Part 2 of the year, and the passing of the pre code baton

And so to the second half of the year.

In truth, personal things prior to September were fairly limited. Mainly because I was at work, through the school holidays, covering for those who need the time off.

One sad thing that did happen before then, happened in August. To many, it probably seems amazing that an adult actress from the early 1930’s had survived this long, but one of them had. But eventually that tie was cut, when Mary Carlisle passed away at the grand old age of 104. She was pretty sharp to the end, if less mobile, and for a while she had been the last, and all knew the link was coming to an end, but for those of us who love that era, it was still a sad moment when it arrived.

September saw me going back to a place I hadnt visited in nearly 40 years, Inverness, taking Eric away with me for a few days of fun. Well, as much fun as two people with disability issues can have, anyway. I managed to fulfil one ambition I’d had for about that long, if not more, by travelling the Skye Line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The fact that the last time I was there, the only way to Skye was by ferry, and now a bridge has been there for decades, all a bit strange. There are still a couple of railway lines in Scotland I’d love to do (Oban line, Fort William to Mallaig), and the Cambrian Coast line in Wales to a place I could never pronounce correctly (Pwllheli) that are a challenge for another day, health permitting. There are also a couple of very long distance ones in North America too, though they may be less likely, and trickier to do.

At one point I thought that November would see me doing a Transgender Awareness Week speech in Florida, but it soon seemed that someone was all talk, and no reality, so it never happened. So instead, I headed somewhere nearly as warm for the week, to the Algarve, to give my back some heat before winter kicked in. I wont deny I might have done a little bit of apartment prospecting while there, should the chance arise, and yes, if things work out, my old age could well be spent out there. There is a financial issue (not enough money), and a political issue (post Brexit residence rules) that may stop that, but fingers crossed… A lottery jackpot win before March 29 might be very handy! But lifestyle, and health wise, I could do a lot worse.

Then we come to the old chestnut, my health issue. In recent weeks my left wrist seems to have developed issues, probably due to too much typing, and stuff, for the last 40 years or so. So now I have 2 issues leaving me wondering how much longer work is going to be possible? More amusingly, due to coming 4th in a year long Golf tipping contest on Twitter, I gained £100 for my pains, and thought I’d give some new therapies a try, rather than frittering it on clothing, and the like. So yes, I got to discover just how amazing a flotation tank (sensory deprivation tank) is, and even better, the weightless floating does seem to do my back a lot of good too. Fine, the tank hasnt tried to brainwash me yet, though I’m still hoping!

Oh, and December saw the Works Christmas dinner, in a new dress, in a casino, and my first ever bet in such a place. Yes, I lost quickly, but it was a free £5 chip, so nothing lost really!

Lastly, and sadly, the Department I work in, in their wisdom, have decided to move our section out of Finance, and into a new Collection based group. So unfortunately, just as our LGBT committee were getting ready to do something really exciting, I’m out, as from tomorrow. I cant see me going quiet on LGBT issues, but it may give me less options now, though I have applied for something for the whole Department, not just Finance, but will be over a month before I hear about that. Ah well…

Right, tomorrow I will close the trilogy, with a look at New Year happenings (and possible happenings) on the first day of 2019. But until then, let me wish all my readers, those who arent there already at least, a Happy New Year in 2019.

OK, video. Just a quickie tonight. Its hard to find anything for Mary Carlisle other than a couple of full films, and sets of pictures. But I found this, Bing Crosby singing to her, 85 years ago!

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?


Pretty Woman?

Oh fine, this version of the blog about last night came about because of a photo that a workmate, and friend posted on Facebook today, of supposedly another workmate, and friend ‘pulling’ on the night, after I’d left them, and gone home. No, I doubt it was anything of the sort, but who knows? I might find out more tomorrow, but until then…

One of the things in movies that has always made me laugh, is that moment where the wealthy guy falls for the less well off woman, and whisks her off to a whole new life. Or as in the case of the title, the lady was err, working on the street, shall we say?

No, I’m certain it never happens in real life, and is certainly not going to happen to anyone as plain, or old as me, even if it did! But fine, I wonder how I would react, if I did…? Pretty sure I would think someone was having me on, with a joke, for sure! But if some wealthy man, or woman (who would surely need his eyes tested?) did fall for me, and offer to whisk me away somewhere else, in his plane, or whatever, and really meant it, hmm?

