Category Archives: Works Dinner

2018, part 2, the last pre-code lady

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!

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When a Broadway Baby says goodnight?

Its early in the morning, right? Well, I hope most of my readers spotted that line coming at least? And yes, I can claim to be a Broadway Baby last night, even if it refers to the shopping centre in Bradford of that name, not the more famous street in New York! And no, I wasnt that early in the morning, though someone thought maybe I was, more on that shortly?

Last night was the works Christmas dinner, as mentioned in the previous blog, and 10 ladies headed into a local casino, to have a meal, and some fun. No, not that sort of fun, lol! 😛

The meal, and company was very good, I have to say, was a great evening. Lastly, we all headed for the casino, to play our free chip, and see if we could win our fortunes, on the spin of a roulette wheel. No, I didnt, and indeed, at time of leaving, no one had. Some were making a profit, but I lost on my first, and probably last spin on a roulette wheel in my life. It was amazing how many chips some seemed to be gambling on the spin of a wheel, but given I had no idea of the values of the chips, it might not have been as much as it seemed?

Anyway, shortly after that, this little ‘Broadway Baby’ slipped back to her hotel, and slept all night. Well, with the painkillers I take, thats not hard, but anyway… No, I didnt find a wealthy ‘sugar daddy, or mummy’, no great shock there! So, given I didnt bother to take my laptop with me, I got up, took my pills, had breakfast, then headed for home.

OK, we’ll get to the funny moment now. I hopped on the bus to come home, dressed in my (very fake) fur coat, with an overnight bag, and a glint in my eye. Oh, and hair only roughly tousled, as some silly blonde forgot to take a comb with her, so I had that tousled, fresh out of bed look to my hair.

To be fair, the driver never said a word as he gave me my weekly pass that I’d purchased from him, but the look said it all, and I was more than happy to play him along. 😉 Yes, wicked minx, had a saucy night, and got up too quickly to do her hair, lol. I didnt think the coat looked that real, but well, maybe it does?

I played it up beautifully, giving him the cutest, “Thank you.” as I got off the bus in Huddersfield. Yes, why not play along if he thought I’d been to see ‘Daddy’ overnight for some fun? Of course he might have been thinking I’d been earning money in another way overnight that would give me the ‘fresh out of bed’ look, who knows, lol?

So, video time. This song has actually been in a few movies in its time, but this is the longest section I can find, featuring both song, and dance. 42nd Street, its actually about a 13 and a half minute number, and yes, Clara Johnson was dancing on that movie. Gold Diggers of 1935 too, she was there.  But longest snippet I can find of those is just some of the dance, just under 3 minutes long. So I’ll roll with the 1951 Doris Day version, from the film of the same name.

Viva Las Bradford?

Tomorrow night is that annual tradition known as the Works Christmas Dinner, version, who quite knows? There were a few while at William Hill in Leeds, and this wont be the first Civil Service one, but its certainly a more interesting location than the norm. Why, dinner is at a casino, darlings!

In my life, I’ve been into 2 casino’s, and thats it. The first of those was actually at Philadelphia Park racecourse and casino, and I simply passed through the building on the way to the racecourse viewing area via a lift. Just a way of getting somewhere, never looked at anything. I have also been to the one we’re going to tomorrow night in Bradford, on a Saturday afternoon, after work, with a colleague, to waste an hour between the finish of work, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the works Christmas dinner! Must have been the 2016 version, because I was able to drink back then!

The amusing thing for me tomorrow night, beyond the opportunity to dress up a bit, is that one of the things that we get for our price, is a £5 gambling chip! No, I dont expect it to last more than 1 play, lol! And what to play it on, no idea! I suppose that if it was a real Hollywood movie, I would walk up to the roulette table, coolly put the chip on a number, and it would win! But given the most glamorous place I ever acted was the Octagon Theatre, in Yeovil, its fair to say it will lose! Yes, its still there, about 30 years on, so I didnt close it down, lol! In truth, I knew it survived at least until 1999, when I left Yeovil, but have never been back since, so had to check on Google!

