Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Cybil ~ maybe

A while back I was asked in my mind (or probably more accurately in my dreams) who I would like to look as a woman, I was a little flummoxed at the time, and thinking of the way I try to come across the only name that came to mind was Angela Rippon, the BBC news reader of a few years ago.   She is a lady with style poise, and a sense of humour, oh yes and great legs, bothy shown off on the Morecambe and Wise show.

I love this shot of her dancing with Ernie!

But thinking about this in a little more depth, well not much more who would I really like to look like, well although she is actually eight years older than me I would now say Cybil Shepherd, obviously when younger she was stunning to look at in every way, but now she is older she still has it, apparently not afraid to age and still be beautiful. But the thing for me is her smile, most men would do anything for that smile, and I suspect most women as well.

I'm sorry Cybil if a couple of these photos are ones you would rather forget, but at least I resisted the temptation to show one of you in your underwear from "The Last Picture Show" 

So there you have a little insight into the black holes of my mind, and a gratuitous opportunity to put up some pretty pictures.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I love Microsoft

Having dyslexia word processors have saved me from all sorts of restrictions.   Spellcheck has transformed my life, I can now write reasonably coherent pieces, I tend to spell phonetically and then rely on the spell check to turn it into real English, of course sometimes I will defeat the checker and have to try several version of my miss spelling before I am close enough.   This is all by way of preamble to, I just had to send an e-mail about the RSCM, that is the Royal School of Church Music, as I am a member of the local organising committee, Outlook's spell checker didn't like RSCM and suggested as the alternative SCUM.

No Tea

Last night we had our first real counselling session, the last one was really more of an assessment, we met with the same counsellor we had seen before, which was good since it did mean we didn't have to go over ground already covered.   It was a foul evening and we ended up having a little bit of a rush to get there on time.   We quickly settled into a comfortable room with three arm chairs and started, without a cup of tea!

Sometimes it is good to see yourselves through the eyes of others, it quickly became apparent that our problem is that we are simply not functioning as a couple or indeed as a family.   Other things, other people take too much time and emotional energy so there is not enough of either left over for the marriage.   I have committed to giving up some of my activities in order to spend more time with my wife, I think this is a good thing.   However it will not be easy.

I plan to give up working with the Brass Band, I had originally only committed to a couple of months while they looked for a "proper" conductor, that was over two years ago.   I often find I am the only one who attends every rehearsal, and although it has been musically very challenging I have now decided that other things are more important.   It will be difficult for me telling them that.   I am very bad at saying no, I do not like confrontations, I do not like the feeling that I a letting people down, and I hate rejection, all of these factors make me fear the conversation, and the longer I put it off the worse it will be.   We have a concert on Thursday so I think at that point I will warn a couple of the "senior" members of my decision and then confirm it at Monday night's rehearsal.

Interestingly although it was my cross dressing that drove us to this point, it barely came up as an issue yesterday, much more important was our lack of communication, and physical affection.   These are things I know we can work on, and maybe if we improve on these areas of our life then it will be easier to continue to contain my dressing in a way that does not impinge on our family life, at least not too much.

Although sometimes I do wish my wife and daughter would put down their smart phones and actually talk, the cartoons are simply cartoons that came up from a simple Google search, and that made me smile.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Looking forward

I mentioned yesterday that I have a lot on my mind at the moment, this is because once again I find I am over committed.   I am writing this on Monday morning for publication on Tuesday as I couldn't sleep and have got up early and have a few moments.   This week is going to be silly, but I need to make some space in it.

Tonight (Monday) I have a rehearsal of the Brass Band, the final rehearsal before a concert on Thursday.   Tuesday evening my wife and I go to our first proper session with Relate, I have high hopes of these sessions, as long as we can see them through and follow up on what ever comes out of them.   Then on Wednesday evening it is the wind band's turn for a rehearsal, and then on Thursday it's that Brass Band concert.   Thursday is also the deadline for paying my income tax, so I have to make sure that all the funds are in the right place and sent off on time.   Friday my daughter has her audition for the BRIT School, that night I plan to take a deep breath, and sit down.

Just to add to the fun we expect my Mother-in-Law will be coming out of hospital today (Monday) and that means that my wife will have to stay with her for a couple of nights.   Fortunately she lives very close.

Things to look forward to
  • My Daughter's audition on Friday
  • The Six Nations Starts this weekend
  • Going to a concert on the 9th that I'm not playing in.
  • LGSO concert on the 17th
  • getting back to work now the snow has cleared.

Monday, 28 January 2013


I thought I would be writing about my wonderful adventure yesterday, going out dressed, but as it actually happens it was "no biggie".   I feel I need to clarify, I often find I have a craving to get dressed, as I have evolved that has changed from just wearing panties, to other underwear, to dresses and skirts until over the last few years I have increasingly been going out fully dressed and made up, presenting as a woman, showing the world the woman that is part of me.   However often I have done this it has still been an occasional treat so the clothes I have worn reflect this, they have been special, a nice dress maybe a trouser suit, but always something a bit dressy.

