Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 31 May 2012

In the Pink

Yesterday was a bit of a funny old day, the first part was spent clearing out the van s that I could fill it with bedding plants.   I was planning to spend most of the day planting up pots for one of my customers, lots of Geraniums, Cosmos, Begonias, Lobelia, and Petunias.   I didn't get much more than half way through before the heavens opened and prodigious amounts of rain fell.   We must have had about 3 or 4 cm in half an hour, it quite literally thundered down.

These very pretty panties
However it was not much more than a very heavy shower, soon stopping and starting to dry out.   After work I went to the osteopath, this was much needed as I was feeling the strains of amount of physical work I have been doing.   Again there was no mention at all of my bright red toe nails, sheer knee highs and very pretty panties.   He is very friendly and very good, and there is just n way that he doesn't notice.

Today is my day off, I will be visiting the Turner Exhibition at the National Gallery.   I plan to go via a Garden Centre where I need to buy an Acer for one of my customers to give as a present at the weekend.   Then I will get changed and get a train up to town.   The only problem is I am still not sure what I will wear.   I think I have narrowed it down to a choice between this white dress, or my new light weight grey prince of wales check,   I think I will wait and see just how hot it is when I get dressed, either way I am looking forward to the outing and expect to enjoy myself.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The House That Paula Built

I commented a while back on the trials I had building the base for a green house, well I have now more or less completed the greenhouse as well.   This is the first time I have built a green house so I didn't know how long it would take, or quite how complicated it would be.  

Of course it would have helped if the instructions had been printed in English, rather than something that looked like English, had all English words, but didn't make sense in any language I know.   It also would have been good if the holes had been the same size and shape as the glass, I had to make a few adjustments.  

Overall I am pretty pleased with the results so far, and the customer is very happy.   I still have to put in the automatic vent controls ( they have to be placed in a fridge for half an hour before being fitted) and there are a couple of things, like a replacement for the pane of glass that got broken, I am waiting for before I can really be finished.

Now I am feeling very tired, with a lot of aches and pains from lifting, stretching and getting into some pretty odd angles, so I am looking forward to a session with the osteopath tomorrow, I may well carry on with my tease, but I am in need of the the ministrations.   I am also looking forward to my trip to the Turner Exhibition on Thursday.

Weekend Wardrobe notes

I took a lot more clothes with me for the weekend than I could ever wear in that time, indeed I took just about all my clothes.   My wardrobe is in fact a couple of suit cases unless I bring something into the house to hang up before more or less immediate use.   I no longer leave anything around the house as I want to find it when I get back!
Driving down early on Saturday morning, I opted for a simple, "blend in" outfit of jeans with a cami style pink sparkly top.    When I got to Cardiff I had a few errands to run (Bank and stuff) so just dressed it up a bit with some heels.   Cardiff centre was very crowded and very hot, far too hot for jeans, as I saw the other girls in their summer dresses I was positively envious!   When I had to go out later I opted for a very light and rather short cotton dress.   I had originally reckoned on this as a tunic with thick tights or leggings but with the heat I wore it as a dress with no hosiery at all.   The dress is so light weight and lose fitting below the bust that it felt almost as though it wasn't there, also being quite short there was plenty of air, so I kept relatively cool.

It must be said that I would not normally have worn a dress this short, especially without any hose or trousers of any form, and I think most women my age would be the same.   I would expect a tall lady of mature years wearing a minidress wit bare legs to teh supermarket to ge quite a lot of attention.   However because of the heat I got less attention than I had earlier wearing jeans.   On several occassions I had to ask assistants for help, they were all charming and very helpfull, all in all quite a good day.

I'm worried ~ Stats

Sometimes I worry about some of you, I have just taken a look at the stats Blogger provides,   most of you are from the USA, then the UK and some from Canada, Germany, France, India, Russia Italy and Ireland, most of you use Windows and find your way here.
Some find there way via other referring sites, the two most popular are (or .com) and femulate. Some come from searches, and this is where it gets interesting in the last month 5 of you got here with a search that specified  "padded bra and thong 14 years old" another 23 using "Vintage Girl" and a staggering 117 from "Shoes".   But the most staggering of all the stats is that I am currently on 21,604 hits.   Thank You.

I don't know what brought you here, why you came, or what you are looking for, but I do hope that I can entertain you a little,  maybe educate you a little, hopefully inspire you, well a little, and most of all make you feel you are not alone.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Whacky Races

I got back from my trip to Cardiff late last night, there are a few stories to relate from the trip, and I will as and when I have the chance to sit down a compose my thoughts a little.

First I was there to see my Mother, not to attend the Trombone conference (although that might have been fun) or to watch the Olympic flame pass (I shall be doing that later on when my band plays as it goes past).

I have not managed to watch all of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix yet, I just got to watch the last 10 laps or so, now I don't understand what is going on the season, we have had six different winners in the first six races, drivers do really well for a race then dive down the grid.   I am very pleased to see Mark Webber as a winner, but equally disappointed to see Jenson Button on a DNF.   I am rather reminded of the old TV cartoon series Wacky Races and on my way home last night I was trying to see how many of the competitors I could remember, here's my effort.

Penelope Pit-stop
Peter Perfect
Professor Pat Pending
The Ant Hill Mob
The Boulder Brother
Dick Dastardly and Muttley

Can you remember more or the names of the cars?

