Hopefully a few of you know the video song tonight. Its one of those rare occasions where even the writer, and original singer of the song admitted that this cover version knocked his for 6! Well, it was either this, or Michael Jackson, and his wailing, and all no contest for me!
It seems that today has been declared Earth Day. Now whether this is because of the date, or whether its because its Easter Monday, I have no idea. The latter I could see, because its the day after Jesus was found to have resurrected, but if thats the significance, no idea?
I know, for some, climate change, and preservation of this planet is a tricky subject, as there are some who dont believe we have an issue. I know its hard for some simple minds (Yes, Donnie, you included) to realise that it should get below freezing in winter in places like Alaska, and the Mid West, but it does. Most people with an IQ over about 80 realise this, but unfortunately…
Sadly, some people trying to help with these issues just dont do themselves any favours. There is a group of protestors (Extinction Rebellion) currently spreading through parts of Europe trying to help matters, all well and good. Only snag is, more of them seem more interested in violent action, than the good cause, which has led to about a thousand being arrested here in the UK in the last week. To be honest, I could get their cause when they were trying to stop car traffic flow in Central London, its a major issue, in a city with decent public transport, which people could use. Then yes, you guessed it, they started attacking public transport as well! And no, I dont mean international aircraft, I mean the Light Railway, and Tube lines! I mean, their is logic in inciting people to use public transport, but stopping that too, seriously?
Kudos to my favourite city today, Los Angeles. Yes, that city with the most horrendous car traffic issues, thats the one. So today, in a (probably futile) effort to get people out of their cars, and on public transport, all buses, and all metro lines are free to travel today. I know, some still wont use it, because it might make their journey a few minutes longer, and heaven forbid, they might have to come into contact with other people too! There may be other cities doing the same, but obviously thats the one I know about, through friends.
So no, I’m not saying that everyone should switch (where possible) from car, to public transport, that would be hoping too much. Besides which, the greed of the private companies providing the service here in the UK, makes it beyond financial practicality. And in the US, well in some areas, public transit is poor, or non existent! But all I do ask, before you get in your car, to go 200 yards round the corner, to get your paper, or a couple of small items of food, that maybe you could use your legs, instead of your car, where practical? I know there are disabled people who cant walk that distance, but too many healthy bodied people do just that.
OK, rant over. The song was written, and originally sung by Neil Young. Its a great version, and well worth searching if so inclined. But the version that Young said topped his, this one, by Prelude.
I’m not claiming that I thought I knew all of the LGBT+ terms that people use nowadays, but I thought I knew most of them, but showed up my lack of knowledge yesterday.
Had a request by email, and on the work intranet yesterday for people to act as representatives for a Princes Trust panel early next year. Thing is, as they put it, they were after the lesser represented groups to come forward. And yes, seemingly according to this, Intersex, and Non Binary are far too normal, lol. As for Transgender, and Pansexual, and the like, no thanks.
No, the people they were looking for, were from the following groups, and in truth, I had to look these up to know what they were.
So yes, even someone with as much involvement as I have, can learn something new!
In truth, I dont really mind what term any person chooses to select for themselves, its all a personal choice. At the same time, there is a point where you can see why the ghastly ‘rabid right wing Christian nutcases’ might be entitled to shout enough, in their eyes at least?
Oh fine, if someone wants to offer me the chance to be officially designated as a Fembot, I wont say no! 😛 Ooh, zap me baby, lol! Yeah, I wish!
Lastly, my patience finally ran out with First Buses again. 3rd letter of complaint in about 6 months, not that I’ve even had the courtesy of a reply to the previous two, so this time I’ve mentioned passing it on to the controlling board if I dont get a reply.
I wasnt looking forward to a physio appointment at 4.45 tonight, travel wise, and I was proved right. I got back to the bus stop at 5.17, raining, and cold, less than perfect conditions for me. Still, by using all options, I should have had a bus coming along every 5 minutes. I waited 29! After all that, the bus driver had to go ‘somewhere’ when we finally reached town, and that was another 10 minutes delay. Yes, I might have just ‘slightly’ laid on how disabled I am, but by the time I got home, the back felt pretty dreadful, so… and Monday’s journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and was only that because I got a taxi home from town!