No, I dont think its going to get me back into any form of gambling habit, somehow! Beyond the race that everyone in the UK bets on, the Grand National, I havent had a bet since 2013, until now. I dont think I’m going to say I broke that streak for 1 free chip in a casino, lol. Maybe I should get into cool flapper mode before playing that chip, mind? Not that I can smoke (not permitted by law), or drink (not permitted by painkiller pills I’m on), but I can think the part! Oh, and partly look it, at least.

Yes, the hair, darlings! Had it done today, so I’m ‘properly’ blonde again, with a neat layered bob look, and probably the attitude to match? I did actually go under a hair dryer today, but unfortunately it wasnt in the mood to ‘transform’ my thoughts into those of a 20’s flapper! Ah well…

Oh fine, if this is the last blog for a while, you know I broke the bank at Bradford, and have moved somewhere warmer abroad. So yeah, you’ll get a blog again soon, probably Saturday (recovery day after tomorrow), rather than Sunday (out for some of day), but anyway, just saying…  😉

Right, video time. Another one from the TV series set in Blackpool, a rather apt song for tomorrow night. Sadly the very dishy David Tennant isnt seen in this one, ah well…

 

The Roaring Teenies

Well, fine, a couple of years younger and I really could have posted this as the roaring twenties lol, albeit one hundred years on from the original, but anyway…

So, last night, for the first time (but not the last) in a week, I got into flapper girl mode last night. Oh fine, pushing 60, girl might be being a bit optimistic, but hey, all I need is a good rejuvenation machine, and a dancing skills neural download, then watch me go! Open to all mad scientist offers to arrange that, by the way! 😉 Oh please, dream birthday present, and all that! Then I could show Clara Johnson how to dance! Well, probably not, but…

So yesterday, after the working day, I, and several work colleagues (8 in the end) showed up for a lovely meal, at a lovely restaurant in Bradford. 3 of us at least probably had the staff wondering which decade they’d opened the doors into! No, to be fair to the others, notice was limited, and it is a cost, so… still kudos to Madi, and Rebecca for putting on a show too. What, you want proof, of me at least? Oh fine!

 

 

Now where did that time travel portal disappear to? As you cant see from these shots, my dress wasnt quite as short as the ones being worn by the young ladies in the video, but hey, I’m very nearly 60, so… Not sure the dress on Friday will be as long lol! But yes, if I get pictures, and my legs arent too shocking a sight…? 😉

In truth, my dress was very maxi in length, and even after Ella took it up (thanks given) a few inches for me, it was still touching the ground! Taking it up again, and then I might even flash a little ankle, ooh! If done, I might take it to Blackpool on Friday as a back up, as I know it fits, and then I might wear it again next Saturday, for the birthday meal for the home group. If not, it will get worn again, I’m sure, just not quite sure when!

Still, until next Friday at least, I will have to live in this strange thing called the modern world! Unless I can find that portal, and then wouldnt I be the cat’s whiskers, darling!

Video time. No, I didnt do any dancing last night, nor will I be planning to dance on Friday without a lot of assistance mentioned above. My dress last night wasnt this short, but next Friday, who knows?

 

On A Saturday Night

Oh, and anyone expecting Whigfield to be the video, sorry!

Alright, lets tell the tale of the whole Saturday, but yes, most of the details are about the early evening.

In the end I went with the obvious choice of outfit, a dress. Yes, I know, I was horribly overdressed for work, but anyway, it was fun that way. The other entertaining moment of the morning related to dear old First buses. I get the 7.27 bus from here, with the aim of getting the 7.50 train to Bradford on a Saturday. Given it takes just over 10 minutes (even early on a Saturday morning), I shouldnt get the 7.30 bus, right?

Yes, you guessed it, I saw it heading towards the bus station inbound, behind my bus going into Huddersfield. Mind, given it took until 7.45 to turn up, I was almost thinking of taking my chances of going by train (actually was on time, amazingly), but got the bus anyway.

