Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 31 December 2012

Resolutions II

So having had a look back at how I have done over the last year it's now time to look ahead at what i want to achieve over the coming year.   Unlike last year these will not all be trans related, with more frequent posting I have found that I writing more and more about other aspects of my life, this seems only right as I am not a one dimensional person, and I am often far more involved in family, work r music matters than in any trans issues that may be around.   However like last year I am going to limit myself to six
1   To achieve solvency ~ I think I have mentioned before that money is an issue, like so many other people I ran up credit card and other debt that I suddenly found I could no longer service.   I have had to make "arrangements" with my creditors and have, with difficulty being sticking to these arrangements.   Towards the end of 2013 I anticipate a small windfall, nothing substantial, but it should be enough to settle everything except the mortgage, that would be a very nice feeling!

2   To take off one day each month, solely for my own edification.   I have tried to do this a few times but have always ending up missing few, these are my days to go to an art exhibition visit a garden or house, time to myself to go out and do something that will inspire and enlighten me, I expect that these may well also be Paula days.   I have already set this in motion I have booked for a couple of exhibitions at the Royal Academy.

3   To spend quality time with my wife, to restore our relationship and to get better at communicating.   I think we have started this and things have improved over the last month or so, but I am still very aware that I could "blow it" big time with one false move.   When our daughter was born I bought my wife a gold chain, a couple of years ago it broke, as part of her Christmas present I had it repaired, this was meant to be symbolic of my determination to repair our relationship, I hope this was noticed.

4   To enjoy Paula, but not let her take over.   I love the release of being Paula, of dressing up and going out, but I do not want to become Paula, full time, I need to be him, for myself, for my family and friends but most of all for my wife and daughter.   Like so much else this is complicated I know that I can't put the genii back in the bottle, but I need to limit the amount of time, money and emotional energy I devote to Paula, however having said that when I do go out, I need to make the most of it and do it as well as I can.

5   To perform as Paula, yes I still fancy doing some stand up, but I would also love to be able to play a concert as Paula, uniting two of my passions, unfortunately I am not sure how easy that woudl be with any of the ensembles I am currently playing with, I still have some hopes of the LGSO and associated wind band, but other than them I am not sure how I will achieve this one!
 
6   To play more music, by this I mean both recorded music to listen to and as an instrumentalist.   I need to do more (or indeed any) practise, especially on the tuba, I have noticed that I am not as good a player as was even a couple of years ago.   I think that a lot of this is down to my conducting, this takes a lot of the time that I was previously devoting to playing, and I have not made up for it any other time.   To a certain extent it is just keeping the muscles in trim, but I definitely need to play teh bass guitar more so that I can get to the level where I am playing the music, rather than the instrument!   It also struck me the other day that I rarely get to listen to music, the television tends to dominate in our household, but I am determined that I should listen to more of the music I know I love, and some that I don't know, I think this is one of the ways that we grow as musicians, exposure to new music as well as looking deeper into what we already know and love.   It could be as simple as retuning teh radio to Radio 3 and Classic fm occasionally rather than leave it stuck on Radio 4.

Maybe these are not all SMART i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, but they are at least all timed.   I'm not always good at making changes, but it is always worth trying to change the things you are not happy with.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Resolutions I

This is the time when we all start to think about resolutions and what we are hoping to achieve over the next year.   I have a number of things I want to do /achieve some are simple some more complicated, some just require application others cooperation and may be a bit of luck.

Last year I made six so lets see how I did
  1. To post frequently and regularly to this blog.  I seem to be doing OK on this, I usually manage one a day (the level I set myself) but rarely ow miss more than one day at a time,
  2. To regularly have 100 plus reader a day. Not really under my control, but I am now getting over 150 hits most day and occasionally over 200
  3. To go out dressed more often. I have been, quite often just to do ordinary things, like supermarket or garden centre shopping, I have found myself getting a lot more comfortable with myself, and with other people.
  4. Do a stand up routine as Paula. Total failure, I did manage to book myself in on a "platform" night but then found I couldn't get myself organised
  5. To take more photos to share with my readers. Still not good at this, I'm not great at taking photos anyway and getting ones of myself adds a layer of complexity and organisation, and of course when I am out I a more interested in what I am doing than in taking pictures.
  6. To come out to at least three long standing friends.   This year I have come out to my good friends S and B, I have just checked back and found that it was in fact last year (2011) that I came out to P and her husband, I shall miss her now she has moved, S & B are both cool but by the nature of what they do I will not be able to share Paula time with them the same way.   I have also come out to one other friend, but unlike the other two he has not, and is unlikely t meet Paula.
So all in all I think that's not too bad I shall call that 5 out of 6, I shall give my self a pat on the back but tell myself to try harder next year.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Not a Teenager

