2018, a bit of a drag?

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!

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Merry Christmas from me, and Clara too

Just a brief piece to wish all those who read my waffling’s throughout the year, and those who just pop in occasionally, a Merry Christmas, which if I do this right, should appear in the first minute of Christmas Day in Hollywood, which seems rather apt timing for Clara, at least. Yes, 8 in the morning for UK readers, which is still a reasonable time, lets face it.

The rest of the year will be the traditional annual review, and a look forward to next year, though in truth, beyond 2 trips to Blackpool, I have no plans in concrete as yet for 2019.

So what can I offer, given no videos? Well, a pair of pictures, of both myself, and Clara, in the most seasonal shots I have.

As Slade said, so many years ago, It’s Christmas!

Lets go back to 1983, and a little place called Yeovil

Sorry, or thankfully, depending on your views, you’re going to have to do without a video with the blog, due to the fact I’m away for Christmas, and dont have headphones to check its working OK.

Back in March 1983, I moved away to Somerset, my first real job away from home, in a small town I’d never visited before, named Yeovil. In June 1983, there was a General Election, one of Thatchers numerous successes. But lets not talk about her.

In those days, there wasnt the millions of betting markets that there are now, due to the lack of internet and stuff, so unless it was a standard market, the big name bookmakers wouldnt bet on it. Anyway, there was talk around town about a candidate standing at the forthcoming election, for the Liberal Party, named Paddy Ashdown. What you have to consider at this time, Yeovil was a nice safe Conservative seat, so…

There was a wonderful man, named Tony Woods, who had an independent bookmakers up the road from where I worked. Anyway, he decided to quote a price on this young whippersnapper (well, 42, by politician standards…fairly young) for the next General Election to take the seat. Yes, as history shows, it cost him a bit of money, lol.

Paddy was still MP for Yeovil when I left the town about 16 years later. He hadnt been my MP since 1988, when I moved across the border to live in West Dorset, but he was still the MP where I worked at least. He finally retired from the position in 2001, but the Liberal/Liberal Democrat vote held up until recently anyway.

I only saw Paddy Ashdown once. He walked into the Liberal Club in town, when I was there, playing darts, and that was the only time I ever actually saw him. But I know he did a lot of good for Yeovil, and his constituents. He continued to do good for the country after his retirement, and moved into the house of Lords. Of course, he also led the Liberals for a very long period of time in the interim, some of their more successful years.

Yes, he passed away in the last couple of day, at the age of 77. Maybe we never knew each other, but both of us let Yeovil leave its mark on us back in 1983.

RIP, Paddy

Girls, boys, and so much more

I’m not claiming that I thought I knew all of the LGBT+ terms that people use nowadays, but I thought I knew most of them, but showed up my lack of knowledge yesterday.

Had a request by email, and on the work intranet yesterday for people to act as representatives for a Princes Trust panel early next year. Thing is, as they put it, they were after the lesser represented groups to come forward. And yes, seemingly according to this, Intersex, and Non Binary are far too normal, lol. As for Transgender, and Pansexual, and the like, no thanks.

No, the people they were looking for, were from the following groups, and in truth, I had to look these up to know what they were.

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Bigender

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demigirl

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Demiguy

So yes, even someone with as much involvement as I have, can learn something new!

In truth, I dont really mind what term any person chooses to select for themselves, its all a personal choice. At the same time, there is a point where you can see why the ghastly ‘rabid right wing Christian nutcases’ might be entitled to shout enough, in their eyes at least?

Oh fine, if someone wants to offer me the chance to be officially designated as a Fembot, I wont say no! 😛 Ooh, zap me baby, lol! Yeah, I wish!

………….

Lastly, my patience finally ran out with First Buses again. 3rd letter of complaint in about 6 months, not that I’ve even had the courtesy of a reply to the previous two, so this time I’ve mentioned passing it on to the controlling board if I dont get a reply.

I wasnt looking forward to a physio appointment at 4.45 tonight, travel wise, and I was proved right. I got back to the bus stop at 5.17, raining, and cold, less than perfect conditions for me. Still, by using all options, I should have had a bus coming along every 5 minutes. I waited 29! After all that, the bus driver had to go ‘somewhere’ when we finally reached town, and that was another 10 minutes delay. Yes, I might have just ‘slightly’ laid on how disabled I am, but by the time I got home, the back felt pretty dreadful, so… and Monday’s journey home was an hour longer than it should have been, and was only that because I got a taxi home from town!

Still wont hold my breath for even the respect of a reply, despite all that, mind, they really are a dreadful company.

