Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 31 August 2012


I think I have just had resolution on a situation that was troubling me.  

A old photo but one of my favorites
One of the joys of being left alone this week is that I could get dressed at home, then go out.   On Tuesday morning I had a quick shower and shave sorted out my makeup and jewelry and then I dressed in my white summer dress, all be 10:00 a.m. normally I can't do any of this because of the family being around.   So, I had parked the van in front of the house since although it is a main road I thought I was less likely to see any of the neighbours than in the cul-de-sac behind.

So much for planing, just after I had left the house and had started walking the eighty meters or so to the van one of my neighbours came past, walking in the same direction.   I know she saw, I am pretty sure that she saw which house I came out of, and I am certain that she recognised me.   As S assured me last night I am recognisable.   I have been worried about how to play this.

Well they had asked me to do a bit of work in their garden so after work today I popped round ostensibly to see about making a date to do the job, nothing was said about my unconventional clothing choice on Tuesday, so I will assume that everything is cool.   I am sure she knows but will adopt a don't ask don't tell policy.   Like Meg I will not tell lies, but I don't think I will volunteer the truth this time unless asked.

This is proving quite a week, tonight I am having dinner with my friend B I will be going as him, but will be under-dressed.   There is a strong chance that I shall drink too much to drive home so I am anticipating staying over night, as well as some PJs and tomorrow's work clothes I will be taking an extra change of clothes just in case he is curious.   I know he is pretty cool with the idea and know that he wants to talk about my dressing, but don't know just how accepting he will be, whatever it will be an interesting evening.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A lovely evening

This evening I went out to dinner with my good friend and colleague S.   Regular readers will remember that I came out to her a few months ago, but tonight was the first time she met Paula.   We have been friends for a long time, probably more years than either of us would prefer to admit to, and have been working together for a couple of years now as well, so this was a bit of a risk.   We arranged to meet for dinner before I asked if she would be happy if I came as Paula, and was very pleased when she agreed, her only expressed concern was whether she would recognise me.
I thought it best to not wear anything too outrageous like the leather miniskirt or my purple leopard print tights.   I was sure that my black midi dress with white spots would be perfect.   I added a white leather belt and a white cotton cardigan, I thought I looked pretty good, I worried a little that I was rather overdressed, but then I was going out to dinner.   We met at a pub near the restaurant, and no problem S recognised me straight away, but with some surprise.   Her first comment was "I didn't expect you to be so convincing" YEA, later she modified this to "I didn't expect you to be blond"   I was assured that I looked good and more than that that I passed.   S did say she was surprised how good I looked, which did quite a lot for my ego, certainly rather different to how she sees me at work.   After a couple of drinks we crossed the road to the restaurant, the staff were welcoming and friendly and the other customers ignored us, I think that just like in the pub we were seen as a couple of middle aged women out for the evening.

It was a bit special to just chat with this lovely lady who I have known for so long, but now as another girl; as I observed yesterday the whole dynamic is different.   Somehow I had more freedom to talk about subjects I wouldn't as a man, it was fun to talk about my discoveries of some aspects of being a woman, as well as gossip about work, bands and mutual friends.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Just in Case

Just in case anything happened last night that I was uncomfortable with I made sure that we were meeting somewhere where I am known.   It helps that the Grape and Grain have a range of good beers and wines, some decent food and a nice atmosphere.   Again for my own security I thought important to meet somewhere busy, with plenty of civilians around.   I also thought it best that I drive, that way I knew I had my own independent way f travelling safely home ~ just in case.

Well,, just in case any of you were worried we had a very nice time, just a few drinks and a pleasant chat, a couple of friends getting to know each other a little better.   My new friend is a self admitted admirer and was very complimentary, at all times he treated me like a lady ~ which was nice ~ and behaved impeccably.   I dare say we may meet again when I have a chance but I have to stress that for nothing more than a sociable chat.   The evening was fun, not least because this is the first time I have been out with a man.   I have often been out on my own, with other girls like me and with my friend P, it has to be said that somehow the dynamic of being out with a  man is different still fun, but definitely different.   I worried a lot about what to wear, was this dress too short, would seemed tights be a it of a come on? would jeans be too casual? In the end I decided on my slinky black and white cocktail dress with high heels and sheer black tights, and to stop it looking like I was trying too hard a denim jacket.   I realised that going out with a man I had to be very careful about what signals I was sending with my dress and my body language as well as anything I might say.

So Just in Case any of you were worried about me I had a pleasant, safe evening, I am happy to say I remain unmolested, but had a lot of fun.

Tonight I expect more fun, I will be out to dinner with my friend and coleugue S, she has knwn about Paula fr a while now, but tonight will be the first time she will have met her.   I am looking forward to the experience of being out, spending that time in good company and enjoying some good food.  

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The view from below

I had intended writing a short update on my day out with P, and my preparations, miss givings and anticipation of going out after dinner this evening to meet a "friend" for a drink.   I have put friend in inverted comas simply because I don't know him at all well, I have just seen him at a few of our support group meetings.   I'm not sure what his interest is in girls like me so I have made sure we are meeting at my choice of one of my safe places, and that I will have independent personal transport home.

I trust that this will just be a pleasant evening with a new friend, but as my friend P told me today a girl has to be careful.

Anyway I was exploring some other blogs and came across one I have not seen before, well written and well thought out pieces from the Australian A E Brain.   Because I have written a few times about marriage I thought I would link to this piece, see what you think.

Too Much!

I have almost too much going on at the moment, on top of work, with my family away I am making the most of my time alone.

Yesterday I managed to get a lot of my laundry done, certainly anything I may want to wear this week is now clean, I also came out to one of my long standing friends B.   This is a an I was at school with and shared a flat with for many years I was best man a one of his weddings, the caterer for anther and merely a guest at the third.   He is now living on his own again, I will be meeting him for dinner on Thursday to discuss my dressing, amongst other things.