Friday, 25 May 2012

And so it goes on

I am continuing to work at full speed, for full days, in consequence I am tired, and not very much fun at the moment.   I hope to get a little relieve over the weekend as I will be making one of my regular trips to Cardiff to spend the weekend with my Mother.   More accurately I will be doing her shopping, cooking, washing up and some work in the garden, I also plan to make up some staging so she can grow some tomatoes, these days she just can't manage if they are at ground level, and she certainly can't get down the garden to the green house.

I shall of course be travelling pretty in both directions, as it is very warm at the moment this might be time to bring out the summer dresses, or at very least something light and floaty, my main worry about going out dressed in this weather is how little makeup I can get away with.   I know that although some of it will be frustrating I will enjoy the weekend, and that it will be over all too soon.   Then on Monday it is back into my exciting world of work, as on Monday and Tuesday I am scheduled for building a green house - something I have ever done before.

As I will be away from any internet access for most of the weekend I don't expect to be able to post for a couple of days, but I will when I can.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Why I do it

Not my pink rose
I have had a couple of very long hard days, work mostly, indeed work, eat, sleep.   Today started at 7:30 picking up a co-worker before hitting the  timber merchant.   Not a gardening job more helping a friend out, since I have a fairly large van and a waste carriers license, and he had a used kitchen to get rid of.   It broke my heart taking a perfectly good kitchen complete with polished granite work surfaces to a waste tip, sometimes there just isn't an available alternative.
After that it was back to gardening, and  although up to my eyes in work and much behind schedule I was reminded why I do it.   At my first customer of the day there was a pink rose, just unfurling and it was perfect.  Of course I had to spoil things and forget to take a photo, so this is a picture I dug up on the internet.

Every now and then something happens as a couple of plants come together in a perfect combination or you get to see the plant at the perfect time.   These moments rarely have much to do with the gardener, of course I don't tell my customers that, but it is special to be around when they happen.   A lot of the time the work is sheer hard work, not very well paid, with long hours in the cold and wet, or hot and dry, but these moments make it all very worth while.
Right now after three days of over 10 hours each I am worn out but staring an impressive tan, only trouble is it will yet again be a "farmers tan", nice bronzed face and forearms, pale and pasty chest and shoulders.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

They just don't understand

Today's Wizard, I just had to share

A dull Boy

At the moment all I seem to have tie for is work and keeping the home going.   With all the rain we had in April and early May I am still catching up with work I should have done then, while this would be one of my busiest periods anyway.   I have just spent 2 days putting up a fence, and still got at least another five days work left to do this week, fortunately I have help today and on Friday so might just make it.

My wife is off work for at least another two weeks while she recovers from her operation, and I am scheduled to be n Cardiff this weekend.   I just doesn't seem to stop.   I am looking forward to my day off in London next Thursday but in the mean time All Work and No Play makes Jack a Dull Boy.

Monday, 21 May 2012


I have just realised that I now have too many suits.   A while back I realised that I would never work in an office again so I had a cull of my suits.   I reduced my wardrobe to two dress suits (one large jacket with lots of space to get seventh position and one snugger to look good for dinner engagements). One nice double breasted teal green two peace, one very dark blue single breasted two peace from when I was best man at a friends wedding, and the shiny grey two peace single breasted I was married in (which still fits 20 years later).    I now find that I have
  • two pairs of quite fancy black dress ladies trousers that I wear with my dinner jackets.
  • A grey pin strip single breasted skirt suit
  • A plain grey single breasted trouser suit
  • a salmon pink dress suit
Then I also have a couple of very nice dresses that would work for office wear, or more formal day time engagements, as well as all those cocktail dresses, day dresses and.......... and the more clothes I have the harder it becomes to decide what I am going to wear.

In short I have too many clothes, if I could just throw out all the drab then I might have space

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Women Drivers

After my little coming together with a bus, I mean a bus, a blooming great big double decker bright red London bus ~ how can you not see a bus ~ any way after y little whoopsy Joe commented that I was driving like a woman.   Well I think I was driving like this one.

Well I actually have most of today off, with nothing to do apart from all the housework, cooking and laundry, other than that I will be on the sound desk for this evenings service, then it all starts again tomorrow.

Monday's are rarely my finest moments, but tomorrow I have to make a trip to the dump (trade waste ~ job), then take my daughter to the Orthodontist, then to school.   After that I come home pick up the van and try to fit in a day's work before returning home getting changed going to the Osteopath then driving down to Rochester for a 6:30 meeting.   My last Boss was a man who had his fingers in many pies, one day I asked him how he managed to juggle all his different activities, he just shrugged and said "Sometimes I drop a ball". I think that's what happened to me on Thursday, I dropped a ball.   I just can't afford to drop any more.

You will know I have been teasing my Osteopath (or myself one or the other) on my last few trip, I am wondering whether I should hold back a little, at the moment my legs are nicely shaved and I do have a very nice dark cherry polish on my toes nails, I could just carry on as I was with some nice panties, or I could step up the campaign with some pantyhose, and/or side fastening trousers...........