Oh fine, especially if he/she was nicely dominant, I’d love it, but yes, I would be looking for the film crew, to tell me it was a joke, at least until I was on his plane, I guess? Yes, last night, the only man looking out for me (and that was purely technical) was the bus driver on the bus back from Bradford last night, after the works dinner.

The dinner was great, I’ve been very lucky with my new job, and who I get to work with, so last night was a lot of fun. Fine, I had to come home after the meal (Next year, I might get a hotel for the night, even if it seems silly), but it was good while it lasted. But yes, when the others went off for a drink (the restaurant was no alcohol), I went off to find a bus driver to get me home! But as I say, pictures I’ve seen since, it looks like they had fun!

OK, video. I know, its 2 weeks to Christmas, and its a non Christmas song, but you’ll survive. Lets face it, I’ve used all the best ones before, anyway. So as the title suggests, a little bit of Roy Orbison. To be fair, thats quite a band he has for this!

A quick look at the week that was

Yes, I know, been a while. Blame work, and a works dinner, and a total lack of time on my behalf. Not that much has really happened, but anyway…

The works dinner passed with little fuss last Thursday. Meal was nice, so was my hotel for the night, allowing for the fact that the room didnt have a phone in it, not even an internal one! I had to go back to reception, to book a taxi to take me there, and…I know, I’m awkward, no mobile phone and all that, but the first time I’ve ever seen that. But that was the worst complaint I had, so…

Sunday, it dawned on me, that in 4 weeks time, I would be setting off the next day, to get my permanent make up done, and look even more Harlowesque than I do now! No, I am not getting those 30’s eyebrows though! Really looking forward to that, I must admit. Going to still have to learn the skills of doing foundation each day, mind, should be fun!

And lastly, a fun thing. When we finish work at 10.00, we get a taxi provided to take us home. Pure pot luck as to what driver you get. Most times, its a youngish guy, of sub continent origin, playing awful modern music. Last night, I got one of my favourite lady drivers, which meant Radio Leeds, playing 70’s and 80’s stuff! Hopefully I get again this week (3 more late’s), but I should be so lucky!

First record was a Nik kershaw hit from the 80’s, called ‘Wouldnt It Be Good’, one of the lines mentioning about being in ‘your’ shoes, even if it was just for one day. I cant deny, it would be fascinating to spend a day in Jean Harlow’s shoes, thats for sure. Hopefully a day of relaxation (or romance), and not a day being filmed though!

But the album of the night, was one I owned on vinyl (for those of you old enough to remember that), on which, back in the mid 70’s, I would do my best Karen Carpenter impressions, in my room, listening to the LP. Singles, 69-73, if you hadnt guessed! This was one of the tracks played while I was in the cab, one of those rare occasions when I was in no rush to get home!

A glass of champagne, and other drinks!

Yes, on Thursday, its here, the works Christmas Dinner! And typically, just because for the first time ever, I’ve got the day off, can get my hair done, get my make up done for me, and everything else, the weather forecast is awful! So fine, knowing my luck, the whole effect will be ruined anyway! Aargh!

And OK, to add to the entertainment, I havent even finally decided what dress I’m going to wear. Its pretty much down to, err, 4 at present, though in all honesty, its most likely going to be the new, vintage dress, which is full length, very stylish, but I’m beginning to wonder if I want to risk it, at a booze fest, like this could well turn into. I probably will, but…there is a far more important date for that dress next year, so…

The other candidates are a blue, sparkly dress, just about below the knee (I know, the inner sexy Harlow), which would certainly work as a 30’s number, and beyond those that have seen the photo shot pics, no one has seen it. Thats the most likely option, in all honesty, if I decide to play safe. After that, and definitely ranking as outsiders, are a gold, pencil/wiggle dress, with a cut, so that I’ll show plenty of leg, or very unlikely, a nice, but unexciting green number.

Choices, choices, I know.

At least (assuming they survive the weather) the hair, and the make up will be pure Harlow! Yes, even those eyebrows, in all likelihood!

As per usual, I will stay overnight in Leeds, though at a different hotel this time around, the usual one having priced itself out of the market. I know we’re coming out of the recession, but 40% more than last year, I dont think so! At least it wont be so far to work on Friday morning, but I will need taxi’s both ways, but even so, its far cheaper!

Some things are traditional, though I’m not prepared to name names, so…not that most readers here would know them anyway lol!

