Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 30 November 2012

Looking up

Not sure where things stand just at the moment.   I want to go to my support group Christmas dinner on Saturday evening, I had already arranged that our family calender showed that I would be out playing a concert that none of my family would want to go to.   So should I carry on as originally planned or cancel and say I had put in a dep so I could spend time with my wife? Either way I would be telling a lie.   Either way was not happy, neither seemed to be a satisfactory way to restart our relationship.

So I spent much of my time at work yesterday morning thinking abut this problem.   It comes down to  what do I want more to go out to dinner, or to save my marriage, this may sound like a no brainer, but I have always believed that there is no point in having the cake if you can't eat it.   Of course the answer was a simple one in the end, so in the spirit of honesty and trust I felt I had to tell my wife about the dinner I was planing on going to on Saturday, that I thought she would prefer me not to go, and since our daughter would be out would she like me to take her out, or cook a nice meal at home.   Since we are finding this all very difficult to talk about face to face I sent this all on a text message, I got a message back just saying "You go" I will be very happy to go, it will be the first time I will have been out as Paula and not had to lie about it, or at least hide it.   I will not be open I will still go trough my usual slightly furtive procedure and change before I get home.   I just hope that the message wasn't missing the last two words "to Hell"

Still, I think that this is a sign of a positive improvement in our relationship, since things came out into the open we have been much easier with each other, I think agreeing to talk and have counselling has been a big help, I am now looking forward to Tuesday when we visit Relate for the first session.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


We have agreed that we do not want to give up on our marriage and will be going to counselling, our first session is on Tuesday.   In the mean time I am meant to be going to my group's Christmas dinner on Saturday, I am now not sure whether I should go or not, sort of should I try and be strong now, or should I have a little "final fling"?

On  a lighter note more from the excellent 9 Chickweed Lane

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


When I got back from a meeting had first thing this morning I found that my wife had left a letter for me~ never a good sign ~ basically this was a "give up or get out" ultimatum.   I am very sad that I have been so selfish not to have realised that things had got that bad, and very sad that she feels the need too go this far.

I have replied with what I hope is a considered and full response, I am not prepared to give up on our marriage, and will do everything I can to save it.   I am however not sure that I should promise to do what I probably can't do.   We have never been good at communicating~indeed that is one of the reasons I started this Blog ~ but I think we need to start getting better.   I think we need to get some counselling and have suggested we go to "Relate"

I need to concentrate on this so my posts may be a little sporadic, non existent, or extensive and self indulgent at the moment I just don't know.

More Black dresses

Yesterday was a good day, it feels to strange to start like that when the weather so bad that I had to cancel all my arranged work, which has, of course put me further behind, as I had planned to have S working with me I am now three days on this week alone.   Anyway once I had made my decision about work I could make my phone calls and plan my day.   Since P was available I arranged to meet  her for lunch.
I took my time getting ready and had an uneventful trip down to Crawley, as P is moving on Friday this will be the last time we do this.   We had a pleasant lunch a bit jewelry shopping for P and a look around the shoe stores for me.   I still couldn't find anything that I like at a price I am prepared to pay ~ I may well have to compromise soon.   We also popped into Matalan, I wanted to try these dresses on in a size 16, I had tried the long one on in a different store, but the largest size they had was a 14, and I wanted a second opinion, i.e is the split in the long dress too high, and likewise is the hemline of the skater dress too high.   The store we went to had neither dress in stock in any sizes at all, this is probably a good thing as I could well have ended up buying at least one of them, when I really do have no use for yet another black dress.
I stopped of on the way home for a glass of wine (or two) and started reading a book P had recommended and lent to me "This Charming Man" by Marian Keyes, it's a bit early to tell yet but is quite fun so far.   Then home, to be greeted by the "cold shoulder" I had left out my nail polish quick dry spray and my wife was in a sulk about it, knowing what I do is hard enough for her t accept, she really does not want to see any evidence of it.   I shall have to find a way of making up for this a bit, I don't think flowers are going to cut it, and I am out tonight, she is out tomorrow, then I am out again Saturday night and my daughter and I are both out on Sunday, could be a tough few days now.
At least I will get my physical aches sorted out today when I visit the Osteopath.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

More Silver

I haven't been up long, but it is now 8:30 and it's not light yet.   It doesn't look like it will get light at all today.   It's raining steadily and looks set to continue throughout mos of the day.   Looks like I shall have to cancel another day's work.

On the other hand I now have a big decision to make ~ shall I have lunch with P or with S?  or maybe I will meet S for a coffee before driving down to Crawley to meet P for lunch.

Yesterday afternoon I went into Croydon, I wanted to get my eyebrows threaded ready for Saturday night, so I was not wearing a wig and only had on mascara and lip gloss in the way of makeup.   Under my long overcoat I was wearing a pair of jeans and a tunic sweater with a cowl neck and some boots with a Cuban heel, so I suppose that without the big earrings I was a bit androgynous.   I noticed that I got a few more looks than usual.   After getting my eyebrows done I stopped by a Lancome counter to get some fresh foundation (I wanted something not too heavy but with good coverage), one I had foundation on it was quite noticeable that I was getting less attention from passers by ~ a clear lesson for me there.   I have worried about wearing too much makeup but this seems to make it clear that I do need to at least have some foundation and lipstick or gloss.

I am also after a pair of black shoes to wear in boy mode, but would prefer to buy women's.   On Saturday night the soles of my formal shoes parted company with the uppers, and this is not a good look with a DJ.   As I don't wear a suit for work anymore I only really wear black shoes when performing so I don't want to spend a fortune, but I would like some that respectable and are comfortable.   Clark's in Croydon had some very nice brogues that would have done nicely, but I don't like brogues with a dinner jacket, everything else I see I either like the uppers and not the sole/heel, or I like the sole/heel and not the uppers, maybe I will be a bit luckier when I go out today.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Every silver lining has a cloud

It looks as though Monday will be rainy, the BBC on line forecast shows heavy rain from eight in the morning to seven in the evening, with just the odd time of heavy showers to lighten the day.   I had planed a day's gardening, but it doesn't look as though I will be able to do much on that front, so I will be otherwise occupied.

