I suppose the irony of doing this blog tonight is that it wont mean an awful lot to all my US readers, but apologies, just humour me for once. Yes, that strange sport you dont understand, Cricket.
The things it has in common are England, Australia, and a ground in Leeds, named Headingley, given thats the district of Leeds where the ground is.
Back in 1981, England seemed to be losing yet another test match to the old enemy. Well into their second innings they hadnt scored as many runs as Australia had in one. Then Ian Botham found a partner who would hang around with him, named Graham Dilley, and they managed to add a lot of runs, and at least make Australia bat again, even if they didnt need to score that many runs to win anyway. Then Bob Willis bowled like a demon, the Australian batsmen froze like rabbits in headlights, and the rest was history. Yes, from the pits of defeat, England actually won the game. I never saw those events, was working, and then at club cricket when this all happened.
So, to this week! Same venue, same teams, and… When Australia batted first, and only made 179, it looked like England were set for glory…maybe? To cut a long story short, a few hours later, England were all out for 67! Pathetic! So out went Australia to bat again, and totalled 246 this time around, leaving England the seemingly impossible task of needing 359 runs to win, and keep the series alive.
Not long after that, England were 15-2, and 59 looked challenging, let alone 359. For a while from there, things improved, and it looked like maybe a miracle was possible. Then finally, they collapsed again, and the last batsman, Jack Leach walked to the wicket, with England still needing 73 runs to win. But there was another batsman there, named Ben Stokes who proceeded to put on a batting masterclass. So here we are, now 351-9 when the fun really begins.
Teams are allowed 2 appeals against Umpiring decisions, and at this point, Australia rashly used their second for a LBW decision not given by the umpire, that even a short sighted biddy like me could tell couldnt possibly be out. Without getting technical, where the ball had pitched, LBW cannot be given. A decision that came back to bite them.
6 runs later, when Australia would still win by 1 run, the bowler dropped the ball that was passed to him to run out the last batsman, so England survived. A matter of balls later, the ball hit Stokes on the pads, in front of the wickets, but the Umpire didnt give it out. If they hadnt made that pointless appeal 6 runs earlier, they could have appeal, the off pitch umpire would have given him out, and Australia would have won.
Then Leach went and faced the next over, managed to score a run (his first, and only one in his lengthy innings) to tie the scores. Stokes then scored the winning runs, and the series continues in a meaningful way. Yes, this time I saw the events play out, and would have done, even if not now disabled, as it happened on a Sunday. Seriously, if I hadnt seen it, I would never have believed it!
Oh, and something more my American friends, a piece of Baseball irony. Just got an email from Seattle Mariners (signed up for trip, never cancelled), and apparently, having just played my beloved Dodgers, thats where the Yankees have now gone. On Wednesday night, Justus Sheffield (ex Yankee) will pitch for the Mariners, and James Paxton (ex Mariner) will pitch for the Yankees. I think they actually changed teams in the same trade! In other circumstances, it could have been reversed!
OK, video time. If Clara Johnson had been around 40 years later, or if in my teens, I’d been a dancer, just like her (with her looks, and non intersex), well, this could have been me. Magic?
So, as promised, the review of the year starts here. It will finish tomorrow, and then at the start of the new year, I’ll take a look at what 2019 might hold, some of it very likely, some of it unlikely, but might be fun if it does.
2018 actually saw something happen, that I’d never done in my 44 years of working life, I was told not to go to work! Yes, a combination of the fragility of my back, and some very cold, and icy weather saw me put on ‘winter weather leave’ for a few days. It made sense in so many ways in truth, but was still a bit of a novelty to me. But agreed, if I’d slipped over, landed on my back, and especially my spine, well you wouldnt want to think about the potential outcome, lets face it. Pretty sure its likely to happen early in 2019 too, especially given the deterioration in my wrist too, but we will have to wait and see on that. In truth, after about a week of that, I was getting a bit of ‘jail fever’ but it was a very wise move, so kudos to my employers for letting me do it.