The other thing I’m considering at present, is to take, or not to take the laptop with me. Normally I would, but normally I’d be going from work, with time to spare, so…Its the choice between going direct from hair/ make up session at 4.00, into Leeds, in which case I will have time, and need the laptop. But, if I leave about 5, or just after, by the time I get there, have a coffee, and get changed, it will be about time to go. And in the morning, given I’m on an 8.00 start, I could get away without it…

But yes, the big issue is the weight. Not taking it turns a quite heavy bag, into a feather! So all in all… like the dress, a late call, I suspect.

Ah, the video. Well, normally before we go into the meal, we get offered a drink, of Bucks Fizz. No, I very much doubt its genuine champagne, but who knows? So, the call has to be

And so, the (holiday) end is very near

And so, the end is near, though the video isnt going to be My Way…well, not the one you’re expecting at least!

Yesterday, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, was Thanksgiving Day, here in the US. And for the first time in my life, I got to experience what that magical day is like.

It started off with what I gather is another US tradition nowadays, the Macy’s parade in New York City. Lots of hype, lots of over exuberance from the commentators, so I kept the volume low, and survived. Then, a little NFL, a phone call to start getting ready (into dress, and low heels), and then over to the home of my wonderful host, James.

The afternoon was wonderful, the conversation, his family, and the meal, all of them. If, and when I repeat this delight, no idea, but I’m so glad I’ve done it once in my life now, at least. Put it this way, I had absolutely no need to eat again after that until this morning!

Black Friday is a crazy shopping extravaganza, that now seems to start at 6 pm, on Thursday! Yes, I know, but thats the way of life nowadays, seemingly. Anyway, I ignored it completely, both last night, and today. So I headed off down town by bus, and went to the New York State Museum, for a very interesting visit. Then back into town, via the State Plaza, and a lunch break, and then finally back to the hotel.

Yes, with all the snow still on the ground, I didnt go out to eat tonight. I know, I’ll probably regret it, but… and tomorrow, I head back to the UK, James very kindly running me back to the airport. Hard to believe, its less than 2 weeks to the Work Christmas dinner.

Not only that, but by the next time I return to the US (Hollywood, next April, if all goes to plan), I should look even more stunning than now, as I will be a beautifully made up lady, looking even more like Jean Harlow, I suspect.

Last, but not least, I’d like to thank my 2 wonderful hosts on this trip, James, for letting me fulfil that dream of celebrating Thanksgiving, and to S, for letting me discover that I was indeed a Hollywood actress in a previous life, and for letting me find out how much fun life as ‘Jean’ can be.

The next blog, probably a jet lagged one from the UK, on Monday.

As I said, the video isnt ‘My Way’, but…

It must be Christmas time

So fine, the report from Thursday night, but sadly not got any full length photos of the dress yet, even if I know a few were taken, I havent tracked any of them down as yet. If need be, Tuesday or Wednesday, I will pose some pictures here at home, and get one for viewing that way.

The meal, well I didnt think it was as good as last year, but it was still better than the less than memorable (and not hot) meals at the Queens, at least. It was fine, I just think we were expecting better after last year, but anyway…

The dress worked fine, looked really good in all honesty. The wig worked too, until I got too clever, and tried to put the headband on over it. Nope, didn’t work, and all it succeeded in doing was dislodging the wig, and then I couldnt get it right again. So finally I gave up, went blonde, and used the headband, which worked at least.

Yes, it was a nice evening on the whole. I had plenty of wine, but didnt think it was too much, combined with the food, but I managed to feel slightly dehydrated the next morning, despite drinking some water afterwards, but ah well, I survived!

Next big outing, social wise, as far as I know, Christmas Day, and thats a home based one! Wear the dress, probably!

The video, one of my favourite Yuletide songs, though not the original Pretenders version, just to keep you on your toes. Pretty good version, imo, in all honesty.

Its that time of year

Yes, December has arrived yet again, and with it, the great fuss that is Christmas nowadays. Some of us still think about the original event that this grand shopping spree is based upon, but I’m not how many really do nowadays? Thankfully that side of events isnt a big issue for me, dont have too many people to concern myself with buying presents for. It does mean not many get sent my way, but really, I’m not complaining about that, honest I’m not.

Unlike November, my whole social life calms down in December, quite ironic really. But, the one big outing comes early in the month, on Thursday in fact. Alright, its only the works Christmas Dinner, but its my main chance to dress up this year, especially given we arent going out to dinner on Christmas Day this year, eating at home instead. So yes, as may have been noted, I’m in full flapper mode this year. Short dress that they would be proud of, though I will wear leggings underneath, as my surgically repaired knees shouldnt be inflicted on anyone. But I’ve got the wig, got the headband, and hopefully the fun too. No, no cigarette holder, no point. I’m a non smoker, and besides that, smoking rules have changed dramatically in the last 90 years lol!

