Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Ah, so that's it

A couple of Brooke McEldowney cartoons for you today, the first from 9 Chickweed Lane just shows the importance of getting all those little things right.   The whole presentation has to be complete, it's not just the dress, everything has to work, the watch, the rings, etc. etc. one of my little foibles is that when I am out dressed I always make sure that I have a dress ring on my left hand ring finger underneath my wedding band, so it looks like my engagements ring, the little things.

The second is from Pibgron, and here I think he has managed to encapsulate what a lot pf people's objection is to what we do.   A nice coherent explanation of a rational thought process.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Boots Bands and bashfull

My favorite shirt
Yesterday I made passing reference to my choice in toe nail colour, at the moment that is bright cherry red.   After the osteopath I had a rehearsal, my friend S plays in the band and paid me a nice little compliment on my shirt.   This is actually my favorite shirt so I was quite pleased.   After the rehearsal in true musician tradition we retired to the local pub for refreshment.

I am actually surprisingly chivalrous, so as S does not drive I usually make sure she has a lift home (single lady on public transport after 11:00 p.m doesn't sound like a good idea to me).   So this week I gave her a lift and just as I was dropping her off she said "Oh yes, and, Cute Boots", (these boots) I was too surprised to say any more than a quick thank you.   Well I think the boots are cute, but have been unsure as to whether I can get away with wearing them while ostensibly in male mode, now I am even more confused. I will be working with S again today (Friday) so I may ask her, something along the lines of, yes I like those boots too, but are the a step too far?

We'll see I may ask, or I may not.   What I would quite like to ask is how about doing lunch one day with Paula?   If I do don't worry you will be the first to know.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

All Change

I will be away this coming weekend, and plan to pre prepare enough posts to keep things ticking over.   Of course this does mean that some posts may be less relevant or timely than I would really like, and some could even appear out of sequence.   Please bear with me and I am sure they will all be alright.   I had hoped that I would be able to add an extra day to the weekend and get to see Wells, well that will have to wait for another day.   A job that had been postponed earlier this month as delivery of materials was delayed now has to be done n Monday.

Earlier today I visited my osteopath, I tell myself that this is good business, every six weeks or so I visit the osteopath, get a good pummeling in preparation for the month ahead, and keep working.   One day off with a bad back is worth more than two visits, and if my back goes it normally results in two or three days off as a minimum.   There is also the simple fact that I like it, the massage is very relaxing, and eases my muscles, my joints and my mind.   Today I could have quite happily dosed off on the table as he was working on my back and legs.   One day I may just let myself drift off.   It also has to be said that he is a very nice man (tall dark Australian) who seems quite happy about my choice in underwear and toe nail colour.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I started writing this as a response to Joe's comment on my last post, when I was starting a third paragraph I realised that it was a bit long for a comment and should probably be a post in it's own right, so here goes,

As with so many things there is a wide spectrum, I only used these labels as I wanted to separate those of us who are only transitory, from those who are permanent or in transition.   One of the troubles with labels is that they mean different things to different people, I am happy calling myself a cross dresser, after all that's what I do, yet I am uncomfortable with transvestite, and am not sure what trans gender really means.   I am beginning to wonder if there is some sort of hierarchy, you know like "they're a transvestite, you're a cross dresser, I'm trans gender"
All of these terms mean basically the same thing, something quite different from who you are, Joe.   I can quite understand that it would be hurtful to be so misunderstood.   I know I was quite hurt a while back while I was taunted as being gay.   There is nothing wrong with being gay it's just that I'm not.   While all of us on this spectrum share some things in common the basic compulsion what drives us, is different, while some activities and techniques may be similar our motivations are very different. I know I am a man born in a man's body, it's just that sometimes I want to look, behave and be treated like a woman ~ sometimes, but I know I am not, and don't want to be permanently., this is very different from wanting to make the outside match the inside.   If you like it is the difference between a hobby and a lifestyle.
For Dougie
When I was at school I had a friend who had trombone lessons with me, he was a couple of years older than me, and was a good trombone player, he later became an RAF pilot and was killed in action during the Falklands conflict, one of the things I will always remember was as a small boy he was obsessed with trains, and he would become one, he didn't play at being a train, he was a train.   Well when I am dressed I am still playing at being a woman, I realise that I don't yet get to that point where I am a woman.   The situation for others is very different and indeed one day it may be for me as well.   So for someone like Joe to crossdress would require him to dress like a woman, and calling him a cross dresser is to totally misunderstand his situation, that is why it is hurtful, but we throw these labels around quite easily without fully realising or understanding how they are appropriate or what they really mean.

Sorry this is a little rambling rather than a well thought out coherent argument, but like me this thought is very much a work in  progress.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

So what's the attraction?

Those of us who are cross dressers, as opposed to those who are trans sexual, are often confused as to what is driving the compulsion to dress as the opposite gender.   Jamie has an interesting idea of what part of it could be and starts to explain over on her blog.   I find her blog well written and interesting, not least because her trans life is so different to mine.   I suspect that the only way to find out if she is right would be to change my life so much, that it wouldn't be my life anymore so I couldn't tell anyway......... still as I said interesting.
My current view on why I dress up, simple I like to wear pretty things, - you should see some of my shirts!   I hope to be wearing some pretty things at the weekend, I will be making one of frequent forays down the M4 to Cardiff and should get at least couple of chances to dress over the weekend.   I am also trying to work out if I can afford to take an extra day out and visit Wells on the Monday.

Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a thing for medieval cathedrals, churches and castles.   Wells is a gem of a cathedral and one I have yet to visit.   Ideally I will leave Cardiff on the Sunday night, stay somewhere near Wells and then make a whole day of it until I need to be home for an evening rehearsal.   That's the idea, whether I can manage the time or not I will have to see, like so much in my life it depends on the weather.    In the mean time I have a busy week, with a rehearsal tonight (Monday) home group meeting on Tuesday, Wednesday I will be collecting a friend from hospital following a simple procedure, visiting the osteopath and an evening rehearsal.   Thursday and Friday evening are free at the moment but that can always change.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Everything falls into plaice

I saw a notice the other day that just said

"What if the Hokey Cokey is what it's all about?"

I rather liked the sentiment but left it at that, then I managed to type the title of this post into a comment on a forum as a miss spelling, and just started trying to think of the story that this could be the punch line to; and couldn't, if you can let us all know.

Of course what I had meant to type on that forum discussion was, "Once you accept yourself, then everything falls into place."    In saying this I was drawing on my own experience over the last couple of years, writing this blog, going out and mixing with people.   It was when I joined a forum that required a name that I first called myself Paula, now I had a name I began to develop as an individual, a person, a character; some one who could not be kept caged up inside.   It was about the same time that I started Paula's Place (not Paula's Plaice) that I accepted that my cross dressing is something that is part of me, is something I am rather than something I do, and is definitely not something that is going to go away.

What has happened since then, well I have been out quite a lot, but not enough; I have come out to a few friends who have so far all been cool about it.   I am happy with myself most of the time, but my partner cannot bring herself to accept this aspect of me, maybe I a m wishing for the moon but that is the one true fly in my ointment of life.

When asked how I am, I often reply nothing that couldn't be solved with £100,000 and a couple of weeks in the sun, well add the acceptance of my wife and then I would have nothing (well very little) to complain about.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Not Great

Sorry folks, but I don't have much that I want to post about today, as I said yesterday one of our cats died, we have just buried him and planted a hydrangea on the spot as a remembrance.

I also heard today that one of my elderly customers died on Thursday, so forgive me if I am not very effusive.   I have started preparing something, maybe I'll put that up in the morning.

In the mean time a quick well done to Fernando Alonso the first driver to win two grand prix this season.   I was expecting a pretty boring race, shows what I know!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Smudged out

Tonight we are all very sad, a little earlier my wife went up to our bedroom and found Smudge, he had been quiet ill for some time, but we hadn't realised just how bad he was. To find him dead in our bedroom was a very distressful shock for her, and for all of us.

We will miss him, he was part of our family, a friend and comfort.   He was only young and had been with us for about three years, although we will remember him with love and affection at the moment we just hurt and miss him.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Eye eye

Yesterday I managed a full day's work despite several short interruptions for rain. Of course all that rain meant that the mossies were out in strength, and of course I got bitten. Now this is something of an occupational hazard, but I often get a bit of a reaction to these bites. Yesterday I got a couple of gnat bites near my left eye, this morning I woke up looking like the "Elephant Man".   Generaly not a good look, and not very comfortable either.   I have taken an antihistamine and am about to put some ice on the eye, in the vague hope that I will be at least able to see well enough to drive, I just hope it has gone down by tomorow afternoon, when I will be playing in a brass band again.   If it hasn't gone down then Paula will definetely not be going out.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Pushing the envelope

As well as my cross dressing activities, I have recently been exploring just how far I can go in exploring androgyny in my clothing, or to put it another way trying to find out if I can stop drab being drab.   I wondered if making my ostensibly male clothing more feminine would satisfy some of my urge to cross dress.   I have quite a few "pretty" patterned shirts, and a couple of pairs of female jeans and one female denim jacket that I have been wearing occasionally for some time now.   So far I have to say that although they are all clothes I like, and I think, make me feel and look good, they have done nothing to satisfy my compulsion to dress.

Last night I decided to raise the stakes and make a bit more of an effort for my rehearsal.   On Monday I had bought a couple of items I wasn't sure about introducing into my male wardrobe, a silver coloured jeans belt, and a pair of ankle boots.    I wore both along with a pair of low cut boot leg black denims, my favourite shirt and the denim jacket.   However it was so warm that I didn't actually wear the jacket, instead relying on my off white canvas shoulder bag.
Now I suspect that I might have gone too far, I think I was probably looking either pretty feminine or very effeminate, either way is beyond a blurring of the lines towards androgyny.   Having said that I only got one passing comment on my style of dress from one close friend who commented on the height of my heels.

Fair enough, after all he's used to being taller than me.   However I do wonder how the band, and people in general would react if I came out and was as honest as Grayson Perry and just told everyone that I am a transvestite and that sometimes I will be wearing women's clothing.   Unfortunately unless I want to totally alienate my wife that is not going to happen.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


I realised that in my comments on last Saturday's outings I was a little unfair to the band I was playing with.   I should have made it clear that this is a training band, preparing members for main competition bands, so by definition the players themselves will be more inexperienced and less technically able.   This also means that they need to bring in help from experienced players to ensure a decent, balanced performance, something I am really happy to do as in gets me playing and it is helping others (and of course I just love performing).   One thing that did come to mind, but only a day or so afterwards, was how much I enjoyed playing the tuba (my good old faithful modified Besson New Standard  EEb).   I am quite busy musically but I seem to only conducting or playing trombone, I like playing trombone and conducting is the most musically challenging thing I have done for some time.   But my first love is the Tuba and I suspect always will be.

I will be playing with this band again this coming Saturday, I'm not sure what will happen afterwards, maybe I will be able to manage another little outing.........

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

He just had to laugh

Sometimes I am sensible, sometimes I will push at boundaries a little, and then again sometimes I do stupid things.   The whole story is just boring so I will cut to the chase and just give you the bit that may end as a anecdote in years to come.

