No more guilty feelings

No, sadly I havent been brainwashed, or mind controlled into accepting that its fine for me to use a wheelchair, when I need one, much though I would enjoy it if I was! No, the reason I can officially accept it now, without having personal issues over the matter, is that I have been given the news for real, I count as disabled. So yes, absolutely, go for it girl, use that wheelchair with freedom when offered one!

I might add, that for now at least, I dont plan to use one, unless I really need it, which pretty much means it is going to come down to travelling matters, principally airports, though I suspect that major railway stations may become a place where its now all too tempting to use one. I did decline one at Boston recently, though I suspect Kate thought I probably should have done, and fine, it was one of those matters you could make a case out for, either way. But as I didnt have to worry about the case, and I was only walking to the train seat, not stood in one place, it was fine.

Equally, already, if I have to stand in one place, unsupported, for more than a couple of minutes, its a problem! Thankfully, with a bit of planning, most places I can avoid that situation. And for example, things like the wedding, with my brace on, I can survive a fair bit longer, but yes, Immigration, or Security, at an airport, no chance! Especially as I have discovered that wearing a brace through airport security, you have to prove what it is, lol! So maybe next time I’ll take it off post handing over case, but before going through security, just slip it in hand luggage! Ah well…

The main blessing for me, now its been recognized as such, is that I can get a special design chair at work, to help support my back in a way it needs. Standard office chairs are fine for most folk, but when you have a bad back, they’re not sympathetic lol!

Yes, I hope my disability doesnt get worse, as most of the time I can get by under my own steam. It has slowed me down, that 20 minute gap between finishing work, and getting to the bus bay has got more of a challenge! Still doable at present, but…

But yes, now, next May in Manchester Airport, if not sooner, I will have no need to feel guilty about needing a wheelchair to get me through any more, I have disability status! Thats not to say that if someone wants to ‘convince’ me that its fine, that I’d say no, but… 😉

The video, something I dont need to feel any more about this requirement

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Oh my love, my darling…

Thats everyone fooled on the video lol! 😛

Due warning, before we get started, this blog wont be short! So if you only have a couple of moments, come back later!

So, catching up on rest of week…

Wednesday was fairly quiet, the rest of the week hasnt been, so lets leave that day at that.

Thursday was moving day, as Kate headed for the Berkshires, and I headed across a few state lines to New York. The ride up to Boston went smoothly (barring traffic, hardly a surprise, but we had tons of time), and because Kate had a room booked, I got to experience the lounge at a station for the first time. The Red Cap was of the opinion that I could stay there after Kate was gone (her train was 50 minutes before mine), but the lady in the lounge thought otherwise lol. Fair by me, I was her guest, so once she leaves, I should go, but he wasnt impressed lol.

The journey to Stamford was interesting, not so much because I remembered anything from 30 years ago, though I got one memory as we pulled into New London. That first time, 30 years ago, me, and my partner of the time were visiting her elderly aunt on the trip, across the River Thames (pronounced differently to the London one) at Groton. 2 months or so later, she died, and as my partner said at the time, she’d probably only been hanging on to see her UK family one last time, and then…I’m not saying how many ‘doggy bags’ they found in her house after death, but there were, err, a few!

Oh fine, Stamford station was entertaining, mainly because all Eric and I had seem pics of each other, were a few on Facebook. And you have to remember, mine were designed to show me at my best, not my everyday look, but anyway, we got together in the end, and… The rest of Thursday, and Friday, I’ve visited the family, and they are all a delight to know. I sort of knew that, online, but even better for real! I got to see some of the area on various trips, which was nice too.

Oh right, Saturday! Fine, fine, we’ve got there now! No, no pics at this point, sorry. The snag with new, sparkly dresses, is that some of the sparkly stuff isnt going to stay on the dress, perfectly, you get my drift? 😉 But yes, the dress was gorgeous, though in hindsight, given that I need to wear a bra, I should have brought a bandeau bra with me, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! Would have made picture set up so much easier lol.

