Taking a ride on a big wheel, and other things

Right, and so to complete the posting from Seattle scene…

Thursday, I decided that the little toe on my left foot wasnt going to stop being an issue anytime soon, so decided that was the day to ride the full length of the Seattle Light Rail, up the other extension since I was previously here, the one up to the University of Washington. I have to say that the extension at this end of the route (to Angle Lake) has been an absolute boon, as its nearer than the Airport station to here, and walk-able. Well, in perfect health, maybe, but I survived. There is one killer (but thankfully short) uphill stretch on the walk from here to that station, which I wont be missing now!

Coming out of the University station, I rather expected to be on the edge of the University grounds. Ah well…What I was very close to, was Husky Stadium, the home of the University football team. Well, seemingly in these days of glorious sponsorship, its now called Alaska Airlines Field, but will always be Husky Stadium to me! I hobbled a short distance further, didnt find anything more than sports facilities, so gave up on that idea. When I got back to the station, I did find a map, and the grounds were relatively nearby, but decided I wasnt going to push my foot by setting out again, in a totally different direction. So, defeated, back into town, earlier than planned. So I headed for a landmark with memories for me, that I knew hadnt moved, the rail station. Wrong time of day to see the Empire Builder train, though I did see a goods train trundling through the station, heading south. One of these days I will do another long distance train journey, though whether it will be the repeat Empire Builder again, or more likely, Los Angeles to Chicago (via Kansas City, please note), I have no idea. In theory, I could do a ‘Clara Johnson’ and travel by train from Oklahoma City, via Texas, to Los Angeles, if timed right, but I wouldnt put good money on that one. Requires a change in Texas, a slightly shorter one than I suspect Clara did!

After that, I headed down to the front again, and ended up seeing the city from on high again, this time from a giant wheel, hence the title of the blog! The last time I did one of those was the London Eye, with my mother, and that would be about 25 years ago! This time, it wasnt just one turn around the wheel, but 6, but then again it was a lesser radius, which probably explained why! Blonde moment, I realized eventually that I’d only looked in 1 direction for about 5 turns, so turned to take in the other side, and that was when the wheel stopped at the bottom lol! Ah well…

Yesterday, day time at least, was relatively quiet. Went and did the holiday shopping for others, and also found myself a new (much needed) handbag, that certainly looks vintage, even if it clearly isnt! I also found a gorgeous dress in another store, very 30’s, but a bit pricey for me (about $60, plus tax, however much that might have been), and was only a medium size, so I talked myself out of it. Hindsight to that, I discovered I wasnt quite as impoverished as I thought I was, so I decided to go back today, and see if it actually fitted, or not, and probably buy if it did. But no, someone had already beaten me to it, not surprised, it was gorgeous. Macy’s did also have some nice period dresses, but with them you’re talking over $200 each, plus tax, so didnt even consider it, way beyond my purse!

Yesterday evening saw the return to Safeco Field, and the Mariners, this time, all went far more smoothly. I also have to thank Melissa for the Goody Bag (not that she will see this) that was provided too. Must be a lucky mascot, mind, as I saw them win twice! Hobbled back to the Light Rail station just in time for a train to pull in empty, and run back from there, to Angle Lake. Still got my commuting skills, got a seat, no idea how!

Today, beyond the failed shopping trip, was the farewell tour. I didnt go right down to the water today, its a steep route down, and more critically, up, as I discovered on Thursday, so settled for a seat at the top of the steps, and looked out over the water from there for a while. Then back to the Light Rail, the ride out of town, and for now at least, the final farewell. In theory, if nothing changes in my life, I’ll be back in 6 years time (my post retirement trip), as this place will be my stop off point to Alaska. In reality, the way my body is currently falling apart, I wouldnt put good money on being in strong enough health for that, even with breaks en route, but we will see. Thats one thing I have realized, west coast trips really are going to be a no go, very soon, if not already! There will be 1 more, even if I have to drag my shattered body to LA, it will happen at some point! But Seattle…?