Right, video time. Back to the initial subject for this. Some live Blur, though to say Damon Albarn looks less than enthused would be putting it mildly!

Well, if you ask nicely?

For once, the title of the blog has absolutely zero to do with the video, so dont try to stress your brain cells, lol.

Today was flotation tank day, and in truth, my back really needed it this time around. Sunday, the 4 of us went off up to Skipton, and had one of those canal boat, Christmas Dinner meals. The meal was very good, the service speed a little, err, entertaining, but the seats we were sitting on had all the back support of a brick wall. And yes, when your back is as damaged as mine… The only other entertaining moment was the Sat-Nav system, which insisted on calling Keighley (pronounced Keith-Lee), as ‘Key-Lee’, which of course had me in a total fit of giggles. I think its safe to say that it would probably call Slaithwaite, as spelt, and not Sla-wit, as its pronounced too.

Anyway, with a back that was already ‘grumpy’, I went to work yesterday in the cold, and the rain, and the inevitable happened, it flared up badly. So, halfway through the day, came home, a journey which should take about 75-80 minutes at that time of day. It took 140, and only that short as I gave up on First Buses, and got a taxi home from town!

Thankfully, today, I had the ‘miracle treatment’ booked, the flotation tank. Lets just say back pain wise, if last night was a 10, and this morning about a 7, its now about a 2.5! Yes, that, lack of pressure on the spine is just amazing.

This time around, Donna showed me how to seal the pod properly (assumed I would spot handle first time, and didnt, and someone else showed me through last time), which was simple when shown, but anyway…So, lights out, and yes, that pod really is sound proofed, among other things, never heard a thing once the music stopped, before it started up again.

So, I cleared my mind completely of thought, and imagined being transformed into a ‘beautiful swan’ when I got out again, but no, that never happened. Nor was I turned into an alien, which might have been fun, but anyway… What I did this time, when nice and tranquil, and safe in the womb of the pod, was leave space for Clara to come through in time, but only if she wanted to, under the circumstances. Yes, she took up the offer!

I know it was her, as the second comment she made was about someone fetching her a cigarette, and I’ve never smoked! Well, there was also the fact that she was talking with a very cool, mid west accent, but distinctly noticeable, which is maybe why she never got too many lines in movies, just stuck to dancing. She hung around, saying things about the crazy things that Mr Mayer (of MGM), and Buzby Berkeley got her to do, in the cause of dancing. Lots of toe splashing, and giggling too, but then (I guess after about 15 minutes or so, its hard to tell time in a place like that), the music started back up, and as I told her beforehand, that meant it was time to go. Yes, she did.

I ‘came back’, stunned at what had happened, but thrilled. Lets face it, I wouldnt ask for a cigarette, nor would I naturally have a mid western accent like she did! Of course, I cant get her to answer questions from me under those circumstances, but it was fun sensing things through her ‘eyes’.

Sadly, its going to be mid January before I can follow up on this, as the place is either full, or more likely closed for all the holiday period, or a combination of both. So first appointment I can get, that really works for me is 15th January. I could have got in the week before, but I have the other physio that week, so spreading them out is wiser.

But yes, on that day, is Miss Johnson going to come out to play (and splash toes) again, who knows? But the answer, probably?

OK, video time. 1930 is the oldest date I can find conclusive evidence of Clara dancing in the movies. She may well have danced in 1929, but I havent seen clear evidence as yet. As I’ve said before, 1937 is the last date I have evidence for. This technicolor movie from 1930 features the Goldwyn Girls, of which she was one, but faces arent clear enough to be conclusive that Clara is, or isnt in this. I think I see her there, but cant be sure. But yes, regardless, its something a little different to the normal Berkeley routine

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…

 

So what happens now?

Well, I must admit, when I avoided discussing the Brexit vote on Sunday, I wasnt expecting this position, though in truth, I’m not totally surprised it did. Yes, the vote that was due to happen in Parliament today, over the Brexit agreement was cancelled yesterday, when I think even Theresa May realised it was going to end in crushing defeat, and there wasnt a lot she could do about that. The irony of this being that she cant get the votes from the rabid Brexiteers of her party (not extreme enough), or those who wanted to remain (not a sane deal), which just sums it up

So, to quote the blog title, what happens now? In truth, the only answer I can offer, no idea! The media seem nearly as clueless as the politicians on the matter, as I’ve heard answers from every point on the spectrum from Brexit being cancelled, to just crashing out of the EU, and pure chaos ensuing. Or, of course, just about anywhere in between!

