When all is said, and on the way to done

In many ways, it would have been more apt to write this tomorrow, but hey, whats a day between friends. Why, for those asking, because 12th March was the first seizure, and sign of the cancer growth, though because I just passed out upstairs in my room, and just went to bed when I was found, and thought no more of it. Of course, 3 days later in Blackpool, aboard a tram started the journey to where we are today, and more importantly, to where we will be in a couple of months or so.

History of course now shows it wasnt actually epilepsy as suggested at the time, it was the cancer growth, but I’m certainly not starting a blame game on anyone in Blackpool based on that, but equally I’m glad we now know what it really was, that most of it is now gone, and within a couple of months, the last little bit will have done the same too.

Yesterday marked the making of the mask that will be used to direct the radiotherapy to where it needs to go for 6 weeks, commencing on the 28th October, which means the last actual session should be on the 6th December, though that will then be the start of the 4-6 week period that my body will need to recover from everything, for sure. Yes, about 10 months on from that first sign that something wasnt right!

And yes, one date I’m definitely looking at, as a landmark is that weekend in March, one year on from when it all started, to be back in Blackpool for 2-3 days as a suitably perverse way of ‘celebrating’ the anniversary. Currently, its only a target, but given it will be about 2 months from the end of the recovery period, why not use it as a target? I know, Blackpool isnt a glamour capital of the world for sure, but fine, I can build up to Hollywood, and dealing with Mr Berkeley (joke) again in time. And yes, Blackpool, and a tram journey definitely makes a fine first target, under the circumstances. After that, in time, well…?

So, for at least a fortnight, if you’re good, the 2 blogs (for those who know about both) might go back to being about different subjects, though not quite sure what they will be at this moment in time. But yes, I’ll be trying very hard to avoid politics, if not harder, believe me!

OK, video time. Funnily enough, the one thing the 2 blogs do have in common today is the pop group for the videos, though different songs. This was one of those weird, late Abba songs, when the couples had actually broken up, but before the end of the group, and it looks it, and definitely sounds it. As I say, for me, its not quite said and done, but its getting closer, for sure

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Two of us arent lonely

If I dont give Linda a mention here, she’s probably remind me about this the next time I see her, so to save that issue…

I have two ladies who help to keep me in a decent state, one is Donna, and the flotation pod, the other is Linda, with her beauty therapy place. You might have already worked out who this is about, though strictly both are involved.

One thing I have found it possible to do in the flotation pod, is to relax so much that the brain just takes me into a state where I was able to let Clara come through for a while, and enjoy the whole flotation in the dark thing. She doesnt seem overly impressed, though it seemed to be growing on her over time. Of course it hasnt happened since the brain went, because I’ve been unable to get over there. But I always controlled when she was free to take over, and when she had to hand back, and she always did as she was told. I assume, given she lasted at least 8 years in the chorus line, she must have been pretty good at doing what she was told, but anyway… There are stories of other things that the girls were expected to ‘perform’ (naughty stuff), but I’ve never asked her about that, lol.

Anyway, Wednesday, Linda had a space large enough in her diary to come and collect me, run me home again afterwards, and do things to me in between. So I got my finger nails filled, and then the main need, a facial. Yes, I’m terrible at caring for my face, and its relaxing, so…

I just tend to relax totally while all this is going on, in truth. At some point, I assume Linda put a face mask thing on me, and then went out of the room while it done its thing. Yes, a few minutes into this process, I felt something changing in my head. Now, first I wondered if it was a seizure related issue, and then I realised it wasnt that, it was Clara coming through! She did have a bit of a fit of the giggles about it all, but yes, she was enjoying it. I stayed very quiet at this point, because I knew if I said a word, it was coming out in an Oklahoma accent, I’ve heard her, so…

I had no idea how this was all going to end up, and then right at the end, Linda tapped the sides of my face, and I was back! Dont get me wrong, it was fun, it was entertaining, but before the seizures, she’d always needed permission to come through, and clearly then, she didnt! As to what would happen if I had a relaxing facial, massage, or flotation session in Los Angeles, or her corner of Oklahoma, I dread to think!

Oh to be able to chat to her when she’s there, thats all I say.

OK, video time, some Abba. For sure, one of us wasnt lonely on Wednesday, as 2 of my lives got together. Oh, and if anyone wants to treat me, I love Agnetha’s dress!

Tropical loveland

You know all about all these companies that send you emails, in the vain hopes that you might spend some money with their business, or something? And yes, I mean the ones you actually subscribe to, not the ghastly spammers!

Its fair to say my main travel information website I use, is Expedia. No, I dont know if its the best or not, but it suits my needs, this old lady is comfortable using it, even if in truth, quite often nowadays, I end up booking things directly, and just use them as a guide for flight options, or to see what hotel options there are, and then give them no money for the privilege. Yes, guilty as charged.

