Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Still glad I'm British

But the good old US of A have scored one back, have a  look at this it seems quite encouraging, what a complicated place the US is.   Thanks Stana for pointing out the article.

Tired and wandering

I have just got home, it's almost 3.00 a.m. and obviously I am a little tired.   This evenings concert went well, a small orchestra (well more of a band really) and a small choir but some great soloists.   Two sopranos sang very well, and a good young trumpet player also did a couple of slots.   The main feature though was a sequence of "Last night of the Proms" numbers at the end with lots of communal singing.   Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and considered it a great success.

Of course everything could not just go swimmingly, when I got to the venue at just gone ten this morning I found I had left my wallet at home, no matter I thought I won't need any money till I'm on the way home and they had promised me expenses.   My plan was to change into my LBD for the journey home, stopping at the Starbucks on the A3 just north of Guildford for a coffee and maybe a slice of cake.   All went well until I opened my small brown envelop and found......a cheque!   By this point I had already changed so I just came home, but of course had to change again, and then I will have to change yet again to go to bed.   Life would be so much simpler without this compulsion!

So that one is over, in the morning my daughter is singing at Church, and then in the evening it's my wife's turn, neither of them will be at our worship team meeting on Thursday as my daughter is singing in a concert at her school, so I have rehearsals on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, my wife has meetings on Tuesday and Thursday, my daughter has a concert on Thursday, and then on Friday morning I'm off on a long weekend.   Is this normal? I'm sure other peoples lives can't be this complex, can they?

Anyway enough meanderings, I'm off to bed now, hopefully I will be able to craft a more cogent post tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today (Saturday) I have a long day, starting early so I can be in Basingstoke for 10:00 when we start rehearsals for a concert this evening.   There does not look as though there will be much in the programme that I should find too taxing so I plan to take a book, and maybe my laptop.

Rehearsals and the concert will take up the whole day and evening. The nice people putting on the concert did offer accommodation but since I will be away from home for a couple of nights next weekend I decided to drive home after the concert.   If I am not too tired I will be travelling pretty, however since if I don't feel up to changing that will mean driving up the A3 in a tatty old Transit wearing a dinner jacket I'm not sure which woudl be more incongruous.

I did manage to snatch a couple of hours Paula time yesterday evening, but these snatch moments just show me how much I need the more extended times.   somehow I have managed to give myself a day off next Friday, I plan to visit Wells Cathedral and do a bit of tourist stuff in the area.   I shall of course be spending the day as Paula, but I also plan to book an inexpensive Hotel for the night so I can dine, sleep, awake and have breakfast the same way before carrying on to Cardiff to see my Mother.   I am now looking forward to next weekend almost as much as my holiday at the end of October.   In the mean time the following weekend I have an event on the Saturday that I have to attend in deepest Kent, but I still hope that I will be able to get back to Croydon in time for the support group meeting.

Why is that what ever I try to do my life always ends up being at least a little bit frantic

I will write a little more about the journey and the performance wen the dust as settled and I have regained some equilibrium on Sunday.

Friday, 28 September 2012

More jobs

When I got back from Seville, we got married on the first Saturday available at the local registry office ~ at the time we were not practising members of any church and thought it hypocritical t get married in a church just for some nice photos, but that's a story for another day.

Marriage concentrated my mind and brought me to the decision that I ought to get a proper job, with a salary and a pension, you know be responsible.   While I was looking for something I went back to temping, more driving, warehousing, a bit of office work but mostly light industrial stuff.   Eventually I got a job with the Spastics Society running non retail businesses, soon TSS changed it's name to Scope and my job title to recycling manager, this was a very rewarding and productive period in my career, I feel I built a good solid, sound business that would generate sustainable funds for a charity I believe in.   After a few years I also felt that I had gone as far with the business as I could, it needed somebody else to manage the next stage, and as I was offered a decent job in the commercial sector it seemed only polite to accept.   After another job in commercial side of recycling I set up on my own.   Thus ended my third career.

In theory I now have three businesses, Gardening, music and (this always cracks me up as I remember the sopranos) as a Waste Management consultant.   At the moment I can't imagine doing anything else, but then again 10 years ago I couldn't have imagined where I woudl be today.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Big Jobs

A note on jobs, the other day I listed 17 jobs I have done so far, now the surprising thing may be that that was not a complete list.   That having been said i have not had that many employers.

Leaving school at 17 after taking "O" levels and deciding to opt out of "A"s I joined a bank and stayed with them for over three years.   This was the sort of job my Mother wanted for me, clean, secure, well pensioned, everything her generation thought important.   Although I had done well at "O" level stage (Equivalent to GCSEs to my younger readers) I was rather limited by my dyslexia in those days before PCs.   I should stress that this was not only a different century, it was a different age, this predated much in the way of equal opportunities, liberalisation of banking law and roots of what has gone wrong with banks recently. (Our first cashier still wore black and pin to work everyday, and the branch messenger made tea for all the "Gentlemen" while the "Girls look after themselves")

Another male model for that
rubber goods company
After getting so bored I was ready to chew off my own head I managed to get a job with Michelin Tyres, as what was then known as a Commercial Clerk.   This was largely an accounts related role, consisting of transcribing figures and making calculations, there were five of us doing what could now be done by one person with a PC.   I moved from that department to the "Truck Sales Department as the office supervisor, before moving again to the Technical Department prior to being made redundant.   While at Michelin on occasion I woudl get the opportunity to g to a major motor race meeting, we would get in free with the promotional team, and dress up as the Michelin man.   This way I managed to watch several major events, including two Grand Prix.

