A reason to miss the US in 2026!

In truth, being practical, I suspect that 2024, or 2025 will be my last trip to the US, due to financial issues, post retirement, even assuming I last that long, as given I have no idea how long my back will be up to work, or long distance travel, I may not even get that far. But everything permitting… 2024 being my retirement year, and if I have enough saved (unlikely now I can only do a 4 day week), I might push for 2025, but as that would also be the end of my current passport, that may well be it? Of course, if I even want to go into Europe… We will have to wait and see? Maybe I’ll just retire to Blackpool, and live the life of a lady from the past, lol?

But yes, this week, I’ve been given an even better reason to avoid the US in 2026, the awarding of the Soccer World Cup to North America (primarily the US) in that year, something I will happily avoid, assuming I live that long, of course. I know, its great for tourism, if you like the sport, but as someone who dislikes it intently…I’ll happily pass!

Of course, today is an apt day to post this, given that the 2018 version started today, in Russia. Not a country that I, as a Brit would be rushing to visit currently, even less so as a Civil Servant, and all the extra issues that might bring. Of course, the irony is, that the US hasnt qualified, so Trump wont be going to see his friend, Putin, so… Fine, kidding, OK, I think? 😛

I have entered a few free competitions revolving around the event, if only because should I get things really right (and I got today’s score wrong, for starters), I could win some extra money, which would be really handy at present. But no, me, and soccer, no  chance, beyond the fact that these things are pure guesswork, and I can make guesses lol!

So no, I neither know, nor care who might be going to win it. I assume it will be one of the usual candidates, but as to me watching any of the games, no chance! Similar to me winning any prizes lol!

Funnily enough, as a child, I remember watching England win the World Cup in 1966, at a time when my father was trying to get me into the sport, and failing! Since then, nothing!

The only other soccer thing I can think of? Well, next seasons Premier League fixtures were announced today, but no, I havent yet checked when I have to try and avoid the crowds coming out from Huddersfield games! I will have to at some point, but that will be the only reason why!

Right, video. This song, in various versions has been around for over 20 years now, with a new version coming out each time England get to this, or the European Championships. No, I dont care if the hurt continues or not, I suspect it will, mind.

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Disability training required!

Firstly, a quick reminder for the newer folk around here, and numbers do seem to have exploded viewing this, so…I’m on holiday now, in Seattle. What this means for those lucky people who know to read both blogs, there’s no point, they just get copy and paste treatment, as most would want to know the same things, and besides, I dont have the time to write 2! So… Yes, I know, its been a while, but more on that in a moment!

Strictly, the holiday made an early start on Thursday, as I went into Am Dram mode again in Cookridge, with a couple of work friends. I would spend time praising the performance to the hilt, and telling you to go see it, but there were only 3 shows, its finished by now, but…It was really good, I must say, as was the meal before that, both the food, and the company.

I was going to post something on Friday re the reduction of stakes on the ghastly machines in betting shops nowadays, from £100, to £2, but firstly I ran out of time, having my hair done (shock horror, I’m not a natural blonde!), and then packing to come here. So it never happened. Mind, as the reduction wont kick in until 2020, I shall probably be rude about the betting industry before then!

Yesterday was just a typical US Travel day in so many ways, that I’ll only pass on the interesting details. Yes, Manchester Airport redeemed themselves this time, though they get one more chance to mess up yet. As does Seattle, where a lovely young lady not only helped me through, and got my baggage for me, she actually ran me over to where the hotel courtesy shuttles pick up, and I’m sure thats not in their job description. But the middle one… No, it wasnt bad, just the opposite in fact, really good service, but…

Every other airport I’ve seen in the US (even before I needed this ‘old crock’ service) has either had a separate line for wheelchair passengers, or mingled them into the crew column, or a mix of both. Ah, but this is Vegas, so…Its not the biggest International sector, I suspect it doesnt need it. So there is a crew column, but access passengers…no! Seems we, regardless of nationality go into the US there, in the US citizen queue. So yes, lol, dont tell Trump, but I’m a US citizen, of sorts! Not really, but yes, it was amusing.

