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!
Right, for the handful of people who dont already know through Social Media, I’d better let you know (as a bonus blog) the news re my health issues, namely my wrist.
I shocked the doctor by appearing at his part of the surgery on Wednesday (I see the nurse re my pill check appointments) to get it checked over. No, thankfully, its not another bone fracture, just a totally worn out joint/tendons in my wrist. The official name for it is Tenosynovitis, but if you think of RSI, its not much different to that. Basically, after far too many years of thumping away on computer keyboards, my forearm is making an official complaint about that issue, lol. Seemingly not terminal, and a period of rest should improve it, which is what I’m doing for rest of the week. Doctors advice on Wednesday was not to do much typing before end of week, so I’ve learnt the delights of trying to type (to some degree) with my right hand! I’ve also now got the forearm in one of those compression sleeve things, hopefully that will improve circulation, and help with healing. Not that the expert I spoke to at our own Health Group People this morning seems all that impressed by them, but anyway… They’re going to arrange Physiotherapy for me for it, anyway. I think a new body might be easier, but anyway… 😉 Something like this, maybe?
Yes, some might recognise her, its the earliest picture I have of Clara Johnson, from 1929! Might need her dancing skills in March, anyway!
Oh, and last amusing moment, the doctor asked me when I was planning to retire, in that tone of voice that suggested that it was a case of the sooner, the better! So if anyone has a spare couple of hundred thousand pounds laying around, I can make him happy! I’ll go down that route, as I doubt any wealthy man (or woman) would want to marry an old Transgender crock like me! 😛 Half that, I could retire from work, full amount, well, I might know a nice place to live in Portugal, so… 😉
Right, video time. For once, totally unrelated to the blog. This is because yesterday saw the passing of one of the great geniuses of the Punk era, in Peter Shelley, best known as a member of the Buzzcocks, at the age of 63. Now, I know I’m getting old, lol. RIP, Pete! Probably their best known hit!
Well, actually, I’d like to be really expensive, have some wealthy man, or woman prepared to buy me, and pamper their little queen, but lets face it, thats not likely to happen in the case of a 60 year old Trans woman, is it? Besides which, as a submissive who loved bondage in the past, maybe being free is a bit too boring, lol?
OK, to the serious stuff.
One thing I am looking forward to being free of, very shortly, is the need to take exams. Lets face it, at 60, that should be a thing in my deep, distant past, not even allowing for the fact that less than a decade ago, I’d be retired by now. But no, naughty girl, mustn’t get into UK politics, so… Lets just say that the odds of me reaching my new retirement age, in one piece, given its 66, even money, maybe, at best?
Was actually told at Physio today that much as I suspected, after the flotation tank session, my back is showing signs of improvement. No, I dont know how it works, and at this point at least, its improvement, but we’re starting from such a low point, anything is good, but I’m still not going to be running far, anytime soon! But walking is less of an issue, which is good.
Oh fine, back to Exams. One of the things I had to do for my new job, because I couldnt find exam certificates from 42 years earlier, which would have been 2 names, and 1 gender change ago, I had to take an apprenticeship course. I cant say the people running it (not my department) have made a good job of it, but anyway… In the end, its come down to finishing the last few outstanding exams, and thats it.
Currently, the last set of tests are 3 down out of 5, 1 of which I know I’ve already passed. Results seem to take a long while to come through, anyway. Tomorrow evening is exam number 4! The last exam is probably 2 weeks away, because tomorrow I need to do revision for exam 4, and given that next week involves a lengthy LGBT committee meeting on Tuesday (with travel), the idea of being in a fit, healthy state to take the final exam next Wednesday would be doubtful. Havent even done all the learning for it yet, so pretty certain it will be the 12th December that I get to sit that.
Yes, I sincerely hope that will be the last exam I have to take in my life! I know, I’ll possibly have to retake something, but I hope not! After that I hope the only exam I ever have to take in the future will be related to gender change stuff, and nothing to do with learning facts!
I also wish I could be free from travelling long distances to work by bus, but unless someone can rewire my mind, turning me from the worst driver in the world, to one of the best, at my age, its not going to happen. I know, trains and planes, I’ll travel on them, but they dont have the start/stop, bumps and jerks motions of buses. But practically, to get to work, buses are the only easy way. Well, if a friendly alien is reading this, and wants to provide me with a flying saucer that does Huddersfield to Bradford in a few minutes, send it my way, ideally with driving instructions, or an alien chauffeur!
Fine, ideally, I’d love to be free at my age of the need to work at all, but the powers that be have decided otherwise…
OK, silly rant over.
Video time, some more Toyah. Firstly, the promo video
Secondly, a rather wonderful live version, with a few extra lines thrown in for good measure! This would be my preferred shout, but your call…?
