Sleep Talk

Given all my health issues, and everything, the one thing I planned for, when cutting back my working week to 4 days, was to give my back deserved rest time, on non working days. It has to be said that most of the time it works a treat. But this weekend…

In truth, the fact that it was a wonderful day on Saturday, in terms of my back at least, has to be countermanded by the fact that I was on my feet way more than normal. Thankfully the weather was hot, so my back wasnt as bad as it might have been at end of day, but fine, I was still sore.

Snag was, Sunday, which would normally be one of my rest days, with a longer recovery time in bed didnt happen, because we were in a guest house, needed to be up at a reasonable hour for breakfast, and to come home, and…also, I was sharing a room with Eric, and his idea of sleeping in is about 6 am! So yes, not the recovery time I really needed. So yes, despite the weather, and everything else, lets just say I was a little ‘tender’ at work yesterday. But there you are, I thought, at least I get a nice lay in tomorrow morning, which will hopefully clear matters up.

Yes, you guessed it… Just before 7 this morning, the phone rang in my bedroom. Loudly, and it sounded like an ice cream van had hit the house, or something! I answered it, passed the phone to Eric, and tried to go back to sleep, but it didnt really work, so about an hour later, I gave up, and got up.

Hopefully, hopefully, Thursday, I might actually get a genuine lay in, in my bed? But…? Hibernation/Stasis pod, anyone?

OK, video time. What I felt like I was doing this morning, lol!

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These legs aren’t made for walking

Well, for better, or for worse, the original blog material plan went out the window today when I learnt of my physical limitations. Yes, 81 years ago today, Jean Harlow died, just saying…

Put it this way, I’ve known for a while that physically, my body isnt what it used to be. Some of it is down to my back, some of it is down to my age, but all in all, things I used to be able to do all day, I now cant do for all that long, and I certainly dont mean sex! Never interested me when I could do it, and now, no chance!

But walking…

When I was younger (well late twenties), and betting shops werent open on a Sunday, and nothing much else happened on a Sunday, I used to go and walk miles during the summer, when there was no soccer coupons to settle. Yes, miles. 4 miles each way, with a break for a drink at half way, quite normal. Ah, those were the days…

Nowadays, the 3/4 of a mile or so between the bus station at Bradford, and work is a sufficient challenge for me. I can just about get by with that, but much further might cause issues! Even before the back went, a mile or so was about my limit now, and that has come down since. Today was the day I discovered one of those limits was definite, and that something else I used to do, with relative ease, is now a tough challenge.

This morning I was getting my back massaged before Saturday, just to help me get through the day, as I suspect I will be standing a lot, and even with the brace on, there is only so much I can do on that front, without help. Anyway, the bus that goes up the steep hill towards the beauty treatment parlor went AWOL today, so I caught another bus, which left me with said steep hill to climb. Now, in the good old days, I could do that comfortably. Yes, it was hard, and a challenge, but it could be done. Today, I just about made it up that hill! To say I was blowing hard on arrival would be putting it mildly, I needed a couple of minutes to recover before treatment could begin.

After I’d finished, I had no idea when a bus was due (about 10 minutes later as I discovered when home again) due to the timetable having disappeared, I set out to walk home. Let me start by saying this is about 1 3/4 miles, way beyond my assumed comfort zone, but most of it is downhill, or flat, so I went for it. Yeah, not a good idea! Its fair to say a good half mile, or so from home, I was running on empty! I did get home, but the last stretch is uphill, not dramatically, but it killed me! Lets just say I have no plans on a repeat! And this is in warm, dry weather (no need for a coat), not the worst of conditions for me. So no, never again, lol!

Yes, my body is getting old, and today let me know it! Ah well…Someone put me down, or provide me with a strong robot body, or something, just maybe?

I’ve used the Nancy Sinatra version of this not so long ago, and I cant be bothered to check if it was this blog, or the other one. So, just in case…lets just say its not as good, and also let me say its not really live, but mimed! I do like some Geri Halliwell, but this wasnt her finest moment!

Not me, lady, more than my job’s worth

Thankfully my bed at the hotel was so comfortable that I was never Sleepless in Seattle (sorry, couldnt resist) even with my coffee drinking habits! However, when it came to Sunday, and Seatac (close enough to Seattle) Airport, things did get a bit shambolic.

