Category Archives: Public Transport

Life begins at 60?

Well I’ve heard that 60 is the new 50, which might just about be believable, given that the average life span is more than when I was young, but I pass at the optimist who said that 60 is the new 40! The way my back is now, its more like 60 is the new 70 lol! 😛 Either way, I’ll find out tomorrow, I guess?

Yes, I’m getting started early, on the first day I can use one, I’m using my senior railcard, to get me to, and from Blackpool, over the next 2 days. This is the last time I will be publicizing the show at the Winter Gardens tomorrow night, the film weekend, with Some Like It Hot being shown, with me as one of the 20’s flappers hostesses! Yes, I know, flappers were young women, but unless I can find a friendly ‘mad scientist’ to make me young again, they will have to settle for me being a little bit more elderly lol! Mind, if I can, darlings, just watch me go!

Funnily enough, its not the first time I will have used senior privileges for something. The recent, and relevant one was an amusing happening back in November, when 3 of us from work went to the Amateur Dramatics at Cookridge. Somewhere up near Rawdon, the 3 of us met up, and went for a meal at a very nice fish and chip restaurant. Now, the menu was fine for me, but there was a Seniors offer, for people aged 60 or over, and I was only 4 months short of that landmark, so I went for it! That strictly was my first time as a true Senior, though I’ve had senior meals before (about a decade ago, in fact) at some US restaurants, where the portions are huge, the senior portions less so, so I’ve asked nicely, and they let me have senior meals. (Definitely Dennys, I think IHOP too?) Now, this year, I’ll be able to do it legitimately, assuming they havent raised the age to 65?

At completely the other end of the scale, when I was in my late 30’s, and paying a visit to my mother, we went out for the day to a shopping center across the Medway Towns from us. Anyway, she had a senior pass, got on for free. Me, I got ready to pay the full fare for the trip, but the driver insisted I was still a half fare, in other words, under 19! Now, I might look reasonably young for my age, but that was crazy.

Given that I had no idea what the fare was, I just paid him what I was told, and yes, he’d issued me a half fare return! No, I didnt have any issues going back, but I dont think that driver checked my ticket that closely!

Sadly, nowadays, my cut off for the free off peak travel on buses is the same as the pension age, so I wont get that for another 6 years, assuming I last that long of course. I’m sure I will, but…? Who knows? No, I have no plans, even if it is 60 to get anything in the US to prove my age, as I rarely visit the same state again very quickly. I suspect you’d have to prove your address, so that would mess me up anyway!

Equally, tomorrow, I might find an obliging mad scientist, who turns me back into a twenty something flapper, with all of Clara Johnson’s dancing skills, and then, especially if I can find that time travel portal, well this might be the last blog from the 21st Century, darlings! No, not going to happen, but I can dream for a few hours at least! Wouldnt that be fun though?

Right, video time. Lets just say I wanted to find something filmed in Blackpool, ideally at the Opera House, or Winter Gardens, and lo and behold… Title fits aptly for my wish for the flapper girl makeover lol!

 

 

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Snowy Days and Thursdays

Well, maybe I have been talking to myself, and feeling old? Fine, if that, and the blog title dont give you a clue to the video tonight, you’re way too young! Unlike me, but anyway…

I dont ever remember school closing for bad weather, but then again, that was about 50 years ago, so I’ve either forgotten, or it never happened? And given my first year at school included the brutal winter of 1962/63, I might be wrong, but hey, I was only 4, or 5 at the time, so something like that would easily pass me by, I guess? Nowadays, it seems to happen in a lot of winters. Is it just health and safety, is it just people getting softer, or is it quite possibly, the thought that if someone has an accident in said weather, that accident compensation claims will fly like confetti?

Up until yesterday, I’d had one day off work since moving up to Yorkshire, due to the weather, and even then, I walked into Huddersfield through the snow (about 2 miles), and it was only when I got to the railway station, to find that no trains were running, that I gave up on the prospect of getting to work that day. Yes, I then walked back home, there was no public transport whatsoever. But then again, I was healthy back then, so…

As those in the UK know, and maybe others too (at least 1 US friend commented on our winter weather overnight), we’ve had a ‘bit’ of snow this week. And yes, fine, at the time I was due to leave for work, the buses were running, just. Let me add, that about 35 minutes after that scheduled time, both the buses from the estate, and the buses to Bradford got suspended for a while. So whether I would have got to work, who knows?

