Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Enough!

There are a lot of us around, often we like to hide our weakness, people make jokes about us, we are figures of derision and contempt.   Society is ashamed of us and tells us that we must conform, but we find it so hard.   Now we are in the 21st Century with the wonders of he internet we can get in touch with others like us, know that we are not alone, some like Joey and me even write blogs admitting to our weakness.   Yes I will admit it, I don't like going to the dentist!  

If I have the opportunity I will always put off visits, and try to resist going at all.   Having missed a couple of regular check ups I sort of just fell off the system and hadn't been to the dentist for several years   All was fine until a couple of weeks ago one of my teeth started to get a little loose, it became uncomfortable and even painful last weekend so I had to bow to the inevitable and make the dreaded visit. Yesterday was the earliest appointment I could get, so I duly traipsed into Croydon to reacquaint myself with one of the most understanding and gentle dentists you could hope to find.   As I suspected the tooth had to be removed, and off course it was all a lot less painful than I anticipated, indeed the worst bits were the x-ray, the injection, and paying at the end.

More pain was to follow as there was another extraction on the menu, I met my daughter straight from the dentist to go shoe shopping, it was her birthday the other day and I had agreed to buy her some Ugg Boots, I think these are truly horrible but she loves them, I see all the other gorgeous shoes on display, and think of how many pairs of lovely pumps I could buy for the same price as these ugly things, but I had agreed and had to go through with it.   As I paid I realised that this was actually the most I have ever paid for a single pair of footwear, ever! I normally enjoy shoe shopping, but to buy the most expensive pair yet, and not even like them stretched the enjoyment, I just hope that she continues to enjoy them as long as Spinelli.

Having started the day out with an electrolysis session that was more than enough pain for one day.

Friday, 29 August 2014

A bit of a pain in the ...........

I was not quite truthful in my last post; after writing it I remembered that on Tuesday it rained vigorously all day, and in consequence I did the square root of bugger all very little except sit around listening to the radio or watching TV most of the day.   I did spend quite a lot of time catching up with all the Blogs and online comics I follow and generally wasting time.   At about eight O'clock I realised that I still hadn't even got my shopping so a quick trip down to Tesco's followed, even though I thought I was being reasonably careful, it came as a bit of a shock when I got to the check out and my bill came to over £100. I had only bought three items where the price went into double figures, there were an awful lot of items very few of which were less than £1.   Still I am now stocked up with all the staples and necessary stuff for keeping a household going.

It surprises me how long some things last, and how quickly I get through some others.   I can't remember the last time I bought bleach (I really don't like the stuff) or oven cleaner, but seem to be buying loo rolls and washing up liquid all the time.   Even though I have lived on my own for over a year now and for many years before marriage I still haven't managed to get used to sustained organised housekeeping.

All of this is an aside to the reason for my apparent lethargy, for a while now I have been suffering with a loose tooth, most of the time it has been a little inconvenient, occasionally there has been some discomfort, but over the weekend it developed into full blow toothache, in consequence Sunday night I barely slept at all, Monday was busy with lots of cooking, cleaning and then a dreadful journey home, followed by another uncomfortable night.

Since then I have been living on ibuprofen, but will be at the dentist this afternoon (first available appointment), hopefully having the offending tooth removed.   I haven't been to the dentist for some time so I hope that he doesn't find too much else that will need doing, especially if it is expensive stuff!   I also hope that I will not have much residual pain as I will be meeting a friend this evening.   A friend I have known for many years, he knows about Paula but this will be the first time he will have met her, so I want to present myself well, and not be distracted by pain!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hold On

I feel I really should have posted something more by now, but since getting back from Cardiff on Monday all I have done is work and sleep, i.e. when I got home from work I so so tired I just had something to eat and then more or less went straight to bed.

I wake up this morning feeling inspired and refreshed, but without time to write more tan a couple of paragraphs, strangely (for me anyway) at the moment I am feeling quite settled and content with my gender identity, I don't know whether this is because the train is now on the track; I am too tired to worry about it or that I have simply found myself in a "happy place". I am quite sure that more on this will follow.