For reasons that I can't quite remember now at some point during the afternoon I got changed out of a relatively sober ensemble into a pair of purple tights, a matching purple top, denim shorts and black leather knee boots

A bit like this, but not exactly as this is a photo from March last year, still it gves a pretty good idea of how I looked.

Now the funny thing is I felt good, I felt comfortable, I love the snug feeling of the tights the boots and the shorts, I could feel the long dangly earrings I was wearing swaying with my movements, I didn't care how I looked, I knew that what I was wearing was inappropriate by any standards but, I felt good.   I was only expecting to be driving a few miles before changing back into more sober (drab) garb, maybe this was a last flourish or something anyway I was not expecting or planning on anyone seeing me so I didn't care.

Then as I was driving past I noticed a large banner advertising self storage, with what can only be described as an offer I couldn't refuse.   So without thinking about it I pulled into the car park and went into the office to check out the offer.   I have been considering taking on a little storage unit for my "stuff" as I think it would be dryer and safer than my garage.

I often wonder what civilians think of me when I am out and about, the guy at the self storage left me in no doubt, to his credit he did try not to laugh, it's just that he didn't succeed.   He did ask me if I was serious, but I assured him I was, and managed to get him to go through the deal with me.   I then asked him if I could see a unit.   I will admit that I was a little nervous as this meant I had to go in lift with him and into the warehouse, just the two of us together.   Bless his cotton socks he had to keep laughing then apologising, then curiosity got the better of him and he started asking questions. It transpired that two of his colleagues are trans, one full time MtF and one post op MtF, so I was able to explain that we are quite a spectrum and that if he works with two of us, and then he has just met me as well, well just think how many of us there are around.

I should say that his merriment was in no way offencive, it could have been in someone else, but he was such a decent guy, open and friendly, that it was actually quite refreshing.   I think he would have liked to ask more questions but as a bit nervous, I do think that I helped him understand a little, however I am sure that he will have a good story to tell down the pub tonight.   I may well go for the self storage option, if I do and if I do with this firm I may well be set for some more teasing, maybe next time I will get out that black leather mini skirt!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Just like a real woman

Well I have to say that I have had a pretty good day.   It started out very well as just before I was about to leave for church this morning my daughter gave me and enormous fathers day card accompanied by a tea mug very nearly as big.   The mug is from the Grumpy Old Git brand and is therefore highly appropriate.   It was even better to receive these since I had convinced myself that I had been forgotten.

After a very nice lunch with wife and daughter I had to drive down into darkest Surrey to pick up a lawn mower I had just won on e-bay.   They are a pretty civilised bunch in Surrey so the seller wasn't totally freaked out when the mower was collected Paula rather than the Mr of my e-bay name.   Just for the record I was wearing a nice green and blue on white print cotton dress, with a white linen jacket white leather handbag and my nice black and white toeless sandals.   The drive there and back was pretty uneventfully and I got back to the Crystal Palace in good time, since both my ladies were out I stopped off at my favourite watering hole for a couple of glasses of wine. 

Although the pub was a lot quieter than yesterday I was a lot more self conscious, or maybe because the pub was a lot quieter....... anyway the staff are getting to know me and are very accepting, some of the customers may of course be a different matter.   At one time I was aware of one quite relaxed ("I only drink to relax, sometimes I'm so relaxed I fall over") customer pointing at me and saying something along the lines of "that's my girl" ~ well he could have at least come over and asked first!

Well now I am home I am just settling down with a glass of Australian white and a Bacon and Camembert baguette. ~ Oh yes the title of the post, well while at the pub I treated myself to a packet of crisps and managed to drop a bit down my cleavage ~ just like a real woman!

Not Fair

Poor old Marmaduke

Saturday, 16 June 2012

In the Pink

Well, as so often seems to happen today did not go quite to plan, but I'm not complaining about that, well not too much.   This morning was a real challenge, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep so got up, but was still very tired, probably too tired.   Eventually I got going and managed to tidy up the van a bit, but didn't even get as far as looking at a lawn mower, if I don't fix one tomorrow I shall have to make it a special job on Monday morning when I should be out earning money.   Well the rush was because I was playing in a band at Clapham Common for a local Church / community fete.   The band was better than I expected, but still of limited quality ~ without being boastful in any way I think I was possibly the best instrumentalist in the band and made less mistakes than anyone else even though I was a guest and sight reading.   Still it was fun to play in a brass band and to play some different music.   Just a couple of little observations, as has become something of a habit I wore a nice pair of side fastening mole skin trousers with sheer tights underneath, and as far as I am aware no one noticed.   Also, where else but Clapham would there be an olive oil stall at a church fete?

We finished playing a little earlier than I had expected and no one seemed to want to stay on for a drink so I made my way towards home, but decided that I would pop into the Grape and Grain for a quick drink as Paula.   Originally I thought I would just put a bra and some makeup, but when I looked in my bag I found my new pink linen dress, and felt that it needed an outing.   The pink dress needed matching nails and some nice tights and shoes, I don't think I disappointed it.  

I hadn't realised that there had been a festival going on at the Crystal Palace and the place was packed and there was a brilliant band playing.   So there I was in a packed pub with no where to sit down wearing my new pink linen dress and feeling just a little conspicuous.   But everyone one was friendly and welcoming the landlord even remembered my name when he asked what I wanted to drink.  

