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…?

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A little glass of alcohol

One of the things that I was told that I needed to give up when I went on all my painkillers, was alcohol. Fair enough, I have never been that much of a drinker in truth, though I used to enjoy the occasional glass of wine, or a vodka and coke, or something, most of the time I could live without it, and so it never bothers me all that much.

In fact, the only time I have drunk alcohol, since I started on them, was at a friends wedding, due to the fact I was taking it very easy, and it was very warm, I decided to try to go without for 3 days (suggested clean period) before her wedding if I could, so I could celebrate properly on the day. Yes, because of the above, I made it, though being maid of honor, it wasnt that long after I got back to the hotel post reception that I needed to take one again!

Christmas, I drank wine, but it was the no alcohol one (I know, its not perfect, but so minimal I was fine, and besides I didnt have to go anywhere if I had got sleepy), which was fine. My birthday, given I was in the freezing UK, I stuck to soft drinks, even on my 60th! Arent I good, lol?

The only time I’m really going to miss it, well, one of those comes up later this month. One of those times I’ve always enjoyed a glass of wine, is when eating dinner, flying across the Atlantic, but it wont be happening. To be blunt, I know people who take the same painkillers as me, do drink, seem to be fine, but hey, I’m a good, obedient ‘robot’, so…

But yes, what amused me today was the Airline I am flying with, later this month, had a free giveaway on social media today, and one of the prizes was a bottle of champagne, on your flight. No, I have no idea what I would have done if I’d won (it was free to enter) that, though I wouldnt have minded the main prize, of US air tickets. No, in the end, I didnt win anything, hardly surprising with me, and my luck to be fair. But yes, these contests, it does amuse me that they seem to just assume that everyone can drink! Ah well…

Video time, and take your choice. Same song, one the original lineup miming to a soundtrack. A glass of a kind of alcohol…

And secondly, a more recent live performance, where in fact, all but the lead singer are the same people!

Flying home for Thanksgiving

Its amazing to think back now to the fact that it actually took the first pilgrims to the US in 1620, about 2 months to get there from England. By the time they sailed, it was autumn, heading into winter, so sailing against the winds was very hard work.

A hundred years or so ago, it would still have taken about a week, or slightly more, to reach the US from England by ship. Ships had far better speed to travel by then, due to the wonders of modern (for their time) engines. Planes were primitive beasts back then, far from capable of Atlantic crossings at that point. Of course, now, its possible to reach the East Coast, around Cape Cod at least, in about 6 hours! Jet planes are a wonderful thing, and the fares now, allowing for inflation, are probably cheaper than some of those ships of the past.

Of course, 50 years from now, flying home for Thanksgiving might be involving interplanetary flights, as well as Transatlantic ones. Yes, ancestors of those first pilgrims to Mars, and maybe by then, beyond, might be heading home to families too. Moon as well, I suspect, but I wont be around to find out, for sure. Though given gravity differentials, will that be possible?

Of course I’m assuming that tradition will stand then, but I cant imagine it changing, somehow. After nearly 400 years…!

This year, I havent flown anywhere for Thanksgiving. Have now done it once, and will possibly do it again, post retirement, but I suspect not before then. Well, unless…?

A friend, Stacie, sent me this, as a suggestion of a suitable Christmas present for me. Yes, I have to agree!

No, as far as I know, Amazon dont actually sell them, shame. Would be beyond my budget if they did, anyway! Of course, to fly such a craft, you need a suitable outfit to wear. For me, this seems pretty good! 😀

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-Alien-Fancy-Costume-Standard/dp/B014WZ5UCQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511340295&sr=8-3&keywords=adult%20alien%20costume

Of course, if you know of a better one that I can wear, going cheap…? 😉 Now, that would be a fun role to play, though I do wonder if you get out of that outfit again after putting it on! Or is it an alien life forever after that? Not that I would mind, but…?

Video time. This works for the present, and the future at least. Those early pilgrims probably wish they could have done a 6 hour flight (or whatever), rather than 2 months at sea!