OK, two fun things that came out of the trip to London this week, for my Department LGBT committee meeting, both representing a circle of sorts.
The first one isnt related to work, mind, it actually relates to the London Underground, hows that? Yes, that yellow line that goes around, and around, with seemingly no end, the Circle line. As a child, I always wondered how they decided where, and when to end a service that went around in circles, as at some point it had to start at the beginning of the day, and finish at the end. Equally, I have no idea how they reduced the service outside of peak hours either, but anyway, enough childhood musings, as I’m sure they had some clever way of doing it, but I just have no idea what it is.
But seemingly, now, its not a circle anymore, even if its still called the Circle line! Strictly, the trains do a circular route, with a ‘tail’ on one end, to take it to Hammersmith, but when that ‘circle’ gets back to Edgware Road, after a full loop, it stops, and runs back the other way. I found this out yesterday, as I thought I was being a shrewd ‘old bird’ by just staying on the Circle Line, all the way from St James Park, to Kings Cross, but still ended up having to drag my body across platforms, and up stairs (no lift) at Edgware Road, to be able to do so. If I’d known that, I could have saved myself a whole lot of time, changed at Victoria, but anyway… But yes, the Circle line is very much a misnomer nowadays, great shame, in more senses than one. It seems (thank you, Wikipedia) that it has been doing this since December 2009, which shows just how often I go to London nowadays!
I actually had another train first, the first time I’ve travelled under London, other than by tube, when I rode a Thameslink train from St Pancras, to Abbey Wood. Again, its been happening for a while, but was my first time.
The other circle I did, was a circle of work. My first ever (unsuccessful) job interview in 1974, at the age of 16, was for a junior position in the Ministry of Defence, in Westminster. I remember nothing much about it, other than that it was a very imposing building, everyone was dressed immaculately, and I had to sign various documents before I could even have an interview. This week, of course, I visited the imposing building that houses my Department in Westminster, almost certainly completing the London works circle in my life! I’m not sure if it will be my last visit to London in a works related role, though given the frailty of my back now, it might be.
But yes, the changes in 44 years, quite incredible. And yes, I wore a formal black dress, but I was the only one I saw dressed formally in that sense, lol! Back then, I’m sure every woman wore a dress, and probably heels too, which I passed on.
Next Thursday, not only am I involved in another LGBT event, this is a complete Civil Service one, and I will be there. I’m sure if you’d told that nervous 16 year old, on that first day in a government building, that this would be happening, I would have laughed at you. But yes, things have changed, for sure.
Right, video time. I didnt even need to tweak the blog title to work this one in, lol!
No, darlings, I’m not getting keen, and getting ready for the 2020’s, heaven forbid, though if anyone has an astronaut suit (supposed to be going to Mars in this decade), or a nice robot suit, I wont say no. But no, seemingly, in the next 6 months or so, the 1920’s will feel like my favored destination. Not that I will complain, and if I can find that time travel window back to that era, just think how far my bank balance would go, lol. Four figures must have been a decent fortune back then, I’m sure?
Tomorrow, I will be wearing something far more interesting at work than a top, and slacks, believe me. We’re having a ‘dress up’ day, to hopefully raise some money for charity, and I was playing up my options as to what dress to wear. I did consider the ‘wedding day’ dress, or a blue, sparkly 30’s number, but both are fairly short (just about knee length), and the weather forecast for tomorrow (wind and rain) suggest those options might not be wise, even if the only trip outdoors in them would be to get lunch, not wearing a nice dress on the dirty old buses, lol. Yes, credit to First Buses, some of them feel like they were built in the 1920’s, though the licence plates suggest the turn of the century is as old as they get, but even so… Mind, if anyone in area has a car free tomorrow, complete with rumble seat? 😉 Boop, boop a doo!
And yes, even though I’m going to be a thoroughly modern flapper, the short dresses in that style wont be coming out just yet, either. Maybe soon (see shortly on here), but not tomorrow, as they show the knee, let alone just about covering it. I know, darlings, shocking at 60, but we girls have to have fun, giggle! So yes, planning on taking the long flapper dress I wore on my Birthday with me, though I suspect some ‘more modern’ woman will probably beat me to the prize, as I’m not the cutest beauty!
On top of that, at the end of October (Sunday, 28th) in Bradford, there is going to be a Gatsby evening, and fine, given it wont be far from work, I cant resist that. It is principally for a dance, which I might try and do, even though saying I’ve got 2 left feet would probably be kind. Might be my knee damage, might be that Clara stole all the dancing skills, but cant dance to save my life. But yes, darlings, short flapper dress, giggly attitude, and who knows, I might be the Cats Whiskers, but I doubt it.
