Firstly, for those of my readers who celebrate it, happy Easter. For those of you who dont celebrate it, enjoy the holiday period in whichever way you wish to do so.
Its actually quite funny that over my working years, a lot of the time, bank holiday weekends meant little different to me, as for all those years in the betting industry, they were just another working weekend. Of course, in the good old days in the last century (that really makes me sound old, doesnt it?), there actually was no horse racing on Good Friday, and betting shops were closed on this day. Now, thanks to the god of consumerism, we race pretty much every day of the year, (there were also 3 days at Christmas, now just Christmas Day) and betting shops are open every day bar one, and I suspect the bookies begrudge their staff that, knowing them.
The last couple have been a bit weird, as I’ve had Friday off, Monday off, but worked the Saturday in between. At least I think I did, as it would be logical, but the brain is no longer up to working out if it actually happened or not? But this year, I’m (in theory) still working, and the long bank holiday weekend means nothing to me (I was tempted to use Vienna, by Ultravox, but no) because the body, and most critically, the brain is no longer up to complex things like work at present. If I believe the medical advice given so far, thats a case of game over, anyway. But the funny thing is, this would actually have been a long weekend for me, as it wouldnt have been my Saturday to work, so would have been a week off. Whereas now…?
The other thing I’ve decided needed to change, is me. When I had to cut back to 4 days a week at work (let alone 3), I had to economise somewhere, especially given I was paying out for therapy treatments. So basically, goodbye to pampering for me. Which means that my nails are a mess (arthritis and tremor make that impossible to do myself), and even if I’m not a hairy woman (I’m wondering if the drugs I got after seizure caused some to drop out or not? Probably not, as still got hair in places), I’m definitely in need of waxing by now. Even more so, if as planned by a wonderful friend, I’m going to do the Clara Johnson look thing (if not in public eye), I need to look decent! So yes, on Tuesday afternoon, the old girl is getting a bit of a makeover. Sadly not a 20 year old, slim, pretty dancer look, but as best as can be achieved, within sane cost. So yes, no massage, no facial unless someone wishes to provide the funds? If you should, then, https://ko-fi.com/merrybrooks is probably the easiest way.
After that, what changes, who knows? I wont hold my breath for the fully interfacing robot suit (ideally now with AI function, to override my busted brain), but it would be nice!
The funny thing is, before I even get to see a Neurologist (unless I get a very large fund donation), there are 2 more bank holidays to get through as a non working worker! Somehow I suspect I may have had my last excitement at looking forward to a bank holiday meaning extra time off work, but who knows?
OK, video time. Some vintage Paul Young for you
In truth, I love this song, which is why I’m offering the additional bonus tonight of the 12″ version. Obviously there is no video to this, so your call on either, both, or none. But you’re missing out if you go with none!
Its been a funny sort of week, in truth, in more ways than one.
Earlier this week, the orange, bewigged Russian one threw enough of a temper tantrum that he got his way on one issue that has annoyed him. Seems the rule to stop Transgender people from serving in the American Military forces has been finally passed after numerous efforts. Even more amusing of course, in the week it was announced that one of the General’s who helped to fight for the independence of his country (assuming it isnt Russia?) was either a woman, or even more horrible for him, intersex.
The more amusing side of that is that at least 2 states (maybe more?) have already told him that they wont be getting rid of any transgender people already serving in their state military command groups, and will still accept applications from anyone desiring to do so. I’m sure if he hasnt already Tweeted (high security method, not) on the matter, he soon will be.
The other LGBT news I’ve heard today comes care of Australia, Sydney, to be exact
I must admit, there would have been a few cities that if you’d told me would be candidates to do it, Sydney would have been one of them. Thank you for the gesture. Not that I guess I would ever have seen it, even if my body hadnt totally given up on me, thats far too far away, but at least I know its there, which is something. Somehow I cant see the guy mentioned previously will be rushing to use that crossing somehow. I’d love to, but now especially, I think I might have to pass on that.