Monday, 25 August 2014

just a quickie

So, just got home after a thoroughly butch weekend with Mum and Daughter, the drive home as an absolute bitch, rained nearly all the way and way too much traffic, just kept grinding everything down to a halt.   The M4 is not the best place to spend five or six hours at the best of times but on a rainy bank holiday evening, well lets just say I can think of better things to do,

Still we all had fun over the weekend, it was god to spend time with both my Daughter and my Mother, and have lunch with my Eldest Brother and Sister in Law, for once I didn't have to do all the cooking but it did feel like an awful lot of washing up at times.  Being 93 Mum has never quite accepted innovations like dishwashers and microwaves so everything has to be done the old fashioned way.

Now I am going to settle down with a beer, and omelet, and my recording of Doctor Who

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Things to do

I am in Cardiff at the moment, which for me means a place without internet connection so I have written this weekends posts in advance and scheduled them to be posted while I am away.   I am a little frustrated to be away now as I have so much to be getting on with back in London.   If I had not arranged to be in Cardiff I would be working Saturday and Monday, and playing at the evening service on Sunday.   I also have lots to do at home, the Garden, Kitchen and Bathroom all need my attention quite urgently, but will have to wait until I am back.

I find I have so many conflicting calls on my time that it is quite difficult to know what should come first, but this weekend i is actually quite simple, family comes first, so the chance to spend a whole long weekend with my Daughter and my Mother is one to be grabbed with both hands.   I know there will be times over the weekend when I will be frustrated, short tempered and impatient, but as soon as I get a chance to reflect I know that his will have been the best possible way to spend this weekend.   After all in it mother's 93rd birthday and a couple of days ago it was my Daughter's 17th!    I give thanks for both of them, and pray that I will show that I am glad to be in their company.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Who am I?

The other day I noticed a comment on Stana's Femulate which made an observation about "Gender Blogs", now it is usually the poss on blogs that get me thinking but this comment made me wonder, what is it that makes a "Gender Blog"? and is this one?

It seems that I'm not the only one thinking along these lines at the moment, Cyrsti noted on her Condo that she had made a few "genderless posts" and the wonderful Hanna wondered of she should be writing about more than just clothes and makeup, I enjoy these blogs and would say to them both, don't try to change, just carry on doing what comes naturally.

Certainly it was my gender issues that made me start the blog, it soon became a safe place for me to note my thoughts and feelings, and occasionally get some feedback from people who had walked this path before me.   It was a chance to talk about my outings, discuss my latest clothing purchases and talk about makeup.   But soon the rest of my life leaked in.   I am not just transgender but many other things as well, so I hope that is reflected in my blog, I know the blogs I enjoy reading most are reflect the whole person, not just their gender identity.   Sure it may be their gender identity that started me reading, but it is the quality of the writing, and the variety of the posts that makes me keep reading.

So do I have a gender blog?, or a gardening blog?, or maybe a music blog? or even (dare I even breath the word) a Christian blog? I hope the answer is yes too all of them.

I maybe a Trans Woman, but that's just one simple aspect of who I am, if I have to be defined I think I would rather be defined by my enthusiasms and talents rather than something I just happen to be, so if you must stick a label on me can it say "Tuba player" or "Gardener" or maybe even "Adopted son and high priest of the almighty God".   And finally; now that Gloria has gone, there are no longer any Trannies in this household!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Ouch!

There are many advantages to being self employed, I have written a bit about the down sides recently, the need to do and provide everything, the precariousness of income, the lack of paid holidays etc. so I thought it time to be positive.   Since I am the Boss I can give myself a bit of time off if I want it, like this morning when I go for my electrolysis, if I was employed I would have to fit this in outside working hours and that would be even more complicated.

One of the other major advantages is no HR department.



Time to go and get dressed and prepare myself for pain!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Hope

It was good to get back to work yesterday, to simply do a full day of gardening, working with my friend S we managed to get a lot done, but I still have a lot of catching up to do after losing five full working days while I sorted out vans.   At least I am now once again "On the job"

I have now sold Gloria, sadly for scrap, I wonder if and strongly suspect that her predecessor Gloria Monday is still running, it is strange how Ford managed to take a wonderful, iconic design and simply ruin it.
 