I woke up this morning later than planned, and feeling definitely second hand, I had far too much to drink last night and paid the price this morning.   Too make mater more complicated I had at least some sense last night and didn't drive home but "crashed" at my friends house, so this morning I had to go home, get changed and then get to work, only around an hour late.

I don't think I was giving prime value for money, I just can't do this sort of thing anymore.   I have to admit that I'm no longer a teenager, there was a time when I could (and did regularly) do this sort of thing with little care, now I am wasted for the whole of the following day, ahh another aspect of growing old.

We are going out tonight, I think I may volunteer to drive and not drink, just for a change.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Gerry Anderson RIP

Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward
Very sad news today for all Thunderbird Fans after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a couple of years Gerry Anderson has died.    For those of us of a certain age Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Stingray and Captain Scarlet were not only part of our childhood, but part of the adults we grew up to be.   Not only did we get some iconic images but these were also shows that changed our language, just think of the countdown at the start of Thunderbirds or the meaningless response F.A.B.

I is also remembering that the music for these shows was very cinematic, with full orchestra and top notch singers, I think I may be introducing the Thunderbirds March into my Band's summer repertoire this year.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Thank you Brooke

Yes think you for a timely reminder of the true meaning of Christmas
I want to go to that party, and I want to wear that black dress (actually I want to be able to wear that black dress), but failing that the other thing I wouldn't have minded finding in my stocking....

Monday, 24 December 2012

All I want for Christmas

The Telegraph has done a list of 15 things not to buy her for Christmas I can't argue with any of them.   There may be one or two things I might buy myself but I wouldn't want them as gifts.   So what do I want as gifts.   The one thing I want most is a Bass Guitar Gig Bag, however I think there is little chance that anyone else will buy me one so I expect to be hitting e-bay pretty soon.

But of course what I really hope for is a nice quiet couple of days with my family, there will be a few visits to friends but it is that time when we are alone as a family that I treasure most, the one thing I dread, the washing up ~ so maybe what I really want for Christmas is a dish washer!

So a very happy Christmas and New Year and may God bless us, every one!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

'Tis the Season to be....Busy

As a tuba player I am suddenly in a lot of demand, on Thursday evening we played carols around our Parish, four brass players and a little choir while others knocked on doors and handed out mince pies sweets and a list of the Christmas services in the Parish over Christmas.   As we are a joint benefice with two ministers and two Churches there are quite a lot of services.   Then on Friday evening we had an outdoors carol service in front of one of our Churches, this time three brass and electric keyboard along with the choir.   All great fun and a good thing to do but none the less pretty tiring after a days work, on both days I didn't get home and have any dinner till around ten.



So it was nice yesterday to have a it of lie-in before driving down to Hever Castle for a final concert of the year, this time with a different local Brass Band playing BBb bass.   It was good to play some different music and meet up with some old friends, also the way the castle and grounds were lit up was very pretty, indeed I wondered about using the title "Hever on Earth" I didn't have a camera with me so these shots are ones I took on my rather poor quality phone camera.


It seems odd but I realised the other day that I only seem to play Mrs T (my old Hawkes Cavalry Model BBb) at Christmas, I used a band instrument yesterday evening so Mrs T went back up into the attic for another year.   This evening I will be playing at our main Parish Carol Service for what feels like the first time for ages I will be using "the new toy" my Conn CC.   I shall have to find some time today to have quick practise to see if I can remember which fingers to use!