Today I am off to meet my friend P, she is moving at some point soon so I don't know how many more of these girlie days we will be able to enjoy together so once again I want to make the most of it while I can.   As soon as I have bathed, shaved and dressed I will be off.   And then this evening I will be meeting a friend I met through our support group for a drink.   Now I am not sure what his interest is, as far as I know he is not trans himself so is he an admirer or just interested?   I have arranged to meet him in one of my safe places and will see how the evening develops.

Wednesday evening I will be having dinner with S and now on Thursday dinner with B, at least I won't have much washing up to do before the girls come home.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Still progressing

So, I played Bass last night, all in all not unsuccessful, there were quite a few "bum" notes but considerably less than half, and I woudl say that they were all in the right place.   Given that one of my many theories of music is that a right note in the wrong place is still a wrong note that's not too bad.    While I didn't try anything too fancy because I play the Tuba to a much higher standard I do know how to construct a bass line, which part of the chord to use when and what rhythms to use.   I think I will be doing this again, I also think that I will need a new bass.   The old was in store in an attic for quite some time, the neck is a little warped and as it is a very short neck this leads to some intonation problems that I'm no where near a good enough player to get around.   As I was playing I remembered my earlier post A Work in Progress and just though about how much of my life is still a work in progress even as I approach half way through my sixth decade.

On a different front I hope my planning is going to pay off this week.   Paula will be out all day tomorrow (Tuesday) with P and then out to dinner on Wednesday and maybe Thursday evening as well.   My family will be leaving around midday today so as soon as I get home from a little work today I will start doing my laundry.  I checked by text with my friend S that she would be OK if Paula turned up to dinner on Wednesday her reply was "I don't mind as long as I recognise you" interesting as usually I don't want to be recognised, but I expect I will be OK.

I like to have some idea about what I am going to wear in advance so tomorrow I will be wearing one of my summer dresses, depending on just how warm it is, I have a lovely white floaty dress that I have been dying to wear all year, it has just never been quite the right weather when I have been able to go out, I also bought myself a red and white cotton summer dress at the weekend that I woudl love to wear, I really want some nice comfy white shoes to go with it but I only have some canvass flatties, they may well go I may even have to take advice!

Wednesday evening I am not quite so sure, I don't want to frighten S off the first time she meets Paula, so nothing too outrageous, I expect I will wear my long black cotton jersey dress with white spots.   I can wear this with white or black shoes depending on how warm it is, it doesn't show to much leg and is long enough that my height isn't an issue.   Mind you Paula and S are about the same height and take the same size shoe, indeed S's work boots are actually a size larger than mine as she wanted to allow a bit more space for thick socks.   We have talked about some of my clothing choices I hope it will be fun to show her what it actually means in practice.   Which reminds me I must do some practise, tuba, trombone and now bass as well...........................

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Something new

Every now and then it is good to do something that you have never done before.   Eat something you have never eaten, go somewhere you have never been or just experience something new.   It is one of  the ways we learn, we can learn more about ourselves when we push the boundaries of our comfort zone, trying new things.   I have heard it said that we should try something new every week, but that sounds a bit prescriptive to me, anyway today I will be doing something I have never done before.
I will be playing my bass guitar with the worship band at this evening's service.   I have played bass in all sorts of bands, Worship Bands; Wind Bands; Dixieland Jazz Bands; Polka Bands and Brass Bands but it has always been a Brass Bass, that is a tuba.    Many years ago (probably over 30 years) I did play the bass guitar a few times with a wind band but never progressed beyond that.  

Because I am quite competent on the Tuba and have no particular desire to play rock or swing bass I never really bothered with the technical problems. 20 years ago I went to work at Expo '92 my then girlfriend (now wife) and friend packed up my flat till I returned, the bass guitar only emerged earlier this year.   So it has had a 20 year rest, now restrung and serviced it is ready to play and I am committed, but very much unprepared, to play tonight.

I am not sure what worries me most, that I might make a total hash of it put people off their worship and undermine any reputation I have for musicality, or that I do OK and then have to buy a new bass, an amp and all the other stuff that goes with it.

Friday, 24 August 2012

It's all about the food

We had a lovely night tonight, for her birthday my wife's boss gave her some vouchers for a local Italian restaurant.   Tonight we made use of them, since my daughter is away until tomorrow this is a rare opportunity for my wife and I to go out, just the two of us together.    We had a nice meal and spent some decent time together.   Of course the vouchers only covered about half the cost, but it was still a very nice meal, and a good night out.

I am about to go to bed, in the morning I have some work to do and then another job to look at before quoting, so not sure how much posting I will be doing over the next couple of days.   I will be working on Monday and have a rehearsal in the evening.   On Tuesday I will be spending the day with my friend P, on Wednesday I will be working but in the evening I will be having dinner with my friend S, I hope it will be Paula dinning out!

A Little Planing

Next week my wife and daughter are away for a few days, and you know what they say, "While the Cat's away the mice will play" and this mouse intends to play, at least a little.   The reason why I'm not going with them is simply because I cannot afford to take the time off work during the summer.   This is the time when I should be making the money that will see us through the winter, and a weeks holiday would not only give me the cost of the holiday but also the loss of the income for  a week.

Having said that I had hoped to organise at least a day and a half maybe two whole days off during the week.   The way things are stacking up it looks like it will just be the one day and the evenings.   As I have a commitment on Monday and need to have the house looking respectable for when they come home on Friday so it only looks like a couple of evenings as well.  

One of the problems girls in my situation have is laundry, so one of the first things I plan to do is get my washing done.   One of the reason that we have so many undies is the problem of getting them clean.   Unlike most people I can't just wash and hang them up when ever I want some clean I have to wait until I have at least a full day to wash dry and hide again,this does mean that with almost a full week I will be able to go through my whole wardrobe, washing and ironing whatever need doing.

