Category Archives: working life

Not bothered if I win

Well, finally, as we get close to the end of the year, Christmas and all that, things start happening for the last time in 2017.

I’m due to take the final one of those 3 exams I needed to take tomorrow, and having passed the first two comfortably enough (in my opinion, only get told passed, or presumably failed, no actual score), I’m definitely hoping that will be it for the year. In theory I’ve got a couple of practice tests I need to do by mid January, but with luck I can leave them for now. We will see how busy Saturday is, I guess, though as of yesterday, I couldnt sign in to said website, so definitely cant do them at present. No, I’m not missing them in the slightest lol!

I am guilty of doing far too many sports related competitions for my own good. Horse Racing, Golf, and American Football are the main ones, though I do (shock horror) do a soccer one, but primarily because its very stats based, and seemingly, given I’m currently 55th out of about 460,000, a knowledge, or care for the sport clearly isnt needed! Number crunching, yes, caring about anything else, no! But do I care if I’m 55th, or 55,000th, beyond pride, no, I’m not.

Given the Golf is the only calendar based one, this is the last week of the competition. No, there arent thousands in this, more like 50! But yes, somehow or other, I’m 2nd! Yes, stats are a wonderful weapon, seemingly. Mind, I need a winner this week to have any chance of success, but beyond the thrill of beating all those men, not going to cry either way. Well, there is 1 prize, which might be nice, but otherwise…

Oh, and getting back to work matters. Some people take competition way too seriously for me! As in the judging of the work team Christmas displays. No, I’m not going to mention names, though some might guess, but someone takes defeat way too seriously for little old non competitive me! In related matters, given the ‘lovely’ weather we’re having over here at present, today’s required shopping ended up being done online, instead of in town! Still, Secret Santa gift is sorted out, and on its way now. The elf costume is no longer on its way, its arrived! Put it this way, unless they move me, and the office to somewhere very warm (or tropically hot), I will only be wearing it in the office! Not that I think First Buses, Huddersfield, and Bradford would be ready for me in an elf outfit, but anyway…lol!

OK, video time. Something apt for this blog, though with me, just the opposite is the truth. Main reason for this song, and the blog title, is to pay respect to Keith Chegwin, who died earlier this week at 60. Yes, I’m 3 months away from 60! Ah well, been nice knowing you…lol?

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Christmas Time (Dont let the Elves loose)

Well, if that title has got you totally confused, its a play on what, in my opinion at least, was the last decent Christmas record made. Oh fine, its totally over the top, reminds me of the glam rock era, so thats probably why I love it, but anyway…

So fine, given I havent got a lot of material to work with tonight (suggestions would be wonderful), lets run with the entertainment of the weekend. Yes, this does include serious work, but a lot of other things as well.

As I’ve mentioned before, the office is a serious (well, relatively), hard working place for 5 days of the week. Then, along comes Saturday! Now, because a good percentage of our work involves dealing with Solicitors, and other legal people, who dont work on Saturday’s, the last day of the week tends to be relatively quiet. It means we get more admin work done, as even with less of us in, the phone call numbers are definitely less. And while work is still done with dutiful care, the atmosphere of the office tends to be lighter, especially if Madi is in.

It also means that meetings can be held, tests can be taken, and lots of other useful things. Yes, I did both yesterday. What also happened yesterday, was preparations for the Christmas Display checks, which will be done tomorrow. One item in our teams display, is one of those singing animal things (reindeer), singing Jingle Bell Rock. Yes, it might have got played yesterday at some point, when all was quiet lol! And it was singing away again as I left the office yesterday too.

The other related piece of Christmas craziness, is that well known office tradition, the Secret Santa presents. Yes, I’m involved, though I have no idea why I do it, given I never know what to buy for people I know, let alone those I dont! But anyway, Wednesday week (20th), at the last team meetings before Christmas, said presents will be given out. Given diversity, we have a Miss Claus this year, yes, Madi. She will also be having an assistant elf, yes, me! Much to the disappointment of someone (who shall remain nameless), my outfit at least is relatively tame, material wise at least, but as I was buying, I cant afford leather lol!

