Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Reasons to be Cheerfull

I did say I would come back to some of what happened at our counselling session the other night, well a lot happened that I have been thinking about, but the main two things are that my wife has accepted that this is a part of me, and that she has been continuing to do some research.   A while back Sky produced a documentary "Transvestite Wives" this is now available on line and clearly my wife has watched this.   After watching it initially she said to me that she could never do that, i.e. go out with me dressed, and even helping with choosing clothes etc.   On Tuesday night she said that she was not ready to that, not yet anyway, maybe when our daughter has left home.   Now to me that is pretty positive on two levels.  One that she can envisage a higher level of acceptance, and two that she is planning to stay with me after our daughter leaves home (as will inevitably happen one day), this is a relief as I will admit I was not too sure about her long term plans.

We also agreed that we will talk about this, but she needs to make some decisions, primarily about hw much she wants to know.   This is a strange area as on one hand she feels that what she deosn't know can't hurt her, b ut at the same time the feeling of being lyed to hurts.   I have tended to adopt a don't ask don't tell policy, but was able to reasure my wife that I have tried not to lie, but have not always told the whole truth.   By that I mean I was always where I said I was, with who I said I was with, just not necesarily how I was dressed.   Most of the time she knows I am sure.   Today I am going to the RA to see the Manet exhibition, Paula will be going and I am sure that my wife understands that, but it has not been said.

On Monday night we will be having our first"games" night, this is designed to get us sitting down together playing backgammon and talking over the board.   I am sure it will be fun, it will help us grw back together and maybe the talking will help us both.

Anyway enough of the heavy stuff, back to the LBD, the last offering did not get universal approval, s here is another for your approval.   This is a jersey knit dress with a high neck with three buttons at the back (of the neck) long sleeves and a slightly longer, nicely full asymetric skirt.   Is this better?   By the way I think black shoes would be better with any of the LBDs

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

More on Counselling

This is just a quick post to say that last night we had our penultimate counselling session,I aim to write more on this later but we finally tackled the "Elephant in the room",  I don't mean the jazz singer elephants Gerald (sorry) I mean my Trans Gender nature.   By being in a position where we were forced to talk about this I think we now both understand each other and ourselves better.   The important thing is that we are committed to each other, we are committed to our marriage and to our family, and have committed to working "it" out together.

My wife is much more accepting than she was, the more she finds out the closer she comes to understanding and accepting, but we still have a way to go.   I think we will make it.

Our counsellor did ask some very pertinent questions and I may come back to some of these later, for now I will just recount one exchange.

counsellor ~ "J I struggle to understand this do you?2
J ~" not really but I am looking into it and I now know that it won't go away"
P ~ "Hey I don't understand this and I've been doing it for over 40 years, what chance do you stand2

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Little Back Dress

Like I said I have a lot on at the moment, when don't I? so here's another little photo of one of my new LBDs   This is the same dress as yesterday's photo, as I say I am not still not totally convinced that it's not too short and am a little worried about teh sleevless style, but this is that dress that got a WOW when I tried it on, and it does make me feel ~ well ~ special.   So is it too short?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Honey, I'm Home

OK so Courtney Lawes didn't make quite the impact he hoped for, but over all the team did well, and after all it is a team game.   This is proving to be a strange championship, but at least it is England who are the beneficiaries.

The whole weekend was a bit of a rush, starting with the morning dash down to Cardiff in time to get shopping and lunch before the rugby started.   Then on Sunday I had a few chores to do for Mum before lunch and a dash back to London in time for the evening service I was playing at.   After the service I had a chat with the section fixer, and unfortunately, for me, I will not be playing at Proms Praise or any of the upcoming concerts as they are trying to use a regular section rather than share the performances around.   This makes my other orchestras all the more important now.
As Mum tends to go to bed early and then sleep very soundly I took advantage of the opportunity to take a few photos of my LBDs

This dress looks a bit on the short side, and looking at the photos the sleeveless style may not suit my Navvy's arms and shoulders, but when I put it on I feel great, stylish, comfortable, and yes a little bit sexy.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

This weekend

This weekend I will be in Cardiff and don't expect to have any internet access, so there won't be my ussual regular posts.   However I do plan to at least be travelling pretty, and hope to maybe have a couple of photos for you.

