Out of era, out of time

Yesterday evening, when I got home from work, I found out we were going out for a meal that evening, as the others had been busy doing some roof repairs while I was at the ‘day job’, and part of the reward for the hardest working pair, was not having to cook that night.

The most difficult bit I had to do, given it was a Saturday evening, and seemed wise for a party of 4, was to book a table. I assumed they would be popular, but in hindsight, they weren’t when we got there, and discovered why. But more on that shortly…

As is my whim, I decided I was going to slip on a dress to go out. I know, old fashioned thing, but something I dont often do in public, so… Given I have a fairly new pair of sparkly blue shoes, and I have a less new 30’s style blue dress, I decided to combine them. Fine, it shows a bit of leg, but no knees, so who cares? Funny thing was, when we got there, I was greeted by 2 ladies dressed in flapper style dresses, so I guessed at the wrong era lol!

The pub/restaurant that we’ve gone to for years, wasnt as busy as I expected for 7.00 on a Saturday evening, and in truth, not booking a table wouldnt have been an issue. Surprising, but a few months ago (just before my birthday), it changed style, and branding, and as we know now, it changed service quality too!

After ordering our drinks, and our meals, we waited for them to arrive. And waited, and waited…about 30 minutes later, the drinks arrived, about 10 minutes after that, the meals. Nothing complex, nothing they shouldnt have served in about half the time!

Then, after about 10 minutes trying to catch a waitresses eye, to clear the table, and order desserts, I had success. We ordered them, a couple of drinks, and then waited, and waited, with nothing arriving. Anyway, 40-45 minutes later Ella queried the matter, and we found out the waitress hadnt even put the order in for us! Nor had she ever collected the last plate, in truth. We did get the desserts, and drinks free (though as one of the 2 latter was a free refill, no great shout), but nothing else off the bill, shocking, really. Not sure if the staff simply didnt care, or were new to the job, but…

Lets just say we wont be going back there anytime in the near future, and leave it at that. So, if anyone in the Yorkshire area is reading this, and is thinking of going to the Yorkshire Rose, in Huddersfield, I’d advise against it! Given most of my readers are in the US, probably an unneeded piece of advice, but anyway, its done. It used to be nice, but now its out of time for future trips!

Talking of which, the video, from the 60’s. Some may know the Rolling Stones version, but this is the one that topped the charts over here in 1966.

Advertisements

Take it off, before I go go?

Given I wanted to do something Transgender this month, given its Pride month, and everything, but lacking for bright ideas in areas I havent covered previously, lets look at something that I should get removed, but dont fancy the pain of doing so at my age. Thats right, that ghastly bit of my anatomy that a girl shouldnt have, the penis!

To be fair, I’ve always said that if the need arose, principally that I got into a relationship, that might involve sex, then fine,  it might be fun to do it as a girl should, I have to admit. Until then, I’ve said that why go through all that pain, and issue, just for myself? And yes, if I was younger, or less bothered by unneeded pain, I probably would. But under the circumstances, no thanks!

The thing is, as I’ve got older, and with the body clearly beginning to fall apart, I’ve been thinking one thing. Do I really want to meet my maker with a bit I should never have had, and could have got rid of, in life? In truth, probably not! But how to get around it? Strictly, the one idea I’ve come up with is flawed. Thats because the moment you actually die, then thats it, time is up, not at the time of burial, cremation, or whatever. So therefore the idea I’ve had, of having it removed after death, but before cremation technically falls down, the soul is already gone by then. But on the other hand, if, at that big moment when I leave the world, hopefully in style, its not there, does that count? In truth, I have no idea if there will be anyone around to mourn for me, but besides all that…? Or do I have to face it, that if I want to go without ‘it’, that it has to be gone before I die?

Of course the same theory comes into play with my boobs. Lets face it, my prosthetics are external, not internal, for a few reasons. Mainly the fact that nowadays, they look good, feel good, and as I’ve previously mentioned, they’re very easy to use, in a pain free form! But whether I could be cremated, wearing them, no idea? I know, some girls are pretty flat chested anyway, but one of the things I love is looking like I’ve got a cleavage, so not having one at the end would be a bit cruel. I know, I wont know either way, but…

I know you can make all sorts of requests for your funerals, but is having your ‘bits bobbed’ a permitted one?

Of course, all this might not be needed, if ‘the one’ comes along, but at my age, I doubt they will! So…?

Right, video time tonight. Firstly the version of the song most will remember.