Today has been relatively quiet, as I gave the body chance to recover in advance with planning. In truth, with the warmth here, less needed, but anyway… Just to say, for those who care, I now have an active US cell phone again, until next Sunday, so if you wish to talk, for any reason, just ask for number. If I dont know you of sorts, tell me why you want to talk to me, OK? Not saying I wont give it, but just curious, thats all. Only works for 8 days anyway!

OK, there has to be a down point, doesnt there? Yes, there is one, though hopefully the Mariners will sort it out, they have been emailed already. The game was great, the only snag being that the seat was up more than a few stairs, which didnt help, but I got there eventually, with only minimal soreness. No reason they should have known, I’m not obviously disabled (brace is under top/skirt, and fact not mentioned), so how would the poor guy picking my seat know? I did come down after 7.5 innings, I needed to go ‘somewhere’, and never went back up. Actually found a more comfortable seat for the other 3.5 innings, as it went to overtime. Then, after Seattle had won…

Given I was sore, and given there was a sign for a disabled elevator nearby, I decided to use that to get downstairs, rather than struggling down a large number of stairs, in a large crowd of people. Unfortunately, the lady in the elevator had either failed her disability training, had never been given any, or just didnt think it applied to anyone in less than a wheelchair! So when I, and another lady who said she had walking difficulties got into the lift, she bluntly told us that the lift wasnt meant for ‘people like you’, and pointing at a couple of mothers, with buggies behind us, said, “Its meant for them!”. I have no objection to them using it, but it does say its a disability elevator, so… Complaint email has been sent to the Mariners accordingly! Do I expect anything more than platitudes from them? Probably not! But put it this way, not that they will care, but I had planned a second game at some point Friday, or Saturday, but certainly wont be bothering now! I know, whats 1 customer to them, but all the same…

Fine, video time. I couldnt think of a song that really fitted in with all this, so just made a random choice of an under rated Soft Cell song.

The oldest dancer in town?

I have the privilege to know a lovely lady, now living in Florida, who seems to have had quite a life from what I’ve seen of pictures, and been told by her, it must be said. I dont know all the details of it, and unless she wanted to tell me, I’m not going to press for details, but I know among other things that she worked in Vegas in her time, and I dont mean as a croupier! No, her skills are more in line with the dancing, and MC’ing and stuff, than that. What I do know, is that seeing her posts, and pictures on Facebook, and chatting with her on the messaging system there, I’m truly in awe of her, and everything she’s done in her amazing life. No name, without her permission, so sorry those that would love to know.

I’m sure if she had her way, even at my age, if I gave her the chance, I’d be following in Clara Johnson’s footsteps in another way, the outfits at least, as I’m certain that short of her knowing someone that can program dancing skills into my mind, I couldnt match Clara on that front. Definitely not now, almost certainly never, but thats beside the point! And fine, a Vegas showgirls outfit might be different to some of the stuff Clara had to wear, though in truth, what I’ve seen of both, there wasnt that much difference! Oh fine, I’ll admit it, it would be fun, though it might be wise if I wasnt seen in public wearing it! Though if she had her way, and my actress attitude got together, well, who knows?

Certainly if I ever get to her corner of Florida, and I might, though not this year, I’m sure, I wouldnt be at all surprised to be offered the chance to be a ‘showgirl’ for the night, albeit, not the youngest, or prettiest of all time. But would I do it? Probably! Why not, its as close to Clara’s lifestyle as I  would ever be likely to get! Though I’m not having millions watch it at the cinema, unlike Clara did! Or I’m sure she did, in Vegas shows!

Yes, I’m going to Vegas next month, as its my transit point to Seattle going out, first time I’ve ever been there, or indeed to Nevada. Yes, state number 24 will be added to my list, not bad for a Brit! And no, Florida isnt on that list, nor is Oklahoma, both of which might be possibles for next year! So, reaching halfway…? No, I’m not going to give her the details of my flight times in Vegas, because I wouldnt put it past her have me met by someone with a Vegas showgirl outfit, if not a contract! Oh fine, I’d take the outfit like a shot, though maybe not the contract lol?