I do have a fair bit of office work to do, but I may well take some out with me (the advantage of a laptop) and I also have some laundry to attend to.   It feels like some time since I have been out so I want to make the most of Saturday evening (my support groups Christmas dinner).   I plan to glam it up a fair bit, (if the pole falls on the side of sexy then I will also be wearing an ankle chain) I don't need to worry about blending as a whole group of us in company tends to stand out a bit.   One tall woman with strong features OK but seven or eight all over five foot ten is a bit obvious.   This makes me realise why some girls may not want to come to meetings of groups like this, I suspect that one cross dresser can blend, when I am in the company of a genetic girl I know I am accepted where ever I go, I suspect that two or more cross dressers together become more apparent, then more self conscious.   There is also the suspicion that this is just a way of making the closet bigger, if we are not out in the real world, dealing with civilians in the company of our less gender diverse friends then are we still in hiding?

Going to the support group did make it easier for me to continue to go out and extend myself building my self confidence and giving me reasons to go out, but for many of the girls it is the only place they feel they can dress and be with other people.   This is not really freedom, just a less restricting confinement.

Still, I had only intended commenting on the possible weather and the possibility of a small outing I would like to have a final lunch with my friend P before she moves, and there are one or two bits of shopping I want to do, I will have to see how the week works out.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Random Thoughts

Last night was something of a triumph, people laughed at my jokes, listened intently to my daughters songs, and clapped afterwards.   We all enjoyed ourselves and it was very gratifying to have a lot of thank yous from a lot of people afterwards ~ inevitably this all means that we will be doing it all again in a few months.   I will admit that I enjoy performing, I like being the centre of attention and I love trying to be funny, so standing up and having people laugh at my jokes is pretty cool, but I recon that playing in the backing band for my daughter is just about the coolest thing any 50 something year old bloke can ever do.

By the end of the evening I was feeling a bit drained, very happy with what we had done, a little tired but not sleepy, so we sat down together as a family, opened a bottle of wine and munched through a large bag of crisps watching "The X Factor".   For once I quite enjoyed the show (maybe because I was now fairly chilled out) even though I can't work out how the people who are left are there and some of the others aren't.   Knowing that I was not on any rotas for the morning it was nice to know that I didn't have to go to Church in the morning and could have lie in.

Because I didn't need to of course I did wake up (the only one in the family who did) and I did go to Church, I remember being particularly thankful that I was not on the rota for prayer ministry, I just planned to sit at the back share communion, and worship.   God had other plans, at the end of the sermon there was an impromptu alter call, and I ended up praying for several people.   This is a real privilege but I can find it a bit draining.   Both during and after the service I couldn't help but notice what people, well the ladies really, and a lot of the ladies were wearing boots today, I like boots and it was nice to see, but some of them were also pretty ugly, I have said before that I very much like the current fashion for tunics,, or short dresses with skinny jeans, leggings or thick tights with boots.   I like it so much that I have a pair of boots on order, I hope they arrive soon.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

All Change

Being a bit of a girl myself I understand when my daughter will go through several changes of clothes in one day ~ generally it is a bit of a girl thing, making sure that the clothes match the occasion and the mood.   As a girl I will delight in the difference that clothes can make, the different colours, textures and styles, the way they can affect how I feel and behave.   At this point many cross dressers will tell you that on the other hand boy clothes are just boring and are only worn for warmth.   Well I'm not that boy.

I have a number of shirts that I am very fond of, I like a soft cotton print shirt, but am very fussy about the pattern.   I like a well cut jacket and trousers that fit well, I like clothes which ever gender they are made for, sure there are ugly male clothes, but then there are ugly female clothes as well ~ leggings come to mind straight away, very few can carry them off ~ I would love to see more cross over between what women and men wear, Women can wear pretty much any male clothing, but much of what women wear is still off limits to most men, I am not just thinking of dresses and skirts but shoes and boots, styles of jumper are limited.   I have got into the habit of wearing women's jeans and polo neck sweaters, I also have a pair of women's boots with a Cuban heel that I like to wear, but I have received a few comments, mostly favorable but it does get noticed.   I have on order a pair of low heel bots with a side zip and lace up at the back, I will have to see if I can wear them as a boy or if they will be limited to girl outfits.

Today I will be going through at least three outfits, all as the boy, when I do eventually get round to getting dressed it will be jeans and a casual top probably a black red and white hooped rugby jersey from a club I used to play for, that should see me through to getting ready to present this evenings cabaret.   I have not made a final decision yet but I will probably either wear a dinner jacket with a black shirt and black bow tie, or a shiny light grey suit wit a solid colour shirt (pink or blue) and tie.   During the second half of the show my daughter is doing a short set of a couple of Amy Winehouse songs with a rock band, I will be playing trombone in the horn section and it has been decided that we will be wearing "Blues Brothers" outfits of black suits, white shirts and black straight ties.
Hosting a cabaret in more hersute times
Apart from the fun of changes of clothes, and the challenge of being the MC for this event I think playing in the backing band for my daughter is quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever done.

The post has just arrived and I have received some padding I was anxious to receive before going out next Saturday night ~ that's a relief, and there is also an acknowledgment of my daughters application to the Brit School, we ow have a very anxious few months waiting t find out if she has got in.

Friday, 23 November 2012

I just don't know

I am very thankful (just to keep the theme going) to have had a good week's weather and have been making the most of it work wise.   As a consequence I have finished the working week tired and sore, but at least I have not fallen further behind with my work.  

