Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Washing Feet

I subscribe to am e-ail newsletter from an organisation called Cristian Concern, on Thursday I got an e-mail from them headed  "Action Alert" the e-mail was concerned about a program that the BBC would be broadcasting on the following day ~ Good Friday, this is part of what it said

The BBC is set to broadcast a controversial programme tomorrow about Mary Magdalene which is expected to suggest that she was married to Jesus Christ.

"You can watch the programme on BBC1 at 12noon tomorrow (Good Friday) or on the BBC's iPlayer service shortly after. Please contact the BBC to voice your concerns and to ask that it broadcasts a follow-up programme based on more accurate scholarship.

Melvyn Bragg is presenting the programme. Based on his discussion of it in the
Telegraph, we believe the BBC's decision to show it is offensive because:

  • in a broadcast at the precise time Christians are remembering his death on the cross, this programme questions the purity of Jesus;
  • the claims about Jesus are based on dubious scholarship;
  • it makes indefensible claims about the nature of the Bible (e.g. the process by which the books of the Bible came to be recognised and collated);
  • it feeds on Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code' hypothesis rather than taking account of sensible scholarship.

The programme is being billed as a major contribution to the BBC's Easter programming. The timing of it is highly inappropriate and inflammatory.

Please
contact the BBC to ask for a further programme to set the record straight.

The BBC's response will depend on what level of feedback it receives - your comments will make a difference. So, please contact the BBC as soon as possible after 12noon.


It did seem a trifle odd to me that I should be encouraged to complain about a program before it had even been broadcast, but as I had not heard elsewhere about this program I decided I should watch it.   As I was out on a "Walk of Witness" during the broadcast itself I recorded the show and watched it later yesterday.  

My finding was that the scholarship was good, there was nothing in it to undermine the teaching of the Bible, and that the timing of the broadcast on Good Friday means that more people would watch the show, and engage with Christian Issues as a consequence.   What did not come out so well was the Church.   From around the second Century till today the Church struggles with finding a role for women, something that Jesus had no problem with even two thousand years ago when women were less than full people!

I am enormously encouraged by the actions of Pope Francis washing the feet of women prisoners on Thursday, I hope that this may be a sign of an increasing liberalisation in the Church, but as we all know sometimes these things can take a long time.   I do think that if Christians (like me) want and expect to play a full part in influencing society we have to be seen to living to the values we espouse. Acting in love in all matters, serving all people equally, loving all regardless of race, gender, or actions.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Captain Kirk

I saw this story in the good ol' Huffington Post, at first I will admit that I thought it was quite funny.   Students tend to take themselves and their politics far too seriously, but on further contemplation I do think that this actually raises a couple of quite interesting questions.

There is of course the financial one of just how many officers are supported by any group of funders, after all we have that debate running nationally with the Houses of Parliament at the moment.   This Students Union is a reflection of National Politics in that with less and less members bothering to vote more and more power gets concentrated with the activists.

Another issue that struck me is, in order to represent an interest group properly, does the representative need to be a member of that group? No, Seriously, do you need to be a Woman to represent Women's issues? After all MPs represent many groups they are not members of, for example battered wives.

And finally (you know when the Vicar says this that there will only be another 20 minutes of the sermon to go), doesn't equality mean that there should not be Women's Issues only Issues, or if you prefer Equality Issues.   There are many minority groups who may feel under represented, but at what point do organisations such as Student Unions stop having special sections.  Race? Gender? Sexuality? Gender Identification? Faith?   I understand that I am now in several minority groups so in a situation like this I might have the Christian Representative (if a conservative) saying the exact opposite of what the trans representative might be saying, the women's representative could have a totally different third point of view and the white European (yes there are places where we are a minority) might not care at all.   Then of course because of my disabilities I would need extra representation but would they be able to understand that because of my age I need different representation to a twenty year old.

So in the end we are all people, we should all be treated with equal respect and given equal rights and opportunities of work, participation in society, happiness and expression.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Weekend Starts Here

Easter weekend is the busiest of the year for Garden Centers, it is also usually a time for traffic jams and visits to the seaside; parks and gardens, I suspect that that may well not be the case this year.   As our miserable weather looks set to continue over the whole of the weekend and into the week ahead.   While I will certainly not be working on Friday it looks as though I will be on Saturday and maybe Monday as well.   Given my current financial situation maybe that is just as well.

