Category Archives: Rochester

Only girl in the school?

Yesterday, being the first Saturday in July, was Founders Day at the Grammar School that I went to in Rochester. Shows my age, I left there 44 years ago, though my last Founders Day there would be 1982, the last summer before I moved to Somerset, and I’ve never been back! In truth, but for the fact that I was involved as a scorer, and player for the ‘Old Boys’ cricket team, I probably wouldnt have gone back after 1974, anyway. In fact, the last time I would have done the ‘tour’ of the school on Founders Day would have been 1972, as I was involved with the traditional cricket game in the 2 years after that.

Thing is, said Grammar School was boys only, hence the title of the blog. Title came to me, mainly because of some TV show a few years back (whose name I’ve forgotten), where the punchline item was the ‘Only gay in the village’ for one of the sections of the show. So, is the question right, am I the only girl who has ever gone to that school?

The answer is possibly yes, but at the same time, sheer numbers (120 or so new entries each year) say that over all those decades, there must be more trans, or intersex girls who went there? It was funny, because I was only across the road from where I should have been. Yes, the girls grammar school was literally across the road from us! Yes, strictly I’m intersex, not trans, as I’m the proud owner of an undeveloped womb!

No, I dont suppose now, that I will ever go back. No real desire, and besides, after nearly 50 years, the school would have changed beyond recognition, I’m sure. So probably best to stay away, regardless, as all those cricketers I knew would be retired from the sport, or dead by now.

But yes, wouldnt it be fun, if someone looked back on the list of past pupils now, and by some fate of history, saw a female name on that list! Oh the fun, and go back, and someone asked me if I had a relative at the school, and said no, I was a pupil here, as a woman. Hmm?

Right, video time. I wanted to use Girls School, by Wings, which was actually a double A side, with a far more famous record, Mull of Kintyre. Yes, one is remembered, one isnt. But no, nothing, no video, no live performance, so… I tried a You Tube search, and it came up with this. Not my type of music, but it works, with a one word change!

The start of the season

Yes folks, the baseball season proper gets under way again tonight, hard to believe its been 5 months, but…

Fine, I know, there has been the usual weeks of pre season play already, and in fact, 2 proper games down under in Australia, but the real stuff starts here. Now, in most sports, it would start with a massive shout, and last years champions playing on National TV, at home, with all the medal ceremonies, but this is baseball!

So yes, we start about as far from Fenway Park as we can get in baseball terms, in San Diego! And even in their first round of matches, Boston are away! Why, because the schedule for 2014 was drawn up about 2-3 months before this season started! Ah well, I suspect that first game in Boston, when it happens will be quite something.

Unlike that first game in Seattle, when I am confident that the Mariners will look as ordinary as ever, ah well…

Sadly enough, this will be the first year in quite a while that I will have no baseball related fun this year. One year, I missed on a game, but went to the Hall of Fame instead. I would have got both, but for a massive American Airlines delay in the flight to Seattle, but…Last year, I didnt get an MLB game, but I saw a game at 1 level down, in Rochester, the coldest day I have ever spent watching the game, the temperature was in the low 40’s! It was actually a double header, for the price of one, but I was so cold, I gave up after the first match! Ironically, the visiting team, the Red Sox, albeit the Pawtucket version!

In theory, there are games in Kansas City, the weekend I’m due to Kansas, but only the Saturday and Sunday, so not going to happen! And by November, the season will be over! Thankfully I should get a decent fix, care of ESPN to keep me going at least.

You want tips, from me…! Oh fine

Division winners
AL East Boston Red Sox
Central Kansas City Royals (heart, more likely Detroit Tigers)
West Oakland A’s

Wild Cards Detroit (or Kansas) and LA Angels

League winners Oakland

NL East Washington Nationals
Central St Louis Cardinals
West San Francisco Giants

Wild Cards Pittsburgh Pirates and LA Dodgers

League winners St Louis Cardinals

World Series, lets go for Oakland, before the Coliseum falls apart completely!

Yes, you can laugh at me in October, I’m sure.

The video, well some will catch to the connection of the artist’s name to me, but most wont. I thought she was from Seattle, but apparently from the state next door.

Some people are crazy!

Well, for the video tonight, I considered Slade, I thought about Patsy Cline, but then decided to go with an old master. See the end to find out who!

Tonight our time, teatime Wisconsin time, they will start playing an NFL play off match in Green Bay. The current temperature there, is 6 degrees. And, I dont mean centigrade either! Oh, and by the time of kick off, in just under 4 hours time, expected to be minus 15! And it wont get warmer as the game goes on.

