Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Ding Dong

On the whole I thoroughly enjoy my work, as a member of the oldest profession (check it out Genesis 2:8 ) I get a lot of satisfaction from creating and maintaining beauty.   I love to get my hands dirty by being intimate with the soil, I love nurturing plants, indeed I often find myself in the mood where I prefer plants to people.   What I don't love is the precarious nature of the work, there are days when I cannot work because of the weather, or like this time of year when other people are on holiday so don't want to see me.

As it happens today is cold, not artic we simply don't get it that cold in South East England, but there is a solid sharp frost, so there is very little work I could do that would not cause more damage than good.   It is always handy t have another string to the bow, and that is one of the reason I have maintained my interest in textiles reclamation, I do a bit of consultancy work primarily with one local collector, and that helps keep me interested as well as keeping the financial wheels turning.   I have now started yet another business, like my on-line friend Stana I am now an Avon Lady.   Now I have no idea how successful I will be with this, I am not looking to make a fortune, rather just to get a little extra income and make a facility available to my friends.

The initial meeting with my manager was very friendly and very interesting, Avon have come quite a long way from where I remember them years ago when I had family members working for them (but that's another story).   I think what was in some ways even more interesting was that neither of us mentioned my being trans, and it was simply accepted that that my I.D. was in my legal name not my chosen name.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Being the Best

I have only been away for a couple of days, but there is so much to catch up with.   To my shame I did leave some washing up to be done, and now I have giant pile of laundry to d as well.   I also realise just how addicted I have become to on line comics, blogs and Face Book.   If I were stuck in doors all the time on my own maybe this would be more understandable, but I do have a life, indeed I probably have enough for two or three.

I have work to do in my garden and around the house, I have too go to the bank, take down the Christmas Tree, do some practise before this evenings rehearsal, set up a couple of meetings and write up a couple of quotes.   Yet I know that if  I do not make myself do it I will happily waste hours sat at my computer.   I wonder if I gain some feeling of self worth by the number of hits I get here at Paula's Place, if some how I feel more validated if people "like" my Face Book post.   These thoughts are prompted by Rebecca's post on "With and Open Heart" where she writes about that feeling of not being good enough.

This is a problem that many of us will have experienced. A lot of self analysis tells me that in my case its tarted when I was very young, I was always told that I was not as good as my brothers, not as intelligent, not as good at sport, not as good a singer, in short never good enough.   Add to this my Mother's inability to show love and my fathers regular absence due to work I grew up feeling rejected and unworthy.   I have always done reasonably well at anything I have done, I was reasonably good academically, I was reasonably good at my chosen sport, and I am a reasonably good musician, yet I have always had the feeling at the back of my mind that one day I was going to be found out.

This feeling was always strongest playing music, every time I went on stage I would be nervous, not about my level of performance, I have always understood my technical ability, no I was nervous that I would be "found out" that somehow I was not a real musician and didn't have a right to be there on the platform with all these other "real musicians".   I think that these feelings I think that these feelings insinuated themselves into every aspect of my life, I would often deliberately aim low to avoid the possibility of failing, and of course this would mean that I never fully achieved my potential.

My fear of rejection would mean that I would always try to do and be what I thought other people wanted, I think that this is one of the reasons that I was so frightened of living my live authentically, indeed of even admitting to myself never mind anyone else that I might have "Gender Issues"   The very idea of going off on a tangent on my own, of publicly owning up to being different was to court rejection, to admit to being not god enough, it was simply not an option.

It was only when I began to understand who I am as a chosen, adopted child of God that I started to realise who I could become.   God's love tells me that I am good enough, good enough for him to love me, good enough to be worth saving, good enough to be welcomed to his table.   Understanding that I can then begin to understand that I have as much right too be on that stage as anyone else.   I have the right, indeed the responsibility to be fully the person God made me.

I may not be the best musician, gardener or writer in the world, and I never will be, but I can be the best me in the world.   Now I know Gods love I can start to love myself and work at being me.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

F@#$ Book

I have been quite restrained for a while, but it has to burst out, and it is now going to burst!