Secondly, a much crazier, metal version of said song by Leo Moracchioli

Do the walk through life

One thing I’ve had to accept is the fact I’m getting old now. How much longer I’ve got, who knows? How much longer (given the pain I’ve got now) I want to last, who knows, but in this current organic body (yes, I’d love a cybernetic upgrade, if offered, lol), I dont want it to be forever. Whats the pleasure, when you’ve got a body with permanent ache, and lets face it, even if its now my personal choice (due to no pleasure in surgery pain), I’ve got a body thats screwed up gender wise too! If asked my ambition, I’d aim for a few years of retirement, but not too many, then just leave the world to the next generation. Fine, we dont get all the say we want in that matter, but anyway… But yes, I’ve started planning for the next stage now, that of retirement.

Let me say, I have no idea if my body is still going to be up to work by the time I hit the current retirement age of 66. I’m hoping it is, to build up the work pension, but in truth, not sure that I will. But while I can, I will, at least unless they change the retirement age for women again, something I think that despite campaigns, is not going to happen, but besides that… Not going to hold out for the suggested compensation payment either!

But yes, facing facts, as things stand, just under 6 years from now, I can retire from work. Now, I probably will. Until the back went, given that I could have carried on for a short while, I was considering October 2024 as retirement date (50 years of working life), but now, the sooner the better!

Anyway, last week, got an email at work for a pre-retirement advice course from work (well, I work in right department, lol), but unfortunately saw it one day after the closing date to apply. Anyway, yesterday, got an email that someone had dropped out, I was top of reserve list, so now I’m going. Just under 2 weeks time, in Leeds. I hope I can learn a lot, including how you apply to a previous job for your pension that they owe to you, when you’ve had 2 name changes, and a gender change! I guess the name change isnt going to be new to them, women get married, lets face it, but the gender change might be new to them! Thankfully my National Insurance number hasnt changed, so they should be able to trace it, but… Another advantage of that, payment was due to start at 63, even when the retirement age was 65. It wont be a fortune, but if it makes the differenece between the need to do a 3 day week from 63, instead of a 4 day week, might be handy!

But yes, who knows where life will take me between now, and then, anyway? But hopefully, on 2nd July, I can learn a lot more about that next step in my life thats fast approaching. No, I dont expect the robot body offer in my lifetime, lol!

Right, the video. I always assumed that the US Sports video of this song was the original one, but seemingly not! Bit dated with things like £1 pound notes and the like, but hey, its old, just like me!

So Lonely? Hope so!

Fine, I havent done any sport in a while, so lets do some tonight, of sorts at least.

For those who care about football/soccer (depending which side of the Atlantic you are), the World Cup is on, in Russia. Irony, given its in the country of Trump’s best buddy, the US arent there, so probably a lack of interest over there, maybe? Or maybe all those ‘immigrants’ he so hates, and I dont, are celebrating Mexico’s victory over Germany earlier today?

But yes, tomorrow, at 7 pm my time, just as I  come out of work, England start their campaign, against Tunisia. Yes, I know, I’ll miss it, what a shame, she facetiously says. No, I havent watched a minute of it yet, nor do I plan to. But what this does mean, with luck, is that most of the English male population will ensure they’re home, watching the game! Which hopefully means a few less people on the streets to the bus station, and on the buses tomorrow night. Of course, knowing the awful service provided by First Buses, I am assuming that their bus drivers will still be working, and not watching the games themselves, and therefore the bus doesnt turn up! Thankfully Northern Rail arent on strike again until Tuesday, so I have a back up at least!

But yes, with luck, a quieter journey home than normal, unless I pass a bar showing the game, I guess, then all bets are off!

The video, a Police oldie, one of their lesser hits, but a hopefully apt one.

Two in a row

And yes, though strictly you do have 2 versions of the same song in a row, that isnt what I mean! But before we get started… May I just wish a blessed Eid to all my readers who will be celebrating it. Yes, tomorrow at work is going to be tough, to put it mildly, but hopefully my back will survive the day. And Saturday, and…

I didnt actually realize this was going to happen until today, when Facebook kindly told me about a birthday today. The one tomorrow I knew about in advance, slightly more warning, but…

Back in September, in the US, I met, and holidayed with, 2 women in a row! Yes, firstly, my long term friend, Kate, whose birthday it is tomorrow. Then I went off to go to a wedding, though not to be married, and teamed up with Stacie for a few days. And yes, its her birthday today! Hopefully  next year, though not near their birthdays, I will see at least one, maybe both, yet again. If not next year for Stacie, will be the year after. Kate and I are considering Oklahoma, but given it would be a ‘one trick pony’ to see the county that Clara was born in (Kate is originally from that state), and there might not be much else to do, so we will have to wait and see.