As I said the band was great so I stayed for a while, one girl ~ Minnie engaged me in conversation, we had quite a chat about the area, the band and being prepared to dress how we wanted to, in reference to her 50's rocker style, but with an unspoken implication.   She treated me very much as one of the girls, and I have to say that she really made my day.   I stayed a little longer than I should have so was a little late home, but WOW what a good evening.   (I'm not exactly sure but I think at one point one guy actually had a quick grope at my bottom, I hope he wasn't too disappointed to find that most of it was silicon!)   So I was in a busy pub, as an unaccompanied female, I hope a not  too unattractive one.   I was well dressed and reasonably presented, I was obviously alone and yet not a single man approached me, am I disappointed, well maybe just a little, but I'm not too sure why, but I am a little worried about the men round here.

I like this pub, the staff and landlord accept me, and the landlady is very friendly.   I have not had a lot of contact with their customers but have certainly had no problems, if I did I think the landlord would be protective.   Maybe I am their token tranny or maybe they are nice people and don't are how I dress, what ever I find it a nice place to be.   I understand that this band play there regularly on a Sunday evening, and that Minnie is an irregular regular at the pub, so I think I will be trying to get up there on a Sunday evening occasionally when I can.

All in the Best Possible Taste

I have been watching Grayson Perry's series on Channel 4 on British taste, and have to say I am pretty impressed on every level.   Like most people Grayson Perry first came onto my radar when he won the Turner Prize a few years ago in 2003.   At that time he was rumoured to respond to the news that he had won that "It is about time a transvestite potter won the Turner" At that time most of the media made more of Grayson's idiosyncratic style of dress as Claire than of his work.   It is easy to see why.
Grayson Perry wins the Turner 2003
As a cross dresser I may not share his taste in clothes, but I am impressed with how open he is about this aspect of his life, how he is quite "up front" about it but does not seek to justify or explain it, just states things like "as a transvestite I am interested to explore this as a woman as well" and gets on with it.    I would love to be able to be as out and honest, but our family circumstances are very different.   I get the impression that he is very happy in his skin comfortable and confident in his choices, in short a bit of a role model whether he wants to be or not.

This series is an interesting insight into his character, his methods of work and his background.   Of course f special interest to us it also gives us some very interesting insights into his dressing.   What I find most interesting is the way in which he embraces Clare into his work, and how comfortable the all people who meet him both as documentary maker, famous artist, man and woman appear to be.   This must be a testimony to his personality, watching him on TV and hearing him on the radio I can't help thinking that here is one "celebrity" that I would like to meet.

At the very least I will be going to see the tapestries that are the finished items resulting from his exploration of British class and taste.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Hairy moments

I had a bit of a difficult day today, between dodging down pours and my mower breaking down not a very successful day's work.   However I did have my friend S working with me today, now since coming out to her I have made one or two references to my activities (I gave her a nail polish I decided wasn't my colour) but we have never really talked about it much.   I think this is largely because she is not a very "girly" girl, much more interested in gardening, cooking and music three of my passions.   Well twice today the subject came up indirectly, first when we found ourselves discussing wigs and how the colour can be such a disappointment.   S had always fancied being bond so when she was offered a wig during the (successful) treatment for a cancer she tried a blond one, and it just didn't work, another friend of our used the opportunity to try lots of different colours and styles, we were almost running a sweep as to what colour and length her hair would be each week.   So I told the saga of my dark brown one, she took this well in her stride, but did not pursue the matter.  

Later ~over lunch, we were talking about passports, and I told the story of the last time used mine.   I had previously told part of the story, so she knew about the breakdown and being stopped by the Police, but of course had not been told before how I was dressed for all this.    I defy anyone not raise at least a bit of smile when they know the full story, and of course I still think that passport guy was just so cool!

I had hoped for a nice easy morning tomorrow before going off to play as a guest with a brass band, now it looks as though I shall be spanner twirling trying to fix at least one of my four mowers.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mear Meanderings

To day was nice and warm, indeed at one point the sun came out and it felt just like June!   Which was just as well as it was a busy day with lots of work to do on my first visit to new customer.   With lots of work I'm pretty tired by the time I get home and generally can just about manage my commitment to a couple of rehearsals a week, other than that I get home and can just about manage to stay awake till after dinner before falling to sleep on the sofa.  

As well as not getting much done this also means that I haven't got many opportunities to dress on the horizon.   I expect to be busy with bands on the next couple of Saturdays and working every day that's available.   This means that unless we have another wash out day (which is of course quite possible) I won't be having much Paula time.

I like to have an outing to look forward and need to plan something for myself for later in the month, and something for July.   As the summer may be getting into some sort of swing maybe it would be nice to find something that is not in central London, maybe a garden visit, or something by the seaside.

I will also be having more trips to Cardiff and am thinking of adding an extra day to one of the trips so as too visit Wells.   I have been keen to visit the Cathedral there for years, but have been reluctant to make a special trip.   If I can find somewhere suitable to stay overnight this could be a very special outing, alternatively I could just stay the extra night in Cardiff and take this very much as a scenic route home.


Every day I like to look at some cartoons on line, I suspect that most of the are available in print, but I get my news from the radio and my cartoons on line.   Each day I look at Skinhorse, The Princess, 9 Chickweed Lane, Pibgorn, the Meaning of Lila, Marmaduke, Luann, Brewster Rocket, and others.   I access most f these through "Go Comics" so was horrified this morning when I went to the site I they didn't recognise my user name or password.

While I have now sorted the problem I have just spent half an hour or so that I should have been using for getting ready for work and am now going to be rushing around madly for next hour or so try to catch up with myself.   I have staff today so I will have to dash off in 15 minutes to pick him up and I haven't even got dressed yet.   In the mean time lets hope this raises a smile

    The last one actually inspired me to buy a set of animal print underwear, sadly the bra is now a little snug and the panties lost, mmm maybe time i replaced them properly......

