Thursday, December 31, 2009

"I looked him right in the eye and said 'goodbye'."

Hi folks,

Once again, Old Father Time will soon be hanging up his scythe and going through one more regeneration as he does so. It doesn't seem long since it was the year 2000 and all the fun & games that went along with that. I wonder if he ever fancies a turn as Young Miss Time? If so, he'll probably have to have to do the same work but take a pay cut. Hmm... that does read a bit bitter doesn't it? But if I put a smilie on there, people may get the wrong idea and think I'm taking the p*ss.

Bugger.

Let's move on eh? :)

Wow. 10 years. It's a cliche but they seem to have gone by so quickly. Speaking - or rather writing - personally, so much has changed. Back at the end of 99, there was just me and the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. Now there's an extra two people under our roof. Both Wee Man and Little Miss have come on - I'm fighting the urge to use the well loved line of leaps & bounds - but they really have. It's been a joy to watch them take their first steps, learn to talk and just approach life with a sense of joy. Sure, there's been tears before bedtime and the odd dose of shouting: but in the main, I manage to behave :D

House-wise, we're still in the same home as before, although there's been a far bit of alteration done to these old bricks. A new roof, two extensions and it's looking like the kitchen and bathroom are ready to be renovated too. We've swapped the bedrooms around and so far so good. Part of this is I can't abide the hassle of moving and we seem pretty settled with the school and position for both of our jobs.

From a trans point of view, I think things have changed massively. Back in 2000, yes, I was 'out' to Mrs Jones, but I only ever got dressed up when she wasn't in. I didn't go out. Looking back, I think I was coping... no, make that mostly coping, but.... this part of my life was far from sorted. On the plus side, I had a job which gave me the luxury of flexible working hours and many mornings, I'd be in late following an early morning session of dressing up. It helped, but something was missing. Sure, I was on-line, but really on the fringes. I didn't join any forums until 2004 and I started blogging in 2005.

Talking of 'on-line' the rise of broadband, web 2.0 and to an extent - wireless - has changed my life. I spend a large proportion of my own time on the Internet: social sites, email and forums. Indeed, I think other than kids, having 'always on' Internet access has been one of the biggest changes to how I live my life. Mrs Jones and I watch a lot less TV, indeed, she has her own laptop and will often be doing something else while the Idiot Lantern burbles in the background. :) If we miss something, there's always iPlayer, although the proliferation of digital TV, chances are they'll be a repeat later in the week.

Just the other day, the family were snuggled up on the sofa flicking though the (digital) photos of Christmas. In the previous decade, we would have had to post a film off and wait while the postman delivered the results. Now: it's just click and view. You're no longer limited by 24 or 48 images and can just keep going. Did trannys rejoice when digital cameras took off? :) Then there's cameras in mobiles: how much has the news been affected by eye witness footage? Technology eh? It almost moves as quickly as fashion. :P

Talking of fashion, big boots + skinny jeans/leggings are still on the go. Is the Ugg boot the look of the noughties? Since the recession, fashion - at least to my untrained eye - seems to have slowed down a little. Before the downturn, there seemed to be a push on high-speed micro-trends. And now? I get this vibe that there's more mixing and matching going on. Perhaps that's why the skinny jean / leggings thing has kept on as long as it has. Personally, I find a fair bit of fun in that: making up a new look with older items. Sure, I like new clothes - and who doesn't? - but you've got to watch the pennies and when you get stuck on the wheel of new-new-new, I think there's a risk you don't take time to enjoy what you have.

Going back to the trans stuff, I went through all the usual hoops: lurking on forums, reading & (occasionally) writing pulp tranny fiction, knickers under suit, being worried when I shopped for clothes and dreaming - yes, literally day dreaming - of the idea of going out or socialising with others like me. Pretty run of the mill stuff. I won't dis that behaviour because some people are either working through the same sh** I have or are happy like that. I won't look down on it and all I can say is that it wasn't enough for me. I still felt disconnected, dressing up 'part of the way' didn't really help. I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted, but I knew where I was wasn't where I wanted to be.

