Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 29 September 2014

A Day at the Seaside

Saturday was a day for a special outing, along with four other members of Trans PALS I had a day out in Brighton.   Of course you will know that I have had several days out and indeed a couple in Brighton, I think what made this one special was the company.   We were a pretty mixed bunch of girls, one transitioning, two full time, one semi closeted, and me.   Oh yes I nearly forgot, and Minnie!

We had a relaxed leisurely day, starting off with breakfast, then a wander along the front, followed by Pimms at the Brighton Music Hall.   The had a great band of youngsters playing some classic 80s rock, not too loud but very good, and an excellent girl singer.

After a light lunch we had a did a little window shopping, no major purchases, just meandering around looking, all rather fun really!

Later we had a very nice pub dinner and a few drinks with some good friends we met a Pride who live in Brighton before a mad dash to the station to make sure we didn't miss the last train.   We all felt a little sad to have to leave as we were having such fun, and feeling so comfortable in the company.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Nice Day For It

As I went through the blogs I like to follow I couldn't help but think that the stand out post for today, from Meg, today she interrupted a long running story to tell us all that she is now officially divorced.   Being Meg she make light of it and has put up a few related cartoons.   I don't know whether to send congratulations or commiserations.  

At times it has seemed as though we were travelling on parallel paths, so much of what happened to Meg happened to me at a similar time.

I am pleased to say that at the moment there is no sign of my following this bit of her path.   Even though my wife and I have separated neither of us currently has any appetite for divorce.   I can only speak for myself, but I still love my wife, we just can't live together and she can't accept my being trans.   I don't know where we will be in another year, after all two years ago I couldn't imagine us being where we are now, I just hope that whatever happens to us we can remain conected and don't forget all the good bits.

Today is our wedding anniversary

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Holiday ~ Looking Forward 3

Until very recently I had never understood the concept of buying new clothes to take on holiday, I always had plenty of clothes, threw a few of them into a case and that was it.   Indeed back in my days of motorcycle touring I would save up my oldest and most tatty clothes to take on holiday and through them away as I went along rather than bring them home to wash.   Certainly I would consider the potential weather and my personal comfort, but that was about it, and I would plan what I was going to take in advance, usually about 24 hours in advance.

This time it is a bit different, a couple of pairs of jeans, seven tee shirts and seven pairs of underpants is clearly not going to do, and I have been planning my wardrobe since I booked the trip.   I have now bought myself a swimsuit, a black one piece, looking at myself in the mirror trying it on I felt that if I was going to be sunbathing wearing it I would need some suitable jewelry, so bought some big blingy earrings.  I hope I have solved the problem of "security" in a bathing suit, at least for the top half with the purchase of some Hollister Medical glue, that should keep everything in place and for the lower half I will just have to be careful.  Thinking that it may be hot I also bought myself a couple of "comfort" bras.

Comfort is the name now given to bras that are not underwired, padded, balcony  or overtly fancy, in other words what used to simply be called bras.   Every woman I have ever discussed the matter with has always expressed a preference for bras that are not underwired, yet wherever I look at bras for sale there always seems to be a majority of something around 80% in favour underwired.   This makes me wonder who is buying and wearing all of these underwired bras, maybe there are more of us out there than even I thought.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The turning of the Year

It's that time when one season morphs into the next, there is an almost imperceptible change in temperature and length of day.   More obvious is the debris at the foot of the Horse Chestnut trees as the conkers are scavenged by small boys and girls for their beauty and to play conkers with.

Yesterday I saw this Sumac tree in the front garden of one of my customers, in his back garden he has another, but the leaves are still all green on that one.   It is an odd season, some plants seem to be fully in autumn mode while others are hanging on to summer.   Some of the bedding is looking very tired while the pelargoniums are very much in their full pomp.   I have some cannas, one has been blooming well the others have put on lots of growth but have yet to start flowering, I still hope to get at least one bloom out of them.

Of course the main extra seasonal job is clearing up fallen leaves, I have got out my trusty old leaf blower, but most of the summer jobs continue as well, the grass is still growing and as long as we keep dead heading we keep getting flowers on our roses and many other plants.

