Category Archives: Tallinn

Your candle burnt out long before

I know, the blogs have got a bit of a mess day wise this week, due to sad events, but whether this just rights the ship, or whether you still get one tomorrow night, lets wait and see. But yes, with all the news sources mentioning this, and the fact that I do remember a few other events around it, lets mention what happened 20 years ago today, the death of Princess Diana.

Firstly, let me say I’m not a royalist, and leave it there. So if you’re expecting a gushing tribute to her, just move on. Not that I’m one of those great anti-monarchy types either, to be honest, I can just take, or leave them, but agreed, pretty much most of the time, its to leave them well alone.

Given that back in those days (gasp, shock horror, for some), betting shops werent open on Sundays, I got up about 9 am, switched on the TV, and it was wall to wall news about her death. Given that for me, and I suspect most others back then, this was in the days before internet, and mass swamping of satellite channels on your TV, your choice was limited, to Diana, or Diana! Mind, if they had existed, I suspect they would have been swamped by the news too.

This actually happened a week before me, and my partner at the time were due to go on holiday to the Baltic States. The irony of events for me was that, they cancelled all the racing for the day of the funeral, the following Saturday, so I actually finished work a day early. Now, they’d probably not shut the shops for anything, have wall to wall virtual racing, plus those ghastly machines going all day, but back then…nothing!

I saw bits of the funeral, though I took the chance to pack for the holiday in a slightly saner way than I would have done had I been working. There are 2 things that will always stick with me from that holiday, even when most of the details are faded by time. Firstly, just about everywhere out there, you heard this catchy tune, which I could tell was going to be a huge hit, if released in the UK. Yes, it was the second biggest selling single that year, aka Barbie Girl, by Aqua. You’ll be thrilled to hear that isnt the video! Second one, and more pertinent, was when we walked into a church/cathedral (please, its 20 years ago, I cant remember) in Tallinn, and saw a shrine to Diana there. Yes, her mark, and her fame had clearly spread that far.

I suppose it has to be mentioned, was it an accident, or was it murder? The rumor conspiracies both ways are quite amazing. My answer, I really dont know. I’d like to think it was a genuine accident, but given all that came out afterwards, well, you do have to wonder, but anyway, no comment…!

Sadly, the funeral I’d rather be here for, out of that, or my friend, is the one I wont be here for, as its happening on the first Monday I’ll be in the US. And given it will be 4.30 in the morning where I will be, and everything else, I will just wait to hear how it goes, by email, or message service. I know, thats life, I guess?

OK, video time. No, I’ve not picked the ‘obvious’ version of the song. I’m more of a Monroe fan, than I will ever be of Diana, so…

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I want to go back…

People may have noticed that I might visit the US quite often from my postings, though this year at least, one of my 2 trips to North America was to a lovely city across the border in Canada, namely Toronto.

And yes, in recent times the only travelling I’ve done in Europe has been to Ireland, which is very different to how it used to be. Most of my holidays (once I ‘graduated’ to foreign shores, around the mid to late 80’s) used to be in Europe, though not often the touristy destinations. Eastern Europe seems to crop up a fair bit, after the wall came down at least.

I’ve mentioned the Country, and its capital city before, its where I first heard Aqua, whether you regard that as a good, or bad thing, is your call, not mine. But what I found in Tallinn was a beautiful city that hooked into my soul completely. So much so that I contemplated going out there to work at one point, but it came to nothing in the end, possibly to a good degree because the language is such a nightmare to learn. And yes, even nowadays. you do need to know the local language to some degree at least lol!

I do want to go back and see Tallinn some time, I suspect its changed greatly since my first visit in 1997, and not necessarily for the best, as budget airlines have made it a popular destination for stag/hen parties, not really my scene! I certainly would love to see the islands like Saaremaa, where I suspect the style of life would suit me more as well. But getting to do so always seems to get delayed, and it almost certainly wont be until at least 2013 now, well not unless I win the lottery or something at least! Not that I know how trans-friendly the country is, but I dont think that would stop me going back anyway!

Why does it appeal so much? I cant really give a full answer, mainly because I dont know the real reason myself, it certainly wouldnt be for the warm winters, thats for sure! The people back then seemed so friendly, the country had a good vibe for me, so all in all…Irony is, there are probably a good number of Estonians working over here nowadays! I keep saying I want to go back, and maybe some day relatively soon, I actually will, though it wont be next year as plans stand, thats for sure.

The video, an absolute cheat, oh shock horror. You’ll recognise the song if you’ve read my previous postings, or indeed know me at all, as you will know I adore the original of this. Managed to find this Estonian cover version, not literal, but pretty close, well as much as my exceedingly basic Estonian stands up to the test nowadays. I dont think it will make the dent on the charts here that the ‘song I heard in Tallinn’ did, but I certainly find it pleasant enough, and hope you do too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2-SjTaF3Qw

Not that I know much else about Juri Homenja, but you never know where a category link here might lead?