The very start of this blog (back in 2005) hints at some of the inner processes that were going on as I stepped out for the first time. Man, that feels a long time ago. I remember the fear I felt in waiting to ask Mrs Jones if it would be okay. Yes, it was a case of asking, because there are two of us in this relationship - okay, sometimes it feels like three :) - and I didn't want to go behind her back again (Ed: she'd done that once before and... major guilt trip). I wanted to be honest and I hoped for two things: one, she'd say okay (Ed: like duh) and two, that when I went out, it would be what I wanted. I got both, lucky b*tch that I am. :) I'm (still) married, with two nippers and I have some good (trans) friends to boot. There's been the odd kick to the happy sacks by the Fates, but in the main, life is good.

Sorry if this has been a bit one sided, but this is a blog :) Yet Another Tranny Girl Blog at that. Cliches and stereotypes exist for a reason - even if we don't want to admit that they're a little too close for comfort. :) So to wind this up, I hope that whatever journey you are on, you get to travel safely and arrive in style. Good luck to each of you for the new year.

Take care
Lynn
x

[ Today's lyric: Down In It by Nine Inch Nails ]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Dear all,

A quick post this time around - at least, unless my imagaination runs away with me. :0) I guess the title says it all, but I do hope the festive period is good to you and that 2010 goes well too.

Thanks for taking the time to read this wee blog of mine over the year (Ed: years?) and posting comments: questions, wit and suggestions.

Take care,
Lynn
x

Friday, December 18, 2009

"But the wind goes right through you,
It's no place for the old,"

Hiya,

It's bloomin' freezing at the mo! :) I'm sat with two jumpers and a fleece on, but I'm still feeling the cold. Then again, I've always been a bit of a nesh* bugger :) There's talk about a little snow - well, actually quite a lot of snow - according to the weather, but I won't be digging out my snowshoes just yet.

(Ed: a propensity for feeling the cold - for the benefit of our overseas readers :D )

Like a good bonfire, I find snow rather magical. Yes, I know technically speaking there's nothing special about frozen water falling in unique fractal shapes :-P It's more than the land is transformed from what you see when you look out of the window to something fresh and so new. Plus, snow swallows sound and the world feels different. Perhaps I wouldn't be in such a good mood if I had to go to work in it. :)

So, are you all sorted for Christmas? Here at Chez Jones we're just about done. Just a few small items to get - which we can do via the supermarket - and we're good to go. Just the wrapping to sort out then. That'll be a task and a half. Still, with a few tunes on the MP3 player, the time will go by quick enough. Mind you, this time next week it'll all be over. I hope you get (and have given) something nice.

I'm hopeful that Mrs Jones will enjoy her lot this Christmas. That's not to say that she doesn't normally, far from it, but there's always that little wedge of doubt: is this any good? Will she be happy with X? Still, if I didn't care, maybe that would be a sign of a) being a smug pillock or b) not caring - and that's simply not true. (Ed: or (c) - both :P).

Maybe it's a trans thing, but I don't mind looking through the racks of skirts and tops, or at the seemingly endless variety of slap - sorry, make-up - that I could buy Mrs Jones. Actually, putting it like that, it must be a trans thing :-) While browsing, I did find a very cute dark red skirt (in the sale too!), although it was - *honestly* - only in my size. That did go in the shopping basket. A bit naughty, but I did buy two extra gifts to cover it.

That leads me on to something Alex (thanks misses!) posted this week about entitled What is Gender? The source is from a specialist - at least to my untrained eye - and makes for very interesting reading. Well, it is if you like that type of thing. I know I do. :) A number of bits had me nodding and thinking about friends and also myself. The idea that elements of who you are will shine through - the old cliche of the truth will out. That and when you can start to be yourself, the feeling of being at ease with who you are, drives you onwards. The old analogy of a dam and a torrent of water bursting out springs to mind. After all that time couped up, you want to be free. Of course, there's a price for that freedom, but such is life. Sometimes it's compromise, sometimes you lose people. I guess it comes down to how badly you want to be you.
I think I know where I stand now: I'm somewhere in between the two poles and that's not necessarily a bad place. While articles like the above won't give you all the answers, I find comfort in them. I find that there's a reason for my behaviour. I'm this way because of Nature, it's not any one's fault. If there's no fault, then there can be no blame. If there is no blame, should there be any guilt?

So that's me done for another week and as next Friday it'll all be over bar the turkey sarnies, may I wish you all a very merry Christmas. I hope you get something nice in your stocking (sheer or otherwise :D ) and if you're troubled at all, you find a bit of festive peace coming your way.