I wonder if some people will recognise me, in a dark helmet bob wig, given I’ve been blonde for years, but I expect they will recognise me, all the same. And no, I have no plans to dance the night away, or drink myself silly. Two left feet, and a sensible nature will ensure on those! And yes, if and when I get any photos back of the dress, I will post something on here, I promise.

Sunday, my next chance to post anything here, I’ll let you know how it all went.

So, the classic Christmas song, as the video tonight, though not one of the 70’s look. This is as recent a performance as I can find by Slade on You Tube, and thats over 20 years old. Yes, its mimed!

Me in a cocktail dress, you in a suit.

Some of you will recognise the song that line is from, if not, you can always click the link at the end and find out! And yes, due to gender issues, I’ve swopped the 2 titles around of course!

No, I wasnt in a cocktail dress on Thursday night, it was definitely a maxi length dress, as you will know from the picture posted of the dress earlier in the blog. And yes, I did get one look of disbelief when I actually wore a dress to the dinner, and that was from the person who told me I had to wear one this year. I think despite that, she wasnt expecting me to, but I fooled her lol. And yes, it was actually fun doing so, but I was soon back in trousers for work all the same!

Sorry, I cant post a picture of me wearing it, I havent yet tracked down a picture of just me, only with another person, and its not fair to her to post that here, lets face it! My “ordinary” blog, yes, but this is slightly different to that. If I do get my hands on one, I promise to post it, but no promises on getting one.

It was a lovely evening, the food was good, so was the hotel, and given the music was from the 80’s, well, its a good era for me lol! Of course thats the era this video is from too, though I didnt hear this played on Thursday. As for the in house Christmas Dinner out, bank on trousers, or a skirt lol!

The video has David Ball doing his best Ron Mael impersonation, and on top of that, its a brilliant song.

Dressing up time

It seems that the venue isnt the only thing to change with the Work Christmas Dinner, dress style is as well. Every other year since I joined, the rule has been formal, a suit for either gender, or a dress for ladies. Well, I guess if someone had really wanted to stir the pot, a man could have worn a dress, but anyway… Me, given my age, and the state of my legs (not a pretty sight because of various injuries over the years), I’ve always worn a trouser suit, albeit with a much nicer blouse than I’d ever wear to work, but…

This year, things have changed, along with the venue. Fancy Dress is an option this year! Thankfully those in our department thinking about the idea do seem to realise this needs to be classy, and not the sexy nurse/maid type, or equivalent for men! No, I’ve no idea how many in the whole building plan to go down the Fancy Dress route, I’ll only find out on the night, I guess. To be honest, I think its a great idea, but I wasnt planning on any difference to my look, until…

Sunday at work, someone turned to me, and said “I expect you to wear a dress this year, in that case.” Clearly she has never seen my knees, or my legs (she hasnt, believe me!), or she would never suggest it. I have heard hints elsewhere too, probably because I am about the only one who hasnt worn a dress in the past, so…And no, before you ask, I’m certainly not going as Cinderella or the type, I couldnt afford the dress lol!

One thought I have had, but have no idea if it counts as such, is the obvious one. Would dressing as a Flapper count as Fancy Dress under the circumstances? And did any Flapper wear a dress longer than knee length? Because even if I do so, it has to be ankle, or maxi length for me, or heading that way at least. I could ask a hairdresser to try and get my hair into a shoulder length bob look, I guess, though the fringe might be a bit fragile lol! No, I’m not going short, I’m butch enough looking without that!

Will it happen, me in a dress, dont hold your breath! Its bad enough that I’m even thinking about it! But I guess, if I must, the twenties look would at least be fun, though it would need a miracle to make me look like Brooksie all the same! But would that even count as Fancy Dress? And no, I dont think the robot look is what they have in mind for the dinner, lol! 😛

To be honest, given I dont normally bother much with make up, the trouser suit is easiest, I can stick with the norm. I start wearing a dress (of any kind) and people will expect make up too. And as I’m working that day, I cant bribe a friend to do it for me. So…

I’m off next week, on holiday, so will go on shopping trips (one definite, another probably), and now I dont know whether to look for 20’s style dresses, or deliberately avoid them! Do Flappers count as Fancy Dress under these circumstances though? Feel free to offer views.

In the meanwhile, a video to view, from the 1920’s