Still wont hold my breath for even the respect of a reply, despite all that, mind, they really are a dreadful company.
Right, video time. Back to the initial subject for this. Some live Blur, though to say Damon Albarn looks less than enthused would be putting it mildly!
For once, the title of the blog has absolutely zero to do with the video, so dont try to stress your brain cells, lol.
Today was flotation tank day, and in truth, my back really needed it this time around. Sunday, the 4 of us went off up to Skipton, and had one of those canal boat, Christmas Dinner meals. The meal was very good, the service speed a little, err, entertaining, but the seats we were sitting on had all the back support of a brick wall. And yes, when your back is as damaged as mine… The only other entertaining moment was the Sat-Nav system, which insisted on calling Keighley (pronounced Keith-Lee), as ‘Key-Lee’, which of course had me in a total fit of giggles. I think its safe to say that it would probably call Slaithwaite, as spelt, and not Sla-wit, as its pronounced too.
Anyway, with a back that was already ‘grumpy’, I went to work yesterday in the cold, and the rain, and the inevitable happened, it flared up badly. So, halfway through the day, came home, a journey which should take about 75-80 minutes at that time of day. It took 140, and only that short as I gave up on First Buses, and got a taxi home from town!
Thankfully, today, I had the ‘miracle treatment’ booked, the flotation tank. Lets just say back pain wise, if last night was a 10, and this morning about a 7, its now about a 2.5! Yes, that, lack of pressure on the spine is just amazing.
This time around, Donna showed me how to seal the pod properly (assumed I would spot handle first time, and didnt, and someone else showed me through last time), which was simple when shown, but anyway…So, lights out, and yes, that pod really is sound proofed, among other things, never heard a thing once the music stopped, before it started up again.
So, I cleared my mind completely of thought, and imagined being transformed into a ‘beautiful swan’ when I got out again, but no, that never happened. Nor was I turned into an alien, which might have been fun, but anyway… What I did this time, when nice and tranquil, and safe in the womb of the pod, was leave space for Clara to come through in time, but only if she wanted to, under the circumstances. Yes, she took up the offer!
I know it was her, as the second comment she made was about someone fetching her a cigarette, and I’ve never smoked! Well, there was also the fact that she was talking with a very cool, mid west accent, but distinctly noticeable, which is maybe why she never got too many lines in movies, just stuck to dancing. She hung around, saying things about the crazy things that Mr Mayer (of MGM), and Buzby Berkeley got her to do, in the cause of dancing. Lots of toe splashing, and giggling too, but then (I guess after about 15 minutes or so, its hard to tell time in a place like that), the music started back up, and as I told her beforehand, that meant it was time to go. Yes, she did.
I ‘came back’, stunned at what had happened, but thrilled. Lets face it, I wouldnt ask for a cigarette, nor would I naturally have a mid western accent like she did! Of course, I cant get her to answer questions from me under those circumstances, but it was fun sensing things through her ‘eyes’.
Sadly, its going to be mid January before I can follow up on this, as the place is either full, or more likely closed for all the holiday period, or a combination of both. So first appointment I can get, that really works for me is 15th January. I could have got in the week before, but I have the other physio that week, so spreading them out is wiser.
But yes, on that day, is Miss Johnson going to come out to play (and splash toes) again, who knows? But the answer, probably?
OK, video time. 1930 is the oldest date I can find conclusive evidence of Clara dancing in the movies. She may well have danced in 1929, but I havent seen clear evidence as yet. As I’ve said before, 1937 is the last date I have evidence for. This technicolor movie from 1930 features the Goldwyn Girls, of which she was one, but faces arent clear enough to be conclusive that Clara is, or isnt in this. I think I see her there, but cant be sure. But yes, regardless, its something a little different to the normal Berkeley routine
Its early in the morning, right? Well, I hope most of my readers spotted that line coming at least? And yes, I can claim to be a Broadway Baby last night, even if it refers to the shopping centre in Bradford of that name, not the more famous street in New York! And no, I wasnt that early in the morning, though someone thought maybe I was, more on that shortly?