Tonight we will be celebrating Passover, we are not Jewish but as Christians firmly believe that our faith is rooted in Judaism, this means that we celebrate the festivals (as did Jesus), not least so we can understand more of the society Jesus operated in, and illuminate much of his teaching.   I know that we are a little early this year, but of course for us as Christians it is the tie in with Easter that is paramount, after all it was at the Passover Seder that Jesus confirmed the New Covenant, at what we now know as the "Last Supper"   Although we will end on a solemn note as we start to contemplate the events of Good Friday, this traditional celebration is meant to be fun.   We will be playing a few traditional Messianic Jewish songs and there will be some "Davidic" dancing, and of course everyone else will be having their four cups of wine, I will be on grape juice as I don't want to break my fast until Sunday lunch.

The other night I watched a fascinating programme on BBC with Giles Coren hosting a Passover Seder, I learnt a lot (as did he), if you can make the time I strongly recommend watching.

"It'll be alright on the night"
Tomorrow will be quite different, as I will be playing with the Brass Band for a walk of witness, on Saturday I will be working and then on Sunday morning I will be at a sunrise service (why did I agree to that?) These are good opportunities to share my faith and celebrate with others, it also serves to remind me that I am a chosen, adopted son of God, rescued by his only begotten son.  

If he's done that for me, he's not about to let me go under, I am reassured that all will be well.   There's a scene in the movie Shakespeare in Love when the theatre manager, beset by financial woes, unreliable writers and the Master of the Revels threatening to shut him down, simply shrugs his shoulders and says, "It'll all work out alright in the end. I don't know how, but it always does.   I feel a little like that, I know it will all be alright", but at the moment I'm not at all sure how.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Whinger! Me?

There was a good piece in the Guardian yesterday prompted by the Lucy Meadows situation, it is good to see a friendly piece, but lets not forget that this is the same paper that gave space to Julie Burchill's diatribe.

I do hope for progress, but it seems that for every step forwards we take one back.

Listening to a radio programme about feminism the other day I was struck that like most people I don't really know what others mean by Feminism.   A friend defined this as wanting everyone to have equal opportunities, rights and to be treated with equal respect, regardless of gender ~ well I would certainly sign up for that, like most people I would add colour, race, age, sexual orientation, and disability, so why do we end up disagreeing with feminists so often?   I think it is because rather than seeking gender equality feminists seek to break down the differences between genders, whereas those of us who are trans tend to emphasise the differences, especially as we seek to accentuate our own femininity (or masculinity) in the face of a society that would rather we stayed the way they have already defined us.
Something to be happy about

I know it's not the time for a Weekend Wobbly, or indeed a Monday Moan, maybe it's a Wednesday Whinge, but then that's a fair reflection of how I feel at the moment. Sometimes life sucks, and for me this is one of those times. ~  Reasons, well the weather doesn't help and our family situation is still sticky, but the main reason why I am very down just now is simple. I have run out of money.

Life in the Gee household has tended to be more than a bit hand to mouth for the last couple of years, and this last year has been the worst yet. As I say the weather hasn't helped, the very cold wet weather has meant that I have had four or five poor earning months in a row, and I can't be sure that it will get any better. It has now got to the point where I now have absolutely no money left other than the few coins in my pocket. I am quite sure that the situation will improve, over the weekend I will be getting my invoices out, but just now I can't see how my situation will improve unless either an unexpected inheritance suddenly appears or my Premium Bond comes up ~ neither are a good basis for long term financial planning.

If I things don't get better very soon I may even have to get a job. I would be very sad to give up the gardening business, so maybe I should seek a Sugar Daddy, whatever I do do I know I will not seek a "payday loan" or indeed do anything else rash.   I have work in hand so I am sure I start to fee better as soon as the weather warms up a bit, I get a bit of sun, last month's work paid for and a chance to have a pint!

Nearly Over

This weekend is Easter, for many people this is a time of overeating, time off work, and apparently the busiest weekend of the year for Garden Centers.   For me it will be a busy weekend as well, but I'm not sure how much I will get done in our garden.   On Friday I will be in the band leading a local Walk of Witness, and then on Sunday I will be playing again at a Sun Rise service.   That is all after playing at our Church Passover meal on Thursday evening.

It is a time for Christians to remember the central purpose of Christ's ministry, his death and resurrection.   Good Friday is a day for quiet reflection and contemplation as well as dignified witness.   Those of us who have been practising fasting over Lent continue till Easter Sunday, many who haven't will fast on Friday, as a spiritual aid to prayer and contemplation.   It grieves me a little that for most people it is simply an excuse for some time off work, and more over indulgence.