We still haven't heard anymore from Relate about some more counselling, so I think I can say that that will be it for this year, still I do feel things are a little better between us and I am looking forward to spending Christmas Day with just the three of us together with no one else around.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Bang Bang

Right now there does seem to be just one subject that is dominating the news, and the blogersphere, regardless of the transition from Plebgate to Plodgate, the NUM refusing to pay for Arthur Scargill's flat in the Barbican and the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan, it is gun control in the USA that dominates.   Reading a few blogs I am struck by just how alien the arguments seem to my British sensitivities.   In most other European countries much of their Police Service will be routinely armed, but here in the UK we are used to the idea that guns are only for exceptional circumstances, even for the Police.   The very idea of owning a gun is highly alien to the majority of the population, any gun needs to be licensed, and the vast majority are shot guns held in rural areas for pest control followed by single shot hunting rifles for those few who follow the sport.

As something of an outside observer I cannot understand how the majority of Americans can sit by and tolerate the sort of incident that happened in that Connecticut high school and not seek to bring gun ownership under some sort of control.   Yet I hear that today the HRA think that they will make schools safer places by bringing more guns into them!   I simply can't understand how the USA can change, they are so used to having guns around, and there are so many in circulation that I can't see how any useful legislation could be enforced.

In short I am reminded of the old rural gentleman who when asked for directions to somewhere simply replied "I wouldn't have started from here"   Well given that we are all still here and the world did not end this morning then it does look as if the US Government is going to have to some how deal with the situation.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A tight spot

I mentioned that I was "up in town" on Sunday, I always enjoy my ventures into London as much as anything as I get a chance to see some well dressed ladies.   By the nature of my work and the places where I go I don't get to see many women who will take care to be well groomed and have at least a nod towards fashion (apart from my daughters teenage friends that is).    I am very pleased to see that the fashion for opaque tights and miniskirts or skinny jeans with boots is still very much on trend, I also rather like the similar look of dark tights / leggings boots and a colourful flowing tunic top.   I suspect that I am personally far to old and bulky to carry off this look, but I can still enjoy looking.

There is no getting away from the fact that black tights are very much "in" whether it is a sheer "dress" look with heels, a casual look with opaques and boots or something in between, I have to say they can be very sexy.   Driving to work this morning I saw a lovely looking girl with riding boots, black animal patterned black tights and a black mini teamed with an on trend short military style overcoat and I was just overcome with how good she looked.

In a way I sit on both sides of the fence and this is one fashion I love to see and love to wear, so I'm a winner all round.

On the other hand this could just be an excuse to put up some nice photos I found browsing the old internet.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Resistance is futile

I notice that a lot of my recent posts have not had a lot trans content, indeed at least a couple have been replicated on my other (non trans tuba player) blog.   This is partly down to the simple fact that I am much more than a cross dresser, this is not the sole defining feature of what makes me, me.   I say in my profile that there are many aspects  to my life, cross dressing is just one of them.   It happens to be one that, because of my social circumstances, it is difficult for me to talk about with other people so it is often the central aspect of this blog.

I have been busy recently with all sorts of things, cooking an Alpha supper for 30 people, arranging and conducting music for a Christmas performance, playing at St Paul's with the other Christmas Tubas, as well as work.   There is a bit of me that always hopes that this sort of level of activity will distract me from trans thoughts, it never works.   I find that I am wanting to at least under-dress more than for some time, I suspect that this is because of my lack of opportunity or willingness to fully dress, because of my marital situation.   I can't see that I will have any opportunities to dress fully for the remainder of this year but I am feeling the urge to very strongly.   I want to talk to my wife about this, but am unsure of doing so until we have had at least one more session of counselling, and we are still waiting for an appointment.

In the mean time I will be looking forward to the 9th January ~ a day I have set aside for girly activity ~ and resisting the urge to shave beyond my face.   That in itself is a whole separate post, the whole thing about the attitude to body hair is very complex, somehow I need to train myself o all in love with my hairy chest.   It s strange that as a boy I couldn't wait for the hair to grow, now at times the sight repels me.   Oh for a simple life, in the mean time, another Christmas Tree

Sunday, 16 December 2012

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

Christmas Tree cup cakes
I'm not the most enthusiastic person when it comes to Christmas, in fact in many ways I'm a bit of a Scrooge.   I can't get into the "Christmas spirit" until I have played a few Christmas gigs, well this weekend I have managed two.   Yesterday evening the Brass Band played at Brookwell Park Lido, maybe not the most prestigious of venues, but alongside the choir from St Paul's Church over the road we had a great time, playing carols and Christmas songs.   We had a good audience with a great age range, from some quite small children to some ladies of much more "mature" years.   For once my wife came along as well, we had a good time, and on the way home stopped for a quick drink, all in all a good evening.