Last night was the works Christmas dinner, as mentioned in the previous blog, and 10 ladies headed into a local casino, to have a meal, and some fun. No, not that sort of fun, lol! 😛
The meal, and company was very good, I have to say, was a great evening. Lastly, we all headed for the casino, to play our free chip, and see if we could win our fortunes, on the spin of a roulette wheel. No, I didnt, and indeed, at time of leaving, no one had. Some were making a profit, but I lost on my first, and probably last spin on a roulette wheel in my life. It was amazing how many chips some seemed to be gambling on the spin of a wheel, but given I had no idea of the values of the chips, it might not have been as much as it seemed?
Anyway, shortly after that, this little ‘Broadway Baby’ slipped back to her hotel, and slept all night. Well, with the painkillers I take, thats not hard, but anyway… No, I didnt find a wealthy ‘sugar daddy, or mummy’, no great shock there! So, given I didnt bother to take my laptop with me, I got up, took my pills, had breakfast, then headed for home.
OK, we’ll get to the funny moment now. I hopped on the bus to come home, dressed in my (very fake) fur coat, with an overnight bag, and a glint in my eye. Oh, and hair only roughly tousled, as some silly blonde forgot to take a comb with her, so I had that tousled, fresh out of bed look to my hair.
To be fair, the driver never said a word as he gave me my weekly pass that I’d purchased from him, but the look said it all, and I was more than happy to play him along. 😉 Yes, wicked minx, had a saucy night, and got up too quickly to do her hair, lol. I didnt think the coat looked that real, but well, maybe it does?
I played it up beautifully, giving him the cutest, “Thank you.” as I got off the bus in Huddersfield. Yes, why not play along if he thought I’d been to see ‘Daddy’ overnight for some fun? Of course he might have been thinking I’d been earning money in another way overnight that would give me the ‘fresh out of bed’ look, who knows, lol?
So, video time. This song has actually been in a few movies in its time, but this is the longest section I can find, featuring both song, and dance. 42nd Street, its actually about a 13 and a half minute number, and yes, Clara Johnson was dancing on that movie. Gold Diggers of 1935 too, she was there. But longest snippet I can find of those is just some of the dance, just under 3 minutes long. So I’ll roll with the 1951 Doris Day version, from the film of the same name.
For the non Brits here, he is currently the Transport Minister, dealing with our wonderful (not!) railway service, assuming he hasnt resigned over Brexit like so many others, lol?
Its been a while since I had the misfortune to need to travel on Trans Pennine Express, but today was an LGBT committee meeting in Manchester, so I had to take my chances. I did look at the live departures board before leaving, and it looked like they were failing to provide any form of decent service, and so it proved when I got into Huddersfield.
I actually went through the barrier at 9.10, to catch the 9.01 train to Manchester, and I still had to wait more than 5 minutes for that. Oh, and at that point, the 8.52 train still hadnt arrived, and wasnt even due for 10 minutes after the train I caught.
The train crawled its way to near Stalybridge before announcing that it was now so late (about 20 minutes) that it was terminating there, and that we could catch the next train to Manchester Piccadilly, which was right behind us. I dont know who told him that, because soon after we all got off, in the freezing cold, it was announced said train was delayed, and they finally admitted it was actually nearly 30 minutes behind us!
Fortunately, shrewd commuter syndrome hasnt deserted me, there was a stopping train to another station in Manchester, leaving about 10 minutes later, so I struggled across and got on that. I should have got to the meeting venue about 9.50, I actually got there at 10.28 Luckily I allow for TPE being so awful, so I only entered the meeting room 2 minutes late!
Funnily enough, getting home was only slightly better. I arrived at Piccadilly station, after the meeting, at 14.47. Yes, I got the 14.40 train, with ease, which actually left about 14.55! Oh, and what annoys me most, fares are going up by over 3% next month!
Not that the other local train company, Northern Rail are any better. I cant remember the last time they actually ran trains on a Saturday due to a strike caused by their obstinacy over an issue with the union, who have the support of the Transport Department!
Ah well… At least I have a session in the brainwashing pod, sorry, flotation tank to look forward to on Thursday. Or with luck, not remember it, lol!