While on about work, I started working on an LGBT committee at work, which was definitely a fun thing to do. Yes, was, more on that over next couple of posts.
Something else that happened early in the year was also work related. One of my colleagues got notice of volunteers needed for the Blackpool Film Festival in March, and the rest, as they say, is history! I wont claim it as strictly the revival of my acting career (its more a natural performance thing, no scripts), but it was a moment that led to the return of my time performing in public.
This year, it was a flying visit, arrived in Blackpool on the Friday afternoon, left again on the Saturday morning, due to fate, and a memorable date. Yes, the night of my flapper revival was my 60th Birthday! The works celebration was done a week earlier (would have been anyway), but the ‘house’ version was delayed until the Saturday night, which was why we needed to get back as we did.
Yes, a decade or so ago, that would have been it, retirement, which in truth, the body probably needs already. Now, officially it will be March 2024, though I have my doubts my body will hold out that long, but we will see? If it does, I might plan to retire (or take holiday) from work a couple of weeks early, because as things stand, the Iditarod race will start from Anchorage on 2nd March (restart at Willow on 3rd), and that would be an amazing thing to do, and a sort of dream come true. Nome as well? Well, maybe, but all that is a long way off. More on my preferred retirement option in part 2 tomorrow night.
May saw my return to Seattle for the first time in a few years. A few firsts there. Another state bagged, as I flew in via Las Vegas, so getting Nevada as my 24th state. Hopefully get 25 ‘somewhere’ next September, maybe? Ask Kate on that one, lol. She knows the one I’d love it to be, but its not renowned as the most friendly LGBT state in the US, so maybe not? There are a couple of New England options for that title too, so we will see.
The other big first on that trip, was my first Mariners game. It was memorable for more reasons than one, good, and bad. Good, they won. Bad, disability related issues. To be fair to the club, I complained, got a free ticket in the disabled area later in the week, and a few souvenirs as well, they handled it all very well.
Lastly, in the first half of the year, was a return to Blackpool, for World Pier Day. Again I have to thank a colleague for covering my Saturday shift to enable me to do this. Went back even further in time, as an Edwardian Lady, though I never got tightly corseted, cant have everything, lol. Amusingly, it was also Blackpool Pride day, and though I heard a lot of that, didnt get to see it at all. 2 trips already planned for Blackpool in New Year, but more on that on Tuesday, one of which you may not want to miss!
Well, the year certainly hasnt been a drag, but when this came up in my You Tube suggestions tonight, I couldnt resist this 1930 offering. And yes, a certain ‘fluffy haired’ blonde definitely looks like it could be Clara Johnson!
Right, and so to complete the posting from Seattle scene…
Thursday, I decided that the little toe on my left foot wasnt going to stop being an issue anytime soon, so decided that was the day to ride the full length of the Seattle Light Rail, up the other extension since I was previously here, the one up to the University of Washington. I have to say that the extension at this end of the route (to Angle Lake) has been an absolute boon, as its nearer than the Airport station to here, and walk-able. Well, in perfect health, maybe, but I survived. There is one killer (but thankfully short) uphill stretch on the walk from here to that station, which I wont be missing now!
Coming out of the University station, I rather expected to be on the edge of the University grounds. Ah well…What I was very close to, was Husky Stadium, the home of the University football team. Well, seemingly in these days of glorious sponsorship, its now called Alaska Airlines Field, but will always be Husky Stadium to me! I hobbled a short distance further, didnt find anything more than sports facilities, so gave up on that idea. When I got back to the station, I did find a map, and the grounds were relatively nearby, but decided I wasnt going to push my foot by setting out again, in a totally different direction. So, defeated, back into town, earlier than planned. So I headed for a landmark with memories for me, that I knew hadnt moved, the rail station. Wrong time of day to see the Empire Builder train, though I did see a goods train trundling through the station, heading south. One of these days I will do another long distance train journey, though whether it will be the repeat Empire Builder again, or more likely, Los Angeles to Chicago (via Kansas City, please note), I have no idea. In theory, I could do a ‘Clara Johnson’ and travel by train from Oklahoma City, via Texas, to Los Angeles, if timed right, but I wouldnt put good money on that one. Requires a change in Texas, a slightly shorter one than I suspect Clara did!