This "Betty" will work as a wallpaper!
With all this it is easy to forget just how dry the last few weeks have been, indeed here in the UK the first half of September was the driest on record,   because of this it is particularly important to water you Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas, they are currently setting the flower buds for next spring, if they dry out the buds will not develop and the flowers will be lost, just remember to use rainwater!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Little Miss Contrary

When my daughter was very small, (well actually she's still on the little side) one of my favorite things was reading to her before she went to sleep.   These were intimate times when just the two of us shared a bit about our day, I could devote myself wholeheartedly to her for those few minutes, and they became precious to us both, indeed they were the highlight of my day.   One of the books that I used to read to her was "Contrary Mary" the story of a small girl (well actually I think she was a mouse) who behaved in a very contrary manner.

I was reminded of her when I sat down for my dinner tonight, a couple of weeks ago I weighed myself and decided that I needed to lose a little weight.   Today I repeated the exercise and little had changed, I could still do with losing around half a stone before I go on holiday.   So why did I sit down to a dinner of two fried eggs, fried mushrooms, black pudding and bread and butter.   It was rather nice, but not exactly slimming!

And as far the little girl I used to read to, well I don't read to her anymore, but those intimate times we spend together are now the highlight of my week.

Monday, 22 September 2014


On Saturday evening I went to a concert put on by the residents association where my wife and daughter live.   As they are both very talented musicians they were both performing.   They were both brilliant, my wife sang in a scratch choir who had only had two hours rehearsal but still did very well, and my daughter sang a couple of songs, accompanying herself on guitar.   Two weeks into college and she has already had more performance opportunities than the whole of the previous year.

I could write loads about my wonderful, talented and beautiful daughter, but I'm not sure that this is either the time or the place, the thing that struck me was looking around at the audience, my T-Dar started to bleep quite strongly.   I am sure that I spotted two trans women in the audience.   As this for me was a family event I had to be male mode,and so felt reluctant to approach either of these ladies, In all probability they are resident, I wonder if I was right how does my wife feel about them?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Still Together

Just like the majority of British people around the world I woke up yesterday with a massive feeling of relief, the Scots had voted to stay on as part of the United Kingdom, however they did not vote for the status quo.   Over the last couple of weeks it has become clear that there is very great disillusionment with our current system of government.   Not just the Government, but the system.   Scotland has been promised and will expect more decentralised powers, in turn Wales and Northern Ireland will no want to be left behind, as second class members of teh Union.   As ever the main constitutional problem will be England.

A simple glance at a map or population figures will show that this is not a union of equals, England is larger, more populous and on the whole richer than the other nations, the Government is based in England, the Monarch's main residences are in England, yet England is the only part of the UK without any devolved powers. We have the Scottish Parliament the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assemble for Wales, and the UK Parliament made up of the Houses of Lords and Commons.   There is no assembly for England or english regions, and this may well be the nub of the constitutional problem now facing our leaders.

I am already hearing MPs and others saying that more power devolved from Westminster to National assemblies will not be acceptable unless it is even handed throughout the UK, but the problem seems to be how to organise this for England.   Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are pretty much identifiable homogeneous political and cultural entities, the same doesn't seem to be quite the same for England, but maybe it could be.   Certainly there is just as much antipathy towards Westminster in England as there is in the other Countries.

My thoughts at the moment would favour a separation of powers some like foreign policy, defence and maybe some budgetary controls would stay with Westminster, but with other aspects of government being down to the individual Nationals, certainly things like Education, Policing, and the National Health Service are already separated and could easily become the sole responsibility of National Assemblies.   We should have a separate assembly for England with different members elected by proportional representation and meeting outside of London, in Manchester, Birmingham, or even Coventry or Oxford, but certainly not London.

My worry is that we will lurch into some compromise lash up solution for the whole of the UK in order to try and stick to the time table for Scotland, lets take our time and come up with a sensible, thought out constitution for the whole of the UK.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Like a Pirate

Arrr me hearties, today we be talking like Pirates, right me hearties!

After all today is international "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and I feel that we should all join in, not for any good reason, but more because there is no good reason, indeed it is all very silly.
But I like silly.

To err is Human,
to Ahhrrrrgh is Pirate

How much does a Pirate get charged for his piercings?  A Buck an ear.

"I know a Pirate with a wooden leg called Jake"
"What's the other leg called"
Why do I like my job so much today? It's doubloons!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Holiday looking forward ~ 2

These days I am spending a lot of Paula time, indeed just about all my non family time, to the extent that I consider myself to have started my transition.   This means that there are increasingly few new experiences.   I have shopped, played, worked, slept, cooked, entertained, been entertained, been to the Theatre, Concerts and Exhibitions, I have marched in a Pride parade and have even been to Church, but there are one or two things that I have still to experience.