OK, video time. Same song, twice over. Firstly, the murdered cover version, which I have to post, because it matches up to the TPE rail service
Secondly, a blatantly mimed version of the original version, but more recently ‘performed’. As live as a TPE train service, lol
Well, if I were to update you on what I did yesterday, you’d be bored stiff, because I did pretty much what an ‘old crock’ like myself should do, I had a relatively easy day. I went out for a gentle stroll (bit further than planned), had a bite of lunch, then headed back to the hotel again, via a stop for an Ice Cream. Fallen asleep yet? 😛
Today however, was far more amusing, which is the only reason you’re getting this tonight. My original plan had been to head into town (about 11.15), have a stroll, get a coffee, then head down and get the 12.30 bus to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, have a bite of lunch, then hop on the ferry, cross into Spain, just because its easily done (ferry takes 15-20 minutes to cross), have a look round, then come back again. No, as you gathered, I didnt do that!
Instead, as I got into town, just after 11.30, the seemingly slightly delayed 11.27 bus to Faro swung into sight, so I got on that instead! I will do the other trip later in the week, but for now… There may not be a bus every 10 minutes, but they do believe in comfortable bus seats over here, so nice! Fares are similar for distance as at home, for those interested, so it can be done, First Buses!
But the sweetest thing for me, was one of my fellow passengers, at least until Tavira, where she got off. To say this woman was the spitting image of an elderly Gloria Swanson (as in Sunset Boulevard era, or just later) was remarkable. Gloria (if I remember right) was tiny, under 5 foot tall, I believe, but in truth this woman wasnt much taller than that! Oh, and this woman was speaking fluent Portuguese, but other than that… She had the perfect diva attitude too (though I’ve heard nice things said about Swanson, so maybe she didnt?) as she showed when someone was trying to help her with her bags, after she got off the bus.
The rest of the drive to Faro was positively sedate, other than the song that got stuck in my head, this one
In truth, after just over 20 years, I didnt remember much of Faro, beyond the basic set out, but I suspect its changed in that time anyway. Bus station is still as ancient as it was then, mind, certainly no overhaul there!
At home, generally the bus fares are cheaper than the trains, and they take longer to get places, though because of the route the train takes, that doesnt work between Huddersfield and Bradford, because the train ambles round via Halifax. In the old days, the train was also more reliable, but that no longer happens! Here in Portugal, the bus fare was actually more expensive than the train (5.70 Euros, to 5.05 on train), takes longer to do the journey, even allowing for the long walk to the station (about a mile) from here. The snag is, Portuguese trains make Trans Pennine Express look reliable, and thats quite an achievement!
The train back to Monte Gordo from Faro was meant to leave at 3.00, and take 62 minutes for the journey. Even with a 20 minute walk, that should beat a 3.15 bus that takes 83 minutes for the journey! The thing is… The train pulled in from Lagos (yes, Nigeria isnt the only one to have a place of that name) at 3.03, about 4 minutes late, so we all get on. Then a minute later, we all get told to get off again. I have no idea what the announcement said, as it was only given in Portuguese, not a lot of use to most passengers who were tourists! Anyway, said train reversed back down the platform, and sat just outside the station. Just after 3.25, it plodded back into the station, we all got on (and stayed on) and a few minutes later, it set off for Vila Real De Santo Antonio!
I finally got back to Monte Gordo about 30 minutes after I should have, and still nearly made it into town before the bus passed me! Ah well…
Oh, and this leads to the second video of the day, the song I was singing to myself at the station, when I was wondering what the train was doing!
Its always handy when somebody gives me the chance to be a grumpy old lady, and for once its not that idiot across the pond, with the orange face. Though yes, I could say something extremely rude about him at present, and his latest imbecilic ideas about Trans people, but lets not give his ego a boost by mentioning him. Hopefully, 2 weeks today, he gets a nasty surprise, as long as Russia dont fix another election for him.
No, lets have a snipe at another thing that is the bane of my life, First Buses. Fine, yesterday they weren’t aided by my back being in a really bad way, because of the weather and stuff, but they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot, so lets try and bury them too.