All the earlier Transit platforms were brilliant vans, but also brilliant vehicles, not ground breaking in engineering terms, they just did the job very, very well.   This latest incarnation (the front wheel drive Mk6) is juts not a good vehicle.   The box on the back still works well enough, but the electrics, the seats, the gears, the steering, the locks are all worse than on previous models, how can they do that? Over the last year or so I have heard so many people say "I will never buy another Ford"

We have an expectation that things will always get better, that progress is a one way process and that our lives will always improve.    We now have a generation who are facing up to the reality that economically their lives will be worse than their parents, that's tough! I always expected to be living a comfortable suburban middle class family life, I am having to face up to something different, now that  have accepted myself as a trans woman my expectation s that things will get better, hormones, maybe (not more likely not) surgery allowing me to live more authentically.   We all need to believe that there is something better to look forward to, in the short term a holiday, in the longer term maybe retirement.

That is one of the things that makes Christians content, we know that we have something to look forward to, that whatever befalls us here we are drawing ever closer to God, until eventually we will be living permanently in his presence.  We have hope for the future, our future, it's not hope for an eternal life, we have already started that as soon as we are baptised in the spirit, it's hope in God.   I have taken to wearing a copper ring inscribed with the single word HOPE, I don't know what that meant to the maker, but I know what it means to me.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dannii?

I have been wallowing a lot recently, a combination of self pity, and sheer exhaustion have made it quite difficult for me to get going.   I would wake up feeling lethargic and unmotivated, even though I knew I had to bring in the beans in order to stay afloat.   Often it would be a sheer act of will just to get out of bed.

I am still weary but I know I can now go ahead and book a holiday, I have a new van (all be it that it does need a couple of jobs doing on it) and I have a way of clearing debts in process.   All in all suddenly life seems so much better, I woke up relatively early this morning, looked around me and saw the state of my bedroom, and just felt I couldn't start the day until I had given it a clean.   I have been aware of this for some time, but this morning I felt able and happy to get on and do it.  

I have a busy day ahead as I have a full day's work booked and still have to transfer all my gear from Gloria into the new van.   But at the moment am actually looking forward to getting back to gardening after the last few days enforced break.   Dare I say it I am hoping that I will be able to sustain this renewed enthusiasm for life and that is not just a manic moment!

Gloria Monday
A note on van names; as a general principle I am against giving inanimate objects names, my theory is that as soon as you name something you begin to develop a relationship with that item.   Certainly the cars, vans and instruments that I miss most are the ones that I named, the others have just been tools for doing a job (apart from my trombone which is precious!)

Having said all that I had always old myself that if I ever had a Transit I would call it Gloria, (note my first 2 vans were Dodges and the second 2 were Renaults) just so I could explain with the Latin tag "Sic transit gloria mundi" and so my first and much loved Transit became Gloria Monday, the logic just meant that the second and not nearly so loved became Gloria Tuesday, if I ever buy another Transit she will be Gloria Wednesday, et.c etc.  Of course just out of contrariness I have gone and bought a Mercedes Vito.

Dannii the Vito?

I am not sure whether I will name her or not, and if I do what she will be called, but at the moment I am warming to Dannii.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Blessed

Thank you all for the kind comments and wishes I have had after my last couple of posts.   I feel very blessed at how so many people have rallied round and offered support, either emotional and / or practical.   As many of you will have realised I nt n believe in God, but I do believe he is active in our lives, and answers our prayers, on Friday my prayers tended t take the form of inarticulate groans of despair, but God heard and understood, and sent me help.   I will not go into details but I am now in a position to replace Gloria and get back to work, indeed I should be in a considerably better position than I was at the beginning of last week.   Sometimes I find that I have to go into a place of adversity before I realy understand that I am loved supported and watched over.

So today I will be going out and looking at replacement vans, and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to fit the an out and get back to work.   For those of you are interested in such things, today I will not be pretty, not because I am frightened of any reactions, but for a much more base reason, I suspect that as "Him" I will be in a better position to negotiate and prices if that is possible.

I now I often complain about not having a holiday, but being forced into a position where I can't work is not exactly restful, so now I just want to get back to work, save up so shekels and then book my holiday.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Broke!

I had only just finished my last post when I had a phone call, to tell me what is wrong with my van.   It appears that the diesel pump is not working properly and will need replacing, at around £900 it is simply not worth even thinking about doing this.   So now I am stuck with no money, no van, and therefore no chance of getting any work done.

At the moment I'm not at all sure how I am going to get out of this one, if it was possible I would be very tempted too go out and get a job, but who's going to give a 55 year old who hasn't been in employment for 10 years a job? and what would I do anyway?

Please write your suggestions on the back of £50 notes and send them to me.