I have now crossed another bridge in my development, I have joined the LGSO and am attending rehearsals for our next concert, 1/ they only know Paula so I need to go to these rehearsals as Paula 2/ by the very nature of rehearsal these are (sartorially) relaxed affairs, most wearing jeans and tee shirts or sweaters.   I need to fit in, at the last rehearsal I went to I was the only girl not wearing jeans! (I had on leggings and a tunic).   So when I planned what to wear this week I decided on skinny jeans and a nice long red jumper with ankle boots, still quite obviously girl clothes but not too dressy.   Now normally in the build up to going out I get a bit excited, I anticipate the pleasure as I plan my outfit, as I think about what jewelry I will wear, what lipstick will match my top, all that stuff that is not a normal everyday concern.   This time I was not subject to any strong urge to dress, but I knew I had to, my anticipation was more about the rehearsal.   This may be partly down to it being a commitment, and partly down to fact that I have a number of other concerns at the moment.

So I got changed put on my face and went to the rehearsal, once again I had planned to go by public transport but was running a bit late so ended up driving.   It was an enjoyable rehearsal, we made some positive progress with the symphony, Shostakovich 5, one I have not played before, and then went home.   I seem to be accepted by the other members of the orchestra and they are happy as long as I can play my part.   The only other member I talked with much was the tuba player (we sit next to each other)  who I found lives near me, so I gave him a lift home, and we have a few friends and experiences in common.

In all it was a nice afternoon / evening I found I was comfortable and confident in company I didn't know, and was just doing what I do, it's just that this time it was Paula doing it.

I am looking forward to the performance, and am enjoying planning what I will wear, I shall however have to be careful of my backstage preparations,

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Nice Frock

Valentino Couture
I am highly unlikely to buy anything from a Paris Couture House, but I am aware that they do inspire and inform the designs that work their way through to the less expense end of the market, The Telegraph has just put up their selection of favorite "Frocks" from the Paris shows here.   There are one or two that I really like, none that I could see myself wearing, but I would be very happy to see someone younger and more shapely wearing them.

I am writing this on Saturday afternoon, in a little while my wife and daughter will be going to visit my mother-in-law in hospital, when they get back we will be going out to dinner to celebrate my wife's birthday.   As I expect we will be quite late back I don't anticipate adding anything later.   Then tomorrow (Sunday) looks pretty full as I will be at Church in the morning, and after lunch will be travelling up to town for another LGSO rehearsal.

As the orchestra only know Paula I shall of course be dressed, but strangely at the moment I don't feel the strong drive to dress that I sometimes ~ well mostly actually ~ feel.   I will be taking my cue from the other ladies in the orchestra and shall be wearing skinny jeans, boots and a long sweater.   The only question is which boots, I have some calve length flats which are nice but just a little tight or a couple of pairs of ankle boots, one pair is suede with thin heels and quite dressy, the other is leather with a Cuban heel, more cowboyish.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


As I mentioned here I have been spending far too much time over the last week or so during the bad weather surfing around the Internet.   There are a lot of interesting things out there, there are of course also a lot very strange and unpleasant things.

One of the interesting things I found is Frock Magazine, a quarterly on line publication specifically for the cross dressing / trans audience (I'm not at all sure that there is such a thing as a trans community).   There are a few interesting articles and but top of my list is of course a cartoon. Hanna will be putting a cartoon each edition, but she also has a blog where she is showing her biography in the form of cartoons ~ now I recon that's pretty cool, I particularly liked this one.

This is just such a close reflection of my own development / evolution as a crossdresser.   I think the only real difference is the time scale, over the last couple of years I have gone from some furtive dressing at home, knowing I looked ridiculous with a beard and wearing a dress, to fully shaving, going out into society fully dressed and made up.   The interesting parallel is that I find I am moving into a more casual style, some of that is enforced by my marital situation, but it is also that as I am moving more in general society it seems more appropriate.

I wonder if this is a fairly usual progression, from the furtive to the relaxed via the inappropriate, and some just get stalled along the way, one thing I do suspect about this particular road though is that it is one way, I really do not think that we can easily go back to one of the earlier stages.

I want to put up a link to Frock  but have a small technical problem, they have provided me with some code but I don't know where to put it, or indeed how to, so if you have any suggestions let me know.   Also please let me know what you think of the new layout, I have been having a bit of a fiddle around.

Friday, 25 January 2013

High Heel Shoes

While wasting spending a little time on the old interweb today I came across this article on the BBC site.  I though you might be interested so I decided to share.   There is much that is interesting and new to me, the area that has not been explored is why some men still like to wear women's high heels, or indeed why some men find women's high heels sexy on their own even when not being worn, can it all just be association?

Certainly there is something for me about the simple high heeled court shoe that exemplifies elegance, simple and unadorned it is a quiet statement of good taste, style and class.  I will accept small changes, I have favorites which have a peep toe, or a pair that is white and black leather, sling backs have their place, the thing that they all have in common is the heel.   High impractical and even uncomfortable they may be, but, in common with many another cross dresser, I love them.

A day at the Museum

We had a little more snow on Wednesday, not much but it certainly didn't do much in the way of aiding the thaw, so yesterday morning once again I looked out and saw settled snow, with the same again this morning, not much but enough to stop me doing any of the work I have in hand, as well as the lack of income I am beginning to get stir crazy, I need to get out and dig, chop, or lop something.   I find it very depressing and frustrating when I have work to do, customers waiting, but the weather won't allow it.   It is quite nice to have the time off, but when it's not my plan, when I am not in control, not making the choice then it gets very frustrating.   And, I need the money to be coming in, especially with income tax due at the end of the month.