Tomorrow, I fly back home, back to work on Wednesday, blessed with a bank holiday this week, which enables me to do it this way. Covering as Team leader again for that week, should be interesting, once I’ve caught up on work emails at least! 2 weekends from now, is Blackpool! Then, as far as I know, thats it until a few days away in Scotland in September, couldnt afford more at present, anyway! Especially as, maybe in November…? You’ll have to wait on that!

Right, video time. Big clue in the blog title, absolutely! Live performance, nearly 50 years old, now I really feel old!

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Didnt I have a lovely time, the day I went to Blackpool?

Well, hopefully a few of you at least have been eagerly waiting for the report from Friday night. If you werent, you’re getting it anyway! 😛

Beyond a few moments of, err, entertainment on the last section of the journey, from Preston, to Blackpool, in truth the journey was relatively unexciting. The ‘entertainment’, some very loud children, and the fact that we had 2 wheelchair passengers, as opposed to the train designed 1, caused some fun. But in truth, we arrived pretty much on time.

The hotel was pretty much standard budget hotel, with thin walls which we noticed overnight (people talking outside the room), and though in theory we had a second bed, it was so designed that neither of us, in perfect health conditions would have been able to get out, and besides, we had no bedding for it anyway! Survey comments done, lol! But fine, thats not what you want to hear about, is it? So after a meal together, Eric went back to the Trams, I went off to the Winter Garden, and through the time travel portal. Fine, not literally, but you get the drift? After an early false start, the staff worked out where we needed to go, and lo and behold, I was soon in a lovely, and short pink flapper dress. Fine, I wasnt going to care about length for one night, but more on that shortly. Thing is, flappers werent designed to have boobs, or big shoulders, and the zip wouldnt do up properly at the back. Anyway, as you will see shortly, I was quickly changed into another dress which was longer, with no zip issues, perfection! Well, I was flashing someleg, but…

Oh fine, like this!

Me in Blackpool

There is a better one of me, but it has someone else in the picture, and I’m loathe to use that without her permission. I suspect she wouldnt care, but to be on the safe side… If she grants it in hindsight, I will add it to the posting. So if you come here in 6 months time, see 2 photos, and are confused, you know why!

The evening was great fun, lots of lovely people that I was working with, equally a lot of nice people in the audience, including 1 wonderful gentleman I talked to for a while, who had originally come from Bradford! However, having flirted as an Usher prior to performance, stood on the stairs, we eventually got told that part of our work was done. I decided to give the film, Some Like It Hot a chance, but it didnt grab me much, so after an hour or so, I headed back to the refreshment area, got myself a coffee, and started chatting with a few others, until it was time for part 2, getting those who had paid for it, to the party upstairs.

All went smoothly, then a few of us went up to the Balcony, put on a bit of a show (very tame dancing, by Flapper standards, I suspect) for the guests for a while, then I, and a few others went back and changed into modern life again. One treat I had for a while, was to do something I’d never done before (and no, it wasnt to dance the Charleston), which was to wear a pair of those long gloves that go up to your elbow, and maybe beyond. I’d seen pictures of them, always wanted to wear them, and now I have!

End result, everything, and everyone was so lovely, I’m already planning on going back next year, however crazy, and unpractical that is. Might be a different era, but as long as it doesnt mean wearing something as revealing as what my past life self, the chorus line dancing, Clara Johnson had to wear, all should be fine. But no, I’m not going to suggest 42nd Street, or the like, just in case, lol! But beyond that, I’ll definitely be back. Fine, if it is that, I will probably still go back!

The journey home by ‘modern trains’ was a bit more entertaining. The train from Preston, back to Manchester was very crowded, but ‘Queen Bitch’ soon pushed a way through for me, and Eric, to our reserved seats, and someone was already sat in them! Yes, they got moved, probably not my most diplomatic moment of my life, but hey, its principle, and neither of us could have stood, anyway!