I cant even imagine playing in such conditions, it will be absolutely brutal, I should imagine, even for the home team, who are more used to it. But for the visiting team, San Francisco, from sunny California, I dread to think. Just heard on TV, it will be an 80 degree drop from temperature back at home, wow!

But seriously, however bad it is for the teams, just think of someone who has got it far worse, the fans in the stands. They dont get to at least run around for 3 hours, they just have to sit/stand there, and take it! I cant even imagine doing that, but apparently about 70,000 people will do just that. Me, I went to a Baseball game in Rochester in April, the temperature was in the low 40’s, and sat there, that was freezing cold! Yes, there was an additional wind chill factor involved in that (no idea how much), but even coffee couldnt keep me warm that day, keeping coffee hot was a challenge in fact, but… tonight in Green Bay…eek!

You fans going to the game, you have my admiration, but I think you must be crazy! But lets see, they’ve been doing it for years, so what video would be more apt than…?

A look back at 2013

The personal version at least. When WordPress issue the yearly stats for this site, I will post the details here, as before, for anyone that cares?

Yes, I know, a couple of days early, but if you saw my shifts for the next couple of days, you’d know why!

I suppose the main thing that has happened this year that surprised me, is that I’m now an ebook author, and have received actual royalties for my stories. Alright, so I currently only have 4 story releases (the 5th early in the New Year), and have only sold 34 books, but if you’d told me at the start of the year that I would have made any money by it, I would have laughed at you! But its been fun, I must say.

This year has seen 3 big trips away from home, one to Belfast for a couple of days cricket (involving a lot of rain, and some cricket) so that I could see Trent Johnston play one more time, before retirement. The other 2, unsurprisingly to the US, the R’s of Rochester, and Richmond. With no disrespect to Kate, or Richmond, the Rochester trip was the special one. The chance to see where Louise Brooks lived for many years at the end of her life, and more importantly still, to pay my respects at her graveside were precious. More on her in the look forward to 2014 on New Years Day, shall we say? 😉

Oh, and the other surprise event, I went to a pop concert! That had been quite a while, I promise you. Yes, I got to see OMD live in Leeds, a sort of full circle seeing that I saw them in concert in 1982, in London as well. I almost saw the Beach Boys in Richmond too, but discovered it too late to sort it all out for me and Kate. Yes, alright, about 3 hours before the concert in fact, far too little notice!

Sports wise, beyond the cricket, I had the coldest game of Baseball I ever hope to have, back in Rochester, in April. I think the official temperature was 43, but I dread to think what it felt like, given the wind chill factor too. I was glad to get a hot coffee (or 2) afterwards, in a valiant attempt to get warm again.

Beyond that, pretty much work, and putting up with Trans Pennine Express, and their awful service took up plenty of time. No comment on either.

The video, well, its not a song tonight. My best selling book (so far) is one called ‘No Place Like Nome’, based loosely around the 2009 Iditarod race, just over half my sales in fact. So the video, well, its Nome, in February 2009, the month before the race the story is about. At one point, they put up the chute, before taking it down again, but dont blink, or you’ll miss it!

Happy New Year to all my readers, see you in 2014

Just a week to go

No, nothing sensational, just the end of British summer time, thats all. Though in all honesty, summer has been over for a while now, its just that date declared by the ‘powers that be’ that this is the end of summer time, and we return to what is our natural time zone. The irony is, we spend less time in that, than we do in the artificial one created by bureaucrats, in the deep distances of the past. Ironically, a century ago, the idea had not even been contemplated, it only happening for the first time during WW 1. Hopefully it went better than the tragedy that was that war zone.

Then in the late 60’s it became a permanent thing, though the dates, and number of time zones moved have varied over the years, nowadays its 7 months of the year, far longer than a British summer will ever be! Its funny, I always begrudge the hour of sleep I lose in March, but dont seem to get the same benefit of the extra hour in October, for whatever reason. One thing is for sure, after next Sunday, I will be coming home in the dark pretty much every night for a very long time. Ah well…

The summer has been pretty good, my 2 traditional trips to the US, both to cities beginning with R, Rochester, and Richmond. Both were great trips, but alright, I’m already looking forward to next year, and getting to Kansas at some point. Other trip will be to Albany, for those who care about such things. First trip will be late, not until May, because of the late Easter, and things.

Beyond that, there was a trip to Belfast, for cricket, something I might have more difficulty repeating next year, due to some little football tournament called the World Cup! Seems England have qualified, by the way (tongue in cheek)? That will make travel complex, given I doubt we will be allowed to have holiday during that time.