All in all I am set for a very busy week with plenty of work during the day and lots of Paula activities in the evenings.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A work in Progress

I visited  a garden today that I have not been to for about a year.   Last year I did some work in the back garden but none in the front, there were some plans for a complete make over but nothing much happened.   I put together a plan and did some drawings but then they decided that maybe they would have the front paved to park a car on, in the end nothing at all happened.

Well saying nothing happened is not quite true, a better comment woudl be no one did anything because something did happen, it continued to grow!   A little after we started work today S suggested some before photos should be taken.
These are the photos I took after we had been there for about half an hour.

Several hours later we were still going and the garden was still a mess, however we had found a path a safe route to the front door, and a couple of plants that are worth saving, in the mean time we had filled 12 large sacks with green waste and had several logs.   I have arranged that we can go back and try to turn it into something resembling a garden, however I still think we should dig the whole thing up and start again.
Then before leaving I took some more pictures, these are not really after photos, but definitely "on the way" pictures.
 Maybe next week I will have some more pictures, of something more closely resembling a garden.
Mind you at risk of sounding a bit like a Radio 4 "Thought for the Day" I am reminded that we too are all works in progress.   I probably should write a long and well thought out explanation of that statement, but sorry that's about all you're getting
Oh yes and by the way last night I agreed to play electric bass on Sunday evening, that may not sound much but I haven't actually played bass for over thirty years!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


I have been delaying writing this as I am still not entirely sure what I think.   But I do feel hat I should comment, I know I am not a TV critic (a critical TV maybe but that's another story) but having given the show a boost here I think I should comment.

The other evening I (along with 5.3 million others)  watched Accused, the TV show where Sean Bean plays a transvestite, and ends up in court accused of Murder.   The writing and performances were strong, but did I enjoy the show? well yes I did, the reservations that I have are based more on the design than anything else.

Bean was not visually convincing as a cross dresser, the choice of wig and clothing coupled with his masculine features meant that no one would ever be in any doubt as to his birth gender.   While it is true that we all desire to be desired, to be sexy, we also generally will choose to blend as much as possible.   The "Holy Grail" of cross dressing is to pass, that is to pass as being of the gender which we choose to present.   Tracie (the Bean character) would never pass, both the hem lines and the heels were too high, the whole presentation was just too flamboyant.   This coupled with some of the dialogue also made Tracie come across as a sexual predator.   For example dressed in spangly mini-dress and fright wig, the burly Tracie asked a bartender for a "multiple orgasm".
"On the rocks?" he asked mechanically.
"Wherever, darling," she quipped back, "I'm easy."

However there was a good effort at showing both the vulnerability of the character, and the differences between Tracie and her male self.   Primarily a difference in self confidence and fulfilment.   Bean in particular seems to have made a major effort to make this as sympathetic a portrayal as possible a couple of times showing the fear and powerlessness that many of us have experienced.  But, overall it has to be remembered that this is a play about betrayal, extramarital affairs and honesty in which a character is a transvestite, not a study of transgenderism.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Laundry Blues

Yesterday I said I had no energy, even to misbehave, well I did manage to find a little energy.   Paula's Wardrobe is in fact a couple of suitcases and they needed a quick going through and sort out.   If the weather holds I have a pair of white linen trousers I want to wear later in the week and they had a couple of marks on them so I thought I woudl quickly run the through the washing machine, along with a couple of white blouses.   While they were doing I washed my wig, juts as I finished this and hung it up to dry I had a text message from my wife saying she was on her way home.   This just gave me time to clear everything away, switch the washing machine to spin and get those clothes out and some other (more acceptable to her) trousers in.

This does high light one of the problems of my position, laundry.   I think one of the reasons I have so much underwear is that there are so few occasions when I can wash them, and this of course also applies to outer garments.   Keeping them in suitcases rather being able to hag them up also means that I have some lovely dresses that need to be ironed each and every time I want to wear them.   As a general principle I tend to the "life is too short to iron" point of view, but if it is that or a very crumpled dress, then sometime I just have to.

One of the things I am looking forward to next week when both my ladies are away is doing my washing!
Some like it hot but I'm of one of them! Work wise I prefer hot to wet thought and so over the last couple of weeks I have been working flat out trying to catch up o all the work that piled up while it was raining. I have just worked three consecutive six day weeks, and I have now almost caught up with myself, every time I think I have caught up something else emerges that has been waiting for me to do, so I will not go further that almost.

Yesterday I actually got a little time in my own garden. My wife and daughter were both out and I was sitting in the lounge watch Carry on Follow that Camel when I managed to work up the energy to cut the grass, this was a little difficult as our Hibiscus Tree had fallen over the grass. So I drove in a stake and tied it back, now I just have to hope that it will stay that way. As the space underneath now looked a little bare I popped in my last pair of busy lizzies, by the time I had done this lot it was beginning t get dark and was time to eat.

I know this doesn't sound like much, but it is the first bit of work I have managed in my own garden for so long, I wonder if I may have turned a corner.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The other side

Sometimes I think "Stop the World and let me get off" I'm sure we all have those thoughts from time to time.   Life can get on top of us, at the moment I am working what feels like every waking moment, I have lots on and while the weather hold I feel I should do it, that means I have been working another six days on the trot.   When I got home yesterday evening I had a long soak in the bath with a cold beer, ate and pretty much went to bed.   Unfortunately I had several disturbances during the night, including being bitten by a mozzie.

After that I think I would have opened that door.   At least I had some time to catch up on my sleep and didn't wake up till 11:45 this morning.   I have lots t do round the house but can't quite find the energy, I have the place to myself with my wife at a craft event and my daughter away, but I can't even work up the energy to misbehave, so I am flaked out on the sofa watching "Carry on Follow that Camel"

Not sure that it is one of thier best but still lots of, mostly, harmless fun.   I think this is the only Carry on Filn with Phil Silvers, of course playing the Sergeant.   The male love interest is played by Jim Dale, one of the few regular members of the team who not only looked normal, but could be a credible male lead.   Sometimes I wonder what happened to him after the carry on films, he never seemed to quite find the parts he deserved.