Curry Night

It has been a bit of a hectic week already, some good some bad, but to echo one of my earlier posts I'm still standing.   When Gloria broke down on Wednesday I was at my wits end, I just didn't know what to do, there was no plan B.   At that point God took over, and he generally always manages things much better than I do, I am not out of the woods but at least I am back on the right path, and can see the light where the trees thin out into "green pastures".

Last night I had arranged to have dinner with a good friend of mine from Church at our local pub, we try to do this every now and then to have an uninhibited chat and catch up.   When I got out of my afternoon meeting I had a text message from him saying "I look forward to seeing you at 8. Dress as you wish but please leave the tuba at home" Now he is one of the few men at my Church who I have spoken to about being trans, but like the others he had yet to meet Paula.   I took this message as being quite clear that he meant it would be fine for me to come "en femme" and so I had to decide just exactly how I was going to present, what to wear?   Would a dress be too much, would jeans and a tee be too casual, might I just look like an effeminate man?   I didn't want to look like a tart, I wanted to express my femininity, yet I also had to allow for this being a pub, and the added issue was that the weather was a bit iffy and I would have to walk or catch a bus since Gloria is still in dry dock, so no heels!

Last night's outfit
In the end I decided on a nice simple top, skinny jeans and boots, with a denim jacket and black shoulder bag.   I think this was more or less right clearly feminine but not too stand out, and in no way inappropriate for the occasion or the location.   I was glad that I had given the matter a decent amount of thought and come up with something I was happy with as while there I bumped into two other friends!

One is a chap who occasionally plays in the LGSO and so only knows Paula, we haven't seen each other for while so it was nice to have a quick catch up.   Then I bumped into a lady from Church, interestingly I have not said anything to her, but she showed no surprise but embraced me (literally) and said how pleased she was to see me!   There were some other (male) friends from Church there as well, (it was Curry Night) but I really just didn't feel ready to confront them last night without any warning.   Sometimes I wonder if I am fantasising in thinking that people don't know, maybe they are just too polite to say anything.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Shoe Haven

As usual I was woken up by BBC Radio 4's Today program, the editor today obviously has a thing for shoes, as well as a piece about the Northampton shoe museum apparently there was a discussion about flats versus heels.  Much of the conversation about the Shoe Museum featured Dr Naomi Braithwaite, in search of a decent on line photo of her I found a couple of blogs that she has contributed to.   I feature them here for the more academically minded of you, for the rest there are some pictures of shoes!

Project Blog – If the Shoe Fits: Footwear, Identity and Transition brought to you by Sheffield University
and her very own web site here  

A Prayer Answered

My last post may have made me sound a bit "down" well the reason for that is that I was.   I could definitely feel the "Black Dog" at my back, I did eventually manage to stir myself up to get out and do some work, and what happened - the van broke down.   It felt very much like the final straw, I could see no way out, certainly I prayed, but in all honesty I'm not at all sure what outcome I expected.

While trying to come up with some sort of way of dealing with the situation - work waiting to be done, van stuck in Croydon, no recovery membership, no money, and no idea - I phoned one of my business customers t make arrangements for a meeting I attending on their behalf tomorrow.   During the course of the conversation my predicament came up.   Well my customer immediately made arrangements for one of his drivers to come over and tow my van to his depot so that his mechanic could take a look at t for me.   Then later as we were talking he made a suggestion that I think will ease my financial situation as well.

I won't say that this has blown away my depression, neither has it made me the South London Garden Magnate, but it has given me hope, and that is the main thing that we all need.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Sleepless in South Norwood

(Well not actually South Norwood but it sort of fits the joke)

Last night I had a great deal of difficulty sleeping, it's not that I wasn't tired, rather I just had a lot going on in my mind.   Often when this happens I will have a drink, a couple of whiskies can work wonders for sleep, but one of the things that is worrying me is how much I am drinking.   I have at least a couple of drinks practically every day, and have decided that I need to make a conscious effort to cut down, I have started by making myself have one or two alcohol free days each week.   Yesterday was one of those days.

I am also very concerned about money, or rather the lack of it.   Somehow I seem to have gone from just about managing to a total absence of funds.   Most of my income goes straight out the door servicing debt, so as soon as there is an irregular expense my oh so tight budget goes out the window and I am juggling again, this time I don't even seem to have anything left to juggle with.   On the bright side I have been given a remarkable gift, an answer to prayer, I have been given my airfare to Malta!   A wonderful compassionate gift from a strong Christian friend, and indeed an answer to my prayers this reminds me that much of life is good, and that God is active in my life.   I will be booking up soon!