There was a good, logical reason for having the extra night in Seattle when away, the fact that on the Sunday, I could get a direct flight back to Manchester from there, rather than having to start out at a silly hour, and changing somewhere. Silly thing is, it was cheaper to pay for 1 extra night at the hotel, than the difference in air fare I could save by doing that! Yes, the inaugural direct flights from Manchester, to Seattle, and back. However…

Check in desk went fine, and directed towards the place where disability passengers needed to go, to get taken through by wheelchair. Only thing was, after about 20 minutes of waiting, they decided they werent the ones dealing with Thomas Cook passengers, and advised to go try one of the other teams, and see if they were doing it. Another said no, and I have no idea about the 3rd one, as no one ever turned up with a wheelchair, and numerous people had been there longer than me!

So anyway, after about an hour of wheelchair denial, I took matters into my own hands. As I sadly couldnt find a Davros wheelchair, or even better, a Dalek carrier (I could have exterminated a few, happily, by then), I gave up, put my brace back on (I take it off for security check, as its very like a bomb belt), and headed for security myself, as best my legs would carry me! I got there, explained I would fail the security scanner, and why, and suggested maybe they wanted to do a check in privately, as the sign suggested. They took the other option, got me to go in the scanner, and fail (the security person was laughing as she told me she knew I was going to fail), and then they did the standard pat down thing. I then moved on!

The next amusing thing was, someone turned up at the gate, and asked if I needed a wheelchair to get me to the plane! I was tempted, but passed on that, as it would be a straightforward walk to the plane, and on board, no issue. Also, he probably would have expected a tip, and I was in no mood to tip them by then! Only snag was, walked down to the passageway, then waited, and waited,…and 5 minutes later, finally got to board the plane. Thankfully I hadnt removed the brace, so I hurt, but I survived.

After that, in truth, the whole journey was very straightforward. Even more amusing when one of the stewards on board the plane remembered me from last September! Hey, I’m not really a celebrity yet, honest. Unfortunately there was a child sat next to me, who literally screamed for 95% of the flight home, making sleeping on the plane even more impossible than normal.

In truth, this end of the journey was very easy, and I’d given myself plenty of time on my advance ticket to get the train, given we’re always the last ones off the plane, so if it had been at all late, it might have been a close thing. Nope, at the station just over an hour ahead of my booked train! I was not surprised to see that the incompetence known as Trans Pennine Express hadnt improved their service as claimed, the opposite in fact, and the train about 2 minutes later than my arrival there had been cancelled! Anyway, there was another between that, and mine back to Huddersfield, so I put on my best ‘disabled old lady’ routine, and asked if he would pass my ticket so I could get the one in between, and get home a bit earlier. To my amusement, he quoted the almost infamous line that ‘it was more than his job was worth to do so’. Irony is, if I’d been 30 minutes late, he would have had to do it, condition of the ticket!

Last fun item, I’d told Eric, at home, that I would ring him when I got back to let him know I’d safely arrived back. Phone rings, numerous times, no answer! No, nothing serious, he’d just gone out on the buses for the day, and had forgotten what I’d said I would do. Men!!! Yes, I was in bed about 8.30 last night, and apart from a bout of cramp in my leg, I slept for nearly 12 hours in all. Fine now, in that sense at least.

Yes, I’m sore, but recovering. Taken a normal days meds today, for the first time since flight day out, and even now I have a mild ache, despite that. I also seem to have damaged another toe on my left foot, I only hope its not broken, like the next toe along, and just painfully sore from wearing new shoes while away. But other than that…

So thats it, for the holiday blogs for now. Crazily, the next short trip away is at the end of next week, to Blackpool, but more on that Thursday. After that, September to Inverness, and then, November, to…? Well, it will begin with F, for sure, in one sense at least! Will have to wait for a wonderful lady to fill me in on that one! So watch out for that…

OK, video. Mainly in tribute to the ‘Wheelchair Pushers’ at Seatac Airport, though I guess a member of rail staff at Manchester Airport should be included. Less so though, he was strictly doing his job, at least, which is more than the Seatac folk were!

The highs, and low of life, in more senses than one!

Well, technically one of those is stretching things a bit, but lets just say the high is height, though the low is just geographical. And the high was only just over 500 feet, still waiting on that deep space alien flight at this time lol. Oh, I wish!