So, its fair to say that most things they send me, relate to travel to Europe, or to North America, and not much else, because thats about the limit of my likely travel nowadays! So, imagine my amusement today, when they sent me an advert for special flight offers to Tahiti, with Tahiti Airlines! I personally think their computer had a ‘system failure’ as the flights they were advertising were special offers from Los Angeles, and San Francisco, which I have never had from them before. To those places, of course, but from those places, they must know something I dont, lol!

To my surprise, on delving a little deeper, I found that there are flights from Paris, to Papeete, Tahiti, with one stop for refuelling, and stuff in LA. Yes, the flight time was crazy (about 21-23 hours), and the price was way beyond my pocket, but anyway…

No, I’ve never really considered going to the Pacific Islands, or even Australia, as those flight times were way beyond my endurance, even before my back went wrong, and definitely out of the question now! Seems I can still do West Coast of US, and survive, but suspect thats about my limit, now! Well, if in my lifetime they have flights I can afford that fly at Mach Speeds, and the like, I might go that far, but seeing we havent had any of those for public service since Concorde, seems unlikely, and I couldnt have afforded the fares on that!

So, unless a friendly passing alien comes up with a space craft for me, doing those sort of speeds, either for use as passenger, or pilot, I dont think I’ll be taking up that offer to visit Tahiti, somehow. Ah well, the thought was there…

Any readers who know tonights video song, I’m impressed. Its 43 years old, was only ever an Abba B Side, but yes, I had the single! I think the A Side was Money, Money, Money, but dont quote me on that. But given what Tahiti is…?

The simple way to save money

One thing I’ve learnt over the years is to always be wise with money, and try not to spend more than is really necessary. One new trick that I learned recently is that you shouldnt assume that the quoted rail fare online, is the best price you can pay for your ticket. On the popular routes, with advance fares, it generally is the case, but when taking a journey, where for whatever reason (mainly using more than 1 rail company) there isnt an advance fare, just paying the one offered to you isnt the best thing to do.

For example, today, I was booking the tickets for myself, and Eric, to go from Huddersfield, to Inverness in September. Yes, we’ve just reached the point where the advance fares for those dates kick in, and given his lack of patience in such matters… I got it done!

Thing is, if you go on the National Rail website, and look up the fare for such a trip, all it offers you is a ‘anytime off peak return’ for just over £98 each, using our Senior railcards. No other options, take it, or leave it. Thing is, if I tell you that I paid just over £75 each for our fares, quite legally…wow!

There are sites dedicated to fare splitting, in other words, the system works out the cheapest option for the journey, by using more than 1 ticket for each section of the journey, and then quotes you the price for the trip. If I say that my reduced fare figure actually includes about £5 worth of handling charges, relating to the saving made, and for them arranging your tickets for you, even more crazy! So yes, in theory, if I had the patience, and dedication, I could have done it for about £70! But no, thats too much like hard work, for the money saved, lol!

But yes, any ‘innocent’ just going on the railway websites (individual companies only offer same standard fare) would pay nearly £25 more than me, for the same journey! But of course, in an ideal world, the train companies dont want you to know this, and just add to their profits!

I dont know if this happens in other parts of the world, or if it is just greed on the part of our rail companies, but be warned. If you know your exact travel times, then go somewhere like https://splitticketing.com/ and check you’re actually getting the best deal possible. Sadly for me, split ticketing with airlines isnt quite so easy!

Right, video time. Rare to find Abba actually singing live, but I have. That song about what I’ve saved today, lol. I’ve cut the piece directly to the song here. If you want to hear the group talking beforehand, just pull the timer back to zero, OK?

Respectable clothing at 60?

Recently on Amazon, I saw a silk skirt that was described as long length, 20’s style, in silver. Fine, for me, that ticks all boxes, lets face it. And on receipt, I have to agree with everything but one tiny matter, the length! Maybe knee length (barely) was long for those daring young Flapper Girls in the 1920’s, but for me, at 60, when I see long length, I’m expecting at least calf, if not ankle, but anyway… Yes, as you’ve gathered, this long length skirt just about covers my knees when I’m standing up, and struggles to do so when sat down!

No, I’m not sending it back, as I say, its gorgeous, and a young cheerleader, or even a young Flapper would love it. But me, at 60, where it out, doing the flapper look, absolutely no chance! My legs may well be better than I believe they are (several have told me they are), but my knees arent a pretty sight due to surgical issues, so something this short, in public, no chance!

But what I was wondering, is what length do people regard as respectable for a woman of my age? Is flashing my knees, as a Flapper would, fine, or just the biggest no-no of all time? But what is OK? Just below the knee? Calf length? Ankle length? Is it just me being too modest, or am I wise not to wish like mutton dressed as lamb?