On the other hand it kept crossing my mind how I have been burning bridges recently, have I been doing the right thing starting my transition so publicly.   I worry that sometimes I don't feel like a woman, I just feel like me, the question then is what am I and then I start to go through the whole cycle again.   I feel a bit like Cromwell is asking me "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken", and what if I am?

Another worry very much on mind last night, is that I seem to have done something incredibly stupid, I have lost the key to a customer's garden, and although I am sure they will happily provide another, it means both that I can't get in to do the work required and that I have to admit to stupid!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Kellie update

Since I wrote about her story in the Mirror on Sunday it's only fair that I also link to a follow up story on Kellie Maloney in the Guardian.   The story is in a way a bit of a non story since it is about the support that many in the Boxing World have been expressing.

I just want to say to Kellie, Thank You, I am sure that your honesty, bravery, commitment will help all of us to be more understood and accepted, I have already had a couple of conversations with "civilian" friends who are now just that little bit more aware, and accepting of us.

Monday, 11 August 2014

TransPALS

The other night we had a Trans PALS club night, and I met a couple of the girls I hadn't seen for a while.   It is always good to catch up, I hadn't seen Rebecca for ages, it may even be over a year.   Amongst all sorts of other things we were talking about web sites and this Blog.


So I would just like to draw your attention to the links on the right hand side of the page.  The link used to take you to The Croydon Trans Group, it now takes you to Trans PALS, not a different organisation, but a different name, and a fresh approach.   Running with a much more collegiate approach we plan to be a lot more active, taking part in larger events - like Pride - having some group outings, and tieing with other groups for mutual support and exchange of ideas and information.   The change of name also reflects a geographical reality, although the group started in Croydon and we still have our regular Club Nights in a Croydon Pub, we are not just for people in Croydon, indeed none of the three of us most involved in running the group at the moment live in Croydon.   Having realised that there are not any groups in any of the neighboring Boroughs our new name reflects that we are for all trans people across the whole of South London (not that we will reject anyone from North of the Thames or the surrounding Counties).

It also came up that my friend Rebecca has a web presence, take a look a her site www.rebsweb.co.uk and see what you think.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Good Bye Frank

The big breaking news here in the UK this morning is the transition of Boxing Promoter Frank Maloney, now known as Kelly.   I heard the news on the radio lying in bed this morning and followed up by reading the original piece in the Mirror.  

I am happy to leave it to these articles to give you the news, I was struck by two things, firstly here is a woman who has been occupying what is ostensibly a highly aggressive masculine role in a highly competitive aggressively masculine world, and people say she mus be brave to come out, I think she was brave to survive so long hidden.

The second is the involvement of an organisation called TG Pals, this is a new organisation to me, and I am just a little worried as my group has just undergone a transition of it's own, a new group has emerged out of the old Croydon Trans Group, and is now known as Trans PALS, for Trans People Across London South.   I do hope that the similarity of the two names will not cause any confusion

Anyway, I have updated. my links at the side so take a look at our new (but still evolving) website.

(Also I love Kelly's dress!)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

I know that a few of my posts have been either a bit "down" or "heavy" recently so I thought I would take a leaf out of some of my Facebook friends and find some cheerful things.   I have noticed that quite a few people have got into the challenge of noting three good things that occur each day, for a pre ordained period, I' not going that far, just feeling a little inspired by the song.

1 After three phone calls the GID clinic have finally confirmed that they have received my referral papers (sent by my GP in April)

2 Last night's dinner included the first courgette and new potatoes from my garden


3  I have bought the perfect present for my mother's 93rd in a couple of weeks time.

Friday, 8 August 2014

What is a Feminist?

First of all I would like to thank James for the link to this article in the New Yorker and to Janet for the link to this article in the New Statesman criticizing the first one.   Sometimes I get confused!   For me one of the core questions in all this is what is a feminist?   I have always worked on the theory that a Feminist strives for a world in which everyone is treated with equal respect, has equal opportunities in live and work, and enjoys equal freedom under the law and in society.   If that is the case then I am a feminist, and indeed always have been.   It is only really since I have been physically exploring my femininity that I have become truly aware that although every one in the Country does enjoy equality under the law women are a long way from enjoying equal respect and freedom.