Oh fine, dear lady, if you do want to set that up, and ask, I’ll take my chances, and give you the flight details! 😉

Right, video time. Firstly a live version. What I will say of this, is that if you are of a sensitive nature, or under adult age, go watch the alternate one! There is a lot more than just the song in this one

Alternate version, just the song, from a Top of the Pops recording, with a number of dancers in suitable outfits for a young lady, not a mature one like me

Behind the Green Card

Fine, you have to love politicians, not. No, before anyone gets excited, this isnt about UK politics, my job is too good for that. On the other hand, the chaos ensuing in the US, where the bewigged, orange idiot is in charge…?

I wish I could convince myself that American government grinding to a halt doesnt suit his plans, but I’m failing badly. Anyway, thanks to some of his crazier ideas, let alone the racist ones, the budget agreement in US has ground to a complete, and utter halt. I’m not saying the Democrats are perfect (they probably arent), but compared to the craziness of the Republicans, yes, its not hard to work out which party I feel sorry for.

No, its not either of them, its the poor workers who have no idea what is going on, when they’re going to get paid, or anything! Thankfully, despite everything, the main issues are protected, which doesnt help with the amusing jibe in my blog tonight, but I can bring it up, anyway.

Yes, probably wisely, Immigration issues are one of those protected areas, where life goes on. Well, until they get sick of not being paid, or 3 groups of people finally see the light, and get things sorted, but dont hold your breath on that!

But fine, if anyone in that department, while they’re not being watched so closely fancies sending me a working visa, or a green card…? 😉 Would make a lovely 60th birthday gift, lol! No, I know, not going to happen, but I can hope! Then I’d just need a role, and…? 😉

Please, America, lets get something sorted out soon. But whether Trump, and his cronies will let sense happen, not holding my breath!

OK, video time. Well its got 3 of the 4 words in the blog title in it!

Flying home for Thanksgiving

Its amazing to think back now to the fact that it actually took the first pilgrims to the US in 1620, about 2 months to get there from England. By the time they sailed, it was autumn, heading into winter, so sailing against the winds was very hard work.

A hundred years or so ago, it would still have taken about a week, or slightly more, to reach the US from England by ship. Ships had far better speed to travel by then, due to the wonders of modern (for their time) engines. Planes were primitive beasts back then, far from capable of Atlantic crossings at that point. Of course, now, its possible to reach the East Coast, around Cape Cod at least, in about 6 hours! Jet planes are a wonderful thing, and the fares now, allowing for inflation, are probably cheaper than some of those ships of the past.

Of course, 50 years from now, flying home for Thanksgiving might be involving interplanetary flights, as well as Transatlantic ones. Yes, ancestors of those first pilgrims to Mars, and maybe by then, beyond, might be heading home to families too. Moon as well, I suspect, but I wont be around to find out, for sure. Though given gravity differentials, will that be possible?

Of course I’m assuming that tradition will stand then, but I cant imagine it changing, somehow. After nearly 400 years…!

This year, I havent flown anywhere for Thanksgiving. Have now done it once, and will possibly do it again, post retirement, but I suspect not before then. Well, unless…?

A friend, Stacie, sent me this, as a suggestion of a suitable Christmas present for me. Yes, I have to agree!

No, as far as I know, Amazon dont actually sell them, shame. Would be beyond my budget if they did, anyway! Of course, to fly such a craft, you need a suitable outfit to wear. For me, this seems pretty good! 😀

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adult-Alien-Fancy-Costume-Standard/dp/B014WZ5UCQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511340295&sr=8-3&keywords=adult%20alien%20costume

Of course, if you know of a better one that I can wear, going cheap…? 😉 Now, that would be a fun role to play, though I do wonder if you get out of that outfit again after putting it on! Or is it an alien life forever after that? Not that I would mind, but…?

Video time. This works for the present, and the future at least. Those early pilgrims probably wish they could have done a 6 hour flight (or whatever), rather than 2 months at sea!

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!

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