The actual day at work was straightforward enough, beyond the entertainment value of a wonderful team leader sat behind me, doing call quality checks. Yes, she’s not dull to listen to, doing those!

So, just before 4.00, we finish, and given we’re not meeting for the meal until 5.30, me, and said team leader go off for a pre dinner drink at a local casino. Me, I’ve been in one before, many years ago when I went racing at Philadelphia Park, and the grandstand was the top floor of the casino building. No, I still havent gambled in a casino lol! The lady who sits next to me at work joined us about 4.30, and we settled in for the wait with a drink or, err, two. Now remember, I’m not a great drinker, but I was fine, especially as I knew where we were heading was a no alcohol place.

Now the snag with that was, Bradford City were home yesterday, and traffic was a bit busy when we were heading to the restaurant. Lets just say we got there respectably late! The food was good, even if my stir fry was a little more spicy than is ideal for me, I survived quite easily! Dessert was chocolate pudding, with chocolate custard, wonderful comfort food!

After that, the rest went off for a drink (or more, for some at least), and I headed for home, given the distance I had to travel. Shame I couldnt join them, but maybe next year I’ll bite the bullet, and book a hotel in Bradford for the night, and come home Sunday?

Right, I have to add, that job wise, it might have taken me about 14-15 months to find a job, post redundancy (allowing for when I really started looking, to confirmation that I’d got it, assuming I passed checks), but now, I’m grateful for that. In truth, I’ve got a wonderful group of workmates, some super bosses, and hey, the pay is pretty good too. Add in that the hours suit (beyond the Friday night/Saturday morning switch, maybe?), and yes, I’ve found a wonderful job, and place to work.

Yes, at present, its going to take a good theater, or general acting part to get me away from there, believe me! So folks, you might be stuck with me for a while, lol!

Alright, video time. Yes, as mentioned, I did think of Whigfield, but equally, I thought that if I could find a film version of this, I’d go with this instead. Yes, that is Jona Lewie, of ‘Stop The Cavalry’ fame!

Night or Day?

Well yes, we are now into December, and indeed 3 weeks today, as Slade said, and you will probably hear again this year, ‘It’s Christmas!’.

Last year, I missed out on the works Christmas Dinner for the first time in 7 years, because I wasnt working! Yes, those William Hill dinners were fun, even if someone I knew got far too drunk every year, and that was before the meal even got started. His choice of outfits were, err, interesting too! Love you Andy, really I do! No, not in that sense, heaven forbid!

What I used to do, because these were midweek, and I’d be working the next day, was stay in a (relatively cheap) hotel in Leeds overnight, and then go to work direct from there the next morning. No, I’m not a big drinker, so it never bothered me covering for those who wanted to celebrate a little more! Mind, even if it had been a Saturday night, I could well have been working the next day, anyway! The other advantage of staying at a hotel was that I could get dressed up after work, once I got there, not have to be dressed up all day.

So anyway, next Saturday is my new job’s Christmas Dinner, though this is a departmental thing, not a building one, as far as I know. Yes, a working day, but no point in booking a hotel, as Sunday is most definitely not a working day at our place. But yes, it means I’ve got a choice to make. Do I just wear a nice top, slacks, as I would do anyway, or do I get dressed up for a working day? No, definitely not wearing high heels lol! 😛

Probably going to go with the dress, though unless it warms up considerably, it wont be a thin, short one, or one that reveals any glimpse of leg! So probably the black lacy one, but we will see. Yes, this one

Me in lacy dress

Not the greatest shot of it, but the only one I’ve got, so… Yes, I’ll definitely wear a coat over the top when I go over the road to buy lunch! Mind, this time of the year, I need to, anyway!

Oh, and for those of you who might complain about government spending, we pay for ourselves!

Dont worry, I’m sure I will bore you with Christmas songs over the next few weeks, but I’ll let you off tonight. Now, if I only had a dress like Ginger’s…and a fraction of her dancing skills!