Having missed out on my visit to the Osteopath last week, I a really looking forward to seeing him next Wednesday.   I have stopped deliberately setting out to tease him with what I wear, so I am pretty relaxed about what clothes I take off, but I do still like to make sure that I look OK when I am stripped down, this means that I do not want to have a body covered with stubble, and that my pant(ie)s should be clean and if my toe nails are painted they are in good order.   I will be going out next Saturday for my support group's Christmas Dinner when I will want to "glam it up" so I may want to prepare what I can in advance, so toes nails.......yep could could well be painted on Wednesday.

The Christmas dinner is the main social event we have so I will want to take advantage of the occasion, I think I will wear my black and silver cocktail dress my new silver shoes and depending on the outcome of the pole a ankle chain.   Of course I may wear my new mauve dress and some black shoes, or one of the LBDs, decisions decisions decisions.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


I am bewildered, confused and disappointed. I have just heard about the decision of the General Synod not to go ahead with legislation to allow Women Bishops.   It is a shame that such a small proportion of the Church have the ability to block this essential development and damage the credibility of the entire Church at the same time.   The Bishops, the Clergy and the vast majority of the membership of the Church are all agreed, but a small proportion of highly conservative reactionaries can cause so much harm.

Psst does my bum look big in this
If they are not prepared to accept the will of majority and the authority of the Bishops and clergy then maybe it is time that they left the Church and allowed us to be a relevant authoritative and credible voice in society.   I am highly attached to the Church of England I am wedded to the concept of a universal servant Church, a church were every person has an ordained minister and a Church family to which they can belong, everyone in the Country has a local Parish Church with all that that entails.   Bishops sit in the House of Lords to give voice to the concerns of the community of faith, the Archbishops can ensure that Christian principles are at least aired at the highest levels, while still serving the whole community, yet this decision puts all of that at risk.   I foresee that Parliament will not accept this decision and will act anyway, this will be more divisive than anything that could have come out if they had gone ahead.

I think these cartoons show the sort of thinking that voted down the measure.


It is a while since I have had an on-line rant, I have been quite placid now for a some time, but I feel the need, the pressure is building up and the needs to be released.   I try not to get irritated, but every so often something comes up that I feel I just cannot let go past.

SO what is my target for opprobrium today, politicians? journalists? Estate Agents? Girls in leggings? members of the Church of England who can't accept women as Bishops? no, it is none of these, although I am sure that a modern enlightened Mikado could a punishment to fit their crimes, no it is my fellow bloggers.   

I like to read what you are writing, what you are thinking, I love the Internet, and the way it enables us to self publish our thoughts to find the few (or for some the many) who are interested in what we write.   Given that the object of art is to communicate we bloggers are artists of the highest standing, we make our thoughts available to all of mankind, we lay ourselves open to criticism and comment, many of us actually welcome comment on what we craft.   Blogs can be subject specific, they can be diaries, they can be campaigns that change the world, they can be important or trivial, but please, please can they at least make an attempt to be grammatical.   I  can't spell, I know this and for the first part of my career I avoided jobs that would require me to write so that I would not have to admit to my dyslexia ( why is that such a difficult word to spell?). We now have spell checks on our computers, whether it be Google, Microsoft, apple or blogger the spell check is there.   However it will no tell you when you have spelt a word wrongly but have by accident hit another word. For example if you meant Latin but typed Lantern the spell check will not tell you.   I can see how this can happen, understand and forgive.  

But there is NO EXCUSE for typing your when you mean you're they are totally different words with totally different meanings.   Here is a tip for my fellow bloggers for the next week, every time you mean you are type that rather than you're once you are in the habit, you will remember that Your is the first person possessive, and therefore means something totally different.   You're and Your may sound the same but do not mean the same, any more than whether, and weather or whet and wet or maybe even which and witch.

Please, please, PLEASE remember that the purpose of language is to communicate, and when you use the wrong word you you fail to communicate.

(I am particularly proud of opprobrium)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I wish I had found this picture to illustrate this post it is just so sexy, this is serious lingerie, enticing and, well it is just, err  it's, err  well.......................

Monday, 19 November 2012

30 days to go

After the last couple f weeks, today felt a bit like "Welcome back to the real world".   Basically a day of sitting in heavy traffic, lots of heavy work, a little time at home and then a brass band rehearsal.   I managed to miss the rain, but will probably catch it tomorrow.

When I got home I was so weary I could have sat down on the sofa and gone to sleep, if  I hadn't had to go out soon afterwards.   Instead I ran a hot bath had a soak and relaxed, even though I have no anticipated opportunities to go out lined up while I was in my bath I had a good all over shave.   When ever I shave always like to moisturize afterwards, whatever it is that has been shaved, so after I got out of my bath I rubbed myself all over with Dove, and began to feel much better.   So0 much s that by the time I got to my rehearsal I was feeling quite perky.   We are starting to look at Christmas music already, it does seem early but there are only five week left till Christmas, that's 30 shopping days!

The other day my daughter told me that what she wanted for Christmas was a nose piercing.   I am not enthusiastic, no I am down right opposed!   Although I did suggest that if she did get one done then I woudl go and get my ears done at some point she may well get this done and not regret it, I just feel that at 15 she is still to young, she is also keen on getting a tattoo, I am really against that one.  So I plan to get her some stick on nose jewels, I know it will not be the same but maybe a bit of a peace offering.   I also plan to get her a couple of guitar straps, a nice subtle black leather one with big meal studs for her electric, and a fabric one for her electro~acoustic.   This is not just e being a good dad, I also want my strap back now I seem to be playing the bass fairy regularly.

I don't yet know what I will be buying my wife, but I do know it won't be tickets for Donny and Marie Osmond at the O2, the only tickets left are well over £100 and a couple of those are well out of my price bracket.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

What were they thinking?