I shall also be spending a good amount of Saturday watching Rugby as England take on France and Wales play Italy, unfortunately it looks as though I will be driving back to London while the Scotland ~ Ireland game is being played, that goodness for recordings.

On the left that is Courtney Lawes, who will be hoping to make a big impact for England on the flank tomorrow.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Weekend

London Fashion Weekend that is, we arrived in time to have a quick look around and assess what we wanted to see then it was time for the catwalk show.   Neither of us had ever been to anything like this before so we weren't quite sure what to expect.   What we were treated to was a show in four parts representing what had been identified as key looks from the Fashion Week shows.   We had Graphic Art, Urban Lifestyles, Eastern Promise and Dolls House, each section having twelve outfits.   Out of the forty eight outfits on show there was only one I would have worn, and then not with those shoes, but I can now see how what is shown at events like this does influence what we buy in the high street.   So expect bold geometric patterns,  "Eastern" printed silk style trousers, and pretty with attitude clothes be around for a while.   I also gather that bold black and white combinations are going to be very in.

It has to be said that this is highly unlikely to influence a lady of my age and shape very much.

As much as by the clothes I was struck by the models, tall skinny young girls, a couple who were so skinny that they could have been boys, no shape at all, they were obviously under instructions not to look as though they might have been enjoying themselves as throughout they all had either glum or blank expressions, ~ and the way they walk!   I have never seen anyone in any other environment walk like that.   I have heard talk of the "model walk" and expected something elegant, but no to my eyes this was somewhere around the borders between comic and gruesome.

So outside of the catwalk show there were lots of stalls selling designer gear, bags, clothes, shoes, hats, jewelry, there was also a big Toni & Guy salon doing hair restyles, a major Elizabeth Arden doing makeovers, Triumph Lingerie were giving away free panties and nail corp were doing manicures.   If Paula had been there she would have had some of all of that, but could I persuade my daughter to go for any of it? not a chance.   The only bit f participation I could talk her into was having her photo taken at the Canon stand, and then she choose a different one to me to be printed.

All in all we had an excellent day out, it was fun to be with my daughter for the whole day, note to self must do that more, while she will still have lunch with me.

A Trip to Town

Today my daughter and I had an outing together, although it was to a event (London Fashion Weekend) I wanted to attend I found I was looking forward to the time with my daughter more than the event.   My daughter is very interested in fashion and I am now admitting much more to my interest.   We travelled up to town by train and then had lunch together at the Cafe Rouge near Charring Cross.

Ordering our lunch I slipped and automatically ordered myself a glass of wine, then I realised that it is Lent and I am committed to giving up booze, I rushed over to the waitress and cancelled my order, I felt such a wilf!   We had a nice cosy place in the corner and had a good chat and the food was good as well, I had a simple Caesar salad and my daughter some mushrooms Florentine before we both had a smoked salmon omelet.

It was very cold outside today and when we left the restaurant the chill soon got through to me, it must have been worse for my daughter as her sense of fashion was stronger than her sense of self preservation so she had rejected wearing a coat, at least she did have a hat.   We scurried up The Strand to Somerset House and the show.   We picked up our goodies bags and got in the warm of the exhibition.

to be continued;~~~~~~

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Hair do

Today (Wednesday) I had my hair "done" I was going to say cut but somehow that seems like an inadequate expression for what Nicky did.   This is the third time I have been to her and each time she takes a little off here and there, evens out the layers, and somehow it seems to get fuller, my hair is now about the length I want and a style that works whichever way I am presenting.   I am so happy not to have to wear a wig anymore, it is so much more comfortable, and I am not forever worrying that it is slipping, or that some of my own grey hair is showing underneath, it has indeed been quite liberating, I am just grateful that I still have enough of my own hair to have a choice!
Anyway, we had quite a chat until it was time for the blow dry, the noise rather stops conversation, bu this is when the real magic happens, somehow she transforms my whole appearance, my hair just seems so much "bigger" and shows some real style.