It seems May is going to try to renegotiate, even though the EU have clearly said thats not going to happen. Lets face it, why should they want to offer us the most perfect deal, its not in their best position to do so. I’m going to manage to stay neutral on this for one good reason, neither of the major parliamentary parties seem to have half an idea on how to resolve this matter! I also feel less guilty if I do slip up, as I’ve seen 2 colleagues posting decidedly non politically neutral postings on the event today on social media, anyway, lol! 😛 Before anyone says this is anti Conservative bias, I’m not a fan of Corbyn either!

Oh, and to put it into context, without mentioning how I voted again, you could always just look back to my blogs, at the time of the vote (pre Civil Service job days, so could comment) to see how I voted, lol. 😉

The interesting (and possibly fun) thing is, that at some point, May needs to put something to a vote, and given the wide spectrum of feeling in her own party, and the fact that the opposition just want to vote against her regardless, it looks like she will lose the vote at some point, assuming she hasnt been dethroned by her party before then, and nothing would surprise me at present.

My dream outcome, that the office lottery syndicate win the jackpot before March 29, I can declare retirement, and hurry off somewhere hot all the year round, and yes, I might have been there recently, lol. Both so I’m out the country should chaos break out (and medicines is one big issue that concerns me a lot), and so that I can retire comfortably in the EU sun! Well, unless some wealthy American in a warm state goes crazy, and marries me, lol, anyway. Or I find a ‘sugar daddy (or mummy) who wants to set me up somewhere suitably warm. Think the former is more likely than the last two, and thats saying something!

Oh, and two additional amusing moments with a political touch today. Firstly, Theresa May went to see Angela Merkel in Germany today about the current chaos. Funny point, her car door wouldnt open, and let her out. Eventually she did get out, but fine, the film is all over Social Media now, hilarious stuff.

Secondly, in the US, Trump was made to look the fool he is today, when meeting with a pair of leading Democrats, over his desire to build a wall between the US, and Mexico. Yes, he made the threat to shut down the US if he didnt get his way, like a very spoilt child, and they managed to get it recorded for posterity. Way things are going, with luck, some time in the near future there will be a wall around him, a prison wall!

Fine, lets call it quits here, and hope its UK neutral enough, lol. So, video time. A song from Evita, with a very apt line, repeated numerous times.

The perfect protective clothing

Apologies for another health related piece, of sorts, but its the diplomatic outcome. I really, really wanted to comment on the Brexit vote on Tuesday, and the complications surrounding it, but after an afternoon of working how to keep it politically neutral, I failed miserably, so you’re not getting it! I’ll work on trying to get there for Tuesday, but other than that…

The amusing thing is, the news of this potential clothing breakthrough came through one of the ‘weird’ writers forums that I inhabit. Lets just say he was thinking of a more kinky way to use this material, whereas I came up with a more beneficial potential for disabled people like myself.

https://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4334/new_material_that_thickens_as_its_pulled

Yes, just think, especially with winter coming up, how beneficial a body suit made of material like this would be for people like me. Apart from the fact that I think I’d be snugly warm inside something like that, consider the potential. If I slipped on ice, for example, its fair to assume I would pull on the suit, it would thicken, so when I landed on my back, knees, or wrist (which lets face it, are all pretty vulnerable) I would have additional protection when I hit the ground! I might not get zero damage, but it would be very much reduced. Good, yes?

Oh fine, the snag is, that currently, and probably not in the near future either, such clothing doesnt actually exist. And lets face it, if it did, I suspect it would be well beyond my budget anyway. But wouldnt it be wonderful if a clothing company did run with something like this, as it would be such a boon for disabled, and elderly people like me.

So, can we get this done, pretty please? I doubt it, but its a great concept at least.

For those curious, the other guys idea? Yeah, bondage suit, not subtle, lol. My version would have an easy way to get into, and out of the outfit, I’m not sure he’d want things to be so easy!

For those with concern, the wrist is a little easier, and at least now I can ball my hand into a fist, which I certainly couldnt do on Friday, so clearly its better at least. In NFL health terms, I’d call myself a ‘probable’ for work tomorrow, though I will have to be careful. Its still a bit sore, but I think I can cope? Strictly, I could elect to go back Wednesday, if I’m not happy with it, on the basis of being able to self certificate for a week. Yes, I know, maybe I should, but I could do with getting out, lol! 😛 I need to be back by Friday, anyway, as its the works Christmas meal, and I’ve got a dress to wear, lol!

OK, video time. I probably ought to apologise for this, but incredibly, this was the Christmas number 1 record 25 years ago. And fine, its a protective suit, and if I hit the ground wearing this, I’d probably barely notice the fall! So…

Doctor, Doctor, so whats the news?

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?

Miss Johnson at Christmas

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!