Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 29 July 2016

Quote of the Day

Brevity is the soul of lingerie

Dorothy Parker 1891 - 1967
American poet and screenwriter

I decided that I was better off not providing an illustration, especially if it involved me! One issue with lingerie for girls like me is that much of the prettiest, briefest and most sensual lingerie is simply not practical, if only for reasons of support and (ahem) containment.

Maybe this is a sign that I'm growing up.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


So far I managed to forget my jacket, forget my paperwork, forget that I don't like discos, and maybe forget my dignity, a little.   So what was Sunday going to bring?

Opening my case and checking the few clothes I brought (I had packed so many shoes there wasn't a lot of room for clothes) I find not a single pair of trousers, just "party wear" and just a single light weight cotton skirt that I had worn on the Saturday.   I had my black LGSO tee shirt which would have been fine, with a pair of jeans or a denim skirt, if I had managed to pack either.   What I did have were a couple of pairs of shorts, one pair black, one pair white.

Forgotten something? like a skirt maybe?
After consulting my style counsellor I ended up with the black shorts a chiffon top and some stripped tights.   Totally inappropriate for day wear, definitely not suitable for Tescos, but then as Rachel pointed out, we were in Brighton.

Apart from Breakfast our only planed event was a Barbecue at the Marlborough.   When we got there we found there had been a bit of a breakdown on the communications front, and that there was no barbecue, but as we had made a good breakfast we were happy to sit out in the sun and enjoy a few beers.

I love these tights, and I am wearing shorts!
Once again it was nice to meet up with some old friends and share a glass or two with my friends.  With the planed Picnic on the Beach having had to be cancelled over the last couple of years due to rain at some point it was decided that this year it would instead be a Barbecue at the Pub, and that was published on the website. Published but not organised.   It was only later that I discovered that some people actually managed a barbecue on the beach.   That might have been fun, but Brighton Beach in those shoes!

I was so glad that I wasn't the one driving, as the combination of sun and beer had their usual effect.   I was delivered home, tired, but happy. After the inevitable snooze on the sofa, I thought I had better stir myself and get some bread and milk in for the morning, but looking in the mirror I thought better of it, I either had to get changed or wait till the morning, I decided to wait.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


Saturday dawned bright and early, since it didn't have a choice, those of us who did have a choice may not have been quite so bright or quite so early.   Although of course some were earlier than others.   After an excellent breakfast courtesy of the Travel Lodge buffet we made our way over to the park to set up the TransPALS stall before getting back to the Marlborough for the start of the March.

Before setting off we were reminded by the wonderful Sarah Savage that this was a Protest March, not a Parade.   I think I may have already made my feelings on this clear, but it does need to be said we still have things to protest about ~ and there were plenty of us there to do it. Despite reports saying that hundreds turned up estimates show that between 1,500 and 2,000 were on the march and that there were over 4,000 distinct visitors to the event in Brunswick Gardens.

There are some things I'm still undecided about though, like, do we really want to be associated with any and every group who feels oppressed? should Stonewall be the prime mover and spokes people for us when until recently they refused to include us?

With my new friend
Still I had a lot of good, interesting conversations with loads of people who came to our stall to chat with the "Booth Babes" it was good to meet friends, old and new, and to promote our organisation. We quickly came up with the description of "Mutual Social Self Support" which I think is the best way I have yet found of justifying meeting friends in a pub and drinking wine.

After the main event, a few of us went for a very pleasant dinner together at the Cafe Rouge before going to the party at Envy.   I quickly realised that this party was just too loud for me so along with my roomy made a strategic withdrawal.   We arrived back at our Hotel at the same time as one of the many hen parties staying there.   The Bride decided that I was a candidate for joining her party....................

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


The outfit I ended up with
I ended up being in quite a rush on Friday, as on Thursday evening I had to prepare my van for it's MOT and then get along to a local Pub to meet my wife and hear my daughter at an Open Mic. My daughter sang three numbers, two of her own and one of Amy Winehouse's.   It was a very pleasant evening, enjoying some good music and each other's company.   So come Friday morning I was a lot less prepared for my weekend away than I had hoped, so after washing up and sorting out my laundry I threw a few things into a case and got myself ready.