Maybe I will find a bit of energy later and cut the grass, or one of the other hundred or so jobs that are waiting to be done, or maybe I won't.........................................


I received an e-mail the other day just titled Rochester, I assumed it was something to do with the diocese, this is not unreasonable for me since I was on the Synod and am currently on the committee of the RSCM.   I forgot that I also have a customer ( a Methodist Minister) who lives on Rochester Avenue, and it was about their garden.  
Of course many people will think first of Mr Rochester the bigamist and love interest in Jane Eyre.   I was put in mind of him earlier today listening to Woman's Hour on BBC Radio four as they discussed suitable holiday reading, there was much discussion as to the character of Rochester, and Jane's suitability as a feminist icon.   Personally I find the Brontes generally quite hard work,needing a bit more reader input than I am prepared to give.

Mrs T Herself
Next month I am playing in a last night of the proms style concert in Basingstoke, the music has just been sent through to me so I could have a look at it before actually having to play on the day.   Even a quick glance immediately told me that I would be using my EEb, the register and the keys just scream EEb, on the CC every single piece would be bit harder, and on the BBb a lot harder.   This means that at some point I will have to go up into the attic and get my trusty old customised Besson down.   We have quite a small house so I only have the CC (which is in a very large case) and what ever other instrument is in useat the time in the house, the others along with mutes and stuff live in the attic.

Over the last couple of years I have used the CC as my main instrument, but the EEb comes down quite often, when the parts are higher or more active.   I have also had quite a few occasions to play the Trombone and the Euphonium, but the poor old BBb ~ Mrs T Herself ~ has not been down for a couple of years.   I am beginning to feel a bit like Mr Rochester keeping my mad first wife in the attic while I dally with younger prettier models downstairs.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Mear meanderings

The suns been out, the rain has only been falling during the night and break times so I have been hard at it.   Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, no wonder I ache.   Pretty much non-stop work does that to me, this evening when I got home my back ached, my arms aches, my shoulders ached, and even my legs ached.   This seemed a bit extreme so I added up the chargeable hours I have worked so far this month, and so far I have got to 110 hours, OK that is the number of hours the business has worked and in all we have had 18 man (and woman) days, but that is still a pretty high work rate.

I need to work an average of 6 hours 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year, this means that when the chance is there I have to do the extra hours, it also helps when I have some one working for me then I can actually make a little profit.   Not sure what the point of all this is other than to say that so far this week my business has worked seven days, five of them by a 53 year old bloke, one by a 53 year old woman, and one by a 20 year old girl.   Normally the woman (S) would have been working with me today,  but she had been inveigled into going shopping with the Mother of the younger woman, who wanted some new suits for the new job she is starting net month.   I understand that this lady has a talent for persuading people to buy clothes that left to their own devices they would not even try on, so I commissioned her to try and get S to buy a dress.   I have known S for over 30 years and I can't remember the last time I saw her wearing a dress, she is quite feminine, and sometimes can get close to elegant, but she always wears trousers.

If successful I offered to pay for dinner, after all I thought when we go out for dinner in a couple of weeks one of us should be wearing a dress.   Since no dress was bought it looks like it may have to be me that wears the dress, I'm still not totally sure if S will a be up for this, I shall check with her before hand as I don't want to cause any embarrassment.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be working again, and next week I currently have eight days work scheduled for Monday - Friday, maybe I will catch up soon.   I hope so as the week after I want to have at least one full day off, and maybe an afternoon as well.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

New Toys

I belong to an online forum where there is a pretty permanent thread titled "What did you buy today?" of course what they have in mind are girlie clothes, makeup or jewelry.   At the very least something related to cross dressing, after all that is the main subject of the forum.   Today I have spent a small fortune on new toys.  

On Saturday it is my daughters birthday, for ages she has been lusting after a proper digital SLR.   She had more or less set her heart on a Cannon, but I felt we should at least have a look around and see what else is on the market, and make sure that whatever we did get does what she wanted and was comfortable to use.   I didn't have too much on this afternoon so we took a little trip to our local camera warehouse.   All the staff there know their stuff and are very helpful.   Since they are enthusiasts they don't mind spending time chatting.   I'm glad we did since when we tried them all we ended up with a Nikon.   It was a good deal and she is happy with how it feels and operates.

I also bought myself a new toy.   I now have three chain saws, two of them won't even start, I tried to get them repaired but was told that they are too old and the parts aren't available.   I suspect that they are perfectly repairable but I don't have the time or the inclination to try myself.   After a fair it of consideration I decided it was easier and probably cheaper to just buy a new one.   I have a couple of jobs looming where I could really do with it, indeed it will probably hit payback within a few weeks.   There is also the element that knowing I have it available I know I can take on pretty much any job now.

I now have a working chain saw, hedge trimmer and strimmer, next I need to sort out my mowers.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Questions Questions