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Not Frightening the Natives

I said I had more to write on what I want to achieve when I go out dressed.   This is not a simple thing, indeed of course it is not just one thing, on a simple level it is to look good and to feel good, but there is more than that.   There is something about making the outside match the inside.   Although I have often stated that I have no intention or desire to transition or to go “full time” I find that that is increasingly down to my family and other commitments, as a general rule Paula seems to be a happier more contented person than “Him”.   Anyway I digress, on to much weightier matters, back to simple dressing.

As a general rule I try to achieve a degree of elegance, I will never be pretty, but with care and attention anyone can be elegant.   This means paying attention to details, wearing appropriate jewellery and accessories, nice make up and co-ordinated clothes.   This sounds simple but it always surprises me how few people of any gender pay attention to these things.   It is always noticeable when someone is well dressed, and this does not need to be a reflection of wealth or style, more a question of care.   Most of my clothes are from charity shops, this means I can buy good quality for very little.   I am currently sitting in a coffee house with my laptop, wearing a Marks & Spencer trouser wool mix suit which cost me less than £10, a pair of Jacques Michell court shoes which cost £2.99 and a selection of costume jewellery and a charity shop watch. Total outfit cost probably under £25.

I want to feel good, some of this is the same as being elegant, but it is also about finding my own style, feeling as though I look attractive, as though I am attractive.   This means that I will also dress how I know “He” likes to see a girl dress.   It is still strange to me that the way I dress can make me feel differently, some of my outfits make me feel sophisticated, some sexy, some just comfortable and relaxed.   I used to just concentrate on the ones that made me feel sexy, but I am beginning to grow up now.

I want to look good, now this is slightly different again, what I mean is that I want to wear the clothes I choose to wear in a way that shows them well.   This means that when I chose to wear female clothing I need to fill the clothes in right places.   I tell myself this is why I use padding in certain areas.   When I first started to dress in public the only reason I started to wear a bra and to pad it was so that the clothes would hang correctly.   Again when wearing a dress it is only reasonable to make the whole thing match, clothes, jewellery, hair, make up.   I accept that I may well never truly pass, but if I look good then does that matter?   If the whole presentation is a unified whole then I feel that I can bend in.

I don’t want to frighten the natives.   As I have said before I am not at all sure that I pass, I suspect that most of the time when I called madam people are just being polite, and honouring how I am presenting myself.   But I  do try to blend, that is not to stand out other than through my height and maybe my elegance.   As I make the effort to look reasonable in what I choose to wear, to complete my presentation with gestures, posture, walk etc. I am not obviously a man in a dress and that helps other people to accept me.   This is an extension of the not dressing as a girl while wearing a beard, not wearing clothes that should not be worn by anyone outside of the bedroom, and not wearing clothes that may (or from a parent’s point of view may not) be suitable for a 16 year old girl but certainly not for a lady the wrong side of the half century.

This is also a bit about the difference between drag and cross dressing, for e drag is over the top glitzy, towering high heels, big hair, big boobs, and make up laid on with a trowel. Drag wants to stand out, drag wants to be seen, wants to be noticed, wants to be the centre of attention. Cross dressing wants to be accepted and treated like any other woman.   That I think is the crux of it for me, I dress to be treated the way any other woman would want to be. 

I am taking it as a given that most other women want to look good, and be acknowledged for looking good, like a little positive attention and feedback on the care they have taken with their appearance; but do not want to be gawped at, laughed at, or stared at, and that pretty much describes what I want.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Before after, and bang

I had a new customer this week, this was just for a simple single job on Thursday.   It is a very nice little courtyard garden nicely planted (apart form a totally inappropriate laurel which I removed), just a bit overgrown and in need of little attention.

After I had finished I had quite a few chores that I had to do.   All sorts of odds and sods ends.   Things that needed delivering, picking up, sorting.   I suspect that my mind was just not on what I was doing. A moments lack of attention and then BANG. I think the last photo says enough, and certainly all that I want to say at the moment.

Yes It Is

Thursday, 17 May 2012

My Pad?

My friend P has very kindly agreed to let me have parcels delivered to her address.   I need this as my wife does not want me having “that stuff” delivered to our home.  On my last visit to P I had another package to pick up, this was something I was a little unsure about getting, buttock pads.
I am aware that my bottom does not reflect a female profile, I have yet to find any clothes that make my bum look big, so I decided to get a little help.   I don’t want to have to wear padded panties, because it’s just too much fun choosing, buying and wearing the real thing.   So I ordered these silicon pads, a bit like chicken fillet bra fillers but longer.  The idea is that you just slip them into your panties and they improve the profile.
Well I’m not sure that they have sufficient effect, but they do certainly make a small improvement.   I have worn them twice so far, on both occasion with trousers, first time was totally uneventful.   They stayed in place and were quite comfortable.   I was also a little relieved that they were ok being sat on, after all I didn't want to spring a leak.
The second time is today, I was wearing my plain grey trouser suit and the trousers need a little filling in that area.   At first I forgot them, and then returned to slip then in.   After I parked up and got out of the van and started walking down the High Street, I was very quickly very glad that I was wearing trousers, as I could feel one of the pads shifting position.   I was then quite rapidly very thankful that I was wearing tights as well under my trousers as I could feel one pad working it’s way slowly down my leg inside my tights.   I now had one pad nestling snugly against my left buttock as required, and one loosely lolling around inside my tights behind my right calf.   I was in desperate need of somewhere private where I could remove my trousers and tights so as to reposition the pad, so I made my way into nearest clothes shop with a changing room, this just happened to be Oxfam.
Needing a reason to go into the changing room and spending some time while in there I first had a look on the racks of clothes.   There was a nice lightweight grey check dress from Gap, but since it was a size 14 I thought there would be no pint in even trying it as it would be far too small, however there was nothing else that was of even any passing interest so I took the dress into the changing room, sorted out my pads and tried the dress on ~ as much out of politeness as anything else.   WOW not only does it fit, but it looks pretty good as well. 
So my plan for the morning was to pop out and sit in a coffee shop and do some work on the lap top, enjoying a change of scenery and watching the rain from a different vantage point.   As well as the coffee I end up with a new pair of shoes and a new dress ~ so much for self-control.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Worthless Musicians?