At least we did get out for a bit yesterday, as it was my wife's birthday she took the day off and we spent a pleasant couple of hours visiting the Horniman museum.   We particularly like the aquarium and the musical instrument gallery, but there is a pretty eclectic collection here, based on the original Horniman collection donated to Londoners back in 1901.   It was nice to just spend a bit of time together, just the two of us, no daughter or Mother craving attention, no customers needing stuff done.

After that she went to visit her mother in Hospital (knee replacement) and then we had a nice dinner and a bottle of wine at home.   So not such a bad day really ~ if I could just get some work done.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Reasons to be Cheerfull

As you may have noticed I have been a bit down over the last couple of days, I'm not sure that today (Wednesday) would have been much different, the weather was still going to keep me away from meaningful work and cooped up indoors for most of the day until my rehearsal this evening.   However I knew I had to take some action to cheer myself up a bit, so I did what many a girl will do, I put on my favourite dress and made myself feel pretty.

Surprisingly once I had done this I was able to get on with all sorts of things, the washing up, some trombone practise, making a couple of phone calls I have been putting off and some admin.   I am now reassured that I can pay my Tax bill at the end of the month ~ even if it does mean I have in effect just differed the payments over the next few months ~ and I finished off having a good rehearsal and a pint or two afterwards.So all in all it ended up as a pretty good day.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Some people actually seem to like the snow, personally I am not so keen, This week I have done no outside work at all, and don't expect to be able to do anything for the rest of the week.   Very frustrating.   I do have work to do and would like to get on with it, but with ground covered with snow or frozen it just can't be done.   Monday I got on with a few things (like my tax return erghh) but today I just couldn't feel inspired to get on with anything, I just sat at home reading through Girl Genius.   No effort, no thought required, I only got up the enthusiasm to get dressed and go out because we had a letter that needed delivery.   In short what I would like to do right now is hibernate for the next couple of months and come out in March.

Of course that would mean I would miss all sorts of fun stuff so it won't happen, it's just that at the moment without the physical activity or the income I am just feeling pretty "down".   Tomorrow (Wednesday) I have rehearsal and then on Thursday it is my wife's birthday, Saturday we are all out to dinner to celebrate and then on Sunday I have an LGSO rehearsal so that lot aught to cheer me up.   I expect to be much more up tomorrow, I get up for an early morning prayer meeting and then have to go out to see a customer, so I will be active and outdoors even if I can't get any work done.

Earlier today I was talking to a friend and mentioned the old Sir Thomas Beecham line "You should try everything in life once except incest and morris dancing" I was told the modern version is "Incest and Big Brother".

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Hairy Pantie Wearer

Jenny makes some very good points here about how some people transition, the time it takes and the care they receive on the way.   I am of the opinion that it should be hard, that way only those who truly need to transition will.   This is a little like my idea that divorce is not too easy (ask anyone who is divorced) but that marriage is not hard enough.   Anyway none of this is the point I wanted to make, it is that little throw away line about "hairy pantie wearer" that struck.

Why? did it strike me as insulting to those of us who have not made a full commitment to this lifestyle? did I find it insulting to my inner woman? was I miffed that this was about the trans hierarchy? no it struck me as the perfect description of what I saw in the mirror the other day.   For much of last year I was keeping my whole body clean of hair, I stopped shaving around the end of November and am by now pretty hairy, because of the season when dressed this doesn't really show (whichever way I am dressed) at the moment, but it will when the weather warms up and I want to wear dresses and skirts more, and tops with a neckline, rather than turtlenecks.   But getting dressed the other day I looked in the mirror and saw a "hairy pantie wearer" I thought to myself "what are you doing?" there was a definite moment of disgust.   If actually analysed much of what I do is ridiculous, but it does give me joy, so I continue.

We will be starting our counselling sessions soon (29th January) maybe this is something I might voice at some point.

Monday, 21 January 2013


I was playing up in town this afternoon and evening, in an effort to reinforce my environmental credentials I decided to travel by public transport.   The train into town was a little late but nothing to cause concern.   We rehearsed, we played (an excellent service by the way, very good preacher!) then I needed to get back home quickly so I left and made straight for Victoria Station.

I wanted to be back promptly as my wife was out, one of several thousand excited screaming middle aged women at the O2 for the Donny and Marie concert.   Not my sort of thing at all, but she when with an old school friend and had an excellent time, anyway back to my story.   Arriving at Victoria just about every train going my way was cancelled, and the ones that weren't cancelled were delayed.   When they got tiered of being delayed they became cancelled.   After waiting around 45 minutes there was an announcement one train would be leaving on the Orpington line, we all made for the platform and boarded the train when it arrived.   On the platform I met another couple who had been playing in the orchestra at the same service.

All went well, if slow, until we got to Herne Hill, there we had to stop and wait for the train in front which was having some problems.   We had periodic announcements from the driver to keep us as up to date with developments, unfortunately the PA system in the train was barely adequate but I could hear and had to pass on to the other passengers what was happening.   It continued to have problems until after over half an hour the train in front it gave up the effort and was declared a breakdown so our service was now cancelled.   My friends had smart phones and were trying to work out a way to get home, when another passenger told us he had called his wife to collect him and would we like a lift?