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


As I was driving my daughter to school today there was a short piece on the radio on the governments plans to allow same sex marriage.  To debate the issues they invited two men of opposing views Rt Reverend Tim Stevens The Bishop of Leicester, and Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall.   Personally I'm no longer sure where I lie on this issue, but it is interesting to note that my daughter and I agreed that the Bishop came over as much more considered and reasonable as he simply stated his, and the Church's views where Tim Stevens got quite emotional and tried to interrupt and speak over the others.   I'm afraid that Tim Stevens did his cause no good at all this morning.

As regular readers will know I have been trying to work out my position on this for some time now.   I am sympathetic to my Church's view that this is a major change in how society works, the ability of individuals and groups to act within established systems of belief and practise. and could undermine the whole position of the Church of England as the established Church.   I also can see no reason why my gay friends should be denied the joy and stability I and many others have found in marriage.
I am quite certain that there is something wrong with how we as a society do marriage, this is evident by the number of marriage and civil partnerships that fail.  I have heard it said that divorce is too easy, but not by anybody who has been divorced, I suspect that getting married is too easy, and maybe undertaken for the wrong reasons.   It often seems that the wedding is more important than the marriage, all the trappings of a wedding, the dress the photos the reception, the whole thing costing tens of thousands of pounds and putting into the shadows the essential thing of two people saying publicly that they are committed to each other for life.   In a religious marriage there is of course the other factor of inviting God to join them together and play a part within that marriage.   Again I suspect that many church marriages do not fully embrace that aspect as much as just finding a nice venue for the photos.

I am convinced that civil partnership were a fudge and a missed opportunity ~ they should either made available to all people living in stable non married partnerships or abandoned all together.

Something that was pointed out to me recently is that since marriage can only legally be between a man and a woman, if one partner transitions then the marriage will be annulled, with all the implications that can have for children, and grand children, property and pension rights and all sorts of other issues.   Now I don't know how many people that actually effects as the only people I know who have transitioned were not married before, or were already divorced.   However for a partner who has stood beside their loved one all through the trauma, pain and bureaucracy of transition to then be told that their marriage is null seems heartless.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


I have been dropping in on Croydon Trans Group meetings for a while now, and feel very much part of the group.   I have made one or two friends in particular, and have enjoyed the social setting f the meetings.   However until this last meeting I was not really aware of the importance that such a group can have.   On Saturday we had a couple of new members who were very much in need of some support, both were feeling isolated, insecure, and vulnerable.   Just being able to meet and speak with other trans gender people helps.   To know that you are not alone, that there are others who accept you and want to help must be even better.   Other than for the day of remembrance I had simply thought of these meetings as an opportunity to go out dressed and as a social occasion.   I am now so much more aware of the importance they can have for others.   If nothing else mutual support and understanding is a form of empowerment, and freedom.
The CTG logo

Because we meet in a social setting it is all too easy to forget the underlying purpose of a group like this, I will of course continue to take the opportunity to dress, and will enjoy the social side, but I hope that I will also be a little more sensitive to the support that others may need, and and contribution I can make.

I fear that it is very easy to get very self absorbed,, to worry about our own situations, and forget that there are brothers ad sisters out there who are in much worse situations who really do need what ever support we can offer, even if it is just a friendly greeting and one evening a month when they can be themselves.

When the rain comes

I said earlier that I was not out working today, but staying at home and catching up with some admin, well of course as always it is never quite that simple.   A quick check of the diary reminded me that I had a job in the morning that needed some compost, and in the afternoon some bedding, to pot up, so I had to get out and go to the nursery.   Now given the choice the last thing I wanted to do was get changed for this, so I didn't.   It was quite noticeable how much more helpful the young man at the drive through bit was, loading the compost into the van for me without a second thought.   I got a few looks at the wholesale bedding nursery but I would put that down to it being an event for them to see anyone not wearing jeans, certainly they were all very pleasant and helpful.
I should have gone home after the nursery it would have saved me, but I thought since I was out that way I would pop into Banstead and have a trawl of the charity shops, I fancy a low heeled pair of boots, and a white belt.   Of course I didn't manage to find either of these, but I did buy myself a pink linen dress, and a nice colorful print cotton dress.   I certainly don’t need any more dresses, and I don’t know when I will get a chance to wear either of these, but I rather liked the way they looked on, and so succumbed to temptation.   Maybe I should take a leaf out of Meg’s book, she has a rule that every time she buys something, something else has to go to make room, I’m just not at all sure I have  that level of self discipline, no I know I don’t have that level of self discipline.

It was only as I was returning home and cleaning off my make up and getting changed that I realised that although I had brought a pair of jeans and a polo shirt with me I had totally forgotten to bring any boy shoes.   I had left home already dressed as I had the place to myself, but I knew that both my wife and daughter would be home.   Trying not to panic, I put on the lowest heels I had with me to walk to the door, slipped them off and into my bag as I opened the door, called out a hallo and dashed upstairs ostensibly to the loo, but in reality to get a pair of slippers.  

All very silly but a reminder to be a bit more carefull in future.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Hair please

Yesterday I mentioned that I wore different hair, it is longer than my normal hair and darker.   I liked the feel of the hair on my neck and shoulders but was not totally convinced about the colour.   As we all know mirrors can lie, we see what we want to see and can be quite selective about what we do see.   That is of course one of the reasons that we t girls like photos so much.

