2014 – Quite a year!

So yes, as we reach the last few hours of 2014 here in the UK, lets do a brief look back. I’m sure I’ll manage a look forward tomorrow somehow!

Most years of late, I’ve made 2 trips to the US (well, there was 1 to Canada, but), and had a few days in Ireland, taking in some cricket. This year I actually ended up having 3 weeks of holiday, 1 in a Jersey, a lot closer than the US. Yes, not New Jersey (though I went there a few years ago), but the one in the Channel Islands.

Long story. Had originally planned to be in Kansas, and Kansas City in May, but Kate’s work got in the way. Thing is, the rail trip to the airport was booked, so was the hotel there, so I ended up booking a short hop to Jersey, returning after just over 30 years. Glad I did it, saw what it was like now, but pretty sure I wont go back again, certainly not in 30 years time!

Then, in September, I finally got to meet up again with my wonderful friend Kate, in Kansas City, home town of Jean Harlow. Sadly, as is the way with big cities, finding any Harlow landmarks, 100 years on, pretty hard. Thankfully, when you go to smaller places like Cherryvale, finding Louise Brooks landmarks is far easier. Especially when there is a wonderful person called Tina there, to give us a guided tour to the town. I learnt so much more than we would have done on a casual visit, I owe her so much, she was wonderful.

The one place in KC that I knew Jean went to, that I could go to, the railway station. Walking around there, much quieter now than it would have been in the 20’s, and 30’s, really was quite something. I may not have literally stood in her footprints, but it felt that way.

The last big trip, in more senses than one, was later than usual, the end of November. Yes, Thanksgiving week, something I had never experienced before. Thanks to my dear friend, and editor, James, I have now. It was really special. I even got to see that public transport doesnt have to grind to a halt when the snow falls. About 9 inches, and the bus service never even blinked! Over here…more than a few grains…rolls eyes!

But there was one other thing from that trip, that will forever stay with me. In one sense, quite literally! A side trip to New Hampshire (via Worcester, MA) to be regressed to a past life, and just discover whether I really was Jean Harlow. No, I wasnt, but I was an actress in Hollywood in the 20’s and 30’s, if only in small parts. Clara Johnson, take a bow, I’m proud of having been you, or however you like to put it.

Of course, what happened after I recovered from that stunning news, a Hypno Jean-bot was created. I know the voice changed, apparently my whole demeanour changes, it really is incredible to experience, I must say.

Oh, and after 5 years, the old girl went for a job interview, if only an internal one. But getting dressed up, going out, and ‘kicking butt’, yes, it was fun. No, I didnt get the job, but did get high praise for my interview, ah well…

So fine, the last video of 2014. This artist was a star in the 60’s, is now in her 70’s, but still has it, in style. And yes, like Jean-bot, safely nestled in my sub concious would say, she always there to remind me, of an amazing 2014

2014 in review

For those of you curious about such matters

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,300 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

After 10 years of waiting…

Yes, there may be a few on here that know, that when it comes to the NFL, I’m a long standing Buffalo Bills fan. Fortunately, soon after I started supporting them, a quarterback named Jim Kelly signed with the team, and shortly after that, the glory years began. Since he retired, its fair to say that things have gone a bit downhill since then! So much so, that its been 15 years since we last made the play offs. And it had been 10 years since we last had a winning season.

So fine, we still havent got to post season, but we had a winning year, though not quite in the way I expected us to! With 2 weeks of the regular season to go, the Bills were 8-6. Yes, one win, from 2, for a winning year. Snag, one of those games was against the New England Patriots, in New England, and we hadnt won there for 12 years! Thankfully, or so it seemed at the time, the other game was against the pretty awful Oakland Raiders, admittedly in Oakland, but surely we couldnt lose to them? We did, 26-24!

With that, went our very bleak chances of making the play offs, and as this week played out, we wouldnt have made it, even if we’d won! But now, to break that awful streak, we have to beat the Patriots, in Foxboro, ah well…

The only blessing, other results in Week 16 meant that the Pats were the number 1 seed, regardless of what happened this week. So just maybe, they’ll take it easy, and…on the other hand, they hate losing at any time, to divisional rivals, so…

Tom Brady started, but despite that, we took the lead. When Brady got sacked, just before half time, they took him out of the game, and we managed to stagger across the winning line, to a winning season. Its not real success, but its better. No, Kyle Orton wasnt Jim Kelly, but he did pretty well, but…he retired after this! So sheesh, we’re looking for ANOTHER quarterback for next season, ah well…

Sorry, this was the best video I could find, I’d just give it a pass, in all honesty

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Yes, right song, but not the artist you’re probably expecting! 😛

So fine, what can I say about the 2 days of Christmas so far? Yesterday was a fine example of Trans Pennine Express at their worst, though with a surprising twist to events. To be fair, before I left home, I knew the 7.17 train was cancelled, just because they felt like it, season of no goodwill with them, and all that. But, if the bus had turned up on time here (it is a First bus, mind), I might have got the 6.56 train, and all would have been fine. No, it turned up 5 minutes late, and the rest was history. I actually got to work with about a minute to spare to log in, but certainly wasnt ready for calls at 8.00.

