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!

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On a grey, Scottish morning

Alright, its a day late, but some of us were working yesterday lol. And its too big a landmark to just ignore, lets face it. We all have those places that we know where we were when a big piece of news breaks. The one that has always stuck with me, even after seemingly 40 years, is the death of Elvis Presley.

In those days, when I’d ventured into holidays on my own, but was most definitely on a budget, and long before I ever considered going to the US, I tended to do coach holidays to various parts of the UK. I know, it was, and probably still is mainly a more ‘mature person’ thing, but as a non driver, if I wanted to visit some more remote, and beautiful areas of the country, it was pretty much my only choice. So anyway, in August 1977, I was away in Scotland, probably heading up to the northern end of the highlands, though at this length in time, I cant remember the exact details.

What I do remember is that coach stopped for the night at Arrochar, I believe it was the Loch Long Hotel, but dont quote me on that, after 40 years. I remember nothing about the hotel, good, or bad, beyond the fact that as I woke up in the morning, I heard a woman somewhere, either in a nearby room, or out in the village crying, “Elvis is dead! Elvis is dead!” Back in those pre-internet days (how did we ever survive lol?), the only way of confirming this fact was to turn on the TV, and yes, the news was confirmed for me.

I cant say I was, or ever have been the biggest Presley fan in the world. I liked some of his music, but certainly not in a fan worship sort of fashion. So why has it stuck with me like this? in truth, no idea. Maybe it was that woman, in her despair, more than the death of Elvis that affected me, who knows? Maybe it was being somewhere different, away from home? Before you ask, I have passed through Arrochar a few times since then, both by car, and by train, but have never stopped in the village again, let alone stay at that hotel.

But yes, I guess if its stuck with me until now, for 40 years, its fair to say that that morning, in Arrochar, is going to be with me for the rest of my life, however long that may be?

OK, video time. Yes, you’re right, it is Elvis. Not one of his rock and roll songs, but one of his more poignant ones that I really took to heart. And given how things are in the US at present, even more poignant, I guess?

Trying to be practical

In truth, I was already beginning to suspect that given the state of my body at present (yes, still open to all offers of a cybernetically enhanced body, ideally in chrome), trying to do a 5 day week at work wasnt doing me any good. First sign was last Monday, when basically the body hadnt recovered from 4 working days in a row, by Monday morning, even with painkillers and stuff, and so it proved, I didnt get through the day, or more correctly my back didnt! I somehow managed to make it far enough through the day to get to halfway, so it didnt count as a sick day, but even that was hard work! Of course that gave me a day and a bit to recover, so I got through Wednesday fine, and Thursday OK, but then came Friday, and…

Yes, the body was sore, and tender, but I got into work, and managed to stay there, at least. But yes, it was a struggle. So anyway, trying to be practical as to my capabilities, I decided to do justice to work, and to myself, something had to give. So yes, I’ve asked if I can cut back to 4 days a week for now, hopefully only until the bone density scans are done, the results are known, and the medication kicks in. But given the former is still nearly 4 weeks away, and it will be about 3 weeks after that before the results are known, and I can be given something to hopefully cure the issue, its going to be a while before that happens, and the body just cant cope with that at the moment.

Yes, I can afford it for a short period of time (I’m guessing about 10-12 weeks), and could even afford it full time, if I cut back on my holiday trips to US! Yes, I know, ouch, but one 10 day trip would be cheaper than 2 single week trips, because of one less set of flights. Yes, a 14 night stay would still be cheaper, but there are very few places where I believe I could have enough to keep me amused for a fortnight!

Seattle could, San Francisco could, and I suspect Chicago, or Washington probably could. But some of the smaller cities I want to go back to, nope! 7 days would be fine, 10 maybe, but after that…? But yes, I’m hoping I can get back to a normal regime in a few months, but at the same time, I’m not getting younger, and my back isnt my only issue, so…?

My plan is to work Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, which gives me the other 3 days off. Yes, I know, 2 days in a row, but I can seemingly cope with that, but no more. But yes, its me, I’d rather do a work routine I can manage, for less money, than let my firm down, by pretending I can do a 5 day week. Just waiting for confirmation of approval now.

So there it is, unless someone wants to provide me with a nice, new strengthened body…? 😉

Video time, what my body needs in terms of support. Martin Cooper might be handy, but given he has back issues himself…So no, thinking more of that back brace that needs to be ordered lol!

I will take all the memories home with me

So this is it, the last blog from LA for a considerable period of time at least, if ever again. I know, I could come back again, and may even need to come back again sooner than that, but being practical, I have many other places to see, some for the first time, some for repeat visits, so its going to be a while, if ever again. And yes, at my age, with the distance involved, and I’m sure the deterioration of my physical health, which is far from perfect even now, I’m sure I wont be able to do as much then, as I can now, anyway. I’m already suspecting that delights like walking up the long hill at Forest Lawn might be beyond me by then at least, but we will see.

To be fair, if you’d told me back in October ’15, that my next holiday would be back here, I would have laughed at you, but its happened. I guess I just wanted to show this city that I’d battled through everything that life had thrown at me, and got here again. But now thats done…?

In some ways today has been a light day, I havent actually left Hollywood. However, I spent a lot of the day on my feet, walking, so maybe not as light as all that? It was actually interesting going on a guided walking tour of Hollywood, where I knew the guide! I know, end of holiday, but in truth, it didnt matter, as I got to visit lots of old buildings that I’d never have got into myself. Oh fine, the one that amused me the most, has to be Musso and Frank’s! Yes, I finally got to go in there, if only for coffee, but at least I now know what it actually looks like from the inside. Of course, for works of fiction, thats a mere technicality, but at least I’ve made it there now. Yes, its every bit as impressive as I’d been led to believe. So if I ever want to use it in a story again lol…?

