Disability training required!

Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!

Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.

I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!

Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…

Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.

Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!

OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…

Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…

Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.

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If words could make wishes come true?

Fine, I’m in a sort of ‘What if?’ mood tonight, so if thats not your thing, maybe you should pass on this one tonight? It probably is a ‘week of my 60th Birthday’ thing, so if anyone has anything cheery they would like for Thursday night, please let me know. Inspire me, and all that.

Yes, its probably because I’m looking back on my 60 years (less 3 days, at time of posting) and thinking I havent done much that I’m going to leave as a mark when I’m gone. I know, I’ve done more than many, I’ve written, I’ve acted, but nothing that I’m ever going to be remembered for 5 years down the road, let alone decades! And the highest level my sporting skills ever got me was into County Competitions when at school, so nothing notable there either.

I suppose its fair to say, as you might have gathered from the title of this blog, the one that probably annoys me the most is the acting one. Yes, if I’d had the chance to go to University, get involved in drama there, well who knows?  That was just a piece of fate I had no control over, the child with a single parent who had to go out to work as soon as she was old enough, and the rest was history. Yes, I have done amateur dramatics since then, but nothing in a long while now, and I think in terms of genuine roles, I’m probably done by now.

So yes, I’m sort of seeing Friday night as that final fling, the final farewell, or whatever you like to call it, even if its not strictly acting. Its just being dressed up, albeit for a very good cause, as a Flapper girl from the 20’s, which will be a lot of fun, but somehow I suspect I’ll be the only one putting much thought into the role, all the same. Might be a few others, but I suspect for most, its just a night out dressed up, helping a good cause.

No, I have no plans to go over the top in the role, but I’m sure I will put a bit of effort into it, just to satisfy myself, if nothing else. But yes, I plan to have fun at the same time. Who knows who will be there, though I doubt I will be whisked off to Broadway, Hollywood, or even the London theaters due to my work lol! Strictly, it may not even be it, but being honest, I cant see my body getting strong enough to do much again, or the opportunity being likely to arise unless I put a lot of effort in, and at my age, I’m probably past that point!

But yes, one big last performance, absolutely, just for me. As I say, I’m not saying there wont be more, but in all honesty, I have my doubts. So no, I’ll have to pass on that Oscar now, lol! 😛

Still, for one night, I can act out the life of a 20’s flapper, and not worry about anything else. Well, maybe the length of my dress, I suspect, but otherwise… lol?

OK, the video. Someone who died far, far too young, at the age of 30. I know, older than Harlow, but all the same, a talent lost way too early. The blog title, a line from this gorgeous song

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.

Preview of 2018, only part. The year of being senior!

Very strictly, the answer to that question, is wherever life takes me, I guess? But strictly, for 2018, assuming I live out the year, some things will happen, some things may happen, and some things almost certainly wont happen, but it would be fun if they did!

Anyway, lets be boringly practical first, things that will happen, assuming the life quotient of course. The biggest, and most obvious one to mention, is that I hit the big 60 next March. I know, who would ever have believed it? But yes, the body is definitely now giving me more than hints that its not as strong as it used to be, so… Hard to believe, that 25 years ago, when a woman hit 60, she retired from work! Now, with a longer life expectancy for everyone, and things, its another 6 years to go! Still, gives me chance to build up my pension, I guess, body permitting. Lets face it, I’ve already had to cut back to 4 days a week, and the back isnt likely to get better, only worse, so…?

The only other definite things at this point, are the fact that I will be heading to Seattle in May for 8 days (yes, already decided the back will be up to that, fingers crossed it stays that way once booked), though that will be the only US trip this year. Yes, thats one cutback due to the financial situation. I thought I might be able to pull it off this year, for the last time, the double trip, but no, now know its not going to happen! I have got a few thoughts for a break in September, but will only be a few days, and will only be in Europe. Well, unless the work syndicate wins the lottery lol! So yes, I’ll be using an airport wheelchair (or 5) in May again on that trip. Hopefully, all will be a little smoother than last time!

The other is, of course, working on a group on LGBT issues at work within our section of the Civil Service. First actual meeting is planned for some point in New Year, but location and date, TBA at present. Quite an honor, quite a challenge!

The maybe’s look trip related. I might try to get to Ireland, for at least some cricket this summer, though sadly it wont be that first Test match, as its literally the week before I go to Seattle. But other games are planned, so time, and finances permitting, it will be nice to meet old friends again, and maybe make a few new ones.

Hey, another maybe, I might write another story or two lol! I really ought to, I have a few ideas, but getting around to it, but yes, I’ll risk putting it on the maybe list, rather than the unlikely one! The other maybe, is my first ever ‘senior citizen’ pass. Yes, the Railway senior discount pass still is permitted from 60, so if I travel on the Railways in September, as I might, I’ll get one then!

The unlikely ones, but not impossible? Well, the first one obviously relates to performing, in an acting sense. I suspect a presentation style performance might be more likely, probably on LGBT issues, but I suspect that will be it. Lets face it, who’s going to want an actress who hasnt done anything much in years, and now has back issues, which means standing for long periods for a role, is nigh out of the question! But maybe, out there is a director/producer who wants to do something crazy, and then, well…?

Then we come to the silly stuff, that ‘could’ happen, but you can be sure wont. Winning a lottery jackpot (I know, theoretically, but me, win anything, dont think so!), getting abducted by aliens, turned into a robot, or regenerating (well, if Doctor Who can do it?) as a young(ish) Clara Johnson might all be fun, but none are going to happen, I think we can safely say!