Having been made redundant I was faced with the problem of not knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up, I just knew that I did not want more of the same, the money ran out surprisingly quickly and I soon found that I was working alongside an old friend dealing in secondhand cars.   Around the same time I started to get some professional work playing the tuba.   For the next ten years I considered myself primarily a professional musician, but as many musicians will tell you at times it can be difficult to pay the rent; so I did some other stuff to help.   This other stuff included doing removals, driving trucks, working for Curry's as a salesman, dispatch riding, van driving, parcel deliveries warehouse man and plenty of other things I have forgotten.   It was also during this time that I first did some paid gardening.   The little brother of my friend P is a landscape gardener and when needed I would do some work with him, it was a revelation that someone would pay me to do gardening!    However what ever I was doing if a decent gig came up I would drop everything to be out there playing.   Towards the end f this period I was working as a dispatch rider, the owner of the Company thought I would be of more use in the office, so I took over the admin with the wonderful title of Financial Controller.    I only left there when the opportunity to work at Expo '92 came up, that was more or less the end of this period, which I think of as my second career.

Out of interest that dispatch company owner is now serving time at Her Majesty's pleasure for the biggest ever Ponzi Fraud in the UK.   He came across as a very likable and credible man, good company and very convincing, just a little reluctant to actually do the work he was being paid for.   I shouldn't have been surprised when I heard of his fate.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I'm sorry

If my earlier rant upset any of my American readers I'm sorry.   It is strange that although we speak (more or less) the same language, have a shared history up till a mere 200 or so years ago, and are the closest of allies so much of the USA is very alien to many of us in the UK.

The idea of electing Judges, who must therefore make popular decisions, the different legal codes in different states within the same nation, the separation of Church and State, yet we have a prime minister with no faith and the USA have yet to elect a president who does not profess faith.

Maybe it is those differences as much as our similarities that bind us in friendship.

By the way today is our 20th wedding anniversary! Apparently 20 years is the China Anniversary so I bought my wife these for our bathroom.   Aren't they tasteful...........

Thank God I'm British

I'm not the most patriotic of people, I consider myself European which is not always popular, I am also a republican which is also not a very popular position, especially in year like this one.   SO it is not success in sport, fine views of our Royal Family or a burst in pride at some action of a member of the Government (like the chief whip) that has brought on this sudden affection for my homeland.   No it was this article brought to my attention by Janie.   It seems incredible that an Judge anywhere in the civilised world can make decisions like this based solely on his own personal views (prejudices) rather than on case law, or established procedure.

To summarise  Judge in Oklahoma has denied two women the right to change their names to female ones in order that their name should match their chosen gender.   As I understand it this could not happen in the UK, there is a process by which one can legally change name, I do not think it requires judicial permission.   More to the point there is a procedure for legally changing gender, to change all official documentation and records, while I may very well be a bit laborious it is an established procedure which does not require any individual to give their approval.   I have a fried who is pre~op she has recently been through this procedure, so now her name, and all her documentation matches her gender, surely this is the civilised way to proceed.

I have yet to meet an American who I did not like, yet I sometimes find myself in despair when I hear about some aspects of living in America.  The Land of the Free, sorry guys that still sounds like an aspiration to me.

I have just added a fresh label  Rant this is an acceptance that I may be becoming a little less tolerant as I grow older!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I need a holiday

Just at the moment pretty much all I can think about is that I'm going on Holiday, that may not sound like much to some of you, but bearing in mind that the last time I was on holiday was in October, 2010 I am pretty much ready for it.   I had planned a couple of breaks this year, but at Christmas we had to take my wife into hospital, and then at Easter it was my Mothers turn to be rushed into hospital.

An ornate doorway in Medina (Malta) 2010
By now I am beginning to get a bit ragged around the edges, I find I am much more easily irritated by little things, and I find it hard to concentrate, I am definitely ready for a holiday.   We will be going away for a week at the end of next month, but I think I may go for a day trip to Wells to have a look at the Cathedral there before then.   The only snag is that our roof has sprung a leak.   It looks like it may be squirrels, but what ever the cause I will have to shell out to the builders to get it fixed, and that may well take up any surplus I have managed to build up, so watch this space..........

Monday, 24 September 2012

Questions, Questions

Once again Joey has asked some questions, it seems almost rude not to try and as I quite enjoy this sort of thing here are my answers.

1. Do you have any nicknames? Where did they come from?
At school I was often known as PJ, this was simply so as to distinguish me from the other guy in my year with the same surname, yep it was that sort of school.   This sort of stuck and he is still often known that way, for some of my friends to whom I am out if they want too know which is coming is it PJ or Paula?   When I was younger I sort of yearned for a nickname, something like "tank" or "Bull" but I only ever aquired one other nickname, it took me a while to work this one out but several people in one of my bands were calling me George, I was sat between a not very good, very confident player and another who talked too much, they were calling me George because I was sat between Zippy and Bungle!