The day was fine, the odd busy patch, but then, towards the end, when there really wasnt anything to bet on, things did calm down slightly. Then, getting home for Christmas. Unlike Chris Rea, I wasnt driving, but relying on TPE to get me home. Shock horror, the trains were running late. But, in a body blow for TPE, the late running train (only 10 minutes late at Huddersfield) was just about in time for me to run, and catch the bus before the one I was expecting to get. So I got home early with them, there’s an irony!

And so to today. When everyone finally got here, (part of Nicole’s family, staying at a hotel in town), it was time to open presents. A eide collection of items, including curling tongs (to do those Harlow curls), slippers (needed, my current pair are more than on their last legs), and numerous other things too, including a lovely brooch.

Oh, a picture of me on the day, oh fine, there is one.

me, at Christmas

Definitely a fine cleavage there lol!

You can guess the rest, a very good Christmas dinner, a quiet (of sorts) period since then recovering from over eating. And then…back to work tomorrow! Taxi to and from work, so was considering being saucy, and wearing a dress, but given the possible weather forecast, maybe not, gone for a warmer option! Besides which, might be a bit contro when I go out to get lunch in Sainsbury’s! Mind, there might be a bit of turkey around here, for a sandwich tomorrow, so…lol.

The video, yes, the old Shakin’ Stevens song, but not his version. This is an artist who has been around for about 40 years, and still having a successful career. Oh, and he’s from Yorkshire too.

Hope you’ve all had a good day too.

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

No, I’m not really asking that question of my readers, I think I know the answer of at least 99.99% of you, if I did! But yes, it gives a clue to my video choice, not your normal Christmas celebration song.

It has to be said, that in terms of Christmas record releases, the 70’s was probably the most productive era since the 40’s, and early 50’s, at least in the UK. It seemed that any glam rock band (and others) worth anything wanted to produce a festive record at Christmas.

And yes, they were fun, and fitted in with the general merriment of the season. Hey, yes, I love most of them to be honest. But thankfully, someone had to be different. Yes, Greg Lake.

The irony is, its still played incessantly at Christmas, despite in fact being a cynical comment on the meaning of Christmas at that time. Just remember, this is at the height of the Cold War, the final flings in Vietnam, and of course the Middle East was pretty much a battle zone half the time too.

Oh, and the total commercialisation of Christmas too.

Greg Lake was not a glam rock artist, just the opposite in fact, he was a member of the very successful prog rock trio, of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Which may explain why he produced something very different. ELP in fact did record their own version of this the following year too, but I cant find a ‘moving’ video for that. Probably because they wouldnt consider anything like making a video lol!

“May there be peace on Earth.”

40 years on, we are still pretty much as far away from that as we were back then.

So, regardless of whether you believe in Father Christmas, or not, may I, at this time of year mention the true meaning of Christmas, and wish you a wonderful time, at this time of year. The video…

Oh, and for those who love such things, a couple of Christmas pictures of me, sorry, Jean Harlow

Standing by the tree

Christmas Presents

I’ve got the job application bug!

Its ironic, isnt it? I go all these years (oh fine, 5) without seriously applying for jobs, then I clock up the second attempt at a new one, within a few months. Who knows, but at my age, I wont hold my breath.

Funny thing is, this would suit me nicely, as it would be working from home, which wouldnt cut down the hours, but would cut out all that commuting, and the respective costs. Its pretty much a role that would suit me down to the ground, as its pretty much data work, and customer relations stuff, within the sports betting industry, so… and all at a wage, pretty much matching what I’m getting now, but without the travel expenses, and perhaps more critically at my age, the time related to all that travelling.

No, I’m not telling you where, the less opposition the better! 😉

So fine, I wont get it! 😛 It would make a nice present for the New Year though, to go with the new look I’ll be getting! Or the new Jean Harlow look, anyway! Well yes, Christmas first, which will be fun, even if I only actually get 1 day off over the Festive period.

OK, here’s a sneak preview of me waking up on Christmas Day lol

getting out of bed

Working tomorrow, and Wednesday, day off Tuesday, so yes, one more blog before the big day. Important thing to remember, the true meaning of Christmas, just saying.

The video, well, this event happened 100 years ago Thursday, or so we’re told. So yes, it could only be Paul McCartney

So, whose shoes do you want to wear, just for one day?

Lets just see if I can even tempt out just one or two of my readers to actually comment on this. Probably not, but if you’ve ever wanted to comment, or just have a little audience participation on my blog, then this is it. And I know I there are a good number out there, I look at the stat’s a couple of times a day! 😛

So yes, the burning question, if you could wear someone else’s shoes, for just one day, who would it be? Yes, strictly that does mean wearing their body too, but that doesnt fit in with the song! Besides which, Jean’s feet were quite a bit smaller than mine, so it wouldnt work otherwise lol!