But yes, its fun to have 2 special friends, with their birthdays quite literally next to each other, I must admit. So, I offer a birthday toast to both of you tonight, as I will be otherwise engaged tomorrow.

Given that Stacie keeps sending me pics of alien spacecraft that I’d love to have a flight in, and alien suits that I’d love to wear, I thought this song was apt in that sense. No, so far, she hasnt sent me either lol! As for Kate, well, she has seen some of the weird space set sci-fi I’ve written, so why not? As I say, 2 versions, firstly, the original video from the time of release

Secondly, given the original line up have just got back together after many years, and plan to record a new album, and hopefully a new tour, the latest recording of same song. Slightly less hair now, lol!

The holiday experience

Before I leave Blackpool off the blogs for a little while…Some thoughts from the weekend.

When I was young, pretty much everyone, excluding the wealthy, used to holiday at home in the UK. For the wonderfully obvious reason that in those pre-package holiday days, most people had little choice to do anything else. So places like Blackpool, Scarborough, Southend (the 3 I now know best, now, and in the past), and numerous other seaside resorts thrived with visitors every year, in the summer. Its hard to believe that until the early 60’s, on a Saturday, the trains would run hundreds of ‘holiday trains’ to the seaside, filled with people going away for their week of leisure. To be fair, they had their day before then, with mass ownership of cars creeping in, but even then, there were enough people to make it worth while.

Then at some point  in the 1970’s, a travel company came up with the idea of package flights, to beaches abroad, and the entry into the Common Market, and the demise slowly began. Lets face it, why, when you have a week of freedom, would you risk the UK weather, when you could have almost guaranteed sun, for little more money. I never got involved in that initial rush, as part of a single parent family, holidays had to be basic, and stay that way. Even when I could buy my own, I tended to stay in the UK (or Jersey) of choice, apart from ‘family’ related trips to Ireland.  Apart from that, and a school day trip to France, I never went abroad until I was in my late twenties!

Since then, I havent often holidayed at home! There was the trip to Jersey a few years ago, and I noticed that numbers were less there, not surprisingly, but that really was about it. But UK seaside resorts otherwise, not at all.

Lets just say that I dont remember Blackpool at all from my few brief visits 30-40 years ago, so I cant compare it to then. And as I said at the time, March was such a flying visit, I didnt get to see much. Of course, this time I did. I’m not going to say Blackpool is a depressed area, it isnt, but at the same time, its seen better days! Yes, its heyday is gone, for sure. But thats progress, I guess? The pier was busy on Saturday, and was quite crowded at times, and that was nice to see. Where the big clues lay for me, was Friday evening, when we walked inland, into town, to get something to eat. I know most retail areas are struggling today, due to online shopping, and stuff, but the town center didnt inspire me to do more than have a meal, and get back to the guest house.

To be fair, the number of guest houses, and small hotels in the town, business must still be decent, but I suspect way down from the heydays, up to the 1970’s? I’ll give Blackpool its due, its trying, Saturday showed that. I’ve heard other places may not be trying so hard, but the times have changed against these famous UK seaside resorts. Who knows, it may swing back again after Brexit, who can tell? I have my doubts, but fingers crossed…

Right, video time. One of those ‘foreign’ songs that were all the rage back in the 1970’s. Most were re-recorded in English, as this song was, several times. But this quirky video, from the 1970’s, of the original version of the song, truly is quite, err, something!

I could have walked all day

In case anyone was wondering, its a play on the video title, which pretty much summed up a lot of my day yesterday.

Fine, firstly, it would be remiss of me to not mention an event that happened earlier to day in the 4 UK capitals, which was a march to celebrate the centenary of the first ever date that some women could cast a vote. It was about another 10 years before all women could, but 1918 is remembered for the suffrage, so…

Oh fine, all you really are here for, is the weekend. The train journey to Blackpool was uneventful, other than that Northern Rail provided a train for the journey from Halifax to Preston that wouldnt have looked terribly out of place in the Edwardian Era. Fine, that might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much! I guess the train was nearly as old as me, and that is the truth!

The guest house was lovely, the only snag being that I picked the one room that had separate beds for me, and Eric, and unfortunately, it was at the top of the house. Yes, he made it, but next time (and we’re most definitely going back there again!), they said they will sort something out, so we can be ‘modest’ but sleep on the ground floor, which sounds good to me. Lets just say it was rated 4.7 out of 5, and my only query would be why so low? Lack of a suitable computer table would seriously be my only issue!

We brought back old times on Friday evening, going to an Indian Restaurant, which Eric reckons is the first time we’ve been in an actual one since we left Leytonstone in 2005. Not sure thats correct, but anyway…Yes, very nice meal.