Yesterday, a far too regular event happened, they put their fares up. Fair enough, there are things called inflation, but currently thats a lot less than the 5% that fares went up yesterday. The thing is, I wouldnt object to them raising fares, if the quality of service got raised too, but as was shown yesterday, its a one sided deal.
As I say, yesterday wasnt a lovely day weather wise, it was pretty cold, and my already sore back reacted to the cold weather like bees having their hive smashed to pieces by a hungry bear. Yes, not good.
So finally, about 2.20, after a couple of ‘not great’ calls, due to the pain being too intense to focus on work, I gave up on a bad deal, and decided to call it a day, and head home to rest up. The journey would normally take about 75-90 minutes or so, which is long enough, but had to be done. In truth, I probably would have paid out, and got a train instead (far smoother ride), but there werent any, engineering works! So it was bus, or rail replacement bus, so…
I finally got to the bus station at 3.07, as I had to stop to get a drink, to take some painkillers, to try and ease the pain in my back a bit. There is meant to be a bus to Huddersfield every 10 minutes. There should have been one at 3.10, but I never saw it. There should have been another at 3.20, again it never showed! The 3.30 finally showed at 3.32, and by the time everyone was on board a now overcrowded bus, we left about 3.36.
That bus is due into Huddersfield at 4.08. Actual arrival time, 4.23. No, not because of traffic, simply because there were dozens of people en route wanting to get on, given the lack of 2 buses before it. As quickly as I could (limited), I walked down for the bus home, due to leave town at 4.25, which again, never showed. The 4.35 finally turned up about 4.40 and I got indoors just after 5.00!
By which time the pain in my back was considerably off the scale, lol! Even now, 26 hours, and numerous painkillers later (I’ve taken more than normal today for a non working day), I’m still pretty sore. Now I’m not going to blame First Buses entirely for that, there’s been a bitter wind blowing most of the day, which doesnt help, but even so, they are definitely the main culprit.
As I said, if they provided a service that justified a fare increase, then fine, but they dont. Seemingly like most nowadays, all they care about are extra profits, and no service to customers. Its not hard to see why everyone knows them as ‘Worst Buses’ lets face it.
Oh for a flying saucer, or even more aptly at this time of year, maybe, a flying broomstick! At least I’d have reliable transport, and wouldnt mind paying for it. Fine, rant over. Now all I need is a spell to turn a certain US/Russian(?) wigged man into a frog, or a newt, and…? 😉
Right, video time. I cant imagine too many of my readers will remember this TV series, as its one from my childhood. But some will hopefully, and its Al Yankovic, so its crazy, so…
When I was a young girl (artistic licence, so sue me!), buses and trains used to work to pretty much 3 entirely different timetables during the week. Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday timetables, which reflected the need for public transport, which mainly revolved around getting people to, and from work, or school, and the like.
Yes, back in the 60’s, nearly everyone worked from 9 to 5 during the week, and the weekend was a time of rest. There was some need for a decent service during the day on a Saturday, as people would need to go shopping, but then on Sunday, barely anyone was travelling, so there was barely a service!
Of course, nowadays, not only do people work outside of those 8 hours on a regular basis, they also work at weekends, including Sunday, shock horror! To some degree, the train companies have finally caught up with this fact, and though ‘peak hour’ trains might be shorter on a Saturday than midweek, its pretty much the same level of service. They are even catching up with the strange concept of people needing to work on Sunday’s, as the service on that day seems to have grown over the years.
The thing I’ve noted though, especially as they are now my means of commute, is that the bus companies still seem to be operating as in the 1960’s. The Saturday service, before about 9 am, and after 5.30 pm (got to get those football fans home) is still pretty much a token issue, despite the fact that large numbers of people now have to be in work by that time, and finish later. Sunday service, and indeed the midweek evening service, after about 7 pm, is well, just token!
For example, the normal service (when First actually run as they should) between Huddersfield, and Bradford, is every 10 minutes. Up to about 9, Saturday morning, its every 30! The evening service is every hour! Unsurprisingly, these buses tend to be as overcrowded as a peak hour commuter train, crazy!
