Right, given there will be no further health issue news for general release before Monday at the earliest, and might be Tuesday before I feel like, or am in a place to release anything, as ‘family’ and close friends deserve to get it before the blogging masses, lets do something different today on both blogs, one serious (the one here), and one downright silly (apt for that blog) today, as I’m not saying I will ever get back to count, but for now.
A very few might even notice the very early posting time, but there is a reason for this too. A boring one, baseball. Tonight (UK time at least) is the first of 2 occasions when its possible there will be 4 play off games in one night. In theory, it could happen again Monday, but as 2 of the games would have to go to 4th match of 5 for that to happen, its less than likely, so…
So, as hinted, we are talking rail lines here, but some longer term visitors will already know, I enjoy scenic long distance rail journeys anyway. So… When I was young, the only way to see rail lines some way from me, was to plan holidays with something called a railrover, and draw up pages of station times to get connections, write by something called letters to hotels in suitable areas, and hope you could get the 2 to match up. Most of time it worked, a few times it didnt, but this was the 1970’s, so…
Now, all you need to do if desired, is go on You Tube, and you’d be stunned what you could find. I hope you cant find a full 40 hour plus film covering Winnipeg to Churchill in Canada, but beyond that…
Here in the UK, there are a couple of people called Geoff Marshall, and his partner/Wife?, Vicki, who in time have covered the whole network, post any number of helpful videos, and who seem a lovely couple in terms of the limited contact I’ve had with them. All The Stations is their best site on You Tube, go look them up, and stuff at least. But finally, this is it for them, they’re famous enough anyway, lol.
The other thing anyone who has known me for any length of time will know, I love rail journeys, but its the lines that are no longer with us that appeal to me far more than current ones. Thankfully there are another lovely couple on You Tube who have taken up the abandoned line challenge, Paul, and Rebecca Whitewick, their You Tube site being https://www.youtube.com/user/pwhitewick1
Go check it out, take a choice and watch a video or two, or more.
The thing is, this sort of thing isnt cheap, even more so for abandoned lines, hotel costs, video prep, and everything else, so they have a Patreon to help, and thats what I’m pushing now
Neither me, nor them (unless Bill Gates reads this, lol) expects you to pay a fortune, either as a one off, or monthly, but if you can help at all (or more)… I obviously cant with my health position, lol. But anything helps, so…they are a lovely couple, and if you comment on a video, you’re going to get a reply, believe me. And yes, you’ll be helping this old lady to get her fill of abandoned UK rail lines too, at a time when my mobility, and stuff is all compromised.
OK, video time. I know, their rough home area, thats it, but its somewhere not a million miles from Andover. A famous old group from Andover, then, the Troggs, though Wet Wet Wet made this more famous, but this video is so 60’s, when Beeching closed so many lines, and its set on a train too!
Lets just say that you never know who has seen you in the past, and I dont mean stalkers!
My first appearance on National TV, I never got to see! Why? Because I was about 12 at the time, and BBC pictures of Live Sunday League Cricket seemingly caught me on TV. I was at Gillingham, watching the game live, and seemingly my mother had it on TV at home. Yes, you can put two and two together, she saw me on TV. And because nothing was recorded back then, it was before the days of video recorders, and all that (hey, we only had black & white TV at the time, early 70’s), so its safely lost in time. I gather I followed up on a couple of other visits to cricket games (Kent were a strong side, reached cup finals back then) being on TV for at least a few brief seconds!
My first ‘proper’ showing on TV was soon after I started at William Hill in Somerset. It was a ‘well known fact’ that the government were going to change the betting tax rules at that point, and they wanted a representative from within the industry to comment on TV about it, for a couple of minutes of interview. Fine, head office was nowhere nearby, they knew I’d done some acting, so got asked if I would do it, and said yes. Again, I never got to see it, as I was still at work when it was shown on local TV. I did do a couple more related pieces for them before I left there in 1999, but it was unpaid work, and not exactly regular work either!
I did a couple more after moving to another shop in Newbury, again both betting industry related, though I did manage to catch at least one of them on TV! Nothing to get excited about, it lasted about 30 seconds post edit, but hey, I’d seen me on Local TV! I also gather that a play I worked in, during that time was filmed for TV publicity, though I have never seen it, so I have no idea if I appeared in the background or not!
After that, I managed to do a few more TV appearances, most of which I’ve never seen, because they were for foreign TV companies. I did some fembot related documentaries for a Canadian company, and a couple of US companies, which as far as I know, never showed over here. I did at one point have a video tape of the Canadian one, but have no idea where it is now! So no begging me to put it on You Tube lol!