I am aware that this is a longer post than I usually put up, and is a bit of gripe, with no trans content.   This is because I am not just a trans person, I am also many other things to many different people, not least I am a musician.   I have another blog which has a different target readership, I shall be putting this post on there as well.

So far I have tried to avoid any mention of the Olympics, since I live in London it is going to have some effect on me.   When the first registration for tickets came up I registered on the basis that since it was going to be here I should go to something.   When it came to applying for tickets for specific events, I cogitated for a while, then asked the family what they wanted to go to, they sat and thought for a while, and between us we couldn't think of a single event that we would want to go to.   It is not that I’m not interested in sport, I follow Rugby, Cricket and motor-sports with various levels of enthusiasm, we just couldn't think of an Olympic sport that we would want to make the effort to and watch.
However that is not my beef with the Olympics, it’s their attitude to professional musicians.   Like many other musicians I was invited to play for the opening and closing ceremonies, like most of them I was being asked to give up not just the two days of the events but several days for rehearsals, and all of this for nothing.   For some reason there seems to be a view that playing music is not a proper job, and that musicians are happy to give their time free just for the privilege of taking part, or because they enjoy playing so much.   London is a world-wide centre of excellence for top level music, that is only possible because musicians can make a living and not have to fit  it in around work.

To be a professional musician requires years of training, hours of practise, and a collection of expensive instruments.  Because of the dedication of musicians we can enjoy the benefits of their excellence.   London hosts the finest music festival in the world with the Proms, we have three or four of the finest orchestras in the world, two first class opera companies. These top professionals are supported by all the freelance, gigging musicians and teachers playing at local events and concerts, take away this support and the whole will collapse.

I have worked in many fields often being self-employed, I have done mobile car servicing, used car dealer, I have been a landscaper, a cleaner a delivery driver, musician and I am now a self-employed gardener and waste management consultant.   It is only as a musician that I have ever had any trouble getting paid.   It is hard enough to get worthwhile work as a musician these days, a trio will cost around £300 per night, and you can add £75 to that per person as the band gets bigger, that is why you will so rarely hear a top rate big band these days.  
My Brass Band is an amateur organisation, but we have a lot of costs.   In theory the conductor should be paid, music has to be purchased, rent paid for the rehearsal room  instruments bought and maintained, all this adds up, so as well as the members paying a subscription we rely on being paid when we play for people.   To have a brass band at a fete or play in the park will normally cost in the region of £300, this is way below what a professional band would need to be paid, and is not really a true reflection of the work that the band will put in but it is what the “market” allows.  Like many other bands we have been asked to play on the route of the Olympic torch, we have agreed in the hope of some publicity, but once again there is to be no pay.   Security guards will be paid, drivers will get paid, administrators will be paid, why not the musicians?
We need to get away from this idea that musicians do what they do for the love of it and live on that without being paid.

On a different note tomorrow (Wednesday) will be another strange day, in the morning I shall be attending the funeral of a colleague and friend from the recycling world, then in the early evening I have another appointment wit my osteopath, I have a playful pair of panties set aside, but I don't know whether I will be in a sufficiently silly mood.


Well yesterday didn't quite work out how I had planed it.   All started well, as I would be going into Debenhams without any make up on I decided that I would stay with my new found restrained presentation and wore the same jeans, boots and jacket that I wore on Saturday night, just with a different lacy camisole top.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Liz at the Clarin's counter, she managed to find a concealer and foundation that suit my skin and colouring, and then did a full make up for me.   She did do it rather differently to what I usually do and used some slightly different colours, green eyeshadow and a stronger blusher.   The result was very nice and I shall be using some of what she advised in the future, also I will be taking up her offer of a return visit to be made over again.   It was very nice to feel pampered and valued, this was partly down to the process of having some else put make up on for you, but largely down to Liz's very nice nature and manner.   We chatted about a lot more than just makeup, covering children (mine) boyfriends (hers) and work (both of us).

By the time Liz had finished with me time was getting on so I saved spending more money by not going into Mark's to be tempted to buy more shoes, and just drove straight down to P's.   On arrival I found P waiting for an important phone call, so rather than go out to lunch I popped round to Tesco's and picked up some thing I could cook for us there.   We had a nice leisurely lunch until I got a phone call warning me of a family matter that needed my attention, meaning I had to get changed and back to Bromley quickly.

