Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wet and miserable

I don't want to moan, no actually I do want to moan, and I am going to.   Yet again it was raining steadily when I woke up, I was very tempted to just stay in bed until the sun comes out, but I had a fit of responsibility and got up to go to the prayer meeting I go to every Wednesday morning.   I have been going to this meeting for several years now, originally I went on my way to the office, now it is an earlier star than the rest of the week.   I like the meeting it gives me a fixed point in the middle of the week, a chance to pray with like minded friends, and there is also an element of faithfulness and self sacrifice.   Of all the Church activities I am involved with this is the one that I miss most, if I miss it.

Coming out of my meeting it was still raining and I had more or less reconciled myself t the idea that I would not be working in any gardens today.   Feeling pretty "down" about the whole weather / work thing I decided that I would get changed into my work gear and go to my first scheduled customer of the day anyway.   This customer is one of original two or three customers and has also become a friend, often my visits feel more like social calls than work.   Indeed I have often been to visit, just to check up on her and have a cup of tea even when I have had no expectation of working.

When I got there the neighbour (also a customer of mine) came out to tell me that last week my friend had been taken into hospital and had died over the weekend.   For some time she had not been enjoying life, and had even expressed a desire for it to end, so in a way this may be mercy, but it was still a shock, and I am now feeling rather sad.

The picture shows a raised bed I built for her a few years ago, behind a border I panted, this I have always considered to be one of the best planting combinations I have managed.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Wet Tuesday

When will it stop raining?   I came home from Cardiff on Sunday evening so I could get on with some work on Monday, but once again rain stopped play.   Then again today after a visit to he central composting site it was once again too wet to get n with any of the work I have in hand.

I recently bought a couple of job lots of hosiery having gone through them all there are only a couple of pairs that I want to hang on to, so I spent a little time putting up some E-Bay auctions.  

This also gave me an opportunity to play with a new toy.   Another E-Bay purchase I managed to pick up a compact digital camera at a sensible price, my hope is that this one will prove more reliable than the last couple I bought.   It is already better than the last one I bought as it actually manages to focus!   So far I am pretty pleased with the results, maybe having a nice compact reliable decent quality camera will inspire me to take a few more pictures.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Another Crossing?

I'm sitting at my desk putting off starting the journey to Cardiff, the rain is drumming on the roof and overflowing the gutters as it falls so hard they can't keep up.   I have heard there is some localised flooding and parts of the road system I plan to be using are currently closed.   But all should be well soon and I will get on my way.

Fortunately I had no such problems yesterday as I had a lot of work on and one non work related appointment during the day.   This was my first ever appointment at a beauty clinic, to start a course of electrolysis.   I now have a small patch of considerably less hairy skin on my face, this seems to be another Rubicon I have crossed.   Increasing it feels as though it is no longer a question of if I transition as when I transition.   Indeed it could be said that this is in fact the beginning of the process.   It certainly feels like I have passed a point of no return.

By way of celebration I had decided I would go out in the evening, nothing special just a trip to the pub, take a book and enjoy a couple of gasses of wine.   In the end the Grape and Grain had a rock band in and was so loud I decided to try elsewhere, another pb a little down the road is also very nice so I popped in there, they too were busy (it was Friday night) so I perched at the bar with my book, until they decided that the ambience would be better with the lights turned down so much I couldn't read.   So driven out of there as well I wandered around for a little before coming home for an early night.

Friday, 23 May 2014


I know to some of us in the UK the word Rose's has conertation, but I would point out that there is no apostrophe in the title

All taken in my garden or that of one of my customers

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Separated a Birth?

The other day I mentioned in passing here, that I had bought yet another pair of killer heels on my shopping spree in Eastbourne.   Now like many "Girls like me" I have something of a fixation on shoes.   I have several pairs of pretty, high heeled, not terrily practical shoes.   Luckily I do get a chance to wear them occasionally when playing concerts but there is no real practical justification for the sheer quantity of shoes I have, especially when I have to work quite hard to find a sensible pair to pop round to the shops in.

Stana has already beaten me to sharing this Lila strip commenting that she and Lila must have been separated at birth, triplets maybe?