Just me

Little Miss Scary

Well once again we are not enjoying gardening weather so I have a day at home, ostensibly undertaking some data entry and admin.   Taking advantage of the moment I dressed pretty much the same as I did on Saturday night (same tunic dress, boots and jewelry just different tights) so that I could take some photos to show you and ask your opinion about how to wear my hair.   I took a couple with my own hair, a couple with my new brown straight hair and finally with my usual blond.   Seeing the photos I don't think I need any more help making up my mind.   I feel more comfortable and I think look a lot better in the last shot, and that's the look I will stay with for a while now.

Well that's better

Sunday, 10 June 2012


It is stupid O'clock in the morning, and I have just got home after my support group meeting, to the musical accompaniment of "Penge Bird Song" from the next door Tesco Express alarm going off.   We had a very good evening with a couple of new members coming along, I hope they will come back.   I was reminded how valuable these meetings can be if only to confirm to lonely and isolated brothers and sisters that they are not alone.   I had a couple of conversations and hope that I was of some help.   We are currently meeting in a "normal" local pub, who quite frankly are glad of an extra ten or twelve customers on a Saturday night.

Given that the best (conservative) guess for numbers of people who are trans to some extent or another is one in five hundred, if we only allow for male to female dressers that means that there should be at least 3,000 cross dressers in Croydon alone, (given a population of 300,000 of which half will be male) now I suspect that there are probably more than that, but if just half of them turned up to our next meeting, I think we would have a very confused but happy landlord.   As it was there were 12 of us tonight, I think we all had a good time, and were certainly made welcome.

Last month I was a little unsure of the venue so dressed down a little, tonight I was less circumspect going for opaque black tights, high heeled knee boots and a black and white cotton tunic, very comfortable and while showing quite a bit of leg the opaque tights made me feel that at least I was covered.   I did wear my new hair, but although it is comfortable I am still not sure about the colour, I think I will have to take a couple of photos and run a poll.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Triming up

So far not much of a trans nature has happened today, that will all change later when I go to our support group.   I still haven't made a decision as to what I am wearing, but I think I may try my alternative hair.   This is a wig I picked up a while back but didn't like the colour, I have now lightened the colour to a mid brown and have washed and trimmed it a little, now I will just have to see how it looks on after I have all my make up on.

I did have a little excitement this morning, all year I have been having problems with garden machinery, strimmers, chain saws, lawn mowers and hedge trimmers have all failed to start.   Many of them are apparently not worth repairing or parts are no longer available, so I am in the process of renewing my stable of power tools.   This morning I won an e-bay auction for a new hedge trimmer, a full size single side professional tool I won this for under £50.   On collecting it I found that although a couple of years old it had barely been used and is in top condition, the seller was a little upset at how little it went for, I'm not surprised I would expect to pay £350 for this sort of machine new, and in this condition it could well be worth £200 or more, so I'm very pleased with this purchase.   Now I just need a new chain saw, and to sort out the lawn mowers.

Friday, 8 June 2012

A right Pain

I was just looking back and it seems amazing that it is only a week ago that I was worried what to wear when it was so hot!   Now the temperature is well below the seasonal norm and I am contemplating boots and pullovers!   Looking back also reminded me how much I enjoyed my trip up to town, as well as how much my feet hurt.
A day or two after my outing I took a photo (on the left) I think you can still see the pain.   What doesn't show in the photo is how bright the red of the polish was.   I say was because I subsequently cleaned it off, and have now replaced it with a darker red, "Wild Cherry" one of my favourite colours.   Tomorrow evening I plan that my finger nails will match.   I have yet to decide what else I will wear, but judging by today and the weather forecast waterproofs could be the best answer.   Mind you since I have only to walk from the car park into the pub where my support group is meeting I probably don't need to worry too much.
We will be meeting at the same pub as last month, and since our reception there was very friendly I don't think I need worry about being too conservative, however at the same time I would like to not be too outrageous.   While it is nice to be noticed I don't want to be the centre of attention, especially for the wrong reasons!

I don't know what else the weekend will hold for me, I have just been watching "Gardeners World" on the TV, and it always ends with some suggested jobs for the weekend, if the weather allows I have more jobs to do in the garden than could possibly be done in just one weekend, that's on top of cleaning the van and giving an oil change, cleaning and servicing the car, tidying my office etc. etc. etc.   More likely I will just veg out in front of the grand prix and do my best to relax.

Asterina Gibossa

I just had to use that as today's title.   As I was driving over to Sidcup this morning to start work there was a short peace on the radio about  Sea Stars, or Starfish.   The bit that really grabbed my attention was the comment that some of them can change their gender, and yes a little on line research shows that Asterina Gibossa, a rare species of starfish, are born male but later they change themselves into females. Also there are some other species of starfish that can change their gender with the change of temperature and it also depends on the availability of food.

Well my day was a bit like that, I started out male and managed about 4 hours work, before the weather changed for the worse and work was abandoned.   As the rain did what  it does best I cleaned myself up, and got changed before going to the bank, having some lunch and then after a bit of ineffective shopping a coffee.   Despite the rain it was very nice to go about my business as Paula, there is very little in what I did or what happened to me worthy of any mention, and in itself this is interesting.   There I was made up with wig and ear rings etc. wearing women's clothes, and basically no one noticed.   Where ever I went no one seemed to pay me any special attention, no one looked at me in the street as I passed by.   Sure the rain must have been a factor, but I suspect more to the point I was wearing a trouser suit, very nice and very feminine, but it is what a business woman would have chosen to wear on a day like this.   In other words I was dressed appropriately for the time and places I found myself, so why would anyone take a second look?