2. How many times in your life have you moved and where to?
I have moved a total of six times, of those all but one was within a three mile radius. I lived in the same family home for 26 years so it was a real wrench when my parents left home. I then had a few flats (one shared) before meeting the girl who was to become my wife. I had one more move before getting married though, that was the one that took me away from my home turf. I moved to Seville, supposedly for six months, but the company I was working for went bust and I was back home in SE London in six weeks.

3. Have you ever done any martial arts?
I tried boxing once, but the other guy kept hitting me, some aspects of Brass Band Competitions are a bit like a martial art, only without the art bit.

4.What is one of the first memories you have from childhood?
Working in the garden with my Grand Father, I was the only one of his three grand children who spent much time with him, I always enjoyed these times, especially in the garden he loved so much, and taught me to love.

5. If you were a food, what food would you be and why?
A boiled egg, tough and hard on the outside, soft but comforting inside ~ aghhh pass the sick bag Alice that is just sooo disney sickly saccharine sweet, so, maybe a Jerusalem Artichoke, fun and tasty but prone to disagree with a lot of people.

6. If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you chose?
My Mother has he same thing for breakfast everyday, I can't understand this, I wouldn't have the same thing every day for any meal, so the thought of the same thing all the time is frightening. Would I be cheating to ask for a buffet? I love fish, and my favorite meal would be fish soup, followed by Skate in black butter, but not every day!

7. What gives you most comfort? Where is that place? Is anyone there with you?
I suppose that the thing that gives me most comfort is my family is of course they have to be with me (although sometimes I like the more when I am away from them).   The activity that gives me most comfort is making music, by the nature of my instruments that means I need to be with other people as well.   As for the place, a bar near the Mediterranean, the evening is beginning to cool from the heat of the day, a cool beer in front of me, a good dinner to look forward to and some friends to chat with.

8. What something you've wanted and did get ?
They say that anticipation is better than the realisation, they are wrong! For ages I pined for a CC contra-bass tuba, now I have one and I love it, the only thing is tubas are like fishponds and garden sheds, it doesn't matter how big they are you always want a bigger one.

9. Imagine someone describing you to a stranger what would they say?
"The big blond girl over there"   Of course this is a bit more difficult than that since how we see ourselves is different to how others see us.   I think of myself as tall and elegant, with a timeless sense of style, others may see me as large and lumpy, wearing clothes that are either out of fashion or just too young for me.

10. Whats the best no-fail recipe you have?
I pride myself on being a pretty good cook, but I can still fail at almost anything, but for an easy way to make an impression home made mayonnaise is pretty good, and so easy, just whisk olive oil into egg yolks and mustard.

11. If you could switch into another career what would it be?
Tricky this one since so far I have been
  1. A bank Clerk
  2. An accounts Clerk
  3. A supervisor and truck tyre specialist
  4. A technical clerk (and a male model for a rubber goods company)
  5. A secondhand car salesman
  6. A delivery Driver
  7. A professional musician
  8. A fridge and washing machine salesman
  9. A coffee and fruit juice salesman 
  10. A delivery driver
  11. A dispatch rider
  12. A landscape Gardener
  13. A Charity business Manager
  14. An Administration Manger
  15. A Business development Manager
  16. A Gardener
  17. And a Waste Management Consultant (MCIWM)
this may not be a complete list (sometimes I lose track) and some of these roles overlap, I still play professionally, but not very often, I garden and I keep up with what is happening in the waste management world.   The modeling for the rubber goods company consisted of being a Michelin Man but it was a lot of fun, and got me into quite a few race meetings I didn't have tickets for.   Of course these are just the permanent jobs I have also done some temping as well, but it's best we don't go there.   I am currently very happy gardening, but, I have always fancied being a radio presenter or a writer.......

That whole exercise was actually quite challenging, I'm not sure if it is at all revealing, I do know that although I have done my best to answer honesty it is not complete, and off course if I were to answer some of them next week there might be quite different answers.   However I have told the truth, but the whole truth would need more than one post, and probably bore the pants off you all.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


Maybe it is because I'm feeling so tired these days, surly I can't have lost my zest for life? I just haven't been getting a lot of fun out of shopping recently.   I still regularly do my trawl of charity shops, the other day I bought myself a wallet, I have been hold off buying one until after fathers day and my birthday, hoping that someone woudl notice the need and buy one for me.   I am also after a small bag that I can attache to my belt while I'm working, something just big enough to take my phone, since I am always mislaying it.

Usually when I have something in mind I will look in that section, but also go through all the other things and maybe find a dress or a blouse that takes my fancy, recently I look at things and think to myself  "no I've already got too many dresses" maybe I'm beginning to grow up a bit.


As we all know there are some clothes that can make us look fabulous, or at least make us think we look fabulous.   Unfortunately the are not always the ones that are most comfortable.   At the moment I am lounging on the sofa watching Qualifying for the Malaysian GP, just wear jeans and a "Taz" granddad shirt, not elegant but comfy.   Although I subscribe to the idea that to look good clothes need to fit properly, and should be wearable.   However I do understand that for certain situation something truly fabulous, may not be as comfortable as an old sweat shirt.

I have no plans, or opportunities to wear a wedding dress, and don't expect that to change, but if I did.....