As you might have gathered already, I have no idea on that, I never left home. Nowadays, there is an allowance called ‘snow days’ for when travel to work, especially for as distant as I am, is tricky, or impossible, you dont go. Normally you’d go to your nearest office (I could have gone to Job Center in town, I’m sure), but it was quickly agreed that I would be going no further than the front door. Lets face it, the last thing you’d want is me trying to get into town, having an incident, and being out of action for months, due to my back, or my knee issues. Not that I’m one of those ‘sue at all cost’ types, but still, if I damaged my back really badly…?

In truth, its no better today, and I doubt it will be much better in the morning, but I will see what its like before making a decision on that. I have this old fashioned feeling called guilt over such matters, even if it is the sensible thing to do. But fine, if its really crazy to try to get to work? I know, if it wasnt for my back, I would probably have tried it yesterday, but age, wisdom, and pain have made me more cautious, I guess? Ah well…?

Oh, and second piece of amusement, I’ve decided to give into modernity, and get a mobile phone. A very basic one, as a birthday present, but in truth, probably a wise call. I’m sure it will only get used in emergencies, or as on my birthday, as a means to call for a taxi (at Blackpool, to get from station to hotel, would be one of those), maybe? But fine, I’m getting old, I’m getting fragile (fine in both cases, should be got, not getting, probably), so having something like that to hand, not a daft idea. But yes, nice and simple, it will make and receive calls, it will be able to send and receive text messages (dont wait for me to do so), but that will be it! Oh fine, if you believe rumors, lots of 20’s and 30’s movie stars had one, care of time travel lol. I mean, there are pictures, there is film on You Tube, and…I’ll stop laughing now! But I wont be advertising the number, for sure!

Oh, and one last thing to show I’m old. This weekend (tomorrow, if I need another snow day), I’ll be ordering a Senior Railcard for myself. Yes, you can still get those at 60 (regardless of gender), and you can place the order online 14 days before your birthday. So… Will definitely get used this month, thats for sure. Blackpool (for myself), and Newcastle (for work) will both be a third cheaper thanks to it. Fine, it costs £30, but when you add in Scotland, in September… way in front!

OK, video time. Big clues at the start. Sadly, one lady who has never had to concern herself with the issue of getting old, she died far too young!

Here Comes The Snow Again

No, dont worry, it was nothing significant today when I woke up, and though we’ve had a few snow showers during the day, it still hasnt amounted to anything dramatic. Yes, I hope its the same when I get up in the morning, though if you believe the so called weather experts, I might be disappointed. They do say the worst day will be Thursday, when thankfully I dont have to leave home, but I wouldnt mind even that being something that doesnt come true.

To show how slight it was up here, the buses kept running, no issues. And lets face it, they are more than happy to stop running at the slightest excuse. Yes, I walked through snow on the way to Physio this morning, though such an insignificant amount that even a ‘frail old lady’ like me could cope with it, very easily. To be fair, I think its been worse down south, than up here, but believe me, I have no desire to go and investigate that.

Therefore I was surprised when I reached the Physio clinic this morning, to hear that I was the first to turn up for my appointment. Yes, there should (probably) have been 3 ahead of me, and the 1 behind me had cancelled too. Yes, there was snow on the ground, but no, it wasnt slippery out, and the roads were clear, as per the fact that the buses were all running around town.

Of course, to be fair to those people, as the clinic said, most, if not all of those people would have been older than me, and lets face it, you have to have some level of frailty to be going for Physio in the first place! Still…?

I have to admit, in advance of my last treatment next Tuesday, that I can honestly say my knees havent felt as good as they do now, in years. I’d love to say thats just down to the electricity that has got pulsed through my knee, but I’d be lying if I did. Not saying that that, and the ultrasound treatments havent played a big part, but so have the very simple exercises I have to do, as they have definitely strengthened the muscles in both knees that needed it. Oh, and the electrics have definitely made my circulation better, both my feet are pink (or almost pink) again, as blood has started to be forced to flow down to them. The old scars on the right knee are never going to go away fully, but they’re far less noticeable too, for the same circulatory reasons.

Now, if only she could zap my back (or my whole body?) like that…? 😀

But yes, seriously, I’ll be glad when the weather gets a lot warmer, especially for my back. Unless someone wants to buy me a home, somewhere with all year round heat…? No, thought not!