Merry Christmas,
Lynn
xxx

[ Today's lyric: Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl ]

Friday, December 11, 2009

"You got me spinnin', baby
You know I'm in a trance"

Hiya,

I've started and re-started this post a few times, but there's something missing from the previous drafts. I guess.... I guess it's that I can't quite capture the excitement from the Chameleon's Christmas Party, so you'll just have you use your imagination and bear with me :)

Given that there was some setting up to do, I managed to swing an early pass. As luck would have it, Wee Man was singing in his school production. I saw him (and the rest of the school) perform earlier in the week and they were very good. I know you're supposed to say that as a parent, but he really did give it his all. I was really proud of him.

So, Wee Man dropped off, I over up to Nuthall to help with the setting up. I met Shimmer* and Katie (mum + son respectively - *sorry real names escape me right now!) waiting while the Keep Fit Crew occupied the main function room. I hung around to help put tables and chairs out, while the disco was set up and Sandy sorted out the food. Once the necessaries were taken care of, I popped upstairs to get fabulous. :)

Gaynor was already there - looking rather fab - as I started to get changed. Tonight's outfit was a re-run of the pink dress (from M & S), black opaques and my suede stilettos. After my chat with the ladies in Boots, I tried a darker lipstick and gloss to give it a bit of shine. The blackberry nail varnish looked rather good... IMO :)

Talking of Boots. Lots of (trans) people went in after their visit (including me) and had a pleasant chat with the staff. Tracey (and Sarah) went last week (in trans-mode) to do a spot of shopping and say hello. They also got to meet the manager and were able to sing the praises of how well the night had gone. I'm glad they got to do that, because the make-up ladies really did get stuck in and we all had a good laugh. There's talk about another - and longer - make-up evening next year. As a side note, I got another round of thanks at the party which made me blush. All of the above happened because a friend there, Alison, asked on the forum, if anyone knew of any shops who offered make-up advice. I sent an email to Boots and the rest is history. :)

Back to the party and Shimmer had got the music going when I got downstairs. The place was getting busier and busier as the time passed. I swapped to my dancing shoes as the heels where beginning to cramp my toes (we suffer for fashion, don't we? :D) and because requests were being taken for what tracks we'd like. I said hello to a few people... including Sophie H who'd come along for her first visit. We also had a visit from the ladies from Hot Hair. They'd brought some stock along and - bless them - stayed on to have a bit of a boogie.

We had a raffle which helps to top up the funds and as way of a change, a musical party game. Basically, Shimmer would play a short burst of a well known pop track and you had to do the dance that went with it. We had the Birdie Song (pop hell), Agadoo (roll for SAN loss!), Hokey Cokey (your other left!), the Can-Can (my heels stayed on!), YMCA (easy enough) and just when I was expecting the Time Warp - the cheeky lass - played stripper music! Cue much joking about, although thankfully, everyone kept their clothes on. :) It was all done in good fun and after that, the music kicked back in and off we went.

Various party faves and some 'beat up' 70s/80s numbers (not sure who mixed that Depeche Mode track! :D). My favourite track of the night was Knock on Wood, there's something about the pounding beat of that number. I dunno.... in the words of Baloo: I'm gone, man. Solid gone. :) Luckily when reality returned, no-one was injured... always a plus :) Sophie managed to capture the insanity of some the night (thanks chuck!). Thankfully there's no video feed of me dancing. :)

It was all a bit of a blur once the music got going... and I hadn't had anything alcofrolic to drink either. The evening flew by and it was time to say our goodbyes and Merry Christmas's. Upstairs once again to get changed and pack things away. That's it for this year, but what a way to go out! Take about ending on a high.

My feet still hurt... but that makes me smile when I think about why.

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's Lyric: Knock On Wood by Amii Stewart ]

Friday, December 04, 2009

Here's your ticket,
Hear the drummer get wicked!

Hiya,

December is truly upon us: the wind's bitter cold, there's decorations galore, fancy frocks are in the windows, party invitations are doing the rounds and the Easter Eggs are in the shops. Actually, the latter may not be true :)

Just as sports folk like the early summer months - or so it seems - so the early winter season is truly transtastic. Cosy clothes, warm boots and of course, the cherry on the top of it all: the party season. Outfits are glam and heels are high. All good stuff.