Joey asked eleven questions, he has already answered another eleven, and now asks us to answer these eleven.
1. Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? As a Christian I always endeavor to forgive, I think it also helps to forget, but that's harder still. I do know from my own personal experience that I am a nicer, calmer more settled person when I forgive, holding grudges only hurts the person holding the grudge, most f the time the person who has done the perceived wrong does not even realise that they have offended, that they need forgiving, or indeed that they are the recipient of somebodies resentment.
2. If your blog had a theme song, what would it be? Why? I am tempted to say Lou Reed's Take a Walk on the Wild Side, for all the obvious reason, I am also tempted to say either the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony or the Cesar Frank second symphony because they are my favorite pieces of music, but the piece I would say most matches Paula's place has to be Ibert's Divertissement.   I really want you to listen to this then you will understand why.   When  I was about ten or eleven my Mother took me to some family concerts and they played the Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals,   I wanted a record of this, my mother was worried that I would be disappointed as there was no narration on the record, she never has understood my love of music, and never will.   On the B side of this album was the Ibert Divertissement, I loved it then and have loved it ever since.
3. What is the most daring thing you've done recently? This is a tricky one, most people would say that going out in public dressed in clothes that were designed for members of the other gender was pretty daring, but that does not seem so adventurous these days, it just seems the natural thing to do.  Way back in the day, when I rode motorbikes there were some pretty adventurous trips around Europe and when I first stood up in front of a band that felt pretty daring but now that too feels natural, it's all about confidence.   Starting my own business was really scary, now I can't imagine working any other way.   So what is recently? I may have pushed my comfort zone a little at work taking on jobs that I did not fully understand, I may have been sight reading on the stand in performance, but this is what I do, in trying to answer this question I realise that it is a long time since I have been truly daring.   Maybe it is not the season for me to be daring I have done plenty of that stuff already, maybe now is a time for settled
4. Do you like your life right now? YES
5. What was the last lie you told? The answer to the last question
6. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? I don't have a rear view mirror, I drive a van, if I did have a rear view mirror, nothing would hang from it.   When I drive my wife's car I remove anything hanging there.   I can be a bit obsessive I do not like stickers in car windows, I do not like danglies I like the dash board clear and everything safely stowed in pockets glove boxes etc.   I am so bad that I keep a paint brush in my van to dust the dashboard and instrument binnacle.
7. Do you consider yourself successful?  When considering success it is difficult not to compare yourself to your siblings, both my brothers have more money than they spend, good pensions, secure jobs nice homes etc. etc. I am self employed in a low pay trade, I struggle to service my debts, some days my wife doesn't seem to like me much, but I enjoy what I do, I have an outlet for my musical creativity, and I have a daughter I love, I reckon I'm pretty successful, and according to Darwin since I'm the only one with a child I'm more successful than either of my brothers.
8. What was the first music album that you bought? See no.2 above.   For those of you over a certain age Music for Pleasure MFP2041 Felix Slatkin conducting the Concert Arts Orchestra, and yes I still have and it still plays.
9. Do you feel you express your "true self" on your blog? WOW, sometimes, sometimes not, but then I suppose that is the nature of blog like mine, indeed part of the object of this blog was to find out who my "true self" is.
10. Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere?   I have in the past, the last guy I gave a lift to smelt bad and that has rather put me off, I think I would also take account of where I was going, who I was with and maybe most importantly for me how I was dressed.  

11. Have you ever acted like you understood something when you didn't have a clue?   Haven't we all, I can't think of an example right now, but I am sure that there have been many occasions when I simply haven't dared to admit to my levels of ignorance.   Whether it is a theory of wastes management, or the cultivation of plant I've not heard of, it takes a lot of self confidence to admit ignorance.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Not a lot

I'm not entirely sure who first coined the phrase "You'll like this, not a lot, but you'll like it" I think it was Paul Daniels the conjurer, any way that's more or less how I feel about self portrait photos taken on a mobile phone in a mirror, I like them, not a lot......

This is one I took on Saturday night, It doesn't show the full glory of my lovely dress, but then that's the nature of these photos.

Yesterday (Monday) and today I have just been working, and it looks like that is the way it's going to be for the next few days.   Yesterday was work, and a rehearsal in the evening, today was just work.   Working with my friend S we managed 14 chargeable hours, which means more like 9 hours work each, once you add in travelling time, tea breaks and stuff.   At the end of the day we still had a new job to look at and quote for, by then we were so dog tired that the only sensible response was to stop for a pint, or two!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Saturday night's alright

Yesterday (Saturday) was very busy with some work in the morning, before clearing out the van ready for the morning.   Only after that was all done could I start to think about going out in the evening.   As the evening cooled down a little I made my decision and wore my cotton jersey black dress with white spots.   I teamed this with some open toe court shoes and a white cardigan, quite light weight short with three quarter length sleeves, as well as keeping my shoulders warm this also covered up a lot of scratches I had acquired earlier in the day.

I was a bit annoyed I had managed to go a whole week and my arms and hands were looking good, then on the morning I am going out I managed to break two nails and scratch my arms.   Maybe this just shows how shallow I am.   After missing last months meeting it was good to see the girls again, catch up a bit, our meetings tend to be of a very social nature, not least by the nature of the venue (a nice friendly pub) and sometimes we discuss some quite important issues, but always within the social environment and not breaking the friendly atmosphere.

We used to meet in a gay pub, but for one reason or another the licensee has decided that she n longer wants to be known as a gay pub, bu wants to appeal to the whole community, what has actually happened is that she has ostracised most f her existing customers without getting any new ones.   The pub we now meet in is a nice friendly pub which in the words of the landlady is "for all the public"   I gather that the previous owners were Irish and it was known as an Irish Pub, when the customers found that the new owners were Asian they all went elsewhere.   Now the customers seem to reflect the community around them.   Since we have been going there we have always been treated with courtesy and respect.   Some of pass very well, some may cause some confusion, and lets be honest some are blokes in a dress, but so far we have all be welcomed by all, I think this is a tribute to the owner and the customers alike.   Last night there was a bit of party as one young lad was celebrating his birthday with his friends, one of them came over and tried to chat with us, but was very self conscious.   I suspect that he won a bet which involved a couple of pints, but we were all quite happy.   Maybe I should have tried to talk him into buying a round.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Nice Tan

Like I say I had a lovely day yesterday, particularly sitting my the pool enjoying the sun, the tea and the conversation.   I remember at one point P moved her chair into the shade I stayed in the sun, "enjoying the feeling of the sun on bit that don't usually see the sun".   This morning when I got up and looked in the mirror I realised that maybe this wasn't such a good idea, I had strap marks!