Then we get back to Manchester, running late, so going to be a tight push, or no go for our booked train back to Huddersfield. Only…I looked at the departure board, it had been cancelled! So anyway, the next train was going to be very crowded, (2 sets of passengers, plus loads of football fans), but I lined Eric up roughly where I thought the doors would be, and we grabbed 2 seats very quickly!

After that, out last night, with Ella as well, for the birthday meal. I wore the same dress as last week again, so I stayed in Flapper mode for the weekend. Oh, should I mention, this was all done in lots of snow!

In theory I’m back to work tomorrow, but if it had been today, I’m certain it would have been a ‘snow day’ off, with my physical issues. Tomorrow, who knows? Hopefully its better in the morning, I must say. Not just because I’m due back, but because I need to learn something for the following week, which I will probably relate later in the week, but until then…?

Yes, I hurt, partly because of Friday, partly because of the current weather. When (or strictly at this point, I guess, if) I do this next year, I’ll pace it better, all that travel, on top of everything else, in 1 day, was just too much now. Go down the day before, build to it, and have a day off afterwards to recover, before coming back, far wiser! But hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Video time. The frightening thing for me, this song is 50 years old, and I remember it being released!

Yesterday once more?

No, not the video you’re expecting, in this case. But I needed a different title, for a repeat blog, so…

So, last night, for the first time (but not the last) in a week, I got into flapper girl mode last night. Oh fine, pushing 60, girl might be being a bit optimistic, but hey, all I need is a good rejuvenation machine, and a dancing skills neural download, then watch me go! Open to all mad scientist offers to arrange that, by the way! 😉 Oh please, dream birthday present, and all that! Then I could show Clara Johnson how to dance! Well, probably not, but…

So yesterday, after the working day, I, and several work colleagues (8 in the end) showed up for a lovely meal, at a lovely restaurant in Bradford. 3 of us at least probably had the staff wondering which decade they’d opened the doors into! No, to be fair to the others, notice was limited, and it is a cost, so… still kudos to Madi, and Rebecca for putting on a show too. What, you want proof, of me at least? Oh fine!

 

 

Now where did that time travel portal disappear to? As you cant see from these shots, my dress wasnt quite as short as the ones being worn by the young ladies in the video, but hey, I’m very nearly 60, so… Not sure the dress on Friday will be as long lol! But yes, if I get pictures, and my legs arent too shocking a sight…? 😉

In truth, my dress was very maxi in length, and even after Ella took it up (thanks given) a few inches for me, it was still touching the ground! Taking it up again, and then I might even flash a little ankle, ooh! If done, I might take it to Blackpool on Friday as a back up, as I know it fits, and then I might wear it again next Saturday, for the birthday meal for the home group. If not, it will get worn again, I’m sure, just not quite sure when!

Still, until next Friday at least, I will have to live in this strange thing called the modern world! Unless I can find that portal, and then wouldnt I be the cat’s whiskers, darling!

Video time. No, I didnt do any dancing last night, nor will I be planning to dance on Friday without a lot of assistance mentioned above. My dress last night wasnt this short, but next Friday, who knows?

 

Ring, ring, why did you give me a call?

One of the hazards of working in a call center, is the fact that you cant control when you’re going to get a call. Most of the day, doesnt matter, because even if its just before your food break, you take your time from when you’re actually free, no issue.

But there is one time when it really matters, and thats just as you’re getting ready to finish, and go home. Yes, last night, just before I was about to get finished, and do my ‘dash’ for the bus station (dash is an optional word nowadays, given the state of my body), I heard that dreaded ‘bleep’, and a call came through.

To be honest, it wasnt that long a call, just over 5 minutes to take the call, and complete the notes, but… in truth, I have about 3 minutes to spare to get my bus home, so even that, I’ve then got a 22 minute wait for the next one. Not the end of the world, but given I dont normally get home before 8.30, and that makes me later… Oh fine, at least I wasnt working today! Oh, and given I was then in no rush, I ‘consoled’ myself with a bar of chocolate! But fine, I’d still rather get home earlier, but…

To be fair to work, when that happens, and you leave more than 5 minutes late (and I did, just), you add it to your hours, so I dont lose at that end, not quite so bad.