Keeping to the rules, or otherwise

Fine, I’ll get to the title matter in a minute, but for now…

Sunday evening started with a change of plans, a trip to the cinema, to see It. No, not the 1927 silent movie starring Clara Bow, though I’m sure she would have looked adorable, even in a clowns outfit. No, this was the recent (shock horror) movie based on the Stephen King book instead. Something very different for me, but impressed with it, all the same. Mind, the final outcome (of this section at least) appealed to me no end. The actress playing Beverley caught this actresses eye, as someone to watch for the future, just saying…

After that, a dose of ‘The Orville’ which is a new series on Fox over there, which seems to be a witty take off of Original Star Trek, among other things. Yes, the big attraction for me, the chrome robot, no surprise. Yes, if they ever want an actress to play his female companion… 😉 Suspect its just CGI, in truth, sadly. Not sure when I see any more of it mind, over here, but will keep an eye out for that.

Yesterday was the last full day (for a while) in the US, most of which I just spent relaxing, before heading for home, via JFK, in a shuttle. Yes, wisdom prevailed, given the state of my body at present, only way to go. Before that, I did get to see the Creature from the Black Lagoon thing, though sadly not wearable lol. But if anyone wants to make one, and let me wear it…?

Beyond the traffic levels to JFK (its NYC, for pity’s sake), that all went smoothly, and so did the ride through security. Then the fun began! I was taken to the gate on my boarding pass, for my plane home, fine. Thing was, the departures board was showing a different gate, some distance away, and some ‘know all’ told me my plane was going from there. So I struggled down there, only to find a short while later that my pusher had known what she was doing, and the know all was an idiot! So yes, I struggled back to the original gate I’d been left at.

There was 1 wheelchair waiting there, mine, and yes, someone came this time, and took me to the plane. At this point, someone asked me to swap seats, so he could sit with someone, and I agreed. Unfortunately, the idiot I soon discovered I had the ‘delights’ of sitting next to on the way home, thought rules were for everyone but himself. As in, mobile phones must be switched off before leaving the gate, and only be put back on, in flight mode, when we were in the air. Him, oh no! Trying to hide from everyone (very badly) that he was still using his phone after this point, and indeed continued to use it, until after the plane accelerated for take off. Even then, I’m not sure if he switched it off, or just hid it away. He was certainly still doing something with it post take off (not meant to be switched back on while seat belt light is on), so who knows? Put it this way, he was still using it this morning, up to, and including landing, long again after having been told to turn it off. Oh, and then everyone else decided to be an idiot, as more than half the people in the plane were standing up, long before the seat belt light went off at Manchester.

Then it got, err, better! There was only 1 wheelchair used at JFK to load a passenger, mine! So, at Manchester, only 1 is sent to the plane, to disembark me. Thing is, seemingly, 5 other people then decided they needed a wheelchair to disembark, despite not requesting one. My name was called, I stood up to get in, and another woman took my chair! She clearly wasnt going to move willingly, so in the end, they tried to round up another wheelchair for me, only to discover 4 more people wanting one! No, Manchester Airport doesnt employ psychics, to know that all these additional people suddenly would want a chair.

Finally, and I do mean finally, I was on the move. Snag was, with 4 pushers, and 6 chairs, movement was erratic, and slow. Not improved when I finally got to passport control, and there is a group of 3, from the sub continent, who were clearly being shifty about their reasons for entering the country. Finally, he decided to let them in, I passed through quickly, but then we had to get all these wheelchairs down to baggage claim. Then pick out the right black expanding suitcase, from dozens of them, but we got there in the end. So only about an hour later than expected, freedom, and greetings! Then at last, go home!

Oh, and one last thing before we move on from the holiday, and back to more mundane events, one of the movies shown on the flight across. A movie called Blended, which given my knowledge of modern movies, I had to look up when I got home. Take my advice, give it a miss. It has a shocking review rating, and the actress in the main female lead role was dreadful. One look on her face throughout the movie, basically rabbit caught in headlights! Yes, I swear even now, after a few years off, I could have acted the pants off her! So come on Hollywood, let me prove it, lol!

Thats it, then. Lets close by thanking Kate, Stacie, and Eric (mainly, but there were others) for such a marvelous holiday experience. Yes, being Maid of Honor, at a wedding, very special.