We took him up on the offer, and actually spent a very pleasant half hour with him on the final stretch of the journey.   The final results
  • Maybe humanity doesn't all stink
  • I got to know some friends a bit better
  • A ten minute journey took 2 hours
  • My wife got home before me
  • My daughter had the house to herself for all of a Sunday evening
  • We all actually had a pretty good evening
Challenge for Meg, how about that title for a musical reference?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Poor Old Fella

A few years ago I visited the optician and was told that my long sight had not got much worse ~ I have been wearing glasses since I was about 8 years old, and over the last 30 years there hasn't been much change ~ but that my near sight was beginning to deteriorate.   I must have looked a little crestfallen as by way of help and explanation I was told "never mind, it's age related" as if that was going to help!

Then last year I was told that not only do I now need varifocals but that I was also starting a cataract ~ again I was told not to worry and that it was "age related". I am due for another eye test over the next month or so, I dread what I may be told this time.

Nice Kitty

I saw this and just had to share,

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Stockings and heels

I started writing this the other day, but wasn't really happy with the way it was going, as I am currently feeling a bit down and very lethargic I thought I might as well go ahead with it anyway.

I mentioned in passing the other day that on the occasions when I am dressing, at the moment, I am limiting myself to wearing trousers, jeans or leggings and low heels, there are a couple reasons for this.   One is the purely practical one in that to please my wife I am resisting the temptation to shave anything other than my face.  The other reason, is to try to assess just how much of the attraction of women's clothes is that they are for women, and how much is down to the lure of skirts, stockings, dresses and high heels.  

Today I sort of broke out a bit and wore a dress and high heels, and it felt so good.   I have been enjoying my odd outings but it was definitely nice to wear something a bit prettier.  I don't know what this means, but I may mull it over, or I may just accept that that is more my style.   I have one friend who is always immaculately turned out, I have never seen her other than wearing heels and a dress, or a skirt suit.   She is one of those annoying women who always looks good, stylish, and elegant, I am told that she does posses a pair of jeans, I bet they are always clean and are a perfect fit.   That's how I see Paula, I'm not sure that others do, but it is an aspiration.

In the mean time I shall continue with my current regime, until my concert on the 17th Feb. I'm not yet sure what the dress code is for this, (black & white, all black short, or long black are the usual choices) but I suspect that whatever way it goes I shall be needing to get the razor out!   I tried one of my LBDs the other day with a variety of patterned and plain opaque black tights and they just don't work for this sort of occasion.   I have some rather nice, fancy fem dress black trousers, but at this stage that rather seems to destroy the point.

Friday, 18 January 2013


Tip Wilkin in the stolen Mainbocher
I have a weakness for mad science, possibly even evil mad science.   Of course this is not the sort thing sensible grown ups are meant to indulge in, so that's alright for me then.   I used to love this stuff when I was young, and then sort of dropped it.   A couple of years ago I was introduced to Skinhorse an pretty mad science / sociology / shadow government sort of cartoon.   On of the main characters Tip Wilkins is a cross dresser, hence my initial interest, I soon became hooked and recommend it to all of you.   He works with a zombie a talking dog and a... oh never mind just go and read it, it's fun, if you like that sort of thing.   This then in turn led me to Shaenon Garrity's other great opus, Narbonic.

Narbonic is just far to complicated to try to explain briefly, all I can say is go and have a read, but allow plenty of time, I started at the beginning one evening and didn't get to bed till about 2:00 a.m.

Now A.E.Brain has introduced me to Girl Genius, Adventure, Romance, Mad Science. This is sort of Steam Punk, very complicated and just a bit odd, but totally addictive.   On snowy days when I can't work outdoors it is amazing just how much time I can waste on this sort of thing.

I have never really got into wearing the steam punk stuff but it does look fun, and I rather fancy the look of that P.D.Q. Bach Engine

Baby it's cold outside

It has been so cold all week that I have got no gardening done at all, and have already cancelled tomorow's work; this should mean that I am now bang up to date with all my paperwork, but alas it is simply not so.   I am finding at very hard to sit down and concentrate on what I should be doing, there are always far too many distractions, what with the Internet, day time television, the radio and practise to do it is hard to get down to a spread sheet or sort out my tax.   I can't put it off much longer so I fully intend to concentrate tomorrow and have it done by the end of the weekend.

I did manage most ~ if not all of the work I wanted to do today, but I didn't do much else that I wanted to get done.   I have a couple of arrangements I'm doing for the Brass Band that have to be finished for Monday and I have barely started, so it looks as though I will be spending much of tomorrow and Saturday slaving over a hot stave.   We have a concert coming up at the end of the month and I had hoped to have an arrangement of Skyfall ready, but that doesn't look likely now, at least not with sufficient time to rehearse it.   At least I have been able to upload my copy of Sibelius onto the old laptop, as it looks as though I won't get the Acer back until early next month.   I can't see why it would take so long, but then maybe that's why they only charge £50!