To add to all this, at least for yours truly here, is the chance for a dance. (Ed: ooo, unexpected sh** poetry). As a kid I was pretty shy and retiring, but in my teens I discovered night clubs and that was the end of the wallflower behaviour. Once I hear a tune I like, I'm gone. I've no doubt I'll become - if I'm not already - the embarrassing Dad at a family disco. Okay, not quite, I can reel myself in when I have to, but the urge to want to dance is pretty strong.

So you can imagine the so build of delight at the thought of a night out (Chams Xmas Do!) with good friends and the clear and present danger of sore feet from dancing until I'm out of breath.

Okay, while it's not going to be anything like a superclub - as far as I know - it's enough for me. Let's just hope it doesn't go all 'Pete Tong' :) (Ed: that's "wrong" for our overseas readers).

Take care,
Lynn

[ Today's lyric: Welcome to the Terrordome by Public Enemy ]

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Oh, what a night..."

Hi,

The Boots Make Over evening has been and gone. Dare I say it was a resounding success? I must confess that I was a little worried because I didn't want to let anyone down. Firstly, there's the group itself: you're never 100% sure that a visitor will make it (sudden emergencies etc). On the flip side of that, there's the group: would enough people be coming to make it worth Boots's time?

I managed to get to the centre early and I was just getting changed when a taxi rolled up. Sh**, I hadn't done my face! Anyway, clothes and wig on, I nipped downstairs, got to the door and... no-one was there. Hmmm. How odd. I thought I better set some chairs and tables up in case it came back. I'd just finished putting out the necessaries when the front door went and there was a shouted hello from the people I was expecting. Hurray. Step one completed. I felt a bit odd all dressed up (and with wig) but without my 'face' on. After introductions, I helped where I could, made the four ladies drinks and passed on a box of choccies as a thank you.

While I was in the kitchen, the Centre's manager popped her head around the corner and wanted to tell us about the new web site. Apparently, it's been redesigned and they were looking for a short intro and a snap of the group. Well, we have a suitable photo already - see Chams website - and an intro wouldn't take long to do. With that done and the Boots ladies busy setting up, I headed upstairs to put my face on. Unusually for me, I was quite quick! :-)

Back downstairs again and there were goodie bags on each of the chairs! Things from No. 7 and Clinque. More and more people arrived and that was step 2 over with: the worry that there would be 8 of us.

The evening proper kicked off just after 8ish and we had a talk about skin care and foundation. We had some good questions from the group and some good real world answers too. I'm by no means an expert, but by dumb luck I seem to have arrived at a suitable routine: regular cleansing and a bit of moisturiser. Tracey stepped up when they asked for a volunteer. A few people nudged me, but I was adamant that other people would get a chance. I had a make-over a few years ago and it was such a good experience - I learned a lot! - that I wanted other people to get a go.

With the skin care talk over with, it was over to the lady from No. 7 to talk about eyes, lips and cheeks. There's too much to go into here and honestly, I don't think I'd do it justice. Some of the items that stuck in my head where:

  • Your make-up will stay on longer and look better if you look after your skin.
  • Don't do strong eyes and strong lips - it's too much and will 'throw' your features.
  • Do try a lippy on your lips as against the hand just won't work.
  • Some styles suit some people, some don't (namely: not everyone can do smokey eyes)
  • Do just experiment with a look
  • Keep practising and trying new ideas.

    I'd never heard the hall so quiet! Honestly, you could hear the clock on the far wall ticking away. Tracey had her eyes done with a subtle silvery pallet and Alison had hers done too. On a personal note, I found out that I am at least wearing the right blusher: being a pasty so and so, pinks are best for me.

    At the end of all that - and a round of applause - we had the draw for the raffle. Just prior to the evening, the Boots ladies had sold raffle tickets in aid of a local Cancer charity. There were cries of fix when Sandi won, then again when Tracey (Sandi's hubby) did and then much laughter when I won the third and final prize! I got a very large box of Clinque items: some male products and some make-up too. Talk about tranny heaven! :)

    So... all in all, a very good night. We had loads of people come along - which topped up the group's coffers and from what I heard, everyone had a really good time. We also got to hear the party line on blokes going to the make-up counter. The ladies - who, bless them - were so unfazed by us, told us that there job is to look after a customer. It doesn't matter if they are young, old, female or male. I know that's been my experience when visiting. They also said they had a Beauty Room which was away from the shop floor and while we are welcome to use it, because it's shared you do need to ring ahead.