The other thing I’d already decided was where my last big meal in town would be, and though its not bargain basement, its cheaper than that legendary place. So I settled for the 50’s feel of Mels Diner, for one last time. After that, a couple of final, final goodbyes, at the star, and prints of Jean Harlow, before heading back to base. I do wish there was a star to the uncredited chorus girls/bit part actresses of the world, but no, there isnt, so I just said goodbye to Clara Johnson generally, as I turned off the Boulevard for the last time, on foot at least.

What can I say? You can take a woman out of Yorkshire, but you cant take Yorkshire out of a woman? Yes, I stopped off at a gorgeous, quirky, vintage clothing store on the way back, and saw the most gorgeous, silver flapper dress, really looked the part. Had my size too, but I didnt get it. Why? Because I cant justify spending $65 (plus tax, I’m sure) on a dress I have no idea when, or where I would ever wear it. So yes, I know I’ll regret it, but it stayed in the shop. I could get it in the morning (shop opens at 11, I have to be ready to go at 12.30, and its about 5 minutes walk), but I know I wont.

The only walk I’m planning at present to do in the morning, is a short trip around the block, so that I can walk a little way up Beachwood Drive, looking at the Hollywood sign, one more time. No, I’m not going as far as Verbena though, thats far too far for the short period of time I have left ‘in the sun’ of LA.

Yes, thats it for here. Pretty sure you’ll have to wait until Monday for the next blog, I’ll have too much catching up to do on Sunday for that.

The video. I’m surprised I havent used this Elaine Paige classic before, but seemingly I havent (well, on 1 blog at least), so lets use it now

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…

Gimme, gimme, gimme, a different apartment to stay in

So yes, firstly to confirm, I do have somewhere to stay in Hollywood, its just not where I expected it to be! Landlord greed, which backfired on him badly. What would you rather have, £747 for a booking 4 months in advance, or nothing because seeing someone wanted to book your place, you hike up your rates 15%!

For those who dont know, when you try to book somewhere on Airbnb, you end up having to request the apartment, and it gives the landlord 24 hours to accept, or reject, or whatever. So yes, given I’d been told which place to book, and that he’d love to have me stay, I thought this would be a formality, but wrong. He just ignored it for the 24 hours, much to my surprise. Until…

Before I went looking elsewhere, under the circumstances, I sent a line to check why he hadnt taken the booking. Back came a reply saying that seeing he was starting to get interest, he wanted to raise the prices slightly. Fine, it was near the top of the range where the apartment option was only slightly cheaper than the budget hotel, but fair enough. A couple of days later, I checked again, to find out the price had gone up by 15%! Despite a request to let me know when he’d done it, I’d heard nothing! So funnily enough, I’ve gone elsewhere! I know, in town, he’ll probably get others who will pay the new rate, but seriously…!

In a matter of irony, I went and looked again. Now, whether this was down before because of a request, or whether he’d taken it down while he did something with his ad, or whether I had just been blonde, but who knows? OK, it doesnt look quite as nice as the other one, but it looks fine, its in an area I know (Just slightly further down towards town in Hollywood Hills area, and quite a bit cheaper! So yes, I applied, got accepted, and am now sorted! The other guy, well fine, serve him right if no one books it, but I doubt that will happen!

Now all I need to sort out, nearer the time, is my ESTA clearance, my travel insurance, and my shuttle. And then, California, here I come!

The video, some live Abba, for which the clue is in the blog title! Mind, if Mike Pence wants to arrange me some ECT as gay conversion therapy, purely for past book research, then maybe I might need a man after midnight too lol! I know, I’m bi, but I’m flexible, if he’s fussy…removes tongue from cheek!

Coming home soon, to make me a star?

Right, firstly, word of warning, its back to normal for the foreseeable future with blogs from now on, so back to twice a week, and all that. At least it gives me a bit more opportunity to use up material at a sane rate, I guess?

Well, I think I’ve resolved my first issue of 2017, my present to myself. Yes, the Hollywood trip is booked, I think. Flight is definitely booked, accommodation, I’ve made my choice, and requested it, but still waiting for confirmation on that. Yes, I’m waiting because I’ve gone for the apartment option, so waiting for that approval email at present. Given I sent a question to the guy, and he answered it, I’m assuming I’m not going to have any issues getting it, but until I get that confirmation, well…?

About one long block from Hollywood Boulevard (near Highland), and it looks fine, and I’m told there is somewhere nearby for provisions, so gone for it. So yes, for 10 days at least, a Hollywood resident again!

Make me a star? No, somehow I have my doubts, but who knows? I will go there with an open mind, and should the chance occur, then yes, I’ll take it. I’ll certainly plan to visit that agency this time around, arrange that appointment a lot further in advance than last time. But no, I wont rush to apply for the working visa just yet lol! Mind, if someone wants to tell me that I should? 😉

Probably only coincidence, but I was watching a documentary of the life of an actress, who won a competition, and became a famous actress because of it, Clara Bow. No, I’m not winning any competition, but if I could start with a small part, then…? Fine, I’m not 16, and its not that Hollywood Era, so… pretty sure I’ll be coming back!

The video, a clue in the title I guess?