One of these is flying.

I am a regular reader of Call Me Meg a blog that Meg started when she decided that she would fly pretty, since then she has moved on a lot. I am also an avid reader of Kim's Blog Traveling Transgendered a blog almost exclusively about flying pretty so I have done a lot vicarious air travel, but no actual air travel.   At the end of next month this will all change when I fly to Malta.   It is my firm intention to spend the whole week en Femme, this will be the longest continuous period I will have managed and the dealings with customs, security and airport staff should help establish if this is worthwhile.   I have been through customs before, when I came back from France, but that was at the Calais Ferry Port which I suspect is a little different.

To be honest my concerns are less about customs than about security, I have made sure that I have booked in my legal name, and will have all my paperwork that way, I am sure that I will not be the first or the last trans woman they will come across but that doesn't stop me being a little nervous about the experience.   I know about not taking anything sharp onto the plane, and of course we now have restrictions on liquids, do any of my well travelled readers have any indications of what I may expect.  Will I be OK with silicon forms or should I revert to something a little less liquid? Does my handbag (purse) count as hand luggage or can I take a small holdall as well?   Can I take my epipen on the flight or should I pack it in my suitcase (I got into a lot of trouble with my family last time I went on holiday without it!)I have not flown much anyway as I am not a good flyer (too much like hard work flapping my arms) and the last few times have pretty much relied on others to organise things for me, this time I will be on my own.

Any tips from you more experienced travelers will be appreciated, as I am sure I will forget something important ~ a few years ago I forgot something very important, we all turned up to the airport exactly one day late as I had written the flight details in my diary for the wrong day, which is why I have relied on others to organise things!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Good Day

Yesterday's experience at Wisley was very different from the one I wrote about yesterday, partly because I had the company of my good friend and supporter S with me, and partly because I am just so much happier in my own skin than I was six years ago.

I did have an experience which very much balanced up the comment I mentioned yesterday about the woman with a beard, on entering the gardens as a member I simply have to show my membership card and I and my guest just go in.   When I showed my membership card yesterday, for the first time ever I was asked if it was actually my card, I confirmed it was, was checked over and let in, S was confused, "Well who else's card would you keep in your bag" I had to explain that the membership is still in my male name, and that I took it as a compliment!

Rather than write a long and rambling account of our long and rambling visit to this, my favorite garden, or indeed quite possibly my favorite place, I will just share some of my photos of the day with you.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Today is my birthday, and although it is not a "Special" birthday I do want to try t make it a special day.   For the last few years, since my last "Special" birthday I have got into the habit of taking the day off, and on most of them I have gone to Wisley.

This is where I want my ashes scattered
Wisley is the home of the RHS and one of my favorite gardens, when I went for that first birthday off it was an early opportunity to go out dressed,, even though at that point my facial hair meant that the best I could do was some sort of androgyny.   Indeed at one point I overheard a small child ask it's mother "Why has that lady got a beard?" a question I felt I needed to answer for myself.   I could find no good answer to why I still had a beard other than that other people liked it.   It had become both a symptom and a symbol of how I was living so much of my life for other people.   As a Christian I understand that on occasion there is a need to "Deny yourself", but not to deny who you are, who God made you to be and hat is what I was doing.

Once again I will be going to Wisley today, however today I will be going with my friend S.   She was one of the first people I came out to and over the last few years has been a great friend and support to both Paula, and Paul while I have been going through some pretty tough times as well as some pretty good ones.   When we visit the gardens today we will just be a couple of middle aged ladies on a day out together, enjoying one of the best gardens in the world.

While I am considering what I will be wearing today I can't help but reflect on just how far I have come since those early first tentative steps out of the closet.

Monday, 15 September 2014


Sunday dawned bright and early, as it tends to, indeed it was quite a lot brighter than I was until I had my regular glass of range juice, a couple of cups of coffee and a bath.   However I was still ready before my daughter, as we met up to for an outing to Kew Gardens.   This is one of my daughters favorite gardens, and indeed days out, when ever we go there is always something new and interesting to see.

We enjoyed the tree top walk, and the borders planted with all sorts of annuals and herbaceous flowers, but mostly we just wandered around the gardens chatting, this is pretty much my idea of an ideal day.   The only two flies in the ointment were horrible traffic getting there and back, and the fact that it had to end so I could get to my evening rehearsal.

