Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 30 May 2015

A New Fan

Yesterday it rained, no big deal that, after all I do live in England and along with decent beer, cricket and good taste we are known for rain.   Unfortunately I am dependant on the weather for my work and so I could not get on with any of the work I had hoped to get done yesterday; however I could get in the supplies I needed to put together some planters I have been working on.

This meant a trip to the Garden Center to get hold of some fresh pots (plastic pots inside wooden planter in the hope of delaying any rot) and compost, and then the nursery for some more bedding plants.   All this was done on my way home from the beautician following my weekly electrolysis appointment.   Anticipating the rain I wore a button up black linen  A Line skirt sheer black tights black pumps, a mauve tee shirt top and denim jacket ~ I had some work clothes with me in case the forecast was wrong, but after a tough week of drudgery I felt in need of a little (even a very little) glamour.

On the way back I realised I also needed some fresh gravel to dress the top of the pots so popped into the builders merchant.   This is a builders merchant I have been using for years, I am a great believer in supporting small independent local businesses, after all I am a small independent local business.  It was only on arrival that I realised, a/ that it was all rather muddy and b/ that this was the first time I had been there dressed in anything other than work clothes. I was interested to see what if any reaction I got.

The guys in the office either barely noticed or just didn't react, I was still called "mate" (a none gender specific general term of greeting "all right mate") and my money was taken in the normal way.   It was the guys in the yard who are there to help load that reacted, one in particular couldn't do enough to help made a point of telling me how nice he thought I looked ~ in fact I think I may have made a new fan.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Review time ~ Carmen!


Last night's Carmen at the London Colosseum was a wonderful, exciting experience.  I have seen Carmen before and thought I knew what to expect but this production really made me re-assess the whole work.   As one expects from English National Opera the performances were top notch, the Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists all being fine musicians well polished and technically accomplished; still it was the action on the stage that made the biggest impact.

Out went the gaudy 19th Century uniforms, colourful flamenco dresses and tavern scenes, in came brutality, sex, and raw physicality.


Reviews have been varied The Standard finding it raw and effective while back in 2012 when the production was new The Telegraph felt it missed the mark. It may well be that the intervening years have allowed the ENO to hone the production, I certainly found that Justina Gringyte captured the sexual allure, struggle for freedom and ultimate hopelessness of Carmen.   As Don Jose Eric Cutler was incendiary and tender, displaying the madness of passion.

I felt no lack of a Tavern Scene and rather enjoyed the channeling of Frank Sinatra by Leigh Melrose as Escamillo.

Indeed for me the only weak point was the portrayal of Micaela as a bit of a "chav" I felt that by making her a little predatory and scheming we lost some of the character contrast (and therefore the alternative choices faced by Don Jose) between her and Carmen.   I just felt that this one piece of the production didn't quite match with the score.

It has to be said that it was not only some of the girls providing a bit of "eye candy" there were some thoroughly ripped male torsos on display (sorry but I couldn't help noticing).   I felt that none of the little displays (even the odd bit of nakedness) around the main story line were gratuitous but all added to the overall direction of  production, but I did feel the lack of some of the cut dialogue.

One final observation, a good portion of the soldiers were played by young fit strong guys who performed some quite physical stuff, acrobatics, fights, physical jerks, scene shifting and pushing cars around (it all makes sense when you see it) it was only right at the end as curtain calls were being taken that I noticed one of the soldiers did in fact appear to be played by a girl.

Photos from the ENO web site www.eno.org

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Carmen

I'm feeling very excited, I have just heard from a good friend that we have scored tickets for Carmen this evening at the ENO. It is going to be a girls night out at a great venue, watching a great Opera performed by a great Company

It's even ne of my favorite cars


I have heard mixed reviews of this production, ut since it is the ENO I know that the singing and the Orchestra will be top rate and since it must be over 20 years since I last went to the Opera I am, as I said very excited!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Times They are a Changing

This was shared on the blog of a friend of mine, she was struc by how it is a reflection of changing times, so am I








Monday, 25 May 2015

No fun with the new toy

I mentioned yesterday that I have bought a new car.   The term "new" may be a bit inaccurate perhaps "different" would have been better a better term.   What I have bought is an old banger that I hope to use to build up my no claims bonus again, it is a 13 year old Rover 25, as I observed to a friend yesterday it is a bit of an old ladies car, I was a little worried how readily she agreed!