Cant Help Falling In Love

Oh, did you think you were getting some details on my post romances? Ah well, sorry to disappoint. There was only really one, and though we stayed together for 12 years, it wasnt ‘a fine romance’, but most of that was my fault, and my body problems, not that I knew why at the time. She’s out there somewhere, but wouldnt recognise my name now, even if she saw this.

So alright, its about contriving a blog to fit tonights video find, lol!

Its funny how some cities you visit, you instantly fall in love with. I can only really think of one in the UK that struck me like that, and that would be Inverness. Dont ask me why now, that was over 30 years ago now, and though I havent been there in a long time, and have no idea how its changed, I will always have a soft spot for it.

As has been mentioned before I believe, there is one US city that captured my heart the first time I saw it, and thats Seattle. Maybe its the weather, maybe its the people, or a whole combination of things, but its one of those places I look forward to visiting again, maybe next April if things work out. The only US cities to even get in range are Chicago, and San Francisco, and the latter isnt just because of its whole, very relaxed attitude to LGBT people, though I suspect that might count as a bonus. Chicago, I have no idea why, just had a good feel while there.

Two others deserve a mention, one being my new love of this year, Toronto. I know, its cold in winter, but I almost suspect I could live with that given the chance. Tallinn in Estonia is the other. Like Inverness, the first visit was a long time back, and indeed my only visit so far, and that was 14 years ago now. Again, I suspect a lot has changed there since then. And like Toronto, the winters are a bit chilly lol!

Its actually very windy here tonight, though not as bad as some parts of the UK all the same, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Katia, thankfully all will be gone before Saturday when I fly out to Boston. Cant see me falling in love with the place, didnt really do so first time around, 23 years ago, so cant see why it would now?

Oh alright, enough waffling, you want to know about the video I guess? Its hard to believe how long this band has been together, and the line up has barely changed in all that time. Irony is the name of the band refers to the unemployment benefit form of the time, though they certainly havent been out of work since then! It is a cover, but thats something they were good at, excellent cover versions.

So no more, hope you enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajp0Uaw4rqo&feature=related

Go West, part 2!

For several reasons, you get two for the price of one tonight, mainly because I’m a ‘blonde, bimbo girl’ which might give a hint to the video here lol!

The real reason though, is that when I went to Tallinn, I got advance warning of this highly infectious song that was just about to dominate the UK charts for many weeks, when released a few weeks after I got back.

Walking the streets at the time, you could hear this song everywhere, and it screamed hit, even if it really shouldnt have done. It isnt great music, the video is definitely verging on naughty, pure Euro pop in other words. But highly catchy, and bound to be a major hit wherever released, and I was proved right.

I would love to say the one thing about Tallinn I’d love to forget, but it wouldnt be true, because I got caught up in Aqua fever too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyhrYis509A&feature=related

Go west!

Well seeing the pop videos seem to have attracted a crowd, lets not change the system!

Its funny how a song can be so changed, simply by the addition of a video, and some clever keyboard work, and mixing. When this song was first released by the Village People, it was simply about crossing America, and given their gay image (ironically the majority of the group, including the lead singer were not), it was clearly aimed at a better life on the west coast, primarily San Francisco, a city that I will say more of later.

Then the Pet Shop Boys came along, and gave it a whole new feel, mainly it must be said through the amazing video, much of it computer generated of course. All about the Soviets going west, though ironically it was made after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Iron Curtain, but anyway. Its funny, the first few years after the iron curtain came down I spent a few holidays in Eastern Europe, notably Hungary, and the Baltic States, of which Estonia is my favourite, and I must get back there some day.

But in more recent times, my holidays (generally dull, quiet affairs which suit me fine) have seen me going west as well. Some US cities havent grabbed me (New York and Philly principally), while others (Seattle and San Francisco particularly) have really made me fall in love with them, and both I’ve visited more than once. This May I was fortunate enough to visit Toronto, and fell in love with that place too, though not sure what I’d think of it in wintertime lol! Maybe the fact it was my first break as a Ms might have had something to do with it, but I doubt it, just think the city was great. San Francisco was just amazing, I’ve never experienced anywhere like it before, or indeed since, where a t-girl can so openly go shopping for womens clothing, indeed the shop staff are only too delighted to help there! Seattle, I just find a wonderful, laid back city, amazing considering the amount of coffee supposedly drunk there.

This autumn I get to revisit Boston, admittedly nearly 25 years after I was there before, so dont expect to recognise all that much. But I always wanted to go back there, so maybe doing so might push me nearer to visiting Tallinn again. There will be a ‘fun’ element to visiting Boston, I’m involved in a couple of Forums, and people from there who live in the area want to meet me while I’m over there. Fine you might say, but there’s one little snag! When I joined these forums, I ignored the gender thing, wasnt going to claim I was female, but equally my stories and style screamed female, so didnt want to shatter illusions. Snag was, after one posting, the reply was, Stephanie has joined the forum, so what do I do? Yes, alright, I tagged along, thinking I would never meet anyone from there in real life, but…After so many years of playing along, I hate to now shatter peoples image of me, but at the same time…!

So if anyone can do a full change in just over 8 weeks lol…

Ah, alright, you just want the video! So here it is,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNBjMRvOB5M