Say hello, then wave goodbye (again)

Given that I worked in Leeds for about 10 years non stop, and a couple of temp things after that, plus numerous interview related visits (jobs and agencies) its hard to believe its been 15 months since I’ve been there. Yes, since I started working in Bradford, last August, not been there once, quite amazing. Until now, at least.

Yes, tomorrow I get to go to Leeds for the first time since, to do my presentation piece for my department of the Civil Service, though for that, it would be hard to get lost as the venue is about 2 minutes from the station! In truth, I’m more concerned about the reliability of Trans Pennine Express, and their trains, than that! And yes, I know its been a while, but I cant imagine an audience of just over 100 is going to bother me, as I’ve performed to far more than that, though not in quite a while.

The irony is, Thursday, I’m also going to Leeds, though more on the outskirts this time. Certainly going out will be via Bradford, and Yeadon, but I’m not quite sure of the return route yet. If I need to get a bus, then the obvious route takes me into Leeds city center, and then a train home from there. But no, I wont be looking at any sights, just getting home as quick as I can!

Its funny, I dont miss Leeds. I’ve always missed Bradford if its been a while, and I definitely miss Wakefield, where I havent been for a long while either. But Leeds, no, not really. Maybe its familiarity breeds contempt, or something, but never been a huge fan of the place. It was always a case of get to work, get home from work again with Leeds, and that was it.

But yes, I never thought I would say the train journey to Leeds will be a fresh experience, but tomorrow, it will pretty much be so! Mind, I do wonder if after this week, whether it will be another 15 months, or more before I go there again? Strange where life takes you, isnt it?

The video, well maybe its a bit much to call them a Leeds band, but its strictly where Soft Cell were formed, at Leeds Poly. Just love this song, and this is a rare chance to actually use it! Vocals are live, music, not so sure?

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One thing I wont miss about redundancy

Well, I guess that comment isnt strictly true, I’ll miss the monthly wage (until I find something new), and I’ll miss some people at work too. But equally, I wont miss the crazy early starts, the very late finishes, and…Trans Pennine Express!

Yes, I know, I might have to go to work again in Leeds, but mentally, and physically, I’m hoping I can find something nearer to home. Might be easier said than done, but we will see. Fingers crossed, and if there are any Yorkshire folk reading this, who know of call centre, data input, or similar openings in the Huddersfield area, especially those that dont appear on the main websites, please let me know. Happily start on 27th April, in all honesty. Could start before, but I’m going to Hollywood on the 18th April, regardless, just saying. Temp work in the meanwhile for March/early April would be good too. Yes, I dont finish until the 28th, so nothing before then!

Of course, if any Hollywood studio wants to sign me up to play a member of the Harlow family in a movie…even better!

OK, personal ad over, lets start on the one thing I really wont miss if I dont have to commute to Leeds, Trans Pennine Express.

I’d love to say they are the worst train company in the world, and I might not even be exaggerating. Fine, somewhere in deepest Africa, there is probably one worst, but in the UK, no contest! Overcrowded trains, which are regularly delayed, sometimes by minutes, often by a lot more, and overpriced fares are just a few of their bad points. I’d love to name some good ones, but cant think of any!

So yes, if my new job means I no longer have to commute with this truly incompetent company, I will not miss them in the slightest! To be honest, the best thing related to them, is a wonderful Twitter site @ notTPE, which is dedicated to their incompetencies, in a funny, and delightful way. Unsurprisingly, the real TPE are not fans, as he tells the truth, unlike their Customer Service Dept. Fine, some of it isnt true, but its closer to the mark than the TPE version.

As I say, there may be some things I miss when I leave the job, but Trans Pennine Express wont be one of them.

The video, a train journey, in Norway, with the ideal Abba song

What name on the coffee? Jean Harlow?

OK, fine, I’ll pass on the news, I didnt get the job. As seems popular at the moment, I was the bridesmaid, but would have been nice to be the bride. Still, I know the ‘old girl’ still has it in her, or almost does, anyway.

So no, sadly, back to economy class for the flight to Hollywood. Ah well, it would have been fun flying in luxury, maybe one day…?

But fine, the amusing moment, or should I say 2 amusing moments both occurred in a Starbucks, one at Leeds station, the other, by the hotel where I was being interviewed at Paddington.

If these places are busy (and both were), they ask you for a name to write on the throwaway cup, not that they check these things, but anyway… Let me add, the amount of times I buy a coffee when travelling like that is rare, because most of the time, I’m on my way to work, where I can get a free coffee so…

I know, its childish, maybe, but I’ve always wanted to do it. So when asked my name, for the guy to scribble on the cup, I said ‘Harlow’. Coolly, I would have fluttered my long eyelashes, had I got any! No, he didnt ask a first name, but I would definitely have said ‘Jean’ in that mood.

So fine, when I got to Paddington, close to where the interview was being held, I did the same thing.

I’m sure, somewhere in heaven, Jean was roaring with laughter at the time. But yes, if I get the chance again, and its somewhere they’re not doing identity checks, I will definitely do it again.

So yes, when it comes to coffee buying at least, Jean Harlow lives lol!

The video, well, its a tenuous thing. But it is Bowie, and Ronson at their best, so forgive me

Homeward Bound

Though my moment was at Leeds station tonight, not Widnes, the station that its believed Paul Simon wrote this song about. Its the one that holds the plaque, though details now make it unclear if it was the exact one. But…

My entertaining moment tonight had nothing to do with a song, and more to do with the fact it was a hot, summer Saturday evening, and a few men reacting to it. I arrived on the platform to be greeted by 1 topless man, not a pretty sight. Not that that was enough, very soon another one arrived, complete with family, and looking very ‘pink’ to say the least. Before the train arrived (yes, it was a few minutes late, major shock…not!) another, who at least had a vest on, but it wasnt covering much, to say the least.

If I was interested in men romantically, believe me, those 3 could have put me off! Seriously, do some men think thats a suitable style of dress for a public railway station, especially if your figure is, err, less than perfect, shall we say?

Anyway, enough of those scary thoughts, enjoy a classic video

Other news, the photo shoot happened on Tuesday, not quite sure when the pics will be here, but I’ll post some when they are. Viewing was meant to be next Tuesday, but has been delayed slightly, so be patient. Oh, and a new ebook story from Ms Brooks will appear next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday, I suspect. Oh, and for Paypal purposes at least, I am now Merry Brooks Publishing! Feel free to buy any of the stories, I’ll provide a link to the new one when posted.

A homage to another Ms Brooks, shall we say?