Honey, I get lost

One thing I always used to be proud of, when I was much younger, was my navigation skills. What you have to allow for, is that this was in the days, long before Sat-Navs, and GPS and the like, and if you had to navigate somewhere, it tended to come down to very large map books, and watching out for signposts! Whereas nowadays, all you have to do is listen to your phone, or Sat-nav, and let it do the work. Well, there are occasional issues with those things, but generally…

The snag is, for those of us who dont (deliberately) have smart phones, and are travelling on foot, is that you tend to rely more on maps, and given I have to plan directions ahead, on my laptop, before leaving home, you cant double check these things en route!

So yesterday, I’d been given directions to get to the shuttle bus that runs to where the course was being held, and the first step (or in this case, steps) was easy enough to follow. But then, at the bottom of the stairs, no bus stop in sight, so which way to go? Seeing I was aiming for bus stop Z1, and I knew where Z2, and Z3 were, and that meant turning right, I went in that direction. Fine, but unfortunately, Z1 was about 400 yards away from them, on the opposite side of the steps!

So, despite arriving at the station in time for the 8.45 shuttle (train on time, whatever next?), I missed it. if I’d turned the right way, I would have got it. As it happened, I got the 9.15, still got there in time for the course, so…

But yes, I’m losing my touch, navigation wise, as the years go by. Ah well…

Video time. No, I wasnt really lost, I just about knew where I was going, and was able to right the wrong, just not in time. But yes, this video will do, all the same. Apologies for quality, but only one I can find on You Tube, unfortunately

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The wicked things we do

Tomorrow, instead of heading to Bradford, to do a normal, full day at work, I’m heading to Leeds instead. No, I’m not throwing a sickie, or anything, its work related.

In an ideal world, my back would allow me to work for nearly another 6 years, and retire at what is now the normal retirement age for British women, at 66. In truth, I would say, that even doing a 4 day week, as at present, my chances of doing so, rank probably as fair, but no more. So yes, on a pre retirement course tomorrow, to learn what I can do to make my future as easy as possible.

The thing is, it means I need to be in an office, just outside the center of Leeds, for 9.30 tomorrow morning. Yes, thats right, I need to get there right in the middle of the rush hour, and thats why I’ve done a wicked thing.

Its fair to assume that the 8.15 train tomorrow, from Huddersfield, to Leeds will be busy, and its quite likely some people will need to stand. Yes, the chances of me being able to stand, even with my brace on, for about 25 minutes, in one place, not good, or less! So yes, depending on your view of matters, I’ve either been practical, or wicked, and reserved a seat on the train, no pot luck for me! I cant do the same coming home, unfortunately, because I dont know exactly what time the course will end, and whether I will get out in time for the 5.00 shuttle, especially given my mobility limitations (its meant to end at 5.00), or need to be on 5.30 one, and that will affect the time I get back to Leeds station, and what train I’m able to get, so yes, wish me luck on that trip, especially as my disability is an invisible one! Hopefully my old commuting skills will return, and I can find a seat!

But yes, I know, I’m partially disabled (suspect I count as disabled, but prefer not to see myself as that, just yet), so I shouldnt be bothered by covering myself this way, but I do! But yes, it will be nice in the morning, knowing I dont have to scramble to get a seat on a rush hour train.

The video, talking of things wicked…

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?

The number in the audience

Well, this time next week, I’ll probably be telling you how my presentation went in Leeds, and how I felt doing something like that again, after a number of years. Its fair to say that over the years, on a number of occasions, I’ve performed in front of a lot more than about 120 people, so it should be a piece of cake. Yes, famous last words, and all that!

There is also the fact that back then, I was presented with a script, which I had to learn, anything between a few lines, and considerably more lines, depending on the role! Of course, this time around, I have to come up with my own script. In truth, I’m not planning a verbatim, must be followed word for word script for myself, going to go with a mix of pertinent notes, and improvisation, so that I can at least react to the audience, as I have no idea what I’m letting myself in for, in that sense.

