at least back then, they felt the same way about the matter, though I suspect the segregation that went on back then, less so. My personal view, the nature of the film, as it portrays, is ghastly, but its film history, that with modern eyes looks awful, but back then, things were different. I’d love to say the whole matter is solved, but as we’ve sadly seen too many examples of in the US recently, sadly there are a few ‘cavemen’ type who still think that is right. No, I’ve never seen the movie, so cant comment in a personal way.
But the one I have seen, that is now starting to cause a fuss, in a similar manner, is Gone With The Wind! Seriously, its a story of the American Civil War, set at a time when white people were in charge, and everyone else was treated with disdain, but…I’ve seen several reports of late of cinemas refusing to show it, because of what its about. I know, if the nature of it upsets you, dont go and see it, but seriously, its a film classic, and trying to stop others watching it, of their own free choice, seriously…? So leave the film be!
No, I agree, it would never be made now, because the times have changed, but back then…So yes, before you comment on these movies, or the Charlie Chan movies (where a white man dressed up as an oriental, rather than getting a Chinese actor for the part) as being horrible in modern eyes, just stop and think. Try, if possible to see them through the eyes of people who were around back in the 1930’s, or before, not through modern eyes. Or better, dont watch them, unless you can! Yes, they are horrible to modern eyes, but these were made 80 years ago, or more, when things were very different.
End of rant!
Video time. Well this isnt quite as old as Gone With The Wind, but its nearly as old as me!
Seriously, I have no idea what happened to those temperatures in the 50’s, but they never happened. Today at least, it struggled to hit 40, let alone anything more than that. And given that it drizzled, or worse, most of the day, I didnt bother to go out. I did yesterday though, went over to Bradford, for some fresh air and a stretch of the legs. And yes, alright, I came back with 2 tops from charity shops, at a combined cost of £2.99, hey! Err, they both cost a lot more than that originally, I should think. I also came back with a pink dress from the market, cost £10. No, alright, I’m not sure I need it, or how often I’ll wear it, but it was nice, and looked a bargain to me, so…
Right, the down point, I wore my new shoes. Yes, new shoes, and no socks, for a few hours walking around town, yes, they rubbed a bit. Alright, a bit might be a lot, but anyway…a couple of toes are now a bit tender, but not as bad as they were last night! Yes, I’ve tried to stretch the shoes since then lol! I’m sure they will be fine now, and the toes will recover in time too.
But now, wait for it, the weather gets worse! Its being forecast that we will get snow here tomorrow afternoon, so even if I was contemplating an outing on a Saturday (not seriously), that would be enough to put me off anyway, even if it wasnt for the fact it will be raining before then anyway. No, I dont need to go out, but as its going to mean 3 days in a row without going out, I might get restless before I go back to work on Monday. No, Sunday, and public transport (even more so with rail engineering work around here at present) as it is, I wont be going anywhere, I very much doubt.
Oh, and in other news, I’ve been writing again. No, nothing that JK Rowling and her like have to worry about, its a quicky, under 2000 words. Nothing classy, sort of plays to my kinks, but I’ll leave that as all I’m telling you on here. Lets just say that the ‘heroine’ might wear something silver at one point lol. But yes, it was fun, even if it only happened because I’m off most of this week, I wouldnt have the time otherwise.
Oh, and for those of a gambling nature reading this, no, I wont be giving any tips for Cheltenham next week in this blog, despite my job lol! Still dont have a clue about what will win, all the same. And no, I wont be wearing silver to work next week, however apt it might be, given how crazy it will be. Well, not unless someone wants to sponsor me to do so, for Comic Relief and all that…silver hood needed if you want me to do that, mind, lol! 😛
Right, now to the video. A comment on the weather, and yes, unfortunately, I am old enough to remember this first time around
I do wonder if some might see this as a lazy way of posting my news on Facebook lol!
Yes, my bags are packed (well excluding laptop at least, obviously), and I’m ready to go, though as things stand, I have no plans to wear anyone’s wedding ring lol! If anyone hasnt worked out the song already, be ashamed of yourself! Unlike the singers though, I do know when I’ll be back again, well unless something amazing (or tragic?) happens anyway.
I was actually one out on the count of workdays, ended up being offered yesterday’s short shift as holiday, and I didnt say no, cant think why! And strictly, I havent yet packed the enhancers (will swop over tonight to the old pair), or shaver, for obvious reasons. There isnt much hair, but I want to be smooth for tomorrow, lets face it, its going to be a long day! Need to remember to use the ladies toilets too, if I’m busting out, that should be fun!
So yes, the next post will be from Seattle, at some point on Sunday, or Monday I suspect, so watch this space then. I suspect the main highlights at that point will be what airport security makes of the enhancers, whether I remembered to use the correct toilets, and if the Mariners won lol! Going to the game on Sunday, forecast is for a good day, hope thats right.
So miss me (I know, its kiss, but…lol), and smile for me, promise that you’ll wait for me, and all that, and I promise to write again from Seattle.
The video, only question is the artist, its…