Yesterday morning, I woke up to discover a new physical issue, a muscle in my left calf seems to have given up the battle, limiting my ability to walk even more. Seems a bit less of an issue today, but still pretty uncomfortable, all the same. So my original plan for yesterday, to do some walking around the University grounds went out the window. So I went for plan B, a trip up the Space Needle, which is where the high bit comes in. No, 520 feet doesnt get you into space, really, but provides a nice view of  Seattle from the observation deck. Its actually a bit of a construction site at present, but you can see most of the way around (more than sufficient), and there is a small price reduction, so…

Oh, and you get your picture taken before you go up in the lift. For those of a nervous disposition, scroll away now!

me at space needle

For others, its probably the only pic you’ll get from the holiday, so make the most of it! And yes, in truth, that was the only real excitement yesterday, took a very light day, due to the walking issues.

Today I headed for what will almost certainly be the geographical low of the holiday, down south to Tacoma. I managed the ‘perfect timing’ this morning, missing a bus by a minute or so, which left me waiting nearly 30 minutes for the next one. Still, at least the weather was hot (70’s), and dry, which helped. I admit it, I do the trip as much as to do something a little different, as anything else, and it gets me out for a while. Also, walking around that town isnt too stressful, so coped, despite my leg. Then back via Federal Way, and the shopping mall there, which seems to have a few empty units at present, but I gather thats a general non online retail malaise at present.

Then back here, via a different route to the one out, which was in fact the case for the whole journey. The express bus back was delayed a lot (made me feel at home), so got a local bus back to Federal Way, as well as another local bus back here. Got to see some different scenery at least!

Tomorrow depends on how strong my leg is in the morning. If its decent, I probably will do that University stroll, if it isnt, not quite sure. Repairing the body would probably be wise, but I really cant afford it at US prices. I suppose they can charge crazy prices as they know its pretty much on medical insurance, but for me… If Bill Gates reads this (lol), and his foundation want to help out, I’ve always fancied acupuncture done on at least some of my damaged parts, but beyond my budget now, sadly.

Right, the video. Not one of the better known A-Ha songs, but that doesnt make it a bad one, and its certainly apt!

Just be good for me

Alright, seeing I’m lacking for inspiration, and given that I’m sure that people who come here for robot stuff arent interested in diversity issues, so lets talk pills instead. No, sadly not robotization pills, or anything interesting like that, just useful painkillers, for ‘old crocks’ like me!

Its fair to say that over the 9 months since my back got seriously damaged, I might have spent a fair bit of money on the prescriptions for all the painkillers I need. Even more so, with the need for the extra ones I took to help me get through the winter. Thankfully, my Kofi campaign earned me one big one off donation, and another generous patron has been helping to top up my funds for me through there, because having had to cut back on my work days, I really havent had the money for them, in truth. Ironically, now, I wont have to pay for them!

No, sadly, no mad scientist has transformed my back from damaged bone, into perfect cybernetic material, if only! No, the reason I will no longer have to pay for them (starting this week) is a simple one, I’m old!

I assumed that like everything else for seniors (or pretty much everything, at least), the age for free prescriptions had risen along the lines of retirement, pension, and the like. No, it seems that like railcards, coach cards, and oh, meals at some places, you still qualify for free prescriptions at 60! Yes, annoyingly, last month, I would have run out of pills on the weekend I hit 60, and as I was away in Blackpool, I had to pay for them. In truth, I only found out they were free after I got back anyway! Given they last about 4 weeks, I’ll be getting my first free prescription on Thursday! Sadly, the gel I have to use on my back isnt prescribed, but as a workmate is providing me with her excess at present, I’m not paying for that at the moment anyway!

So, there really is one blessing of getting old I guess? Still rather not need them, but anyway…But fine, they’re not going to do much with a damaged back, unless they really have to, far too many risks. So I guess I’ll have to put up with it? Well, unless a mad scientist has a nice rejuvenation, or robotization chamber he wants to test out, and then…? 😉

Tonights video is a song that will probably mean nothing across the Atlantic, and was a one hit wonder over here, so how many remember it? But yes, you might recognize Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, in one of his numerous line ups over the years.

Lets all buy a camera!

Fine, anyone who can work out the video from that blog title, without looking, I’m stunned. Why? Because the song is over 40 years old, was only ever a B side of one of their more famous hits, but I loved it, and it fits, so… Yes, if anyone has heard the song before, please let me know! Well, unless you’re a fan of the group, but…?

