She had a ticket to ride

Oh fine, this blog is going to amuse my younger readers, for sure! People are so used to just booking everything by phone, or online nowadays, that the concept of this might just blow a few minds!

Back in the mid/late 70’s, after I’d started work for the first time, I also started taking holidays by myself for the first time, which was fun. Now, back in those days, when the railways over here were still government owned, it was possible to travel the whole country by train, under the auspices of one rail company all over the country. And back then, it was made even easier by the fact you could buy one ticket, called a rail rover, and for 7 glorious days, the rail network was your limit. I started off doing the regional Southern version, and planning trips that I could do in a day, and get back home again for the night.

But before long, all those remote, and intriguing lines further afield, in deepest Wales, Scotland and the like took my eye, but to do that, I’d need the national version, and I wouldnt be able to get home every night. So I did! The main thing that would amuse my readers now, was that you couldnt just book these hotels online, like you can now, you either had to pick up a phone (which wasnt as cheap back then) and call them, or, write a letter! And yes, I tended to do the latter.

So armed with a very bulky British Rail timetable, and an AA hotel guide, I’d plot out my routes, plot out where I wanted to stay, then write a pile of letters booking my hotels. In truth, it was very rare not to get my first choice, but as I was tending to book in the ‘less obvious’ places, that may have been why.

One place I set my eyes on, was a very winding, very lightly served line in the north of Scotland. Funnily enough, nowadays, its called the Far North line, and runs from Inverness to Thurso, and Wick. Back in those days, the train divided at a remote station called Georgemas Junction, and a couple of coaches ran to each terminal. Nowadays a single train serves both! The thing is, its a very long line, and there are only 3 or 4 trains a day during the week, so its not easy to do. Also, it takes forever to cover the full length of the line.

So I looked for an interim place to stay, somewhere different, somewhere a little quirky, and found it. The Forsinard hotel was very close by to the railway station, which was ideal, but apart from a few other residences, that was it! By the time I got there, being summer in the North of Scotland, it was quite late, but not yet dark. A meal, a room with a bed, and breakfast in the morning, before heading back to the station, taking a train to Thurso (as I hadnt been there, but had been to Wick), having about 40 minutes to dash through town, before getting the same train south all the way back to Inverness!

Anyway, for some reason best known to myself, I decided to have a look, and see how much they charged for a room nowadays, as it cant have been too expensive back then, as I was on a budget, of course. Sadly, its closed, closed about 4 years ago, as much as I can tell, presumably through lack of trade. I know, I was never likely to go back in truth, but the sad thought that I cant do so now, still gripped me. Of course, I suspect they didnt have many other residents the night I was there, but after 40 years, I dont remember.

But yes, its probably the most remote place I’ve ever spent a night, and probably always will be. But still a shame that I will never stay in Forsinard again, all the same.

(I have passed an equally remote hotel while in a train, the Izaak Walton Inn, in Montana, but sadly never stayed there)

Video. I cant believe I’ve never used this before, but the tags say I havent, so lets have some very early Carpenters tonight

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If you leave, California?

I know there has been talk in the past about the West Coast of the US breaking away, and forming a nation calling itself Pacifica, taking a decent chunk of Nevada with them as well. As far as I can tell, its never got beyond theory, but now, after just one week of Trump in charge, it seems California is getting ready to vote on seceding from the rest of the US. Given that the new Republic of California would rank as one of the top 10 economies in the world, its probably not an impossible ambition. The fact that Washington and Oregon are discussing getting together, forming a nation called Cascadia shows just how unpopular Trump is. I also wonder that if these 2 areas do it, how long before New England might consider following suit, hmm?

Tagged Calexit, which I am sure might be inspired by the Brexit tag, the campaign is on. They do need to get a huge number of signatures by July, but if they do, that could lead to a vote in 2018 on the issue, and if enough people support that, independence, maybe? Ironically, if it did, it would happen just about the time that Trump would be standing for re-election, which could be fun?

Now whether this, or Cascadia, or even Pacifica actually come into existence because of this, no idea? It would take a few events to happen, but if Trump carries on making crazed decisions, like the Muslim ban, well then, all bets might be off!

I was wondering how this might affect the ‘Big 4’ pro sports teams in California, if it happened, but given that 3 of them have teams in Canada, probably not at all. No, no NFL teams in Canada, probably because they have their own league, though talk of the Bills moving to Toronto was mooted for a few years, but seemingly gone away now.

For me, it would be nice if the Republic of California, if it happens, had a looser view on immigration laws. As in, there is one humble British actress who would love to be able to live, and work over there, just saying… 😉 Oh fine, I plan to visit an agency I have contacts with in LA, in May, and see if they think it might be worth me trying to get a working visa/green card, or not. Fingers crossed, all positive, and I might yet get to live, and work in California, while not living in the US! Hmm?

OK, video time. Clue in the title, as so often. No, I decided to resist all the California songs, as I’m sure I’ve used them all before. Might have used this, but not a live version. Warning for the innocent, the F word is mentioned near the start of the video.

Dont look back with regret

(To those few who see both versions of the blog, this is pretty much the one I posted a few days ago on the other blog, but if you want to play spot the differences…?)