I am finding it increeasingly frustrating not having all my files to hand, it is not just the photos and the scores but all my invoices, leterheads old e-mails and spreadsheets, there are a lot of monthly jobs where I tend to just save the previous month's spreadsheet with a new name and then overwrite it, I can't do that if I don't have the previous month so I am having to start from scratch.   I just have to hope that the files are retreavable.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Whimsical Wedensday

I know I have written about this before, and I probably will again, but what we wear says a lot about us, in it's most simple terms for some us us it is a statement of how we identify our gender at that time, but it also says so much more.   Are we going about business, or on a day off, what sort of a social occasion are we attending, do we want to blend in or stand out.   Yes this applies to cross dressing but also to all our clothes.

A few years ago when I was still in employment the Company Christmas do was at a boxing dinner at the Regents Park Hilton.   Obviously there were some "High Rollers" there and a lot of boxing types. at our Company table I think there 10 men (including me) the Owner wore a white tuxedo with a black dress shirt and bow tie, the Accountant wore a Black dinner jacket white dress shirt and black bow tie, I wore a black dinner jacket, white dress shirt, dark green bow tie, and a silk brocade waistcoat (mostly green), the rest of the guys had all hired there DJs, fine, but, they had all obviously gone to the same two hire firms so had matching waistcoats.   Of about 200 men at this even I should think that there were two groups of about 75 each wearing matching waistcoats.   At the time it struck me that what we were wearing as men said as much about us, how we saw ourselves, and how we are prepared to spend our money.

Be careful what you wear, it can say much about you.

On a different note (sic) the other cartoon that caught me eye this morning was Brooster Rocket, I think I may have played in that section...........although I'm not sure about the pie

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Too Steep for Me

I had a little outing today, I had to go up to town to drop some work off at a hotel in Marylebone, I decided that I would take the rest of the day off, travel up by public transport and enjoy an extra little bonus outing.   I travelled in "sort of stealth", by this I mean I was wearing mostly girl clothes, but in such a way as not to be obvious, but with very little adjustment would be quite femme.   So after dropping off my parcel I made for the Hotel loos, locked away I slipped on a bra and my forms, tucked my skinny jeans inside my boots, then made up my face and put on some earrings.

I just had a bit of a wander around before popping into Selfridges, Oxford Street.   I have never been in this store before, and I have to say WOW.   It is just so nice, a real retail paradise, lots of lovely stuff being presented by lots of lovely people.   I saw quite a few things I liked but nothing that I needed or could afford. I did fall for one particularly nice Alexander McQueen Dress but at over £1,400 just a bit too rich for me. I did stop for a cup of coffee in "the tasting room" a rather swish bar on the second floor and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.   It was fun to browse through the departments enjoying the
lovely things, Selfridges doesn't have a shoe department, no it has Shoe Galleries, and many of the products on display are works of art, with price tags to match.

A lot of the people there were, like me, just enjoying the experience, but plenty were buying, including one man buying some Christian Laboutin shoes for his wife, in her absence; at these prices I would want to make sure they fit first.   I was rather taken with these Feller Patent Leather Court Shoes from Nine West, but at £130 it was not only the heel that was too high for me.

This is not something I could do everyday but it was great fun to see all these wonderful things, but the prices...... who pays £35 for a pair of knickers? or £90 for a pair of tights?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Just one more in the group

Meg wrote today about her experience going to a GLBT gamers group, now it has to be said that computer gaming is not my thing, but then we are all different, and that's part of what makes the "trans community" so diffuse, what struck me was the level of acceptance she received.   Acceptance bordering on indifference now it seems to me that this is what we should expect when ever and where ever we go out.   Meg said that no one commented on her outfit, well that is what happens in the "real" world with "real" women, it is just that within the "trans community" we are so insulated and we are so desperate to give and receive approval from each other that we will compliment each other on our clothes, our make up, out whole presentation, maybe whether it deserves it or not.
Back in the “real world” people just get on with their lives, mostly regardless of who is wearing what, so no, other gamers will not notice what you are wearing, especially if it is in a declared GLBT environment.   This is what happened to me on Sunday evening, nobody said anything about how I was dressed, nobody commented on my makeup or my hair, why would they, I was just another member of the orchestra, and that is exactly what I was seeking.   The opportunity for Paula to be part of the orchestra.
This means that I am just a small part of what makes up the whole, that no one will notice what I am wearing, but will notice my bum notes, again that is the way orchestras work, I think it is part of integrating our trans woman into society, and if we do that in a society that claims GLBT credentials then surely we have to expect to just be accepted as part of the group.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Nice Pussy?

So I see that yesterday I managed three separate posts, that must be a record, for me anyway.   Don't expect me to keep up that rate, I think I'll be doing well to manage one a day.   There have been a few good days recently and I think yesterday was another one ~ mostly.   After a rather odd service in the morning I came home expecting my wife and daughter to be champing at the bit as we had agreed to go to Foal Farm to find another cat to keep Smudge company.   Well when I got home my wife was up, but still in her PJs and my daughter still in bed, by the time they were both ready I would not have time to go with them and make my rehearsal.

This meant I had to let them go on their own, and trust them to make a good decision, while I stayed at home and then went up to town.   I had initially planned to go by public transport, but as I ended up running late I decided to drive up instead.  