I had more or less decided that it was time I grew up a bit and wore something sensible, I have a black red and light tan maxi dress which is nice and light weight, soft and floaty.   I have been waiting for an opportunity to wear it and thought that this was it.   I assembled all my bits and pieces, put on my shoes put on the dress and did my make-up, it was only after I had put on the make-up that I checked myself in the mirror and realised that the dress had a split all up the front.   I bought the dress from Avon last year and this was only the second time I had even put it on.   I suspect that the problem is not the stitching but that the turn over is simply inadequate.

Dinner, there was food as well!
My good friend and room mate for the weekend turned up at just about that moment, so I quickly popped on the only other dress I have that would go easily with my make-up and everything else I was wearing, maybe it is a little less modest, but hey! we were going to Brighton!

The journey was pretty uneventful, just the way I like them, and we arrived in time to relax a little a settle into our room before our other friends turned up and we could sort out what we were doing for dinner, before meeting more friends at a local hostelry.

This was the start of a theme for the weekend, realising the things I had forgotten to pack, it was only as we were going out for the evening that I realised I had totally forgotten any type of jacket, cardigan, or umbrella, fortunately the weather stayed warm and dry, so I managed to avoid frostbite!

Monday, 25 July 2016


Over the weekend I attended Trans Pride in Brighton.   This is not one of those massive festivals like Pride London, Brighton where every body seems to join in the fun and celebrations, where the whole thing takes on the feeling of a festival, losing the campaigning, political centre that originally drove Pride.   Trans Pride is much smaller, around 1,500 on the march this year, without the corporate presence and noise, but retaining the campaigning and protest, and until Trans people have true equality then I expect it will continue to.

I'm under one of those flags somewhere, photo credit to me wife!
Of course we also had a great deal of fun, I stayed in Brighton for the whole weekend as I was staffing the TransPALS stall at the main event in the park.   This gave me the chance to go out and meet up with some old friends on the Friday evening, and the Sunday lunch time as well as a bit of a party on Saturday night.

Booth Babes at Brighton
I'm afraid that I am simply too old for the Saturday night disco these days, too loud, too expensive, too late.   There were quite a few events that we managed to miss, next year I hope to be part of some of them, yes I'm already planing next year's presence.   After all until we have equal access to all health care, practical equality in the workplace, the right to self assert our gender and are treated with equality by Police and other in positions of authority we need to protest.   After all as I said at the beginning this is still a political event, it is a march not a parade.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

It's all a matter of Choice

I know I've not been around here much recently, not much I can plead except the usual busy, busy busy.   This is a bit of a shame as there has been a lot going on and I am sure that you would have all enjoyed my insights on personal, local, national and international events. I am sorry that I have deprived you by my absence, that has not been by choice.

However here in the UK we have been exercising choice, and have made quite a momentous one. This is the first time we have had a referendum and not voted for the Status Quo, we await developments, but the one thing we know for certain is that we face a minimum of three or four years of uncertainty, and of course the one thing guaranteed to upset any economy is uncertainty.

The situation with my Mother is another where there is a lot of uncertainty, it now seems pretty certain that my brothers and I have to face up to making a decision that will change my Mother's life, as well as our own.   All around me the there is change, my own, my Family, my Country, My Continent. So much change, so much uncertainty and now so much hurt.

With attacks around the World there are so many death, whether it is in France, Turkey, the USA, Iraq or Syria at amounts to lives snatched away, families broken.

I coudl choose to be depressed, worried and pessamistic.

However I choose to focus on the good, the opportunities, the chance for reconciliation, and personally the most important of all my Family.    I heard this morning of a friend of a friend who came out as gay yesterday to his family, they have totally rejected him, this is so painful, that these attitudes persist in the UK to this day is a concern, almost as much as the personal hurt that has been inflicted.   So I choose to focus on the acceptance and love shown to me by my family, my Brothers have been fantastic, as has my Sister-in-Law. My Cousins are fine, and my Daughter is fantastic. Even my Mother-in-Law and the person who has the most right to reject me (my wife) have been fantastic!

It was so good to share a trip to Hampton Court Flower show with my wife last week, it may well be the highlight of my year so far.