Today I took a little trip up to town with Mrs T (my pre first world war Hawkes and Sons BBb Cavalry model tube) to join with around 40 other tuba players to play some carols on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.   I missed this event last year but have played the previous four or five, and I suspect that this was one of the smaller turn outs.   I don't know why since the weather was nice and mild, and there had been a fair amount of publicity so I would have expected more like 70 or 80.   Still there is nothing like the sound of massed tubas playing carols in four part harmony, it was good to meet up with some old friends.   It's a bit early for there to be any photos available on the Internet so this is one I took on my phone as I arrived, I shall be checking over the next few days and if there are any good ones I will stick them up.

Shooting hoops

I heard about this story through Google+ so it does have some uses, thank you Toni Lindsey.   It is quite inspiring to hear of a transgendered sportswoman competing, as an equal, but perhaps even more inspiring to some of us is to hear of anyone in their 50s competing at this level, read about it here  http://www.suntimes.com/sports/17011957-419/transgender-player-attains-college-basketball-first.html

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Audition!

This mornings post brought the usual seasonal selection of Christmas cards and bills, along with one large A4 envelope addressed to all of us.   This letter was from the BRIT school, a while back my daughter applied for the sixth form there, we were told that we would hear from them by the beginning of April.   We had steeled ourselves to a long wait, so I was very pleased when I opened the letter to find that my daughter has an audition and interview next month.
There could be a lot of pressure on her over this, she has an audition piece to prepare, and another to learn for a theory test.   They also want a letter explaining how she is preparing, sounds like a lot of work, but I'm sure it will be worth it.   I can't imagine her being happy unless she is singing and playing, one way or another I am sure she will be involved in the music business. 

There is also the added attraction the school is a lot closer than her current school, Selhurst is within walking distance whereas her current school is the best part of an hour's journey each way.   It would be really nice if she could not have to do that journey anymore.   Many (many) years a ago I attended the Selhurst Grammar school (for Boys) the BRIT School has taken over the buildings of the Selhurst Grammar School (for Girls) next door. If she does get in I truly hope that she will be a lot happier there than I was next door.

Somehow it sort of puts my evenings work into some kind of perspective, I will be conducting the local Brass Band in an outside "singalong" of Christmas songs, still it should be fun and they are providing "Bambi burgers" and mulled wine.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Strange

I had a very strange experience today; as it was very cold this morning I couldn't get on with any of the gardening work I have in hand, and due to "essential maintenance work" we had a scheduled power cut as well so I couldn't get on with any of my admin work either.   I decided not to waste the day but do some seasonal shopping, as well as my banking I bought my wife a nice scarf for Christmas and took in for repairs a gold chain I bought her when our daughter was born.   I hope that this will be a reassurance of my continued love.

Anyway to the point, my wife does not approve of some of my wardrobe choices, including the fact that the only respectable jeans I have that are even close to fitting are women's.   I have decided that I should replace at least one pair with some of a more masculine cut.   So while out today I checked over the jeans in the charity shops, in one shop I found a couple of pairs worth trying on.   I took both in to the changing room and first tried out the Levis, they were a bit too much of a "skinny" cut for me, then I tried on the other pair.   They were M & S so reasonable quality but I was not expecting a particularly fashionable cut.   They were very comfortable and a very good fit I had decided to buy them (a good price as well) when it dawned on me that the fly was the "wrong" way round, checking them again they had a tab inside saying size 14 and on the button they did say "M & S Woman".