Oh, btw, I’m maid of honor, and I have to make a toast. Yes, I found out the latter at a couple of hours notice, but like all good actresses, I improvised. Might not have been the standard toast, but hey…I got through! The service first, was very nice, just so proud to be there, let alone in the position of honor that I was. The setting for the wedding was delightful, at Cortlandt Manor, but unless you’re in the area, just a note of reference. The food was good, though far too much for a modest British appetite, but besides that…

The additional magic moment of the meal afterwards, one of the servers recognized me, from one of the documentary things I’ve done in the past. I’m assuming its the LA one, from April 2015, from description, but dont quote me on that. Now others want to see it! I have no idea if there is still a link to it, but I’ve asked the lady who done it if there is, but awaiting a reply. Suspect finding it might be a challenge, even if she can, as she was doing these regularly, but we will see…? Yes, its amazing where ‘fame’ can catch up with you, lol!

Oh, the service, well, what with holding my bouquet, the ring for the groom, and the bride’s bouquet at one point, quite an experience, but I got through, and loved every moment of it. I also got to meet a number of lovely people that I will probably never meet again, which will be a shame, but is part of life, I guess? Was a wonderful time, so very glad I could be there, and part of it.

Discretion says I’m not describing events after the reception, OK? Nothing bad, but entertaining, just maybe…?

This morning has been quiet, as all recover after the big day, including me! I actually went for brunch at a nearby diner/grill to the hotel, and if I needed reminding how crazy US portions could be, they did it! The omelette was large enough on its own, but by the time you add in toast, and potatoes, well…thankfully, plenty of coffee! How much more food I need today, not a lot! So currently, I’m in the hotel, watching Kansas City play in the NFL, so…chilling! Tonights ESPN baseball, well, its the Dodgers, so…I guess I can survive for a while, while the Gelhaus family recover after yesterday!

I will get back there at some point, in fact need to, as one of the wedding presents was a mask (if not more) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and yes, as if I’d love to see that, you bet I do. Hey, I’d love to wear a full suit (if anyone has one laying around lol?), though at my age, underwater swimming scenes wearing it might be beyond my skills, but I’d try, if I had to! 😀

Tomorrow sees the start of the return to reality, and the return to the UK. Thankfully, with my new shifts, no work until Friday, by which time a very quiet, very shy team leader of mine will have had her birthday. Yes, it might have been mentioned most of September. Yes, Madi, I love you, I really do xxx I’ve accepted the old age thing, btw. I’d originally planned to get to JFK by public transit, but Stacie wasnt happy with the thought of that at present, and in truth, I wasnt entirely looking forward to it either. So yes, going there by shuttle now…angel…and then the wheelchair thing again! 😀

Even if there are any pictures of me as the creature from the Black Lagoon, you’ll probably have to wait until Tuesday, or Wednesday, and back in the UK before seeing them. I will post wedding pics, of me at least, once I have some, OK?

And so endeth the longest blog, with its traditional moment, the video. No, I’ll save a certain Dave Edmonds song, in case I need it, and go for a song I didnt hear yesterday at the reception, but which sums up the day so perfectly. Yes, I’m old enough to remember this, I know…

As to the next US trip, I have no idea when, where, or for how long. Need to hear what the Doctors say, how many days work per week my body can still cope with, and take things from there. I have enough saved that I might be able to do two next year regardless, but if I’m limited to 4 day weeks, that will be the end of that. Though if its one trip per year, I will probably make it longer than a week (flight is major element of cost), but we will see… In theory I have an invite to a stage reading of a Clara Bow show next month in NYC, but unless anyone wishes to donate £1000 (flight and accom) to me, and even then, there is holiday available at work, not going to make it. Shame, as I could use the publicity time for myself, as well as the show! Ah well…

So from the US for the last time, probably…bye for now!

A view to a chill

Yes, I know, its been a while, so, what would you like me to tell you about? Being wired up so I rode in a Davros type wheelchair, rather than being pushed in a standard one? That nice mad scientist I met who transformed me into my past life self, Clara Johnson, at the age of 25, with all her dancing skills (and seemingly she had plenty), so I’ve been dancing the nights away at delightful flapper style parties, darlings? Or the journey on that flying saucer that whisked me across the Atlantic, in about an hour, maybe? Flight diverted to Hollywood, so I could sign up for a big acting role? Or would you prefer the dull, actual, truthful version of events lol?

Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to set me up for any of those first 4 events mentioned, I’d love it! I know, I know, in my dreams, nothing more…but… 😉

OK, lets catch up on reality, before I get the full makeover, as mentioned above! Ooh, that would be fun, mind!