It's not just schools that have started up again, all sorts of activities seem to coincide themselves with school terms, so orchestra rehearsal, band rehearsals Church homegroup and all sorts of other things are all getting started again.

Playing out

I have had a very good, very busy weekend.   Some people unwind and relax at the weekend, that rarely seems to be an option for me.  My chosen activities often involve weekends and this was one of those weekends when lots of activity collided.

Saturday morning I could sort of claim to be work, in as much I was measuring up for a quote, but sine the job is for a friend, whose company I always enjoy it felt more like a social visit that work is ever meant to, from there I drove straight toRuskin Park in South London where I was playing with the Bromley Concert Band.  

Tuba Girl, by Brass Badger
I had been a bit concerned about playing with this band because of my daughters connection, two of her former teachers are the conductor and solo clarinet with this band, however at least on my own account, as usual, I had nothing to worry about.   Musically there was nothing for me to worry about either, the programme was mostly made up of pretty straight forward material, and even though I was sight reading quite a lot of the music, the bass parts at least were all OK.   The one piece that was a little more complicated was an arrangement of music from the first Pirates of the Caribbean, this is one of the easier arrangements of music from this film and one I had played before.   It did give me the opportunity to point out that this coming Friday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I know some of you are interested so if the rest will bear with me for a moment, I was playing tuba on Saturday, and this gives the same wardrobe concerns as playing the cello, the playing position does mean that it is more or less impossible to keep the knees together.   This of course means either trousers or a pretty long, very full skirt, I don't have a skirt that is suitable, and the concert dress with this band is black bottoms and white tops, so this was an occasion for trousers.   It galls me slightly that I have no problem buying jeans that give me a good fit, but with dress trousers I find it very difficult.   Last week I bought a pair of nice black dress trousers that seemed fine in the changing room, but when I came to wear them on Saturday I spent way too much time pulling them up.   I know the problem is that I do no have enough "shape" but it is also that there seems to be an assumption that a mature woman with a waist the size of mine is about 4 inches shorter than I am.   I suspect this may be one of the reasons that many trans women do prefer either jeans or dresses.   I now have several pairs of black dress trousers (I do play  the tuba a lot) but none of them are what I would call a good fit!  I may be asking a friend of mine if she will do some alterations for me.

After a quick dinner and change I was off into Croydon for the monthly Trans PALS club night.   As well as chatting and drinking wine we did do some planing, we helping to organise the South London Trans Day of Remembrance on the 22nd November and discussed that, we have also now organised a day out in Brighton in a couple of weeks time.   As we grow in confidence as a group we are doing more, joining with other groups and hopefully serving the trans community better.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Playing Tag

OK so Joey has tagged all of his readers on this via from Riot Kitty

1) What are you currently working on

As little as I can get away with, on the writing front I would love to do more, I realise that I am no good at fiction so the novel will stay hidden, but I would love nothing more than too have a regular column for a paper, I have several passions, gardening , music, clothes, etc and would be more that happy to write about them ~ oh yes that's what I do here isn't it, it's just that on Paula's Place nobody gets paid.

2) How does your work differ from others in the same genre

Well this assumes that I have a genre, I suppose I am different to other gender based writers because I am a gardener and a musician, I am different to other gardeners and musicians because I am trans, and as far as I have been able to work out I am not only the world's leading, but probably the world's only Transgender Tuba and Bass Trombone playing Christian Gardener. If I'm not please let me know, then I will have to incorporate the Bass Guitar and euphonium in there somewhere.   The est blogs are about whole lives, opinions, beliefs, adventures, ups and downs, any blog that concentrates on just one aspect of live is inevitably limited and will eventually lack interest, so my blogs differs from others because I differ from others.

3) Why do you write what you write

I started to write this blog so that I had something to confide in, a place where I could share my thoughts and adventures anonymously, that very quickly changed as I became less and less anonymous, then it became more of an exercise in self validation, if enough people were prepared to read my gushings then that means that what I think and do has some value, and must mean I am loved. Now it is just the sheer joy of the writing process and sharing with friends, at it's the blogging experience is a conversation.  Mind you I do still eagerly check my stats every day!