There have been plenty of times when I would still have gone ahead and bought them (even with some glee) but with our current situation I thought it not wise, and I had especially gone to the men's rack!   The assistant was so embarrassed when I told her that the jeans had been put on the wrong rack and marked up as Men's Medium, I didn't have the heart to tell her that they were also a perfect fit.
No.2 Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2011

Well I am well on my way to having completed my Christmas shopping, I have gifts for both my wife and daughter, now I just have my brothers and mother to worry about, in the best family tradition books will probably be the answer, it's just a question of choosing which ones.    I have just finished reading a book given to me by my friend P, "This Charming Man." by Marian Keyes, yes it could be called "chic lit" but the interest for us is that it has a very sympathetic portrayal of a cross dresser, she has clearly done a bit of research and has managed to go beyond the usual shallow stereotyping to show a range of cross dressers, from across the community.   These characters are not central to the main story line, but are an interesting part of the tale.   Even without the cross dressing interest this is a real page turner and great fun, so here you have it your first Paula's Place book review and recommendation.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Frosty

Wednesday mornings I go to an early morning prayer meeting at my Church, at the moment this means getting up early (for me) and getting out while it is still dark and before breakfast.   By the time we are finished it has got light and we can begin to see something of the day.   This morning that meant frost and mist.   Walking back home through the local park I was struck by the beauty of the trees covered in frost, I was quite sorry that I didn't have my camera with me.




When I got home I could see some details of the garden picked out by the frost, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.   While I am not particularly looking forward to going out into the cold again to do some garden work, I am cheered by the beauty of these images.

Later today I will be cooking for the final session of the Alpha Course we have been running, this will be quite a big deal, since it is the last night I will be preparing a three course meal including a hot dessert, and as yet I haven't even done the shopping.   So I am in for another busy day, set in a busy week, and next week I start my two days a week in the office, as well as all the gardening work; and this is meant to be my quite time!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Short note

Yesterday Stana touched a bit of a raw nerve.   She does the most marvellous pictures with her own annotations, this one appeared on Sunday.

During our first session of counselling, at one point the counsellor asked what sort of clothes I wear, my wife answered straight away "pretty trashy" then qualified it with a "judging by what I have found" now much of what she has found are the rejects, but this idea that I dress like a hooker (the trade, not my old position of the Rugby field) is in her mind, and although I did point out that I will generally wear either a dress just above knee length or mid calf or trousers, I suspect she is set in this idea.

I think she will be more than reluctant to meet Paula in person, so I'm not sure how to change this view, other than to just keep telling her when ever the subject comes up.   I do often wear a higher hemline than she does, but this is simply because being quite a tall girl I find that I prefer a length that is either short or long, those in between just look silly.   I will admit to a couple of mini skirts hiding at the bottom of a suitcase, but do I wear them?   well not when I am going out, and certainly not in nice company, after all I am not a teenage girl!   However my daughter is, and so she does wear skirts that are short, indeed some of them seem to barely qualify for the term skirt as opposed to belt, I reconcile myself to this with the thought that this is what teenage girls wear.   My daughter, unlike me, is quite short and so goes for the much shorter skirt to exaggerate the length of her legs, and on her it does look good, but then she is 15 not 5*

Monday, 10 December 2012

Catch up

First Christmas tree of the season
I see I have missed a few days of posting so this is a quick catch up, I have been very busy with lots of different things
  • Saturday night my Symphonic Band played a concert at my Church, my first "Christmas event of the year.   As I host in effect the host this meant I had to set up, move the platform around set up chairs, while my wife and daughter prepared mulled wine and fruit juices, mince pies and "nibbles", decorated the tree etc. I also had to introduce the band and plug the appeal.  The evening was a great success, the band and audience both enjoyed themselves and we raised over £350 for the food box operation we run.   All very good but by the end we were all a bit drained.
  • Sunday and I found I was on rota for both morning and evening services, due to the timing this left little time for much else apart from having lunch.   I find that of all the different roles I have in the Church family that praying for others can be one of the more draining, so yesterday we made a point of praying for each other after we had prayed for others, I think this is a good thing and we shall continue to do it.
  • In amongst all this I have had to arrange three pieces for the Brass Band for tonight's rehearsal so we can perform them on Saturday, they are only short pieces but it all takes time, I have completed the arrangements but still have to print out the parts.
  • We have not yet heard from Relate about an appointment for some more counselling, I hope I didn't freak the out too much, but given the well worn statistic on one in every hundred men being a cross dresser I'm sure they must have someone with some experience, I am still hopeful.
  • My wife has not said much but has done some research and has found WOBS Women of the Beaumont Society I'm not sure if she has contacted them yet, but has said she will, she also found Changing Attitudes, an organisation I had not come across before, but intend to investigate further.   I a not interested in getting involved with any campaigning or aggressive outing r anything like that, but some prayerful consideration and theological discussion could be right up my street.
In short a very busy, but progressive time. I also expect to have a lot of work on (which is good) as tomorrow I will be seeing one of my consultancy customers about taking on a period of office cover which would mean two days a week for a few months.   This would be a big change in the way I work, but would give a much needed financial boost and some security.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Marriage