Saturday saw my first ride in a wheelchair for 50 years. I suspect it wont be the last holiday I need one at an airport, but we will see… It started off smoothly enough, as I got wheeled through security, and me, and my luggage checked over, without me actually ever leaving the chair. Then, after a slight delay on the flight (plane had to stop inbound, due to a medical issue, so was nearly an hour late leaving), I was wheeled down to the gate, and told someone would be back to take me down to the plane to board. Yes, fine, never happened, so eventually the Rep asked if the 2 of us were able to get to the plane under our own steam, so I went for it. Unfortunately, having taken the brace off, thinking I wouldnt need it again (its neoprene, and warm to wear for very long periods), I struggled the way with my hand luggage, and pulled it off. But yes, instead of having plenty of time to stow my bag, I was pretty much the last one on, but as I had a double seat to myself, I was able to get my bag stowed away anyway.

Arrival at Boston was good, and efficiently done. The two of us might have been the last ones off, but we were probably 2 of the Brits through first, all the same. Given I have a black, expanding suitcase, just like dozens of others, I need to get some pink, or rainbow tagging around the handle, so I can recognize it easier, even more so when you arent close to the conveyor belt, being in a wheelchair, and all that!

The rest of the day, just fine. After arrival at hotel (Kate had already booked us both in), we ended up calling out for food, chatting a lot, just having a good time.

Sunday afternoon, we came down to this glorious place we’ve rented on Cape Cod. Well, Kate did all the hard work booking it, I just paid a share of the costs really. Yes, its gorgeous! I’m sat in the living area, with a stunning view of the sea, typing this now. We ended up having pizza, watching NFL, just having fun.

Monday, being 2 ladies of reasonable leisure for the week, and given that neither of us are in the perkiest of health, we had a quiet day. Finished off for me at least, by getting my annual chance to swoon over Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football!

This morning, I had a couple of cups of coffee, sat outside, complete with a couple of muffins for breakfast, and just enjoyed the sun. Havent seen a lot of it in the UK this summer, so a real delight. Since then, just relaxed, and given my body the break it really needs. We’re here, somewhere near Mashpee, on Cape Cod, until Thursday morning, and I’m loving every minute of it. Might get another ride in a wheelchair at the 2 stations on Thursday, will have to wait and see. Or the next one, may be at JFK on Monday evening!

Yes, Thursday, I need to start getting into bridesmaid mode, but more on that later in the week. Thats when I could really do with that 25 year old, Clara Johnson makeover lol, especially if I’m expected to dance at the reception afterwards, as I currently have 2 left feet, in that sense. Where’s a good mad scientist when you need one, lol?

Right, video time. Yes, the blog title is a slightly tweaked version of that

Do you know the way to JFK?

Its a fact that I’m now coming up on 30 years since my first trip to the USA. Back then, we had to apply for visas, send off our passports to the US Embassy, and nervously wait for approval. Yes, not an issue, and never has been since for me, I’m delighted to say. Of course, nowadays its all done online, and your passport goes nowhere! But back then… And yes, we flew with TWA, who are equally long gone by now!

My first US point of entry was Boston, and of course, in just over a weeks time, my entry point into the US will be Boston! I’ve only actually done that once since, and I didnt have to go through Immigration on that trip, as I flew through Shannon, in Ireland, and cleared it there. Have been to Boston other than that, but entered the US elsewhere, before flying on to Boston.

My point of exit on that trip was New York, having spent a few days there in the interim. The difference, beyond a couple of transits through JFK, I havent returned there in 30 years. Why, you might ask? Does it sound weird for someone who loves LA to say that I found it too loud for me! I know, I probably would have found LA loud back then, I’ve definitely changed since then.

So, that moment of deja vu? Yes, this time around I will be travelling to/around NYC to get to JFK for my flight home. Not quite sure how it all relates to NYC in all honesty, probably depends how I get there, I guess? But no, I’m not planning on doing any sightseeing, given the state of my back at present, regardless. Plus the fact I will have a large case, and hand luggage, and…little time, hopefully. One day I will get back there, hopefully when I’m in better health, and see whether it was me, as I was back then, or if its NYC. My money is on, it was me!

Ah well…

The video, well it rhymes with the blog title at least. No, not the expected version, from Dionne Warwick, but one from a Yorkshire lass, who has never had the fame she deserved. Yes, I might be biased lol!