I initially planed to wear a long jumper with skinny jeans and boots, but when I couldn't find my skinny jeans I changed my mind and opted for a tunic dress and leggings.   I would have been in time but I had a little panic over my presentation, a nail related disaster and I ended up getting a bit lost at one point and then had trouble finding somewhere to park.   This was a new experience for me in so many ways, but crucially I realised that A/ I can play with my knees together and B/ lipstick does not help the embouchure, I also ended up with a bit of a smudge.   We only rehearsed the Borodin and I am pretty confident that I will be OK with that, I still have to play the Schostakovich 5 but the part doesn't look too bad.   As far as I can tell from this one limited experience this is a pretty good orchestra, with all sections well filled with competent players.   I am sure that next week I will will allow myself a little more time to get ready and a little more confident.   If any of you are around the area on the 17th February, please come and support us, I can promise a good performance, just be gentle with the overdressed bass trombone player.

When I got home the family had returned from their expedition and had brought back a captive, a mature female called "Sparkle", apparently she is very shy and so is in hiding under my daughters bed, I have yet to meet her, but I am sure that she will fit in and soon be part of the family.

Sunday, 13 January 2013


In the interest of balance I have just read the original article by Suzanne Moore, this is the sort of quality leftish opinion we expect from the Guardian, and makes Julie Burchill's or the more shameful.

You might say the shoe is on the other foot

or is that just an excuse to put up this Wizard of Id?

No Excuse

I have just read a couple of pieces on Blogs I follow both A.E.Brain and Jenny at Large Booming Flower have picked up on an article in today on line version of The Guardian / The Observer.   Now in general I am not a campaigner, I will get cross and mutter darkly over a pint in the saloon bar, but I will rarely take action, on this occasion I think I will and I encourage you to do the same.  

The sad thing is that in many ways I agree with much of what Julie Burchill is trying to say, those strident campaigners who can't see beyond their own self interests and campaign in "my name" annoy me intensely, whether it be transgender campaigners complaining about a joke because they misunderstood the target, Christian activists campaigning against "Gay Bishops" or worse Women Bishops, or Socialists campaigning to make private schools illegal, they all claim my allegiance, but none of them have it.   The thing about the silent majority is just that, most of the time we are silent and allow the strident to hog the soap box.  However of of that is no excuse for the language used in this opinion piece.  On this occasion I will not be silent, I will complain to the PCC (after all it is still all we have) and if enough of us do that then maybe in future writers will be more circumspect in their choice of language.


Saturdays are always busy, well actually most days are in our household, but yesterday I had a lot that I wanted to achieve, and I managed most of it.   The Accer has gone to the Doctors at PC World, and now I just have to wait for the bad news, it is out of my hands.   I also could not put off cleaning the van any longer, on Friday afternoon I looked at it and felt quite ashamed, so as soon as I got back from PC World I went at it.

Of course the dirtier a vehicle gets the harder it is to get clean, and my van was dirty so it took me a while to get it clean, after that it didn't feel fare not to clean my wife's car as well.   This took slightly less than a quarter of the time (well it probably has about a quarter of the surface area) and looked much better when finished, this is a job I always find it difficult to start, but when I do I actually quite enjoy, I certainly much prefer to drive a clean vehicle, it is after all part of my presentation of self to the world.   After that I did some practise, at first I was a little frightened by how bad I sounded but after a short time my lip "came in" and a good trombone sound started to show through, I am glad I managed a bit of time on the trombone before this evening's rehearsal, I think I shall have enough to worry about without making sure the instrument works, and I can remember how to play it.

Finally we had a little family outing, we all went to see Life of Pi, I read the book a few years ago and was captivated by it, but couldn't see how they would be able to film it.   Well I had heard so many good reviews that I decided we would go.   We all thoroughly enjoyed it, the 3D actually is an integral part of the film and enhances the spirituality of the story, rather than being an add on gimmick, the images are simply fantastic I strongly recommend this film to anyone who hasn't yet seen it, I would however still recommend the book even more.

By the time we got home from the film it was gone nine and we hadn't eaten so it was too late to go to my support group meeting, while I was sad to miss it  I did remind myself that my priority is my family and I will be out playing tonight anyway so no great loss.   The family was happy, we spent so good time together, and managed to get to bed at a sensible time.  So all in all a another good day.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Done It

Thank you guys, I have now installed Chrome and the problem seems to have been solved. now I just need to be able to get access to my photos! Having run out of expertise myself I have finally resorted to taking my new(ish) Accer to PC World for a fix, I just hope that whatever they have to do won't be too destructive or too expensive.   In the mean time I will carry on with my old Dell.

A good day II

After getting my hair cut I popped home to sort out a few things before going up to town.   I drove to the station and caught the train, not so long ago this would have, indeed did terrify me, now I take it in my stride and just enjoy the ride.   I arrived with plenty of time so first off I visited a bank and paid in some cheques before having lunch.   I enjoyed a nice pasta dish with a glass of wine and followed it up with a coffee, I was very tempted by some rather lovely sounding desserts, but resisted.   As the RA were expecting this to be a busy exhibition it was timed entry, and my time was 2:00 p.m. so I finished my lunch and made my way back down Piccadilly to Burlington House.