Yes, there is another issue with a strict script, my vision! If I did that, I would have to wear my reading glasses, and then I wouldnt be able to see the reaction of much of my audience, because beyond about 10 feet (3 metres?), everything is blurred wearing them. And yes, if I wear my long range glasses, to be able to interact with them, I wouldnt be able to read the script clearly, so…

Be an interesting test of an actresses skills, for sure!

Apparently my ‘publicity manager’ is planning for me to review the performance at least in the office, in our communications hour, which will be a smaller audience, but a special one, being my actual workmates. As we are split in 2 groups for this (different times, to keep people on phones at all times), I presume that will be a double performance.

However, in terms of numbers, compared to what someone I know will be experiencing in just over a fortnight, my numbers are tiny! I have no idea when Julia Kneale last appeared on a stage, but I doubt it was in front of nearly 3,500 people! Hey, I think my biggest audience is about 600 – 800! Unless you’re an OMD fan, the name may not mean a lot to you, but if you are, especially from the early days, you probably do. Yes, one famous song, more on that shortly!

I know, its one of those silly things in these modern days, that someone you’ve never actually met, but regard as a friend? And I dont just mean the ‘I sometimes look at her postings kind’ either, on both parts. Yes, she’s making an appearance at the OMD concert in York (she lives nearby) on 18th, where she thinks she’s just making a brief appearance, but knowing Andy, as much as I do, I wouldnt be surprised if it isnt more. Sadly I cant get there. Tickets went on sale when I was in the US in September, and by the time I got back, all the seated tickets were gone, and with my back, I couldnt stand for the full length of the show now. I mean, I tried that a few years ago in Leeds, before my back went, and my knees were so painful afterwards that walking was a challenge at the end!

I suspect that when you get down to it, appearing in front of that size of audience is no different to 600, but wouldnt have a clue? Hopefully she’ll tell me afterwards! But yes, Andy, if you read this, and want to offer to sneak me in, on the 18th, I’d be so grateful. Yes, it would be amazing to meet the band, but meeting Julia, after all this time, would be so special too. Oh fine, meeting Martin Cooper would be something special for me too!

Right, the video. Yes, Julia’s song, as in Julia Kneale’s song. This is a more recent performance by OMD, though of course this song dates back to the days of the band before then, the Id.

Testing out theories about electric chairs, maybe?

Oh fine, that title relates more to the video, than what I will actually be doing, but its loosely related. Hey, I know, I’d be more interested in being the one wired up, than offering advice on it, anyway!

OK, with this job I’m doing at present, for a couple more weeks at least, before taking up the better offer, the fun starts here! The last 4 weeks, which were 2 weeks of customer service training, followed by 2 weeks of customer service theory were fine, hardly surprising given my work history, lets face it. But now, assuming that no one discovers my plans, and throws me out, or they simply come to a deal to let me go (at interview, I was told earliest start was 9.00, which I could do. at job, earliest start is 7.30, which I cant do, to Leeds), I go into technical services training.

Lets face it, anyone here that knows me well, knows that I’m more interested in being controlled by technology, than being the one in control. They also probably know that my personal technical knowledge, isnt a lot! Why worry, when its not the side of technology I want to be on, and a couple of folk here know a lot more about it than me, anyway? So yes, this could be, err, fun! The only blessing is, however much of it I pick up, I’m not going to be putting it into practice anyway, which might, or might not be for the best?

To be honest, I’m not sure how much I will learn will be of use to me in the outside world, or how much of it is so purely related to the job, to know how much benefit I will get from it, but we will see? And yes, you’re also right, I’d much prefer it if the technology training was being done in a ‘suitable’ technological way! Ah well…

Electric chair? Fine, depends how its aligned, I guess? Neural download chair, oh yes please, most definitely! I might even stay if it was being done like that! 😀 Sadly, not going to happen, but then again, neither is me staying!