After that, I headed down to the front again, and ended up seeing the city from on high again, this time from a giant wheel, hence the title of the blog! The last time I did one of those was the London Eye, with my mother, and that would be about 25 years ago! This time, it wasnt just one turn around the wheel, but 6, but then again it was a lesser radius, which probably explained why! Blonde moment, I realized eventually that I’d only looked in 1 direction for about 5 turns, so turned to take in the other side, and that was when the wheel stopped at the bottom lol! Ah well…
Yesterday, day time at least, was relatively quiet. Went and did the holiday shopping for others, and also found myself a new (much needed) handbag, that certainly looks vintage, even if it clearly isnt! I also found a gorgeous dress in another store, very 30’s, but a bit pricey for me (about $60, plus tax, however much that might have been), and was only a medium size, so I talked myself out of it. Hindsight to that, I discovered I wasnt quite as impoverished as I thought I was, so I decided to go back today, and see if it actually fitted, or not, and probably buy if it did. But no, someone had already beaten me to it, not surprised, it was gorgeous. Macy’s did also have some nice period dresses, but with them you’re talking over $200 each, plus tax, so didnt even consider it, way beyond my purse!
Yesterday evening saw the return to Safeco Field, and the Mariners, this time, all went far more smoothly. I also have to thank Melissa for the Goody Bag (not that she will see this) that was provided too. Must be a lucky mascot, mind, as I saw them win twice! Hobbled back to the Light Rail station just in time for a train to pull in empty, and run back from there, to Angle Lake. Still got my commuting skills, got a seat, no idea how!
Today, beyond the failed shopping trip, was the farewell tour. I didnt go right down to the water today, its a steep route down, and more critically, up, as I discovered on Thursday, so settled for a seat at the top of the steps, and looked out over the water from there for a while. Then back to the Light Rail, the ride out of town, and for now at least, the final farewell. In theory, if nothing changes in my life, I’ll be back in 6 years time (my post retirement trip), as this place will be my stop off point to Alaska. In reality, the way my body is currently falling apart, I wouldnt put good money on being in strong enough health for that, even with breaks en route, but we will see. Thats one thing I have realized, west coast trips really are going to be a no go, very soon, if not already! There will be 1 more, even if I have to drag my shattered body to LA, it will happen at some point! But Seattle…?
Tomorrow, I fly back home, back to work on Wednesday, blessed with a bank holiday this week, which enables me to do it this way. Covering as Team leader again for that week, should be interesting, once I’ve caught up on work emails at least! 2 weekends from now, is Blackpool! Then, as far as I know, thats it until a few days away in Scotland in September, couldnt afford more at present, anyway! Especially as, maybe in November…? You’ll have to wait on that!
Right, video time. Big clue in the blog title, absolutely! Live performance, nearly 50 years old, now I really feel old!
No, I’m not promising a blog each day this week, but enough has happened for one today, so lets roll with it.
Today, for the 4th trip in 15 years (yes, it is the stat leader), I visited the center of Seattle. Fine, strictly it happened yesterday, but that was just a flying visit, to get the phone activated, whereas today was for real! Now its 2 visits where the way into town is by light rail, to match the 2 when there were only buses! Light rail has extended at both ends since last time though, which helps me at this end, and means I will visit the University at some point this week too. The other big change since that first visit, my first hotel is now gone, area is seemingly just another airport car park now. Other 2 are still there, though one seems to have had a change of name, and upgrade since my last trip.
My first stop, Westlake Center has changed too, and not for the better in my opinion, but maybe I’m just not a fan of change? I went looking for the food hall that used to be there on the top floor, but its gone, seemingly for some time, though I didnt stop to find out. Monorail is still there, so will probably use that to get to Space Needle at some point this week. Then to Pike Place, which seems to have had a makeover, but it so fits in with the old building, I found it hard to tell exactly where.