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

These are the days of our baseball

Yes, I know, it only seems like yesterday that all the fuss about the Cubs winning the World Series, and now we’re about to start the new season. Well, technically we are, but…fine, the regular season doesnt actually start until April 2, but the pre season stuff starts on Wednesday, with one match between an MLB team, and a college team, but then its baseball, non stop (almost) for about 250 days, depending on how far the World Series goes. If it goes to Game 7, like last year, it will be 252 days!

As I say, almost. There is a 1 day break before the All Star game, and a couple of blank days after that to cope with. Its also likely that the first day after the end of the regular season might be blank, unless there is a play off game to decide a title, or wild card spot. And of course, if all play off series dont go to the last games, we might end up with a blank day there, but you get my drift!

I know, hardly anyone, if anyone plays in all 162 games. A few might get close, someone might do it, but on the whole…no! But the amount of travel these people, and the staff make in a season, frightening stuff. Even more so for teams a long way from anyone (like Seattle, for example), though of course coast to coast trips get planned to minimize the mileage as best they can.

The irony for me is that this year, the matinee games wont be as easy to watch as they have been in recent times. Working until 7.00 means that by the time I get home, the 1.00 (or so) ET games that ESPN tend to show will be 2/3 over by the time I get home. Ah well, the money is handy, but…

At least this year, I will get to some live baseball, in my beloved Dodgers stadium. Definitely going to 1 game in May, and if I can afford the time, and money, well, I might fit in 2! Snag is, one of those series is the Cubs, and I suspect that will be sold out before I get the chance. They play Miami, which definitely appeals, given they are managed by the former manager of the Dodgers! The one sad fact this year, Vin Scully will not be in the commentary box, and even if I dont get to hear him at the stadium, its going to be weird. Oh, and I have no idea whether where I will be staying will have the channel that covers the Dodgers games. Fingers crossed, but…

September, I have no idea if I’m getting to Fenway, or not, depends on what Kate has planned, and that will be top secret until I land at Logan Airport! Wont be the same without Ortiz hitting the ball miles, anyway.

Who will win it all? Who knows? One thing is for sure, we’ll find that out at the beginning of November, probably! Still hard to believe I saw a World Series game live, if only on TV. Cant see me doing it this October unless a very wealthy person falls for my charms lol!

OK, the video. That haunting last video that Freddie Mercury made with Queen.

I hope that something good is going to happen

Yes, fine, I’ll get to that blog title in a moment, but firstly, lets remember the awful events that happened in Boston, 3 years ago today. Yes, the tragic explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon, that saw much loss of lives, and limbs. Not that it was hard to forget it, given its the only day I can remember a baseball game that starts in the morning! A bonus for me, of course, given thats a 4 pm start over here, but anyway…

Ironically, 3 years on, Boston managed to conjure up defeat, from the jaws of victory today, but thankfully everything else went off without incident, and thats the main thing.

Oh, the hopes of something good happening? Yes, I’ve done it again, I was quietly sat, with only one job interview lined up for the week, Friday lunchtime, on the other side of Leeds. Ironically, that would see me working at the Job Center, instead of signing on there, should I get it. So yes, you’ve guessed what happened, an email asking me if I was available for a job interview, as I’d impressed a potential employer. Fine, except they want to do it on Friday too, and its not close to Leeds! In terms of places that my North American friends might find on a map, its just outside Dewsbury.

I offer back, is any other day possible, but seemingly not? So then I try to plan it, so that I can just about use my day rider pass (only good after 9.30, when rush hour is over) that I’d got for the other job, but again, no. So fine, I’m doing it, at 10.00 in the morning, so I’ll probably end up with a gap between the 2 interviews, when I cant do a lot, but…Yes, hopefully something good is going to happen, through all this.

Oh, and if you ignore the difference in time zones, at this time, exactly 1 year ago, I was a thoroughly 40’s girl, at the Film Noir party in Hollywood. Yes, heels, dress, the works! Heels were fine until I ended up walking nearly a mile back to the hotel, anyway! That was certainly something good that happened!

Right, the video. Yes, a few clues thrown in, here. I did actually find a live version of this, but its a very abbreviated version, and lets face it, this is one of those songs that could never sound as good live. So, instead, last years remastered version. Now, I find it hard to tell the difference in these things, but I’m sure there is some?