So, catching up on the news

Yes, sorry, I know, its been a week since I last posted, been a lot going on in that time. Fine, most of it was work, but I would have posted Thursday, if I hadnt been being wined and dined by the company lol. So, there is a bit of news to catch up on, so lets deal with that. If all goes to plan, it might be a little tribute piece tomorrow night to someone I work with, even if it is a working day. Early finish, and all that, so hopefully…

Right, starting with Nicole’s operation, all has gone fine, I’m pleased to say. Yes, I know, maybe one day I’ll do the same, but for now…

Thursday, and the dinner. Yes, I’m told I looked good, though I havent yet seen any of the pictures taken of me (beyond one of my back) from the do, so can’t say for myself. The meal was good, much better than last year, and the hotel was very nice too. Only shock to me, no phone in the room! I know it was only a Travelodge, and most people have mobiles nowadays, but…I had to go back down to reception to book a taxi, aargh!

After that, nothing really worthy of note happened until 10.00 last night, or a few minutes after, when I got into my taxi home. It is absolutely pot luck as to who you get, but last night, I got one of my favourites, a wonderful lady, somewhere about my age, and its always a pleasure travelling with, and chatting to her. Most of the drivers have the radio on some station playing modern music, which I cant stand, so I’m glad to get home.

Yes, she had something different on, Radio Leeds! Playing lots of 70’s and 80’s stuff, bringing back plenty of memories for me. For example, album of the day, Carpenters singles 60-73, pure heaven for me. Got 3 more late’s this week, I hope I get her again, but I should be so lucky!

But the first record, had me going into pondering mode. What would it really be like to be in someone else’s shoes, even for just 1 day (hopefully that gives away the video), especially in my case, Jean Harlow. I have no idea what the general life of a 30’s movie star was like, but it would be amazing to find out, for me at least. Hopefully it would be a relaxing day, not one when she was filming lol!

And yes, on Sunday, it suddenly dawned on me that its only 4 weeks to my Harlow make up look, and not just for 1 day! Its going to be amazing (especially without those awful 30’s eyebrows), I’m sure, at the very talented hands of Paula. Really looking forward to that, I must say, but more on that nearer the time.

Oh fine, the video

A different corner

I think its fair to say that if I was 25-30 years younger, or if I had a man who cared for me as much as Nicole does, then maybe I’d be taking the same step as she is doing on Thursday. Yes, thats right, that last element of transition to womanhood, that last big operation.

I wish her well, naturally.

Maybe one day I will feel the need to take that last step, but for now, given my age, given my single status, and everything else, I just cant face the hassle of going through all the necessary hoops now, especially given that I’ve lived as a woman full time for 4 years now anyway, twice the supposed required period for the next step. Irony, I know…

The funny thing is, when I first got to meet Nicole back in 2004, I was the one already living part time at least as a woman. And all I’ve done since then is move to living full time as a woman, changing my name, and gender in the process. Well, fine, the passport office says I’m still a man, but they are the only ones that do. Judging by the confused look I got at Atlanta Immigration in September, I think the guy thought there was a mistake with my passport!

But anyway…that last big step…hmm?

As I say, Nicole is a fair bit younger than me, and has a man that cares for her, so the transition makes a lot of sense. Me, maybe one day…who knows? Though I must admit, the idea of going to meet my maker, with that thing attached, doesnt fill me with joy! Maybe I should put it in my will that it gets cut off, pre cremation lol!

Anyway, just wanted to say, Nicole Woodhouse, my best wishes, admiration, and everything else goes out to you. Maybe one day you’ll be writing the same thing about me!

The video, something that gave me the idea, turning the corner in your life.

The other most exciting element of current news? No, I havent yet decided what dress I’m wearing on Thursday. At this rate, I’ll be taking more than one with me…rolls eyes! Just a shame, that given I’m getting my hair done, my make up done, that the weather forecast is so awful. Ah well…

Thanksgiving, and a white Black Friday

And so, the end is near, though the video isnt going to be My Way…well, not the one you’re expecting at least!