Why, you ask? Well, a couple of days ago, I had to post a letter to work, re my health issues, and I thought that as the post box was only about 200 yards away, and no one else was readily available to post it, I’d give it a go, and see how it went. Well, going down the hill was ‘interesting’ but I survived, just. Snag is, I then had to come back up the hill, and that was a whole different game! I did make it, but it hurt! I’ve also noticed that the stairs at home, when I’m carrying anything (especially full cups), are distinctly becoming a challenge, coming up. So yes, the old girl is definitely busted, for sure. I suspect unless something dramatic can be done to me, I wont be walking far in future. 😦
Oh, and talking of busts… As some already know, and others will now know, I look like I’ve got a decent cleavage. No, its not some magical hormone, or the fact I have a friendly fairy godmother who provided me with a decent pair of boobs. Believe me, if the latter was the case, I’d have got her to remove something else at the same time! Many women are unfortunate enough to have mastectomies due to breast cancer, a charity whose cause I used to support when I had any money. For those women, prosthetics are provided that give the image that they still have breasts. I’m not the only Transgender women that uses them, I’m sure, but we arent strictly the main market for them. These silicon breasts are fantastic, give a great look, are designed to be about the right weight, and are great, providing you dont put too much weight on them. I dont, I have a foam pair I use at night (vanity, I know), which can take just about anything. Of course, when I was in hospital, the pair I was using were the silicon ones, and they didnt take kindly to being slept in, especially the one on the side I slept on. So yes, its a bit damaged, and I’ve had to buy a new pair which arrived this week. More expense, ah well… Mind, if anyone knows of a similar vagina I could wear 24/7, without toilet issues, please let me know. Hiding ‘that thing’ would be heaven, and far less painful than surgery!
Right, video time. Bit of a clue in the blog title, how original!
Well, I have to admit that recently I’ve accepted there are more than a few things I used to do with ease, which are either now only be done with difficulty (see Monday’s blog) or not going to happen at all. Yes, I did manage to walk a few hundred yards on Monday, but it hurt. I then did about 4 calls in quick succession on Wednesday, dealing with doctors, and reports afterwards to work with results, and an hour or so after that, my voice was a mess too, but I got by. No, the chances of getting through an 8 hour shift of phone calls, back to back, no way.
But at the same time, I must try not to give up doing everything I used to do, must I? So anyway, events yesterday led to my first non health related trip out since last month, a meal out yesterday evening. Very much looked after, very much with an eye kept on me, but I went. Yes, as you can gather from this, I survived. But yes, I found the walking (again only a few hundred yards) a challenge, and getting the brain to focus on making selections from the menu, well… Lets just say that unless the neurologist (or a handy mad scientist) can revive my brain somewhat, complex holidays on my own just arent going to happen any more! Not saying not going to happen, but someone faces a challenge if it is going to, thats for sure.
Great shame, as it will probably mean I will have to give up on any plans to visit Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, and ‘hunt’ for Clara Johnson, unless I can recover somewhat. Not giving up on something more relaxing with Kate just yet, but active stuff, I dont think so! Well, unless someone wants to swap me out into a fully functioning brain, and body at least, lol. But yes, if anyone has a nice robot body that just needs testing with the aid of a human volunteer…? 😉
The other thing I’m keeping doing, was done today, for an event tomorrow. Yes, its that time of year again, the Grand National. I suspect the last time I didnt bet on the race (maybe?) was 1974. I’m not saying I didnt bet on it then, but I just cant work out how I would have done so. I certainly ‘bet’ (well my Father did, on my behalf) between 1967, and 1969, but then he left home, and I have no idea after that? He did still see us until his death in the mid 70’s, so maybe he did still put bets on for me, but I cant be sure, at nearly 50 years on! After that, I was working, I was putting my ‘pennies’ each way on a horse in the race, and the tradition has continued. Some good years, some bad years, but gambled, all the same, in recent years, my annual (or sometimes twice annual) trip to the bookies to put bets on (up to £1 each way x 3 now) for myself, and Eric. But seriously, getting out to do that at present, no chance.
So today, with both of us made our selections online, and I checked out to see where the best, reliable prices were (there are some online firms I’ve never heard of, or would bet with, in truth) and what amused me was that the nicest place terms, and prices were with the firm that made me redundant 4 years ago, William Hill! So anyway, account opened, bets placed, and now fingers crossed I can take some money off them tomorrow. So yes, that long streak will last 1 more year at least!
So, in some senses at least, I’m keeping on doing what I’ve been doing, even if there are a few cheats involved now. Which leads me to the video. a real Pre-Code treat. Yes, it shows, behaviour, and shape of the lampshade, lol. Probably tame now, but in the more puritan 1930’s…
Anyone looking for cheery news, look away now! At least now I know what happened last Tuesday, though fine, I might wish I didnt. Yes, fine, I had a seizure, OK? How do I know this? Well, could be because I had another one on Friday, just maybe? On a Blackpool tram of all places, before I got to wear my ‘Clara Johnson’ dress and all. No, I dont remember a thing, and from what I’ve heard, thats for the better! So yes, the perfect place to spend your birthday, a hospital bed.