I will admit that I was little disappointed in the exhibition itself, for my taste they relied a little too heavily on etchings and did not make their argument about the development of British Landscape Painting very clearly.   On the other hand there were some very fine paintings on display, and everything was from the RA's own collection.   I have been in the habit of going to exhibitions for a few years now, and have built up a special affection for the RA and this is the first exhibition I have been to where I have felt at all disappointed, so overall I don't think I can complain.

After the exhibition I wandered up Regents Street window shopping, but saw nothing that grabbed my attention so I made my way home and got back with plenty of time before my rehearsal.

Meg has been writing recently about the euphoria of dressing and wondering if she will ever lose that.   I have found that the fear has gone, and with that maybe some of the excitement.   Now I find that I am enjoying a comfortable experience, yes there is a certain euphoria, but not over riding, there is still a joy, but what highlights this even more to me is the down when I get changed back into drab, it always makes me sad, I just want the girl time to continue.

Meanwhile in other news
  • I have a support group meeting tomorow night that I want to attend, I have had a couple of e-mails from other members and it sounds like there are quite a few decisions that will have to be made.
  • I still can't manage to get photos uploaded onto Blogger.
  • I have been asked to play in a concert ~ as Paula ~ first rehearsal on Sunday evening.
  • I am wearing trousers, leggings and low or flat heels partly so I don't have to shave for a while, and partly to test whether the attraction is the dress or the femininity ~ i.e. do I still enjoy my femininity when I am expressing it with jeans and a sweater or is it that high heels and a short skirt turm me on?.
  • I have made a fresh appointment with Relate for us, I hope that things will continue to improve, but worry that I am over commited to too many things outside the family.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Good Day pt I

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a good day, the visit to my hairdresser was very nice, I like what she has done with my hair it gives me the confidence to go out without wearing a wig, I don't know how long I will be able to  keep doing this as my hairline continues to travel in reverse, so I want to make the most of it while I can.   We also began to get to know each other a little better, finding that we both have teenage daughters and are both musicians.   I also found out that they have at least one other customer like me, presumably a local but not a member of our little group in Croydon.   This reassures me in my assertion that there are a lot more of us around than most people seem to think, I am probably more unusual in I playing the Tuba or that I used to be a front row forward than for being a cross dresser, but I suspect I know which would get more attention in the Pub.

I am often surprised by how readily I am accepted, certainly while I am paying people for their services it is in their interests to accept our money, but I have found the vast majority of people I have come into contact with accepting and understanding, and many sympathetic.   Of course it is rarely commented on, after all we are English and that would not be polite.

Anyway I liked the haircut and had the confidence to go out without a wig, as far as I am concerned this is a big plus on comfort while a relatively small diminishing in any anonymity that a wig may give me.   I suspect I am quite recognisable to anyone who knows me and looks either way.   I had time to pop home and repair my rather poorly done nails before setting off to get the train up to town.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Ludite? Rambling?

In the light of my current computer problems, it is interesting that I started writing this post back before Christmas;~

I live in a state of constant amazement, my wife and daughter have facebook permanently on their phones (I have just found out that mine has a camera!), although I do use a computer other than my blogs they are primarily a business tool that I use for accounts and word processing, I just "Don't Get" Facebook and all that social media stuff.    So it was quite something for me to go on Google plus, I did it almost by accident so I could keep up with my Tasmanian friend.   I found I was soon invited to join a "Trans" group within days of it starting there are now nearly 200 members, I am also a member of one on line discussion group with 1633 members.   I know there are other fora, the Internet seems to be  wonderful place for people to come out, without actually coming out.   They can admit to who and what they are, their inclinations and maybe some of their fantasies without actually revealing their true identity.   In a way we are all like Batman (or if you prefer Wonder Woman) having a colorful exciting side and then the drab alter ego.

I often hear it bandied about that one in a hundred men cross dress to some extent, then there are all these people on line, so maybe that figure is right, but then where are they all hiding?   The other day I was at a band festival, where there must have been around three hundred men, does that mean that there were another couple of blokes wearing panties or tights under their trousers?   Then of course we would never know.

I have also just come across this article on Diana's little Corner of the Nutmeg State, very interesting for those of us of faith who have felt unable to reveal ourselves or unloved by the Church.

By the way two more things I now find I can't upload photos onto blogger and my osteopath has rescheduled for next week.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A busy day ahead

Looking back at what I planned, or maybe aspired to, this year I have got off to something of a running start.   I have not had a proper Paula day since my wife put her foot down.   We have cleared the air a lot since then, she has given a little leeway and I have restricted my "activities".   So tomorrow I will be having quite a busy day, I will be starting out having a hair cut, it has got quite long and a bit "shaggy" but I am now of the opinion that I can get away without a wig.   I find this a lot more comfortable, after all it is much more natural, nearly all the time I am wearing a wig I am self conscious as to how it is sitting, is any of my own hair showing etc. etc. Anyway I will be going back to Nicola, if she carries on as she started I am sure I will be happy and that it will be money well spent.