P offered her spare bedroom for me to get changed in while she brought in the wood from the van.   As I was already in jeans the change didn't take quite so long as it can and the difference was not quite so dramatic.   A couple interesting little observations on the day.
  • While I was cooking P insisted that I wear a "pinny" this amused her much more than any thing else she has recently seen me wear.
  • After I got changed and came down stairs I was greeted with "Hello, I haven't seen you for a while" ~ maybe I should make of point of seeing P as "him" as well as selfishly enjoying my outings as Paula.
  • The more restrained presentation seems to attract a lot less attention,   I think that my aim is not so much to pass, I suspect that I can never do that, more I am aiming to blend, to "not frighten the natives"
I have a lot more I could (and may) write around these issues, how people react, what is acceptable behaviour, what I aim for when I dress etc. etc. I have also been inspired by Joe to write something on a matter that has been exercising me for a while now.   Nothing trans just something that I think needs a wider airing.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Just off

I am just about t leave for my day out, yet I still have no idea what I am gong to wear.   Well in fact that's not true I have far too many ideas of what to wear.

After I get changed into whatever fem wear I will finally go with I have an appointment with the nice Clarins lady before a quick dash sow the motorway to Crawley to see P.   She has told me that a package has arrived for me, that will be my new "bum pads" this is another new departure for me, and I' not sure how they will fit or feel.   I know that having proper breast forms has transformed my dressing, somehow I feel so much more feminine than I did with my previous more hap hazard padding, I can't hope that these pads will have the same transformational effect.

It often happens that things get a little hectic towards the end f a day out, so I may not post again till the morning, when I will tell all.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Out There

I know I should get someone to take some photos when we have these support group meetings, I just never seem to think of it at the time.   I have just got home after this months meeting, and as always there is a very real down as I take off the makeup and return to being "him" like a Butterfly breaking out of the chrysalis then being forced back into being a caterpillar again.   At least this time it is only for a couple of days.

Well it was a very nice, friendly and sociable meeting with a few old friends and a new couple.   We met at a different pub, one who would prefer not to be mentioned on line as although they are quite happy to accommodate us, they do not want to get a "niche" reputation.   The staff and other customers were quite friendly and accepting, so we have decided that we will have the next few meetings there and see how we progress.   Due to the current family situation I got to the meeting rather late so didn't have a chance to speak with anyone much other than my friends Juliet and Helen, but it was nice to see everyone and just to be out.

I did say that I would tone down my style a bit and I think I managed fairly well, if you were there and disagree let me know ~ please! As planed I went with jeans, I opted for my M & S boot leg low rise ones rather than the skinny fit, or the middle age high waist straight leg ones (I now have three pairs of women's jeans to two pairs of bloke's) teamed with my "bum freezer" denim jacket, ankle boots and a black lacy camisole, I think I managed a quite feminine presentation without being too obvious.   Having arrived late, when everyone else left while the bar was still open I decided to stay for another drink, an just to enjoy being out, before I had to return home.

I am now looking forward to Monday and my planned outing then, I will have to make sure that I am home on time, as I have  a rehearsal Monday evening.   In the mean time I should be preparing for Sunday evenings Orchestra service.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

I'm so excited

It's all very exciting, tonight we have our support group meeting.   I think I have decided on jeans and a denim jacket but of course I reserve the female right to change my mind.   Then tomorrow afternoon I am playing with an orchestra up in town.   I haven't played with this Orchestra for a while so it will be twice as good to see some old friends.

Jenson Button fastest in practise in Spain
Then on Monday I am going down to Crawley to see my friend P, this does mean taking a day off work which I shouldn't at the moment but she goes on holiday for few weeks at the end of next week so I though I had better get down there while could.   I have made no plans of what I will wear but I know I will look gorgeous; how? I have made an appointment with the nice lady from Clarins I met on Thursday.   If I am feeling very rash and more than a little flush I might buy those shes in Marks as well.   This all sounds like it is going to be an expensive day, so today I will have to go out and do a bit of work before sitting down to watch the qualifying for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix.  

Yesterday in the final free practise Button's McLaren was the fastest as well as the best looking car, so as usual I shall be rooting for Jenson Button, but I have to say I'm not sure about the latest incarnation of his face fungus.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Suits you Sir (?)!

Well I did manage a decent bit of garden work this (Thursday) morning, I cut quite a bit of grass did some weeding and generally tidied up.   On my way to the second job it started to chuck it down with serious rain again.   At that I point decided that I didn't want to play anymore, I dived into a supermarket made use of their "facilities" to change, at least some of, my clothes, then finished off the transformation in the van before visiting a near by small shopping centre.   The point of the heading is that I couldn't resist trying on my new trousers, and yes with my favourite grey jacket I have another suit, they are a perfect match. This is very similar.
Nice shoes on sale at Marks