The good news, as you might have gathered by now, I live. The bad news, I have a distinct speech issue, which when thats your job, not good. To put it politely, I sound drunk. Considering I havent had alcohol in 18 months, thats not real. But it sounds that way, and when your voice is your job, I wont be working for a while, if not an awful lot longer. Doctor has already signed me off until end of April, and thats only for starters, clearly. Like the hospital staff, when I suggested early medication retirement (I am 61), the Doctor looked at me as if how I could be considering anything else. So yeah, PIP here I come! Oh fine, yes, my co-ordination is dreadful too.
I must say, that apart from one thing, the Blackpool Victoria Hospital was lovely to me, and the others visiting me. That one thing? Well, they stuck numerous canola’s into me, covered them up, then missed one at removal. Yes, its gone now!
So fine, what a week it was, after the week I was hoping for. No, I dont think I’m blaming Clara Johnson’s ghost for events, though I do wonder…? Probably the end for speaking roles, unless things improve dramatically with my voice, but makes me perfect for mannequin roles, or full body suit, non speaking parts, just saying…
Oh, do you want the biggest irony, the seizures have improved the state of my back! No idea why, but its true! But if its one, or the other, then yes, I’ll have the bad back! So yeah, that Clara Johnson moment remains a challenge!
OK, video time. Not quite as old as me, and yes, my dears, this is an old fashioned jukebox, complete with single record… But yes, its definitely been…
Well, you know that on Thursday, I gave you the news that I’d got agreement to get benefits, to help the old lady cut down again on her working week, and how I said I hoped it would all be sorted in the near future. That near future was quicker than expected, its done! So yes, as of tomorrow, I’ve only got to survive a 3 day working week, instead of 4! If I say it was settled, sorted, and confirmed in about 6 hours, wow! I mean, I knew it wouldnt take long, but I wasnt expecting that, but big thanks to my bosses for arranging it.
No, sorry, unless someone is offering me a lot of blog ideas to work on, I’ll be sticking to 3 blogs a week. Thats tough enough to find enough material for, let alone a 4th one each week!
It means one thing, for sure, though. I need to get my travel card charged up with some tickets, because weekly passes are never going to work now, lets face it. 4 days a week didnt cover costs, but with all the therapy stuff, I was tending to have a 5th day each week, so it was fine. But now, even the extra day will only be 4! I wasnt expecting it so soon, so no, its going to just be a day pass tomorrow, then get the rest sorted out.
As someone said to me earlier, its great that its been sorted out so quickly, but at the same time, I replied that it would be even nicer if I didnt have to do it because of the state of my spine! Ah well, the joys of old age, I guess?
OK, the video is far older than me, it will be 90 next year! Its from the early days of sound, when musicals were everything, and Clara Johnson struck gold, going from modest bit part actress, to a regularly working chorus line dancer. Yes, I think I spotted her in this, but the quality of the film, due to age, I suspect, isnt great, and its a very brief glimpse. Alice White was one of those enigmas of the early 30’s. She couldnt really sing, she wasnt a great dancer, but she looked cute, was handy for tons of promo stuff, so though she never went on to be a star, I suspect she earned a decent living, all the same. And yes, fine, I love her costume!
Fine, hopefully from here, for a while at least, normal blog service will be resumed. As in, Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, other than maybe the odd surprise, or non appearance. Well, for 6 weeks at least, until my next holiday at least. When, shock horror, I’ll be returning to Blackpool again! I’d love to say that hopefully it will be built by then, but that might be way too optimistic. No, not the whole of the town, but they’re currently working on extending the tram route, up to the main station (Blackpool North), so navigating your way around town can be challenging!
This time around was a brief, 2 night stop, as it was Open Day at the Winter Gardens yesterday, and some of us were busily promoting the Film Festival in March. Oh, and possibly digging myself a hole outfit wise for some events at the festival too. No, seriously, bring them on, especially Wizard Of Oz, as well as That’s Entertainment over the weekend. Oh, and yes, got a new photo of me, ooh…
Little Miss Glamour Kitten, lol! Sharon looked even more amazing, but not posting pictures of others without permission, sorry. Also thanks to Catherine for providing me with the picture.