Anyway I start with a haircut, the hairdresser has only Paula and that will continue, after that I will be going up to town to the landscape exhibition at the Royal Academy.   It feels like quite a while since I went to an exhibition so I am looking forward to this, it is also a nice chance to spend some time out, look at some of the West End shops and have a nice lunch.   After that I will be dashing back for a visit to the osteopath.

I have still to make the decision about what I will be wearing, I have more or less narrowed my choices down to my nice M & S Trouser suit, a grey panel dress or a slightly shorter mauve panel dress. The final decision will be down to what accessories I can wear, at the moment I limited to trousers or opaque tights.   One of the "activities" I have had to curb is shaving, at this time of the year that should not have too big an impact as long as I wear high necks and trousers or thick tights, it will seem a bit strange stripping off for the Osteopath and being hairy again.   I am sure he is far to nice and polite to comment but I am sure it will not go unnoticed, I have decided however that at the moment I have more than enough to worry about and will therefore choose not to worry about this.   Then at the end of the day I have a band rehearsal, the first since Christmas and it coincides with S's birthday.  

All in all I am packing a lot into a single day, but I feel I am better just taking the one day off work and filling it rather than falling into the trap of tacking several bits, and then finding I have missed a lot more productive hours.   With all that going on I doubt I will have much of a chance to post tomorrow.

Progress with the computer ~ limited I may have lost so much data and what I can access is a newer version of Office arghhh it's just all such a pain!

I love Microsoft

Well I thought I had my computer problems cracked, but it was not to be, straight after my last post the computer shut down and simply would not start up again.   I am now told by the manufacturers help line that it will have to go back to them for repairs, but first I need to find the purchase details to show that it is still under guarantee.   I am only back on line now as I have retrieved my previous laptop and am using that until the new one is sorted.

So other than my computer problems I have spent the weekend in Cardiff, as well as some quality time with my Mum I also managed to get a little Paula time on the journeys.   On the way home I had a bit of an odd encounter. I stopped at a services  for a coffee, sat at a table reading I was joined by a very attractive young lady who seemed very interested in having a chat.   From what she told me I understood that she was in the throws of breaking up with the boyfriend, who was with her, from this I suspected that for her I was a bit of protection, and maybe a distraction.   I also got the impression that she was much more interested in herself than others, certainly she was more interested in her questions than my answers, but maybe that was just down to her current situation.

What ever, it was quite pleasant for me to have some (very attractive) company while I drank my latte and the chance to have some conversation, after all lets face it it's not everyday that a young attractive woman comes up to my table and asks if I mind her joining me.

I hope that I will be able to get back to normal soon, but in the mean time I am remembering why I prefer Windows XP to Windows 7, the main trouble I anticipate is that a lot of what I have done recently has been on Office and of course I won't be able to open new office documents on Office 2000...... but then where would we be without the joys of Microsoft?

Friday, 4 January 2013


I have been in a blind funk for the last couple of days, my computer died! I have ye to work out the whys and wherefores but the outcome is that the machine would simply not load windows.   In the end apparently the only solution was to revert to factory settings, which of course meant losing all my data, photos, invoices, work the lot!

I have just managed too get windows working and to go on line so more will follow, a few things have been raised which need responding to and I have a few things to share, but first I need to sort out my files reclaim what I can and try to sort things out; so if I am quite for a couple of days, this is one of the reasons, the other I am going down to Cardiff for the weekend tomorrow, and Mum has no Internet.

But as Arnie says "I'll be back!"

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Leading the way

In the UK we don't have a tradition of cheer leading in the same way that they have in the USA, on the whole I think that is probably a good thing.   It seems to me to be anther area where gender stereotypes are imposed.   At a time where sports, music, and so many other activities are becoming more and more open to either gender it seems silly to have any bastions of sexism embraced by schools of all institutions.

I found this picture on newmalefashion as far as I ca tell from the photo there are both male and female cheerleaders here, all in the same uniform.   I can imagine that some parents and fellow students might not be overjoyed by this, but I think it looks like they are having fun.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


It is a popular mantra in the "Trans Community" that we reject the labels that society tries to put on us.   I often hear (or more accurately read) rejections of the "gender binary" I have indeed on occasion found myself spouting some of the usual stuff about releasing the inner girl, about how I am more than a cross dresser, that I am both male and female, that I am trying to express my femininity, at the moment my considered, and professional opinion is that all of this is something that when matured would be very good for the roses.

Anyway, what actually prompted this post was looking at the list of "labels" on the side bar of this blog, I have them arranged in order of the most at the top running down the less used, at the top I have "Clothes", "Going Out" and then "Family", these are followed by "Work" "Shopping" and various other things.   This may be a reflection of how the blog started, i.e. specifically about my exploration of my cross dressing, but I also fear that it may be a reflection of the priorities I have had over that same period.   If this is true then the most worrying factor is that "Marriage" comes in 28th position, after such important things as "Bras" "Under Dressing" and "Make Up"   In my defence I have tried to make this blog slightly frivolous and have tended to avoid a lot of the heavy issues in life, but for someone who regularly states that marriage is very important to me it seems that I don't write about it very often.   As Penny says "Marriage maintenance sounds like a very sound thing to invest time in" and as I have said that is something I am determined to do.

You may tell that there has been a fair bit of navel gazing going on at "chez Gee", I am not often given to introspection, maybe because I don't always like what I see.