I guess that at some point, bus companies will catch up on the reality of modern life, though I’m not sure when. Especially as some buses I’ve had to travel on have looked like they served Flapper passengers at the start of their working life! OK, maybe slight exaggeration, but not much!
Fine, rant over.
Video time. An apt piece from the 1980’s, from a group I suspect that most today will barely know?
In theory, today was my day off to recover from work yesterday, on the basis that the ‘old girl’ is now unable to do 2 days work in a row, which is pretty much true, nowadays. I know, I somehow get through on a Friday/Saturday combo, but believe me, I’m sore at the end of the Saturday. Sadly, finances don’t permit me to cut back to a 3 day week, I only wish it did!
So you’re saying I’ve had a nice relaxing day today, given the body the chance to recover, and all that stuff? Yes, I wish! This morning, saw me up even earlier than usual, as I needed to get to Sheffield for a meeting, at 10! To my delight, with all I’ve heard of Northern Rail of late, we set off from Huddersfield on time. Snag is, it wasnt long before we werent on time, and getting later. About 6 minutes by the time we got to Sheffield, and as it was one of their ‘legendary’ (not in a good way) pacer trains, I got there definitely shaken, as well as stirred by being late. Thankfully, the tram, and the building for the meeting was easier to find, so all well.
Fine, we over ran, not even close, about 25 minutes over, on a 2 hour meeting, so we ended up in a quiet area to finish off. Good time, but fine, any interesting meeting, related to LGBT issues is good by me. So, I missed my planned train home, and the next one wasnt until 45 minutes later, so bite of lunch, before the train.
Sadly, my knowledge of train timetables was better than the conductor on the train from Sheffield to Wakefield, but I sorted him out in the end, lol. Unfortunately, the train at Wakefield to take me back to Huddersfield was an even more basic Pacer train, so more ouch for me! And home much later than planned too!
Then we had a ‘visitor’ that Eric seemingly knew about, but hadnt bothered to tell anyone else about. Window salesman! Actually, he was quite nice, but I’d wanted to get on with things, Ella and her friend had places to go, but we had to aid Eric instead! So now I’m sat here typing this, aching like hell, and going to work tomorrow, when I could really do with some recovery time, to get over the so called recovery day! So, if anyone has a spare crane, I might need it to help to lift me up at work tomorrow, anytime I need to move! As for jobs (other than this) that needed to be done today, and there were several, not now going to happen, and heaven knows when they will, now! Thursday, maybe, though I have to go out to collect a prescription then, aargh! Thats assuming I can even move by then, of course?
Right, video time. I mentioned the title a moment ago. Yes, I would love to have been in this video, especially given the suit (and helmet), and the silver paint job. As for the flight in the space craft, oh I wish! So, what I might be saying to someone at work tomorrow…
Well, last night, trying to get home from work, given I was running late, due to a late phone call meaning I missed my usual bus, there was a deafening silence in the sense of the bus that should have been taking me home instead, was nowhere to be seen. Oh fine, in the sense of this really being surprise news, with First Buses, no great shock. They are known by most, as Worst Buses, for a very good reason.
Thankfully, rather than an extra half hour of delay, even assuming the bus after actually turned up, I bit the bullet, paid the extra, and dashed off, and got the train instead. To add to the wisdom of that call, the train driver seemingly raced along, I got the bus I should have got from travelling on the bus to Huddersfield, probably easier than I would normally do that. So in the end, given I have less distance to walk, I was less than 10 minutes late home. If I’d waited for the bus that didnt show,who knows how late I would have been?
But the actual silence I’m writing this blog about, is hopefully not a temporary one, though I’m not going to put good money on it. From mid afternoon onwards, somewhere along the street, an alarm has been going strong, until recently. Given the heat, I wouldnt want to shut the door, but its a horrible sound. Goes off for about 20 minutes, then stops for about 10 minutes, then repeat and rinse. Yes, we checked, no one anywhere to be seen doing anything ‘naughty’! Just a lot of noise from somewhere nearby.
But now, for the first time in hours, seemingly, a long period of silence, which even the cats arent disturbing!
Right, video time. The obvious song from the blog title, but not the obvious version.