Having said all that I am looking forward to Sunday Lunch when I will be breaking my personal fast.   With all our difficulties this year I have found it quite difficult to stick to my no alcohol during Lent rule, but when I set my sacrifice against Christ's it is nothing.    This year I am also unsure of how much it has proved to be a spiritual aid, rather than an exercise in self restraint ~ but then self control is a "Fruit of the Spirit"   My abstinence shows me that I can take control, that I am in charge of my relationship with alcohol, and that there is pleasure in social interaction without booze!   But I am looking forward to a glass of wine with my lunch on Sunday.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Declutter

I have often observed that I have too many instruments, so I have been taking some action.   At the moment both my Tuba mute and my euphonium are out on loan, but more drastic, more permanent  action is also required.   I don't often play the Bass Guitar, and now of the two in the house there is only one that I would use.   Following some prompting by my good friend B I have decided to put it up for sale on E-Bay.   My rational is no so much to earn some money (although it would be very welcome) as to make it available to somebody who would use it.   To me this is an old, not very good starter instrument.   It is as god as it was 30 years ago, it's just that it wasn't very good 30 years ago!

It seems I was wrong bidding has gone much higher than I expected and I suspect that bidders are reminded of their own first instrument and are seeking a bit of nostalgia.   Whatever they are seeking I just hope that they won't be disappointed.   For me this has been an issue a couple of times on E-Bay when I have sold items and people have not read the description as carefully as I have written it.  I want my buyers to enjoy the items I sell, having paid what they considered to be a fair price.

Whatever I shall be happy to have the money, and the space.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Monday Moan

Not quite a weekend wobbly, more a Monday Moan, but I am grateful to Joni Roberts for bringing this article from the Huffington press to my attention.   As I don't regularly read a newspaper, and if I did it certainly would not be the Mail, this whole issue had flown below my radar until I saw this post from Jenny over at Large Blooming Flower.

I just hope an pray that we will start to see a bit less of this sort of thing as the press begin to realise that we are no longer a minority that can be easily bullied without risk.

On another (more positive) note, at last nights LGSO rehearsal it was confirmed that I will be playing at the LGSW Spring Fayre.   I a looking forward to this for a number of reasons, I missed the last concert I was scheduled to play in due to our family hiatus, so it is a while since I have performed, it sounds like a nice relaxed fun event, and of course I get to dress  up!

The program is fun and there will be lots of stalls and stuff (including Butch Jam), so if you are at a lose end on Saturday the 6th April pop into London and give yourself a treat.

It must be my Age

Saturday night, we went to a birthday party, nothing unusual in that, but at this one all the music was live, much of it provided by the hosts' band the rest by guests.   My daughter was one of the guests asked to do a couple of songs, I was very pleased that she agreed to sing, apart from my own pleasure in her performances I am sure that the more she performs the better she will get as she becomes more comfortable with the experience.

Another old friend was at the party, she has her own study and does a lot of singing herself, around local pubs, clubs, and concerts.   having heard my daughter sing she invited her to an open mike event she is running, and has offered use of the studio.   I hope this will serve as an encouragement, whatever the outcome from the BRIT School auditions ~ we should hear next week.

After the party, while I was waiting for the bathroom to become free I switched on the TV to see what, if anything was on.   BBC were showing a selection of appearances by Slade, I always enjoyed Slade when I was younger so stayed up and watched, I haven't enjoyed Pop music so much for ages.   I always had a suspicion that Slade were underrated, now I am convinced.

One little surprise was how little I saw of the Flying V guitar I have aways associated with Dave Hill (Super Yob), another sign of my failing memory ~ I suppose it must be an age thing.........

Saturday, 23 March 2013

What am I trying to say?

Sometimes I wonder about my clothing choices, I know to many they are gender inappropriate, but I have recently found that I am no longer quite so age inappropriate as I once was.   I still enjoy the feminine, the flouncy and frilly but I do accept that I am not a teenager and so should not wear my skirts too short, or my heels too high.   That is not to say that there is an age limit on fashion, more an understanding that I now carry a bit too much fat in some areas, and that there are some veins beginning to show on my legs.........

A while back during one of our counselling sessions I was asked what sort of woman's clothes I like to wear, before I could answer my wife said "Pretty trashy, by what I've seen hidden in the wardrobe" now that doesn't fit with my idea of how I dress at all so I was dumbfounded for a bit, until I realised that what she had seen were the rejections.   But it did make me think about what it is I am saying about myself when I choose what to wear.   After all whatever we wear it says something about us to the world.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Simple Pleasures

Well it's Friday night, and with a busy weekend to look forward to, it's not a bad time to look back over the week.   I think we are all feeling a bit more settled than we were at the beginning of the week, and personally I have rediscovered two simple pleasures, cutting grass, and using first gear.