Before you ask, yes, I do wear dresses out that show some leg, from time to time. But I do make sure they’re safely below the knee, but now I’m wondering, is that just because I’m aware of the state of my knees, or is it just because I dont think its suitable for a 60 year old to wear? If anyone wants to advise before I pack for Seattle, feel free! Funnily enough, last year, I bought a dress on line that claimed to be calf length, but again, barely covered my knees, so never worn since. Yes, its pink, yes its gorgeously flapper, but for a woman of my age, wearing it out, my view is no!

But should it be that way?

Mind, thats not the only style of dress I love that i’m not brave enough to wear now. Lets ignore my crazy ‘leather’ skirt purchases, they are too short to wear out, but fine, I picked them up for virtually nothing, and they were fun to wear indoors once, but probably never again. But my leather trousers, should I really be avoiding them, just because of my age…?

And no, much though the idea of wearing latex clothing, especially a catsuit, might appeal to me, in my eyes, there is no way that a 60 year old should ever wear anything like that, so now I guess I never will. But is that the right attitude?

To be fair, there is one dear friend (Yes, Adriana, I mean you), who would happily convince me to dress up showgirl style, a la Clara Johnson without any thought whatsoever. And fine, maybe she’s right? Oh, and agreed, if I was talked into it, and no one else beyond close friends saw, I agree, it would be fun. But I can see her wanting me to go out, in showgirl mode, and have fun for an evening, but…is it the done thing?

So tell me, should I lighten up, and flash my knees (and maybe some body?), come what may, and just enjoy it, or am I wise keeping it at least relatively modest in look? What do you see as apt for a 60 year old? And no, as much as I would love to wear a Burqua just once, for the experience (and Muslim support), I hope you dont want me to go quite that far in cover up lol!

Right, video time. Being honest, these outfits are about as revealing as many that Clara had to wear, but these were seen on TV when children would have been watching! Oh those wild 70’s lol! But me, like Clara Johnson, dressed as a dancing queen, hmm?

Whats in a name?

When it comes to names used in a story, there are a few that catch my eye, I have to admit. Its fair to say I’ve used Stephanie way too many times, generally not subtly in stories, but hey, as the author I’m allowed to do that lol! Its safe to say that no one, other than me, maybe, is going to use the name Harlean in a story, lets face it, and Clara is hardly likely to be the first choice for most nowadays.

There is however one other name, rarely used, that will also catch my eye, and thats Meredith. Why, simples! Because my ebook author name is Merry Brooks of course, though the likelihood of me releasing more ebooks in that name are slim at present, for better, or worse.

So when one author, whose work I enjoy included a character of that name, I took a special interest in her. He probably wishes he could change the name, to get me off his back, but anyway…Lets just say she has an interesting life, and leave it at that. This weekend, she got a story of her own, which was fun to read

http://192.155.80.152/FairShareMeredithsFirst/index.html

No, I have no experience of working as an escort, at any point in my life, let me say. And to be honest, its one of those jobs that I simply have no idea how I’d react to it, if I had. I must admit, I love the way Meredith sort of hesitates over doing it/not doing it, and everything else involved, all makes for a delightful read. How things will work out for her in the end, no idea, but I’m enjoying the main story (Fair Share, but given there are 36 chapters, you may not be feeling that brave?), so it will be fun to find out.

I must admit, the companionship side of it, and all that stuff would be lovely. Me, not so sure about the whole sex thing, mind, lol! I know, one comes with the other, but…?

Talking of things that might be fun to do, but I probably wouldnt, here are a couple of body stockings as a fine example. No, I havent got that kind of figure, not sure that I ever did have, but this would be so much fun.

So, ‘Voulez Vous’, me, as your escort for the night? 😉

Ring, ring, why did you give me a call?

One of the hazards of working in a call center, is the fact that you cant control when you’re going to get a call. Most of the day, doesnt matter, because even if its just before your food break, you take your time from when you’re actually free, no issue.

But there is one time when it really matters, and thats just as you’re getting ready to finish, and go home. Yes, last night, just before I was about to get finished, and do my ‘dash’ for the bus station (dash is an optional word nowadays, given the state of my body), I heard that dreaded ‘bleep’, and a call came through.

To be honest, it wasnt that long a call, just over 5 minutes to take the call, and complete the notes, but… in truth, I have about 3 minutes to spare to get my bus home, so even that, I’ve then got a 22 minute wait for the next one. Not the end of the world, but given I dont normally get home before 8.30, and that makes me later… Oh fine, at least I wasnt working today! Oh, and given I was then in no rush, I ‘consoled’ myself with a bar of chocolate! But fine, I’d still rather get home earlier, but…

To be fair to work, when that happens, and you leave more than 5 minutes late (and I did, just), you add it to your hours, so I dont lose at that end, not quite so bad.

Fine, I know, you dont know where I work, what my hours are, or anything, but please, 2 minutes before the end of my shift, dont give me a call! 😛

Video time. Vintage Abba, and seemingly vintage live Abba. Yes, I love Frida’s outfit, and collar, cant possibly think why? 😉