Then in March, another 20’s event in Leeds seemingly, which I could easily be convinced to go to, though dress length might depend on decorum, and the weather at the time. Would love to say short, but it wont be warm, especially when I come out, and a ‘young lady’ will probably have to get back to Huddersfield afterwards, so…tries to look angelic…?
To be honest, I’ll probably be happier living in the 1920’s, though ideally with modern conveniences, as I’m sure I’d make a lousy housewife nowadays if I had to cook everything from scratch! Might give my loving husband a ‘little shock’ too, at present, lol! 😛
I wonder if Clara Johnson frolicked as a young flapper back in the real 1920’s? I suspect she did, but no evidence of course. But no, cant imagine a dancer being shy, and retiring, somehow?
Right, video. I’ve used this song before (not hard to work out with 1 hit wonders), and I might have used this video before as well, but just seems rather apt. No, tomorrow at least, I will not be flashing this much leg! Other 2 Flapper events, who knows, darlings, but I wouldnt have high expectations, lol? Couple of weird, added extras in this, but this is only copy I can find.
When I was a young girl (artistic licence, so sue me!), buses and trains used to work to pretty much 3 entirely different timetables during the week. Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday timetables, which reflected the need for public transport, which mainly revolved around getting people to, and from work, or school, and the like.
Yes, back in the 60’s, nearly everyone worked from 9 to 5 during the week, and the weekend was a time of rest. There was some need for a decent service during the day on a Saturday, as people would need to go shopping, but then on Sunday, barely anyone was travelling, so there was barely a service!
Of course, nowadays, not only do people work outside of those 8 hours on a regular basis, they also work at weekends, including Sunday, shock horror! To some degree, the train companies have finally caught up with this fact, and though ‘peak hour’ trains might be shorter on a Saturday than midweek, its pretty much the same level of service. They are even catching up with the strange concept of people needing to work on Sunday’s, as the service on that day seems to have grown over the years.
The thing I’ve noted though, especially as they are now my means of commute, is that the bus companies still seem to be operating as in the 1960’s. The Saturday service, before about 9 am, and after 5.30 pm (got to get those football fans home) is still pretty much a token issue, despite the fact that large numbers of people now have to be in work by that time, and finish later. Sunday service, and indeed the midweek evening service, after about 7 pm, is well, just token!
For example, the normal service (when First actually run as they should) between Huddersfield, and Bradford, is every 10 minutes. Up to about 9, Saturday morning, its every 30! The evening service is every hour! Unsurprisingly, these buses tend to be as overcrowded as a peak hour commuter train, crazy!
I guess that at some point, bus companies will catch up on the reality of modern life, though I’m not sure when. Especially as some buses I’ve had to travel on have looked like they served Flapper passengers at the start of their working life! OK, maybe slight exaggeration, but not much!
Fine, rant over.
Video time. An apt piece from the 1980’s, from a group I suspect that most today will barely know?
Any readers old enough to have seen ‘Yes, Minister’, or ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, or more likely, have seen any number of the repeats over the years, probably have an image that every Civil Servant, even now, wears an immaculate suit, or dress to work, depending on gender, and preference of wear. How do I break this to you, it doesnt happen.
I’m not saying that some of the top echelon dont do so, but at our level, smart casual clothing is fine. Well, normally it is, but… A month today (19/9, or 9/19. depending where you reside), we’re being given free reign to dress up posh at work, for the day. It is for a good cause, it will raise money for charity, and there will be prizes for the best looks. Then yes, back to standard smart casual the next day, lol!
Who, me, dressing up, of course I will be, darlings! Though to be fair, unless First Buses are prepared to actually clean their buses, it will be work only wearing a dress! Well, I wont get changed when I go out to get lunch, but anyway… But yes, if I had faith in a clean bus turning up, I would wear it to work, believe me! Both the most suitable dresses are floor length, so pavements might be issue too, but anyway, the concept of wearing a dress to work, and back, done it before, and will do it again!
My obvious choices at present, are either the Flapper Dress I wore to my Birthday celebrations, which most at work havent seen, or a wonderful vintage style dress I bought in Kansas City many years ago, and have only worn a couple of times, as its a real special occasion dress! Which it will be, well, wait and see! Or read on here, in most cases, I guess? I must admit, it will be interesting to see what others decide to wear too.
So yes, for one day at least, Sir Humphrey Appleby would probably approve of Civil Service wear, lol.
Video time. Yes, you can tell this really is live, as there are a few ‘moments’ in this when things dont go quite to plan. I suspect this will be a new song to most, if not to me. Yes, I purchased the single of this, about 46 years ago! Was a rarity, actually, as the label was incorrectly pressed, another song, different artist, lol. B side was correctly done though, lol.