If you offered me one train journey…?

I’m going to make it a long one. How does over 1,000 miles, most of it single track, with little intermediate population sound to you? I know, horrible probably, but if there is one railway line that tugs on my heart, that fits this bill, its the one that winds north from Winnipeg, to Churchill, in the frozen north (especially at this time of year) in Canada.

I know, there’s the Trans Siberian, or the chances to cross the US, or Canada, from ocean to ocean, and plenty more, but if you offered me one, and only one, this crazy Canadian railway, that you can only traverse in full, twice a week, is the one I would choose. It would certainly be different from travelling from Huddersfield, to Leeds or Bradford, for sure!

In truth, when I was young, the experience of travelling overnight from London, to Fort William, or Inverness, in the highlands of Scotland seemed like going by train forever. But since then, I’ve made that look like a sprint, travelling to Philadelphia, from Seattle, and back, which was about 3 days each way, with a change in Chicago! A few years later, I travelled from Philadelphia, to Atlantic City, allowing me to finally complete the crossing of America by train, ocean to ocean.

Oh, and fine, if someone arranged for me to travel from Moscow, to Vladivostok on the Trans Siberian, I wouldnt say no. To follow in the footsteps, even if it is now a very different route to hers, of Annette Meakin, would just be amazing.

But yes, secretly, this strange railway line from Winnipeg, to Churchill, and hopefully back, if given the choice, would be the one I’d do. Why, no idea? Its not even like I’m a massive fan of polar bears, or anything, but its there, and I’d so love to do it. And fine, its more practical for me to do than by dog sled between Anchorage and Nome! I could fly that, and might, given the chance, but seriously, if I was to do that Canadian trip, I wouldnt even look at air flight schedules!

Yes, hopefully, one day, I will do it!

Right, two videos, ooh! Firstly, the classic Canadian train song, even if its not about this line, and its nothing more than a few images, but yes, if you think of such songs, this one is probably the best

Secondly, a brief travel tale of the line I’ve just mentioned. I have to say the narrator doesnt sound overly enthusiastic about it, but anyway…

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The mind to match the looks!

Yes, I know I’ve given Betsy Leohtar a mention before, but she’s earned another one today. Actually, she earns it today for 2 stories, one by her, and one about her.

Quite often, when I’m getting a cameo role in somebody’s story, they check with me, to make sure I approve, so I’m sort of pre-warned that its going to happen. Of course, if they’ve got permission once, they might think they dont need to ask again, and they’d be right! I find it all very flattering to be honest, so am never likely to say no, to most. So fine, I started reading this story that Betsy wrote today, and was in no way prepared for the ending, until I saw it. Yes, if you want to read it, its at http://192.155.80.152/ThreeFingers/index.html and yes, its the end of Chapter 2 that amused me greatly, if you want to skip the rest, though you shouldnt, its a great story, even before then!

Yes, given the nature of events, and request, why do I suspect she might not only be a Jean Harlow lookalike for very long! Sound a like, think a like, both, nothing would surprise me lol! I might let you know, when I find out, or just go and read it for yourself, even better!

Thanks, Betsy, and yes, its even more fun when you dont know its coming, until its presented to you!

The funny thing is, its not only Betsy handing out cameos this week, she’s getting one of her own, and well deserved too. Fine, I suspect she’d enjoy this way too much, if it really happened to her. http://192.155.80.152/BetsyIsPlayingWithFire/index.html

Its quite a clever little story, and where it goes from that ending, who knows? 😉

Yes, this video seems very apt, as I suspect she’s been reading my mind, only too well!

You knew you weren’t a movie star!

Yes, that anniversary I was talking about yesterday? Yes, 2 years ago today, I was introduced (of sorts) to my past life, bit part actress, and dancer self, Clara Johnson!

The day actually started with the unexciting setting of Albany Greyhound station, and ended in a budget Choice Group hotel, but what happened in between…Wow!

Well, not all wow. The trouble with meeting someone you’ve seen one picture of, for both of us, in a city neither of us knew, well, it was fun! But eventually we got together, headed off to his office in New Hampshire, and…

Past life regression time! I’d had a friend tell me that it really worked, but fine, it sounded incredible to me, all the same. But he took me back through a couple of stages of my life first, to prove it to me, then went one step further, back beyond the womb, and…

A cute voice, that certainly wasnt mine, said “Hi there.” and giggled.

It seemed his first questions were where, and when, so when I answered “Hollywood, 1928.”, he apparently had a ‘Surely she cant really be Harlow moment?’.

No, I wasnt. As I proudly answered the next question, my name, it seems I said “Clara Johnson.”