4) Describe your writing process

I think about what I want to write about all day while I'm at work, on the odd occasions when I do some practise, maybe while in bed.   After all this thought and planning I then sit down with my laptop and type something completely different.   I seem to have some sort of stream of consciousness thing going here, I will start off thinking I'm going to write about panting bulbs today, and end looking at what I've written and find that most of it is about persona faith.   I am reminded of the author who when asked what he thought about something replied that he didn't know as he hadn't said it yet.  (If anyone knows who it was please let me know)

As a foot note I want to say that for somebody like me on the dyslexia spectrum the advent of modern computers with spell check has been totally liberating, not only enabling us to write but to enjoy it, whole new areas of communication are being opened up, helping us to fulfill areas of life we thought we were excluded from.   I mentioned earlier that I would love to write a column, back in the days of type writers I could not even have considered such a thing now anything is possible.

And since they both say that if you write a blog then you are a writer, then in turn I will "cop out" as well and I tag all of you.

Yet another non event

Well I for one have had what might be termed a bit of a funny old week.   After only having had my new van for a couple of weeks it has already had somebody drive into the back of it, but at least this time I was there and could get all of his details, within 24 hours I had been contacted by his insurance company arranging for a body shop to collect the van, assess the damage and repair it, and provide me with a hire van while it is away.   So now instead of a 2002 Mercedes Vito with over 200,000 miles on the clock I am driving around in a 2014 Renault Traffic which has just turned over 5,000 miles.   Strange though it may sound, despite the SatNav, electric windows, etc. I actually prefer the old Merc, but at least I do have a nice shinny van to drive around in while mine is fixed, probably to a better standard than it was before.

As my week has been hectic and my life complicated it so happened that when I had to pop down to the hire company to collect the van I was dressed, without thinking about it I just walked down the road (they are that near by) and picked up the van, not really worrying that all the paperwork is in "His" name, nobody batted an eyelid everybody was very friendly and professional and there was no hassle just as should be expected.   The next morning the man arrived to take Dannie away (yes it seems to have stuck), he arrived before my hangover left so when the doorbell rang I was still in my dressing gown, complete with the remains of the previous nights makeup, nail polish etc. again he was happy to wait a few minutes while I threw on some (girl) clothes and sorted out the van for him.

Now this is all as it should be and as we should expect.  The interesting thing is that a year ago I would have moved heaven and earth to avoid allowing myself to get into situations like these, now I am fine with them, and so far have had no bad experiences as a consequence.

However I was a little nervous this evening as I have agreed to play in a bandstand concert with the Bromley Concert Band tomorrow, and tonight I went to the rehearsal, the reason for my nerves are two fold, the Conductor and the Solo Clarinet.   Both lovely people and decent musicians, the reason for my nerves was that they are both my daughters old music teachers, but I got the reaction that I am becoming accustomed to, nothing!

So much of what is happening, or rather not happening, to me now makes me wonder why didn't I do this years ago?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Holiday looking forward ~ 1

Regular readers will have noticed that I am more than a little obsessed with the build up to my holiday at the moment.   I will not be going until the end of next month, but I am anticipating, and looking forward to it so much that I find it hard not to be thinking about some aspect or another of it far too much of the time.   This little trip will involve quite a few firsts, for one thing I will be travelling without a safety net, that is I will have no male back up plan hiding in my suitcase, this will be a full week spent female, and at that I will be spending it quite publicly!   This will be the longest time I will have spent continuously presenting as female, and I will be doing it in a foreign country, now I could spend the whole week hiding in my apartment and doing a little sunning myself on the balcony, but I won't.

I want to reacquaint myself with the Caravaggios at St John's Co-Cathedral  I want to visit Mosta and their amazing Rotunda a totally "over the top" Church for what in reality is a small village, I want to walk around the battlements at Valletta, I want to drink some cold Cisk in a local bar, I want to enjoy the warmth of the mediterranean sun in November, I want to enjoy the natural beauty of the islands, I will not be hiding in the apartment.

But all this obsessing is not good for me and can make me forget that I have other things to look forward to before that.   At the end of this month I will be taking a couple of days off and taking a trip down to Cornwall too stay with a friend there.   Again I love Cornwall but have not been able to find the opportunity to get there for a few years now, it will be good to see my friend for a bit longer than a quick chat, it will be good to introduce her to Paula, and again it will be good to spend some continuous Paula time without having to go back to hiding behind the facade of "him".

I will be playing in at least four concerts before my holiday, and going to a least two others, one of which my daughter and wife will both be singing in.   I will also be going on a day out in Brighton with my friends from Trans PALS and hopefully squeezing in a trip to Cardiff, so the I will hardly be getting a chance to get bored.