I have so far made a point of only going as Paula, although I was in drab when I booked my first appointment, to me it does not seem quite fair, or indeed polite to chop and change, let them know one person, not confuse the issue with multiples.   The first time Nicky cut my hair I wore and M & S Grey woollen trouser suit, last time my mauve skater dress with black opaque tights, today I wore a Next grey wool dress, and jacket with sheer tights and black heels, as I was leaving Nicky commented, that I always looked very nice.   I floated away!

Only trouble, I left my phone there, by the time I realised they had shut so I have to go back in the morning, before going up to tow with my daughter for a catwalk show at London Fashion Weekend, I fear I may have to turn up as "Him" to claim my phone.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Every Silver linning has a cloud

Grayson Perry: all dressed up for a proper
north-east night out with the girls
There have been a few strikes by the Nation Union of Journalists effecting some BBC programmes, amongst other things this meant that on Monday rather than a new edition of start the Week we had a recording of an old programme.   The joy of this is that it was one featuring Grayson Perry, talking about his series for Channel 4, "In the Best Possible Taste"; if you haven't seen this it is well worth a look, anyway, my point is that as part of the series at various points he was dressed up by his hosts in the taste of that "class" for an appropriate event, on one of these occasions was he was dressed by new middle class 30 somethings in designer menswear, clearly Perry was not comfortable with this, but said with great glee "and I think I passed" I could clearly hear the laughter in his voice, even though I was laughing out loud myself; there was some polite amusement shown by the other guests, I think they just didn't understand.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


I'm afraid I have been rather a bad girl today, after spending a bit of time this morning on admin, I broke out and skived the rest of the day, it felt great guilty fun, a bit like playing truant from school.   First off I was a bit naughty and went to my local green waste site with over a third of a tonne of gardening waste, however by then I had already painted my finger nails pink and was wearing skinny jeans with knee high boot over them.   I have been trying to decide whether to keep these boots or not, I really like the look, but they are just a bit to tight.   Today I made my decision, they have to go.

After getting rid of my waste I changed into a skirt and pumps and went for a coffee and a sandwich.   To stop my guilt trip I did a bit of work on the old laptop while enjoying my coffee.   After that though there was no stopping me.   Having decided that I was going to get rid of my boots I needed to replace them, so I started to trawl the charity shops.

I visited eight shops, bought two black dresses ~ now I will have to do some more concerts if only to wear the dresses ~ on white pink and mauve flower print dress and a black satin blouse, that I may be able to wear as a dress shirt, but no boots!   In one shop they had two black dresses I liked but they were both a size 14, I thought I was being a bit ambitious even trying them on, but thought I would give them a go.   The first would not even do up, not good for the ego!   The second definitely falls into the LBD category, it is rather short, of a velvety sort of material and sports a bit of a puffball skirt.   I rather liked but was thought it might be a bit too short, then I realised I couldn't get the back zip undone, and had to go out into the shop to ask for help.   When I came out of the changing room seeking help, the manageress was there, she just exclaimed WOW when she saw me in the dress, after that I just had to buy it.

Tomorrow morning I get my hair done, after that I will have to do some work to pay for all those dresses.

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Good Night II

Last night was a wonderful experience, playing wonderful music with a decent orchestra in a good venue to a full audience, who could ask for more? Well, me that's who! The more I ask for is to be able to do all this as Paula, and last night that ambition was fulfilled.   In many ways the overall concert went better than I expected, most outfits play better in the rehearsal than in the performance, last night LGSO did it the other way round.   I will admit that I was not faultless, but then A/ that's what live music is all about, and B/ that's why I'm an amateur.

On a more personal level I was more nervous than I have been before a performance for ages, of course most of this had to do with how I was dressed, and how I was presenting. usually I am just another guy in a dinner jacket at the back of the orchestra, last night felt so different.   It was my turn to be the glamorous one in the short dress and high heels, I think everyone in the orchestra was aware of my sartorial choices OK they have only met me as Paula and it will stay that way, but none the less it does have to be said that I was the most dressed up of all the girls.   Indeed quite a few wore DJs and nearly all trousers, practical, warm but no fun at all.