OK, video time. Its the wrong type of weather, technically, but its a gorgeous song, so lets roll with it tonight

Not A Modern Girl

Assuming that plans arent weather affected, or a rail strike gets cancelled (Northern Rail are due another one day one, next Saturday, my only normal train travel day), the next time I travel by train, I will look more dressed for the 1920’s, than the 2020’s, which are fast creeping up on us. I guess I might take the dress in with me, and change at work for the evening do, but if you asked me to put money on it, I’d say a flapper would be working the whole day, in truth! Hopefully I can use more modern equipment than a 1920’s telephonist would have had, all the same. Though fine, that might be fun, but…

I was tempted to suggest to Northern Rail that on the morning of the 10th March, on the 7.50 train to Bradford, that they might need to provide me with a steam train to get me there, but I didnt, as I was certain they wouldnt get the comment. But yes, it would be fun, given that Halifax station at least, apart from the modern lift to, and from the platform, probably wouldnt look too out of place back then, especially with the surrounding buildings as well. But fine, the diesel multiple unit train does rather ruin that image lol!

In truth, I do wonder how weird life would be for a modern person, if truly whisked back into the late 1920’s? Ignoring the fact that even a weeks wages would go a very long way back then! For example, my wage per week now, is roughly equivalent to the same wage per year back then! But yes, even ignoring the loss of things like internet (and Transatlantic flights). its fair to say that even things like the language used would be different back then. Not literally, we’d all still speak English, but taking one obvious word as example, the word gay meant a whole different thing back then, to the way its generally used today!

But is all this modern life for better, or for worse? I know, in so many ways its better, but I’ve got the golf on from the US (TV in 1929, lol), and the commentators were saying that the people at the course were watching the golf, not through their eyes, but by watching it on their phones. Yes, seriously? Fine, I suspect some were recording it, to put it up on You Tube, or the like, but even so…?

The other thing, going back to our original subject of railways, was when earlier I was checking for engineering works on the railways. At Easter weekend, some lines will be closed for work on the 2nd High Speed Train Line in this country. Yes, thats right, a line that wont even start to open until 2026 (if not delayed), and will finally reach Yorkshire in 2035! By which time, with any luck I wont be around to care! I know, I’d only be 77, but the pain I’ve got already, I dont want to get that old!

But fine, if anyone from Northern Rail should read this, 10th March, 07.50 train from Huddersfield, to Leeds, via Bradford, make it a 1920’s steam train, pretty please. Alternatively, on my birthday, 16th March, 14.07 from Preston, to Blackpool South would be equally fun by steam, though I wont be dressed in flapper mode at that time. Though if you let me know, it could be arranged? 😉

Right, video time. Definitely a more modern girl, though in truth, this performance is from 36 years ago! Yes, I had this record on a 45 single, really showing my age!

The only way to travel at an Airport

The only snag for me with this marvelous way to get around an airport, is that its at Heathrow, which is an airport I never use, and the fact that it only connects from 1 Terminal, to the parking areas, and I dont drive! But fine, if this was at Manchester, and I had the time, I’d happily do a round trip, just because… 😉

Oh fine, it might be even more fun if the pod, once you’ve got into it, had some interesting options, like a swift brainwashing session, but I guess I’m probably the only one who would fancy that, anyway! Oh, you want to see for yourself?

Now if they had something like this, to get disabled folk from check in, to the plane eventually, I’d love that! I hope Las Vegas, Seattle, or maybe even Manchester can get something set up for May lol! If someone wants to tell me that one of the first two does have something like that, I’d be thrilled! Alright, the snag is, Las Vegas will only be transfer between planes (via Immigration and Customs), and Seattle, I wont need parking, but…?

I have done a ‘light rail’ type transfer at a few airports, Chicago, Atlanta, and if I remember rightly, Seattle, in the past. But all of those have been in busy trains, not your own personal pod!

But yes, if I ever have an hour or two to spare, at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, I’m giving this a try, even if its just a return trip, with no brainwashing device in the pod! Chances of that happening, pretty much nil, unfortunately!

Oh fine, you want a music video too? Given that we’re not actually ‘Leaving on a jet plane’ at this point, I’d better go with this!

First Buses, you’re driving me crazy!

For those of you fortunate enough not to live in West Yorkshire, or who do, but are not dependent on this awful bus company, it may mean less to you than some. But fine, because I’m lacking for blog material (feel free to suggest ideas, ideally non political), its the best I can do tonight.