Yes, I cant deny, it would be interesting, just for one day at least, for me to actually be Jean Harlow, though being fussy, I would prefer it if it was the first half of the 1930’s somewhere, but any time, from when she matured, until she fell mortally ill, would probably be a very interesting one.

I know, I know, who controls the body, you, or the original person? Your call, you can either be part of the scene, or just along for the ride. Me, I’d love either, though yes, actually having her body, doing as I wanted it to, for a day, would be fun. Though in that case, preferably not a day of filming! I might have acted at school, but not since then.

So, readers, just for one day, whose shoes do you want to step into? Feel free in era, someone modern is fine, though as with me, any generation is fine. As the song says, wouldn’t it be good? Feel free to sat why, if you want to, equally, if you just want to leave a name, as a comment, equally fine. But please, let me discover one or two of you, if only briefly, just say something!

The video, well, I think I’ve given enough clues. This is a live version from 2008, and definitely is live. Enjoy, and comment

A quick look at the week that was

Yes, I know, been a while. Blame work, and a works dinner, and a total lack of time on my behalf. Not that much has really happened, but anyway…

The works dinner passed with little fuss last Thursday. Meal was nice, so was my hotel for the night, allowing for the fact that the room didnt have a phone in it, not even an internal one! I had to go back to reception, to book a taxi to take me there, and…I know, I’m awkward, no mobile phone and all that, but the first time I’ve ever seen that. But that was the worst complaint I had, so…

Sunday, it dawned on me, that in 4 weeks time, I would be setting off the next day, to get my permanent make up done, and look even more Harlowesque than I do now! No, I am not getting those 30’s eyebrows though! Really looking forward to that, I must admit. Going to still have to learn the skills of doing foundation each day, mind, should be fun!

And lastly, a fun thing. When we finish work at 10.00, we get a taxi provided to take us home. Pure pot luck as to what driver you get. Most times, its a youngish guy, of sub continent origin, playing awful modern music. Last night, I got one of my favourite lady drivers, which meant Radio Leeds, playing 70’s and 80’s stuff! Hopefully I get again this week (3 more late’s), but I should be so lucky!

First record was a Nik kershaw hit from the 80’s, called ‘Wouldnt It Be Good’, one of the lines mentioning about being in ‘your’ shoes, even if it was just for one day. I cant deny, it would be fascinating to spend a day in Jean Harlow’s shoes, thats for sure. Hopefully a day of relaxation (or romance), and not a day being filmed though!

But the album of the night, was one I owned on vinyl (for those of you old enough to remember that), on which, back in the mid 70’s, I would do my best Karen Carpenter impressions, in my room, listening to the LP. Singles, 69-73, if you hadnt guessed! This was one of the tracks played while I was in the cab, one of those rare occasions when I was in no rush to get home!

A glass of champagne, and other drinks!

Yes, on Thursday, its here, the works Christmas Dinner! And typically, just because for the first time ever, I’ve got the day off, can get my hair done, get my make up done for me, and everything else, the weather forecast is awful! So fine, knowing my luck, the whole effect will be ruined anyway! Aargh!

And OK, to add to the entertainment, I havent even finally decided what dress I’m going to wear. Its pretty much down to, err, 4 at present, though in all honesty, its most likely going to be the new, vintage dress, which is full length, very stylish, but I’m beginning to wonder if I want to risk it, at a booze fest, like this could well turn into. I probably will, but…there is a far more important date for that dress next year, so…

The other candidates are a blue, sparkly dress, just about below the knee (I know, the inner sexy Harlow), which would certainly work as a 30’s number, and beyond those that have seen the photo shot pics, no one has seen it. Thats the most likely option, in all honesty, if I decide to play safe. After that, and definitely ranking as outsiders, are a gold, pencil/wiggle dress, with a cut, so that I’ll show plenty of leg, or very unlikely, a nice, but unexciting green number.

Choices, choices, I know.

At least (assuming they survive the weather) the hair, and the make up will be pure Harlow! Yes, even those eyebrows, in all likelihood!

As per usual, I will stay overnight in Leeds, though at a different hotel this time around, the usual one having priced itself out of the market. I know we’re coming out of the recession, but 40% more than last year, I dont think so! At least it wont be so far to work on Friday morning, but I will need taxi’s both ways, but even so, its far cheaper!

Some things are traditional, though I’m not prepared to name names, so…not that most readers here would know them anyway lol!

The other thing I’m considering at present, is to take, or not to take the laptop with me. Normally I would, but normally I’d be going from work, with time to spare, so…Its the choice between going direct from hair/ make up session at 4.00, into Leeds, in which case I will have time, and need the laptop. But, if I leave about 5, or just after, by the time I get there, have a coffee, and get changed, it will be about time to go. And in the morning, given I’m on an 8.00 start, I could get away without it…

But yes, the big issue is the weight. Not taking it turns a quite heavy bag, into a feather! So all in all… like the dress, a late call, I suspect.

Ah, the video. Well, normally before we go into the meal, we get offered a drink, of Bucks Fizz. No, I very much doubt its genuine champagne, but who knows? So, the call has to be