Although the orchestra is there to serve the whole London LGBT community I think that I am the first to represent the T, and it has taken them a while to work out just how I fit in.   The first few rehearsals I barely spoke to anyone outside my section, but then at the last rehearsal I joined others for a drink after we finished and was very well looked after, then yesterday I found that I was much more in the company of the other girls.   I spent a very pleasant afternoon in the company of a few ladies before getting changed.   I had to have a couple of goes at this as the slip I took to wear turned out to be just a little too long and showed below my dress, I had anticipated this and took along a teddy as well, just in case.   While I was in the "Ladies" just in my tights and teddy putting on my make up one of the ladies came in; I apologised but was told that it wasn't necessary, but that I should hurry up before the audience arrived.   I am glad to say that I was ready in time.

I always get a little nervous before going stage, and last night was worse than usual, I was very cheered as we were going on stage when one of the ladies told me she thought I looked great, and followed up with "shame you are sitting behind me".   At most of concerts I play I am looked at the girls in front of me, checking what they are wearing and in particular their shoes, I think this was one occasion when others were doing the same to me.

I did it!

At the moment the adrenaline is still pumping, I had such a great time today, even Southern Rail delays couldn't spoil my evening.   I have only just got changed and back home, had something too eat and about to go to bed.

But I thought I would just put up a quick post to let you all know that I did it, the concert went great, we had a good audience who enjoyed a good performance, and Paula has now officially made her public debut.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Cobbler's Children

There are all sorts of things that I feel I should be sharing my opinions on, like why is no store being prosecuted for selling us horse meat labeled as beef.   Now I have nothing against eating horse. indeed I have with great pleasure and probably will again, but I only want to be eating horse, or indeed any other meat when I have been told that it is horse, and I want to know that it is meat assured suitable for human consumption, I think the big problem here is that what we were told was beef was not (on at least one occasion donkey has been found), and that it may not be safe meat, it certainly has not been through the safe process.   We are all being told that the supermarkets were duped and are as much victims as the rest of us, I can't see this, they are the ones who sold the products as beef and should have taken appropriate measures to ensure that they were telling the truth.

I am not a Roman Catholic, one of my fundamental disagreements with their theology is the infallibility of the papacy, in the Church of England we have a clear understanding that to be priest is a vocation for life, anything else that a priest does is a job.   So whether Archbishop of Canterbury of Vicar of Nether Wallop the incumbent is a priest doing a job, once retired they are still a priest.   A retired Bishop may be asked to perform some of the functions of a serving Bishop when there is an interregnum, just as a retired vicar may be asked to fill in.   The one post that is different is Supreme Governor, The Queen, this is an hereditary position, anointed in succession for life, a lifetime service.   Apart from the Church of England and the Church of Scotland all other protestant Churches elect (or otherwise appoint)  their leaders for a fixed period, leadership is seen as a role, or indeed a job.   The Papacy is different (or rather was different) this is (or was) seen as a divine adoption of a successor to Peter, again a lifetime anointment, not a Job to be picked up or put down as circumstances change.   If this is a divine appointment then surely God will make the decision right and provide the incumbent with everything needed to fill the role until they are taken home to be by God's side.   To e the ability of a Pope to retire undermines the whole theology of the Papacy just as the abdication of a Monarch undermines the whole ethos of Monarchy.

How come a Meteor in central Russia (the Urals) resulting in around 500 injuries was only around fifth item on any news bulletin?   I would have thought that this was a much more news worthy story than some of the stuff that came before it.

These are the sort of things I should be writing about, but what I really want to say is how good it was today to get outside and do some work in my own garden.   I put up a new light in the front of the house, and tidied the larger of our borders in the back garden.   We have also made a couple of decisions about improvement projects for this year (which involve me cutting down four trees, but panting some more, more appropriate, ones in their place) in all a good afternoon, now looking forward to a nice quiet evening, just my wife and me, and an old film.

Friday, 15 February 2013

I'm So Excited

I can't believe how much I am looking forward to Sunday's concert I am like a small child the week before Christmas, I keep going over my plans for the day; what I am going to wear, how I will get changed, how I will travel, will there be somewhere suitable for me to change, (I might not fit too easily into either the girls or the boys changing rooms, and then there is any extra shaving that may be needed to consider....).