I bought the car on E-Bay sight unseen so when I picked it up on Thursday I was a bit worried about what state it would actually be in.   At that point I was reasonably pleased, almost everything seems to work and most of the panels are more or less that right shape, but I am going to struggle to like this car.   It handles OK has reasonable performance, and is fairly comfortable but somehow it is just bland and boring.

Yesterday I took it on  a bit of a run and noticed a couple of little problems, at one point the ignition light came on, at another the radio would momentarily switch off when the headlights were switched on, but it seemed to recover and got me home without any real drama, I made a mental note to check the fuse boxes and wiring as much as I can when I have a chance.   Then using the car this morning it cut and refused to start again showing all the symptoms of a flat battery.   Eventually I managed to bump start the #@$%ing thing and got it home.

There are no obvious faults with loose wires or drive belts so I am now charging up the battery and will have to investigate further before taking her to Cardiff next month ~ I don't want to be stuck on the hard shoulder of the M4 at 6 O'Clock in the morning.

So much for making life easier!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sabbath

Sometimes I wonder what normal people's lives are like ~ you know people who stop work at 5:30 and have Saturdays and Bank Holidays off.

This last few weeks I have been burning the candle at both ends, as well as loads of work (I'm not complaining, after all it's better than not enough) I have been trying to keep my van running, attending loads of rehearsals, the odd performance, a trip to Cardiff and just to add a little complication to my life I have bought a car.

This is Bank Holiday weekend, but since I am not a bank I worked yesterday and will be working again tomorrow, I even have a rehearsal tomorrow evening.   I am so glad that my orchestra have decided that since this is a holiday weekend we will not be rehearsing today, so today I am having a Sabbath!

As a Christian I should understand that we need to take a day off every week.   After all the Bible tells us that often enough, indeed I think I may well have taught on the subject as well, but there can be a gulf between understanding and doing.   So today I am doing no work.   I am going to relax, enjoy the day, have a decent meal and not worry about the tax forms I need to fill in, the waste I need to dispose of, the car than needs cleaning and the house that needs tidying up.   I can worry about all of that tomorrow.   Today I need to rest!

"So on the seventh day he rested" Gen. 2:2

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Mat 6:27

Monday, 18 May 2015

Death of Linda

This was sent to me by a good friend who has lost her loved parent over the last year, I have been very privileged to have her as long term friend, over the years knowing her has helped to make me a better person, which ever one it was I was trying to be at the time.

She was a friend long before I came out as being trans and certainly before I was aware that her parent was, we can never be too sure how many lives we touch, how many of us there are out there, and how much our behaviour can affect others.

My friend Linda, who is biologically my Dad sadly passed away at the end of last month.

She had spent the last month in hospital where, to their credit, none of the professionals were at all phased about her transcendences, and she was, without question on a female ward.  They generally shrugged their shoulders at me when I mentioned it.

What I did notice though is that, like it or not, men and women do think and behave differently, and in this case, although undoubtedly female in most respects the typically male head in the sand about illness was very much present.    We had a few difficulties in getting the hospital to respond appropriately to someone who was just a month from death, including at one point, being sent home without any care support which was so clearly needed.  

Was this because stereotypically a male and female with behave differently and conversations with a female and male patient often end in different results, simply because of the unspoken ‘understanding’ of genetic behaviour?  We shall never know.   Anyway, thankfully, the suffering was short lived and I moved onto the next stage - registering the death.  Someone should do a PhD on it.