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Yesterday coming home from taking my daughter to school I eventually got to the front of a long queue of traffic waiting to turn right, when a car stopped to let me go.   This is nice, but what was very nice is the the car was a soft top Mercedes driven by a good looking blond.    Like most men I have a few fantasies about blonds driving convertible Mercedes, unlike most men I have a few fantasies about being the blond driving a convertible Mercedes.  
Not the Blond in  Mercedes I had in mind

Maybe it is an age thing but somehow an attractive blond and a convertible Mercedes is the perfect combination of elegance, and power there used to be something about a sexy woman, controlling a powerful beast of a car that added to the sexiness, now the sports cars are mosty tamed, but there is still something very sexy about the combination.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Saw that one comming

I mentioned earlier that it was my birthday at the weekend, and then again that on Monday I met my friend B for a drink and to collect a birthday gift.   Having recently been made redundant my friend has being doing some work for me, he made a point of saying that he didn't want to give me my gift wen he was meeting me at my home to do some work, but on a separate occasion.   Since I had only recently come out to him, and I know that times he can be a little mischievous I was a little concerned.
It crossed my mind that he might have bought something frilly and "inappropriate" and then have me open the parcel in the pub.   This was in part my motivation for meeting him as Paula, dressed formally and conservatively, rather than as him dressed casually.   Then if I did have to open a parcel in public that contained some frillys from the Ann Summer catalogue, then maybe he would end up more embarrassed than me.

Dr Sheldon Cooper

What did I get? an electric reciprocating saw!   As usual what we worry about never happens, but of course now I have something else to worry about As the great Sheldon Cooper said:
 "You bought me a present? Why would you do such a thing? I know you think you're being generous, but the foundation of gift giving is reciprocity. You haven't given me a gift, you've given me an obligation. The essence of the custom is that I now have to go out and purchase for you a gift of commensurate value and representing the same perceived level of friendship as that represented by the gift you've given me. Ah, it's no wonder suicide rates skyrocket this time of year. Oh, I brought this on myself by being such an endearing and important part of your life..." of course he was talking about Christmas, but the principle still applies, now I have to find a suitable, appropriate gift for his birthday next week.

By the way I choose the picture as it just seemed so appropriate a way to illustrate Sheldon's views in this context, the picture comes from "The Five Labours of Sheldon"

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Boing said Zebadie

I like this, as well as the punch line, and all of it's possible connotations, I rather like the way it highlights what we wear, when and why.   What we like to wear to sleep in may be quite different to what our partner would want to see us in jut before or after sleeping.   Then there is a whole industry dedicated to making garments that are only suitable for taking off!   I know I have succumbed to the temptation to buy some over the years.   I like to think that I have now learnt a few lessons,
  • they never look as good on my wife as on the model,
  • they look even more ridiculous on me,
  • they never wear well,
  • and now I can assure you that they are rarely comfortable.
Having said all that I do have a couple of pairs of satin pyjamas that I do rather like, but usually I just sleep in a pair of boxers, and if it's colder I might add a tee shirt.   I know a lot girls like me like the idea of wearing flimsy fluffy and filmy nighties, but lets face it these things are not really made for sleeping in are they.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Beaten to it again

Over the weekend I watched the latest couple of Doctor Who episode, while I would not classify myself as a fan I do enjoy the show.   What struck me though was Karen Gillan's nails, I'm not usually a fan of  "unnatural" nail colours.   Unnatural is totally the wrong word but I can't think of a better one, I love pink, pearl, red, or some of the more earthy colours, but generally blues and greens don't do it for me.   However like so many of my prejudices I may have to re-evaluate.   Karen had blue nails, perfectly done, and perfectly toning with the rest of her outfit.   I was also going to bring to your attention a horse called Susan but Meg has beaten me to it!
After work yesterday I met my friend B for a quick glass of beer and to pick up my birthday gift.   This was the first time he had met Paula although we have been friends for over 40 years now, on balance he was pretty cool with the whole experience and reasonably complimentary about my presentation.   I did make a point of wearing trousers and my lower heels so as not to stand out too much, I didn't want to give the poor boy a heart attack by turning up in a miniskirt and my highest heels, gently does it, next time I shall maybe bring out one of my longer dresses.   It is his birthday next week so maybe I will threaten to take him out to dinner and see what happens.

Today it is back to normal working with lots and lots of gardening work stored up for the rest of the week, and on Wednesday a much needed trip to the osteopath before my rehearsal.   All in all I'm not sure how I am going to fit in much Paula time over the next couple of weeks, but somehow I usually seem to manage a few hours here and there.

Monday, 17 September 2012


From yesterday's post you may gather that I am a bit confused about this whole gender thing.   Please feel free to drop your comments in, what others say does help to clarify what I think, that's one of the reasons why I follow other blogs, especially those like Jamie and Janie whose experiences are so very different to my own.  Part of following is about enjoying other peoples experiences vicariously, part of it is entertainment, part of it is about informing us as to who or what we are, understanding ourselves and the world we live in better.

However I do know that whenever I get the chance I will get into some feminine clothes paint my nails and enjoy some femininity.   Like today, I have just dropped my daughter off at school and my wife at the station as she is on a training day, I will be working from home for most of the day so once I have performed a few chores (like taking some waste to the local dump) I know I will not be able to resist getting changed before sitting back down with the laptop and crunching numbers.