As I go out I am now very much aware that there are places I can go with total security as a man but as a woman I feel vulnerable, pubs, clubs, streets, some only after dark, some at any time.   There are whole areas of London that I feel nervous about going into on my own, whereas as a bloke there is nowhere that I can't go.   Make no mistake it is not yet an equal world.   It has been suggested to me that some people would feel reluctant to give me some of the more physical work I do once I transition, yet I am sure that there is nothing I do as a bloke in the way of work that I could not do equally well as a woman, maybe I would need bigger levers, but that's no problem.

I think most people now do not exercise any conscious sexism, but there can still be a sub-concious sexism, (and indeed racism) in the way we think.   There is still a need for feminism, but does it need to be in opposition to men?   For me men are not the enemy, attitudes are.   If the aim of Feminism is to do away with sexism then surely we should all be feminists and part of the aim is to promote a world where everybody has the social opportunity as well as the legal right to dress and identify how they feel most comfortable.

Or maybe I am confusing Feminism and Liberalism?


Mrs Angry

I am a great fan of BBC Radio Four, and one of my favorite magazine programs is Woman's Hour, for those of you not familiar with the show - shame on you - it is a pretty general magazine, aimed at Women, but not exclusively, yes there is an irregular cookery slot but we are much more likely to ear about politics, sport or the arts.   Today there was a discussion slot between a radical feminist, I think from Australia, and a trans Woman here in the UK, unfortunately since I was driving at the time, I did not fully register the names of the participants.   I was shocked by what I heard, nw I would generally consider myself a feminist, but what I heard was not feminism, but hate for all men, and the constant assertion that if born a man always a men, and therefore a probal rapist!

I normally restrain myself when I get cross with things I hear on the radio, and I also normally restrict my writings to this blog, on this occasion I have made an exception and have written to the program voicing my opinion; this is what I wrote;-

Listening to Woman's Hour today in the car I was shocked by the ill informed hate filled tirade from the "Radical Feminist" taking part in this discussion.   Her apparent hate for anyone who has, or may have once had, a penis sets  all sensible feminists and feminism cause back decades.

I was so impressed that the Trans Woman was able to stay so calm and remain polite in the face of so much insult, miss gendering and miss information while my blood was boiling.   I can't help but think that if this type of hate was directed against any other minority group the speaker would end up in court, however the real worry is that having heard it on the BBC some people may actually believe some of what she said!

I have to say that I was actually reminded of the sort of thing I used to hear my parents generation say when talking about black people, the generation that used hang out the signs saying, "No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs".   I was shocked not only t hear such stuff, but to hear it on the BBC!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

It's a Wonderful Life

There is so much that I enjoy about life, my life that it is just plain silly to get "down".

This week one of the Cannas I bought at last year's Wisley festival has come into to flower, and is every bit as beautiful as I had hoped it would be.   My favorite phlox (Bright eyes) is in full pomp and the Hibiscus is coming into flower.   I have a full diary of work, the sun is out (most of the time) I have good friends, just about everybody I have spoken to about my transition has been very supportive, positive or at the very least indifferent.


So why does a simple lack of money make me so fed up!   I do seriously worry about how much longer I can continue with such a hand to mouth existence, there is a constant balancing act working out which bill to pay when, can I afford to fill the van up with fuel or will I just have to put in a splash until that cheque clears.   I know that there are plenty of people out there in much worse situations, it's just the unrelenting, continuous drag that gets me down.   There is light at the end of the tunnel, but from here the end of the tunnel looks a long way off.

In the mean time I am determined to make the most of what I have and am looking forward to enjoying the Trans PALS club night on Saturday and dinner with my friend next Thursday.



Monday, 4 August 2014

Mirror, Mirror

Now that the initial euphoria of being part of Brighton Pride has subsided a little it is time to start to reflect on the event.   One of the downsides of taking part in the parade is that I didn't get a chance to see the rest of it, so this morning I have wasted spent a lot bit of time looking at video clips on Youtube and doing photo searches on Google.   Although there are of course an awful lot of pictures and quite a few videos I will admit that from the sheer number of cameras I saw I might have expected more.   And one thing that all of the these images share is an almost total lack of any evidence that we were there.