Today, First Buses increased all their bus fares around here. Fair enough, its only once a year, and if they provided a decent service, I wouldnt object. But thats the critical term, provided a decent service, because they dont! Thankfully my experience of their evening bus service is now restricted to 3 nights a week, instead of 4. However last week, twice, the bus turned up more than 10 minutes later than scheduled (and after 8pm, that can hardly be down to traffic), and the other night, I have no idea, after more than 20 minutes, there was no sign of any bus, so I gave up, and paid out for a taxi home!

I’d love to say this was the exception to the rule, and in a sense, it is, this is worse than normal, but that doesnt mean normal is a good service, because it isnt! In truth at 9.15 in the morning, when we are meant to have a reliable service, we went for about 2-3 weeks where if a bus turned up less than 5 minutes late, I never spotted it, and I’m near the start of the route, so…

Yes, sadly, like so many things in life now, the reliability of their service is awful, but they still feel free to raise fares by far more than inflation! 5-10%, if you really wanted to know!

So yes, First Buses, feel free to raise your fares, but you need to raise the quality of the service you provide too! I know, wild dreams, but…

Fine, grumpy old lady rant over! 😛

Video time. Well, in a sense, its the same group as the last video, but it isnt. Thats because this is the 70’s version of the Temperance 7, complex stuff! And yes, it sums up how I feel about First Buses, and all they dont do!

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!

These seats aren’t big enough for the both of us!

OK, bonus blog, silly rant.

Now that I’m travelling by bus a lot more, I’ve noticed one trend I absolutely hate. For those of you people who use buses, and quite likely, trains, will probably know what I’m talking about, but those ‘posh folk’ who drive everywhere wont have a clue. For want of a better term, its people who think that paying for one seat on the bus entitles them to two, however busy the bus might be!

On the lower floor of the bus tonight, there are, for want of a better term, 9 pairs of seats facing forward on the 2 sides of the bus, plus a back row of 5, and a pair of double seats facing the wrong way at the back. There is also at the front, room for baby buggies, but thats not what this is about.

Tonight, of those 9 pairs of seats, despite the bus being fairly busy, 5 of those pairs of seats had 1 person sat on the outside seat, and their bag (or nothing at all) on the window seat, making it clear to anyone else that you dont sit next to them. No, I wasnt one of them! Eventually someone got on, and asked one of them to move across, so they could sit down, and the look on his face would make you think someone had insulted him, not asked something reasonable of him. Yes, shortly after that, another had the same treatment, and she wasnt happy about it either.

Please, you pay for 1 seat, you’re entitled to one seat, and thats that!

Oh fine, it got better, or worse, depending on your view of it later. I turned around to see what was going on behind me, as someone either thought that the whole bus wanted to listen to her awful modern music, or was deafening herself through her headphones, and frighteningly, it was the latter. Heaven knows what her hearing will be like when she gets older?

But yes, she was on that back row, but on the 2 back facing seats opposite her, her bags on one seat, her feet on the other! Seriously? OK, I know, I’m getting old, but…rolls eyes!

I’d love to think it was just an issue in this area, but I doubt it!

Fine, rant over.

Video? Bit of a clue in the title, I guess? Yes, a group I’d love to see live, but whether it will ever happen now, who knows?

There are times when being able to drive might be handy!

True, but on the other hand, life might be a whole lot duller if I just drove to, and from work each day. So, maybe its for the best?

The advantage of working a 12-8 shift at work during the week, is that you miss all the rush hour passengers, all the rush hour traffic, and everything like that. Yes, due to the fact that at that time of night, there is only 1 bus an hour between Bradford, and Huddersfield, but I can get it, even when it runs on time, means it doesnt matter too much. But yes, I’ve had the line, “Is it safe walking into town at that time of night?” so often, you wouldnt believe. The blunt answer, yes, it is, there is hardly anyone about, and getting across the roads is quite easy too. So, pretty good!

Then you get to Saturday. On a Saturday, we only open between 9, and 4, so thats the shift you do. Yes, it means a pretty short night of sleep on a Friday night, but I survive. Thing is, that means an early start on a Saturday, when the bus timetable is not great, so the best fit for me, is the Northern Rail train to Bradford instead. Well, it would be IF it ran on time! So far, in 4 Saturdays at work, I’ve got to Bradford on time, once!