    In other news, I caught up with Rebecca, who I'd not seen in a while and also got to talk to a son & mother who'd come along for a second visit. Clearly we didn't frighten them away last time. Rats. Must try harder! :)

    Once changed and back in bloke mode, I set off home and let the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones have her pick through the goodie bags. Her face lit up at all the freebies... and the big Clinque box? Packed with goodies.

    Other than uploading this, my next task is to write a big thank you to Boots.

    Top stuff. :)

    Take care,
    Lynn

    [ Today's lyric: December 1963 by The Four Seasons ]
  • Friday, November 20, 2009

    "If you make sure you're connected,
    The writing's on the wall..."

    Hiya,

    Well, I can stare at the small and empty white window no more. I feel that if I don't put something - anything! - in here, Friday will pass without a post. It is true that the world will keep on turning and society will not fail due to me missing this one.

    But...

    It's a personal deadline. I want to do this and I take (and make) the time to do something. Okay, this week I've left it a bit late and the working week has caught up with me. I find tiredness kills the Muse - or at least severely stuns the poor lass. This morning, I think I should have made a few notes rather than clearing my inbox so quickly. Really, would a 2 minute delay between the email been that bad?

    However, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones surprised me with a very welcome cup of tea and a small cake. Tea is the fuel that powers Britain. It is not the urgent powerhouse of coffee nor chemical LOX of an energy drink. No, tea - in all its wonderful forms - is the Ambrosia of Englishness. :-) (Ed: Or it might be custard. I'll keep you posted.)

    Going back to the email point, with all the ways we are connected these days, the pace of life - and I've only been working since the early 90s - seems to go up a notch each year. Email was a gadget, then it became business critical. Now there's instant messaging for corporates and mobiles or 'soft phones' so you can be available to talk to even when you're not there. Hell, you don't even need a phone with Skype et all - just a computer. There is no escape!!! :D

    I sometimes wonder if there'll be a comms backlash and we'll have 'off-line days'. A day in the office where you shut the door, take the telephone off the hook and just get on with doing some work. Actually, I had a day like that earlier in the week. I was working from home and my work mobile was on the blink. I logged in, ignored all my email and just got on with what I needed to do. I don't think I've managed to produce so much work in a morning for some time.... and I didn't even have my heels on* :)

    ( * Although I did blag some tops in a pre-Xmas sale and get some Chrimo pressies in. Result! )

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Connected by the Stereo MCs ]

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    "He can be the colors of a paintbox set in a black and white world"

    Hiya,

    It's been an odd sort of week this week. I've had a lot of time off - not due to sickness (thankfully) - but just to get stuff done. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones is flat out at work, so dutiful husband that I am (with a few days leave under ones belt), I've had a couple of days off. Some to look after the kids, some to sort the house out (we're having some decorating done) and also... a bit of time out and about. Sorting the house out took ages - honestly, I'll be glad to go back to work for a rest. :) I don't think I'd fancy being a house husband, although the idea of shopping time sounds rather good :P

    In other news, it was time for a night out with the 'girls' and boy, did it chuck it down on the way. The heavens truly opened and the streets of Nottingham were awash. I felt rather sorry for some of the poor souls who got stuck out in it. A lucky few had umbrellas, but not everyone did. Still, you can only get so wet. It's a time like these I don't miss my motorbike. :)

    Chams was a good laugh. We had a visit from the police - not because we'd done anything wrong, but more to have a talk about our needs and what they could do to help. Good stuff really. We had a bit of a chat about the Boots visit (which will hopefully come off as planned). I got to wear my new outfit (new boots w/ new skirt!) and for a bit of a change, I tried some (rather bright) pink tights.
    I've been struggling to find something that went with the top for a while, and I thought the skirt did it. Black, sure, but with cute flower detail on it. But oh dear, 'skirt fail' as the zip died on me and I had a spot of bother getting out of said skirt. I suppose I could have replaced the zip, but instead, I took it back for a refund. I like to think you can get more than an evening's wear out of a skirt. :)

    Talking of visits, we've had a bit of a run on folk contacting the group. Evans are trying their hand, although I pretty much had to put a halt on that one. The invitation we had - while much appreciated - was just too early and as the shop is in the middle of town, a number of our members are too nervous to go. Fair enough I guess, so I had a lovely chat with the manageress and I think we'll get something sorted out for the new year. Something to look forward to!

