Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Life goes on

For a while now I have been feeling rather run down, certainly my get up and go has got up and gone, I find it rather hard to get started in the morning, but once I do get started I'm fine ~ I suspect it may have been something to do with my medication.   My car does not have that excuse!   For a while now it has been playing up a bit mostly the electrics, it now seems that I need a new alternator, it will cost me quite a bit of money, but should solve the problem ~ if only my could be solved as easily.

Yesterday I had my second rehearsal with the Croydon Brass Band since getting back from holiday, the first, last Monday was the best we've had since I took over a couple of months ago.   We had a good turn out and managed to get some real, useful work done on the music.   This week we had a lot less people, and no cornets so the rehearsal was not nearly as productive we have a performance on Sunday as long as everybody turns up it should be good. We're only playing for half an hour but we will be playing some music specially arranged for the band as well as some old favorites ~ It should be fun.

Before that I will be playing at our local hospice with my Jazz band, I haven't even got the bass out of it's case for about four weeks, so I hope I'm up to it.

Like I said yesterday I don't so Halloween, but I do do fireworks so on Saturday I will be joining an old friend for some bangs and sparkles ~ and maybe the odd glass of wine as well.

For some strange reason there is a certain, rather large, section of the media that has declared open season on trans people.   This does not give me undue concern for my own safety since most of the people I come into contact with are rational, yet it does concern me that there are still a lot of people who believe what they read in the papers.

I will not link to these articles or indeed quote them, I don't want to give such rubbish any boost or publicity, but I will link to a blog brought to my attention by a friend.   A very sensible, compassionate and simple explanation of why young people with problems should receive appropriate treatment from specialists.   It's not complicated, most things aren't, but just because they are outside our experience we don't need to be frightened.

Karen Pollock takes issue with the latest gutter press article about trans young people can be found here.

Monday, 30 October 2017


I don't celebrate Halloween, I know that is increasingly unusual, even on this side of the Atlantic, but I gather in the states it is very much "de rigor" to go out, in fancy dress and have a fun time.   This of course has a particular attraction for cross dressers, so I expect a lot will be out strutting their stuff in the their alternative wardrobe.   Even when I identified as a cross dresser I still didn't do the whole Halloween thing, partly because of my natural bias against anything I perceive as being American, and partly because as an Evangelical Christian I find the celebration of goulies and gousties and long leggedy beasties all rather distasteful.

This year will be no exception I can't see that I will be joining the throngs celebrating throughout Croydon Town Center, since it's a Tuesday I'll most likely just stay at home with a bottle of wine and a film.

But for all of you who are breaking out of your wardrobe and celebrating, have a fun, safe time.

In Role

A recent little debate in a Trans Facebook Group got me thinking, the original post, from an actor, was asking something about how we got into the gender role we are playing. Of course this triggered a lot of complaints from members pointing out that they were not playing a part, but honestly expressing themselves, and equally predictably I agree.   However it did get me thinking about how, over the years, I have managed to convincingly fill a variety of roles.

Looking back it feels as though all my life I have been playing roles, musician, rugby player, salesman, clerk, refuse collector, piano mover, professional, gardener, committee member, activist, husband, father, friend, man!. by no means is this a complete list, and by no means are any of them mutually exclusive, but they do present a variety!   In all these cases I was always playing a part, I have written before about how I always had a fear of being "found out" but of course the other side of that is that I was playing a role.   I always had to dress appropriately for the role I was playing, so a nice suit for offices and meetings, Jeans and work boots for emptying dustbins, dinner jacket and bow tie for concerts.   These props helped me get into role ~ and a lot of the time I was acting a role.   I loved playing rugby, I loved the physical aspects of it and being part of the elegance and beauty of the game. But, afterwards in the bar I was definitely playing a part.

Every time I got on stage to perform I had the fear of being "found out" that somebody would call out that I wasn't a proper musician and I would be thrown off the stage to be replaced by a "real player".   Having the right jacket and shoes helped my confidence, not so much as a musician but as an actor playing a musician, just as having the right suit gave me confidence to act the part of a business man.   It's only really now that I am beginning to understand that I was doing this in every factor of my life, work, play and home.   My cross dressing was no different, sure I felt comfortable expressing the female me, but in all fairness I was still acting a part, using my props to help me get into role.

Since I started my transition a few years back a lot has changed, more recently as my medication has stabilised, physical changes are allowing me to abandon the props that used to be so essential when I was cross dressing.  It is only over these last couple of years since my self confidence has become more real and less of an act that I have realised just how much I actually was acting.   Now I am acting a lot less often, I have enough confidence in the person I am becoming that I am happy to reveal her to people.   I have now abandoned most of my props, I don't need to get into role, I can just be me, whatever I am doing.

This struck me again on Saturday playing in a concert, I was a little out of my comfort zone as I for much of the second half I was the fourth percussionist!   First time I have ever played crash cymbals and gong! and I had so much fun doing it.   I wasn't "In costume" I wasn't acting out a role, I was just me having fun making music with friends.

Sunday, 29 October 2017


I haven't been around here much recently. To be honest I have had other things on my mind, I have been more interested in living life than written about it.   Having said that I have missed blogging and my "Blogging Buddies" so having had a bit of break and returned refreshed I am back at Paula's Place ~ I hope that I have been missed.

Lots has been going in my life, although nothing major, so I may well simply not even try to cover all of that but just jump back in with observations and comments as it occurs to me.   Right now I will just observe that I have had a fabulous holiday in one of my favourite places with one of my favorite people. I did take a few photos but until I sort them out I will simply share this one taken on my phone ~ somehow it seemed appropriate.