I had a problem with the gear selection on my van so that every time I tried to engage first gear there would be a horrible mechanical graunch, after much time and effort we found the cause and fixed it, now I can reliably pull away in first rather than having to use second a slip the clutch, ~ it's so much better that I am once again beginning to appreciate the other qualities of the van rather than just feeling despondently about the whole thing.

I have also started cutting grass, for me this is the start of the year, the time when I know that Spring is here and that I will now have enough work for the next seven or eight months.   It has now turned very cold again so I have had to stop, but I hope next week that I will again be able to do some proper gardening.   Today we had a full day working in just one garden (I'll normally cover two or three in a day) we moved a coupe of hebes that had got too big for the position, repaired a step and did a lot of tidying up, mind there is still a lot there to keep me busy through to next winter.   It was very satisfying to look back at the work we had done and see how much better the garden looked than when we had arrived, to know that we had done a good job and that the customer was satisfied.
 
So on reflection not such a bad week really, I am still very behind with my landscaping job (thanks to the weather) and with much of my office work (thanks to a lack of enthusiasm) for some reason I was feeling very down last night and this morning, but getting out in the fresh air, doing some creative, physical work and having a positive effect on a garden has made me feel much more positive; right! I'm ready for the weekend now.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Go Figure

Well a while back I was bemoaning my lot with the way I was losing things, well I have had one result I found my mouthpiece! YAH!!!! mind you with one thing and another I haven't actually played that tuba for a while now.   So that was some good news when I needed, this was definitely the silver lining as I found the mouthpiece because I was looking for my wife's car keys, we eventually found them on the shoe rack ~ as our American cousins would say, go figure.

Of course I still haven't found my missing jacket, I hope that when I go to Sunday's rehearsal someone will have picked it up for me, but I don't hold out much hope.   That means I am a jacket short of a suit as well as a jacket short.   So the last few days I have been looking through all the charity shops in my area for a new jacket, as well as low heeled boots.   That's why I bought a nice grey wool mix  M & S sweater dress today, once again ~ go figure.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spot with transgender woman.

I don't normally do this but I came across this bank ad curtesy of a G+ friend and thought it worth sharing.   The ad featers a sympathetic representation of a trans woman so follow he link and take a look.  I don't know about the bank but I do like the ad.

http://youtu.be/kEaGbTr8B2o

Fed Up

I'm feeling a bit fed up, it feels as though it's been raining now for around twelve months, I am behind with lots of my outside work, I can't get motivated to get on with my office stuff, I don't even feel much like doing some practise.   Still I have a rehearsal tonight and another on Sunday, and better still this evening there is a special preview night at Matalan for "loyal" customers, since I fall into that bracket I plan on going, and on this occasion taking my daughter along with me.  





She has bought a stunning red dress for her school prom and now wants some shoes.   She wants some white platforms with very high heels, I can understand why, they are very fashionable with her peer group and since she is not very tall, those extra few inches can help. 

However I do worry that extreme heels are, well, a bit too extreme for her, yet anyway, I also think that some classic black court shoes would go better with the dress.   


My Daughter is reluctant to talk with me about my cross dressing, I know she is aware of it, but she seems to be following her mother's example of "ignore it and hope that it will go away" so I need to be careful just how much I talk about my taste in female clothing, and just how much I know about walking in heels.   (Note to self, avoid saying "I would love that dress", or "I would wear that"!)   Anyway I rather hope that the prospect of Dad paying for the shoes might be an incentive to let him have a say in the choice. 

Yes that is the down side, it will be him going, Paula doesn't have a chance to escape until Sunday evening for my first rehearsal for the LGSO Spring Concert.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Interesting reading

I'm not usually too sure just how much we have to Thank Richard O'Brien for, in his Rocky Horror Show the portrayal of Transvestites was not that flattering and could lead to a reinforcement of some negative attitudes, on the other hand it is very popular, has some great songs and is very entertaining.

No surprise then that he should be the figure head chosen by the BBC for their reporting on Gender issues read more here or listen here,   just as a warning the audio file is not yet available  so I haven't heard it yet myself.   Having said that I am glad that the BBC has picked up on this story, and trust that they will have applied their usual high standards of journalism and independence of thought to this issue.

Confussed

I seem to have created some confusion in my last post, it's my own fault I spend the whole post talking about Rugby, then right at the end I put in a paragraph saying that I will be playing with the LGSW, quite a few of you assumed that I would once again be playing Rugby.

I gave up playing Rugby about 15 years ago, I am now definitely too old, I am also far too light now to play in my old area of the front row.   I should have made it clear that LGSO stands for London Gay Symphonic Winds and they have asked me to play Trombone at their Spring Fayre.