Oh yes the shoes, the heels are 5 inches high but since they als have a 1 inch platform they are surprising comfortable and easy to walk in.   However I don't think I will be adopting the for work wear!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Excuses, excuses

Pardon my absence, after the extreme blogging of April May seems to have been a bit thin on the ground.   Just for a change I have got myself more than a little over committed.   One day I will have to learn how to say "no"

I have had at least one commitment every night for the last ten days, and the same for the next four.   Some of these commitments are for Paula, and some for Paul, guess which I'm looking forward to more.

One of last week's commitment was to play on the bandstand at Eastbourne.    Before playing I met up with three of my (female) friends and we travelled down to Eastbourne by train, nice and early so that we could hit the charity shops, then have a leisurely fish and chips lunch.   It was great fun trawling some different charity shops, I helped my good friend "S" make a couple of purchases, including a lovely floral skirt, which I would have bought if she hadn't.   I also managed a couple of purchases for myself.   All four of us happen to have the same size feet, I have my eyes open for a pair of sandals but I just can't help but notice any shoes that are in my size, so on this occasion it meant any shoes in our size!

In teasing the others I suggested a couple of pairs of extreme heels I found, when one pointed out that they were my size as well, I felt obliged to try them on, and they were surprisingly comfortable, so dear reader I bought them!   This did demand an explanation, so once again I found myself coming out to some more friends who totally failed to realise that this was a big thing.   I am constantly surprised by just how accepting and understanding people are.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Wurst Wins

So against all my expectations Conchita Wurst has won the Eurovision Song Contest for Austria.   As I have been so busy making my own music I have not been following the competition I am in no position to comment on the quality of any of the songs, but I am not at all about her look, or what this will do for general attitudes to the trans community.

Even without the beard I find her look to be a little too high camp, a little too close to "drag" for my taste, with the beard it is just plain confusing.   Personally when I am out I want to be treated like a lady, this involves behaving like a lady.   Part of this is looking as much as possible like a lady.   I don't fool myself that I pass, but I am close enough that people generally treat me appropriately for my presentation.   I know how I want to be treated so that tells me how I have to look, so I try not to look like a hooker (either type!) some one who has raided her smaller teenage daughter's wardrobe, or most of all a transvestite.

Now this maybe because I self identify as a trans woman, not as a transvestite or as a female impersonator, both of which are men in women's clothes, rather I am a woman wearing the right clothes, it's just the body that's wrong.   I will wait and see what effect another high profile fellow traveller will have on general attitudes, I suspect that Conchita's influence will not be as positive as Grayson Perry's.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Not mirrors or smooth garden ponds, or indeed the reflections of my favorite part of my favorite garden, the canal at Wisley, no, these are my reflections on the A - Z Challenge of last month.   I suppose the first thing is a bit of relief that it's over now, and some self satisfaction that I managed to complete it and get each post out on time.   There is also a bit of disappointment that on a couple of occasions I was distracted from what I wanted to write by needing to fit in with the alphabet.   By the end I had forgotten what those topics were, so like so many excellent ideas I have had for posts while driving or cutting grass they have vanished for ever.

But there are other sides to the challenge, the discipline of regular posting, the imaginative use of language to bend the theme to the desired subject, and maybe just a little stretching of vocabulary.   But the thing I have enjoyed most is visiting other blogs that I would not have found otherwise. I now follow three blogs that I didn't a couple of months ago, one might seem obvious the Trans-Gentle Wife, I had read a couple of Lucy's posts before, but following her posts has opened up another side of this weird life I now lead.   I love her compassion and her honesty, what shines through all her writing is that she is basically a really nice person.   Of course there is a natural link here, the others I have found I doubt if I would have otherwise.

"It is interesting to note" is a classic example of a blog I would never have looked for, written by a newly wed mid western american woman with dogs!   But I am enjoying her wry sense of humour and odd choices of subject.   Tales from the Laundry Room is from another American, a Christian Mother who just writes about what concerns her.   Of course there are others that I have visited, some I enjoyed some I didn't but these are the ones I am now following that I didn't before.   Like most of the blogs I follow they are not about a single subject they are a reflection of a whole person, their life, loves, and experiences, and that's what is really interesting.