In the mean time, back to my packing list............

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Weighty problems

I generally weigh myself around once or twice a month, it's not really necessary as I am usually pretty much aware if I put on or lose a bit, on Sunday I weighed myself as I did thin I had put on a bit and just wanted to check.   even though I thought I had put on a bit I was surprised hat the bit was nearly half a stone.   I should stress that this is still a long way from being overweight or of any health concern, but just a little more than I like to be at this time of year.

In the winter I do tend to put a little on as I am slightly less active and probably eat (and drink) a little more, then I will lose it again in the spring as I work more and start to eat more salads, it is very much a lifestyle thing, but at this time of year I am usually at my lightest.   I can only assume that this is a factor of my recent enforced lack of activity and will lose it again in the course of a pretty heavy work load.

However I am vain enough to want to lose it before I go away at the end of next month, especially if I am going to been seen sunbathing beside the pool, I won't fool myself that I could ever look good in a bikini, but, I don't want Greenpeace volunteers running out and trying to push me back in the water!   So for the next few weeks I will have to watch what I am putting in my mouth!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Freedom from who?

The reality of the Scottish referendum is gradually beginning to dawn on me, maybe I am a bit slow, but until the last couple of days I just could not accept the possibility of the breakup of my country.   I still find it hard to believe that the Scots will vote for independence, it just feels that the implications for (in no particular order) Defense, Civil Services, Utilities, Finances, Broadcasting etc. etc. are simply too complicated and too expensive.   Blimey, we'll even need to get a new flag!   Yet the gap between the Yes and No sides in the polls seems to be closing, I wonder is this a symptom of the Scottish dislike for the English, or for the English upper class dominated government.

It seems to me to be highly unfair that this referendum is not simply about whether Scotland gets independence from the UK but the breakup of the UK, yet only a small part of this country gets to vote on the matter.   Arguably England would be financially better off without Scotland, but then again London would be better off without the rest of England, should Londoners get a vote on being independent of the rest of the UK?   We would of course hold onto bits of the Home Counties, the Bank of England etc. and be so financially successful that we would have to bus in the cleaners and dustmen from the newly impoverished midlands.   Ridiculous? well too me this seems no more ridiculous than Scotland being a separate nation state to the UK.

Whatever happens things will never be the same again, at the moment Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all have degree of devolved self government, and all the major parties are promising the Scots that if there is a no vote then there will be even greater autonomy.   This would mean that England, the largest and richest part of the UK is governed solely by the UK Parliament while all other pars have at east a degree of independence.   Even now Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish MPs get to vote on legislation that will only effect England, how long will he English be prepared to put up with this?

I can foresee a gradual slipping into some form of federal Government, while we will continue to share a head of state whatever happens, that may be the only thing that stays the same.

Maybe if nothing else this will be a strong signal to the rest of the World that Britain, the United Kingdom and England are not synonymous.   I am British, I am a Citizen of the United Kingdom, I am English, I am Londoner, I am also European none of these are contradictory, and I hope I will be able to continue to say this.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Busy, busy, busy

I noticed the other day that someone listed as one of their pet hates sentences starting with "So", well I know that that is something I am highly guilty of, Every time I do it I try to challenge myself as to whether it is sensible but I do it anyway. So here I am at last sitting down. relaxing and watching the Italian Grand Prix.   I say at last, not because I have been waiting eagerly for the Grand Prix, but because I have had such a busy, indeed at times frantic weekend.

So far I have had to work, take daughter shopping with her guitar to be restrung, go to a meeting in town, play a bandstand concert, go to friends for lunch, rehearse the evenings worship songs, and then play in the worship band at tonights service.   To make matters more complicated some of these activities are hers, and some of them his.   However I do find that the border is getting increasingly blurred.   One of the areas of my life hat I had been keeping male was my Church life, but this week I have been e-mailing my Vicar and have come out to him, he has been understanding, supportive, and grateful for my honesty, even if I continue to present as make this will of course alter the relationship, I hope for the better, as removing the secret can only be a good thing.   Also this mornings performance was as Paula, and I had no tie to change before lunch so this was the first time that one of my friends had me Paula.