Seems we did a bit of her life story, but by the time, I came back out of trance, and was allowed to remember what had happened (which generated a whole load of ‘Oh my God!’ moments), he was trying to find her on IMdb, and there she was, one movie credit, she really was for real. Yes, bit part actresses, and dancers (I found out the latter about 5 months later, with help from 1930 LA census details) didnt get credited back then, but we had one piece of evidence, so…I also managed to find year of birth, the state she was born in, when she moved to LA, and from where, at that point. So on top of the few pieces of info she gave up in regression, I know a little about her, but far from enough! Maybe some day…?

After I’d recovered from the shock of the news, I had been a mother as well, so…

Yes, what should have been, and indeed was amazing, was the creation of Jean Harlow-bot, which culminated in me seeing her face in a mirror, not mine, and doing a brief interview, very much as Jean! I was given a trigger, so that I could go back to that state, but after 2 years, I have long since forgotten what it was. But yes, it was fun to use, when I did! In truth, I’m pretty sure he has, too.

But yes, my special memory of the day will always be discovering Clara Johnson, even over that. I know, but…I was tempted, when I was doing the name change, but being Clara Johnson, twice in my ‘life’ might have been a bit too much, lol!

Right, video time. In this case, she knew she wasnt a movie star, but its nice old song

Wonderful Land?

I wonder if thats how the first Pilgrims to move to North America, in 1620, saw what we now call the USA on their arrival on the Mayflower? The fact that they barely left the ship until the spring of 1621 suggests they may have seen it more as a way of getting away from the oppression of the UK, than anything else, but at this distance in time, it really is impossible for us to know.

The one thing we do know, or so history says, is that for 3 days in November, they, and the native Americans celebrated the completion of gathering in the harvest, by holding a feast, and other associated events, that we now relate back to as Thanksgiving. The likelihood of them calling it that? Pretty slim, I would say! But ever since then, and on the last Thursday in November, since 1863, it has been celebrated in the US. Well, there was one year, in the 1930’s, when it was moved forward one week, but otherwise…

Thankfully, the related ‘feast’ of shopping, known as Black Friday has been around for a far shorter time, though that one day seems to have grown into a fortnight this year, or does it just feel that way?

I know, big Ameriphile me, my grand total, one. Two years ago, thanks to a wonderful friend in Northern New York, I have celebrated the big event. Maybe I can again some day, though I suspect it might have to wait until I retire from work, but who knows? There is also someone, whose birthday clashes with the big event week, which makes it hard to do at present.

Therefore, unsurprisingly, I’ve never been involved in the cooking of a Thanksgiving Dinner, and unless I find someone over there crazy enough to take me on as a partner/wife, then I probably wont! Might be for the best now, my cooking skills are so out of practice, that I might be lousy at it now, but anyway…?

Anyway, to all my friends, and readers in the US, have a wonderful day tomorrow. But while you’re celebrating with all your modern technology, just stop, and think back to that first Thanksgiving nearly 400 years ago, when there were no ovens, let alone what we have now.

Fine, the video. As so often, the clue is in the title

Why today, and not tomorrow? Well, 2 years ago tomorrow, on 24th November, 2014, I met, err, me, for the first time!

It never rains in Southern California!

It pours, man, it pours! Yes, big clue to the video there!

So yes, long before I got to LA for the first time, I’d read plenty about the drought situation out there. And to be fair, those first 10 days, in April 2015, not a drop of rain did I see! Not that I was complaining, but…

Equally, during the 4 weeks I was out there last October, it only rained once! But as the song suggests, on that one occasion, it really rained! Mind, the thing I remember about it more, was the messages coming over the TV from some meteorological station nearby, with flood warnings for some of the valleys north of the city. Yes, I saw some of the pictures, in the few days after, really was something. But yes, that was one day, for about 4 hours or so, and that was it!

So therefore it amused me greatly on Sunday, when Sky Sports went over to live coverage of the Rams game, and the rain was pouring down! Yes, I’m sure when they decided to finally give Jared Goff a start at quarterback, they thought he’d have a nice warm, dry day in LA, and that happened. I’m not saying he would have been great, even in good weather, but that was not the way he, or they would have wanted his career to start. Yes, it was that bad! In truth, the whole game was pretty awful, neither offense seemed capable of doing much, and how the Dolphins keep winning, no idea?

But yes, in his case, it never rains in Southern California, until the one time you dont want it to! Oh, but fine, yes, I hope they get some more rain this winter, because they sure need it in that area. Me, next May, I’d rather pass on it, the way it rains when it does, but I’ll also pass on earthquakes, pretty please! Sadly, another quite big one off Japan recently, I just hope they arent saving the big California one for me!