Given that I’m now just under 6 years from retirement, and that my doctors have already advised me that I ideally need to move somewhere where its warm (or hotter) all year round, to ease my back issues, and to allow the fact that until today, the temperature here hasnt hit 40 degrees since heaven knows when, let alone where it should be in April, I thought I’d take a look into the possibilities.

So, if I start looking for somewhere where the temperature doesnt drop much below 60, all year round in Europe, you start looking south, a long way south! From what I see, Malta, Canary Islands, and possibly a few other places could work for me, if I can afford it. Also, for those, I have no idea if Brexit is going to make it more complex to move there, than it is now. And unless someone is prepared to offer me a job, or position there, suitable for a 60 year old woman, with a questionable back, its not going to happen before retirement day! No, I’m not considering the possibility of any wealthy person falling in love with me, and making me their partner there, lol!

Anyway, being curious, I had a look on You Tube, to see what places are recommended for retirees that would fit my needs. I cant see me moving to Asia, or South America, to be honest, but there was one country that seemed to regularly come at the top, or near to the top of all these charts, Panama. Yes, that gives a clue to the video, now name the group!

It seems the temperature is somewhere between 60, and 75 the whole year round, and though there is rain, its going to be warm rain, which surely isnt as bad as the freezing cold stuff here in winter! There are definite advantages, you dont need a fortune in savings to reside there (just as well really, short of a lottery win), and most speak English, though seemingly learning Spanish might be a wise move! There is also the Catholic country, and LGBT issue for me, but I’ve seen a lot worse countries for that to be honest. And fine, I’m single, and probably staying that way, so…?

Yes, ideally, I’d move to Florida, Southern California (San Diego is supposedly the perfect place for me to live), or Arizona (maybe a bit too hot in summer?) but as a UK citizen, that has issues for permanent US residence, unless there really is someone of either gender crazy enough to marry me! But all reasonable offers, lol…? Maybe a non sexual courtesan type might be more apt lol, or a marriage of convenience type! Not that they’re needed nowadays, unlike the Golden Age days, so probably not?

But yes, its all 6 years away, so I have plenty of time to think about it, but if its going to be done…?

Right, that video. Sailor had a few hits in the mid 70’s, but I have no idea if they crossed the Atlantic with popularity, or were just a UK thing? Either way, they had a catchy number, that ties into this blog quite nicely. You even have a choice tonight, the original line up, clearly miming…

Or a live version from 2002, with their line up at the time, which is surprisingly good, in truth

Give us this (many) days?

As that date gets nearer, its hard to believe that just 25 years ago, or so, I’d have 22 days to go until retirement. For reasons relating to life expectancy, and other related stuff, its now going to be 6 years and 22 days! Or is it?

No, I’m not getting political, though there are a group of women that are trying to get the age adjusted, or get compensation for the extra period of time before retirement, but given my job, not getting into that in the slightest.

But at the same time, I do wonder if my body is going to last that long, at least in a physically strong enough state that going to work, even my current 4 days a week is beyond me? Especially given that as a non driver, I have to use public transport, and you cant enhance the seat on a bus on a long term basis lol! Car seat, yes I’m sure I could work something, but on buses, and trains, not going to happen.

Theoretically, I have a pension I could claim at 63. Snag, its only a matter of £2-3 K per year, and I certainly couldnt live on that! And thats before you get into all the matter of name changes since I worked in that job, so…? Technically my Insurance number hasnt changed, so they should be able to track it, but anyway…not going to be enough to give up work!

Its not quite as bad as that. In practice, if I was unable to work because of my physical health, I would get disability benefits, but really, in truth, that would always be a last resort for me. But yes, I suspect it will happen at some point, in truth, but hopefully I’ll be wrong. But given the state of my back, even now… And again, its not a fortune, so…

I suspect that as with so many medical treatments, eventually they will catch up with back issues, and be able to repair them, or replace them. But for now, understandably, they’re a bit nervous about doing much to the spine, because there is a big chance of only making it worse, not better. Yes, 30 years from now, back replacements will probably be like knee, and hip replacements today! I hope so, for others at least.

In the meanwhile, I guess I’ll just have to see how long I can take the pain. Or until a major lottery win… Oh fine, I’m laughing at that last comment too!

Video time. Only surprised I’ve never used this, as its one of Ultravox’s bigger hits, but anyway, you get it now at least!