It may not surprise you to hear that I have two Facebook accounts, shh don't tell FB but one of them is not in my (current) legal name. I know this breaks their rules, but you may be able to guess just how little sleep I lose over that.   It is quite popular to rant about these big organisations and criticize their stupid policies, but on the whole I accept that as big stupid American organisations they will do stupid things every now and then, after all why should they be different to the rest of us.   I like Facebook, I enjoy the things my friends share with me, it helps to keep me in touch with friends I can't often see, indeed I can waste a lot, and I mean a lot, of time there.

I have a lot FB friends, some on one account some on the other, and another group again that are friends on both accounts.   What I don't understand is why I see posts from this last group on one account and not on the other?   How do FB choose what I see from which friends, shouldn't that be my choice?   I feel slightly worried that when I close down one of the accounts (again I'll let you guess which one that will be)  will there then be things from friends that I won't see at all.

They have come up with this wonderful platform but if I can't see what my friends are saying it does rather seem to fail in it's principle purpose.

Friday, 26 December 2014

It's that time of year

I've done pretty well in the run up to Christmas, I did manage to achieve my self imposed goal of a post every day of Advent, even if I did start a little late and had to catch up.   I have thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas celebrations, I have spent time with friends and family mostly as Paula, but some (mostly at my Church) in Bob mode, but I suspect that all of my friends would be as accepting and supportive as those I am out to if they fully knew.

We now enter in to that strange time of year when everything becomes a little odd, neither one thing nor the other; it is no longer Christmas, but not yet the new year, not really a holiday but not worth going to work.   For me it is a time for two things, reflection and visiting Family.   So I will be visiting family over the next couple of days, going into dark recesses of the past where the internet does not exist (Cardiff) but I will also be considering the last year and the next.

Doing this my first thought is to be reminded of the old joke, "What is the difference between a cross dresser and a transexual" "Two years!"    Last Christmas I was just beginning to come out to my friends, now I am spending more of my time fem than Bob, and feel that it is the time spent in drab that is unauthentic.   I don't know what 2015 will hold but I am sure that I have a lot more adventure still to have.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 24


If you haven't done it yet, then it's too late, relax and enjoy.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Look who's coming to dinner.

We have a well worn phrase for the big clean up, when we go through the whole house cleaning and tidying up, we call it spring cleaning, I suppose this goes back to the days when our lives were ruled by the seasons.   It seems to me that lots of my friends are doing a major midwinter clean, as they prepare to entertain friends and relations over Christmas.   Spare rooms are aired and beds made, furniture polished and floors washed.   We would hate for people to see how we actually live!

I trust the friend who is coming to dinner tonight is a good enough friend to forgive a bit of dust and untidiness.

Well I have now settled on my menu for this evening, (however I will not reveal it just yet unless there have to be any last minute changes) I hope it goes down OK, I have had to invest in some lactose free cream and cheese, so I also have to hope that they respond in pretty much the same way as "normal" cream and cheese.   I enjoy cooking so it will be fun finding out, I enjoy cooking but I enjoy cooking for other people more, for me it is a way of saying "I love you", cooking a meal is a form of hug, especially from someone like me who finds it rather difficult to express emotions.

I am still left with the rather vain problem of what to wear, I had settled on my mauve body con dress, but then I thought about my matronly green dress, to help me make up my mind I opened up my wardrobe to take a look at them both and then saw the white cocktail dress that needs to be worn, and then a nice black and silver sparkly knitted tunic that looks great with leggings...............

Maybe I should just stop thinking about it and stick to jeans and sweater, but should I wear the skinny jeans or boot leg? black or blue? I can be decisive, but not often.