I have just got round to watching my recording of yesterday's England against Australia Rugby International.   There is much to discuss about the game, decision making, refereeing of the scrum, payer discipline, ball retention, and many other aspects of the play; however I don't think this is the fora for that sort of discussion.   What I want to raise here is the blooming awful strip the England team were forced to wear.   There is a pride about wearing your national strip, pulling on the white jersey must mean a lot to any English Rugby player.   The New Zealand team is consistently the best in world and is known by it's colours, the "All Blacks", Australians identify strongly with their "Green and Gold".   Arguably England have the best strip of all, white shirt, white shorts and black socks.   Instantly identifiable to anyone with any interest in rugby, and no other team plays in anything like the same colours.
So why on why on Earth did some idiot at HQ think it was a good idea to send "the boys" out to play in that ridiculous purple and gold?   Rugby is quite possibly the most manly of sports (that's why I played it!) so why choose a really pretty colour and then ornament it with gold?   What next? high heeled boots, suspenders on the socks?

Thomas Waldron
Gratuitous Lingerie picture
This would be a great colour scheme for a lingerie set, maybe a nice satin camisole with matching french knickers, or maybe a lace three piece bra pantie and suspender set.   Something I might wear but I just can't or at least don't want to, see Thomas Waldren (England no 8) in anything even remotely resembling this.

Lingering longingly over lovely lingerie

I just discovered a new word, over on He Wears Panties a rather silly site I like to visit, they have coined the word lingerista.   Personally I think I will admit to being one, I love lingerie, I love the look of it and I love the feel of it, I like to see others wearing  lingerie and I love to wear it myself.

So what do I mean by lingerie? Chambers rather unhelpfully defines the word simple as "Women's underclothes" for me there is all the difference in the world between the satin and lace, the frills and fripperies of true lingerie and the simple practicality of underwear.   In a life when so much is simply down to functionality it is a small, but significant joy to have something necessary but totally frivolous.   For me there are a few prerequisites for lingerie, they should be a set, they should not be too practical, a necessity for a few adjustment here and there during the course of the day (or maybe more to the point the evening) just add to the fun, for all concerned.   Decoration is not important, it is vital, some piping a few bows, maybe some lace and mesh, by the very nature of lingerie it should be silly fun, frothy and frivolous.   Of course the ultimates in impracticality are often the ones that are most fun to wear, and to see being worn, basques, stockings and suspenders, teddies, negligees, so I bet we nearly all have nearly all of those in our knicker draw.

Without these fun unnecessary attributes these items fall into the practical, the merely underwear, they become the mentionables where they should be the unmentionables, if you chose your underwear for comfort and warmth then it is probably not lingerie. On the other hand of course this whole post could just be a rather contrived excuse to post some pictures of pretty girls with not a lot of clothes on ~ as if I would do anything like that.   All photos courtesy of
On a different note I had a little time the other day and happened to find myself outside a branch of Matalan, one of my favorite shops, so I popped in.   They have a dress I have seen advertised that I liked the look of and wanted to try on to see how it looked.   This branch didn't have it in my size (16) but I was feeling ambitious so I tried a size 14.   It was a little snug  but looked great, I think a size 16 would be fabulous, and I want it, I want it, I want it.   Accepting the risk of sounding like a petulant 14 year old I want this dress, but, and here's the snag I can think of no occasion where I am likely to have the opportunity to wear it.   I need to be asked to some posh do, a diner dance or formal reception, anything, then I can justify the (not really substantial) cost of the dress.   Even if I only wore it once I would be happy.   There, you see what a shallow girl I can be.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A post without a title

Wednesday mid day and I get the call to help my friend P move her log pile from Crawley to Lincolnshire, so after a meeting with some local authority officers I got back to Croydon at about five thirty and then had to make my way down to Crawley load up and then drive to Lincolnshire before unloading and then making the return journey with both P and her husband.   And for most of the journey there was fairly thick fog.   I had planned on a visit to the osteopath and then going to rehearsal with my Band in Croydon, instead of getting my aches seen to I ended up acquiring some fresh ones.   I know it's stupid but I ended up craning my neck forward driving in the fog, when I got home around five O'clock in the morning my neck was stiff I was tired, and all I could do was collapse into bed.

I had taken a couple of changes of clothing with me, the first one to get changed out of the suit I wore to my meeting into something more sensible for shifting a wood pile, the second change was for my God Mother's funereal on Thursday, and some pjs, in case I didn't make it home.   It had all happened so quickly that I took the wrong clothes with me, and didn't need them anyway since I did make it home.   I did manage to get up in time and made the journey to Oxfordshire in time. it was a very good and very appropriate service, my God Mother knew she was going to die so made all the arrangements for the service with her good friend, the vicar.   It was nice to have the service conducted by someone who not only knew her, but was a close personal friend.   Afterwards chatting to some other members of the family it struck me that the last time I had met most of them had been at my God Mother's Mother's funeral, I suppose that is a factor of us all getting older.

The plan was that I would make the drive back to London Pretty, and then as both my wife and daughter would be out I would meet up with my friend B, to catch up and maybe have a bite to eat, as it was while I was making my way back through the London rush hour I got a call from my wife telling me my daughter would be home after all, so I decided to cancel meeting up with B and spend the night with my daughter.   As it happened she went to bed early and I feel asleep on the sofa.

When she has moved I will miss my friend P, she has been instrumental in giving Paula the confidence to go out, to start enjoying life, I shall miss our lunches and our shopping expeditions, I shall miss the intimacy of a girl's girl friend.   As I was working with her today I mentioned to my friend S that I would miss having someone to have lunch with, she said, well that can be me when I'm not working, aren't people wonderful!

Friday, 16 November 2012

I know, it's Friday!