Thank you all for your support as we go through what is a difficult time in our marriage, I am convinced that this is a difficult time, and that working together we can get through it and be stronger for the experience.   It has forced us to look at ourselves, and how we relate to each other, on reflection I am glad that we have started the process and am confident that we will survive and prosper as a consequence.

Under the circumstances it feels a little odd to be writing about marriage in general at all, but I am a big fan of marriage, and so want to see the institution flourish.   It looks like the Government will soon be publishing a bill extending the opportunity to be married to same sex couples.   At first I believed all the hype from some Christian activist websites and e-mail news that this was a re-definition of marriage, that Churches would be forced into having to hold ceremonies against their firmly held believes, that in short this was the end of society as we know it.
The case against

This is not a crazy as it sounds after all marriage is the bedrock of our society, it is the standard context for a family, and although it has been through a time where marriages are breaking up more and more, there does seem to be no popular taste for abandoning it as our standard for living.   I was interested to hear David Cameron saying that they will now after all allow same sex marriages in places of worship, as a response to the consultation several Churches and synagogues want to be able to solemnise these marriages, just as I now feel that people who happen to be born homosexual should not be denied the joy, the dignity, and the security of true marriage, then neither should those of faith be denied the opportunity to have this solemnised in Church, or indeed neither should the Church be denied the opportunity to serve it's members in this way.   It seems that for once I am actually agreeing with David Cameron and the Government (if not the Conservative party), I find this somewhat uncomfortable but when I find I am wrong I am prepared to change my mind!
The case for

I do think it is important that there is protection for those religious groups who are opposed to this, whatever their faith, and there may well be areas of law such as equality and human rights legislation that have to be looked at to accommodate them, without such an accommodation I cannot see such a bill getting through Parliament, and I now feel that it is more important that as a society we should allow all who wish to be married to be married.   This is not a re-definition of marriage, more a widening of the franchise.

The Church of England has a pretty poor track record recently of following the will of it's members, this may be an opportunity for the (all male still) Bishops to take a lead, make sure that the rights of individual Churches are protected, while not impinging on the rights of individual people.

Sorry, no jokes today, Meg beat me to it again!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Blue Peter

The enduringly popular BBC children's TV show Blue Peter often has a slot where one of the presenters will make something, or at least appear to, as they are not always particularly adept  there is usually one on hand to show, with the immortal line "here's one I made earlier.   Because of this the term Blue Peter has entered my lexicon simply to mean One I made Earlier.
Well before my home situation blew up I bought myself a long red sweater / tunic, very cozy and snuggly, I had also acquired a nice pair of low heeled black boots.   Even though I have often railed against leggings I thought the top and boots would go well with black leggings, so the other day I tried them as an outfit, I didn't get fully dressed or made up, just tried the outfit, and I think I was right it does seem to work.   Not sure I should go out without all the padding and some warpaint, but I remember feeling very comfortable.

Today (Wednesday) I got a call from the organiser of our support group, she had found a couple of leaflets
that she thought might help our situation (from GIRES and from WOBS ) so I popped over to see her and pick up the leaflets.   When I got home I found earlier today my wife had already visited the WOBS web site, and was thinking of giving them a call.   Of course I can only encourage this, and take it as a positive sign that she is at least prepared to try to understand, I really don't think I can ask for more than that, I can't begin to understand how difficult it must be for her, and for my daughter, I hope that these support organisations cane help where I only flounder.