Death Registration

In order to register a death you are supposed to provide a copy of a birth certificate and any certificates which have effected a name change at any time.  For women that'll usually be a marriage certificate, in this case it was the legal name change document.   The Registrar seemed pretty un-phased by the whole thing but one interesting aspect turned up.     The database, initially couldn't cope with registering a female death relating to a male birth and the system advised him to ring for help!   The result was quite surprising - I was allowed to choose what sex to register the death in!  Really? ….  Really? …..I could have chosen to register Linda as male despite legal name change documents and a total medical gender reassignment having taken place?  Apparently so.      You may wish to note this in your will, or at least have the discussion with the person who is likely to register you.    I did, of course, do the right thing and choose female!

Funeral

Before I had registered the death I'd made a start with organising a funeral.  I told the priest about the situation and decided that, for the sake of those who knew Linda as a male and for historical accuracy (I'm a bit of a sucker for getting it right) the service should refer to Linda formerly Len.  I then spoke to the funeral director about the name plate on the coffin and had thought that I would like both names.  After all, I’m not just burying a dear friend but also my Dad.  The news was not good.   You can only have on the coffin plate the name registered at the death.   So, Linda it is then.

Having then obtained the death certificate and seen that it states ‘name’ and ‘formerly known as‘,  it turns out  you can have that on the coffin so long as it’s stated on the death certificate.  By that point, I had to ask myself, why, actually did I want to put both names on?

All the reasons were to do with other people not the deceased themselves,  so I got over myself and stuck with Linda.  To be honest, I think it was a very courageous move to go through the process and if other people have a problem with that - that’s their problem.  This has always been my attitude but despite that, everyone has a right to bury their Dad right?

As it turns out, the one family member I was trying to be sensitive for has decided not to attend!  I’m still in a bit of an odd situation regarding my Dad but to be honest, I really feel I lost him at the moment of reassignment, so we will bury Linda with a  nod to Len for historical accuracy.

Letting the Cat out of the Bag

One more decision to make was what to tell my 9 year old daughter about ‘Nanny’  especially since I'd decided the funeral would mention Len and there could be people there who would talk about ‘him’.   I've never had a problem with her knowing one day.  I just wanted to wait until she was old enough to have some sensible understanding and at a point she wouldn't tell everyone at school and that I could explain that this wasn't because there is anything to be ashamed of but because the world is full of people who tend to get aggressive when they come across things they don't understand.


I was determined to tell her before the funeral but picking the moment wasn't so easy.  The day I’d decided to address it when I had time to spend as much time as was needed she was sent home from school sick!   However, with a  firm will and a little patience these things tend to find their moment and in sitting at home with a pile of admin in front of me she asked to see the Death Certificate.   Perfect moment!  It seems to have gone well.  Her first thought was why hadn't I told her sooner.  She was then delighted that she did have a grandparent on my side of the family and then we had all the practical questions which I answered honestly.   Fortunately, your very own Paula has helped pave the way to some extent although she probably now knows more about her that she might have otherwise!   Her conclusion seems to be that it’s a bit weird but there’s no real harm in it - more progressive than much of the world today me thinks.  I’ll settle for that for now.

Serious stuff

I have written a bit about how our decisions affect others. Our relationships with Parents and Children, others much better placed than me have written a lot about how transition can affect our relationship with partners.

Recently a few of my friends have lost parents, this is always a traumatic and difficult time.   Even when the death is expected it is still hard to accept that the loved, trusted strength of our parent is no longer there.   It is now nearly twenty five years since I lost my Father, yet I still think of him.   I will see something and think I must tell Dad, or think Dad would like that.   We were not particularly close, as a family we were not good at close at all, yet he was my pattern of a man, his combination of strength and gentleness, his ability to be tender in no way undermining his masculinity.   All the time I was trying to be a man he was my role model.

The thing that has struck me with my friends is the contrast in how complex sorting out "arrangements" has been for them, and so much of that comes from the amount of pre-preparation that the parent has done.   There is so much that we can do in advance to make it easier for our children to sort things out when we are no longer there.  

Tomorrow I will be publishing another guest post, this time from of these friends of mine who lost a parent over the last year, in her case that parent was trans and even in death that added a few complications.