There may be a little bit of me that is sad that I will not be playing rugby again, I think it is the only thing I miss abut getting older, but I do not miss not being able to walk properly until Tuesday after playing on Saturday, I do not miss having train pretty much every day, especially the running, and I do not miss cleaning my boots two or three times a week!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Shows What I Know

I love the game of Rugby, I used to play, in the front row, not as a way of reinforcing my masculinity but because I loved playing, I enjoyed the physicality of it, the grace of the runners, the commitment of the tacklers, the camaraderie of the team, and the boozy evenings afterwards.   Since giving up playing around 15 years ago I have been watching the game a lot more, i actually think i understand the whole of the game better now than I did when I was playing.   in some of the circles I move in I am even considered to be a bit of an expert, at the beginning of this years Six Nations, my considered opinion was that the championship would be between France and Ireland.   France had an excellent Autumn against Southern Hemisphere opponents and Ireland have such mercurial talent in depth.   Wales had been struggling for form and England were young and inexperienced.   Scotland Italy would be competing for the wooden spoon again.

Today we had the last matches of the championship, and the table ended up like this

RBS 6 Nations Championship

TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstPoints
1 Wales
5
4
0
1
122
66
8
2
England
5
4
0
1
94
78
8
3
Scotland
5
2
0
3
98
107
4
4
Italy
5
2
0
3
75
111
4
5
Ireland
5
1
1
3
72
81
3
6
France
5
1
1
3
73
91
3

Today Wales played England, for the top place and France were playing Scotland, desperate to avoid that last spot, eve though France won the game it was not enough to put them above an Ireland team which had earlier lost to Italy.   As somebody once said "It's a funny old game".  

As an England supporter I was a bit disappointed in the end as England had a good chance not only to win the championship but also an elusive Grand Slam, as it happened a much more experienced Wales side won the forward battle an set up a remarkable win.   As a Rugby supporter it was a great championship, the young England team are coming of age, they are not the finished article but are a lot closer now, and should be very strong for the 2015 World Cup.   Wales have found the form that eluded them all summer and autumn,   Scotland and Italy won some games and the French are as crazy as ever, and on occasion the weather and the pitches played their parts as well.

I mentioned here the importance of having something to look forward to, well I have been asked to play with the LGSW at an event on the 6th April, I will have to see how the family situation is by then but it would be nice to play at this event, it sounds like fun, and cake!

Light Weight

A couple of extracts from Chickweed Lane inspired me this week.   Now I love a nice clingy, sexy dress, and a dress is much better than any other combination, I have often wondered how to describe one or two that I have, or would like to have; I rather like the idea of just using the weight.   I am now going of weigh each of my LBDs and will choose which to wear by matching the weight to the occasion.



Thursday, 14 March 2013

BOING!

I'm just sitting quietly at my laptop as the day comes to a close.   Shortly I shall be going to bed, my wife went up some time ago and is quietly snoring away already even the cats have calmed down and gone to sleep.   By my standards it's not terribly late but as a family we have had quite a tiring time of it over the last few days.

With one thing and another I have got behind with all sorts of things that need to be done, both work and domestic, mostly pretty boring things, after all they are the ones that are easiest to put off, but today I did do a little forward planning and have worked out my weekend schedules for the rest of March and into April.   I have to do this so I know when I will be having a weekend in Cardiff and which LGSO rehearsals I can make.   I am looking forward to my next concert with the Orchestra but it looks like I will only make three or four rehearsals, this will mean more practise at home.

I also need to work out what I will do for my day off this month, I am determined to maintain my day off each month, however I am not aware of any major exhibitions on in London that excite me, so maybe I will have a look around and see what lunchtime concerts are on, or maybe a trip down to Brighton to have a look round the Pavilion.   I shall have to make my mind up soon or I will miss out this month and break one of the resolutions that is closest to my heart.

Anyway enough waffling time for bed, BOING!

Restraint

I mentioned a while back that I am fasting for Lent.   There is nothing in the Bible that encourages a Lenten Fast but it has been common practise amongst most Churches for several Centuries now.   I generally do not make the traditional fast on denying myself food (during daylight) or of refraining from meat, with my lifestyle the former could be difficult, or indeed unhealthy, the later not much of a sacrifice and might impact more on other members of my family more than on me.

The point of the Lenten fast is primarily about preparation, through prayer, penance, repentance, alms giving, and self-denial, the culmination of this preparation is in Holy Week when we remember Jesus' own sacrifice and celebrate is resurrection.   For most modern Christians this is a period of reflection, and prayer, the fast reminding us of our need for a relationship with God, our prayer deepening this relationship, our self denial reminding us of what Christ himself gave up for us.   It is also about the practise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, at least that all important one of self control.