I think I am about as prepared as I can be I have already polished my toe nails, got my clothes for the evening packed, I have been through the music so many times, I have worked out my route by public transport, and where I will park the van.  I think all I have to prepare now, is to complete my shaving, and pack my lunch and dinner.   I am sure there must be something else I have to do, but I haven't thought of it yet.   Just like Christmas eve, it will be difficult to concentrate on anything tomorrow as I will Sunday to come quicker.

With no International Rugby to distract me I hope to be able to get a few things done in my own garden, I have a new security light to put up, and I want to reduce the height of our front hedge by a good couple of feet,, that ought t keep me busy and where me out as well.

Cocktails for two

I know I am always banging on about taking more photos, well last night I really should have taken some photos.   I could have used them to illustrate a cookery book!

I cooked dinner last night, just for two of us as it should be on V night, I had to take into account our Lenten fasts so planned the menu carefully.    I started off with fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto and topped with Gorgonzola, warmed through in the oven just enough to melt the cheese.   This is a Hairy Bikers recipe and every bit as good as it sounds.   For our main I fried some lamb steaks with rosemary with some pommes boulangere and simple jus.

I finished up with the fun bit, the other day I heard Raymond Blac say that it was only with desserts that the chef could really enjoy themselves, well I enjoyed myself with a lemon trifle.   At the bottom lemon jelly then a layer of lemon mouse topped off with Chantilly and served with a lemon biscuit dipped in white chocolate.   This is the first time I have served this, and i think maybe it would have been a little better with a ginger snap but a definite success.

This morning all that is left is the washing up

Specially for Meg another song name post title.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

V Day

I hope it is a happy Valentine's day for you all, it certainly should be for me! Yes I did get a hand made card this morning, and I have arranged that I will cook a special meal for two this evening, it will be slightly less than possible as I have given up booze for Lent, so no wine for me.

So how did this cross dresser prepare for Valentine's day? simple, once again my daughter was late getting up, so once again I took her to school, then got a message from my wife could I take a parcel to the post office for, and oh by the way she left her lunch at home so could I drop that off for her.   So preparing was not really on, it was more a case of  stumbling into it confused and dazed with any pans I had in tatters, still it will be fun, I only have one appointment today and that is in the afternoon, so lets hope that it gets saner.
I will admit that while I am at home supposedly catching up on some admin,  I have changed into a skirt and top before getting changed and going out again.   With everything else going on I find I am struggling to knuckle down to work, and would rather waste spend time writing blog entries, looking at on line cartoons, and getting stuff ready for Sunday.   I have decided on my outfit and makeup, I am reasonable confident that I can play the pieces, and I have at least one friend in the audience, my good friend and colleague S will be coming, she has meet Paula before, but not in such glamorous circumstances.
The relevance of the photo? well it's the St Valentine's day Mascara

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Freedy Bassett's

It was nice to get back to some proper gardening today, this morning I pruned a clematis, and cut back the tops of a lot of herbaceous plants, mostly Japanese Anemones, that are now looking very tired, that and reporting a few houseplants, set me up nicely for the afternoon.   The afternoon held more pruning, Holly and Mallow (Lavatera) and some general tidying.   This is the sort of thing I became a gardener to do.   It was a very pleasant change because he previous few work days have been more construction biased.   I must say I have been a little worried about the most ridiculous thing, the other weekend I cut my finger nails, a little too short, now I am not sure that they will be as long as I would like for Sunday night.   I will not wear false nails, but am worried that I will break one while working, then they will look really off!
Yesterday we replaced a shed roof, this ended up being twice the job we expected and we didn't get finished until nearly seven, I just about had time to make a quick change and leg into Croydon with my wife for our session with the counsellor.   This was a good session, we covered some good ground, addressed a couple of my issues and now I am looking forward to continuing improvements.

Monday was mostly spent ferrying my daughter around, I think in all I made four separate journeys to and from her school, first a mid day appointment then pick her up again after school to get changed before taking her back to go on a theater trip, then after my rehearsal another trip to pick her up.

Who'd be a parent?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Sorry Hanna

A while back I posted a cartoon that had caught my eye, and wrote a little on the thoughts it prompted, I mentioned the magazine Frock who introduced me to the cartoonist, but somehow I totally overlooked mentioning the artist herself or putting in a link.