The first week, I have no idea if it ever turned up, I ended up getting the 8.00 bus instead, as there was no sign of it, flew into work at starting time. Second week, waiting for me, ran on time! Last week, it was a few minutes late, but not enough to matter. Then, yesterday…

I could see a train in the platform when I walked through the station, and thought, great! No, it was the previous train to Wakefield, which wasnt moving, as they couldnt shut one of the doors, it had got frozen open! Anyway, about 20 minutes late, they decide to run our train into another platform, and lo and behold, they fix that door, and the other train leaves! So, finally, about 25 minutes late, we finally left! We actually got to Bradford about 19 minutes late, but yes, it was 9.05 when I burst into the office. Thankfully, someone has a good sense of humour, knows what its like, and told me not to rush, but fine, too late!

No, it gets better yet! On Friday afternoon, we had an email come around, for the 4.00 finishers, to warn them that there was a strange lady out on the main street nearby, waving a cup at cars, begging. Yes, by 8.00, she was long gone! But yes, you guessed it, yesterday I finished at 4, and there she was again! I dashed past her quickly, and headed to the ring road, to get across, and get to the bus. Only to find a woman stood by the road, shouting something at the cars as they went by. Yes, I got across the road as quickly as it was safe to do so. Then on the other side of the road, another woman harassing passers by, ouch!

After that, a relatively sane journey home. Well, apart from on the journey out of Huddersfield, one young woman, with no issues I could see, got on the bus, then got off at the next one, about 100 yards on, seriously!

Yes, if I could drive in a car, I could have nice, safe, sane journeys to and from work, in less time. Be a lot more boring though, lol!

Video time. I saw one of these article things earlier about a bike that you cant tip over, so safe, you dont need a helmet. Yes, me, helmet, please! Did come with some cool visor thing, so that, and a helmet, might appeal to me, so…Yes, a silly song, a blast from the past. No idea who the guy in the video is, but its not Jasper Carrott!

Things do get better

Yesterday was an interesting day, in so many ways. Due to the less than stellar state of public transport, early morning, on a Saturday, my options for getting to work for 9.00 were a bit limited.

The dull, safe bet was to leave here about 7.00, get the 7.30 bus from town, and get to work by about 8.30. Fine, except that I would have had to be up by about 5.45 at the latest, and then sit at work waiting for 9.00 to come round.

What was the other option, I hear you ask? To do something I havent done since August, take a train! It meant I could leave here about 20 minutes later, take a train to Bradford, and get to work (hopefully) about 10 minutes before starting time, ideal for setting up. Yes, attempted the latter!

I got to the station, train on time the indicator board said, great! Only snag was, I got to the Platform, no train! About 2 minutes before it was due to leave (7.50), they announce the train at Platform 6 is there, and we can board, but as you can guess, still no train! A Guard with a silly grin on his face stood on the platform, telling us it would be there very soon, but…

At 7.58, still no train, so I walked outside the station, got the 8.00 bus to Bradford, and got to work with about a minute to spare. Yes, the bus was busy, as companies still seem to think no one works on a Saturday, not true any more! So yes, what is normally a 6 bus an hour service, 2 isnt enough! I know, they wont learn, but…! No, I didnt see the famous station cat either!

As opposed to William Hill, when Saturday was by far the busiest day, in my new job, just the opposite, not many calls. Fine, most solicitors arent working, and only so many other people realize we’re open, so its mainly a day for doing admin, it seems. Fine by me, but…

With about 10 minutes to go to going home time, I got a call! I know, shock horror, in a call center, but besides all that…it was a lovely old lady, but she didnt want to give me details. For legal logistics, we arent allowed to give her more than limited details, non executor, for those who understand the term, so I couldnt go into the account. So I answered her questions as best I could, very generically, but yes, I did my job. At the end, she told me I’d eased her mind about things, and that for me was the main thing.

The funny thing, I was still on the call at the time we could go home, but what could I do? Thankfully, a few moments later, we were done, and I actually got out only about 5 minutes late. Then things picked up, I still just about got to the bus station in time for the 4.10 (no idea how?), just about got out of Huddersfield before the football crowd came out, and actually got home in about an hour and a quarter, definitely a PB! After the morning trip, amazing!

But yes, the main thing, easing someone’s worries, and making her feel better about events. Now that was the important thing!

The video, a bit of Yazoo. Though for many Brit’s, the Flying Pickets version is probably better known! Ah well…