Oh, and lots and lots of work…rolls eyes! Still, 4 weeks from now, a weeks break, and I’m already ready for it! Shortly after that, the office dinner, and the flapper look will rise again lol! But thats all in the future, so…

In tribute to what is about to pass, a classic song

That time of year again

Yes, alright, I know the NFL pre season play started last week, but today marks the Bills first foray into play, and at the moment of writing (30-13 in 3rd quarter), its going surprisingly well. Of course, as the cynic in me would point out, when they were reaching the Superbowl 4 times, we used to lose virtually every pre season game, so…who knows? 4 weeks from now, we will know a lot more, and 6 weeks from now, I’ll be watching a game or two hopefully while in the US. Of course I might get to see some on Sky Sports before then, but anyway…

No, I dont expect anything amazing from them, but for a few more weeks at least, I can dream.

The other ‘funny moment’ tonight is that I’ve got the US PGA golf on TV, coming from…Rochester, New York, where I was in April. Well alright, just outside the city, at Oak Hill, Pittsford, but its given as a Rochester address lol! 😛 I will always have fond memories of my time there, thats for sure. Given that I never got to Buffalo, I might still get back there sometime of course, would be nice.

And yes, the other regular occurrence fast approaching at this time of year, my next holiday trip to the US, back to Richmond in Virginia, after 13 years! Still less than the gap between visits to Rochester, so… Meeting up with Kate again will be really good too. And yes, guilty, next years destinations are all planned out too, if not sure which order yet, but it should be Albany, and Kansas, all things working out. So many possibilities for 2015 though, no idea how that will all play out yet, but pretty much all east coast, or mid west at most, which will please my old body.

On other matters, no, I havent seen the photo book display yet, hopefully soon, and I can post something here.

Oh, and on a more depressing front, the Premier League football season starts next week, ah well, cant have everything, I guess?

Right, given most of what I’ve talked about, the video is topical. But its not the original artists, but these are two young ladies I could quickly become a fan of. Hopefully medical people wont get a surprise with the tagging here lol!

Its a long, long way

Well, its true, my flight home will certainly be that lol! And yes, its also the most used line in the song, Pandora’s Box as well, so the perfect climax to this weeks related blogs.

Yes, unless something surprising happens tomorrow morning, I’ve seen my last close up views of the city of Rochester, at least for a while, probably forever. A sad fact, as its a nice city, but there are a few more places I’m looking forward to seeing, plus, there isnt really enough ‘undone’ stuff here to warrant coming back, unless I get a good ‘live and work’ offer at least, and lets face it, thats not going to happen. Enough here though, that I never made it to Buffalo, thought there was more than enough here, and I was proved right.

Today, I ended up visiting the Museum of Play. Yes, I know, some might say I’m a bit old for that, given I dont have children, but I didnt feel I needed them. It might help, but…The ironic thing is seeing the amazing collection of dolls that they have there, literally through the ages. ironic of course, as thats one element of my life that I missed out on, because of things. For better, for worse, who can ever know? But yes, I felt a few pangs of regret when I saw all those dolls, I must admit.

It wasnt the only thing, one of the current displays there is for Sesame Street, which started over here at least in 1969. I remembered far too many of the exhibits, especially the musical ones from that year lol! The other thing was upstairs in the arcade section, more than a few pinball machines, which I always used to love playing. These ones in the museum are actually newer than the ones I would have played, just shows how long ago that was, doesnt it?

And then taking things to the opposite level, there was a Kinect golf game that you could play. Talk about new style gaming for someone like me. The camera makes the ‘person’ look a lot like me (skirt, not trousers, but otherwise…), and no buttons to push, or joysticks to twiddle, just the natural golf swing. I must say that version of me swings a far better golf club than I did in real life lol! But yes, it was great fun, even if my knees didnt possibly think so at the end of 9 holes!

And thats it! Next post will be back in England, sometime early next week. Thanks Rochester, its been a wonderful visit. Note to UK bus companies. The bus fare anywhere around Rochester for a single journey is $1. Yes, you saw it, $1! And it takes 20 minutes or so from here into town by bus, so its not short hop stuff. Guess what, the buses are busy, I cant think why lol!

The video, yes, its the pinball machines that win out

And all the photographs

Look at it positively, only one more lyric line from the song to go lol!

Today its very apt, as I went to Eastman House Museum today. Who, you say? Think Kodak, and then realise who I mean lol. yes, George Eastman, the man who brought photography to the masses back in 1888. Funnily enough, just inside the entrance, the first instamatic camera, celebrating its 50th birthday this year. And yes, my first camera, as a child, was a Kodak Instamatic 126, brought back memories. But oh my, hasnt photography changed since then? Nowadays you get your photographs instantly, back then you had to wait until you’d used up the film, then send it off for developing, and finally wait for it to come back to see if the pictures were any good!