We have agreed we want to continue with the counselling so this evening I dropped a form off at our local Relate Centre, now we just have to wait and see when they can see us and who gets assigned to our case, I did ask for someone with some experience in trans matters, but of course they may not have anyone who fits this description available.   Mind you if we accept the 1 in 100 statistic then there is a fair chance that at least one of the counselors themselves in trans to some degree.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Freddy Bassett's

Joe makes a very good point, I do wonder whether my cross dressing is the problem, or a symptom of other problems in our lives, in our marriage.   Some of the questions I was asked on Tuesday at our first session made me wonder, "what triggers the urge to dress?" "Why have you not sought help to stop before?" "Are there not other ways you can feel feminine without the clothes?" however I also wonder if they are the right questions at all.


I am very confused at the moment, but I do know that I want to do whatever I can to make our marriage "work" at the moment I have trust that my wife shares this determination, I think there are areas where we both need to change.   I think that there are often times when my status within the family is undermined (I won't go into details) following these occasions I will often find I am dressing, or at least thinking about it more.   It seems strange that maybe I react to having my masculinity undermined by boosting my femininity, or maybe this is just another source of stress...... too many questions not enough answers.

Feeling pretty grotty this morning, and seeing the snow fall I decided on a day at home, I have some data entry work to catch up on so it won't be a wasted day, but started off with a long soak in the bath, while I was soaking there was yet another piece on Woman's Hour about prostitution, one of the interviewees made the unchallenged assertion that no one had the right to make a moral judgement about what other people do, well maybe - to a certain extent.   I don't want anyone making a moral judgement about my clothing choices, but much of our legal infrastructure is based on moral judgements, this is why we have laws against rape, child abuse, violent crimes etc. etc. to a great extent the basis of society is the consensus of moral judgement, it is just that the centre of that judgement changes.   In the 60's much was illegal that is now an accepted part of everyday life, there is still a mutual moral judgement, it is just that our collective view used to be that homosexual acts should not be allowed, now the view has changed so that any discrimination on the basis of sexual preferences is anathema to most of us.   We not only have the right to make a moral judgement, we have an obligation to, it's just that most of us only have an opportunity to act on those judgements once every five years or so.   I do think that we need to address the legal situation of people working in the sex trade (it is not an industry!) and I am glad that BBC is grasping this thorny issue, this is just the sort of thing the BBC is good at and should be encouraged to continue to do.

Just for Juliet, from Chambers (1993 edition) " Minutia mi-nū shi-∂ a minute particular or detail:- usu in pl minutiae (-ĕ) " There I knew it must be in there somewhere

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tell me a story

I don't often publish anonymous comments ~ partly because if you are not prepared to admit to a name I think you undermine your credibility, and partly because most of them are not worthy of being published.   This morning I got an anonymous comment on an old post Fiction Mania? it turns out to be from Courtney Act (presumably a "nom de plume" which is fine) linking to a story she has written and published on Fictionmania.   I have read the story and it is a good sensible account of what must have been a very good time for her, the point is that it is just the sort of thing I was complaining about the absence of, a nice story rather than an account of a sexual fantasy.

I do think that to a certain extent these stories can be a way of experiencing cross dressing vicariously, when we don't have the opportunity to dress ourselves we can enjoy the experience of others by reading about them, however I do not feel the same way about enjoying other people's sexual fantasies.   Well done Courtney a well written nice account, I strongly suspect autobiographical.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Landmark passed

Well we had our first (assessment) counselling session this evening, it was an interesting experience, for my taste a little too much emphasis was placed on my crossdressing, but then I guess that that is the most prominent symptom of our difficulties.   However I do think it was a good start to a process, and I think we will continue with it.   I have asked that we are assigned a counsellor with some experience intrans matters, but I am not convinced that that is necessary, what is necessary is that we talk and we have now started.   When my wife started to talk about how she felt when she found out about my dressing she started to cry (quite genuinely, she has no guile) and I just wanted to embrace her. This reminded me w much I love her, but also reminded me that all was not well with our relationship then, I am forced to wonder how much of my dressing is a symptom rather than a cause.

This is something of a landmark, an acknowledgement that although we do have problems we are still committed to each other, we still love each other, I just have to trust that the process will work in the mean time I will have to do what I can to show my commitment.



And yes we also passed 50,000 page views today

Monday, 3 December 2012

GOLD!

One way and another it has been a pretty busy weekend, after going out to dinner on Saturday night yesterday morning we were all up bright and early as my wife took me and my daughter into Croydon to catch a coach as we travelled down to Southampton for a band festival, we had a good day out and spent a bit of time together ~always good ~ my band played well and received a gold award, the only problem another band received a platinum, we now have to wait to see if we will be invited to play in the finals next year.