Now the questions I ask myself I will be asking another day, today I will just concentrate on enjoying the moment.   As I will be doing my office work I shall dress appropriately in my M & S trouser suit, very business like.   If I get time I would like to go out this afternoon as well, my friend B called yesterday to say that he had a birthday present for me so I may well go over and introduce him to Paula.

If I manage to get some pictures I will post them later, now time to get to work......

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Who am I (ooh ooh)

There is a blog I read that I do not feature, it has what is politely known as "Adult Content" and as I made a decision right at the beginning of Paula's Place that this would be "safe" place, so if a civilian did happen to wander in by mistake they would not be disgusted or given a mistaken view that what we do is all about sex.   In fairness a lot of what Jamie has said has been interesting, stimulating or just plan entertaining, it's just that how she says it is often not suitable for minors.

Well it seems that Jamie has gone through something of an epiphany, and has made a few changes to her blog and some even bigger ones to her lifestyle, the reason why I am writing about all this now is her realisation and acceptance that she is a totally different person to him.   This is something I have been suspecting for a long time, in my own mind I am sure that she is quite a different person to him, and definitely that Paula is not just him in a dress.   She has her own tastes, her own personality which feels different, it is not just the wrapper that is different, I am quite sure that the filling is different as well.

I know that some will say that they are "a woman trapped in a man's body", others that it is "just about the clothes"  I often hear something like "letting my inner girl out" or "expressing my feminine side" the more I do this the more I find two things,
  • It becomes harder to put her back in the closet
  • That I am two different people, certainly we share much, but there is a different personality that comes out when I dress.
I don't fully understand this yet and indeed I'm not sure that I ever will, but I do know that unlike Jamie I am not unhappy being a man, as long as I can also be a woman.   I still like being a man, a husband and a father, I like the physicality of my strength, of my work; I like to feel safe, to be able to walk into a pub on my own, and then afterwards walk home on my own.   However I also enjoy the the feelings of sensuality and vulnerability of grace and beauty and wanting to be taken care of however I don't think that in any way this is a weakness a submission or indeed a demeaning.

I want to thank Jamie and Janie for talking about this on their blogs, sometimes what others are going through, and thinking about themselves helps us to clarify our own situations.   Maybe that in itself is a good enough reason to Blog.

It's Today

Yes today is my Birthday, I'm far too modest to say which birthday it is, but lets just say that I've had plenty of practise at blowing out the candles.   We will be going out to lunch today, other than that I don't think I will be doing much to celebrate.   But of course my family may have other ideas.   I have scheduled another (much heavier) post to appear later, so there will be something for you to get your teeth into other than birthday cake.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Thank You, but I don't like boxing

As I said here it is nice to say thank you, and it seems that many of you agree.   It is not just me who has been working hard recently, my wife has had a really difficult week, with a pretty unfair work load.   The difference is that she has a boss to say thank you, and he did.

Yesterday (Friday) she came home with this lovely bunch of roses, isn't it nice when some one realises that you have done something above and beyond the call of duty, and says thank you!  

On a different tack I saw this this morning and just felt I had to share, and by the way I don't like boxing, to me it seems that it is the only sport where the object of the sport is to inflict pain or injury on your opponent.   I have already observed that back in the day I used to ply my trade in the front of a local rugby club.   Quite a few punches used to be exchanged, we may even have tried to hurt each other a bit, but that was not the object of the exercise.   As far as I can work out all the other "martial arts" are about moves rather than inflicting injury.   I know that boxing fans will say the same of their sport, yet the most comprehensive way to win is to knock your opponent so senseless that he can't even stand up.   However the thing that annoys me most about boxing is that I enjoy watching it!

The perfect suit

So it is a couple of days since I last posted, this is just another reflection of my current work load. But today I have a day off.   I know it is Saturday and that is a day off for most people, but for me at the recently it hasn't been working out that way.   I will spend much of the morning, now I have managed to get up, on admin before we all go to a friends wedding this afternoon.  Off course if it were Paula going to the wedding I have the perfect thing to wear, my salmon dress suit.   As it is I fear it will just be a grey lounge suit shirt and tie.

Looking at my diary for next week I have some decisions to make I have work for two people scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday (along with an Oesteopath's appointment) and Friday, but at the moment have nothing at all scheduled for Monday and nothing for Thursday other than taking my daughter to the dentist mid morning.   In the evenings I have rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday.   I want to take a time out as it may be my last chance before going on Holiday at the end of October.   I have support group meeting coming up and various other opportunities, but as I will be spending a fair bit of time in and around the pool I need to be suitably hairy, which means I will need to stop shaving (apart from my face) around the beginning of October.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A thing of beauty

I may have mentioned that this is a busy period for me, so time for both blogging and Paula are rather limited.   I do hope to find a little time next week, but at the moment I am so busy and have so much admin to catch up on I don't know how or when.