Still, its quite cute, I think…? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360685383755

So, if anyone has roles for an elf in the near future, just let me know, OK? 😉

Right, the video. I think its fair to say that The Darkness felt like Glam Rock revived, and their Christmas hit most definitely has that feel. Enjoy, folks. And I promise, if anyone wants to risk their camera/phone, by taking a picture of me in that elf outfit, and sends me a copy, I will post it as a Christmas, err, treat for you!

Is there something I should know?

I must admit, when I reached my late fifties, I thought it was safe to assume that my exam taking career was over. Like most schoolchildren, I have sat more than a few exams in my time, and its fair to say, with mixed results. A long time ago (over 40 years ago, for the youngsters here), I took a series of O Level exams, and came away with 6 successes, and 3 failures. A reasonable set of results, you might say, and I guess you’d be right. I wasnt surprised to fail Latin, or Science, as I was not great at either. Geography, I failed twice, but most remarkably, they were the only 2 geography exams I ever failed to pass! Yes, that annoyed me, though in truth, it didnt matter, because I knew I wasnt going to University, due to being in a single parent family. Yes, it was out to work at 16 I went! Funnily enough, because of the increase in the retirement age, I will only miss on working for 50 years by about 7 months! Not that I will have worked for 50 years, quite, but the vast majority of it, yes. Well, all of that is body permitting at present, of course. At the moment, who knows?

But seemingly no, its not the end of my exam taking career, it starts up again tomorrow. Yes, the apprenticeship at work sees me facing my first exam tomorrow, and though I suspect all will be fine, I cant say I’m looking forward to it. Not that I might add, that beyond pride, I’m going to let me worry about the result, regardless. I guess thats the big difference to 40 years ago? Lets face it, as mentioned before, even if the old, creaking body lasts that long, I have just over 6 years to go to retirement. So in terms of improving myself, to boost my career chances, well…? So why am I letting it get to me? As I said, pride. I know, I’m not defending a perfect record, or anything like that, but all the same…

Actually, strictly, in one sense, I am defending a perfect record, I’m 0 for 0. How, you ask? As a woman, of course! I know, strictly, if I could trace the board, and trace the certificate, I could get the name changed, and everything, and then they would be as a woman, but unless I really need to? Not even sure if the Board I took them with would still exist anyway?

So yes, if you want to think of me, about 3.30 pm UK time, tomorrow afternoon, feel free to do so, because thats when it starts! I know, it will hopefully be fine, and if it isnt, its not the end of the world, but its the principle of it, thats all. And yes, thats why I’m not looking forward to it.

Oh, and to add to the delight, the 2 following Wednesday’s, 2 more exams, eek! Ah well, fingers crossed…

Video time. A witty retort about me, and sitting my exams, I guess?

Stepping Into Christmas Outfits

(Major tongue in cheek warning here)

Did you know there are some people that think all Civil Servants are pompous, presumptuous, and controlling, a bit like Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister TV series? Maybe they were back in the 70’s, and 80’s, but now, seriously…we’re almost as human as the rest of you! 😛

Dont get me wrong, we take our jobs very seriously (quite rightly), but anyone who thinks every man comes into the office dressed in suit, and tie, and women dressed in business dress, and high heels, well, you’re going to be disappointed, all the same!

For those of you keeping an eye on the calendar, you might have noticed that December, and Christmas is just around the corner? So yes, that means that ‘annual delight’, the buying of gifts for a work colleague, better known to some as ‘Secret Santa’. Yes, even Civil Servants do these things. I know, shocking! Well, our office does, anyway.

So fine, we all buy one present, hand it to one of the team leaders, and then all presents are handed out dutifully, right? Wrong, seems there is a demand for a Miss, or Mrs Claus to hand out the gifts. Which might seem a little ott, except that we have a team leader, and an actress who quite fancy that idea! Now whether this is a dull, practical outfit, or something slightly more fun, well…lets wait and see! But, if you fancy a few pennies on the latter, you might be on a winner! Given I’m nearly 60, I suspect not too wild (plus it is a working office), but something a little fun, absolutely.

I do believe that many years ago, and I do mean many years ago, I dressed up as a helper for Santa. No, I cant remember why, it would be around 40 years ago, and my memory isnt that good! So it wont be a first, but definitely will be fun if it happens.