Poor Eric was going to come and visit me at the Winter Gardens, after his morning out, but failed the maze test, so I only saw him when I got back to the hotel. The only other ‘silly’ moment of the weekend was that some blonde bimbo left her reading glasses at home over the weekend, so I’ve been peering blindly at the laptop, and menus over the weekend. Yes, I moved them on Friday, to put them in my handbag, got called away, couldnt see them, so assumed they were in the bag, ah well, I survived…just!
Ah well, back to work tomorrow, heaven knows how many emails await me! Tuesday sees a benefit meeting, as I try to get sufficient benefit to enable me to cut back my working week further, as the back isnt even holding up to a 4 day week any more. Well, unless we’ve won the lottery, on the syndicate while I’ve been away, but pigs flying seems to be more likely than that, lol.
I might be working like a maniac on Tuesday morning at this rate, to get all the paperwork I will need together. I might have been off, but with 2 sessions of physiotherapy, and all the travel involved, plus all the film work, darlings… Not got as much done as I hoped!
Right, video time. I’ve heard this song seemingly a million times recently, on a car advert doing the rounds at present over here. But it involves a film (not on festival list), and some great mannequin stuff (I would love to do that, if could be arranged?), and something is definitely stopping pedestrians in Blackpool at present. So…
And so to the second half of the year.
In truth, personal things prior to September were fairly limited. Mainly because I was at work, through the school holidays, covering for those who need the time off.
One sad thing that did happen before then, happened in August. To many, it probably seems amazing that an adult actress from the early 1930’s had survived this long, but one of them had. But eventually that tie was cut, when Mary Carlisle passed away at the grand old age of 104. She was pretty sharp to the end, if less mobile, and for a while she had been the last, and all knew the link was coming to an end, but for those of us who love that era, it was still a sad moment when it arrived.
September saw me going back to a place I hadnt visited in nearly 40 years, Inverness, taking Eric away with me for a few days of fun. Well, as much fun as two people with disability issues can have, anyway. I managed to fulfil one ambition I’d had for about that long, if not more, by travelling the Skye Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The fact that the last time I was there, the only way to Skye was by ferry, and now a bridge has been there for decades, all a bit strange. There are still a couple of railway lines in Scotland I’d love to do (Oban line, Fort William to Mallaig), and the Cambrian Coast line in Wales to a place I could never pronounce correctly (Pwllheli) that are a challenge for another day, health permitting. There are also a couple of very long distance ones in North America too, though they may be less likely, and trickier to do.
At one point I thought that November would see me doing a Transgender Awareness Week speech in Florida, but it soon seemed that someone was all talk, and no reality, so it never happened. So instead, I headed somewhere nearly as warm for the week, to the Algarve, to give my back some heat before winter kicked in. I wont deny I might have done a little bit of apartment prospecting while there, should the chance arise, and yes, if things work out, my old age could well be spent out there. There is a financial issue (not enough money), and a political issue (post Brexit residence rules) that may stop that, but fingers crossed… A lottery jackpot win before March 29 might be very handy! But lifestyle, and health wise, I could do a lot worse.
Then we come to the old chestnut, my health issue. In recent weeks my left wrist seems to have developed issues, probably due to too much typing, and stuff, for the last 40 years or so. So now I have 2 issues leaving me wondering how much longer work is going to be possible? More amusingly, due to coming 4th in a year long Golf tipping contest on Twitter, I gained £100 for my pains, and thought I’d give some new therapies a try, rather than frittering it on clothing, and the like. So yes, I got to discover just how amazing a flotation tank (sensory deprivation tank) is, and even better, the weightless floating does seem to do my back a lot of good too. Fine, the tank hasnt tried to brainwash me yet, though I’m still hoping!
Oh, and December saw the Works Christmas dinner, in a new dress, in a casino, and my first ever bet in such a place. Yes, I lost quickly, but it was a free £5 chip, so nothing lost really!
Lastly, and sadly, the Department I work in, in their wisdom, have decided to move our section out of Finance, and into a new Collection based group. So unfortunately, just as our LGBT committee were getting ready to do something really exciting, I’m out, as from tomorrow. I cant see me going quiet on LGBT issues, but it may give me less options now, though I have applied for something for the whole Department, not just Finance, but will be over a month before I hear about that. Ah well…
Right, tomorrow I will close the trilogy, with a look at New Year happenings (and possible happenings) on the first day of 2019. But until then, let me wish all my readers, those who arent there already at least, a Happy New Year in 2019.
OK, video. Just a quickie tonight. Its hard to find anything for Mary Carlisle other than a couple of full films, and sets of pictures. But I found this, Bing Crosby singing to her, 85 years ago!
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!