I’ll give you one piece of warning, if anyone can work out the video from that, I’m amazed, because its about the biggest double bluff I’ve ever thrown! So no, it definitely isnt an Oasis song, just saying.

Given that I’ve not asked permission, and its a Facebook friend I dont really know personally, I’m not going to say who it was, or provide any sort of link to it, but this morning they posted about considering going to Art School, instead of maybe what they see as a more sensible career. Me, I’d say go for it, if its your wish, regardless. Because the one thing you dont want to be doing in 40 years time, like I could be, is wondering where it might have led you, if you’d taken the braver step. Who knows, it might be for the better, it might be for the worse, but if its your ambition, then go for it!

As I said in the title, I might look back in regret at my not taking my acting talents further. It started in Primary school, continued through Grammar school as a serious thing, even if in truth, I might not have been the worlds greatest actor, but who knows? If I’d gone to Drama courses, at university or something, after school, I might be anywhere now. Hollywood? Well, maybe? I doubt it somehow, but I might be earning a steady salary in the theater, or movies, or…but no, I’m working in an office instead. Its a nice office, dont get me wrong, but if I’d set out to fulfil my dream?

The first few years after I left school (no university, family needs meant I had to get to work ASAP), I did my best to carry on, but once I started commuting further afield to London, it had to take a back seat. I did do some more once in Somerset/Dorset in the 90’s, which was fun, local, and nice to do again. And like riding a bike, I would say I hadnt lost the technique.

Since then, not a lot, and in more recent years, nothing at all, in truth. Why, mainly it is the lack of time, and the nature of my jobs, and everything else, its ground pretty much to a halt. I’d like to think that one day I will get the call, pick up again, and get back to it, though I doubt it now. One friend ‘foresees’ I will, but maybe I’m more practical than her, in accepting that no, my dream of being a star actress are pretty much gone.

Do I regret that? Yes, probably I do, but thats life for me, I guess, and I have to accept that. But do I wonder, if things had been different, and I’d done drama courses, and more, after I’d finished school, either at a drama school, or university, whether I might have made it? Yes, of course I do, even if the chances it would have happened might be slim, there would have been that chance, so…

Fine, I have no guarantees that I would have made it truly as an actress? Again, I’ll never know, but…

So yes, this comment is aimed more at the young, or younger people reading this. If you have a dream for yourself, go for it. If it doesnt work out, you can always get a ‘real job’ later, but give it a try. Just dont be, in 30 or 40 years time, be typing on whatever computer, or related device you’re using by then, your thoughts on wondering what might have been, just saying.

Right, video time. Its not the blog title, but you could say its what I’ve been doing in here. This version is a live version from last year, which truly has the singer reflecting on his life.

This one, 47 years earlier, from the year I changed to Grammar School, is the original version

What a feeling to fly

So now we know the 2 teams left for that great sporting institution in the US, the Superbowl. Fine, the baseball World Series might mean even more to me, but this is pretty big all the same.

Its fair to say that the first team in the big match will surprise few people, its the New England Patriots. Yes, I know, the ‘marmite team’, or for those who dont get that comment, a team you either seem to love, or hate, nothing in between! Me, I’m one of those in between brigade, but only because my dear friend Kate is a supporter of them, I suspect. Otherwise, as a longstanding Buffalo fan, fine, I’d probably hate them too.

The other team are more of a surprise, or are at least if you are a pundit, expert, or just blindly followed prices at the start of the season, as its the Atlanta Falcons. Now me, I knew what their offense could do, thought they had a chance, but if you’d told me that Seattle would be ordinary, and that Carolina would be awful before the season started, then yes, I would have laughed.

But this team has run up points against just about everybody, and certainly impressed me even more than I expected. So fine, I might expect the ‘dark force’ to win out, as usual, but I know who I’ll be rooting for, the underdogs! Besides which, they’ve never won this, only once before been to a Superbowl, so yes, it would be nice for someone new to win, and…sorry Kate! xxx

The video, its the wrong bird, would be more apt for Philadelphia, but it was as close as I could get!

Falling head over heels, but not in love!

Yes, I’d love a full body cybernetic upgrade, but in truth, at present, a leg, or knee replacement of that kind would be more urgently needed, like at present. Seriously, I’ve recovered a bit by now, but the right knee is still an ugly mess, if at least I can flex it now.

Thursday night, not unusually of late, the bus home from Bradford to Huddersfield was running late. There seems to be no consistency on this, you’ll go about a week and a half (current streak) when you never get the bus it would be nice to get (though almost impossible to do in theory), but not only that, I cant even get the one that I have 6 minutes allowance to get. Then at some point in the near future, the theory will flip, and I’ll be getting the early bus again. Been a few occasions of late where getting the bus I should get with 12 minutes to spare hasnt been possible! But anyway, Thursday…

Yes, it was late, and I assumed I’d missed the 8.56 bus (6 minute allowance) one, because it was already 8.58! Wrong, so I set off at as much of a run as I can do at my age, in a valiant attempt to catch it. What I didnt notice in my rush to get it, was four drunk men, not stylishly dressed, standing outside a bus shelter en route to the one I was aiming for.