Yes, as I say, we Civil Servants really are a dull, boring bunch! Honest! Well, maybe…?

Right, 2 videos for the price of 1 tonight, you are honored. Firstly, a harking back to my teens, a tribute band. No, most would never have heard of the bands we covered, so lets leave it there. This is decent, and the guy is clearly a Dodgers fan (Excellent taste), so lets run with this. No, I know nothing more about him, before you ask.

Secondly, some very suitable female outfits for Christmas. Also, its from Boston, a wonderful city in New England. I suspect what I might be wearing might not be a million miles from this, just warning you.

Well, I guess this makes me a pro?

Firstly, let me go back to events yesterday. Yes, Julia went on stage at York, and from what I’ve seen, was brilliant. Yes, I’ve seen the film via Facebook, cant yet find it on You Tube, so you will just have to take my word on that. Hopefully, at some point…?

Yesterday also ranked as the weirdest day at work I’ve ever done, and given thats a 43 year period, that takes some doing. I did consider whether a very wintry day in the betting shops, where there was 1 greyhound meeting that survived, and we took 12 bets all day might top it, but I doubt it.

Basically, the system was down for the day, so there was a message on the phone system advising prospective callers of this, and advising them to ring back during the week, but we had to have a few of us in, just in case people ignored that, and came through to us, so…I got 1 call all day! Day not wasted though, did lots of my apprenticeship stuff (yes, I know, at 59, but has to be done, so…!), also applied for a pathway course to management in Civil Service as well. Yes, diversity candidates desired. I’m not sure, I’m going to be 61 by the time the course ends, and even if they dont give in on retirement age, I’ll only have 5 years to go, so…But yes, I needed to do something! Did some practice tests, seemed to go OK, but anyway…

The other thing I did, technically, was become a professional performer. Yes, I got ‘paid’ for my presentation last week. Oh fine, technically it was a reward payment for doing it, but yes, I’m an actress with a mischievous sense of humor, so I’m saying that makes me a professional performer. No, I dont expect that to create a rush of offers from Broadway, Hollywood, or even small professional companies, but you never know, lol! Professional speaker on LGBT and Transgender issues, hmm? No, I doubt that very much either!

Oh, my fee? £25, but seriously, thats the first time I’ve been paid to perform, ever! Well, that I remember, anyway…? Treated myself to an Amazon voucher (email version), but have failed to find a controlling robot suit at any price, let alone £25 lol! 😛 Question is, if I find a stylish (ideally full length) flapper, or 30’s style dress, does that count as a business expense for an actress? 😉

Lastly, lets get this mentioned on the right day of the year this time around, its Nancy Carroll’s birthday today. She would have been 114, so you wont be surprised to hear she died over 50 years ago. But…? I have a friend in Australia, named Diane, who uses a picture of Nancy on her Facebook page, which leaves me wondering if…? No, I’m sure she didnt really time travel, just before her death, move to Australia, and…? 😉 All the same, she’s a lover of movies from that era, so…hmm? Yes, she probably will kill me for this, or would if we werent on opposite sides of the world!

Lets see, video time. Well Nancy Carroll was a fine dancer, as was my past life self, Clara Johnson. Indeed, they may well have worked together, who knows? Thing is, last year, I used the best video of Diane, sorry, Nancy dancing, and its possible Miss Johnson was there too. So lets do something different tonight instead. This was a hit in the 1970’s, recorded live at the start of this year. Very good it is too, and its what both young ladies did

Waiting for the train that never comes!

And no, for once, its not Trans Pennine Express! No, this time its the tale of a Northern Rail fail, and other events yesterday.

Saturday is the only morning where I need to get to get the train to get to work. Earlier start, plus public transport is a bit more limited early on a Saturday morning, so…Into Huddersfield station, train supposedly on time, all looking good, you’d think? Even less of a shock, the Trans Pennine Express services looks a mess, but nothing new there!