Since then I’ve done a few diversity related appearances, pretty brief pieces, and no, I dont remember seeing them either. Again mainly because it seemed to be studios from across the Atlantic that was attracted to me! The British ones, no idea, but dont remember seeing them at least.
I’m told I’m in a few pieces on You Tube. An eclectic mix of snippets of said TV performances I suspect, some of the acting performances got there after they happened, and one rather lengthy hypno piece that I did with someone in Chester, about 4 years ago, that I blogged about. No, dont bother going looking for it, its tagged as private, so the only way you’d find it, is if you asked me nicely for the link! The others are out there somewhere, though I have no idea what they are, or where, never looked for them!
The only thing I know of recently (unless I’ve been in a crowd shot at a baseball game) that has been recorded, was the diversity presentation inside the Civil Service last winter. As far as I know, that was only recorded for internal purposes, so sorry, folks.
Where is this leading to, I hear you ask? Well, earlier this week, someone ‘friended’ me on Facebook, and told me that he’d done it because he’d seen me on MSNBC a few years ago. No, courage failed me to ask if it was robot related, or diversity related, though I suspect it was the latter. But yes, isnt it funny how fame can suddenly come back into your life? Fine, not real fame, but at this point in my career…
I suspect now, if I was to do anything, it would be LGBT diversity related, though its not so long ago that a fembot related documentary could have happened, had I been in Southern California, but I wasnt, at the right time. A couple of months later, but they wanted it done, so…who knows? But yes, if I was to do any speaking now, on any media, I suspect its more likely to be about LGBT, old age, disability, or combination thereof! In fact, someone would love me to do that to a Trans group in Florida, but fine, finances are my issue! But yes, I would, if I could!
OK, video time. Its a well known group, but one of their lesser songs. There is a clue in the blog title, but I doubt anyone could work it out from that!
Right, a little bit of a mixed bundle tonight, catching up on various things, from the last few days.
Firstly, thankfully the issue with the picture has thankfully been sorted, yes, nothing more than a language issue, which a wonderful lady helped me to sort. So now, I suppose I’d better let you see the picture?
A real delight, to light up my birthday, don’t you think?
OK, the reason for no popcorn at the movies, nothing to do with them selling out of the stuff. No, in fact, what has virtually sold out for tonight, is seat tickets! Yes, pretty much, or indeed already is, a full house! So no, given that its quite a trek to Elland, especially on a Saturday night, I’m not going. A shame, as it would have been fun, but in reality, might be a lot easier on my old body by not going. Anyway, not a total loss. I went on You Tube, hoping to find the main one I was going for, the one with Jean Harlow in, ‘Bacon Grabbers’, and lo and behold, found it! Fine, watching it on a laptop is not the same as seeing it on a big screen, but its a good consolation. She only actually appears in the last couple of minutes, but its a good, classic, Laurel and Hardy slapstick comedy.
Fine, I’ll slip the videos in here, as this is what they refer to. Yes, videos, 2 of them, take your pick, or try both. The first is the obvious song, though I had never imagined that Kraftwerk would ever have turned their hands to something as silly as this. Sadly, no pictures, but couldnt find any group performances of this by anyone, so… OK, I found Crazy Frog, but you really dont want that!
The other, is a totally different song, from a totally different era, but probably more apt for me. No, I know nothing about the Fontane Sisters, beyond whats on Wikipedia, so dont ask! Active between 1941, and 1961, but no idea when in that period this was recorded. Most likely from ’48 onwards, but dont quote me on that!
Right, lastly, yesterday was signing on day at the Job Centre. In the middle of discussing my job applications, I was asked if I fancied actually working at the Job Centre. To be honest, even if I wasnt desperate, I would have said yes, as its the sort of ‘something different’ that I’d love to do. So anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve applied, taken some tests, and now just have to wait and see what happens, I guess? Oh, and any prospective employers out there, I’m open to any full time job offer, thats legal! French maid might not be my dream job, but if the pay is decent, then yes, at the moment, I would! Kidding, I, err, think? Oh fine, I might be lousy at it, but it would be fun! Uniform would be, at least!
I think thats everything, for now at least, so…
And yes, that title is a play on that awful X Factor programme, and the talentless wannabees it produces. Especially as I know there is real talent out there, including one really excellent busker on the streets of Leeds, who deserves a far bigger audience than the few of us passing through town. But sadly, not only does he have far too much genuine talent for the likes of Cowell and Co, he’s also now a bit too old for them as well.