Over the last five or six years I have been in the habit of giving up booze for lent.   For me this has actually become quite important,
  • It is a public form of witness to my non Christian friends
  • It is difficult (there is no self denial in giving up something we do not want anyway)
  • For the period of Lent it is a constant reminder of what I am doing and why.
  • It helps me establish who is in charge of my relationship with alcohol.
Now it is quite clear to me that fasting just like every other religious practise will not in itself bring you closer to God ~ or happiness, fulfillment or anything else ~ it is the manner and spirit in which it is undertaken that matters.   Any observance that is undertaken solely for the sake of that observance will serve no heavenly good, just as Jesus taught us about prayer and fasting, it is not about public observance but private and personal relationship.

I have gone on about the theological side of this a little more than I intended, however what I wanted to say is "it's tough".   This year I am struggling  a bit, not so much when I go to the Pub after a rehearsal or concert, not when other members of the family have a glass of wine, the two occasions i find hardest are, watching the Rugby, I would like a glass of beer and a bag of crisps, and late at night when everyone else has gone to bed, than a small glass of whisky as I contemplate the day that has passed and the one about to come, that's what I am missing.

Tonight I plan to be playing with the worship band at our Church, we have not rehearsed or prepared but I for one will be relieved to get out and play.

In Crisis

There are a lot of things I talk about in this blog, and when I do I try to give full and frank opinions or information.   I have even been told that I am too honest here!   Well on this occasion I am just going to say that we have had a family crisis, I don't yet know just how severe it will be medium to long term, and I don't yet know how it will effect Paula's activities, including this blog.

This is a family crisis not a personal one, so it is not up to me to talk about it, sufficient to say that if I miss the odd day that is why.   It is not my intention to write any more on this matter, so any posts I do manage will not mention this.   That does not mean that it has not happened or that it is not effecting me, just that it is not my issue to discuss.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Social Media?

One of my contacts on Google Plus recently posted that they were getting circled by lots of guys she didn't know and was a bit worried about their motives.   This is exactly what worries me about the whole "social media" thing.    Facebook friends may not be friends at all, they could be quite the opposite.   I consider myself lucky that I have maybe half a dozen real friends, then maybe a social circle that could run to a couple of hundred, I am a very social animal and participate in group events, so that circle would include those people I have played Rugby with, members of my Church, Orchestra and Band members, many of these people are not friends, but contacts, people I am happy to pass some time, but not people I would want to open my soul to.

If I am at the pub or coffee shop I can control who I am with, who I share time and thoughts with, however much we may try to control our on line circles and "friends" we really have very little idea of who they are and why they are there.   So if I have these srts of concerns why on earth do I Blog?

Well I do have control over what I say, what I reveal, and indeed how easy or difficult I make it t identify the real me.   I am quite sure that most of the people in that large social circle I mentioned earlier would recognise my photos, if they happened upon these pages, but then I would wonder what sort of chance that would be.   I have up to a couple of hundred hits each day, the result of searches like
  • Crossdressers in high heels
  • Pictures of men wearing panties
  • Tranny outfit pantyhose
  • and today's favorite Cartoon girl playing bass guitar
I suspect they could have as much explaining to do as me.   Of course with my much quoted statistic that one in every hundred en is a cross dresser o some extent, that would suggest that there could well be one or two closeted crossdressers within my social circles, I have always worked on the assumption that I was the one in a hundred, but if I am the one in that rugby club, then there is probably one in the club we were playing against as well.

But I digress, the point is be careful what you say to who, we are all careful out there in real life don't become too casual just because it's virtual, behind every user name there is a real person, and many of them (us) are not necessarily who or what they purport to be.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Stuff and nonsence

It feels a little strange sitting at my desk at around ten O'clock in the morning, looking out the window at sunshine with no real plans to go out and do some work.    To put that in perspective I had a phone call from the customer I should have been with this morning telling me that they were covered with snow, and that I wouldn't be able to treat their fence yet, and although the sun is out our thermometer shows 0 degrees, and that is without the wind factor.   So this morning I intend to stay in wait for a pair of shoes I have ordered and catch up with some data entry work.

I have succumbed to temptation to a certain extent and have slipped on a favorite dress, and heels, I have even "done" my nails but that's my lot as my make up and jewelry are not in the house.   I may pop out in a bit for a coffee, or I may just wait in.   My wife will be back for lunch and a friend is coming over this afternoon to help with some work on the van, so although it would be nice to go out, have a coffee, browse some shops and relax, I think my time would be better used finishing up my data entry  and earning some money!

It feels like a while since I have been out, but I will be strong and not waste time when I can be  gainfully employed, I shall just look forward to my next LGSO rehearsal, and maybe start to plan another day out.   After all it's always good to have something to look forward to.