Today was back to reality, starting with weeding in ground so wet and "gloopy" that it slurped every time I stuck my fork in, later I ended up wearing wellies clearing out a lot of rather nasty sludge from the bottom of a pond that needs some repairs.   Lots of nasty rotting leaves, but I had to go through it all by hand, just to make sure that any newts living there were rescued.   I found several little newts and a couple of large frogs so the effort was worthwhile.   Having cleared out the pool on Monday I start the serious repairs.   Tomorrow I have a bit a tree work to do, not sure how much yet but hopefully no more than a couple of hours, as in the evening I have a support group meeting and I have to settle  the important question of what to wear.

There are all sorts of choices, I could go sensible with jeans and a top, or maybe a nice cool cotton print dress, or then again I could go with an LBD or cocktail dress, I just can't make up my mind, but I will have to before tomorrow evening.

As an aside I have come to the conclusion that it is no longer accurate to talk about mobile phones, they are no longer just phones, and neither are they just for when we leave the house or office.   For many people they are the prime phone, and are used extensively for Internet activity and ext messaging, as well as radio, camera, calculator and games console.   Trying to come up with a more appropriate term I suggested Personal Communications Devise, the only trouble is that when abbreviated to PCD it sounds vaguely something that woudl require attendance at a special clinic for treatment.

Hope you all have a good weekend ~ I will

Friday, 10 August 2012

In the Pink

Well I had a lovely day, after doing a bit of paper work I slipped into my pink linen dress and made my way down into Sussex to see my friend P.   The plan was to have a little lunch and then visit a Garden centre to pick up some plants for a couple of my customers, as things worked out we combined things and had lunch at the garden centre.   I had a very nice slice of Camembert and spinach quiche but by the time we had finished they had run out of scones, and P had set her heart on scones and cream.   We had a look around and bought some plants, I wanted a Cistus (one of my favorite flowering shrubs) and a Phlox, I managed to get a Cistus but the only Phlox they had where alpines.

Rather than going back to P's house we moved a little further into what passes for countryside until we came across the Hotel where P had her wedding reception, still pining for scones we stopped for tea, I think we were the only customers and received friendly personal service form the owner, nothing seemed to be too much trouble for the "two girls".   We sat out by the pool and just enjoyed the company the setting and the tea and scones.   For once I remembered to take a camera and got P to take a couple of photos, I might say that I was squinting because I was looking into the sun but that wouldn't explain the bad posture, anyway I will talk to my lawyers and we will be suing P later.
Times like this make you realise what life can be like with not too much effort.   It really isn't that hard to have a day off every now and then, and there are some really nice, fun things we can do without having to spend a fortune.

Back to reality after doing a little housework on P's computer I had to get changed head back to home and the Doctor's.   I am officially still alive and I am allowed a new epipen, something I hope never to use, but want to have about me just in case I do need it.

As I said I had a lovely day, while I am sure I woudl still have enjoyed it however I was dressed, I am also sure that I enjoyed especially the lunch and tea much more as one of a couple of girls than I woudl have as a bloke.   Not because of the way P treats me, more the way I feel and the way others treat me.   I am sure that a man and a woman receive a quite different sort of attention to two women, and I rather like that.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


A Gallimaufry is a "Confused jumble or medley of things" well that's a pretty good description of how this post may well work out, I first came across the word as the title of a suite of music for concert band by Guy Woolfenden.  If you do listen to this make sure your speakers are not set too low as the start is very quite.   My band has played this a few times including winning performances at the National Wind Band Festival and in the opening concert of a conference in front of the composer, so no pressure then!

There was an anonymous comment on yesterday's post
I only started reading because I thought you said "Fisting" in the title. Now I see this about something else. Never mind... I think I can see why the comment was anonymous.
I received this by e-mail this morning and enjoyed it so much I thought I would share it with you, insurance rarely raises a smile but this did with me


Make sure you get the Correct Insurance for the sex you are having.
Please find a list of companies below catering for most tastes:
  • Sex with your wife - Legal & General.
  •  Sex on the telephone - Direct Line.
  •  Sex with your Partner - Standard Life.
  •  Sex with someone Different - Go Compare.
  •  Sex with a lady of generous proportions - More Than.
  •  Sex On the back seat of a car - Sheila's Wheels.
  •  Sex with a posh bird - Privileged.
  •  Sex with an OAP - Saga !
  •  Sex with a transvestite - !
For my transcontinental readers these are all highly advertised British insurance companies.
Today I just have a few things I have to do at home (printing invoices and washing up, that is the sort of exiting life I lead), then some plant shopping, maybe a hair cut, and if I'm lucky I will have lunch out, it's a nice day but not too hot so maybe  will at last be able to get out one of my summer dresses.    I also have a Doctor's appointment this evening so that will mean another quick change, but it is time I actually met my Doctor.   We changed surgery over six months ago and I have yet to go there.
As for my earlier post, I don't know what was my imagination, or who is the most confused but I think for my next visit it will be big pants, or boxers, lets keep things professional.

Very slick

I have just got back from my appointment with my osteopath, and I am still trying to work out just how to describe the experience.   I have to say that maybe this particular post should have a parental warning attached!   I may have mentioned that he is a tall good looking guy, an artist and Bonsai grower, he is also a married and a father.   We have an easy relationship discussing
family, holidays, the Olympics and whatever else may be current.   I say all this just to set the scene a little.

As I planed I had a shower and got rid of as much surplus hair as I could, I changed into some very nice, but rather too skimpy pink flowery panties, and wore my new black blouse and my M &S trouser suit with sheer trouser socks and ankle boots.   Given that I was also wearing one of my ladies watches, lip gloss and eye makeup and had my toes nails a nice dark cherry colour there could be no mistake about my gender confusion.   As I was waiting to go in I worried that what started as a bit of a tease may be getting out of control, as I was all too aware that the skimpiest of my panties was risking, erm, exposure.   He was running very late and i had the last appointment it must have been over 45 minutes after my appointment that I went in, this just served to give me more time to consider what may happen, had I gone to far?