By the time we got home a cold I have been fighting off finally got it's hold of me, and I just spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in front of the TV watching the weekend's rugby and old episodes of "Cheers"

I was very pleased with the England performance, and equally disappointed with the Welsh, there was a game to be won there and they lost it, I could go on (and on and on) about these two games but I will refrain.

This morning woke up feeling grotty, running nose, sore throat, tired muscles, yuck! but have to go to work anyway, would have preferred to stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself.   Again this evening I shall have to force myself to go to the band rehearsal to practise more Christmas music, by the time Christmas comes I will be sick of it.   I just hope I am feeling a bit better tomorrow, I really don't want to be feeling "ick" and sorry for myself when we have our first counselling session.   I don't know what to expect, and am trying hard not to anticipate what may or may not be said.    Strangely things feel much better between us already, both of us making more effort to accommodate the other and being more considerate of each others feelings.   For me the permission to go to the dinner on Saturday night is a sign that this is not going to be one way traffic and that we can work this out between us.   I may be feeling grotty, but I am also optimistic.

I may not get another opportunity to dress this year, but if I know there is not total blanket ban then I can look forward to the odd day out and that should be enough.   Ideally I woudl love my wife to accept this side of me and embrace Paula as a friend, but that is never going to happen so I will settle for what I can get, and keep focused on the "big picture".

On a different note it looks as though I shall tick over the 50,000 views today, thank you all for sticking with me.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Good Bye to all That

Well we had a great time, I've just got home and it's already tomorrow so this is just a quick update until I get time to write more.   Despite a nail polish disaster I felt pretty good about how I looked, maybe a bit too glam for the occasion, but I wanted to make the most of tonight, cold or not.   So no to thick woolly tights and sweaters, on with the seemed stockings and silky cocktail dress.   I also wore my new high heels, I just wanted to make sure I wore them a least once, and of course following the popular vote an anklet.

I think we all had a good night chatting and enjoying each others company, I met a couple of girls I didn't know which is always nice, I was also asked if I could make it to the next meeting as there will be another married girl there, perhaps I could help her, well at the moment I don't feel as though I am in any position to offer help or guidance to others, but if I could I would, but all other considerations aside, my schedule simply will not allow it (even if my wife would)

A couple of the girls took some photos, if I get copies I will post them.   In the mean time I have now changed back into drab, before going upstairs to bed, cleaned off all my war paint, taken off my nail polish, fingers and toes, and even trimmed down my finger nails.   So as long as I don't take my shirt or trousers off I now look just like any other bloke.   In a couple of weeks all my body and leg hair will have grown back, this is goodbye to Paula, at least for the rest of 2012, who knows what 2013 will have in store.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

To dine or not to dine

I feel sure that we are on the edge of a new stage in our relationship, I don't know where we are going or how we are going to get there, but I do know things are changing.   Relationships with my wife have been a lot better over the last couple of days, positively friendly.   Now usually my wife says what she means but often she will also store things (especially resentments) up, until they burst out.  

So back to the question do I go out to dinner tonight or stay home?   Originally y daughter was going to watch a film with a friend, the friend has dropped out so my wife immediately offered to go with her, I was not asked, and felt I would not be wanted.   I do not want to fail a test I don't know I'm taking, so I felt the only thing to do was to come right out with it and ask, and she sad yes, go; so I will.   I just have to trust that we are both joining in this new found spirit of openness and honesty.

The weather has turned very cold the last couple of days so I have been considering whether I am better dressing for the weather, with boots leggings and a sweater dress / tunic.   This would be sensible, but I strongly expect this to be my last outing for some time, so I want to wear some sheer hosiery and frivolous shoes.   I may be too glam for the evening, I may stand out even, but tonight I feel like throwing caution to the wind.   So I come back the question I asked a while back (but feels like ages) shall it be a little black dress, or the black and silver cocktail dress.   I am on my own now so I will try a couple of alternative outfits and see which I prefer for tonight.   Whatever I choose and whatever happens I will try to report back before Tuesday, when we go for our first session of counselling, I think that may well be a post all of it's own.