Thing is, I look out to the platform where the train should be, nothing there! Not a first, this is 10 minutes before its due to leave, assume its just waiting to pull into the platform. No, it wasnt. There were a couple of Northern Rail people stood near the platform, not looking like they knew what was going on, never a good sign. Well, time for the train to leave came, still no sign of it. 5 minutes after its due to leave, still no sign of it. So given my total lack of faith in Northern Rail, I headed off, and got a slightly later bus to Bradford. Only just gets me in the office by 9, but anyway…I got to Bradford Interchange, and apparently it had finally left Huddersfield, but was going to arrive 22 minutes late! Me, I got there 10 minutes before then! Seemingly left about 8.15, 25 minutes late, as a work colleague had the misfortune to wait for the train to arrive.

Funnily enough Northern Rail had a staff strike on Wednesday, trouble is, it might have been hard to tell the difference in service provided! And no, sadly, this isnt a first! But anyway…

There was something else waiting for me at work when I got there, my new chair. Specially designed for an old crock like me, due to my back issues. Yes, its nice, and yes, I noticed the difference at the end of the day too. No, it shows no signs of shocking, or brainwashing me, but hey, a girl cant have everything lol! 😛

Right, video time. In tribute to a rail company that cant provide the service its meant to (and despite that, in 2 months time, they will hoist up fare prices!), a group that were also waiting for a train that never comes!

A presentation, and 2 farces

And before anyone asks, thats 1 good farce, and 1 typical farce, which I will come to shortly.

The classic farce, technically twice over, was unsurprisingly First Buses in Huddersfield. The first was Wednesday, when I just missed the bus I was hoping to get, by about 20 yards, because the bus driver chose to ignore me racing for the bus. Or fine, racing as much as I can nowadays, with my ailments. No great issue, they’ll be another in 10 minutes, which would still be fine. 28 minutes later, 2 buses turned up at once! Mind, by that time, a third should nearly have been due, and indeed passed us on the way into town! Not a shock, as everyone got on the first 2 (different directions up my road, but both going into Huddersfield), but anyway…

Mind, the First farce (beneficially) continued, as the 9.27 Trans Pennine Express train was running 7 minutes late (the last of the 3 I was hoping to catch), so got it by the skin of my teeth. Just as well, because the 9.46 was late as well, and I would have been late on its normal time, so by then…rolls eyes…

The presentation went fine, as much as I can tell, I tried to entertain, as well as inform, and hopefully that worked for 10-15 minutes. Got a round of applause, which I hope wasnt just polite, anyway… No, sorry readers, no film of that presentation exists, so you’ll just have to believe me lol! But yes, praise for where I work, and attitude to transgender workers, and all that, played up just how lovely our office was!

I’m glad I stayed the rest of the day, some other very interesting talkers as well, I must say.

And then yesterday, in the end, I ended up in Leeds again. I know, dont go there for 15 months, then twice in 2 days! First ‘excelled’ themselves again on that journey too, the bus from here was a few minutes late, but nothing dramatic. Snag was, I needed to then get a bus to Bradford, to meet up with someone to get to a meal, and a play last night, and that was pretty much due. 8 minutes later, it finally turned up! So much for going a bus early, so I could draw some money for the evening. In fact, due to her inability to drive at a reasonable speed, and her desire to argue with customers, we rolled (finally) into Bradford 16 minutes late! I got some money out of a machine, and moved as quick as my body would take me to the office, and was only just late!

The meal was nice, the amusing moment being my first UK meal as a ‘senior citizen’. Yes, its 4 months away, but i’m sorry, a bargain is a bargain, and I’m close enough! :p Yes, not my first, because in the US, at Denny’s, if you have a British appetite, and a friendly server, you can get senior meals before you’re 50 lol! Been there, done that!

Ah, now to the play, which was a good type of farce, and very entertaining too, thanks to Cookridge Amateur Dramatics Society. Very funny, well acted, and set in the West Country, which explains the video shortly. Traditional stuff, lots of confusion over identities and the like, lots of other mayhem, and a delightful ending. Been there, done that probably, but about 20 years ago (or so), so it was fun to see one done from an audience perspective. For readers in the Leeds area, I gather there will be a Panto, sometime around February, so keep your eyes peeled.