Even though I expect to be around for a very long time yet, I know I will be making as many arrangements in advance as I can, so that my daughter has less to deal with.

Friday, 15 May 2015

What's in a Name

I gather that Americans have recently celebrated Mother's Day, here in the UK and Ireland we have Mothering Sunday way back in March (the 15th this year), but this did prompt some thoughts, consideration and discussion about how to relate to and what to call close relations who transition.

As a parent I have thought a lot about this, but for one reason or another have been unable to discuss it with my daughter.   Somehow I want to be able to assure her that come what may I will always be her Father, and if she wants to call me Dad then that's OK I can never pretend to be or indeed want to be her Mother, she already has one, and a very good one as well, and I would never want to damage or supplant that relationship.  Being a mother is not simply the female version of being a father (or of course vice versa) neither is it simply about giving birth, being a mother is about the intimate, nurturing, mothering role, the relationship.  Even though we did try to share out tasks we could not share out roles, when I read to my daughter at bedtime I was doing it as her father, not as a parent who happened (at the time) to be male.   I don't know how I am going to manage this but I always want to be available to her, as her father, to be able to fulfill that role however incongruous that may appear.   One day I hope to find out what sort of grandparent title I'm going to get ~ but not for a few years yet I hope!

In my own situation I know that because of her Alzheimer's my Mother will never be in a position to understand what I a doing, both my brothers both call me Paula, yet I don't know whether they now think of me as a sister, or a brother who is transitioning.

It seems to me that my friends have more trouble with pronouns than with my name change, indeed to be fair to them sometimes I do as well.

I have to remind myself that what I am doing here is rather selfish, in that it is all about me, how I relate to myself and the world, and that even if it seems tough at times it is also very difficult for other people, and the closer they are, the longer they have known me, and the more intimate we have been the more difficult it is.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Alana's first concert

Today we have something rather special.   When I heard that my friend from "across the pond" was about to play her first authentic concert I asked her to do a write up for Paula's Place.   I have never met Alana but so much of our lives seem to overlap that I do consider her a friend.

Thanks Paula, for allowing me to share my experience with my first performance as my true gender.  A little about me.  I play the Horn (in the U.S. it’s commonly called a French Horn) in my local community orchestra.  I’m really fortunate: as the chances to perform in the U.S. are often rare and I have a spot as the third horn.  While I realized that I was transgender about 20 years ago, I repressed it and even denied the lady I really am.  Only in the past couple of years have I embraced that I am female.  I found Paula’s Place while I was trying to justify my faith in Jesus Christ with my transgender nature, it just so happened Paula and I are both musicians as well. 

So, over the past few months I've been seeing a therapist to begin my transition, as well as slowly been adjusting my wardrobe, in both my private and work environment.  Our little town is so small and isolated, news of me transitioning outside of work, will quickly spread to my work as well.  My initial plan was to keep the male performance in place until this season was over, even though I was showing up to our rehearsals in lady jeans, t-shirt, and with a bra and small pads.  Traditionally our final concert of each season is themed around a teenaged solo performer or two, who perform a concerto or opera aria.  The orchestra then adds a couple pieces to round out the evening.  This concert started with Verdi’s overture to Nabucodonosor, a lovely Italian opera based around Nebuchadnezzar and the Jewish exile, the first two movements of Lalo’s Symphonie Espangnole in D-minor, and finishing up with Respighi’s Fountains of Rome.  Our soloist was Claire Hatter, a violin virtuoso and high school senior, who performed the solo violin part in the Lalo piece. 

The day of our final dress rehearsal, I'm in my jeans, flats, and salmon t-shirt.  Several musicians were missing, including both principal horn players (one had to work and the second had exams).  We nailed down the final details and got our last few clams out of the way and went our separate ways until the performance.  As I was considering getting ready, and thinking about under-dressing in the male required tuxedo, I really started considering just being authentic and showing up in my long formal dress.  I began to wonder if my discomfort with my gender presentation wasn’t affecting my psyche to the point I was having performance anxiety.  While I considered this, I considered that as a performer I was supposed to blend in, and this being my first performance in a dress, might make me stand out.  But as a Horn performer, we’re in the back and I could just stay there and not get, just sort of hang in the back.  I decided that my comfort with my gender was important enough that I would present myself authentically. 