This of course led to an explanation for my situation, and I am glad to say that I now have another supporter, there is much more I could, and possibly will say abut all of this, but right now I am feeling the strains of the weekend and need my bed.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Not the only one in the Village

I'm a little surprised, but highly gratified with all the interest in my musings on swimsuits, obviously this is a problem area for girls like me, and I strongly suspect that the easiest way to stop it being a problem is simply to not go swimming.   However I have come across a couple of projects specifically aimed at finding safe environments for trans people to be able to go swimming.   One of them quite close to where I live.   I hope that they manage, and I for one will be supporting them.

I am actually quite surprised at just how many organisations and projects for trans people there are around, indeed I am still quite surprised at how many trans people there are around.   After so many years thinking that I was the only one, that I was both alone and weird, frightened of admitting who I felt I was or expressing my femininity. Now I find we are everywhere, I see trans people in all walks of life some bold and "out there" others just quietly getting on with their lives.

The more we come out, the more visible we are, the more we are seen as normal safe people, then the easier it will be for future generations to act early and not go through or create the suffering of earlyer generations.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

I thought I'd found it

But the hunt continues.....................

Reality Check

After yesterday's post I have received some valued advice on beach - or poolside wear.   I expect Malta to feel quite warm even at the beginning of November so would like to have some sort of costume with me, but don't want to frighten the horses.   I will of course have to bear in mind my age and size as well as the all important factor of "coverage".   Of course in my minds eye I want to look like this (left), totally ignoring the minor factors of body shape, age, hair, before I start to think of any of the more obvious problems (i.e. not wanting the problems to be more obvious!)

I could be tempted t go with something like this (right)

But on balance as long as I am somewhere between, but not too close to these other two I will be reasonably happy, and I still have plenty of time to find something I like.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Appropriate Wardrobe

Some time ago I wrote about a wonderful gift I had received, the price of my airfare to Malta! Well I have now booked both my apartment and my flights.  The only small fly in the ointment is that the friend I had hoped would be able to go with me can't get the time off work, he may still be able to come out for some of the time, but not the whole week.   Even if I do end up on my own in an apartment that will sleep four I will be enjoying myself.

But before I go I do have to sort out a holiday wardrobe.   I think I am OK for pretty much everything, except what to wear beside and even in the pool.   I think that I will resist the temptations to pick up an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini, but I will be looking out for my first swim suit of some kind.  This summer I have really enjoyed being out and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, and I currently have the tan to prove it, I hope that I will still have enough tan to still show when I am away and also that I will be able to add to it, yes I am vane enough to want a tan!

By the time I go the days here will be getting both sorter and colder, Autumn will be in full action with leaves falling and winds blowing, so going back ino temperatures consistently in the 20s with lots of sunshine will be just what I need; and in the mean time I have something to look forward to.

Monday, 1 September 2014


Saturday morning was a work day, we started in on landscaping project which I will be undertaking around my normal work, so that will mean quite a few Saturdays, it also meant that because of all the rain the previous night there was a lot of mud and muck, I got home feeling dirty, scruffy and generally not fit for polite society.   For the afternoon I was going to a barbeque hosted by my friend Rebecca, I had planned on a simple, casual outfit of jeans and a nice pink top, but everything in me rebelled against the idea of wearing trousers or bifurcated nether garments of any kind, especially jeans.   I had been in jeans all too much, I had been the "scruffy bloke" too much, I needed a bit of glamour, I needed to feel pretty!

I tend to plan and consider what I am going to wear so that when it comes to getting dressed it is simply a case of putting it all on.   Saturday was a different matter, I had planned, but when it came to it I didn't want to wear what I had planned.   Quite possibly what I had planned would have been more appropriate, but what I did wear was more fun.   I simply opened my wardrobe, looked at the dresses and thought "Yes, RED!"   I hadn't realised quite how short the dress is, but I was glad to see that others had obviously had similar thoughts and it certainly wasn't the shortest there! (you know who you are!)

The afternoon turned into evening, and then night, everyone had lots of fun, some of us had lots to drink, we all made some new friends, and I was reunited with my bubble wand from Brighton Pride.

I gather from my American friends that this is Labour Day, which is often seen as marking the transition from Summer to Autumn, from a work point of view I would rather like summer to continue for a bit longer, but in many ways I have enjoyed this summer, it has, mostly, been nice and warm, I have been liberated into wearing shorts and vests (singlets) to work and so have got a pretty decent tan, I now have a van that should keep me mobile for another couple of years, and have enjoyed not having too frantic a summer season of performances.   This week that all starts to change.

Bands start to rehearse again, evening meetings start to happen and life goes back to it's usual frantic pace.