Fine, I know, you dont know where I work, what my hours are, or anything, but please, 2 minutes before the end of my shift, dont give me a call! 😛

Video time. Vintage Abba, and seemingly vintage live Abba. Yes, I love Frida’s outfit, and collar, cant possibly think why? 😉

Putting On The Ritz? Maybe Not!

On an average day to work, I wear what is probably now the standard wear for most women in an office. A decent/nice blouse, or top, and a pair of trousers, or slacks. And sorry, for those who dream of such things, my shoes have barely got a heel, or are flats. In truth, even if I could walk in high heels (which I cant, because of my knees issue), I wouldnt wear them anyway! I still wear low(ish) heels for formal occasions, or if I’m walking about 20 yards maximum, but thats about it!

No, sorry, Civil Servants do not wear a formal suit to work every day, well, not in our office at least. What strange things they may do down in London, no idea! I think everything is probably more modern, for most, though all pictures of staff there seem to show men wearing ties at least, ah well…

But on rare occasions (and this is why you’re getting this blog tonight), I dress up nicely for work. No, not for work as such, but because I’m going on somewhere after work, without the chance to go home. And yes, this Saturday is going to be one of them, as I’m going out for a meal directly after work, to celebrate someone’s birthday. So yes, apart from looking immaculately dressed for work, for one day, I’m going to look totally out of place on the train to work, and the bus home again afterwards! But yes, you guessed it, no heels on shoes! Am I going to worry about that, not a chance! In fact, I’ve got a short journey by coach as well, as Huddersfield station has no trains running through it this weekend, as they are attempting to upgrade the line, and service. Yes, I’ll believe all that when I see it, assuming I last that long lol!

Ah well, the next birthday dinner from here will be mine, when I will officially be ancient, at 60!

But yes, if you see an immaculately dressed woman walking through Huddersfield, Halifax (where I swap back to train, from coach), or Bradford on Saturday, it might just be me! Or, of course, if you work with me that day…?

The video. I suspect this is going to be a love it, or loathe it job. Its not the original 30’s version, its a more modern version from the 1980’s, and it shows. But yes, for some reason, I quite like it!

May we all have hopes and visions, if we wish to

For those hoping for a wonderful ‘war and peace’ length blog tonight, sorry, you’re not getting it! So lets keep it a sensible length, and let those who want to go out celebrating tonight go and do so, and those of us who just want things peaceful can get to bed before ‘all hell’ breaks out at midnight! Yes, no shock, I’m one of the latter! I’ve done the wilder stuff in my time, but nowadays, the easier way to spend the last day of the year suits me just fine.

I’m long past making any significant resolutions, and have no plan to change that next year either. So no, I’m not going to make any crazy resolutions about making it as a Hollywood, or Broadway actress, because in all reality, its not going to happen now, at my age. Mind, if someone wants to prove me wrong? Equally, I’m not expecting to get the promotion from bridesmaid, to bride at any time soon! Would think the only way I would make a good bride would be if I was turned into a Stepford type robot wife lol!

So what am I resolving to do, other than hopefully last long enough to hit the big six-o, in March? I think the main thing I want to do, given the chance, is do more publicity work for LGBT issues, or at least work with other people to improve life for other LGBT people in the UK, and hopefully further afield. I doubt I will get the chance of a speaking tour, but if I do, I would definitely go for it!

The other big challenge, even this close to retirement, is to keep trying to improve myself. For example, at work I’m in the middle of doing tests for an Action Pathway at work, which could lead to promotion. I’ve passed part 1, part 2 tests are in just over a weeks time, so…? I know, at my age, chasing for promotion sounds crazy, probably is, but it counts as a challenge to hopefully push me on!

Oh, and I resolve that if a situation arises where I need to use a wheelchair, I’ll accept it, and not fret about it, OK?