Advent Calendar ~ 23

I have already mentioned (far too often) that I am pretty broke this Christmas, and will not be buying many presents, I think I have also reflected that this has helped me to focus on what Christmas means to me, it doesn't seem to have had the same effect on Lila

As we near the great day, maybe it's time for a little reflection.   Over the last few days I have played carols around the Parish, at an open air Christmas service, and on Sunday evening my Church carol service.   Since September I have been playing all of my non-church music fem, but I have tried to present male at church, for a number of  reasons, one of the most important being that my wife is the Parish Administrator and I have no wish to cause her any pain, or embarrassment.   Having said all that I have found it becoming increasingly difficult to be him one day and her the next.   So I have more or less decided that I will e going full time in the new year, and that will entail finding a new church.

This Christmas is a difficult one anyway, but the thought of it being the last one with my Church family makes it quite a bittersweet experience.   It is great to worship with my friends using my instruments in "Spirit and Truth" but it hurts to think that this may be the last time.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 22

Just when things were beginning to get serious I decide that we need more Betty

And just in case you had missed the point

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 21

"Here's one I made earlier"
This is the last Sunday in Advent and we will be lighting the fourth candle on our Advent Crown, the fifth will be lit on Christmas Morning.   Throughout the Anglican (or Apostolic) Church this prayer will be said this morning.   It is indicative of Advent as a time of preparation.

God our redeemer,
who prepared the Blessed Virgin Mary
to be the mother of your Son:
grant that, as she looked for his coming as our saviour,
so we may be ready to greet him
when he comes again as our judge;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Part of my preparation for Christmas includes putting together a nativity scene, here is this year's

For many the preparations are all about the food, the decorations, buying and wrapping presents, making sure that everything is ready for visitors.   Because of my personal situation this year I am enjoying the opportunity to prepare for Christ, and to be ready for His coming.   In just a few day's I will be at my favorite service of the year as we celebrate Jesus birth at Midnight communion

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Dinner Decisions

I have just been watching Saturday Kitchen on BBC2 hoping to get some inspiration for the meals I'll be cooking over the next couple of weeks.   In particular I have a particular friend coming to dinner on Tuesday.   When I say she is particular I mean that she is special to me (we have been friends for more years than either of us would be happy to admit) and also that she has to be particular about what she can eat.   I should stress not from choice but from necessity, being both lactose and gluten intolerant can be quite limiting on diet.   I should be used to all this as my daughter is also lactose and gluten intolerant, but she is even worse to cater for as she is also vegetarian, but I am still having a lot of difficulty trying to decide what to cook.

Trying hard to not look like trying
I want to stress that this is not because my friend is a problem, rather it is a reflection of my repertoire as a cook, it seems that every time I think of something I find that it will include double cream, butter, croutons, flour, or something that could upset my friends digestion.   Maybe I should stop thinking about trying to show off my culinary skills and embrace the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).   Now all I need to decide is what simple dish I am going to not be showing off with.

The other decision is the perennial T-Girl issue of what to wear, my friend is one of those really annoying women you come across every now and then who is naturally elegant whatever she wears.   I am sure that you all know one of these women, they never seem to make much apparent effort, I don't understand it but these girls can just put on a pair of jeans and a sweater and look great, while the rest of us spend ages glamourising ourselves and putting on our best clothes, just so as not to frighten the horses.   I did think about one of the other two dresses, but maybe that would be trying too hard.

Advent Calendar ~ 20

Being something of a musician I have been playing quite a few Christmas themed performances over the last month or so.   There does seem to be something of an affinity between brass instruments and Christmas music.   So far I have played with (in no particular order) the All Saints Concert Band, the Bigging Hill Concert Band, the Lambeth Wind Orchestra, the Croydon Symphonic Band and musicians from my Church.    Due to the level of my commitments I have also had t turn down performances with the Bromley Wind Band, the London Gay Symphony Orchestra and a couple of others,

Of course there are a lot of carols that get played, there are also a lot, and I mean a lot, of  arrangements of Christmas songs, usually made into medleys with silly names like "In the Christmas Mood" "Cowboy Christmas" or my personaly bette noir "A Most Wonderful Christmas".   Then there are the well loved original seasonal favorites like Leroy Anderson's Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride.