I have now had my hair cut, and am very happy with the results, it did cost me quite bit more than the local barber, but well worth it.   Although they do say they are a unisex hairdresser, I think the vast majority of their customers must be women it is definitely a female environment, which is fine by me.   In the end I decided to go dressed (M & S Grey wool trouser suit, black shirt blouse and black pumps)

I had managed to write this much on Wednesday lunch time before a couple of game changing phone calls.   So now I am continuing to write it up on Friday evening

I explained to Nicola exactly what I wanted, I like my hair on the longer side, I would like it thicker than any barber lets it be, and in an ideal world I would like to be able to go out as Paula without a wig.   She was very understanding, and started the process, by evening up the length and trimming off the uneven "wispy bits", after a blow dry I thought it looked really good and continued the rest of the morning dressed and without covering up my own hair, it is quite liberating to not wear a wig.   A bit like Paul at "Way Ahead" she did ask about whether I would consider a perm or hair dye, and again I had to say that that would be more than my wife would accept.   I would rather like to have my hair dyed, but it would simply not be allowed.   As I say I was very happy with the results, but when I looked at some photos I took I'm not so sure, the hairline is of course still a bit high, just too much forehead, but I do think it could work, given time.   And I have already booked my next appointment.

I had a little time so I popped into West Wickham I had to go to the bank and get a couple of things done.   I needed a new battery for one of my Girl watches and a new strap for my work watch.   After I had done those things that I had to do I had a quick trawl through the Charity Shops, I am still after a pair of riding boots so I when I found a pair I was hopeful but they were not my size.   I just had to settle for a jumper dress and a pair of shoes.   I have yet to try the dress on but these are the shoes.

I have heard it said that a cross dresser will have shoes that would make a hooker blush, well I think these are mine.   I know it's not a great photo but the leather is a silvery colour with a metallic sheen, and the I think my highest heel to date, they are very comfortable to wear bu a bit tricky to walk in, what a friend of mine would call "restaurant shoes".

And now I have a serious question to ask, ~ ankle chain sexy or slutty, go on answer the question, I want to know. 
Oh Yes, the phone call, my friend P called, she is in the process of moving and needed some help, I had said that if she needed any help then to call me, so when she did just that I couldn't turn her down, but then that's another story.........

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Living Doll

Every girl wants to look like a living doll, right? well I'm not so sure, I have just come across Valeria Lukyonova, described as a Ukranian model, and I think she coudl change quite few peoples views about the ideal body image, have a look at teh report in The Mail and see what you think, I'm frightened! 

Just a quicky

yes just a quick post to tell you all what a great night I have had, and also to show that you can have a good time in drab!   Of course tonight's drab is not very drab, in as much as I am doing the full black tie and dinner jacket bit.   We had a good concert, better than most of us expected, with a new trombone section that worked well together, I hope we will have the same section again, it makes it much easier, and more musical when we can build a relationship and understanding within a section.

The overture ( Mendelssohn – Ruy Blas Overture ) went well, just one impromptu solo from the alto trombone, then we sat out the concerto ( Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ ) which was excellent, then after the interval we played Sibelius  Symphony No.5, this is one of those pieces that is much harder to play than it sounds, anyway we got away with it.   The wind and the brass were OK  the strings struggled with sound in some of the quiet exposed passages, but overall not bad, ~ and the audience loved it.   The down side to the evening was that the local pub (the Marquis of Granby) was closed, so I got on the no 3 bus sober and made way towards home.

So I arrived back at Crystal Palace around 10:20 after having played trombone all evening with a bit of a thirst, so I popped into the good old Grape and Grain for a pint.   They always keep their beer well, and tonight it slipped down very well.   I got involved in a conversation with the land lady that took us well after closing time, and into a few "afters".   It is so nice to be welcomed, accepted and befriended, I am amazed that this is a pub that I use both in my male and female personas and I am still equally welcomed and happy both ways.   The couple who run this Pub are fast becoming heroes of mine, I don't think that they are naturals, in as much as they have no LGBT tendencies themselves but they are open minded enough to welcome us into their pub and engage with our issues and try to understand.   We need more people like this so lets encourage them, when we meet them, and thank them for thier understanding and acceptance.

It was so nice to have a chance to chat with someone who knows me both ways, is interested, but is more interested in me, non judgemental, and just simply friendly, also she was wearing great animal print tights! (by the way if this should be a little incoherent I am a little relaxed due to over indulgence and am now retiring)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

This is life, not a rehearsal

This evenings rehearsal went better than I expected, well it went better than I expected for me.   Fortunately all the music is well within my register, with nothing too challenging technically, the same can't be said for my colleagues on tenor and alto trombone, and even after a few rehearsals some of the strings are still uncertain in places.   Of course I am assured that it will be "alright on the night", and strangely it usually is.   As the trombones are not in the concerto we were released early, I had a few things with me so I managed my quick change act and Paula drove back towards home.

As I was approaching the Grape and Grain for a swift half before home, I noticed a friend's car parked outside so diverted myself to another establishment in the area, The Alma.   This is another very nice pub, quieter than the G & G with real (looking) fires and a decent menu, it was nice to be accepted while I enjoyed a quiet couple of halves, and tried to sort out my diary.

I was trying to sort out my diary as at the moment I seem to have five days work and only three days to do it in.   I will have to concentrate on office work tomorrow before going up to town for my concert.   Then on Wednesday morning I have made an appointment for a hair cut.   This is something I haven't done since the seventies, I finally got fed up with bad hair cuts from barbers and made an appointment with a so called unisex hairdresser.    I plan to make it clear that I came to a unisex hairdresser because I want a unisex hair cut.   I long for a style that I can wear both as a man and as a woman rather than having to rely on a wig, failing that I will settle for a decent hair cut.   I am contemplating turning up for the appointment as Paula, but fear that might confuse the issue too much, I may just provide a few pointers, e.g. nail polish, a (girls) ring, maybe even a trouser suit.   Whatever this should set me up well for a meeting I have in the afternoon with a local authority before dashing back for an appointment with my osteopath.   The rehearsal in the evening should be a doddle after that lot.