As well as all my regular maintenance work I do other extras, I have recently started working on a project that all in all will probably take me till the end of the year to complete.   Stage one was to demolish and remove a concrete shed, I sub'ed this out, and am very glad I did as it actually turned out to be a bomb proof workshop left over from the last war.   The house is very near what was a major airport at the time and the owner was engaged in important technical war work so he had a very large solid work shop.   Once this was demolished and the ground cleared it was my turn, I put in a wooden base for a new wooden shed, and have just built a compost system.   Now I know not every one will agree with me but I think this is not only practical gardening, and good ecological practise, but is also a thing of beauty.

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I find beauty in this, so maybe there is a chance for all of us and that in someone's eyes we are all beautiful

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Cooling down period

The last couple of evenings I have noticed that it is getting noticeably cooler, the days are still warm to down right hot, but once the sun goes down the temperature is definitely falling.   On the radio the other day the announcer simply said "It's over, summer that is".   These cooler evenings are as sure an indication of the turning of the season as any changes in the flora, and they are happening all around me as well.

As always I am a little sorry and morn the passing season, but I am still excited by the coming one.   Autumn is a time for harvest, planting and preparation.   It is a time of warm changing colours, a time when each flower hanging on is an added blessing.   It is also a time to start changing the wardrobe, the light cotton summer dresses we barely had an opportunity to wear this year can get packed away again, the heavier woolen ones coming to the front of the wardrobe.   Once again I find I have maybe too many black and grey clothes and not enough colour ~ is russet still fashionable? I could fancy a russet dress.  It is also time to get out my coats, I find this quite liberating, for some reason I find it much easier (emotionally) to go out wearing an over coat, and I love my long cashmere Windsmore coat, it makes winter worth while.

I will be celebrating a birthday at the weekend and my friend B will be having one the week after, when we were younger we would often celebrate together, I am wondering if this year we could maybe do something to celebrate together again, only this time I will be wearing a dress.   He has said that in principle he is happy to go out with Paula, the big problem is that over full diary again.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A lose Moose

Today I had many various things to do, the largest job was trimming a couple of leylandii back into an appropriate size and shape for a suburban garden, since this meant steps and lots of cutting equipment I had my fried S working with me, as much for safety as for the work load.   I also had a couple of bags of clothes and a rather lovely cuddly Moose to take to a charity shop.

After we had completed our work for the day we popped into the "Sense" shop in West Wickham to drop off my daughters rejects.   While the lady manager there was very happy to take our donations she was surprised that Max (the Moose) should no longer be loved,, I must admit I agreed with her I was very surprised when my daughter put him out, and was very tempted to keep him for myself.   While there we decided to have a quick look around.   There was a rater nice black satin blouse I was tempted by but I wasn't sure so didn't buy, however I did have great fun as I persuaded S that a nice flowery blouse was just what she needed, and then found her a couple of suits as well.   She thought the trousers on one of them would be a bit short on her, but the Lilac Skirt Suit was just right.   It has an interesting cut, the jacket being designed to not quite meet in the middle and having no buttons.   I must admit if S hadn't bought I might have been tempted myself.

I always enjoy a bit of clothes shopping, and it was maybe even more fun with a GG friend I could help choose some nice new clothes for, oh yes and all for £10!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sin and Temptation

Last night I was playing in a very unusual concert, it was a memorial concert for a friend who died earlier this year, many of his friends were there and quite a lot were playing in the band.   This meant that the band was very large, including a bass section of four.   Only one of us is a regular member of the band and we had not all managed to make a rehearsal, so the final run through was vital.   The one member of the section who is a regular member had all the music, when he found that he had to work on Saturday and would be late he dropped the music around to me to take.

Liz Hurley as the Devil, in the film Bedazzled
Because of uncertainty about who would be there with what instruments I ended up taking two tubas and a trombone, and stands.   As I too had been working it was all a bit of  rush to get showered changed and on my way, it was only when I had turned up at the hall (a little late) brought all the instruments in and stared to set up that I realised I had left all the music for the section at home!   This is just about the ultimate sin for a musician.   Fortunately I live close to the hall and could get home pick up the pads and get back before the run through had finished.

By the way I mentioned getting changed, for those of you who like these sort of details once again I was wearing all fem clothing except for my shoes, dinner jacket and bow tie, and specially for Karin I had a bow count of four, including the tie!

You may have noticed some white space, this is because I have succumbed to temptation and have agreed to run some adverts on the blog.   I justify this decision to myself by thinking about how much time I spend, but basically I just want to see if I do get anything out of it, we'll see.   In the mean time please bear with yet another work in progress

Saturday, 8 September 2012

I have to agree

Not much in this unless you are following the current story arc for Luann, I of course am thanks to Meg, along with the other dozen or so cartoons I now find I have to look at every day.   There are just a couple of things that struck me about this one, the most obvious being the final panel, a few of my friends also have teenage girls and I think we would all agree that a kitten would be a lot lower maintenance, but only one of them has just got a drum kit as a 13th birthday present, I thought the guitar collection was a bit much but having heard about the drum kit I am now quite content.

Friday, 7 September 2012

This and that

It's Friday night, nearly Saturday morning, the working week should be over, I can settle down with a glass Scotch without worrying about getting up in the morning and just chill.   Or at least that is how it should be.   Whilst I do have the glass of Scotch the rest is just fantasy.   I have had a good week, got a lot done, and made a reasonable income, but there is still so much I have to do so I will be working again tomorrow, building compost bins and checking up on ponds, not my ideal way of spending a Saturday.