Lets finish with a dramatic, stat based thing. Look back through early film history, and you find a lot of famous actresses who passed on at 60. Clara Bow is one that immediately comes to mind! Now its fair to say that health matters have improved nowadays, and I have never been a famous actress, so I’m probably safe, but… Still, hopefully we will be doing this in a years time!

The video tonight, isnt a proper one, but it fits the title, and yes, its the Carpenters, so just rolling with it. Just a nice song, that hopefully you can enjoy.

So, one blog to go for 2017, as its back to work tomorrow. Any ideas for something you’d love to hear about, either from this year, next year, or Clara Johnson’s era, feel free to suggest in comments

The Elf In The Office

In a sense it might be a good thing that I’m not totally a believer in method acting, as I would have absolutely no idea how to get into the mindset of an elf. In truth, it wont be the first time I’ve played an elf, though it was about 45 years ago that I last did so, and I certainly wasnt contemplating method acting in the slightest back then, even if the concept existed at that time! In truth, given its just dressing up as an elf, to help Miss Claus give out Christmas presents at work, so I dont think its too critical, either way!

Oh, and yes, the outfit fits, I tried it on earlier today, just to make sure, though I didnt risk trying the tights/stockings/leggings on, in case of tear. Lets face it, its the main part of the outfit that needs to be fine, and it is. The elf boots are nothing like in the picture I posted a couple of blogs back, where they looked quite long, but in truth, they just about cover the ankles! Also, they are pretty soft, so I’m going to need to use them as shoe covers, as opposed to the only thing on my feet! And oh, the elf tunic nearly covers my knees! So yes, the tights (or whatever) will definitely have to be worn, at my age, for sure!

Thankfully, or otherwise, putting on the elf outfit didnt transform me completely. Probably for the best, though it might definitely have been interesting short term, and allowed me to get into the elf mindset, but never mind…

But yes, if any theater group, or movie company needs an elf extra, give me a call! And yes, if anyone does know a way to give me a true elf mindset, then lets go for it!

Right, video time. I know nothing about this, beyond that it came up on a random You Tube search, so…?

Being put on display

For those of you fortunate enough to know about both blogs, you’ll note that the inspiration for both came from postings I found on Facebook this morning. For those who dont, you’ll have to just take my word lol… Whereas the other was a posting that a lovely friend put up for me this morning, this one I found by sheer chance, just going through postings on my page.

I know, technically every time an actress performs, she’s putting herself on display to others. In my case, to several hundred at most, but famous people, and my dear friend, Julia, to a few thousand, or even more. I’m not saying I’ve never done one of those carnival parade things, but I dont specifically remember doing one. If I have, and I might have done (would be around, or over 30 years ago if I did, so forgive my memory), then I suspect I dressed up in an outfit, and had fun, but nothing like that, as the feature item.

For those in the Bradford area, on the weekend of 2nd/3rd December, they are having a Festive Streets entertainment weekend, clearly aimed at attracting trade to the area for Christmas, I hope it goes well. I will be there on the 2nd, for work, obviously, but somehow, I’m pretty sure I wont end up as the lucky lady in that dress, in the snow globe. Yes, would love to, if I was offered the chance. But yes, they will want someone young, and pretty, so…

But yes, I wonder what it would be like, to be in her position, the center of all attention for tens of thousands of people? Maybe one day I will find out, but by now, I have my doubts. But, fingers crossed…?

The video tonight. Well, when it comes to a lady on display, in a less than natural setting, this really comes to mind. Supposedly done on one take, incredible if it was!

You Ought To Be In Pictures?

Well, now I’m a professional actress, just maybe? Except strictly, I didnt get paid for acting this week, I got paid for public speaking. Yes, my presentation last week has actually earned me, what I believe to be, my first fee for public performance in my life. No, dont quote me for definite for that, my career as such as it is goes back about 50 years, so I might have forgotten something, but I dont remember ever being paid. Yes, been on TV a few times, performed in school plays, and amateur dramatics numerous times, but never got paid for anything. Until now… Well fine, £25 isnt a fee that Meryl Streep and the like would get excited about, but hey, its a start! Strictly, its not payment for the presentation, its a reward for doing it, but it comes down to the same thing.

Question is, if I buy an outfit that I might use for a part, does it count as a tax deductible expense? Yes, I’m joking, believe me! I doubt very much that a 15 minute presentation on diversity issues, is going to see Hollywood, Broadway, or even small theater groups rushing for my services! Even more so, given that my activity levels are a bit limited at present! I suspect its either going to be used for winter boots, or a dress styled from 20’s or 30’s, assuming I can find something of a full length, which might be hard with flapper dresses!

Strictly, at least in a past life, I have been in movies, though only in small roles, and chorus line stuff that wouldnt turn her into a star. And yes, she failed to pass on the dancing skills, unfortunately.

Today though, is the birthday of someone who did deserve to be in pictures, and indeed she was, Nancy Carroll. Mind, the latter part of her career was mainly in TV, and theater, so might be hope for me yet! No, I’m not as talented as her either, sadly, nor did she have my back issues, to limit her mobility.

But one thing, at least now I’ve been paid to perform lol. Public speaking tour, anyone?

OK, the video. Huge clue in blog title, a real oldie here, from 83 years ago!