To follow on from an earlier theme I can never know if I pass, but today I certainly blended.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I know just how he feels

This morning's Luann struck a chord here as my daughter wants to go into the entertainment business.   Initially she wanted to act, but some of her passion for the stage has diminished.   However none of her passion for music has faded at all. Her current aim is to be a music producer.   She certainly has all the technical ability and has a very good ear, I an just nervous that she should choose to go into something quite so precarious.
Having spent a fair bit of time either as a musician or knocking around the fringes of the business I know just how precarious a career it can be.   Of course I also know how satisfying and how much fun it can be as well.   I would quite like her to go into law or accountancy, something secure and lucrative so she can keep the old man in comfort when I can't lift a spade anymore.   Anyway I'm not going to put my foot down or force her into any early decisions, again from my own experience I know how things can change, I think I am currently on my fourth career.

Otherwise it is all work at the moment, I have slightly more than I can manage and in consequence am very tired.   I have made a decision that I will not work this weekend, and further that I will be going out on Saturday night to my support group meeting.   As well as giving me something to look forward to, it gives me another decision to make, what to wear.   If the weather stays like this I may get out my boots again and go for the skinny jeans or leggings with a cotton tunic ~ we'll see

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I'll leave the day off to the banks

I know that Tuesday was a special bank holiday here to celebrate the jubilee, but since I am no a bank, and the government forgot to mention how I would get paid if I followed their suggestion and took another day off, I worked.   It was actually a bi of a strain getting up and out but I did manage to do a fair bit before the rain got to a point where I couldn't carry on.

I am not a believer in gardening in the rain, not only is it quite unpleasant I also always fear that I can do more damage than good.   Simply walking n wet ground will squeeze any air out of the ground causing it to clag up and become much less fertile.   Any way as I was soaked through by the time I got home I was col wet and stiffening up so I prescribed myself a hot bath.    Enjoying a good long soak I had a through shave, and felt much better.

I love the just shaved feeling, especially since I have started using a body lotion immediately afterwards.   Afterwards I just threw on some jeans and an old rugby shirt and we spent the evening slobbing out on the sofa, watching TV.

"The Boss" goes back to work today so I shall make sure the washing up is done before I take her a cup of tea up o the bedroom.   This will be her first day back after four weeks sick leave so it could be quite hard for her.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Most of the weekend so far has been taken up with Jubilee Celebration, Sunday I was playing with a concert and in West Wickham.   It was quite a big event going on all weekend, but the band I was with were just there on Sunday.   Attendance was a little disappointing but that was down to the weather.   Fortunately the band were inside so we stayed (mostly) dry apart from a few drips.   I ended up playing tenor sax parts on a borrowed euphonium, so not the most satisfying musical experience I have had, but it was nice to meet up with some old friends and have a relaxed chat over a beer afterwards.

Out of sheer devilry when I gt dressed for this gig I decided to wear stockings under my trousers, a pair of nice moleskin finish side zipped semi formal back trousers.   Although I don't think anyone else was aware I was very conscious that a/ one of the rear fasteners broke and was undone for most of the afternoon, and b/ the front fasteners showed through the thin material of the trousers quite clearly. - oops.

Yesterday the Brass Band played at my local park, as the conductor and contact with the organisers I thought I had better behave myself, we all had a nice enjoyable day and manged to avoid any rain, quite an achievement this weekend.   Today I am back to work, I know it is a Bank Holiday, but then I'm not a bank.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Bits and peaces

Joe asked "Do you find it hard walking into a busy place knowing that you may pass to some people but to others you won't. Or doesn't passing bother you? Just interested. " The simple answer is yes, but of course like everything else it is more complicated than that; in one way or another everything I do dressed is hard, it gets easier but there is still a frizzante of fear every time.   I'm not really sure what it is that I am afraid of, ridicule I suppose, but the pleasure of acceptance far outweighs any fear.

"Why are you dressed like a transvestite?"
Now I would like to say that I am not bothered by passing, but that might not be true, I'd like to say it but I am still a bit bothered.   However I think I am more bothered by blending, I'm not entirely sure how to express this I tried a little in Not Frightening the Natives, while I accept to a certain degree that I may not be able to fully pass as a woman, I strain to not look like a transvestite.   There was a wonderful moment in one of my favourite comedy shows Miranda in which the eponymous heroine dresses to impress, but ends up being asked "Why are you dressed as a transvestite?"   I want to be accepted; I want to look nice; I want to be noticed, but in a positive way especially if wearing something fabulous; I want to be treated like a lady; I want to blend, but not be invisible; I want to be me and express that in how I dress.   So I don't want much really do I?

What worries me a little more is bumping into somebody I know, who doesn't know about this aspect of my life, I would like to be more "out" but my wife does not so in this I do my best to stay in the closet, while going out as much as I can ~weird.

A couple of observations following recent outings.   On Thursday I took advantage of the New CID cosmetics girl in Debenhams Oxford Street and had my eyes done with their cream eyeshadow (one of the reasons I wanted to carry on the day into the evening), she also did my eyebrows and convinced me to buy one of their combined eyebrow pencils and brush I was encouraged that even when I had a "no make up day" I should still do my eyebrows.   Now this was close to the end of the afternoon, I had not shaved since the morning and in order to do my eyes she must had to be very close and intimate with my face, did she really think that when I was not wearing make up I would still do my eyebrows?

