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?

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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? 😉

May we all have hopes and visions, if we wish to

For those hoping for a wonderful ‘war and peace’ length blog tonight, sorry, you’re not getting it! So lets keep it a sensible length, and let those who want to go out celebrating tonight go and do so, and those of us who just want things peaceful can get to bed before ‘all hell’ breaks out at midnight! Yes, no shock, I’m one of the latter! I’ve done the wilder stuff in my time, but nowadays, the easier way to spend the last day of the year suits me just fine.

I’m long past making any significant resolutions, and have no plan to change that next year either. So no, I’m not going to make any crazy resolutions about making it as a Hollywood, or Broadway actress, because in all reality, its not going to happen now, at my age. Mind, if someone wants to prove me wrong? Equally, I’m not expecting to get the promotion from bridesmaid, to bride at any time soon! Would think the only way I would make a good bride would be if I was turned into a Stepford type robot wife lol!

So what am I resolving to do, other than hopefully last long enough to hit the big six-o, in March? I think the main thing I want to do, given the chance, is do more publicity work for LGBT issues, or at least work with other people to improve life for other LGBT people in the UK, and hopefully further afield. I doubt I will get the chance of a speaking tour, but if I do, I would definitely go for it!

The other big challenge, even this close to retirement, is to keep trying to improve myself. For example, at work I’m in the middle of doing tests for an Action Pathway at work, which could lead to promotion. I’ve passed part 1, part 2 tests are in just over a weeks time, so…? I know, at my age, chasing for promotion sounds crazy, probably is, but it counts as a challenge to hopefully push me on!

Oh, and I resolve that if a situation arises where I need to use a wheelchair, I’ll accept it, and not fret about it, OK?

So thats it, readers, for 2017. For those of you with resolutions for the New Year, I hope you succeed with them. Equally, for those who just want to survive another year, I wish you well.

So, to the video. Yes, I’ve used this song before, its a very apt one. However, despite it seemingly having been on You Tube for a few years, its a new one to me.

Happy New Year, readers, to those for whom its already started, and for those like me that its still to happen, all my best wishes.

Why couldnt it happen to be me?

Every so often, in my reading, I come across a story that amuses, or tickles me enough that I end up using it in a blog. Tonight is one of those occasions!

http://192.155.80.152/MonasMakeoverPaladin/index.html

(Firstly, let me say I know this is fiction, but for the sake of the blog…)

So fine, this creaky old lady wants to know, who wants to be my William? I assume it would work (in time) equally well on a nigh 60 year old, with damaged back, so…? Oh please, I could even live with the increased libido (anything would be an increase with me!) if I could feel half as good as that again. I know, at the moment I couldnt even look at a gym without my back complaining, but after a few of those pills… Hey, I’d probably be a natural blonde lol! Yeah, I guess I could even live with the female harem lol!

Maybe, given my past life self, I could have the supplements that turn me into the dancer type, rather than a gym bunny? I must admit, it would be fascinating to know life as Clara did, but now, short of something like that happening to me, my days of being a dancer are long gone! Mind, I think she took all the dancing skills, but fine, I’ll have to live with that now!

One thing a few classic movie fans might note is that yes, I’d have been even more amused if it had been William, and Myrna. Yes, think about it, lol…or try Google, it will probably give the game away!

So fine, unless anyone wants to provide me with a few of those supplements, I’ll stick to trying to work out if this old body of mine will survive for 8 days in Seattle/Seatac next May! PS If anyone reading this can, or knows someone who I can use as a ‘buddy’ on that trip, I’d appreciate it. No, I dont want anything more than a contact number, which I hope I wouldnt need. But lets just say that I need something brought in, because the back has locked up, or somewhere I can just relax for a couple of hours, to allow the (Seatac) hotel staff to do their thing, I’d be grateful. Shouldnt need it, but just in case, once or twice, to know someone is there, on the end of a phone?

Fine, I know, but no harm asking, I guess?

Video time. A bit of a variation on the blog title, but I doubt Mona was saying this. Me, I’d love it to be me, but anyway…a little vintage live Abba

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!