Mind you it is just as well that I have got plenty of work on at the moment, the inevitable has happened, I have been working hard, earning an income and maybe ready to put a little away for December, January and February when times are a little leaner, and the washing machine breaks down! my friend B came and had a look at it before condemning it.   Apparently washing machines are no longer made in such a way as to be repairable, so that £300 hat was going into the savings account looks like it will be going to maintain the laundry.

Since I now have a washing machine to buy as well as all the other drains on my resources, I had best get some sleep so I can get to work in the morning; mind you I don't want to do too much as I have a concert in the evening, but more in that later.............................

Quick and messy

I'm feeling very tired, waking up this morning a lot of muscles ached, my brain took quite a while to start functioning, I could have quite happily stayed in bed for another couple of hours.   Unfortunately that was not an option.   Mind you it is probably my own fault.

On Wednesday evening I went and played at Eastbourne, it was a good evening, a mostly reasonable performance, unfortunately I think the band was better than the conductor, so at least it is easy to tell when things did go wrong, why they did.   I did discover that playing tuba means sitting at the back of the band and staying a lot warmer than the flutes at the front~ good, but don't get to see any of the fireworks ~ bad.   As a section we also seemed to be the butt of a lot of the announcers jokes, but since he is a tuba player as well we can take it.

Thursday was a hard day work wise, we moved a lot of stone soil and timber, built a base for a new shed, and did some prep work for a new compos system.   I would have liked to have done more on site but had to dash down to Rochester for a meeting not getting home and eating till gone ten.   Today simple ordinary gardening, but lots of it, then on Saturday I will be back to build the compost bins.   I need a break, but I also need the money so for now I will look forward to my holiday at the end of October and try to find a way to celebrate my birthday.   In years past B and I often celebrated our birthdays together, I want t see if he will take Paula out to dinner to celebrate this year, I think it may be difficult to find the time even if he is still willing.

Sorry this is a bit of a quick and messy post, but I'm feeling very tired...................

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sorry Meg

It lifts it's head earlier and earlier, and in so many different guises.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Back to school

My daughter went back to school today,this is a big year for her, as she will be finishing her GCSEs, and maybe more to the point making some pretty big decisions about her future, what she wants to do for A levels, whether to go to University, if so what to study, should it be career orientated or purely academic interest?    At the moment I'm not sure how she will manage some of this when she can't even settle on a hair colour!

Our bathroom currently resembles a battle zone at Vidal Sassoon's.   At various points over the summer she has been blond, and red for a short while at some point her hair went jet black.   Extensions have gone in and come out curls and waves have done the same.   Last night a decision was made that her hair should go more or less back to it's natural brown and stay that way all term.   Of course this meant that it had to be dyed again, and in the process so has every surface in the bathroom.   AT least when I want to change my hair colour I just put on a different wig

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Piece of Cake

As I said today I am picking up a new lawnmower, this has meant a drive into the wilds of Essex, I don’t often stray north of the Thames, but today I am glad I did.   This morning’s activities went well and I managed to get changed and away earlier than anticipated, in consequence I arrived near where I am to make my collection a little early.   So I am currently sitting in the garden of a country pub, with a cool glass of lemonade (yes, really, lemonade ~ with a dash of Angostura biters) enjoying the sound of birdsong and the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.

Since it is such a nice day I decided to wear my new cotton summer dress this is cut quite high at the neck, sleeveless and with a very full skirt.  It is white with quite narrow printed red hoops.    Although a little on the tight side around the bust the full skirt makes it very “airy”, absolutely ideal for a warm sunny day like today.   Because it is so warm I am being brave, I am wearing some flat canvas shoes, no hose, and very little makeup, I got some glances as I entered the pub, but that’s not so unusual.   The more I do this the more I think people will see what they expect to see, and if they do think anything may be out of the ordinary are less likely to react if I have the confidence and self-assurance to show that everything is normal.   I think I have time for one more drink and then I must go and collect my new mower, as long as I don’t get lost I should be changed and home in time for meeting tonight.

I am now taking a pause on my way home, I have collected my mower and crossed back to the civilised side of the Thames I have a couple of things to pick up at Tesco’s but at the moment I have just stopped for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.   I had been looking forward to a slice carrot cake, Costas do a very good carrot cake, so I was a little disappointed that they had run out, I just had to put up with lemon cake instead.   Sometimes it is nice just to take a time out, enjoy a coffee, a chat with a friend (alas only on the phone) take a deep breath and, relax.

A change of plan

Eastbourne Bandstand
On Wednesday I had planed a visit to the osteopath, but I have now been asked to play at Eastbourne that evening.   This is a real fun event, with stirring music fireworks and lots of general fun, so I think I will join in the fun and help make a joyful sound.   This does of course mean that I will have to delay my osteopath's appointment, but that's a small price to pay.

I shall of course have to re-arrange and make a few other changes to my schedule, it's just a shame that it wasn't last week when my family were staying in Eastbourne for a late summer break.

By total contrast tomorrow I will be picking up a fresh lawn mower as well as getting rid of vast amounts of green waste, it doesn't look as though this week will be a high earning one, but it should provide a few opportunities for interest and maybe even a bit fun?   There is an outside chance of a little time tomorrow, no promises, but I may be able to give myself a coupe of hours as Paula ~ ah that extra a makes so much difference.