So what happens now? Another suitcase, in another hall (Evita)? Probably not! To a big degree, a lot depends what the doctors say about my back in the next couple of weeks, and how many days of work, per week, I can get through, post medication. I’m currently suspecting the answer will be 4, but we will see. Maybe a magic cure, or a nice new cybernetic body lol? Oh, I wish for the latter! I suspect I will be getting the airport wheelchair experience again too, but we will see?

In theory, if I could get there next month, I could go to NYC again for a reading for a production by 2 friends, surrounding the life of Clara Bow, but money (definitely), and holiday time (possibly) mean thats unlikely to happen. Ah well, might have knocked them over on Broadway, especially if they were looking for a middle aged woman confined to a wheelchair for a role lol. Still, keep on dreaming…

Right, video time. One thing a plane is called, is a silver machine, though I doubt thats what they’re talking about here! Dont think its a robotizing pod either, but its almost more likely! Yes, thats Lemmy, of Motorhead fame!

Everyday Hurts

Regardless of my current physical issues, one thing I’ve always tried to do whenever I see anyone in a wheelchair is acknowledge them, even if its only a quick glance with the eyes, I always try to do something, just to show my support. Even more so now, in the sense that in a couple of weeks time, proverbially at least, I’ll be in their place. Fortunately for me, at the end of it all, I will be able to get out of the wheelchair, and walk away, to some degree at least, even if my back ensures it wont be that smooth an event. But of course, for most people in a wheelchair, thats not an option. Probably why, to some degree, I feel guilty about requesting a wheelchair, but being practical, I cant stand long enough in one place to join the standard Immigration queue, into the US, and in truth, getting through security might be challenging too, if I dont time it right! So fine, it needs to be done, but even so…

Yes, thankfully, I’ve got to the point where I can accept that as a fact, so I’m finding it easier to live with it, even if its not the perfect situation. I see one gentleman reasonably regularly, using the same bus service as me, to and from Bradford, and we’ve now acknowledged each other so often, I quite often get a wave, rather than a nod! But no, it wasnt him yesterday that made me think about my scenario in a fortnights time.

I was walking back from work yesterday, into town, and saw a woman in one of those motorized wheelchairs approaching at as much speed as I’ve ever seen one go! I tried to acknowledge her, but I think she was more focused on setting a qualifying time for a Grand Prix lol! No, I wont get a motorized wheelchair at the airport, I’m pretty sure, just being pushed along, I’m sure. To be honest, I have to, at some point look up what the etiquette is for these matters, as I suspect one of the places I might need assistance is in the check in area, but how does anything get sorted out before I check in? If anyone knows, and is prepared to comment, I’d love to know. If not, I’ll have to try and find out online, hazard of being a solo traveler.

To be fair, I should point out that it wont be my first time being pushed in a wheelchair, but the last time was nearly 50 years ago, and for a few weeks at least, I couldnt walk, as it was after both my knees were surgically operated on at the same time. Since then, no, never been in one. Well, not until a fortnights time, at least!

Yes, I do feel sorry for those, who unlike me, having got through the rigors of Boston Airport, wont be able to just get out of their wheelchair, and walk away, and know how painful it must be for some, when they see the rest of us walking around them, with too many just ignoring them. But yes, as a social experiment, it will be interesting to see how others react to me, all the same.

The video, an absolute oldie, just hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’m already torn

Well, more snapped than torn, but anyway, minor details…

I got a follow up call on Thursday, while at work from the surgery, and no prizes for working out what it was about, my back. In fact, I was going to ring them on Friday morning to get the update, but they actually beat me to it! No, they’re not waiting a few weeks to see how the back settles down, I’ve already been referred for a bone density scan check, so that doesnt sound good? No, still waiting to hear when it will actually happen at present.

So yes, MIT, if someone reads this, and you need a guinea pig for some back strengthening robot type thing, I’m your girl! Chrome body would be an additional bonus lol! If reprogramming comes as part of the package, thats not a put off! 😉

One snag I’ve since worked out, given that I’m due to fly to the US in less than 6 weeks time, is my inability to stand still for more than a few minutes at present, without the back giving way, even on painkillers. I can walk fine, though not quite as fast as normal, I can sit relatively comfortably too, but just standing still, no!