First I popped into Marks and Spencer. I hoped to find some items I had seen on line and thought I might like but this clearly wasn't a big enough store to carry those items.   There were two minor incident while I was in this shop, while I was browsing through the lingerie department I am sure that I saw a "sister".   I have been working n getting into the habit of not avoiding eye contact, but acknowledging people who notice me with a smile.   Well I noticed this large woman with strong features also browsing through the knickers, so I gave her a smile, she avoided my eyes and moved off without acknowledging me. It was only then that I realised that this is exactly what I would have done a year ago.   As I watched her from behind I observed the slightly too short hemline and the narrow hips.   I'm sorry she did not acknowledge me clearly she was rather nervous, I kept an eye open for her as I continued shopping (wasting time) it might have been nice to share a coffee.   After this I had a look in the shoe department they did have some nice burgundy pumps on sale, as I was trying on a pair, a very nice and friendly young female assistant engaged me in conversation.   There was no pressure to buy the shoes, just a friendly offer to help, which led to friendly conversation.   I liked the shoes, but wasn't sure when I would wear them or what I would wear the with.   This never seems to happen to me in drab, but often when I am Paula, I embrace it as an indication of my femininity.
More nice Burgundy shoes from Marks

After Marks I popped into Costa for a latte, before going into a Debenhams.   I was asked by the Clarins rep. if she could help me, I just told her honestly that I was just wasting time since it was raining, we had a bit of a chat before i admitted that I had never used Clarins.   You rose to the bate and offered to show me their range.   I have never been quite sure of which foundation and concealer to use so I admitted as much and was immediately offered a colour match.   She quickly found a foundation that worked with my colouring, then asked about what I wanted from a concealer.   I admitted that I wanted something that would cover the darker areas around my chin, she understood and found something that would do the job.   As I had not planned to do any shopping I did not want to spend the money then and there, so she gave me her contact details and offered a "make up consultation".   I fully intend to take her up on this, possibly first thing in the morning before going out somewhere............

I then went upstairs to have a look in the lingerie department, ever since I got my new boobs I seem to be obsessing about bras.   Again they had quite a few items on sale, as I was going through the racks I nice assistant again asked if she could help, I told her I was looking for something in a 38 C or D in the sales, she went through them all trying to find something for, and told me she never has these problems being a 34 C, I couldn't believe that I was discussing bra sizes with a strange woman!

This was an excellent little outing, I had a lot of fun, learnt something and had some really positive contacts.   I wonder how much of the friendliness I experienced was down to wearing trousers.   Very feminine trousers,and with very nearly full make up ( I am trying to see how little I can get away with) there was no mistaking that I was presenting as female but everyone I encountered, staff and customers alike all acknowledged me with a smile and a friendly disposition

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Home alone

No not that terrible film with the horrid little brat cute young boy, after my daughter left for school this morning I had the house to myself, we didn't know when my wife would be allowed home so I didn't want to go too far off to work in case I had the call to collect her, but neither did I want to waste the whole day moping around.   As I had the place and the day to myself I decided to get myself a little organised.

I went through all my clothes sorting out what needed washing and getting that done, checking what I still have after last months losses, even now as I think about I am trying to remember if there were a couple of items that I missed, like my hooped tunic.   Of course going through everything like that I had to put some on, before long I was all dressed up with no where to go, a quick call to the hospital confirmed that I would not be needed for at least a couple of hours, so I decided to pop out for a coffee.   I visited my (current) favorite Costa and enjoyed a latte and a bit of carrot cake while reading, I then had a quick browse through the local charity shops.   I'm not entirely certain, but I think I might have hit a jackpot.   I have a nice tailored Marks & Spencer's grey jacket, today I found some trousers that I am sure are a perfect match but haven't had a chance to check yet.   Although I find I am increasingly accepting the femininity of trousers, but given a choice I think I would still wear a dress.   If these trousers are the match I think they will be then this will be a trouser suit that I might even try wearing in a semi dressed way, with male(ish) accessories and no make up or wig ~ we will see.

The really good news is that my wife is home, sore, tired, bored but home and basically OK.   Like many people I moan about my partner (and I'm sure she moans about me) but this has served to remind me just how important she is to me, I must remember to tell that when she wakes up.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Wringing my panties, not my hands

Thank you all for your best wishes for my wife,  after a great deal of waiting I now (about 10:15 Tuesday night) have some news on her progress.   I dropped her off at the hospital this morning at 7:45 she had been fasting since about 10:00 the previous night and had not been able to have anything to drink in the morning before the procedure.   When I spoke to her at 2:00 she was still waiting to go into theatre, and getting very hungry.    By seven she was out of surgery and awake and eating.   However by 10:00 tonight it had been decided that she could not come home tonight.   Although it will be strange being at home without her I think this is for the best, until she is fully recovered (at least from the anaesthetic).   Although I would prefer to be with her at least I am reassured that all is OK.

With one thing and another it does mean that today has been a bit of an odd one.   Even though the weather was fine I only managed to catch up on a couple of hours work, most of the time I was doing those things that have to be done, but no one pays me to do.   Trips to the dump, servicing the lawn mower letters to the council, all that stuff that builds up while you are not watching. 

The other thing I have been able to catch up a bit with is my laundry.   This is a perennial problem for me, it's not too hard to rinse out a pair of knickers, but anything more needs time and space, two resources that are generally in short supply.   So tonight I have put a few things through the washing machine which will allow me to wear a few of favorites again soon.   I don't know how much time I will have in the morning but if there is enough I shall put a few blouses and some of my undies through the machine next.   If nothing else it will broaden the range of choice I have as to what to wear Saturday night.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Worried? me?

Today my wife has gone into Hospital, it is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure, but does involve a general anesthetic.   Of course the very term procedure causes worry, but a general anesthetic even more so.   I drove her in and left her waiting, I think she was less nervous than me.   Somehow I want to make sure that the house, and in particular the kitchen are in a decent state when I bring her home, as well as writing several letters and getting some work done.