One other landmark of my first visit was a massage parlor, where some lady had worked on easing body pains in the past. Was still there on last visit, but that was nearly 10 years ago, but no sight of it now. Shame, as my body needs that massage even more nowadays!
Lastly, I found my way down to the front, where all the ferries, and cruise boats set off from. Yes, the stairs down (lots of them) killed me, but it had to be done. Well, it didnt, but more on that shortly! A walk along the front, I had lunch at a hot dog vehicle, who seemed to do pretty good business, and it was good too. Sat at a table, by the van, in the midday sun, by the bay…you might have worked out the video lol!
Anyway, rather than trying to struggle back up over 100 steps, I took a stroll along the front for further options, and found an elevator back up to the top, which was out of order! Thankfully, it directed me to one that was working, so I used that, and ended up back in Pike Place!
So, the last thing, yes, I heard back from the Mariners this afternoon. A phone call, a few questions about details of what happened (so they can discuss with worker), and where, and an offer of a ticket for the weekend, in an accessible seat. Somehow I suspect this might be a bit closer to the ground than yesterday lol! So yes, credit to Mariners for doing what needs to be done. Was actually offered 2 tickets for game on Friday (my preferred night), but as there’s only me, and I really dont know anyone in town, I said 1 would be fine! So I will go to the (base) ball, it seems, lol, though I have no plans on wearing ball gowns!
OK, video. As I say, you should have worked out this classic song, or at least I hope you have. Sadly, Otis Redding didnt even get to live until the end of 1967, dying in a plane crash. Video is a bit of a compilation mix, due to the age of the song.
Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!
Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.
I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!
Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…
Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.
Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!
OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…
Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…
Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.
No, its not really been that dramatic a weekend, though it might have felt it at times. Facebook contacts already should know the basic details, but… The frightening thing is, this isnt the worst trip to the US, or maybe technically it is, because the other time I didnt get here!
Now, to be fair to American Airlines, I knew there were problems of a major kind, even before I left home Saturday morning. What I didnt know was the exact details. And given that I had to be at the airport for 8.40 (2 hours before flight), and their customer services dont open till 8.30 on a Saturday…
I’ll admit it, we didnt get there for 8.40, even though we left in plenty of time, because in all her panic, some daft blonde, namely me, forgot her handbag, with all the important stuff in it! Got there for 8.50, hoping I was going to get an alternate routing, but no. Long and short of it, case is booked in, and then I have a choice, 11 hours of boredom at the airport (given the battery life is about an hour on the laptop), or pay up, and come home for 5 hours or so. Yes, I did the latter, and glad I did, when I found out in the evening that you now only get half an hour of free internet at the airport, unlike before!
We finally take off about 9.30pm, instead of 10.40 am, and arrive in Chicago about 11.45 their time. Immigration are fine, once they decide everyone goes through in one line, instead of the usual separation for US citizens, which put us in the wrong queue. But itwas so short, that by about 12.10, I’m picking up baggage, plus hotel vouchers, and my flight ticket for this morning.
So yes, I finally got here today, arrived at the hotel about midday, after a short delay for baggage, and waiting for the shuttle bus. Sadly plans for the afternoon Mariners game therefore get wiped out, given it was a 1.10 start, and I’m at least 45 minutes from town! Did contemplate a late start as its the only game I could get to this week, but then the shuttle bus had vanished by the time I’d unpacked, so…they lost anyway, shock horror, not!
Oh, did I mention its been in the 70’s over here today, and just walking around in a light top this afternoon, showing off the cleavage and all that. Same tomorrow, but then the weather is forecast to go downhill, ah well…Will have to go up Space Needle tomorrow before all you can see from the top is rain, lol! Ironically, the area I plan to be in next April is being forecast for 5-8 inches of snow! And no, that isnt Alaska either!
And in case anyone was wondering, TSA were right, just went straight through security absolutely fine both times! Mind, that wasnt the body scanner, might have been different if it had been, but should still have been fine after a pat down, so they tell me.
So yes, you can understand the choice of music, in an ironic wayl
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…