The concert was fantastic, no one made any rude comments, and I really felt the burden of presenting male had been holding me back.  It’s like not being authentic had been affecting my performance, even while I was trying to repress who I am.  My comfort allowed me to perform at my best.  I have yet to see if anyone really will be disapproving.  But at this point I know that our concert master has pledged her support, as well as our conductor, and our local wind band leader, and many of my fellow musicians have also expressed support.  I am a luck lady to have them. 

Finally please consider visiting and liking our Facebook page: 

-Alana

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Boobage

In my last post I made a passing comment about wanting to put on a bra.   A couple of my female friends have challenged me on this, as so often by the end of the day they are quite eager to take theirs off.   I can understand this, they are not always the most comfortable of garments, although I do suspect that the better the quality and the better the fit the easier they are to wear.    However my comment had nothing to do with all this.



What I was trying to suggest, in a lighthearted sort of way, was that having had to dress as a man for a while I just wanted to get back to what is my new normal.   Many of my workaday clothes I am wearing at the moment are either he self same ones I was wearing last year, or pretty similar.  Jeans, tee shirt or singlet with a work shirt over the top.   On my feet extremely unsexy and essentially unisex steel te capped work boots.   The difference is the bra.   My boobage (is that word? if not it is now!) is the source of much of my physical expression of my femininity, and by the very nature of how I achieve that little trick I need a bra.


I have heard it said that woman can feel their whole femininity challenged after undergoing mastectomy, this is one of the reasons that reconstructive surgery is offered on the NHS, I suspect that all trans women can relate to this.   It is not our clothes that make us women, it is how we feel inside, but the clothes and our whole external presentation is a large part of how we express it.

On a different note (probably an F) I have a real treat in store for you all tomorrow. A first for Paula's Place, and one I am quite excited about.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Now it's Here, Now it's Gone

Yesterday it felt as though Summer had arrived.   I left Cardiff early in the day and by the time got to the Severn Bridge it was already getting warm, arriving back in London it would have been nice to put on a pair of shorts and go out into the garden, instead I had to do something quite different.

Summer ready nails,
with washing drying in the background
I had an afternoon meeting that required one of my increasingly rare incidents of cross dressing.   This is the single area of my life where I still have to be "Him" for a bit longer so it was on with shirt, tie, suit and heavy shoes.   Initially it all felt very strange and slightly unpleasant, but after a while I got into my role, relaxed and played the part rather well, indeed I was almost comfortable.   However four hours later after the job was done and I got home, the first thing I wanted to do was get changed and put on a bra!

As it was still sunny I also put on some shorts and got out into the garden ~ I didn't manage much but I have started to clear my veg beds so I can at least start to grow some produce this year.   It felt so summery that when I cleaned up and got changed for my evening's rehearsal I went for a summer colour on my nails.   This morning I got up and fund that it is a bit grey and a lot cooler, and my nails now look a bit bright!   But it won't be long till we can show off our legs paint our nails pink and revel in all the joys of summer.

Monday, 11 May 2015

It's not unusual ~ oh actually yes it is

It's not unusual for me to be busy, and this year it is looking dangerously as though I may have bitten off a little bit more than I can chew work wise, I seem to have committed myself to slightly more work than I can actually manage.   Add to that my active music life, selling the house and all the extra stress and occupation of transition, and it's not unusual to find me stressed out, flaked out, and sometimes even passed out!

I thought I was more or less copping, but on Friday evening I found myself playing at a May Masked Ball, this should be a fun filled, fabulous event, one where I can be as flamboyant as I like, and still not be the weird one.   Yet I found myself rather going through the motions, I was not a lot of fun and even playing music felt a bit of an effort.   Then on Saturday I was gardening and that just felt like work ~ I think I need a holiday, I just can't see when I am going to find the time, never mind the money.