I only played Christmas Festival once this year, in November! however I have so far played Sleigh Ride nine times! and three of those times were in the same performance!

Nice sleigh, but no reindeer!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 19

What's behind the door today? Well there are two answers to that question and the first answer is a picture of a rather boring anonymous door on the Fulham Palace Road.   However as se of you may realise this is not just a randomly selected picture of a door on the Fulham Palace Road, it is the entrance to the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic (GIC)

Advent is a time of looking forward, looking forward to Christmas, to the arrival of the Messiah, to things getting better.   For me Christmas is the time when things start to get better.   They start to get better because I know January will be dryer than December so I will be able to get more work done, better because the days start to get longer, better because I can now start to look forward to and plan for spring, and maybe more to the point better because the Christ has arrived, and we can look forward to Easter.

Now I have a little more to look forward to, and another reason why after Christmas I can anticipate things getting better.   At last I have heard from the GIC, I have had my first correspondence and have sent back all the registration forms, so now I can look forward to hearing from them in the new year about a first appointment.   I can look forward, but I won;t be holding my breath!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 18

We draw ever closer to the BIG DAY

Many will be looking forward to, or enjoying lots of parties, Indeed I have often heard this time of year referred to as the "Party Season" in the same way as Americans refer to "The Holidays"

Personally I'm not a great one for parties which is just as well since I will not be going to any.    Tonight I go Carolling with some friends from Church, tomorrow we have an outdoor service.   Next week I will be sharing dinner with friends on a couple of occasions, but no parties.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 17

 Most of us will have a Christmas tree, whether it is a real tree we have gone out into the woods and cut down before trimming bringing into the house and decorating, or like me a totally fake plastic and fiber optic thing brought out of the atic year after year. Many will also have holy wreaths and, or mistletoe.

My understanding is that this is all down to our germanic ancestors who would decorate their homes with greenery at yule tide to honour the gods of the forest, and guarantee fertility and the coming of spring the following year.

Maybe that's where we get the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe from. I don't think it matters too much as long as we have Christ at the center of our celebrations I don't thin it matters how we celebrate, and I hope we all manage at least one kiss over the season!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 16

Welcome to December the 16th. there was a time when a greeting like that would have been followed with only ** shopping days till Christmas but I can't help noticing that every day is now a shopping day.   Indeed I understand that the Oxford Street Traders Association say that Sunday is now their busiest day.    So for the UK at least that means only 9 shopping days till Christmas.

I hope I've already made my position on Christmas shopping this year clear, I'm not doing any.   It has been a difficult year and my budget for Christmas presents is very close to zero, so as I said here most of the gifts I give will be gifts I have made.

And if any of you are wondering about buying me gifts check out this post from last week.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Letting Lose

I don't go in for these sort of things, indeed as a general principle I rather disapprove of the whole Horoscope thing, not just because of their inevitable inaccuracies but because the Bible warns us against it.   I have written about this before here, and as I said then remember what happened to Saul!

However I was referred to this one by a "friend" who thought it rather accurate.

Virgo (23 Aug-22 Sep)

Keeping yourself on the straight and narrow can take it's toll sometimes, Virgo. Roving eyes searching out the local bar? Tempted by naughtiness? Why not embrace it for once? It's all very good behaving like a saint, but occasionally my friend you have to let loose. No-one can be good all the time, and whether your guilty pleasure is drink, food or women, I think you should indulge yourself. It's Christmas after all... 

As with most of these things I think that most of this can be said to be pretty accurate for around 90% of the population, and possibly 100% of the population who read these things.  However what I want to take issue with here is not accuracy but attitude.   One of the things we learn as Christians is that we are all subject to temptation, it is how we deal with temptation, and how God deals with us when we succombe.   After all we pray that God "Lead us not into temptation" just as we pray for His forgiveness.   The reason why I try not to embrace the temptation and "let lose" is simply because it actually is good behaving like a saint.   Indeed I am saint!   As a protestant one of the core beliefs I hold is that all the community of believers are saints, this is how Luke and Paul use the word in the Bible, and that's good enough for me.