Well she is the excellent Hanna please dive over and read her story, I'm sure you will recognise much of it.   And Hanna ~ SORRY

Nearly there

Yesterday was the final rehearsal for next Sunday's concert, we will have a run through on the day at the venue, but last night was the last time we would be able to really take the music apart and work on it.   A lot of the evening was taken up with the concerto, and as the trombones are not in that we had a late start.   This mean that I had time to watch the end of the rugby before leaving and getting changed.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Rugby (actually all the games so far this championship have been good), and it was nice to have a little more time to get ready and prepare.   As I suggested I did wear my purple dress, it felt great, and very natural.   As we finished a little early this was also my first opportunity to join the others for a drink after the rehearsal.   It was very nice to be bought drinks all night and we had some very interesting conversations, my own dressing/gender identity situation has still not been mentioned once.   For me this still feels a slightly odd situation, in a way I am amongst civilians, but everyone in this orchestra are part of the LBGT community, but I am the sole T representative (a far as I can tell), also I would self identify as straight, and although I have no problem being in the company of my gay friends, I think this is a first for me where the company is exclusively gay.

I am looking forward to the concert eagerly now, and hope to be invited to join them again, however I am not at all sure I can make this level of commitment to rehearsals, I have told the Brass Band that I am leaving them as I need more time with my family, it is no fair to anyone if I then just replace one commitment with another one, still it is good to be playing with an orchestra again, and it will be great when Paula finally makes her debut.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wash day blues

A while back I upset one or two of you with the picture of a care label here, I now wonder if my wife does read this blog after all and she took offence to it as well.    I don't hold with the principle that any one member of the family has exclusive access to any jobs, so I do sometimes do laundry ( I think I do it more often than my wife thinks I do it!) but this last week I have been busy so it all fell to my wife.   Obviously at this time of year we are wearing quite few pullovers, I have a favorite botany wool turtle neck, or rather I had.   Not checking the care label it went in at too high a temperature an and now it might fit y daughter ~ who is a size eight as opposed to my sixteen.

The black one behind still fits!

Saturday, 9 February 2013


I have a customer, one of those that is fast becoming a friend as well, who is one of those annoying women who not only has immaculate taste, but always looks elegant.   I believe that she does not have the capacity to be scruffy, when ever I have seen she has looked perfect, whether on a Saturday morning in a cotton dress, straight from work in a suit or nice dress or even n an evening out in the pub.   I a assured that she does own a pair of jeans, but I haven't seen them and doubt if she has such a thing as a tee shirt.
Well working there yesterday she came home from work before we had finished, and she was wearing a lovely mauve dress from M & S with a tweed jacket that had a matching mauve thread running through it, and the button hole details in that same mauve thread. ~ she looked stunning ~ the combination was so perfect, with black tights and shoes everything was just right.   I don't know what she must think of me but, not for the first time, I had to say how good I thought she looked, how much I liked what she was wearing.

Tomorrow I have a rehearsal for my concert next Sunday, I have been wondering what to wear, I think I will now emulate my customer and wear my own purple skater dress, I can't manage the matching jacket, but maybe with a black cardigan it will be sufficiently casual for the occasion.

By the way I am rather proud of the work I am doing at this customer's so expect photos at some point.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Out of the frying pan

We accumulate stuff, all sorts of stuff, I have far more hosiery than can ever be truly justified, even if I were a full time girl.   At least tights don't take up much space, shoes are of course worse, luckily I'm not as bad as some of us, now I have got past the initial thrill of buying everything that might fit, whether I liked them or not, or indeed if I would ever have occasion to wear them.