All this (and one or two other things that have happened) put me in mind of how our ordinary is other peoples weird.   I used to drive what I still think of as my car  a 1966 Singer Vogue Estate, at the time I bought it is was the only one on the road (in a Clarkson voice) in the world.   This was my day to day car and most of the time it was not a show car but simply our family car, so sometimes I would find myself driving down the road and becoming aware of people looking, often my first thought was "what are you looking at" and then I would realise!

Being trans can be a bit like that, when I first started going out I felt as though everybody was staring at me, if I heard any laughter I assumed that I was the object of amusement.   Now that this is my new normal I am used to presented as the woman I am it is just me going about my everyday life.   So when somebody reacts to me as anything other than just another woman, I need to remind myself that my normal is not necessarily theirs.

Those of us who do not conform to society's expectations need acceptance and understanding, but we also need to exercise that self same acceptance and understanding.   I am not suggesting that we put up with transphobia, verbal, or physical abuse, simply that we are going to surprise a few people, and we need to give them time and space to understand.

Friday, 8 May 2015

This Morning

I wake up this morning in a Country that has fundamentally changed.   It's not just that we have another Tory Government, we have had those before.   I haven't liked them and I won't like this, their priorities are not mine, their attitudes are not mine, and certainly their ethics are not mine.   I am disappointed but that is not my point.

My first impression is that we are becoming a fractured Country, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all wanting different things and possibly wanting to separate.   I don't see the failure of Labour as an abandonment of left of center politics, I see it as a rise in Nationalism.   The Irish Parties are certainly Irish, with Plaid Cymru and the SNP the clue is in the name.   I suspect that much of the vote for the Tories and UKIP are as much about leaving the EU and English nationalism as they are about economics.

I worry about all this, I worry about how it will effect me, I worry about how it will affect my Family and I worry about how it will affect the poor, the disadvantaged, people with disabilities, people who are in need, and people who are different.

I hope I am wrong, but harking back to my last post, I am so often surprised by how stupid intelligent people can be, that I forget how stupid, stupid people can be.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

It's Today

Tomorrow is the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, the day when we celebrate Victory in Europe in the Second World War.   The day we celebrate the victory of democracy over dictatorship in Europe, (even though we still had dictatorships in both Greece and Spain) the day we celebrate our freedom!   It seems fitting then that today here in the UK we go to the polls to elect a new Parliament.

Well let's be precise we elect one house of Parliament the House of Commons, the other, the House of Lords, is still an unelected House run of Privilege and Patronage.   We do not elect a Government we elect M.P.s and the party with the most M.P.s will then try to form a Government that has the "Confidence" of the House of Commons.   Each constituency elects one M.P. on the simple basis of who ever gets the most votes in that constituency wins.   Of course this leads to all sorts of anomalies.   While living in the same house I have now been in two different constituencies, while in one we would always have a Tory, in the new one we will always have a Labour M.P.   So when I cast my vote today for my Green Party Candidate my vote does not count, or influence who makes up our Government.

It is a flawed system but at least it is a system, and I have always urged everyone I know to use it. Use your Vote make your voice heard, don't vote no right to complain, I'm sure you are all familiar with the arguments, however; ~ I had occasion to be on a bus during the day yesterday and I over heard a couple of conversation about this election, and was stunned by the lack of understanding or thought that was behind some peoples decisions. I suppose that it is obvious that some of the electorate are stupid, otherwise we would not have UKIP, but I am stunned that people seem to believe what is said in their "newspaper" of choice, there may now be some people I would encourage not to vote!
  • The Parties are not all the same.
  • Governments do change the way we live.
  • Giving the other Guys a chance is not a good way of governing a country.
  • AND.... Nigel Farage is a posh git who was a bully at his Public School has never done days real work in his life. Just because he likes beer does not make him a working man who understands what it is like to have to decide whether to pay the gas bill or council tax.
It is a flawed system and some of the people who get to take part may not deserve it, but it is a system and we should make use of it.   If you live in the UK and you haven't voted yet, please do, otherwise whoever wins, we all lose.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Sleepy

When I get down I get tired, maybe it's just me, maybe it affects others the same way, the other day I wrote about laying in bed trying to work up the enthusiasm to get up, then Sunday morning I saw these two cartoons and saw a bit of myself in them.