What I take even more issue with is the idea that since it is Christmas we have license to behave more badly than we would at any other time of year.   What I am celebrating at Christmas is one of the greatest acts of God, the Son becoming fully human while remaining fully God, the Transcendent become manifest, the birth of Christ, however you want to put it Christmas is about Christ, the clue is in the name!

If Christmas is for you simply a time for self indulgence, miss-behaviour and guilt, then I ask what is it that you are celebrating?

True I cannot be good all the time, but I thank God that when I do slip I know His forgiveness,   Because of Christmas we can have Good Friday (forgiveness) and then Easter (Grace)

Advent Calendar ~ 15

I have had an interesting weekend, and hope to tell you all a bit more about soon.   In theory I should have a couple of free evenings this week as a lot of my activities star to shut down for Christmas, the only trouble is that other, Christmas, activities take their place, so I don't have any more free nights, just different ones.

I do have to get my house tidied and ready to host my Church Home Group tomorrow, but at east I have got my tree up and decorated.   Other than a crib and a couple of table decorations that is all I will be doing, this is one of those occasions when I embrace the idea that less is more.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 14

Today is not only the 14th December it is also Sunday, and as these Advent Sundays are so important I assume that all of you will, like Lila, be going to Church today.

All joking aside I hope to make it to Church today, but I have to be at a runthrough for a concert this afternoon at 1:30 so it may get a bit tight.   We don't have communion services that often these days so I do like to try to get to them when we do.

This may be the time of year when we think of Christ's birth, but without his death and resurrection it would have been pointless,   Christmas only makes sense because of Easter.
"Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622
Matthias Grunewald ~ The Crucifiction of Christ

Hair Brained

Yesterday was a funny old day, if that sounds like the beginning of a very poor stand up routine, it still may be.   I should have started with an electrolysis appointment but had to postpone that till the afternoon as I had an emergency fence repair to get started, just as I was starting to dig a post hole (a ppst hole that ended up looking more like a well!) I got a phone call summoning me to a business meeting between a recycling company and a local authority officer.    So I had to finish the first stage of the fence repair (putting in new posts) then dash home get changed into a respectable looking businessman man, to attend the meeting before getting changed back into myself again before going for my electrolysis.

In the evening I had a jazz band rehearsal with four friends.   Throughout the day I met ten people who I knew pretty well, only two commented, or I suspect noticed that my hair has changed colour, yet the lady in SUperdrug who I saw last week noticed straight away and congratulated me on the look! (and yes the two who noticed are women)

Taken on my return home, around 1:00 a.m.
The poll is now closed! I am slightly surprised by the popularity of the red dress, not only is it a 10 to 1 winner on the poll but also all the facebook comments and messages have been in favour of red.   I had selected these three partly because of the colours, but mostly because I like how they each make me feel., I was intrigued by one comment that the green dress was "too old ladyish", I thought it was elegant and classy, but then maybe I am a bit of an old lady.

When I first wrote this I was getting ready to go out, I have now returned after a very enjoyable evening with my TransPALS ~ more later ~ maybe.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 13

 It's got to around the time of year when if you want your letter to Santa to get to him on time it really should be in the post by now.

It seems that the big question occupying Betty's mind is naughty or nice? ~ of course she may be taking a different slant on the question to the rest of us.

This also reminds me that I will be playing Santa Claus is coming to town as a Tuba Solo tomorrow, I'll try to play it nice!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 12

Today's little treat moves away from the shopping theme onto a food theme, it's not chestnuts roasting on an open fire but marshmallows, how can she keep her figure eating all of those?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mission Accomlished

As is my want I am often very busy, this tends to mean that things get forgotten, put to one side to be finished later, or I simply do not get round to doing them.   Every now and then just to make sure that I do do what I have to I will make a list, as I have a rehearsal tomorrow night, a dinner to go to on Saturday and a concert to play in on Sunday I today I made one of my lists.