I haven't worked out my timings for Thursday, but I may have time to meet up with my friend B after the funeral.   He had an interview today, while I value his help I do hope he manages to get a "proper job" soon, what I can give him is nowhere near enough to live on.   I haven't seen him since I got back from holiday so maybe we can have dinner together since my wife will be out, I'll have to see when I get back from Oxfordshire.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Difficult times

I have a bit of a stressful week ahead of me, over and above my normal work load, this evening I have a rehearsal up in town, for the concert on Tuesday evening.   This is quite a big concert at St John's Smith Sq, in aid of the Charlie Waller trust, I understand a lot of tickets have been sold, and that it will be a bit of a gala affair.   I will admit that I am worried as I have done virtually no practise on the trombone for the last couple of months as I have been focusing much more on the tuba, conducting and of course learning the electric bass, I just hope I am up to it.

On Wednesday after a visit to my osteopath I am back on tuba for a rehearsal, before a big change of plan on Thursday.   My God Mother died last week, and I have just heard that the funeral will be on Thursday, as I will have to travel up to Oxfordshire I will have to take the whole day off, I think it is important that I am there, especially since my Mother (who was in turn her God Mother) will not be up to attending.  I will be expected home pretty late so may well stop on the way for something to eat, or maybe Paula will stop for something to eat.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Know yourself

Today is Remembrance day, and for the first time in about 30 years I have not been playing in a special remembrance service, so instead this morning I was at my home church for a baptism service, I can think of few better ways to spend a Sunday morning.

Joanne Watmore smiles as she scores on her England debut in the match
against France at Esher.
Photograph: tomlinson
When I got home I watched the high lights of yesterdays England Rugby international, very pleased with the result, but one or two things worried me, mostly the way the "donkeys" kept turning up in the mid field and ended up slowing the ball down or making wrong decisions.   There were a couple of occasions where the ball went to a lock or a prop and then got carried into contact, if the ball had gone to a three quarter there woudl have been another try scored.   I know that you will not all appreciate and love the game the way I do, but this has something to do with knowing your self and knowing the role you play.   

Interestingly a major theme at yesterdays event was also knowing your role, only in that context of course it was the role within a band.

At risk of sounding a bit like Radio Four's thought for the day, I think there could be a lesson for life in there somewhere as well, possibly more about knowing yourself than any thing about roles, certainly life becomes much easier when you accept who you are, of course that is easier for some than others, personally I find I am much less personally conflicted since I accepted that I am to some extent trans and will need to express that part of my nature through periodical cross dressing.   while there is still much that I don't understand and possibly never will at least I am now content that this is who and what I am.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Well today (Friday) I had quite a lot to get done, and even managed some of it.   I had to drop a key round to one of my customers, the lady who owned the house died earlier this year but I have been continuing to look after the garden until the house was sold.   They now have an exchange date and were clearing the last few things and as I had the only key to the lock on the garden gate I had to drop that round to them.   It was a bit sad, the end of an era, I had got to know and like this lady over a period of about 8 years looking after her garden and helping out in other small ways, I shall miss her and her garden.   Then a bit later at another customer I heard that they are expecting an addition to the family in the spring.    I put in the last of my daffodil bulbs to celebrate the news!   In a way this is a reminder that in life just as in gardening the seasons turn, things die off in autumn and winter to make way for fresh life in the spring.

This thought kept revolving in my mind as I spent most of the afternoon raking up leaves and cutting back the dead growth of herbaceous perennials.   There is a reassurance in the knowledge that fresh growth will come in the spring.

So I have a busy weekend and what looks like being a busy week ahead as well, at the moment I am still in the happy position of having slightly more work than I have time for, especially now that I have to pack up earlier as the evenings draw in.   It really struck me today how quickly it got dark, at 4:00 p.m. it was bright and sunny, by 4:30 it was too dark to work, if this carries on I may have to start getting up earlier.   I will have to get up early tomorrow anyway as I have to make sure I am in good time to help with registration at our Band Event, I have been looking forward to this for some time, it's just a shame that it is the same day as my support group meets, ironically I have been able to get to the last four or five meetings, while my friend Juliet hasn't been able to, but she will be there tomorrow when it looks like I will have to miss out.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The long weight

I meant to mention this before, a dire waring about the potential side effects of holidays.   I weighed myself on the Thursday morning before we left, at that time I was exactly 12 stone (168 lbs).   After spending a week sunning myself, sitting on the balcony reading and drinking cold beer I returned home relaxed and (very slightly) bronzed.   On Saturday Morning I weighed myself again I had put on six pounds in 9 days.   It has to be said that I did not indulge heavily in chocolate, ice creams or indeed any other sweet things, I think it was simply down to being lazy.

I have now been back at work for four days and am back down to 12 stone 3 pounds already.   I find that I will generally plateau at around 12 stone, if I go much over I start to feel flabby, if I go much under I start to feel a bit weak.   I expect that by the end of next week I will be back at my 12 stone mark with very little effort, it's not fair really my wife struggles with her weight and has to put in a concerted effort to lose any.   Likewise with nails, while we were away she had a few tries at nail polish, it just doesn't seem fair that both my wife and daughter have pretty poor nails, that split,, break and peel, polish peels off or chips easily, yet my nails grow strongly and evenly they are easily shaped and the polish goes on well ~ it's just not fair!

As far as I can tell these extra few pounds have no effect on how my girl clothes will fit, but I haven't actually worn any of them since I got back, but last night at my rehearsal I mentioned the increase and a couple of people did say that they could tell, ~ well wow I never realise anyone looked at me that closely, i know I was wearing quite a snug fitting polo neck jumper, but even so.......

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Busy Again

While it may be slightly odd coming from  Knute of all people, it is nice to be treated like a lady.

I think that for me it is one of the joys of my forays out "en femme" when I am not only accepted as a woman, but treated like a lady.   Now I have to admit that it does not happen very often but when it does I will admit to a little thrill, it is not just a sign that my presentation is good it is also a validation of my femininity.