 
And this one because when I saw it I thought "I've got that dress!"


But it looks better on Edda

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Swimming Uphill

I have been having a bit of a tough time recently, I know that a lot of this is about dealing with the consequences of earlier bad decisions, but that makes it no easier at the time.   Most of the issues center around money, or time, and more money would allow me to work less which would mean more time.   It does feel as though every time I get a little bit forward something comes along and knocks me back again.   I have spent a little bit of time servicing lawn mowers and my whole fleet is now working at optimum performance.   So of course that means the van starts to play up , it will only start if primed with "Easystart" so I am tring to use it s little as possible untill I can get it professionally looked at.


With my friend Patricia at TAGS
a couple of months ago

I love swimming, I don't get to go very often and I'm not very good at it, however none of that stops my enjoyment, I am happy just slowly swimming lengths, changing my stroke (if that's not too grand a word for what I do) every now and then from my old lady breast stroke to a bit of very splashy back stroke.   I am no good at crawling (maybe that's one of the reasons I'm self employed)   A few times recently I have tried to get along to TAGS on a Friday evening, but whenever I do something seems to come up to stop me.

Maybe it is just the nature of being both a gardener and a musician.

However I am committed to going swimming, it is the only aerobic exercise I get, and I may even try going to my local pool.   I need to start going more often, if only because I have now just ordered a second bathing costume!

Don't worry I will not be abandoning an appropriately matronly style, but am moving away from inconspicuous black to a much bolder Gold.   I have just ordered this as a treat for myself on my Avon account.   I have now been an "Avon Lady" for six months and have found that I am having to exercise some self restraint buying cosmetics; but I do need another swim suit, and a bit of a treat to cheer myself up.

Somehow I doubt if I will look this good it though!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The end of the Tunnel

Sometimes I find it hard to keep going, I just want to stay in bed until it's all over.   Usually I realise that this is not an option and do get up, or sometimes I get up just because I'm hungry.   I don't handle stress well, neither do I handle rejection well which makes it rather ironic that I find myself in such a stressful situation dealing with rejection.

By now I had hoped that I would be out of one of my tunnels, a lump sum I should have received a couple of weeks ago would have allowed me to resolve a lot of financial issues, and primed the pump to develop my business to the next level.  Instead the Abbey Life have created such a bureaucratic nightmare that what they originally promised in 10 day they are now suggesting will take 28, this would not have been a problem if I hadn't promised to pay other people within 15!

Add to that my chainsaw playing up, problems with the van starting (which I can't afford to get fixed), and having to work over the weekend and all in all I'm feeling rather as though the end of the tunnel has been moved further away again.

Maybe that's the nature of the whole light at the end of the tunnel metaphor, you can see the light but can't tell how far away it is, there is hope, but it is not yet fulfilled.   I could get all theological here but for once will resist the temptation, instead I will mention a little glee I experienced earlier the week.

The highlight of me week is always the time I spend with my daughter, she is beautiful, talented, compassionate and good company,   We also share a lot of interests, including music, food and films, this week we watched "Avengers, Age of Ultron" a thoroughly enjoyable bit of hokam with actors who are very easy on the eye, incredible special effects and a very impressive score.   My daughter insisted that we stay till the end of the credits in case there was any little extra at the end, I'm glad we did stay since that meant that I saw a friend f mine got his credit for conducting the orchestra.

All too often you will find that even though the sandwich makers, bean counters and taxi drivers get a credit the only people who get a credit for the music are the orchestra and the composer, with all the copyists, engineers, coordinators and indeed all too often even the conductor left out.   If you are in any doubt as to just how important the music is to a modern film, try watching an action/adventure film without the music!