Tomorrow, for the first time in 5 days, I need to find my way to the office again. Wednesday was the presentation, and I took today off, because I knew I’d be late home last night, and wouldnt want to get up early. Unfortunately, someone forgot I was off today, and woke me at 6.30 when I hadnt showed signs of life! Still, went back to sleep, all fine…

Oh, and one more thing for tomorrow, my new ‘old crock’ chair has seemingly arrived in my absence. I assume it wont look like a brainwashing, or electric chair, but a woman can hope! 😛

Right, the video. I was thinking of ‘Let Me Entertain You’, but then I found this. West Country, pertinent title for a farce, and…those of a sensitive nature probably shouldnt play it!

Back on the high stage again

No, dont get excited, I havent got a movie, or theater offer just yet. But next month I’ll be doing a Diversity & Inclusion presentation for a large group of people (about 110, I’ve been told) in Leeds, about life in my Civil Service Department, ooh! No script, well, not unless I write my own, anyway. To be honest, I might do a few notes, but generally I’m pretty sure I’ll just go with the flow, so often its the easiest way with things like this. A fortnight on Wednesday, for those interested, though I’m pretty sure there will be no tickets for the general public lol. Yes, it is a piece on Transgender life, so yes, I do know the subject matter pretty well, I guess?

Seemingly the approach was made on Thursday, though I didnt pick it up until Friday, as I’ve cut back on my working week of course. A quick check for approval from bosses (its on a working day), and I replied positively. One moment of amusement was when she rang up later that day to confirm details, she mentioned the numbers involved, and asked if I would be OK with that, and then after she’d said it, remembered I’d said about being an actress, so…all fine! In truth, it will be interesting to see how I react, given its been a while, other than the wedding, where I have been ‘on show’ to this number of people, but I’m sure its just like riding a bike, anyway.

I have no great idea what the dress code is for a presentation like this, but I’m going to assume, unless told otherwise, its going to be business smart wear. So yes, I will wear a nice dress, and get my hair curled 30’s style, either on the day, or the day before, depending what time I need to be there. No, I wont wear anything as clingy as Harlow would, or as revealing as a chorus line dancer (Miss Johnson) would have to for such an event, principally because I have an obvious issue with too revealing (unless a surgeon is offering to remedy that quickly), and besides, its not fit for a moment like this. I think my ‘publicity manager'(Yes, Madi, I mean you) would love it if I went all flapper, and agreed it might be fun, but apart from the fact those dresses are quite short, they arent winter wear over here, and November might be cold lol! So I’m pretty sure that it will be 30’s look, to some degree. More classy look anyway lol. There is also the factor that I need something that I can hide the brace corset underneath, lets face it, only way I’m going to stand for about 15 minutes or so!

No, sadly I’m not expecting any Hollywood, or Broadway agent representation at the event, a girl can only wish! Nor do I expect them to be able to grab it on You Tube either, ah well…

But who knows, getting back on a stage might just get infectious, and I’ll see where it goes from there. In truth, my long term standing issues might make things complex, but…its a comeback at least!

The video, well, its one word different to the blog title lol! 😛

My eyes are further up!

Firstly, let me jokingly thank everyone for no suggestions whatsoever for tonight. Not that I’m really surprised, but…lol

As I have mentioned in the past, I quite enjoy the restriction of corsets. No, I have no desire to have my waist reduced by anything too silly, as some women have done in the past, but a few inches, towards an hourglass figure, wonderful.

The snag for me, and corsets, as a single woman, is getting myself tied into one. Yes, some might be dextrous enough to be able to tie themselves into one, but the arthritis in my hands, and fingers counts that out for me. Equally, quite wisely on their part, probably, I dont have a ‘someone’ to tie me into one either. And no, I dont think a matchmaking outfit looking for someone to buy me, and tie me into corsets, with no romantic attachment is likely to bring me a flood of offers! Might be the odd dominant who might be into that sort of thing, but given I’m nearly 60, and trans, I wouldnt expect even that!