Monday, 11 March 2013

The best laid Plan

Well Saturday night didn't work out quite how I had planed, or indeed hoped.   I mentioned that my daughter was going out to a gig with a friend and her parents, the original idea was that she was going to sleep over, but on reflection I felt it was better that I should pick her up, my plan was to go to my Group meeting get changed and then drive over and pick her up.   There was only one thing wrong with this plan, it meant that my wife would end up spending Saturday night on her own.   As my wife had been gracious enough to give me permission to go to my meet, I thought I should give her the option of my staying at home.   Although not said in as many words I got the distinct impression that she would prefer me to stay at home and keep her company, then she spent most of the night tidying up our daughters room and doing other stuff I couldn't help with, so I ended up staying at home and not seeing much of her.

I will admit that I felt a bit hard done by, sometimes I feel as though I am the one who is making all the sacrifices, and taking all the blame, but is getting none of the benefit, but maybe that is just a reflection of my own selfishness,

By the time I had picked up my daughter and got home it was pretty late, in consequence I struggled with getting up this morning (it's an age thing) so I our preparations for Church and then Mother's day lunch with my Mother-in-Law were a little behind schedule.   We still had a nice family lunch, before coming home so I could watch the Rugby.

A disappointing performance by England, but none the less a win, I have always maintained that a sign of a good tea is to win games when they play badly, so maybe this team is as good as some say.   Personally I'm not quite convinced that they are ~ yet.   As usual I had to watch the Rugby on my own, it is just not the sort of thing my wife and daughter are in to, so I was left on own t watch the match, unlike usual after the game neither of the came back in, so that was another evening on my own.

So feeling a bit down this evening, still every silver lining has a cloud, I met an old friend i haven't seen for some time this morning, I think I will give him a ring and arrange to pop out for a coffee, or maybe a beer if we can wait till after Easter.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

I'm in Love

Sunbeam Talbot Alpine
007's Alpin
The other night we watched one of our favorite films, "To Catch a Thief" as well as a couple of excellent stars in Carry Grant and Grace Kelly there are also lovely outfits by Edith Head; add all that to a good story well told and what more could you want.   That is a view I think most people would share, but for one or two of us there is an added attraction.   A rare cinematic outing for one of my favorite cars, the original Sunbeam Alpine, or more accurately the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine.   This is a special coach built version of the Sunbeam Talbot 90 sports saloon, and the first to bear the Alpine name commemorating success in the Alpine Rally

This is a very different car to one used by James Bond in Dr No. that was the Sunbeam Alpine based on the Audax or Hillman Minx floor pan.   Still a very good and under rated car and one of the prime British sports cars of the 1960s.

You may gather I am a bit of an "anorak" on these cars, if I was to do Mastermind I think my specialist round could be on Rootes Group car of the 1960s and seventies.   My Father worked for the firm and always had one of their products, later when he started to  get Company Cars provided he had a lot of Sunbeam Rapiers, the fast back sports saloon based on the Hillman Hunter .

H120 Rapier
As a bit of a fan I have had several Rootes Group cars, including a couple of Humber Scepters, Several sundry Hillmans including at least 2 Avengers, a few Imps and my first car a 1965 Minx.   I have had 2 Singer Vogues including my beloved Jade and a Chamois. But as yet no Sunbeams.   I feel the lack of this and hope one day to complete my set.


Acceptance

I wonder how many of us are the man they thought we were


Saturday, 9 March 2013

A full agenda

This weekend will be a full one, today we have a couple of Rugby Matches that I have to watch, I hope for an entertaining open game between England and Italy (although I may well be disappointed),  Ireland against France is duty bound to be a good game, whatever the result; the match of the weekend, though, will be Scoland against Wales, this will be a hard fought closely contested game, I expect Wales to win, but then I aways expect Scotland t lose and have been wrong twice so far this tournament.    If England and Wales both win (as expected) then that sets it up for a very bg match between them next weekend, there are some good things about winter!   Then tonight my daughter is out at a gig, I know very little about what is happening but she will be with a friend and thier parents, I will be picking her up afterwards.

I also hope to go to the Croydon Trans Group meeting tonight.   I haven't been for a few months and would like to go.  I asked my wife yesterday and she said OK, it's just that now I know my daughter is out I'm not so sure about leaving my wife on her own, and I don't want to be distracted from collecting my daughter.   Still it would be nice to get out and glam up just a little bit......

 A final word on shoes (?)