    There was also a talk about the personal shopper service on offer. Seems Evans have had - well, still do I guess, have a number of gents who shop in their store. From what the manageress was telling me, they've fully embraced this and if a chap rings up - wanting clothes for themselves - an appointment can be made. The meeting is held off the shop floor and yes, you do get the try stuff on. Sure, you could be cynical about these things (Ed: surely not, Lynn) and say they want your cash, but you could look at in a positive light and say that mainstream shops are accepting us more and more.

    The Christmas Party is in hand (thanks to Sandi and co) and this year we're having a proper DJ... rather that the CDs I supply. That takes the pressure off yours truly and it'll be cool to hear a professional set. Must remember to pack my dancing shoes. Oh, the date is 10th December if you're thinking of coming along.

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Adonis Blue by Voice of the Beehive ]

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    "Should I walk away or follow my soul"

    Hiya,

    I'm looking at this little white box that's the Blogger New Post window. I look at it. It looks back at me. Well, inasmuch that an empty form box can look back. Hmmm....

    It's been quiet this week. Well, actually it's been quiet on the tranny front for the most part. The flurry of activity has been in the non-trans area of my life. A kid's Halloween party: that was top stuff and very good to see Wee Man and Little Miss enjoying themselves so much. We've had the whoosh, boom and bang of November the 5th. That's Bonfire Night to those of you outside the UK. It's the only time when we Brits are allowed to play with explosives. :-) Work's work and I won't bore you with that.

    It was also our anniversary a little while ago and I nipped out to pick something up for Mrs Jones... she wasn't expecting it and was very pleased. See, ladies, it's not all bad news when your hubby can accessorise. :-) Talking of the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones, she's been so busy of late, I had some time off this week. That really ate a hole in my work schedule, but in a good way. It really put a big family sized mark in the calendar and that, I think, can only be a good thing.

    I also managed a spot of shopping. Well, it is coming up to Christmas... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I had a good long tour of the shops, but you know how it is. You head out money in pocket with your heart set on an idea. Sometimes though, that doesn't come to pass and you head back out with the money still there. :-)

    On a whim, I stopped off at an out of town place I like to visit once in a while. There's a TK Maxx there and a few others. Now, this may sound odd, but I don't really get TK Maxx. Actually, I should change that: I didn't get it. Often, I'd head in, look for this and that, not find what I wanted and head straight back out.

    Not this time though. I took my time and let the hand of the Retail Fates guide me. :) Rather than looking for a particular top or skirt, I went for a more Zen approach. Well, it sounded Zen to me. What would I know, I work in IT right? :) I flicked through the rails of tops, trousers, skirts and dresses hoping I'd see a few things I might like. Five items later, I hit the changing room. No. Yes. Very much yes! No and ahh too small.

    Quite a bit later, I'm back at my car with my purchases. I also picked up some cute boots too. Flat this time, but I like them. Sorta biker/rock and they work with the skirts.... or at least I thought so. Guess I'll find out when it's Chams later next week.

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Thunder in my Heart ft Leo Sayer by Meck ]

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    "By my mirror, my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field."

    Greetings denizens of Earth,

    Makes a change from hi, doesn't it? :-)

    I was about to write "the other day" or "earlier this week" and I've realised I start a lot of posts (and paragraphs) that way. Weird huh? Phrases that you just keep using eh? Talk about blogger's fingerprints. :-)

    Where was I? Oh aye. Yes, I had an email from a friend - a trans friend, just so we're clear. There's nothing super-personal about it, but I'll preserve the lady's anonymity as it's not mine to give away. Mrs B had written in and - amongst other things - asked:

    I wanted to hear from you what you get from your group outings. It seems to me
    that you give a great deal of your time, and that you must be helpful to others
    struggling to come to terms. There must be great value to you in that. What else
    though?


    What do I get from the group's outings? Off the top of my head - and these are somewhat different to what I put in my email - friendship, a good night out, a sense of belonging and a chance to give something back.

    I do put a bit of effort into the group. Not as much as other folk do, but every little helps right? A hand with the web site, a friendly hello to new folk who make the effort to come along and the occasional dabble in organising visits. Visits as in businesses, or perhaps more accurately vendors, coming to the group. Sometimes that's to sell, other times to interact and get our opinions. "Our" as in the 'trans community'. We're a secretive bunch... despite the Flickr streams, forums, YouTube videos and blogs :-)

    But going back to a part of Mrs B's question: I think it comes down to friendship. I can turn up and just be myself. Now, that'll sound odd considering in the majority of my nights there, I dress as a woman. Something I don't do in my working or home life. So how can it be that I'm myself? I think the answer is that I can go to Chameleons as just me: it doesn't matter if I dress like a man or a woman. I get the same treatment regardless.