While out in central London, Trafalgar Square, Oxford St, Regent St etc. I think I spotted at least three "sisters" I may be wrong, but if not then "go girls", I was also aware of more tall girls than I tent to see in the suburbs, this may be a reflection of the generally smarter standard of dress in town, or just the areas I tend to find myself.
Since Meg didn't manage the non-T cartoon yesterday here is my offereing from Chickweed lane

Sunday, 3 June 2012


So I am now writing about Thursday evening on Sunday morning, and realise that I never really finished my account of last weekends outings.   Well in many ways they both ended the same way, on both occasions I wanted to extend my time as Paula rather than just returning to what would probably be an empty house, getting changed and going to bed.   So rather than just go home I stopped off at the Grape and Grain this pub is very accepting and welcomes Paula when ever I am there, my only worry is that "He" often goes there on a Monday night and I know my brother uses it on a Sunday lunchtime.   Never the less Sunday I popped in for a couple of glasses of wine, I was joined for a while by the landlady, who not only remembered me (whether as the bloke in a dress or the large lady on her own with a book she was far too polite to mention) but also remembered my name.

We had quite a chat, about the weather and how to dress for it, the book I was reading and a book club they run each month. I would like to join their book club but so far the dates have clashed with other commitments.

Wardrobe note, I was wearing my White linen trousers, a blue singlet style top with spaghetti straps and a white linen tunic unbuttoned.   With my white leather handbag and black and white sandals a nice cool summer outfit.

On Thursday evening I was surprised how busy the pub was, it was hard to find a seat at all, it was only after I had settled in that I realised it was a quiz night, if I had realised sooner I might have tried to join a team, may be another day.   Still I had a pleasant evening the quiz was quite entertaining, the house white wine good, and I enjoyed a fish finger baguette with lime mayonnaise ~ I always like to try something new.

I think that brings me mostly up to date, I have a busy weekend playing at lots of jubilee celebrations and then next week is a busy one with work again, my next planed outing will be on Saturday when the support group meet.   But with the weather looking changeable at best and my wife going back to work on Wednesday who knows what the week might hold.


So after (a very nice) lunch, I finally made it to my destination, the reason for my day off / out the Turner Inspired Exhibition, the exhibition was fascinating and gave me some fresh insights into the work of this very important and popular artist.  

Turner, Caernarvon Castle
Just about all of the people I have spoken about the exhibition to have know and loved some of Turners works, (The Fighting Temeraire, etc.) but have not even heard of Claude.    Known simply as Claude or Claude Lorraine after the area he was born in, Claude became one of the most influential landscape artists of his generation, and was certainly a major influence on Turner, and therefore on the impressionists.   It is a shame that he is not better known as his paintings are well worth a viewing
Claude, The Enchanted Castle

I would strongly invite you to follow the links to learn a little more about the man and his work, that is of course if you like this sort of thing.

After the exhibition I decided that I would walk up Regents Street to see what I could see, once I got as far as Oxford Street I felt obliged to look in a few stores.   I fancy a three peace lingerie set, that is matching bra, panties and suspender.   I want something pretty, not bridal white or ivory, nor sexy black, just pretty.   Now I understand that a lot of girls don't seem to like wearing stockings, well I understand that they don't I don't understand why, but that's another story.   What I don't understand is that in about half a dozen major Oxford Street stores I couldn't find anything that fitted the bill.  I want to be able to wear stockings, particularly over the summer months, but the two suspender belts I have are both "going home", one has a split in the fabric, the other has a broken fastener, and as I have mentioned before I simply don't trust "stay ups" because they don't.

While I was still at the National Gallery I was beginning to regret my choice in footwear by now my feet were killing me!   I paused for a coffee as much for the chance t sit down as for the coffee, so just to give me an excuse to sit down a little longer I had a slice of carrot cake with it.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Sorry not to have managed an update for a couple of days, at the moment life just seems to be like that, never a spare moment.    It is now Saturday morning and I am typing this prior to going off to work again.

Thursday morning I had a little chore to complete before setting out on my expedition to the exhibition.   One of my customers had asked me to pick up an Acer as a present for her father, she needed it by Friday night and I knew Friday would be very busy so I made an early start and picked one up at my favorite garden centre on Thursday morning.   After that I could put on my nail polish, change what needed to be changed and put on my make up and glitteries.   As it was slightly less hot than the previous few day I finally opted for the grey dress, with grey jacket and my new ox blood heels.   I felt this was an appropriate outfit for a day in Town while still cool enough for the weather.

I caught the train up to Victoria and then the tube to Charring Cross, as usual when I do anything like this I wonder how people can go through that every day.   I arrived in plenty of time to have a look around Trafalgar Square there was a lot of activity with things being prepared for the weekend, but I did have a chance to have a look at the current exhibit on the "spare plinth" a little boy n a rocking horse.   I rather like this, firstly it is very well done, is the right size and makes an interesting juxtaposition to all the military equestrian statues around there.

As I was wondering around trying to decide on where to have lunch I encountered a couple of Americans, discussing the area, they were trying to find Admiralty Arch, I was able to show them, and was drawn into conversation with them about the jubilee celebration, when they asked me where was the best place to watch the parade, they weren't impressed when I said the on the Television.   Ir seemed strange to be an English republican talking to a couple of ardent American royalists, but then there are many strange things in life.

After a very pleasant lunch in Cafe Rouge I made my way back up to the National Gallery.   The exhibition is in the Sainsbury wing.   This is still relatively new, and caused quite a degree of controversy when built, personally I think it blends in with the rest of the square very well, while not trying to mimic the styles of a different century, it is unashamedly modern, but still blends well in colour, scale and style.  As I was approaching the entrance I was accosted by a turbaned gentleman telling me my fortune, he was very smartly presented, quite impressive and I was complimented and therefore quite tempted, he told me that I had been unlucky in love, and that I would meet the man I would fall in love with in he month of July, it as off course when he asked for money that I came to my senses and told him that as a follower of Jesus I could not consult fortune tellers.   This was turning out to be an interesting day and I hadn't even got as far as the exhibition yet.