Well as I stripped down to my panties I was aware that he was watching me, but then he would wouldn't he? you know want to see how I was moving was I stiff anywhere that sort of thing, well as I stripped off and stood up my worst fears as to the skimpiest of the panties was confirmed, I quickly tucked everything back away and hoped that I hadn't embarrassed myself too much

I know the feeling
So laid out on my front on the massage back was gradually eased with teh use of strong fingures and lots of oil, then a lot of attention on my lower back, this meant he had to roll the waist of my panties down a bit, then my legs.   I am sure that more attention than previously was paid to my legs, my feet and toes, calves and all the way up.   Then the same thing on my front, then the back of my legs again, this time with my panties right down to allow free access to what they woudl normally over.   While I have to say that nothing inappropriate happened, I do know that his hands did brush bits, and maybe more to the point I found the whole experience very relaxing, very pleasurable, and yes, more than a little erotic, for this the physical evidence was something he could not have failed to notice. 

I have another appointment in two weeks time, I am looking forward to this, but I must prepare myself..........................

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Fasting, opportunities and somethig new to worry about

Firstly may I thank you all for you best wishes for my daughter, I do very much appreciate them.   For obvious reason I can't tell my daughter about them specifically but have been able to say that a lot of people have been praying and have sent their best wishes.   I firmly believe that this helps.   Physically she appears to be in perfect health again, however we are pushing for further investigations and some "talking therapy".   The more we think about her the more certain we are in our own minds that these episodes are panic attacks, but I still want professional reassurance, and some treatment for her.   I had a full day's work lined for both myself and S so I had to be out all day, but my wife has her half day on Tuesdays so could spend most of the day with at home with our daughter.   Tomorrow she will be with friends, and I think it will be good for her to get back into her social swing and activity.   Our Church is having on-going events around the Olympics and she is scheduled to be helping with some of them for the rest of the week.

I have just completed at least my eleventh consecutive day dressed solely in male clothes (I have to exclude jeans from this as I only have female jeans).   This was not some form of challenge or any other sort of exercise, it has just happened that way.   Sometimes our priorities are elsewhere or circumstances coincide so that opportunities do not come up.   Of course there have been decisions involved, I could have underdressed on a number of occasions but have chosen not too.   At the start of the paragraph I said "at least" this is because I cannot precisely date the last occasion I wore an item of female attire.
I can say that tomorrow I will have some time spare, I will be dressing to at least some extent for at least part of the day, and as I will be visiting my osteopath I suspect he would now be disappointed if I turned up in boring drab grey shreddies!   To match my toe nails I have selected a nice pink flowery pair of panties with lace around the legs and waist, I also plan that my entire ensemble will be fem, but not ostentatiously so certainly no makeup wig or boobs, what I actually wear will depend on the weather.   Then on Thursday I have the entire day to myself, no work commitments and no family around, I can do what I like where I like dressed how I like ~ until 7:00 in the evening when I have to see my Doctor. we changed practise a while back and they will not renew my prescription fr an "epipen" without seeing me.   Apparently they have nothing on my file about it, which is rather worrying.

Monday, 6 August 2012


I normally prepare my posts during the day or evening and then schedule them for publication early in the morning (GMT), so that last post was written at various times yesterday, finishing off at early this morning.

As an update my wife and daughter returned home in the early hours of the morning after my daughter had been checked over and released as being OK.   Once again all the tests showed everything to be OK, this morning she was subdued, tired but basically alright.   By this afternoon she was complaining about being confined to home, some friends came round but I just felt that after last night's drama it was better that she stayed here.   There has been a bit of stress around and we are now wondering if these episodes might be panic attacks, or something of that nature.   Anyway she has been referred back to a specialist team, so hopefully we will get a solid diagnosis and then some appropriate treatment.

Things like this serve to remind us where our priorities really lie, fortunately I had already arranged that I would not be going out to work today while my van was having some (expensive) work done, this meant I could stay at home with her without either my wife or I letting anyone else down.   It also meant that I had to put up with more "Glee" and "CSI" than anyone should have to in one day.   I haven't got everything done that I planned, but then the important part turned out to be being home.

A Bear Behind

Not this teddie
The other day my wife decided that one of my teddies needed washing, this was very nice of her as it is something that I would probably not have noticed, however the teddie in question had a little device inside that would squeak "I love you" every time he got squeezed.   To save injury she decided on surgery removed the squeaker, and his green satin heart and attached his back, back together with safety pins.   That was about a week ago so tonight I gave in and sewed him back up.   He is now all safely joined up at the back, complete with heart in place and properly dressed in a pair of quite fetching boxer shorts, he is however now mute.   This bear is particularly precious to me since a couple of years ago he was made for me as a Valentines day present by my daughter at the Bear Factory in Cardiff, when one of our periodic trips down there coincided with valentines day.
This Teddie

I had written this post up to this point earlier today so as to have something ready for posting in the morning, but this evening we have had a bit of a drama which may effect what I am doing for the net few days at least.   On her way home from Church this evening my daughter had some sort of fit, so we called 999 and she has been taken into one of the local Hospitals for assessment and observation.   All the tests the paramedic and on ambulance nurse could do showed everything as normal, but she was in spasm and very weak and rather frightened.   My wife has gone in with her and left me at home beside myself with worry.   While I have every confidence that she is basically fit and strong, like any parent I am worried, and at a time like this very grateful for the prayers and support of our friends.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Two eggs and a sausage please

I have been watching a bit of the Olympics today (Saturday), I still can't get too excited about it all but there is something inspiring about watching people doing their absolute best.   I do find I am a little uncomfortable about just how partisan the crowds seem to be.   Somehow this just doesn't seem to be very British never mind fitting in with the Olympic ideal.   I would love to think that we were supporting all the competitors in their sporting achievements, maybe especially the underdogs.   I was heartened when Steve Redgrave voiced some reservations about just how partisan the crowd down at Eton Dorney was this morning, there is never an excuse for not applauding an honest competitor.
The USA Broze Medal Winners
Since this was the first free Saturday I have had for quite some time I got up at the crack of noon and watched some rowing while eating breakfast, I was rather glad that I had finished eating by the time of the men's coxless four medal ceremony, it might have put me off my sausage.   Now I can understand that the Lycra outfits may help the sporting performance, but they do nothing to hide the excitement of the moment, and I may be mistaken but it looked to me as though at least one of the USA rowers was quite excited about receiving his medal.