Monday, 3 September 2012

looming, not lurching - the week ahead

I have a ludicrous week looming in front of me, tonight I have a rehearsal, tomorrow night a meeting, Wednesday evening I go to the osteopath (I need to some bits really ache) then on Thursday another meeting in Rochester.   Saturday I have a local concert I am playing in in memory f a friend who died earlier this year,.   Then on Sunday as well as the Italian Grand Prix I will be playing for an evening service up in town.

So no space for Paula? well maybe maybe not, tomorrow I have to pick up a new mower in Essex and will be travelling pretty, I will also have my friend B working with me on Thursday, I am currently trying to work out when I can have a day off to celebrate birthdays (mine and B's are pretty close and we often celebrate together) and more t the pint this month my wife and I hit 20 years.   Given what she has had to put up with I think that is pretty impressive, all I have had to contend with is a little intolerance and a lot of snoring!

Sunday, 2 September 2012


Don't worry Sherman it happens to us all occasionally.


Jenson Button
I watched qualifying for the Belgium Grand Prix yesterday, a great performance by Jenson Button.   My friends waiting at the bar will know that I am a bit of a fan of his, so I hope this is going to be  turning point in his season, the championship is still possible, but a bit of a long shot.   I think I would be happy if he could overtake Hamilton on points and then two years running outscore him.   Hamilton has improved this season, maybe he doesn't seem to be quite as fast as he was, but that could well just be the car, but his race craft does seem to have improved.

I shall be watching the race this afternoon, I think I should make sure I have a couple of cool Belgium beers to drink while I'm watching.

Yesterday was a bit strange, I almost felt bereaved, although I was glad to have my family back I missed Paula, and checking my diary I struggle to see when I will next have some decent time.   I called B and he had woken on Friday with a spectacular hang over around midday, well after I had left for work, apparently with no knowledge of much of the previous night.   While it does look as though I have "Got away" with  my risky behaviour last week, I think I need to take stock and be a bit more careful in the future.

There is an exhibition on at the Royal Academy that I would like to see, so maybe I can make that a day out for my birthday.   I have got into the habit of taking my birthday off and going out to do or see something, this year my birthday falls on a Sunday so maybe I will take a day off during the following week and take a trip up to town.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

An Interesting Evening

Last night (Thursday it has taken me this long to try to work out what I am actually going to write) I went and had dinner with my friend B, I have known B since we went to Grammar School way back in the dark ages, for several years we shared a flat, and have been intimate friends sharing holidays and and much else.

Work got in the way of my getting there on time so we more or less went straight in to dinner, drinking beer rather than the wine I took.   B's son lives with him and should have been having dinner with us, but he (the son) was delayed after work as well and he couldn't make it so we were alone.  As I had anticipated the son's presence I had decided to under-dress rather than go "En Femme" so although my shirt was the only male clothing I was wearing this was not obvious, under my jeans I was wearing some nice but practical panties, very sheer black tights with a back seam and a black satin teddy.   My toes nails were still cherry red and my finger nails had a clear polish.   Anyone looking would see but only if they looked.  

Of course having come out to B only a matter of days earlier he had lots of questions for me.   Interestingly not all the usual ones, he was very interested to hear about my "date" on Tuesday night, how I felt about it as well as what happened ~ or rather didn't; do I shave my legs? what do I wear? more that sort of thing, avoiding the are you gay? do you want to be a woman? stuff.   During dinner I made one very interesting discovery, and one I would never have made on my own, creme caramel goes really well with a tawny port.   After dinner, and by the way B is a very good cook, we adjourned to the local pub for more beer.   Conversation continued as it only can between old friends, ranging widely but often coming back to my revelation.

Eventually of course we had to leave the pub and returned to his flat.   As anticipated I was far to drunk to even think about driving, back at the flat we opened the wine and talked some more.    By now it was pretty late, I had done a day's work and I was pretty relaxed. (as in I only drink to relax, sometimes I am so relaxed I fall over!) so at some point when B left me for a moment I fell asleep, I awoke a little later with a duvet over me.   A little uncomfortable I took off what clothes I still had on (sorry but I can't remember) and slipped into some satin pyjamas I had brought and tried to settle down.   For some reason, or maybe several reasons most of which came in glasses, I couldn't settle down, I picked up my duvet moved into the next room got into bed with B, I woke up later cuddled up close with my arms around him.

I got up after the son had left for work, got dressed (I had brought work cloths with me) and left before B was awake.   He is an impressive sleeper, (and snorer) and I have not heard from him since, so I am not sure where we are now.   I am more than a bit confused as to why I did what I did, was B even aware of my presence, and more to the point what happens next.   Earlier in the evening B (who is not working at the moment) agreed to do some work with me and, more to the point, go out with Paula.   I sent him a text yesterday (Friday) but have yet to have a reply, I think I will have to phone or call round, but just now I don't know what I am going to do or say.

All day Friday I was very tired, and slightly hung over, I couldn't put the night out of my mind, but after a long day I got home to my family who have returned from their break, after dinner I just slept and slept, this morning I didn't get up till gone eleven I feel better for the sleep, but still concerned about what I have done.