I had a fair selection of things to do that I put on the list, I was possibly even a little bit ambitious about the number of things I challenged myself to do.   Now I am sitting down after my dinner feeling rather pleased with myself as I have accomplished everything on list.

Two jobs I will admit to are getting my fake Christmas tree out of the attic and decorating it, in the photo it looks a bit wonky, but I like it, it is totally fake and doesn't even try to to pretend to be a real tree, running along the "branches" it has fibre optics that light in different colours which is quite fun.   ANyway it now makes the place seem a little more "seasonal".

The other is dieing my hair.  It's meant to be blond but I'm not totally confinced.   I have been thinking about this for some time, but still feel a unsure as to the results, even less sure about the photo!

And don't forget to vote, the poll stays open until I get dressed on Saturday

Advent Calendar ~ 11

I suppose i's about time that we all started to think about presents, I mean the presents we are going to buy for other people.   What are you going to buy for the girl in your life?

And if any of you are wondering about what to buy for me I take a size 8 (EU 42) she, or if you want another clue, I don't believe in Santa Claus anymore.

And please remember to take the Poll!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 10

This is the first time in this Advent Calendar that I have wished you all a Merry Christmas.   I can assure you that it will not be the last time, neither will it be the last time that I feature Betty!
Please remember to take part in the poll, so far I have had more reaction on the Facebook share than the poll itself,. I will add up all the opinions and follow your choice ~ WOW the POWER, just don't let it go to your heads!

It's OK I won't be wearing it to the office.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tell me What you Think

On Saturday evening I shall be going to the TransPALS Christmas dinner, this is going to be a relatively informal affair at our normal meeting place, a friendly family pub, which does some very good food.   We will have our own area where we will be meeting and dinning rather than being thrust in amongst the civilians.

My problem is what to wear, as I say this is an informal dinner, but it is also a festive one, and deserves a little more effort than our standard monthly meetings, I think I have three alternatives, red, white or green.

I can't make up my mind, so it's over to you, let me know what you think, you can even vote in the poll!

The photos of the red and white dresses were taken last Christmas, the other was taken way back in January 2012! I do like all three of these dresses but with one thing and another I have only had an opportunity to wear the red dress out so far.   That means that I have been giving wardrobe space to two of these dresses for up to two years simply because I like them even if I haven't worn them.

Last year I planned to wear this white dress to the Christmas dinner, but found a dirty mark on it just as I was about to go out, so had to go for a safe LBD.   I have worn it a couple of times when I have had a friend round to dinner.   The green dress does seem a little middle aged, highly respectable, and has never been worn, but one way or another it will be this Christmas.

Advent Calendar ~ 9

Behind the door today we have a music video.

I gather that there has been some contention about this song, some saying it fails too be a transgender anthem (whatever that means) other with complaints that as we are not all pretty it is trying to impose stereotypes.   I can't help think that it's quite a catchy tune and may help enlighten a few people not yet open to us.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 8

What will be behind the eighth door on our Advent Calendar.   Every day I want to manage at least one picture, preferably a seasonal one.   Today's picture is one of me taken yesterday.

Yesterday I was playing with the Croydon Symphonic Band at the National Concert Band Festival,  London Regional Festival.   The idea of the Festival is that it is a non-competitive opportunity to listen to other bands playing different music.   Bands are divided up into four sections, Youth, Big Band, Community Band and Open.   Youth band and Big bands are pretty self explanatory, Community Bands are drawn from across the community and are non-selective, so are open to all ages and abilities.  The Open section is for bands that are in some way selective, bands that will audition members, or only draw from a closed community, such as a University.   We play in the Community Band class, as the whole object of the band is to provide place for people to play wind band music.   We have never auditioned or excluded anyone from performing, and are rather proud of that.