The stuff I want to talk about today though is kitchen stuff.   My wife and I are what you may call enthusiastic cooks, some would call us foodies, and my daughter has a growing interest in cooking, if not in washing up.   This enthusiasm has lead to a bit of a problem, we don't have a particularly small kitchen but we keep running out of space, largely because we have so much stuff, cooking stuff.   My wife loves a gadget, and loves new toys for the kitchen.   We have a
  • Banana slicer
  • Apple corer and slicer
  • Pineapple corer
  • Jelly bag
  • liquidizer
  • Grinder
  • Food processor
  • Mixer
  • Hand held blender
  • Bread maker
  • Mouli Mill
  • Pasta machine
  • Lemon juicer
  • nutmeg grater
This is not a complete list but you get the general idea.   We also of course have a selection of pots and pans, currently four stainless steel sauce pans, six cast iron sauce pans (one of which doubles as a casserole, four cast iron casseroles, two Pyrex casseroles and several microwave ones as well.   But, what prompted all this is eggs, to fry an egg we have four, yes FOUR, aluminium frying pans, the base of two egg poachers, the lid of the Le Creuset Marmitout, two enamelled cast iron frying pans, two raw cast iron omelet pans, two iron griddles and two electric griddles, I make that at least fourteen things I can use to fry an egg, but I may well have missed something, so what does my wife come home from the shops with yesterday.

A FRYING PAN ~ a special frying an for just one egg, why? because it's cute!

Thursday, 7 February 2013


I think the root of the problems in or marriage are down to poor, or no, communication.   I remeber things y wife said to me but she denies, and on the other hand there are things she swears blind I was told about that come as a complete surprise, I wonder how much of this is down to "Mala pattern deafness", how much is down to my actual deafness, and how much is down to unfulfilled intentions, as in she meant to tell me but never quite got round to it.

It seems that Sherman has some of the same problems!   Somehow I suspect that Sherman would not be going too counselling, personally I am hoping that a bit of external discipline will sort us out (NO! not like that, go and wash out your mind)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Yesterday we had our second proper counseling session I left the first one feeling pretty positive and that we were on a way forward, after last night I'm not so sure.   I left feeling as though I was being made the problem, it seemed like I was being made out the villain of the piece, while I feel like the victim.   I accept that there needs to be give and take, it just feels as though at the moment I'm the one doing all the giving.   I had hoped for some thanks, or at least acknowledgement that my standing down from the Brass Band was a fairly serious sacrifice, but no, it has been barely mentioned, and then with a "shame it will take so long" before I actually stop (only four weeks in fact the shortest notice I felt I could reasonably give).   Maybe that is a reflection that I really am selfish, or maybe we haven't got as far as some of the underlying problems yet.   Either way I will continue the process and hope for a happy outcome.

We have agreed to more time together, without our gadgets, her phone my laptop, I think this will be harder for both of us than allowed for, changing habits is hard, especially if what got you into the habit to start with is not addressed as well.

On a more frivolous note I noticed the picture on the left on another site, and this is exactly the "look" I want for my upcoming concert.   I can't do the hair and will definitely have a lower hemline but this is definitely the fantasy.   The LBD I plan on wearing has a higher neckline and no sleeves so perhaps a little more like the one on the right.  It is however definitely "slinky" and with a few sparklies should look suitably dressy, I will wear sheer black or barely black tights but am still undecided whether to have plain, patterned or seemed.

Mind you I still have two rehearsals before the performance, I may even wear a skirt to one of them.   This is all a bit of a journey of discovery, so far I have found that when playing the trombone lipstick is a waste of time, large earrings can rattle on the side of the instrument, and that it is perfectly possible to play with my knees together.   I suspect that most of the orchestra don't care what I wear, as long as I play well.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bowing Out

Well I have my new(er) laptop back from the hospital, but that does not mean that all my problems are over, I have lost an awful lot of data, including a lot of my business accounts and the work I do for other businesses.   I have certainly learnt my lesson about back ups, a friend tells me that a lot of it may be retrievable, I shall just have to try.

This evening I left for my Brass band rehearsal unable to collect e-mails, of course this did not help my mood, which was pretty poor anyway knowing that I had to tell the guys that I was packing up as their conductor.   I know I am doing this for all the right reason, that they have been taking advantage of me, and that my marriage is much more important to me than the band; but I still can't help feeling as though I am letting them down.   I know that I will miss many aspects of conducting, especially I performance, when it goes well it is one of the most marvellous musical experiences it is possible to have.  On the other hand sometimes in rehearsal you feel as though you may as well not be there.

Anyway, I bit the bullet and told the guys my decision and although disappointed I think it was accepted, so that's my "homework" done for this week,no easy but now I have done it it is a bit of a weight off my shoulders, the whole thing had become more of a responsibility than I had ever wanted it to be.   I now have to be vigilant to make sure that I do not take on any more commitments.