I am also a little disappointed that the BBC does not seem to be celebrating personal achievements, and good third and fourth places, if the competing is more important that winning then Britain's greatest Olympian is Eddie Edwards.   Yes it is great to win, I know this from the number of times I lost when I was actively involved in sport, but surely every Olympian deserves celebration, and those who exceed their own previous best achievements even more.   In most sports beating yourself should be better than beating the other guy.

Having said all that the British girls who won the lightweight sculls are new stars, their joy, and surprise at winning, and the way all the medal winners genuinely congratulated each other was most heartening.

Word Verification

I have just been surfing around the blogosphere and on quite a few of the blogs I visited I wanted to leave a comment, after all that is a large part of the blogging experience, the comments that the readers leave.   When it works there will be a whole conversation triggered off by something the blogger writes, then readers comment on that and on what others have commented.   This is what makes blogs special. the involvement, the conversation, as bloggers we are the first writers to get that immediate feedback from readers, but more than that when it works well we can start to build some sort of rapport and relationship with our readers.

So that is why I have just turned off the Blogger Word Verification for Paula's Place, I wanted to comment but after a while the whole verification thing became a pain in the place where you don't want a pain.   We will see if I am overrun with bots giving me spam then I may have to turn it back on, but in the mean time...........well.................tell me what you think

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Funny old time

I am going through an odd time at the moment, I have been really busy this week at work, but not a lot going on socially, so I have been getting home from work absolutely exhausted, sitting down and falling asleep, many other weeks I would have been going out somewhere or another, doing something, playing, rehearsing or at some meeting or another.   Not having to go out in the evening meant that I could catch up on all the work I have not been doing because of the rain.  This is such a good feeling after months of being behind, I think I now only have one or two jobs where I need to be playing catch up.

The other side of this is that I have a much less busy week coming up.   On Monday the van goes into the garage for a bit of work, as long as they get it finished on Monday I have a busy Tuesday working with S, Wednesday I just have one appointment during the day and one in the evening with my osteopath.   Thursday I am totally free and Friday is once again busy.   There is plenty of paperwork to keep me busy Monday, but Wednesday and Thursday I can relax or go out and play, up to me.   I had hoped to meet up with S on Wednesday evening but she is already otherwise engaged, I think Thursday may well be a day out for Paula.

As I have said a couple of times over this last week the compulsion to be Paula has not been so strong, but the chance of a day out is still very attractive, maybe a garden or museum trip on my own or perhaps lunch with P, either way it should be fun.   Meg has been writing about how much she enjoyed some girlie time with her friend Aeify, I too find that the times I have out in the company of my GG friends have been the best!

Wardrobe note, I have now gone at least eight days without wearing any women's clothes other than jeans (they're the only ones I have) and I am still sane and have no problems that couldn't be solved with £20,000 and two weeks in the sun.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hair envy

There was a time in my life when an extension just meant that the bar would be staying open longer.   I know that for my younger readers this may not make much sense, but for the rest of you this will tell you something of the bloke I used to be.   What has brought this to mind is seeing my daughter with extensions in her hair. They do look a lot more realistic than I expected, but it does seem odd to suddenly see her with her hair 10 inches longer than it was ten minutes before hand.

There is also the element that she dyes her hair, so I now have to get used to my 15 year old daughter, looking voluptuous and with long blond hair, this is all very confusing, not least because there is a bit of me that woudl like that hair as well.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

It's nice to say Thank You

Yesterday I spent a little time helping our Church youth leader pick up a couple of sofas for the youth group's meeting room.   Nothing special just an hour or so with the van, this is the sort of little thing that I am more than happy to help out with.   Its nice to be able to help, to use what I have to save others expense time or problems, so I didn't really think much more about it.   That is I didn't thin much more about it until said Youth Leader popped round this evening to say thank you, along with a tray of toffee.

I like toffee, but haven't had any for ages, but  more to the point it is nice when people say thank you.   When I do help I don't do it for the thanks, but it just makes you feel so good when somebody does than you, it is an acknowledgement that you have done something extra, that you have put yourself out and that your help is valued.   As well as enjoying the toffee I feeling really good and valued, because he took the trouble to say thank you.

A lesson for all of us, sometimes it is nice to say thank you.   It is simple and it doesn't cost anything so lets all remember when somebody does something for us lets thank them.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A new Lie

I would like to add a new lie to my list of he Great 21st Century Lies, this one is
"Clump forming Bamboo suitable for small gardens"

Bamboo is lovely stuff, it makes a nice screen, moves in the breeze and sounds very interesting as it does move. however unless you measure the size of your garden in acres in is too small for bamboo.   There is a garden on the south coast of Cornwall, I think it is Trilithic, where they have a maze made from bamboo called the bamboozle, this is lots of fun and very elegant as well, but unless you have a whole valley to play with resist the bamboo.

Yesterday I was occupied removing bamboo from a garden where the owner had believed the label that said, "will not spread" ~ it lied!
They can now actually see their garden, by local standards this is actually quite a big garden, and rather than remove the bamboo altogether I have moved further down the garden away from the patio to a place where it will screen an ugly bit of fence, and not matter too much as it spreads.