So yes, I was thrilled when I was looking for a back brace, to support my aching back, to find one that also operates (to some degree) as a corset as well. The biggest, and best thing for me, was that you dont need to be tied into it, its got a zip mechanism! Even better, its at the front, so I can cope! Fine, its not a full body corset (over bust), but it pulls in my waist, so…

Oh fine, lets say that a 2″ reduction on setting would hold my back in place, but a 4″ reduction is far more fun! No, even that, quite sensibly hasnt brought a rush of admirers, but it does my figure some good, and supports my back nicely too! Yes, worn it most of today, on 4″ setting, and loving every moment of it.

However, nothing is perfect, seemingly. The biggest snag is that because it squeezes everything in, down below, that doing ‘toilet duties’ is a challenge, because along with everything else (yum), your bladder and things get restricted space. So generally, I remove the corset, do what I need to do, and then put it on again. Fine at home, when you have the time for such matters, but would be more of a challenge at work, with break limits, so I tend to just pass on it, on work days. The other major issue, up until now at least, would be the warmth factor, because being neoprene, its none too breathable lol! Mind, as winter comes, I might be glad for the warmth!

The other more amusing effect of wearing a corset, is the way it enhances your cleavage! Well yes, if you’re pushing in at some points, its going to pop out elsewhere, and the boobs, in an under bust corset is the obvious place that happens! Yes, I know one thing, if I do ever decide to wear it to work, I am going to have to be very careful as to what tops I wear! I’m sure playing ‘peek a boo’ with them would be against dress codes at work lol. And thats without me worrying about flaunting them anyway! Not that I suspect I would get anyone excited, but…

So yes, perhaps I will have to settle for just wearing one at home for now. Now, if anyone wants to provide me with a zip up one, in metallic silver, instead of blue, hmm? 😉

Video time. One of those songs nearly everyone will never have heard before. A very early 80’s synth piece, by a 2 hit wonder, about what might be attracted to my cleavage, if I wore a suitably tight corset lol!

You cant shock an actress with less than a few hundred volts!

One of the amusing things that happens at work, is that some people think I can be easily shocked, because I seem such a quiet old lady at times. No idea where they get that idea from, but anyway…

So when the talk arose about a new seat for myself, designed to at least aid me with my back issues, someone in the office came up with some interesting designs, shall we say? No, I’m not going to describe them, but some of the items involved were definitely, err, adult, shall we say? It fair to say he wasnt expecting my reaction to be just how much I liked the look of them! Yes, lets say that one of them would make moving your chair an arousing experience, and leave it at that.

The snag with that, of course, is that in my acting life, its fair to say that I’ve seen my share of weird things used as props, and I’ve certainly worn some outfits that you wouldnt normally walk down the street wearing. Fairies, gnomes, and all variety of fae folk, yes, been there, acted that, probably!

I’ve also worn leather in my time, though I’m not sure if that was for a role, or for a shoot, as it was a long time ago now. I’ve also worn a silver zentai suit for more personal fun reasons as well. Now, a role that required me to wear something like that, oh yum!

Mind, nowadays my body is probably in a state (with the need for a wheelchair at times) where the Davros (of Dalek fame) look would be more apt, and more suitable. And fine, I wouldnt mind the wired up stuff either!

But in truth, probably the weirdest (though both for charity reasons) were outfits where if I didnt remove the head, you wouldnt have known I was in there. One Children in Need day, while working in Newbury, I wore a Teletubbies suit at work, all day. Tinky Winky, if I remember rightly, for those who want to know. But as I was working, between photos being taken, and taking donations, that head didnt stay on all day. Might have been fun, but hot if I had, but anyway…

Much further into the past, I actually wore a similar design, and didnt get to take my head off, for a few hours at least. Yes, for some charity event (I have no idea, its about 40 years ago!), I was a Womble! No, I have no idea which one now, but it was great fun to do.

But yes, like most people who have spent any reasonable amount of time in the acting world, when it comes to clothing, or other outfits, we’re pretty hard to shock. Electric shock might just work, but unless its a decent voltage, with me, well… 😉 And yes, those ECT scenes you see in movies, or on TV (or on You Tube), then yes, I’d love to act one of those, believe me!

So sorry folks, trying to shock me with talk of strange chairs, or strange outfits, you need to try pretty hard lol!

The video, well, it relates to one of those outfits. Some of it is clearly live (the Intro), though I’m not sure how live the singing actually is. And no, sadly, none of said Wombles was me!