Tomorow is Mothers Day I know my daughter has bought a card, so well done her, I managed to get a card but haven't posted it yet so it won't arrive at Mum's untill Monday still that's better than some years.    My Mother in Law lives a lot closer so we will take lunch over to her tommorow, cook it at home first and then drive over and finnish it off.   After a recent knee pperation she is still not fully mobile so this is the best arrangement we can make.

Losing It

This is not a blog about shoes, so it is time to move on to other matters. recently I found myself losing things.   At one of my recent concerts I managed to lose a jacket, on another occasion I managed to lose a book, and now I seem to have lost my favourite tuba mouthpiece.   I have others but none of them fit or work as well with my big CC.   This is a bit of a disaster as mouthpieces that size are not common in Europe, never mind the UK they are also very expensive and I have a concert next Wednesday when I really could do with one.   Now it seems I have lost a day's work, but that's the weather's fault not mine.

I think what is worrying me as much as the losses is what is causing it, I know I am a bit distracted at the moment with family matters and finance but to lose a mouthpiece! (any brass player will understand my consternation).   I wonder if it is the lack of alcohol, maybe I should break my Lenten fast and start drinking again, after all it may be good for my health!

However I did do a bit of shopping on Thursday and that cheered me up a bit, I found a copy of the book I lost at my local Red Cross charity shop so at least I can now finish reading that.   I also managed to buy a nice little handbag (purse) I expect I will use it mostly as a clutch bag but it has a detachable strap so it can also be used as shoulder bag, I have a similar one in gray (just one shade not 50) so it will be nice to have a black one to match all those shoes (oops they keep cropping up don't they).

I may be having an evening out this weekend, on Saturday the Croydon Trans Group meet, I haven't been to a meeting for a while so it would be good to go and catch up with the other girls, and let them know that I'm OK as the last time I saw them was at the height of our marital hiatus, I will ask my wife and see what she says.   Of course if she says yes then I have the decision of what to wear......

The more observant of you may have noticed I have added an additional page, just called shoes.   As my recent posts on this topic seem to have been quite popular I have put a separate page up with all the photos I used over the last week, plus one or two.   If I ever manage to get my old photos back off the crashed hard drive I may add some of my own favorites.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Which Loo?


Never had a problem myself, I know that many around the world do.   Personally I always use the facility appropriate to my presentation, I think it would be wierder for anyone in a dress to use the gents than the ladies, whatever may be underneath the dress.   However relaxed I may be this is a big issue and one which my loca group has addressed and produced a document with the aid and approval of the Met Police, if this is an issue for you take a look.

Favorites

Of the various pitures I have used over the last week or so I think these are my favorite shoes, and quite possibly my favorite picture as well.   I love the two colour monotone, I like that the platform is very small and subtle, I like the open toe (so we can all see the nail varnish).   Maybe the heel is a little too high for them to be comfortable, or easy for me to walk in, they would also make me extremely tall, but none the less I like them, and given the opportunity I would have a pair.

As I say I also like the picture, the way it is lit shows the softly shining leather, separating the black and white quite clearly, but it is the slight refection below  the shoe, like swans swimming in still water, that lifts this picture above the rest.

The rest here are some of the photos I found and saved, but couldn't work into any of the other posts.   SO they are now here simply because they amused me.

On the other hand some of these are just simply silly.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Black Shoes

I am determined to complete my shoe themed week on track, I have looked at sexy shoes ~ although for some people that would be any shoes at all ~ I have looked at silly shoes, sensible shoes, elegant shoes and Doc Mits, we have had pink and red and patterned, now we have black shoes.

It struck me when I was thinking about what shes I have that most of my girl shoes and all of the boots are black.   I gather from others that this may not be unusual, it has to be said that black does go with just about everything except brown so that seems sensible, but when I look at my boy shoes I only currently have one pair of black.   I do need another more elegant pair for evening dress, but if it weren't for that I wouldn't bother, so maybe in this I am typical bloke as well as a typical girl.

Certainly my default shoe position as a bloke is either brown deck shoes or oxblood loafers, I only wear back shoes (or indeed my brown brogues) in fairly formal situations.  


In the days when I wore a suit and tie everyday for work I would have worn black more often, but then by the nature of my last few jobs they would mostly have been safety shoes!   Yet as a girl my default is a pair of black heels.   Maybe this is a reflection of the way I dress en femme, my style as a girl is certainly more formal than as a bloke so maybe the shoes are a reflection of this, on the other hand for me the shoes are an important part of being Paula (rather than being him in a dress) so maybe the more formal style is a reflection of my desire to wear the shoes.







Of course blandly saying black shoes covers a "multitude of sins" from the Dr Martens to the overtly errotic thigh boots, I may give a special prize to anyone spotting which of these photos is of the Dr Martens.