I don't know when I will be out next, to a certain extent that depends as much on the weather as anything else.   This Saturday my support group has a meeting, but I will not be there as I will be at another event in Maidstone with my family and a brace of tubas.   I have quite a lot on musically, last night I had a rehearsal of my wind band (on EEb) on Saturday I will be playing at this worship event (on CC) on Sunday evening I will be playing at our evening service (electric bass) and then on Monday and Tuesday I will be playing with the London Charity Orchestra at St John's Smith Sq. (on bass trombone) then Wednesday it's back at the wind band again.   With everything else going on I need to do some practise, so any free time must be spent doing that rather than "playing dress up".

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

It's different now

I wrote here about the change to the bus service in Malta, that is not the only thing that has changed in the time I have been going there.   The first time I went to Malta was about 25 years ago, I went for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer with a friend.   It was very hot, too hot, everyone spoke English pretty much all the time, (as I remember it I only heard Maltese spoken by some old fishermen in a cheap bar) and there were still many signs of the British military presence and even of the pummelling the Island took during the war.
Each time I have been back the Islands have become a little more developed, the bomb sites are now long gone, the old submarine pens are now a trendy marina, some of the barracks have been turned into apartments or hotels but many demolished.   There are still some of the old forts and other signs of the British connection, they drive on the left, and English is still widely spoken, indeed apart from the buses this was the main change I noticed this year, I heard a lot more Maltese being spoken.  
I remember being told a few years ago that many people looked down on anyone speaking Maltese as being of low status, that seems to have changed, one night we attended a concert starting a festival, all the announcements were in Maltese, and I could hear all the local dignitaries conversing together in Maltese.   I suspect that this is part of an ever growing sense of nationhood, and pride in the nation.   For the visitor it certainly adds to the idea that you are abroad, not just in a sunnier area of England.
One day while we were there we took a boat trip around the Islands, these are just a few of the photos I took on that trip I hope it shows some of why I am so keen on the place.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Retail Therapy

Well I was right about my day's work, in one garden alone I cleared up 10 large sacks of leaves, and since I have to pay for my green waste disposal I do make sure that I compress them as much as possible and squeeze as much in a sack as possible.   I managed a fair bit before it started raining, I had hoped to get one more job in, but at the moment anything I can get done is a relief.  

So I found myself in Beckenham with a little time to kill, and thought I would do what I usually do in these circumstances and had a wander around the charity shops, and I did find a few things I wanted, a pair of moccasins / deck shoes, (my old ones are totally worn out) a nice grey turtle neck jumper (oh dear, yes, it's a ladies one) four pairs of tights (it's getting worse), and then just to cap it all I picked up a couple of nail polishes.   In my defense I will say that I only spent a total of £11 on the whole lot and the shoes were the most expensive item at £4:00 all of which rather makes a mockery of everything I wrote here.   I guess that at heart I am just a little weak willed, but then like Lord Darlington I can resist anything except temptation.

Truly Back

Today will be my first day back gardening since our holiday since yesterday was taken up with admin. work that jus couldn't be put off any longer.   I came down this morning and looking out over the garden it is obvious that there is going to be plenty to do.   I think the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees since I was last working, nearly all the herbaceous plants have died back and a lot of leaves are down.   And this morning there is a frost on the roof of the neighbour's shed.
Yesterday I had a quick sort through the van and put away my hedge trimmer and got out the leaf blower, I think a major part of the next couple of weeks will be spent clearing up leaves.  Not all fallen leaves look as spectacular as these at Westonbirt, but even when they do look nice they will still cause damage t a lawn if left to lie too long, so I will be out with my rake and blawer gathering up sacks of leaves, and generally tidying up.   Meanwhile my own garden is still in desperate need of having the grass cut.

Monday, 5 November 2012

America Votes

So we are coming up to that time when Americans vote for their President.   The post holder is widely viewed as the most powerful man in the world, certainly they will be the commander in chief of the most powerful armed forces and the political head f the most powerful economy.  

Here in Europe we tend to think that which candidate wins will make a big difference to how the world will be, we also tend to look at the candidates that emerge and despair, to us the choice often looks like being between the right wing, and the extreme right wing, and worry what will happen if the "wrong" man wins.   Well sometimes the USA do vote in what we might think is the wrong man, and, well I'm not sure how much difference it makes to us.   George W was obviously the worse candidate yet for a number of reasons (not least the bazaar electoral college system) after a series of Court cases won, and what difference did it make to the rest of the world, we will simply never know.   Bush's time will be remembered for events out of his hands and how he reacted to them, maybe he did lead the world into war, but would Al Gore have reacted with any difference?

I hope the USA will make the right decision tomorrow, from my point of view that means the candidate who wants a progressive sustainable economy, will resist international armed intervention, and looks to support the Country's weakest and most marginalised citizens.   Thoughts on trans rights of course would influence my choice, but would not be the sole critical factor, but then I don't have the choice.   Maybe I should hope that whatever choice Americans will make will be made the right one, that whoever takes up this high office will be worthy of it.   What we do know is that it will be a man.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Funny Old thing ain't it?

As the morning seems to be getting darker rather than lighter and the rest of the family are still in bed, I thought I would just take a moment to record a few musings, it is now over three weeks since I shaved anything other than my face and over two weeks since I dressed in any other way than society would expect and I generally feel OK.   I will not say that I have not thought about dressing, it just hasn't become an imperative yet.   I look at my chest in the mirror and it just looks like a man's hairy chest, my pits stopped itching and then pretty much went out of my mind as did my legs, I look at my hands and feet and feel a little bit of sadness at their passing elegance.   However on that front the idea that this is the last day for a while that I will have really clean finger nails hurts a bit more.