This weekend I have tickets for a concert a friend is playing in, it is a good programme, not a bad orchestra and very good seats so that should be a nice outing for us; it also clashes with my support group's monthly meeting that means I won't have see any of them this year until March.   It is all about getting my priorities right.

Monday, 4 February 2013

What a weekend

Well I have had a great weekend, spending Saturday with my daughter shopping for guitars was more fun than I would have believed, then to come home and watch England beat Scotland (again) at Rugby had to be good.   Then this morning I played the electric bass for the morning service, before legging it up to town for an LGSO rehearsal.

We had a good, full rehearsal before splitting down into sectionals, where we did some intensive work, but perhaps some of my particular glee comes from a conversation with one of the Bassoons, around concert dress, I asked what the form was to be told it was all black, but some don't take it too seriously, she also said that there were about three girls who could be relied on to wear a "frock" I told her she could add another as if I had a chance to wear a "frock" I would grab it. I gather she will be wearing a DJ!   My concern was that if the form was for a long black dress I would have to do some shopping!

I am now home and watching a recording of Italy beating France, my weekend is complete!

If you want to complete your weekend on the 17th Feb, this should be a great concert, just remember to check out the bass trombone!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

good tips

I am writing this on Saturday evening, ready for publication on Sunday morning. We have had a pretty full day going down to Brighton to look at new Guitars for my daughter.   A friend who knows about these things went with us, and we all had a great time.   Eventually we did manage to make a decision but the guitar my daughter wanted had a small, intermittent, but important electrical problem, so they are ordering a new one for her.   A bit of a blow but I am sure it will be worth the extra wait to have the right instrument.  She had her audition for the BRIT School on Friday, and although she thinks she sang and played well, is not so sure she did as well as she could in the interview and aural tests, so a new guitar will either be a nice present to celebrate success or something good to hang onto if disappointed.

This afternoon (Sunday) I will be rehearsing for the LGSO concert on the 17th Feb, the rehearsal is at 4:00, it will take me about an hour of travel and an hour to get ready so I will have to leave home by around 2:00.   Given that I am playing for the morning service this could be a challenge.   On Friday evening we had a rehearsal for Sunday morning, and I think that is the best I have played the electric bass yet, I hope that I will do as well at the service.

Anyway this week one of my favorite caqrtoons, 9 Chickweed lane have been running a short series fo tips for performers

You have been warned

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Brad! Brad?

This weeks strips on Luann, have been featuring Brad in an, err, unusual situation.   I think he could do with more practise

Talking of practise last night I had a rehearsal for Sunday morning's band, I think it is the best I have played the electric bass yet, hope it goes as well Sunday morning, before home to change for Sunday night's rehearsal on Bass Trombone.   Today we go down to Brighton to buy my daughter a new guitar, so not at all sure I will have any time for practise on either instrument.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Good News ~ Bad News

You may know this game, one person says Good News, the next follows with Bad News, so along the lines of Good News You've won a prize, Bad news it's tickets for a Bruce Forsyth concert, Good News it's at the Palladium, Bad news, the Palladium Rochdale, Good News you get free Travel, Bad News by Virgin Rail..... you get the idea?

Well I have a situation a bit like that,

Good News I've won tickets to a fashion show for London Fashion Week, Bad News Paula can't go; Good News It's over half term so my Daughter can go with me, Bad News Paula can't go; Good News My daughter will love, Bad news I won't be able to say "I would love that dress", Good News valuable time alone with Daughter, Bad News well none really that's about it.

This is going to be such fun, for both of us, I plan to go up to London for lunch and then go to the show, if there is time we may go and "black our noses" at a posh shop or two before coming home.   It will be good to have an excuse to talk about clothes with my daughter, I have been baned by my wife from talking to her about my dressing, so maybe this will be a nice half measure.   I actually offered my wife the chance to go with our daughter, but she said no, she thought I would be more interested than her, while true, it must have taken some pluck to admit it.   I feel so lucky not just to have won these tickets but also that they are over teh half term holiday, this is going to be a real treat for both of us.