The issue, I hear you ask? Simple one, US Immigration! The last 3 times I’ve been through, the average queue time would be almost an hour. I know, some of that time is shuffling along in the queue, but I suspect that will be nearly as bad for my back as standing still! There is one obvious option to take, but typically me, I feel guilty about it, though several have already told me not to be. Yes, for want of a better term, especially in my case, the ‘medically disadvantaged’ situation.

Let me say that up to now, I’ve only ever needed to use a wheelchair once in my life, about 50 years ago, when both knees were first operated on. Yes, they were soft on children back then, though yes, it wasnt long before I had to use them again. But fine, I needed one for a while, I simply couldnt walk! But now, I can walk, and I can sit just fine. I can even stand for a couple of minutes at a time, but any longer…nope!

I know, arrange a wheelchair to meet me at Logan Airport, get whisked (relatively) through Immigration and Customs at the airport, thats fine. But what I know I would then feel guilty about, is getting up, and walking away, relatively normally. I know, cant be helped, just do it, but this is me, so…if anyone wants to mind control me not to feel guilty about doing it, it would be appreciated!

For now, I’m going to give it a couple of weeks, see if I get any more medication, and how that works before contemplating booking the service, but I will have to give notice, so…Its funny, I was reading an article that a number of people pull the assistance trick to get through security quicker, but thats not my issue, I hope! Rarely is the queue that long, that I couldnt cope, especially as you’re not actually stationary for that long, but the Immigration queue, eek! I know, I’m 59, I’m crocked, just do it, but its not my nature to do so! But yes, I suspect I will, all the same.

Right, video time. This is not the version of the song that everyone knows. No, Natalie Imbruglia covered this song! I do like her cover, but this is the far more rock laden original. Sadly the only live performance I could find was awful quality, so settled for this

Tell me that you’ll wait for me

I would add, “Babe, I hate to have to go.”, but I’d be lying, badly! Yes, to add to the corniness of all this, and give away the song in tonights video, then yes, tomorrow, I will be leaving on a jet plane.

And yes, after 19 months without flying anywhere, I’m returning to the same area that I flew back from, all that time ago. In fact, I’ll be staying in an apartment less than a mile from where I stayed last time! I only wish that place on Verbena Drive was still available, but the place I’ve got looks as good, for sure, and maybe even a little larger?

I know, I really must go somewhere other than Hollywood sometime soon, and in fact, in September, I will, heading for New England, New York State and that area. Thats going to be fun, not only going to a wedding, but being a bridesmaid for the first time in my long life! Yes, cant wait! And no, even if I do catch the bouquet, I doubt anyone would be crazy enough to want to marry me lol!

I know I said it last time I was there, and I probably did just over 2 years ago, when I was there before that, that I suspect this will be my last trip to LA for a long while, unless a miracle happens. And hey, this isnt the Golden Age of Hollywood, when women were plucked off the streets, and into the movies, lets face it. So yes, I’m pretty sure, unless…?

I’m not saying I will never be back again, I suspect that just before my ancient old body tells me that I can no longer travel that far, that I will do one last trip to that crazy town. Of course, in the interim, something could happen to me, and I wont get back. But yes, that would be the plan, at least. But fine, just in case, I have a few places to visit this trip, and say goodbye, just in case. There is one place I’d love to go, if only I knew where ‘she’ was buried. Regular readers will know who ‘she’ is, and if you dont, look back a couple of blogs to a very big clue!

The thing that worries me in a sense tomorrow, is the length of the flight, nearly 11 hours! Yes, its lovely getting a direct flight, but I’m certain its the longest flight I’ve ever done, though whether London to Seattle direct, 14 years ago, was just under 10 hours, or more, no idea? Just hope the joints havent seized up too much by the time I get to LA!

Right, I’m not expecting a kiss, but if you want to smile for me, feel free. Regardless, tomorrow I’ll be leaving on a jet plane, though I do know when I’ll be back again. Until then, for those who read both blogs, they are very likely to be exactly the same, just saying…