So to Saturday. I left Eric to ride the trams, and I headed for the pier, and spotted a few of the others waiting. Seemingly no one had told the pier people we needed early entry. Unfortunately we attracted the interest of one guy who wanted to help us, and we had to be sharp to get rid of. Friendly, but slightly crazy might be a fair description of him. But then we got in, and yes, headed to the theater, and the chorus girl changing rooms. Yes, probably just like Clara Johnson knew them, with 2, 3 or even 4 of us in a changing room, getting ready. I’d seen my dress in advance

Outfit for tomorrow

And yes, it was as gorgeous as it looked, complete with hat, and gloves. Hampered by the looks of the wearer, but anyway…

Pier Day1

I spent the morning helping out with the craft stand, in the Sun Lounge, and lets just say it got hot, especially dressed like that. Oh, the Punch and Judy man, one of the couple running our guest house! After lunch, I briefly went back there, while covering for the person doing that role for the afternoon was having her lunch. But then I was free to promenade up the pier, like a fine Edwardian lady, accompanied by a ‘companion’, and lets just say we had our photos taken more than a few times! During this time, I was asked if I minded covering the front desk for the last hour or so, as someone had to leave early, so of course I did! The amusing moment here was, that firstly, my companion and I were so busy looking out for people with cameras, and then when on the desk, so busy looking for children to hand out the free ride tickets to, I missed Eric twice! Focused, darlings, focused!

Then, eventually, back to the theater to change back to modern life, but only after a group photo, of most of the remaining volunteers had been taken. We all said out goodbyes, until the next time, then went back to the ‘real world’. Going in, Edwardian, out, looking modern, and back along the pier lol. I did wonder if some people who saw me after I’d changed back recognized me as the Edwardian lady in purple, or not?

There is one wonderful lady, among a lot of wonderful ladies, and men, that I just want to show you her outfit, and you can blame her for tonights video. The outfit was gorgeous, and she went up on the stage, and sang wearing it. Yes, it could be the song in the video. Sorry, you will  have to put up with Audrey Hepburn singing it though

Pier Day4

And thats it, until the next time at least. Beyond the Film Festival early next year, currently I have no idea when that will be, but as Arnie said, when it does, I will be back! How I will be dressed then, who knows, but pretty sure it will be fun!

Oh, that song that ‘A’ sung, from My Fair Lady, well…if you hadnt guessed…

What more, in the name of love?

Hopefully a few of you will get the connection before you get to the video at least. Or, oh fine, the next line of the blog at least.

Yes, June being Pride month, and me being one of the Diversity leaders at work, I could hardly ignore it, lets face it, so I’m not. Most amusing thing? Well, you know Saturday, in Blackpool? Well, as well as our event, it seems its Blackpool Pride day too! Should be fun, and makes me glad I’ve only got to get back a few hundred yards to the guest house at the end of the day, nothing more!

Why June, you might ask? Hopefully most of my readers know it relates to the Stonewall Riots (yes, where the UK LGBT group got their name from) back at the end of the 1960’s, in New York, but if you didnt, you do now! And yes, however bad some might think things are now, before that time, it was far worse for LGBT folk. Homosexuality was illegal here in the UK until the late 60’s, in my lifetime. As it was done on a state by state basis in the US, I’m not going to mention dates for over there, easiest way.

No, I’ve never been on a Pride Parade as yet, and I guess that at my age, less likely it will happen now, especially now with my health issues. I’ll leave all that to the younger folk lol. Thats not to say I wouldnt, if needed, but as I would probably need someone to push me round the march route nowadays, it wouldnt be fair.

My ideal wish, that we wouldnt need Pride Parades, because LGBT people wouldnt need to stand up and be noticed. Hopefully a decade or two down the road, and all this will be looked back on as ‘Did they really need to do that?’, but sadly the answer is still yes, even if things are a world apart from 50 years ago, and better than 20 years ago, but not perfect. Pretty certain I wont be around to see that, but for those who will a much better life, because of whats been done, I’m pleased for you.

Now fine, I know, and accept that a lot of my readers may be LGBT supporting, but not LGBT. Fine by me, equally as important in my eyes. Just give that sign that you’re an ally, OK?

Right, the video. I know, this actually relates to MLK, but the title, and sentiment so fit in with Pride month, I’m sure Bono wont mind?

A chorus girl’s dressing room

Fine, for those privileged to see both blogs tonight, you’ve got one serious one, and a silly one. Of course, in either case, if you only know of one, or the other, well, its pot luck, in that case! In case you needed tipping off, this is the serious one.