So thats it, readers, for 2017. For those of you with resolutions for the New Year, I hope you succeed with them. Equally, for those who just want to survive another year, I wish you well.

So, to the video. Yes, I’ve used this song before, its a very apt one. However, despite it seemingly having been on You Tube for a few years, its a new one to me.

Happy New Year, readers, to those for whom its already started, and for those like me that its still to happen, all my best wishes.

Preview of 2018, only part. The year of being senior!

Very strictly, the answer to that question, is wherever life takes me, I guess? But strictly, for 2018, assuming I live out the year, some things will happen, some things may happen, and some things almost certainly wont happen, but it would be fun if they did!

Anyway, lets be boringly practical first, things that will happen, assuming the life quotient of course. The biggest, and most obvious one to mention, is that I hit the big 60 next March. I know, who would ever have believed it? But yes, the body is definitely now giving me more than hints that its not as strong as it used to be, so… Hard to believe, that 25 years ago, when a woman hit 60, she retired from work! Now, with a longer life expectancy for everyone, and things, its another 6 years to go! Still, gives me chance to build up my pension, I guess, body permitting. Lets face it, I’ve already had to cut back to 4 days a week, and the back isnt likely to get better, only worse, so…?

The only other definite things at this point, are the fact that I will be heading to Seattle in May for 8 days (yes, already decided the back will be up to that, fingers crossed it stays that way once booked), though that will be the only US trip this year. Yes, thats one cutback due to the financial situation. I thought I might be able to pull it off this year, for the last time, the double trip, but no, now know its not going to happen! I have got a few thoughts for a break in September, but will only be a few days, and will only be in Europe. Well, unless the work syndicate wins the lottery lol! So yes, I’ll be using an airport wheelchair (or 5) in May again on that trip. Hopefully, all will be a little smoother than last time!

The other is, of course, working on a group on LGBT issues at work within our section of the Civil Service. First actual meeting is planned for some point in New Year, but location and date, TBA at present. Quite an honor, quite a challenge!

The maybe’s look trip related. I might try to get to Ireland, for at least some cricket this summer, though sadly it wont be that first Test match, as its literally the week before I go to Seattle. But other games are planned, so time, and finances permitting, it will be nice to meet old friends again, and maybe make a few new ones.

Hey, another maybe, I might write another story or two lol! I really ought to, I have a few ideas, but getting around to it, but yes, I’ll risk putting it on the maybe list, rather than the unlikely one! The other maybe, is my first ever ‘senior citizen’ pass. Yes, the Railway senior discount pass still is permitted from 60, so if I travel on the Railways in September, as I might, I’ll get one then!

The unlikely ones, but not impossible? Well, the first one obviously relates to performing, in an acting sense. I suspect a presentation style performance might be more likely, probably on LGBT issues, but I suspect that will be it. Lets face it, who’s going to want an actress who hasnt done anything much in years, and now has back issues, which means standing for long periods for a role, is nigh out of the question! But maybe, out there is a director/producer who wants to do something crazy, and then, well…?

Then we come to the silly stuff, that ‘could’ happen, but you can be sure wont. Winning a lottery jackpot (I know, theoretically, but me, win anything, dont think so!), getting abducted by aliens, turned into a robot, or regenerating (well, if Doctor Who can do it?) as a young(ish) Clara Johnson might all be fun, but none are going to happen, I think we can safely say!

Lets finish with a dramatic, stat based thing. Look back through early film history, and you find a lot of famous actresses who passed on at 60. Clara Bow is one that immediately comes to mind! Now its fair to say that health matters have improved nowadays, and I have never been a famous actress, so I’m probably safe, but… Still, hopefully we will be doing this in a years time!

The video tonight, isnt a proper one, but it fits the title, and yes, its the Carpenters, so just rolling with it. Just a nice song, that hopefully you can enjoy.

So, one blog to go for 2017, as its back to work tomorrow. Any ideas for something you’d love to hear about, either from this year, next year, or Clara Johnson’s era, feel free to suggest in comments