There is one other little downside, training means I’m back to 9.00 starts, which means getting up by 5.45, so, yuck! I will get a little more time in the evening, so swings and roundabouts, but besides that…?

OK, video time. No, I dont think I’ll count as a Tesla Girl at any point, though I will be testing out technological theories, I guess? Me, fine, I’d be happier being the one in the chair, having my mind, and body tampered with, but besides all that…whistles innocently… Not the original video though, this is live in Los Angeles, a week ago today. Only wish I could have been there, believe me!

So, The Carnival is Over

Yes, I know, tomorrow is the big day, and thats why I wanted to write something here tonight, in advance. For those of you that have only got here in the last 15 months, you’re in for a shock. Recently, I’ve been blogging every 2, or 3 days, pretty much without fail, but this is where that comes to an end. I’m not planning to stop the blog, but in truth, when I’m getting a weekend as my days off, as I will be for a while, most likely its going to go down to 1 blog a week. Maybe a longer one, but in truth, as I’m likely to present the news and views in one go, that will probably be it. There might be some weeks when there is enough material for 2, and certainly if I’m doing 5 from 7 again, then you may well get a couple a week, but that will be it!

In truth, I’d hate to think I’d have to give up on the blog, after all this time, so I doubt it will happen, but as to the regularity of them, sorry, no more. Well, until I can afford a holiday or something, but otherwise…Yes, I’ll miss you, readers, but it comes to a matter of time.

When I started the job hunt, I was hoping to find something for about 25-30 hours a week, doing something fresh, closer to home, and getting some writing done in the extra time. So yes, I’ve ended up going into a call centre, for 37.5 hours a week, in Leeds. Fine, I know, but in the end I’ve got beaten down, and everything.

OK, I’d love to think the training methods are going to be something, err, interesting, but I’m pretty sure that dream wont be fulfilled either. If I knew how to save, and post a rather delightful gif, I would, but as I dont have a clue…sorry. But yes, 4 lucky people, wearing helmets, with lots of sparking electricity, and a wire clearly downloading something into their minds, yes, you get my drift, would love that to be me!

I’ll be honest, I have mixed emotions over this. I’m delighted to finally be back in a job, and I know its something I can do, and at least its a different medium (broadband company), but even so, there’s so much there, that 15 months ago, I was eagerly looking to get away from, ah well…And yes, thats what I regret, obviously, but money talks, and all that!

So yes, my carnival is over, and I guess I’ll miss a few of my favorite programs from now on, but such is life, I guess?

Yes, in that sense, the blog title, and that last line are a massive hint as to what the video is!

Oh Harlean, you’ve gone and opened a door

Anyone that can work out the video from that title, I’m impressed. There’s a name change, for a non hit record, so…But it has a great connection.

That door I’ve opened, its the being offered a job one! Yes, after last week, and the final cracking of my head at last opening a door, its become a habit! Yes, thats right, been offered another one as well!

Last month, long before the smooth passage called being offered a job in Leeds, I went for an interview in Bradford, to work in a Civil Service Call Center in Bradford. Better hours, more money, more interesting role, but…I’ve got a job now! Thing is, these people in progressing things, dont move quickly. So yes, I’d sort of given up on them, even though those sort of places always let you know, of hearing anything positive about it. Yes, thats right, yesterday, got an email, provisionally offering me the job, subject to the standard security checks!

Alright, fine, what I’ve decided to do, is…Start this job on Monday, and see how it goes. If its great, just simply withdraw my application, screaming inwardly while doing so, and stay there. Otherwise, wait and see what happens when the checks get sorted, how I feel, and then decide which to go with. I know, knowing me, I wont move again, but while I’m in the trial period, it could be done? No, I dont like the idea of doing that, but…its the one that I want, lol, to quote a famous song.

Mind, if either wants to offer me a more interesting training method, no contest! 😉

Yes, never rains, but it pours, does it?

The video, as I say, a song from the 70’s that most, if not all of you, will never have heard. But yes, the band are from Bradford, which is the connection I’m playing up here