At the moment I four seperate parking tickets to deal with, two of them I am contesting teh other two although harsh are difficult to argue with, so I think I had better make them my priority.   AFter that I am off to see if it will stay dry long enough for me to cut some grass.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Not the leather mini skirt

Well today the band played at a craft fair, lots of people there, but to be honest not many of them were particularly interested in listening to the band.   In some ways that may be just as well as it was not one of our finner moments, there were at least two cornet players I was expecting to turn up who didn't so we were a bit short on the top, however we managed a decent job and entertained those who did stop and listen.   In many ways what the organisers want from us is a bit of tradition, and some familiar tunes, we could certainly manage that.   I have heard it said that "Conducting a Brass Band is the most fun you can have with your trousers on", I have considered what it would be like without trousers, but with a dress, however I'm not sure they are ready for that, and I don't think the conductor should attract all the attention away from the band!

This is now the third year I have been conducting the band and I am still finding it the most musically challenging thing I have done.   While playing for various bands and orchestras have stretched me technically this is the role that stretches my musicianship most.   It may well be one commitment too many and I often find the organisation arduous, but musically it can be great.
Not appropriate
Anyway what I was going to write about was our upcoming support group meeting.   We meet (at least in theory)  the second Saturday of every month, for one reason or another we cannot meet at the Pub we usually go to, so it has been arranged that we will meet in a different pub, close by.   I am a little nervous about going there too glammed up as I don't know what it will be like on a Saturday night.   Usually I like to go to these meetings rather overdressed on the basis that I can, but this time I think I shall tone it down a bit so (as in the title) not the leather mini skirt.   This still leaves me with a decision to make regarding what to wear, maybe jeans and a nice top, or a tunic and legging but in either of these cases I don't know what shoes to wear.   If I go for a dress then I am getting close to that overdressing and drawing attention to myself, area.   On the other hand I could wear some nice slacks, a top and a casual jacket.  

One possibility
Do other girls go through these agonies before going out?   It doesn't help that I can't get out all the alternatives and just go through them, rather I have to plan what I want, get those items out of the case and then take them to where ever I get changed.

Another Possibility
Still I do have a few days to make up my mind.

Or then again.......

Sunday, 6 May 2012


This is a subject I have been mulling over for quite a while now, and amongst other things the poll over at Meg's has made me think even more.   I have a suspicion that too many people go into marriage lightly, for the party and the photo opportunity, to be the center of attention, rather than the whole business of a life long commitment, for better or worse.  

As I mentioned recently we have been married for 20 years, at the moment we are going through a bit of a rough patch, but I believe we will get through that.   I would not want any one to life in misery or fear so there has to be a place for divorce, but I worry that now around half of marriages and civil partnerships do end that way.   I have a friend who has just completed his third divorce so I guess he sort of counteracts me in the stats, but he is becoming less unusual in his multiple failed marriages.

I don't want to harp on too much here so what I have done is put up another page, if you are interested in my thoughts, or would like to add yours please go to that page, if not then at least here are some pretty pictures of some lovely brides.

This one is from TG Today an excellent resource I have only just discovered.

You may well recognise this "Virgin Bride"

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Something to look forward to

As you may have noticed I have been a little down of late, I seem to be working flat out when I can or getting frustrated looking at the rain when I can't, with pretty much just more of the same to look forward to.

Next week the Brass Band are playing at a craft fair on Monday and then on Tuesday my wife has to go into hospital for a simple procedure, should be in and out in the day, but she will need a few days to recover.   I hope she will be OK by Saturday evening when my support group meets.   I missed last month's meeting as I was in Cardiff so I would like to get to this one.   This is an occasion to glam up a little and since my brother is n holiday I will be able to use his flat to get changed ~ luxury!   I anticipate another rather hectic week.

William Turner ~ Flint Castle
So sitting sulking on Thursday I thought I should start planning a day out.   I always enjoy a good exhibition so I checked out what is going on.   The National Gallery has a Turner exhibition drawing to a conclusion, that looks as though it should be interesting so I have booked to go on the 31st May.   I have always liked turners paintings, especially his use of light which prepared the way for the Impressionists much later.

I have timed the tickets for 14:00 so I can travel up in a leisurely fashion and have lunch first, and being a Thursday I can stay up in town for a while and not have to dash home to go out somewhere else.   Nearer the day I shall n doubt start to worry about my route and what I will wear, but right now i am just looking forward to a day off, an interesting exhibition, and some Paula time in town.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Bored, Bored, Bored

I am sitting at the dinning table with my laptop feeling bored and fed up, it's about 3:30 in the afternoon and I feel as thought I haven't achieved anything all day.   When the rain hasn't actually been falling the air has been wet, the ground sodden and any gardening is out of the question, I think I would do more harm than good.   I just hope that tomorrow is better.   I can cheer myself up a bit by looking at my diary and thinking that I have got a lot of work, I just don't know how I'm going to get it all done.

I have spent most of the day trying to speak to a representative of the landlords of a retail park in Sussex, so far I have spoken to seven different people in 5 different Companies, I think I have finally tracked down the right person, called him and found that all I could do was leave a voice mail.   You can imagine how this has just added to my frustration.