Today I got to find out where I’d be changing on Saturday, for my ‘performance’ as an Edwardian Lady in Blackpool, in the chorus girl changing room at the pier! Yes, who could I possibly know who would have changed regularly in such a place? Hmm, Clara Johnson, just maybe? But no, having either always worked in school plays, am dram, and the (very rare) theater, I’ve never had the delight of being a chorus girl. Played a number of girl parts, long before transitioning, but in this life, a chorus girl, oh I wish!

So, unsurprisingly yes, I’m looking forward to this moment more than I probably should, even though my outfit will be far less revealing than anything thats normally worn on the chorus line at Blackpool, or in all likelihood, anything Clara got to wear, in that sense! I mean, some of her outfits were relatively normal, but revealing, though others were crazy, and revealing! One of them shortly, honest… I do suspect that if ‘someone’ gets her chance, in November, I’ll probably get to wear something that would make Clara giggle, blush, or both! Yes, I probably will, even at my age, just because it would be fun, however silly it might look. So fine, A, if you can find something in my size, bring it on!

I think its fair to say that I’m going to walk out of that dressing room in an outfit that a chorus girl would be unlikely to wear, given the era its from. I suspect that even if they’d made a musical based in the Edwardian era, that the outfits that the girls wore would be more revealing than mine, lol. But equally, wouldnt it be funny if I walked out of that changing room, went through a time warp, and out walked a young dancer, wearing not a lot, onto a Hollywood studio dance stage? As long as I had Clara’s dance skills too, at least!

“Yes, Mr Berkeley, I’m ready for my dance routine.”

Sorry, Miss Swanson, couldnt resist pinching that idea! Yes, other than maybe A, I suspect this is as close as I will ever get to chorus girl life!

Right, video time. Among the numerous movies that Clara danced in, was one called Footlight Parade. Why I’ve picked this one is simple, earlier today, someone posted a picture of 13 chorines from that movie, pictured in a row, and asked if anyone knew any of them. Yes, you guessed it, one of them was Clara! So… And also, yes, she is seen in one of those cute, crazy cat outfits in this number. So…Yes, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell star, but there among the cat girls…

 

On a wing and a prayer?

A few months ago, it was announced, with big, bold headlines that the railways over here in the UK would be running a much improved timetable, and service, from 20th May this year. Me, who has suffered the whims, and incompetencies of Trans Pennine Express, and Northern Rail for far too many years, just laughed at this fact, and said on my blogs at the time that it would never happen.

Well, in theory, 2 weeks ago, it did. I managed to miss what was seemingly the first week of total chaos, as I was away in Seattle at the time. However, my first glance back at a UK rail service last Monday, told me the truth about what was happening. I thought maybe it was the fact that rail staff, despite it being in their contract to do so, didnt fancy working on a Bank Holiday, which led to numerous cancellations due to lack of train crew.

However, as the week went on, it became obvious that wasnt the case, it was an everyday event to have lots of train cancellations due to lack of train crews. And it wasnt down to sickness, holidays, or other absences, it was, as I forecast months ago, none of the train companies had the staff to run the new service, and yes, chaos ruled! Guess what, the train I would have caught in the old days, on Saturday, before they changed the time, and ruined it as an option for me, was cancelled!

So therefore, it was no surprise to me to get home last night, and read that 3 of the train companies in this country, have now admitted they cannot run the new timetables, and therefore have introduced temporary timetables in numerous areas to get around the issue. Thing is, some lines arent just going back to service levels before the new service was introduced, its far worse than that!

Given Northern Rail is one of those 3, its easiest to pick on their biggest failure, in the Lake District. The one line going into the Lakes used to be about 1 an hour in each direction, which they tried to improve on, for the summer at least. So, as of tomorrow, how many trains will be running on that line each day? Would you believe, a big round zero! Yes, a replacement bus service all day is as good as it will get. And given its a major holiday area, and summer is coming, the chances of those buses getting caught in traffic jams, and missing connections must be high!

Still, give one piece of kudos to Northern Rail, and the other 2, they’re admitting they’ve got it badly wrong. Trans Pennine Express are making a total mess of things too, but just not prepared to admit it! Cancellations by the dozen, long delays, you name it, they’re doing it!

Do you know the funniest thing about all this, a Japanese Rail Company recently apologized for their train leaving 25 seconds early! As to what they would make of our train service, I dread to think!

Right, video time. To have heard this song before, you either were a huge Gerry Rafferty fan, or just struck lucky, as this is from long after his Baker Street days. But the title sums up what the train companies would like us to do, but have little chance of us doing so. Oh, the blog title? Its the album title!