Yesterday, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, was Thanksgiving Day, here in the US. And for the first time in my life, I got to experience what that magical day is like.

It started off with what I gather is another US tradition nowadays, the Macy’s parade in New York City. Lots of hype, lots of over exuberance from the commentators, so I kept the volume low, and survived. Then, a little NFL, a phone call to start getting ready (into dress, and low heels), and then over to the home of my wonderful host, James.

The afternoon was wonderful, the conversation, his family, and the meal, all of them. If, and when I repeat this delight, no idea, but I’m so glad I’ve done it once in my life now, at least. Put it this way, I had absolutely no need to eat again after that until this morning!

Black Friday is a crazy shopping extravaganza, that now seems to start at 6 pm, on Thursday! Yes, I know, but thats the way of life nowadays, seemingly. Anyway, I ignored it completely, both last night, and today. So I headed off down town by bus, and went to the New York State Museum, for a very interesting visit. Then back into town, via the State Plaza, and a lunch break, and then finally back to the hotel.

Yes, with all the snow still on the ground, I didnt go out to eat tonight. I know, I’ll probably regret it, but… and tomorrow, I head back to the UK, James very kindly running me back to the airport. Hard to believe, its less than 2 weeks to the Work Christmas dinner.

Not only that, but by the next time I return to the US (Hollywood, next April, if all goes to plan), I should look even more stunning than now, as I will be a beautifully made up lady, looking even more like Jean Harlow, I suspect.

Last, but not least, I’d like to thank my 2 wonderful hosts on this trip, James, for letting me fulfil that dream of celebrating Thanksgiving, and to S, for letting me discover that I was indeed a Hollywood actress in a previous life, and for letting me find out how much fun life as ‘Jean’ can be.

The next blog, probably a jet lagged one from the UK, on Monday.

As I said, the video isnt ‘My Way’, but…

Stayed another night

At the Holiday Inn Express at Leeds on Thursday, but lets face it, its not a hotel review you’re looking for, is it? No, its the events surrounding why I was staying there that you want to hear about.

So, the preparations. Well, yes, the dress fitted fine, as expected, though the world would have been grateful for the fact I wore leggings underneath it, to both cover up, and protect my knees. Yes, it was cold, and they wouldnt have enjoyed the trauma of having that inflicted on them. Nothing to say about the scary sight of my knees anyway lol!

Then came the fun bit, putting on the wig. Which in fact worked, and didnt look too bad at all. Bit of a fight hiding all the blonde hair underneath, but in the end, I just about won the battle. Then I made the fatal mistake, I tried to put the headband on, over the top of it, oh dear! Not sure if it was the amount of hair (natural and otherwise) that I was trying to get it over, or simply the ‘jewel’ getting caught, but it wouldnt work as a combo. And then, giving up on that, I then couldnt get the wig to sit right again, aargh! So, finally I gave up on the wig, put on the headband, and went blonde.

The venue, well, unlike last year, everyone could see I was going with the flapper look at least, so one up there at least. The meal, didnt think it was up to last years standard, but still better than the previous place we used to go to! On the whole though, the night was pretty good, with the highlight entertainment being one workmate who quite literally bought Santa to the meal. He had told me in advance that his outfit was appropriate, he wasnt joking!

The hotel wouldnt in all honesty get a high rating from me. Bit like the meal, not as good as I remembered it last year. Added to which, I requested an alarm call that never happened, but luckily I was awake before then anyway.

So, all in all, I’m glad I went, even if it wasnt as good as last year. Will I repeat next year, assuming I’m still there? Probably, if only to see what someone wears then!

Sorry, no picture yet, I will try and get one done here tomorrow, so you can see the dress. But until then, you will have to stay another day with this video. No, not the Christmas version, I prefer the original in all honesty.