Oh fine, if you havent worked out the video by now, I give up!

Happy birthday, Ann Veronica Lahiff

All totally baffled? Oh fine, apart from classic movie lovers, I’m not surprised. I’d love to think that if I said she’s better known as Nancy Carroll, that a few more might know who I’m talking about, but maybe not? Oh fine, thanks to issues with Paramount/Universal, and making her movies more available, there’s a fair chance you dont know her. Shame, you dont know what you’re missing out on. Oh, yes, technically at least, she was 113 yesterday, though sadly she died in 1965. Not that she’d be likely to be alive now anyway, but 61 was still quite young.

Nancy was a fine actress, singer, and dancer from the very end of silent movies, and the beginning of sound. She did make a few more movies after that, but mainly in small roles. Not to worry folks, because she was plenty busy enough working in theaters, when not living, and doing business around the world. Indeed, the main reason it was discovered she had died, was when she didnt turn up for a performance, and her daughter went and found her dead, in her apartment, a brain aneurism having taken her from this world.

If you believe what the studios said, Nancy didnt help her career, because of temper issues. But fine, if you believed everything put out by the studios…rolls eyes! I’m not saying she was sweet and innocent, she was Irish American, and a redhead, so… But yes, if she was that much of a diva, theaters wouldnt have been rushing to employ her, lets face it!

Me, I’ve only known Nancy myself for a couple of years, but grown to love her in that time. She’s made a fine support actress to Jean, Clara and others in my stories since then, but enough of that. For those she can mainly blame the bountiful number of pictures of her dressed as a witch, a cat, and the like! So, how did I discover her? Well, 2 years ago, having discovered the Clara Johnson past life for the first time, I went on a discovery hunt for her. As I have discovered, that was easier said, than done. Found a few pieces of info, but no definite pictures. And thats where Nancy came in! I put the name Clara Johnson in Google images, and found plenty of Clara Bow, who I instantly recognized. But then I found this one, that I didnt recognize, was clearly from that era, and no name.

clara-johnson

So was it actually Clara, I asked? No, my hopes were quickly dashed, when I was told that it was Nancy Carroll! But yes, she was cute, and I loved the hat, so I looked into her more, and have been hooked since.

So yes, for yesterday, Happy Birthday, Nancy, or Ann, or Diane, as one reader of this will get that joke! 😉

OK, video time. So lets introduce my readers (if needed) to Nancy Carroll. I think the best way to describe this, is that when sound came creeping in, all sorts of short pieces were put together, to test out the new system. Some were good, some, err, werent! As this is the only bit I’ve seen of this session, I have no idea how good the rest of it was. But yes, the singer, and dancer, is Nancy Carroll, and fine, let me imagine that one of those chorus line dancers could just be Clara Johnson!

Walking among equals

So fine, this author was on my ‘to be publicized’ list at some point, but given I’ve got nothing significantly now to talk about, beyond politics, and I’m sick of that subject, lets bring him to your notice a little sooner than planned. The best place to find his stories

http://192.155.80.152/Authors/TMaskedWriter.html

Yes, thats right, he’s only been about since June, but quickly caught my eye. In truth, before I got in on the in joke, the early Master/Mistress stuff between what seemed like 2 submissives playing off each other started to annoy. However, as I read on, I caught up with the significance of it, and fine, its grown on me. Yes, it was just Julie, and Troy back then, but then things developed, new characters appeared, and they all grew on me.

Possibly because Helen is such a wonderfully manipulative person, perhaps because Maria was so sweet, and put upon, and as for Susan, well, she’s just Susan! Seriously, go read some of this stuff, you’ll love it. But in truth, the big thing its got is that the characters are well developed, play off each other brilliantly, and have fun! The scene at the end of ‘As Day Follows Night’, as the Mastercard ads used to say, priceless!

Oh, and fine, the latest story, ‘Night Brings The Hunter’ has a maid, called Jeanne. Yes, she’s French, but not that sort of French maid, believe me! Well, I assume not, but…? Yes, Jeanne is a French version of Jean, so yes, put two and two together, if you wish? 😉 No, as far as I know, she doesnt look like Harlow, doesnt wear silver, or have any desire to be like a robot, but thats not for me to say, only the author can comment on that!

But yes, give something here a try, if you havent already, you’ll be in for a treat.

The main video tonight is what I jokingly call the perfect piece of 4 minute pop. And yes, its about one of the names mentioned here before

As for two others mentioned here, a more tenuous link. Sadly I cannot find a live version, or video of this