This could easily turn into a fairly standard rant about the T being absent from LGBT, but I wonder if in this case it may slightly be our own fault. Looking at the clips and pictures, those who seem to get the most attention are the most flamboyant, the biggest loudest floats, the walkers with the very big, or very little costumes, rather than those who were walking holding a flag or a placard.   I know on the parade itself we got a very good reception, but that does not seem to have been translated into what is happening subsequently.

I think we need to make more of a splash!   Personally I debated with myself just how flamboyantly I should dress for Saturday, and ended showing a little more leg than I would usually, but nothing that would frighten the horses, I felt that although we wanted to be noticed we wanted to be noticed as women, not as men in drag.   So it was nice to be colour co-ordinated, it was nice to be a bit festive, but we do need to set limits!   However maybe we need to make a bigger splash, whether that  means a bigger vehicle, more noise, more bubbles, or more people I don't know. Certainly I think we need to be more organised, and I know that that is already in hand, personally I'm already looking forward to next year, making a big splash and soaking up all that love.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

And all That

Today I have hit a milestone that any British History Scholar will immediately recognise, today the number of posts on this blog reaches 1066.   But not to dwell on the historical, rather the historic, and today I celebrate an historic celebration.   I know that's all a bit of a mouthful but in my defence I started to write this post a couple of days ago and only got as far as the title and the first sentence.   I like them, and have not had a chance to catch up, I been very, very busy but I have also  passed a couple of mile stones.

Minnie makes another appearance in Brighton
A couple of weeks ago I attended my first Pride event, by going up to town and watching the London Parade go past.   That was something of an eye opener for me, I began to understand the scale of these events and breadth of the diversity that participates, but mostly I got wet.   Yesterday I went a stage or two further, not only did I join in the Pride invasion of Brighton, I walked in the parade!   I also became the "Bubble Queen".   There was a Trans Float organised by by the wonderfull Ed from FTM Brighton there were a few of us flying the Trans Flag, well actually two of us flying the flag four of us blowing bubbles at the crowd and the rest were carrying placards.   I always have a little suspicion that in a lot of LGBT events and organisation the T is forgotten or misunderstood (there's a potential stage name for me Little Miss Understood) so we were there to put the T in LGBT.   We were (nearly) all dressed in purple, and represented the spectrum of Trans Men and Women, Crossdressers and supporters.   I will confess that I was both a little bit apprehensive and hurried so no necessarily in the best frame of mind to be promoting our cause, but after blowing up some balloons as soon as we started the parade, the love, support and enthusiasm of the spectators carried me away on a wave of euphoria.

She walked the whole Parade in these - Respect!
Normanaly I am not the most demonstrative of types, but I found myself giving and receiving hugs and kisses, vodka jellies and smiles; waving at the crowds, and generating lots and lots of bubbles.   Indeed I think the word I heard most as we walked through Brighton was "BUBBLES" everyone loves bubbles, and I do think they helped the love flow.   The second most heard thing was "Look at those shoes" my new friend Swingerella has the most daunting line in footwear (I don't think they came from Saxon).

As well as being a great day out, meeting and making friends, and enjoying a bit of showing off, in some way I feel as this has been something of another Rubicon that I have crossed.   I it is a new level of being Out, and I also feel as though it has pushed me a little further along my path of transition.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Taxing times

For all those of us who are self employed and living in the UK today is one of those horrible days when we have to pay the taxman! once every six months we have to put our hands in our pockets and pay our dues.   Most of our compatriots have to pay tax every month or every week, each time they are paid, but because of our self employed status we only do it twice a year, of course this also means that each time we have to pay six times as much.

Now the well organised business like people put aside the amount they will need to pay each month into a savings account; accrue a little interest and then pay what they have to when they have to.   The rest of us get surprised every time and then find that we have to scrimp and scrape together the pound of flesh we have to pay on time, or be charged interest and a fine.   So I spent too much of the morning trying to get what little money I have in the right place to be able to settle my account.   Of course apart from the loss of productive work time this can also be more than a little stressful, so I did manage to reduce the stress a little by making my visit to the Building Society wearing a nice light blue long cotton dress.   Very cool, very comfortable and in my opinion very stylish.

Friday will be all about work during the day and then out with my daughter in the evening and then on Saturday I will have to make sure I am very girly ready for Brighton Pride on Saturday.   Our float has a purple theme I have a variety of options but at the moment none of them seem to be quite right.   For once this is an event when I don't need to worry about passing, or indeed even blending, and in some ways that makes the choice even more difficult.