Oh, and if you’re waiting for the Louise Brooks connection, here it comes. To quote Wikipedia

James Card, the film curator for the George Eastman House, discovered Brooks living as a recluse in New York City about this time, and persuaded her to move to Rochester, New York to be near the George Eastman House film collection. With his help, she became a noted film writer in her own right.

Its probably fair to assume that without this event, the revival of Louise Brooks, as both an actress, and a person probably wouldnt have happened. This was in the early 1950’s btw.

George Eastman was dead by then, of course, he died in 1932, at the age of 77. he loved technology, so I suspect he would have loved the digital camera concept, he might just not have been as happy about the result of that for his beloved firm.

The video, seriously, what could be more apt than this. Sorry, couldnt find a live video of just this song

Oh, yes, I know, no blog yesterday. Due to a wet weather forecast (and they were right), I went shopping at the mall, hoping to get souvenirs and things. Snag is, finding souvenirs in a non tourist town isnt easy, as I discovered lol! Ah well, sort of solved it today…

So with nothing terribly exciting to post, I didnt! 😛

The one who broke a thousand hearts

Hey, I’m keeping the streak going, whether it can last the week with nightly postings, I have no idea lol! Under any other circumstances, this would have been called ‘here comes the sun’ but staying true to form…

Today started the way that I spent a brief evening moment 25 years ago, standing by Lake Ontario, contemplating life, and other things. Well, alright, it was about midday that I did it, but strict facts should never get in the way of a good story, should they?

Oh my, havent things changed since then, and not just me getting 25 years older either! Though alright, that has happened, but…Again, I dont think it was the same lakeside spot, but if you seriously think I can confirm that, after 25 years, no chance! 😛

On that evening, a man, and a woman stood together by the lake, and admired the view, wondering if they were going to find a hotel room that night (it was Labor day weekend, and no, we didnt!), or not. And no, I have no idea where she is now, we split up nearly 14 years ago! Today, I went back there, by bus, and stood by the lake again, admiring the view. The only thing in common, a beautiful day, even by the lake, the jacket came off. No, 25 years ago, I wasnt wearing a blouse though, lol!

It was too early in the season for much to be open down there, but fortunately one delightful place was, for lunch at least. LDR Char Pit. Its a classic diner, probably not the sort of place regularly invaded by single women, but I did. Glad I did, decent food, at a very reasonable price, so dont be put off by the outside view, its worth going in, if you’re in that corner of the world.

After that, I headed for the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, back down Lake Avenue, to ‘meet up’ with someone. She took a bit more finding than I expected once I reached the section, confused by the fact that the map calls her Mary, but the stone says Louise. Even fooled the staff there for a couple of moments, then 2 and 2 were put together, and we found her. Well, the stone, and some flowers at least. I’d have loved to have had a quiet moment there with her, but the reason I had help was because men were working on cutting the grass in the area, so no, it wasnt quiet lol. Still, I said a few words, funnily enough, she didnt reply! After a short while, I said thanks, and goodbye, and just walked away. A perfect touch, on a beautiful day.

Back into town, I headed for a coffee house I’d seen yesterday, very art deco in style, though whether original, or just designed to look that way, no idea. Coffee was good though.

Then back here, still with my jacket over my shoulder. Yes, today definitely came the sun, sadly tomorrow almost certainly brings the rain, and maybe some thunder. Still, the rest of the week is fine again, so…

The song, a live version from a guy who produced, and indeed still produces some great music, even if this is a cover

Of ghosts of long ago

Yes, I said, I’d work on the lyrics this week, just hope Andy McCluskey doesnt let me down at all! Forgive the brevity, but its getting late over here!

Well, the day has been a much warmer one, I was actually carrying my coat around this afternoon, quite something after yesterday. Given that this years breaks pretty much revolve around Louise Brooks, one of this weeks challenges was to find the apartment where she lived here in Rochester. Its one that cant occur in Wichita, the Brooks house there is no longer standing. Cherryvale, yes it is, but need to get there for that one, and well…

Thankfully the address is findable on Google, and helpfully the Science Museum that I visited today is about 100 yards from that address. So having been there, I headed off to find it. Good job I knew the address, because otherwise there is absolutely no clue to be seen as to who lived there until her death. At least in the UK, you would get a plaque or something, but over here, not a thing!

Though to be honest, its a pretty ordinary apartment block, with no great redeeming features, just one famous resident in the past. No, knowing which apartment she lived in, no clue whatsoever. Tomorrow, I plan to visit her gravesite, and pay my respects, as least that is marked suitably.

Then, for me at least, another ghost from the past, a visit to Lake Ontario, to stand and admire the view, as I did 25 years ago. I’ll let you know if a ghost appears tomorrow, but I wouldnt put good money on it.

The video, not Police’s best, but in a way quite apt