I know that I have a couple of events coming up where I will dress (maybe even glam it up a bit), I know this and I accept it, but at this moment I am neither looking forward with eager anticipation or dread, I just know it will happen.   Likewise I know that the drive to dress will be back, I do not choose to do this but I do now accept that it will happen.   So I begin to ask myself these questions

1. Is it stress relief? I have been on holiday I have had a good time with my family and have relaxed.   I have spent time sitting in the sun with a cold beer reading entertaining books.   By my standards I am relaxed and refreshed,

now pause for about 12 hours while the rest of the family get up, decide to go to Brands, get cold, come home, watch the recording of the Grand Prix (wasn't it a classic!) have something to eat, then a small argument, then settle down to watch "X Factor" exiling me to the bedroom ~ thank goodness I've go a lap top ~ now where was I?

so, maybe the whole dressing thing is a form of stress relief a way of having a holiday from myself, going into the "other" in order to escape the ordinary.   When the ordinary, the everyday, is so unacceptable that escape is needed maybe I need to be somebody so different that even my gender changes.

2. Maybe it is just a habit I have got into, something I do rather than something I am.   When I became a nonsmoker, it was because I accepted that smoking was something I did, a habit, I was not a smoker I was somebody who smoked, therefore I could become somebody who didn't smoke, it was just a matter of changing habits.
There is a story of a Native American who describes the state of his soul as being like two dogs fighting, when asked which dog is wining he replies "the one that I feed".   Now I know that the more I dress the more I want to, the more I feed the girl the more dominant she is if I stop feeding the girl will she starve? or fight back more strongly?.   I know that does does not mean that it is just habit, but maybe it is a factor.
3.   I strive for elegance, I am beginning to understand that this is a factor in my music making and in my gardening.   I am creative, I believe we all are, that is part of being made in the image of the creator.   What I create I want to be elegant, maybe my dressing is an expression of this desire for elegance, maybe my dressing is an expression of this desire for elegance.
4.  Or maybe, just maybe, in some way, some small part of me, could it be I am a girl?

Rain, Rain go away

We had planned to spend the day at Brands Hatch watching truck racing and a fireworks display at the end, to get in the full day's racing we would have had to leave by around 9:00 it is currently 8:30 and neither of my ladies is yet out of bed.   Perhaps more to the point it seems to have been raining all night and is forecast to carry on raining solidly well into the afternoon.
At the moment I am not at all sure that we will be going at all, there is not a lot of fun to be had sitting in a wet grandstand, exposed to the weather when he weather is wet and cold.  The car parks are the adjoining fields and I expect that they will be pretty much water logged and muddy so parking could well be a bit of a problem as well.   A shame, I had been looking forward to this as a nice end to our holiday, a final outing together before we all get back into our busy regular routines again.

Tomorow we are all back, my daughter at school and my wife and I at work, although I shall probably be working from home catching up on paper work for much of the day.  Can't say I'm actualy looking forward to it much.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

On the Buses

One of the things that has always been a fun part of any trip to, or indeed in Malta was the buses.  A great tourist attraction in them selves eh buses were a cheap and idiosyncratic way to travel around the island.   The buses were operated by owner drivers on individual contracts for specific routes, most of the buses were old British coaches, kept going as long as possible, held together with string chewing gum and hope, but all clean and shiny in the Island livery of yellow white and orange.   The sight of these old buses still in operation warmed the hearts of many an enthusiast, and intrigued tourists.   They were part of the colour of the island and models were sold in the souvenir shops.

These two photos are ones I took during our holiday three years ago.   Then and the following year did all our travelling round the Island by bus, they were colourful and fun, as a tourist I cannot comment on their reliability and comfort was not a major benefit.   The main thing is that they were very different to anything anywhere else, and a major part of enjoying a holiday is enjoying the "other", these buses were a major part of Malta being "other".

However you will have noticed the past tense, this year we were very disappointed to find that 
a contract was given to Arriva, they have introduced modern buses including some old London "bendy buses" in their international livery.  These modern buses are air conditioned, modern and relatively comfortable, the drivers are uniformed employees, the bus stations have been re-built and modern real time up dated signs tell passengers how long they will have to wait for the next bus.   Despite all this we did feel that something had been lost in the process, when we made this observation to a souvenir shop owner, in reply he observed that we didn't have to travel on them every day.

Malta is still very much "Other" and that is a large part of the enjoyment of the Holiday, a way of relaxing.   For me to truly relax and enjoy the holiday I have to get physically away, and be "other" than my day to day self ~ maybe that is part my cross dressing drive, simply to be other than my workaday self ~ or maybe not.............................

Friday, 2 November 2012


We got back not too late last night, but late enough hat I didn't feel like making a proper post, and late enough that I didn't have time to catch up with everything that has been going on in my on-line world.   I know a lot of you will keep up with such things on phones, this is not my way, my phone is for talking to people and sending/receiving messages.   It has a couple of gadget I like and use, I do occasionally use the camera, but wouldn't miss it much if I didn't have one, I do like the torch though, that is a great idea.

I have now caught up with all of my Paula e-mails (I haven't dared to look at his yet) and the blogs I like to follow, I will start catching up with the cartoons later.   I am very pleased to see that Karen has returned to her blog, and I have added a link back on the side bar.   It is generally pretty obvious that the world carries on turning even when I am away on holiday.   The temperature here is about 20 degrees lower than we got used to last week, but coming back to our garden I find we still have Sweet Williams, Fuchsias, Nerines, Cyclamen, Impatiens and some Chrysanthemums all in flower, and best of all my Kniphofia is in it's full glory, it's always a little late, but well worth waiting for.


Just got home from Malta, lots to say, lots to write, lots of pictures.   We are all well, rested and happy, stuff will follow, posts will be written, in the mean time it's good to be back and here's a picture from 2010

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Suggestions please

So I wonder what course I should be on, I welcome all suggestions and will look at them and consider them when I get back from my holiday.