To cheer myself up I just went out and took some pictures of some the tulips I'm growing in pots on the patio, pink of course.

So now I am about to go out, to pick up a music book I ordered for my daughter, I'm not sure how I can contain my excitement.

Just another day

Well, yesterday was one of those days where nothing really happened, but I see to have been busy all day.   It was nice this morning to get back t some proper gardening.   One of my long standing customers who come under the general heading of "little old ladies".   I hasten to add that I do not treat them  the same as Zero Mostel in "The Producers" treats his little old ladies.   Then a look at a new job and then another of my ladies.   I also had a little excitement as I collected a new hedge trimmer I bought on e-bay - ahhh the exciting life I lead.
This evening we had a band rehearsal, and chatting with friends in the pub afterwards Sue was very keen to show me the results she got with the nail polish I gave her, it is just a shame that there were too many people there for me to reciprocate and show her the nice subtle "metallic" pink on my toes nails.   It did strike me as we were talking that here I was in the idst of my "normal" friends, apparently in drab but in fact every single ite I was wearing was fem. from my Hush Puppies to my denim jacket.   As I say I was osstensibly in Drab, but I felt and, I think, looked fabulous.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

I've been a naughty Girl

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, this is not one "of those" blogs, I'm not about to suggest that I need spanking, sorry I'm just not into all that stuff.   No, it is just that I have been teasing my osteopath again.   Today I was wearing some very nice black pants with white spots and lots of white lace.   The pair in the middle of the picture.   In conjunction with my pink polished toe nails and sheer trouser socks surely he can't help but notice.   Yet still I have not had any comment from him, we were in a different room to usual, much smaller which meant that we were quite crowded, maybe that's why is hand seemed to be on my buttocks more than usual......anyway as I am anticipating a heavy couple of weeks working I will be back with him in two weeks time.
On a more sensible note I was talking the other day about a garden I have been working in.   Up until this week, I had cut back a giant overgrown laurel bush, this is actually the neighbour's, but a good 20 - 30 foot of it was over the fence and into my customers garden. After cutting that back the area looked a bit open, but because of the slope inaccessible.   So next I dug out an area that is going to be a raised bed, and put in some "Rustic" steps, with the risers made out of logs cut from the laurel.  The master plan is to pant the area with some hellebores and other woodland flowers.

Yesterday and today I was back there installing the concrete base for a new green house.   This base is approximately 3.5m but 2.5m but 10 cm at the thinnest but about 30 cm at the thickest (to allow for the slope)  the nearest level place I could put the concrete mixer was about 20 - 30 meters away from site of the green house. this meant that all the liquid concrete had to be carried in buckets 20 meters and up 35 steps ~ by me.   By the end of the day I was totally shattered and quite gad of my visit to the osteopath.    This is the first time I have had to do a job like this and I just hope that I have done it right, as in a couple of weeks I have got to build the greenhouse.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

It was twenty years ago today

I lie, I am not sure about the exact dates, but I do know that it was 20 years ago.   1992 was a big year for me.   It started out very well, after work (in the Pub) I went to a news party with another member of staff, this was pretty much the first time we had spent any time together other than working.   It had been quite a long and bust night behind the bar and we were both quite tired.   Sitting on the sofa together she ended up falling asleep across my lap.   I didn't dare move fore a couple of hours out fear of disturbing her.   That girl had spectacular legs, and that night she was wearing a dress that showed them off to perfection.   She still has the dress but has since acquired a husband and a daughter, unfortunately for me the dress doesn't fit her anymore.   One thing is that I will never be able to forget the date that we got together 1st January 1992.
After that things took a rapid descent within a couple of days I had a phone call from my Mother asking me to go down to Basingstoke (where they were living at the time) so I could take my father to hospital as he seemed quite ill.    He was ill, he was diagnosed with leukemia and started quite a rapid descent and died within a few months.   At almost the same time wife's (well she was still my girlfriend then) best friend was diagnosed with a terminal cancer.

CURRO the mascot of expo 92
I think it was March when I proposed (this is quite a story in itself but maybe for another day) and then in April that I got a job.   As I had been self employed (bumming around) for quite a while this was my first full time job for several years and came out of the blue.   One of my Band Leaders phoned up and asked if I had an up to date passport and would I be free next week?   Within a week a was on my way to Seville for Expo '92 with my Tuba while leaving my wife brother and friend to sort out my flat an put all my "Stuff" in boxes and store it somewhere until I came home.

Playing everyday at Expo was an amazing experience one that I know I will never be able to repeat. I was young(ish) no responsibilities yet and still eager for new experiences.   Having said that I missed my family and my (by then) fiancee, I think I wrote every day, but I may be wrong on that.   This was certainly the most spectacular time of my life, I am putting together a page of photos from Expo 92 so you can get some sort of idea what I mean.   While there I also heard // saw some of the worlds top bands, orchestras and singers, all for free.   Since I was working on site I had free entrance to everything within the Expo and tried to find something new each day.   The only fixed points apart from work were the parade and the fireworks, both spectacular and surreal.

While I was in Spain both my father and my wife's best friend died ~ our daughter is named after both of them.

I came home in August and realised just how cold an English summer is compared to a Spanish one, it took several weeks to reaclimatise. by the end of September we were married.