To ensure a certain standard of programming there is a list of pieces, one of which each band should include in their twenty minute programme.   To aid the bands in improving their standard of performance there are adjudicators who will give notes on the performances, and then give awards according to the standard of performance.   Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards are given.   For our performance of Philip Sparke's Hymns from the Highlands we received a platinum award.   So although this is a non-competitive festival ~ WE WON!!!!

This means we have the opportunity to play at the finals held at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester on the 11th and 12th April next year.

As well as a fine performance, and collecting this acclamation of our prowess, yesterday was another little landmark for me personally, I have been playing with this band for over 40 years, and this was the first occasion that I performed as my female self!   Something I will be repeating on Sunday.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 7

Opening the door on the Advent Calendar and today we find more Betty Boop, indeed we have double Betty because it's Sunday!   I am a great fan of Betty, somehow she manages to be both sexy and innocent at the same time.   As Bob Hoskins observed in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, "Yea Betty, you still got it"

Yesterday I played with the lovely Biggin Hill Concert Band and had a very enjoyable time.   I was not the only guest playing with the band, there were a couple of old friends who were also there as guests, I hadn't seen either of them for several years, so they had not met Paula before, as seems to be my new normal neither of them cared, commented or asked, although one of them was very complimentary about my dress!

Playing the tuba and trying to be glamorous does present problems, wearing a dress or skirt and retaining a suitable level of modesty does mean that the skirts have to be pretty long and very full, as the playing position is similar to the Cello.   I have several dresses and skirts that I can wear playing the trombone or euphonium but just the two that I can wear playing the tuba, and one of those is way too dressy.   Since it would just not be right to keep wearing the same dress for every concert, I conclude that I need more black dresses.   This does seem rather strange given that at the last count I already have six black dresses.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 6

YAH!! I caught up!

I have got my Christmas tree and decorations down from the attic but they are still skulking in the boxes, maybe tomorrow afternoon, after playing with CSB at the National Concert Band Festival.   I had expected to be working this morning but when I got up and saw that we had a solid, heavy white frost right across the area I decided that I would be better employed on some housework, and getting myself ready for this evening.

This evening I will be playing with the Biggin HIll Concert Band at their Christmas concert, maybe this will start to me help me feel in the "Seasonal Mood", at the very least I am taking advantage of the opportunity to put a little bit of glamour back into my life.   It will of course be a black dress (I'm playing tuba so not too little!) but that doesn't mean I can't still glam up a bit with some glittery accessories.

Advent Calendar 5

As yet I have failed to do any Christmas shopping, get in the Christmas mood, or put up any decorations.

Maybe it's because it's so easy to forget what Christmas is actually all about

But I do try to remember that Christmas is when we celebrate the transcendent being made manifest.   Christ was not born in the "Bleak Mid-Winter", it probably was not a "Silent Night", but it was the moment when God started his rescue plan for man, that's what we celebrate, with Christmas it all starts to get better.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Advent Calendar 4

This weekend I amongst other things I will be going up into the attic and getting down the (fake) Christmas tree and my box of baubles.   I like to have a little bit of decoration around just to make christmas different to the rest of the year, to help me reflect that this is a special time when we celebrate something truly special.   However I also like to keep it simple and limit myself to a singe decorated tree and hopefully some pretty wrapped parcels around it.

To help get me, and I hope all of you into the mood a little more here is a picture from last Christmas.

It makes me reflect that over the past year so much has changed, yet essentially much is also still the same.   This reflection helps me to face the thought of all the changes that will be happening before Christmas 2015.

Advent Calendar 3

A lot of what we have thrust upon us at this time of year is not really abut Christmas at all, it is however seasonal.   We tend to associate Christmas with snow, robins, log fires, and Santa Claus these all have as much to do with Christmas as Chocolate and bunnies have to do with Easter.   But since I am trying to avoid being a total curmudgeon I will include a few seasonal treats in my Advent Calendar.

I will be going swimming again later on Today, but will not be following Frosty's fashion lead