So, it has been fun, it has been challenging, and for me it has also come at one of my busiest times of the year.   Would I do it again ~ Probably.


Today is Thursday, we had a bank holiday on Monday so I have actually only had two work days so far this week, yet I feel as though I have already done a full week's work and need a break!   Since it is currently pouring with rain it looks as though I may get a bit of one too.   It seems a little bazaar how tired I feel until I start to reflect on just how much I have been trying to pack into the last week or so.   Over the last week I have had two performances and four rehearsals on four different instruments, and that is on top of work.

Things got so silly that on Tuesday I had intended going to an orchestral rehearsal after my visit to my osteopath but decided instead that I should sit at home, relax a little and get my invoicing up to date. This also meant that I didn't need to go to the appointment "dressed" however during the session our conversation wandered around and I took advantage of an opportunity to explain about being transgendered. Of course he was aware that I am a cross dresser, my choice in underwear and nail polish on my toes is a bit of a give away!   As expected he was pretty cool with the whole thing and asked intelligent appropriate questions, I suspect that he is actually a little more comfortable now that I have explained.

Anyway the idea of staying at home and catching up with admin took a knock when another friend phoned to tell me that his local Morris Side had arrived and I HAD to come over and see them.   Having no will power what so ever I did.   A very pleasant night in the pub followed.   Watching the guys dance was fun, but after that they all came into the pub and a lot of impromptu singing and accordion playing followed.   Accordions and Concertinas always confuse me, they just seem so alien to the instruments I understand and play, the whole logic of the instruments are just different, how do they know where the notes are?

Monday, 5 May 2014

It had to happen

The local amateur music scene is a little incestuous with many people playing in many different groups, so it was inevitable that once I started to be more "out"  and playing with some ensembles as Paula while still being well known in others as Paul somebody would join the dots and make the connection.   The other day I had a call from one of my friends "warning" me that another of our mutual friends had heard about me from somebody else.   Interestingly somebody else that I don't know!

So at least I now know that I am the subject of some gossip and maybe a little speculation, that is not so surprising, but what was actually encouraging was the reported reaction, that I "must have been very brave" to have admitted to my transgender nature.   Of course from where I'm sitting it would have been much braver not to, to have continued to suppress it, to have continued to play by society's rules, maybe that way I would have saved my marriage and improved my economic situation, I would just have lost my integrity and maybe my sanity.

So now I have one more band that I can play with as Paula (that friend was teh only thing stopping me) I am also left with a decision to make, should I do something dramatic, make a (possibly premature) public announcement to scotch any speculation, or should I just Carry On Regardless and wait until there is a situation that needs to be dealt with.  I think I will adopt the latter, on the basis of the route of least resistance.   In the mean time I am now off to play with the Brass Band, this still means another drab day, but tomorrow I will be with the London Euphonia Orchestra which is a pretty day!  

The only complication I have is that I will have to go to the Orchestra rehearsal straight from the osteopath, so for the first time I will have to go to see him as Paula.   Although it has never been stated he must be aware that I am at least a cross dresser from my choice in underwear and painted toe nails!   However I think I should probably warn him in advance that I will be seeing him fully dressed, since he normally sees me in just my panties this should not be too much of a shock.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Happy Star Wars Day

I feel as though I have been AWOL for a while.   Since completing the epic A - Z challenge I have been busy with life, and have just failed to identify sufficient round tuets.

So this is just a quickie to let you all know that I am alive a kicking and to wish you all a happy Star Wars Day

Cats or no cats, May the Fourth be with you

Thursday, 1 May 2014


What do you mean? there are no cats in Star Wars!?

A quick trawl through the internet find quite literally hundreds of these pictures.   Clearly some people have the sort of relationship with their cats that allow them to see the inner feline thespian.   On the other hand maybe they just have too much time.

I wonder if the producers could be missing a major opportunity here by limiting themselves to a purely human cast.   How different would the output have looked if that first film had been produced by Jim Henson instead George Lucas?

Just writing this I have noticed that I had a "Label" for Cats but not "Films" I think that tells you a lot about me, I have now changed that!