And no, I’m not a talent spotter either, if I was, I’d be signing him up, and these two here like a shot, because they have real talent, not the kind hyped up to the heavens, with nothing to back it up.
I know nothing about Gary Simmons or Kirsty Marr, beyond the small collection of videos on You Tube. The video here suggests they are British, covering Bucks Fizz songs might be a clue on that as well! The comments state this was filmed near Bristol, so I suspect they are somewhere in that corner of the country? What I do know is that both have great singing voices, make really clever videos, and I suspect they also have a wonderful sense of humour too. Yet beyond the small audience who have found them on You tube, and their friends, their talent remains unknown to the wider world. I admit it, I only found them because of their spoof Bucks Fizz video, when searching for the original, but I’m so glad I did. No, I’m not posting that here, because of the ending, that might not appeal to all. It is editing, he clearly survived, but, as there might be young people reading this…
Yes, I’m tagging both of them on this for one reason, the hope that they, or someone who knows them might just read this, and let them know. Or even better, that some record company person might click on the video, see how good they are, and sign them up! I’m only posting one video link here, but feel free to click through and hear some more.
Kirsty and Gary, I hope you get to hear about this, and I hope you get more publicity out of it, and more see just how talented you are. I know these blogs only have a small audience, but hopefully the whole friend of a friend thing can come into play, and they go viral at least.
The song, a cover of a Phil Oakey (Human League) song, very well done, and as I said, filmed near Bristol, a fact I know thanks to Gary’s comments, though Clifton bridge is pretty recognisable all the same.
PS Any sizes mentioned here are UK ones, people in other countries may need to translate lol!
And no, I’m not, generally I’m a 14, though in some places, and especially with clingy stuff, I tend to be a 16. Dont think I could be a 10 if I starved myself, even with all the changes to my figure, but thats not the point. Oh, and one last comment about shop sizing, what on earth is a 12-14, it either fits someone who is a size 14, or it doesnt! Me, I tend to get a 16-18 in things like that, because one things for certain, that other size really wont fit on a ‘big’ 14, thats for sure.
To be honest, I’m quite happy to be a 14, though alright, verging towards 12, not 16 would be the nicer way to go. Actually the beauty of this song is the fact that Paul Heaton actually makes the point that he prefers bigger girls, and so generally do I. To be blunt, size 8 looks tiny to me, and as for anything less than that…yuck! So yes, this blog is about size issues, but I suspect you’d guessed that already!
You might also gather that I’m not a fan of ‘matchstick’ models, it sets all the wrong image to young girls, and look at all the problems with anorexia thats given us! Even more so if you think that some of those models are probably airbrushed to look slimmer in pictures anyway.
So if anyone wants to send me any clothes (budget stuff is brilliant), then you know my size! Bra size (38B, or C, depending on if I’m using inserts or not), and a shoe size 8, though high heels are definitely out! And no, I’m not expecting any offers lol!
The other perfect 10 I want to slip into this, is cricket related, a bowler taking all 10 wickets in an innings. And no, beyond ancient black and white film of Jim Laker, I’ve never seen it done. I think I’ve seen a 9 for, on 3 occasions, once on TV, and I think twice while scoring club cricket, though I might well be wrong on the latter, its about 30 years ago or so I was doing that!
OK, its video time, you’ve worked out the song, and worked out the group, so not much more to say. This isnt the original video, though I’m sure you can find that through the You Tube link if you prefer. Sadly this version doesnt have Jacqui Abbott either, its a more recent live version than that, though Alison Wheeler does a good job herself. The setting is quite nice too. So settle back and enjoy…
Double blogging tonight, I can blame You Tube for that, but found a couple of good songs for things. Mind, unless you’ve found my other blog, or vice versa, then you wont know both!
Yorkshire, where I am now, only ranks as the county I’ve lived in for the 3rd longest period in my life, even more so if you count the Somerset/Dorset border area as one, as my stay down there was spent on both sides of the border, though never more than 3 miles from the other, and indeed worked in Somerset all that time. Kent is the longest btw, and now will be for a few more years yet, given I lived there about 21 years, and still only approaching 10 in Yorkshire even now.
Somerset was my first taste of independence from home, I knew I needed to get away from home for several reasons, one of which I’ve now got round to living of course. Though back then I was still trying to be a man, even if I was making a very lousy job of it, again I now know why!