Anyway. as I was approaching, I heard one of them say, “Look at the lady running for the bus.” but thought no more about it. Well, not until I actually passed them (I’d moved out on the pavement to avoid them), and saw one of them move towards me, and in mid step, felt my ankle tapped, and I went flying, yes, head over heels. No, it wasnt really, just went down face first, but…My hands were fine, pretty well protected by my thermal gloves, but my precious knees…My less damaged left knee took a thump, but not too serious. Unfortunately, my badly damaged right knee took most of the weight of the fall.

Thankfully, my knee didnt take the obvious opportunity to explode into a mess of bones. It hurt like hell when I got up, and I knew it was cut, but…the bus driver was actually waiting for me! And yes, I could walk, just about, so…I got the bus, walked home of sorts, and got my knee patched up. I went to work Friday, despite the pain, and the stiffness, but anyway, by mutual agreement, I passed on Saturday!

Now, thankfully, a lot of the pain is gone. Not all of it, but most. The knee still looks pretty horrid, but the miracle is, its still in one piece, and seemingly I dont have to bring forward my knee replacement op plans, as I feared.

But yes, if anyone wants to cybernetically upgrade my knee, my leg, or indeed my whole body to robot standards, yes please!

Right, video. What I sort of did on Thursday night. One of those Abba songs that doesnt get the playtime it probably deserves.

When all is said and done

Right wingers, look away now!

So fine, its happened, Trump is now President. The world hasnt ended yet, though I have little faith that given 4 years minimum in charge, he might try for that yet. Yes, I deliberately set out to avoid all coverage of the Inauguration, though with a combination of being at work when it happened, and avoiding the news channels since then, its not one of the harder challenges I’ve faced. Irony is, I remember a time when there were 2 channels on the TV over here (the 3rd began in 1967), and it would have been on the news on both here, if not a live broadcast!

I think most here know I’m not a Trump fan already, but equally, not a Clinton one either. I suspect if Sanders, or Biden had been the Democratic candidate, we may not be in the position we are now, but we will never know? As is the way with so many fake news websites nowadays, I have no idea how many people attended the Inauguration. I’ve seen tiny crowds in pictures, but I’m told there were more than that, though not as many as either of Obama’s, but anyway…

Today, what was initially planned as one protest about Trump, and his sexist, racist ways was meant to happen in Washington. Indeed, probably has already happened, but I’m still on news avoidance at present lol! But there hasnt been just one protest, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, all around the world. Probably not in Moscow, mind, but fine, thats getting sarcastic, so…

I’d love to think these protests will make a difference, but in truth, Trump is such an egotist, and his friends on the ‘religious right’ are so oppressive towards women, and other minorities, I doubt it will. Great shame, but being realistic… Still, for now at least, I can hope! To counter that, some people have over reacted to matters, and lets see what actually comes about before screaming louder.

To which: Yesterday evening (my time), and today, there have been numerous people complaining about the pages taken down from the White House website. Yes, the ones concerning, LGBT, Climate Change and Disabled being the main ones noted. Thing is, they dont remember, or dont want to remember that the same thing happened 8 years ago, when Obama came to power, they archive off the previous presidents work. And expecting Trump to have people in place to put them back up, with his opinions, oh please. Fine, the fact that he hasnt even started on replacing all the Ambassadors is beside the point, and probably of as much concern. In truth, he wants the power, without the hard work involved, and everyone else (but his wealthy friends) will suffer accordingly.

So no, I’m not saying those things will go back on the website, but he needs to be given time to do so. Hopefully not 3 years, 364 days, though with him, that wouldnt surprise me! But when all is said and done, USA, he’s your President (unless impeached, or resigns) for at least 4 years, we just have to survive that time as best we can.

The video, one of those last Abba songs, from 1981, very poignant, very sad, but possibly very apt at the moment.

 

Safety training

OK, fine, a posting which makes me grateful that I’m not involved in any sport where training gets as stupid, and crazy as this.

Most would assume that because the college football season has literally just finished, that the players might get a bit of a break before preparing for the next season. Even more so, as they dont even get paid for playing. I know, some get scholarships, but compared to what the universities make out of the matches, not good!

So fine, count me stunned when I read this week of 3 players from Oregon who were hospitalized, because of the training they were undergoing after the season was over, was so extreme it actually damaged their health really badly. What made it worse, was the guy who was running these crazy training schemes, not even qualified to do so!

Conveniently, Oregon have now suspended him for a month, to err, review things, according to CBS, though someone else (unconfirmed) said he had actually been sacked. But seriously, whoever took him on in the first place should be gone too! Hopefully the families of these 3 men will sue the university for lots of money, though I’m sure it will all get covered up if they do. Discreet mention of an out of court settlement, maybe?

But yes, what can I say, other than that I’m glad I was never good enough at any sport for it to go this far!

Fine, the video. This is one of those crazy acts, who were pretty much a one hit wonder over here in the UK. Slightly more popular in their home country, Canada, but for me at least… Yes, this video definitely falls into the wacky group, for sure.