But Somerset (and Dorset) did me good, I got that freedom that I needed, and life was fun. Life down there is definitely lived at a relaxed pace, even if the fallacy that everyone drinks cider is totally false lol! I made a few good friends down there, but had no contact with any of them once I left in ’99, and do regret not knowing what happened to a few of them.
Dont get me wrong, I’m Yorkshire through and through, and glad that after all these years, that I’m living up here once again, and in all likelihood, unlikely to move on. I guess I might move to Ireland when I retire, even though I have no relatives or anything over there I know, theres something in my heart, my Irishness if you like that calls to me, even if it is more than a few generations back. Dont ask me why, but there is?
But I’m glad I lived in and around Yeovil for 16 years, I had a great time down there, I must admit.
Sorry, you might be hoping for Pet Shop Boys, or even the Village People, but you’re getting neither of them. Instead you’re getting a group whose very heart is Somerset, even if one of their legendary line up was born nearer Edinburgh than Taunton. And yes, I love them even now.
Hope you can enjoy lol!
Some places have a great reputation for all the great pop acts to come out of them, Liverpool being the most obvious example over the years, producing pop acts over the years far out of proportion to what perhaps they should have achieved.
The home council of my birth area wasn’t one of them though! Bradford has never exactly been a musical hotspot over the years, and though I’m sure others will throw up names, the only 2 I know both reached their height in the 70’s, and though both are still going strong now, its been a long while since anything charted!
Kiki Dee is probably most famous for a certain duet with her record label co-star Elton John, but did have some solo success in her own right, an example of which below. Back in the late 60’s there were albums produced by session musicians and singers of all the big hits, and amazingly both were involved in those before fame arrived. There is a rumour Bowie was too, but I’ve never read any definite evidence of that. As I said pop success was intermittent for Kiki, but she went on to star in many major stage musicals, Blood Brothers being the most obvious one. I’m posting this video, as there werent too many around in the early 70’s, so I suspect its fairly rare
Smokie are the only other Bradford act I can think of that made it really big, and are still going strong today, albeit with a bit of a changed line-up lol! They had a string of hits in the 70’s, so picking a song was technically easier, and a few more videos to pick from. But this wasnt one of their big hits, its just a song so associated with the group though.
You even get to see parts of Bradford in this, including a glimpse of a bus of the time, frightening stuff!
Feel free to tell me of the legendary Bradford bands I’ve missed, I’m sure there are some. Just remember though that anything after the mid 90’s or so would have missed my radar!
Oh, and a jokey message to all England cricket fans reading this. Enjoy your success, because Ireland will hopefully do a repeat in 12 days time! 🙂 Seriously, congrats on a great summer, and getting the No. 1 ranking today.
The one thing I do from time to time, is let the music pick the blog subject, and in a sense, tonight was one of those times. Even more so when I found a great cover of a song being performed live by a musical genius. More on that later.
I actually picked out a few songs before this, thinking it fitted a good blog, without having a definite plan on what I would write, and then the You Tube randomiser suggested this, and lo and behold…
Arrival is actually a moot point, though when Benny and Bjorn wrote this, they didnt actually specify a moment of arrival. Possibly because they knew what a certain train franchise’s punctuality record would be like lol!
When I started blogging, I mentioned a certain train company who were the bane of my travelling life, nothing has really changed since then. First Transpennine Express are that recalcitrant train company, though they are more often announced at Huddersfield as Delayed First Trans Pennine Express, so maybe they’ve changed their name? Happened twice today, so just maybe… 😉
I’d love to say good things about them, but on the whole, its hard to do so. Their punctuality record is dreadful, despite setting themselves up decent stopovers at Leeds, York etc, they still are very often late. Despite umpteen promises, trains are badly overcrowded at nearly all times of the day, its the main cross Pennine route, and also serves Manchester Airport, so draw your own conclusions. If the fares were reasonable, it might all be forgiven, but they’re not, they are one of the more expensive per mile franchises in the country. They do have a few lovely staff, the class 170 trains on certain runs are very cute, but after that, I struggle to say a nice word!
My journey should take just under 20 minutes with them, tonight it was 27! No train in front of us or anything, just a typically slow, annoying journey on an overcrowded train! The train that stops at all stations from Leeds only takes between 34 and 37 minutes!
Hopefully someone there checks categories at places like this to see comments, but I doubt it somehow. Right, rant over, I’d better let you have the music video, which is probably what people come here for by now!
The title gives away what the song is, the mention of the writers should make most realise it was originally an Abba song, but I’ve never found a proper video of them performing it. Tonight, I was lucky enough to find this, a Mike Oldfield cover, live version, and a pretty good one at that. Please enjoy