    Does that imply that "I'm not myself" when I'm not dressed up? No, but there's a guard in place when I'm with work mates and many of my friends. That barrier isn't there when there's just me and the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones, or when I'm at Chams.

    Talking of Mrs Jones, the bulk of my socialising revolves around our family. I'm not a "go down the pub" kinda guy, as I'm not a big drinker and talk about sports, gardening, etc just aren't my bag. Chameleons is the exception to my public face: there, and as I've stated earlier, I don't have to watch what I say (public decently aside :P ). I can easily talk about a book or film as much as I can talk about the insanity of fashion or why you can't get a shoe in a 9 during the sale.

    That's not to say going to a group like this is for everyone. Perhaps some would find it a bit mundane and not enough 'real world'. That's cool. One size does not fit all - not even if it was made of industrial strength Lycra. Some want to hit the clubs or bars and fit in.

    Anyways... there you go.

    Take care and if you're celebrating Halloween, I hope it's a good one!
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Viva La Vida by Coldplay* ]

    PS: * Much as I don't like a lot of their stuff, every now and then a band (I'm not keen on) will release a track that I really like. I wonder if it's a gentle nudge from On High reminding me not to be a music bigot :)

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    "We're plastic, but we still have fun!"

    Hiya,

    This week's been rather odd. Not in a dodgy way, but more in a blogging kinda way. This will be my third post that I've started. Sometimes the writing bug bites and it seems there's lots I want to get out of my head and on to paper... so to speak. :) It's not exactly like a lot has actually happened: no ground breaking changes or shifts in the whole trans experience.

    I was going to say that maybe I'll store those posts up, but actually, I don't think that'll happen. I'll probably come to look at them in a week or so, re-read what I've put and delete them. Perfectionism? Maybe, but if something doesn't feel quite right, I won't post it.

    Talking of not posting - funny how my brain works - one of the topics of a previous entry was just that. All the things I don't talk about. Not so much the private things such as what the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones gets up to, or how the kids are doing at school. No... more the big stuff. Things that happen in the news, even - dare I say it? - chunks of time that will become history.

    On one hand, I think that this blog is in some way a bit of a backwater. I don't talk about the big stuff like the recent wars, the election or the small bumps of public upset: MP expenses, the outcry over the column by the Daily Mail on the late Stephen Gately, etc.

    On the other: there are news sites (and blogs) who dedicate themselves to this task and really, will adding my voice to that throng help at all? I doubt it. So, instead I stick to writing about what I know: trans related issues.

    Hell, I don't write about my IT stuff, but then do you really want to hear about what I get up to at work? It's important to my employer and I put my back into it, but it wouldn't make very interesting reading. That and there are some excellent technical 'how to' sites out there that would teach you a lot more.

    So.... trying to get back towards the whole trans topic, there are a few wee gems that have popped up this week. Firstly, it was time for a night out with the.. ummm... boys? at Chameleons this Thursday. It was a quiet night - at least compared to last time's party, but I like the quiet nights too. We had a good long chat and swapped amusing anecdotes. It was, simply, just good fun.

    We also had a visit from one of the people who shares the Centre with us. To be accurate, the Karate folk have the Centre before Chams and they're often packing up as some of us turn up. It's all very good natured and as everything at Chams is on the level, we don't - or at least I hope we don't - give them any concern.

    Anyways, one lady - whose name I shall not reveal - popped in to offer us some raffle tickets. We obliged and as the tickets and kitty went around, her curiosity was piqued and she asked a few questions.

    Do we consider ourselves to be women?

    I said, some may do but I don't. I'm still a guy under all the clothes.

    Do we want to change sex?

    Me? No thanks but some folk do. Most of the people at Chams are simply trannys, although we do have one or two transgendered folk who come along.

    Outwardly - and I mean from appearance only - is there a difference a TV and a TS? From the layman's view of someone who doesn't know much about the whole trans community, I guess we all look a bit alike. Maybe that'll ruffle a few feathers, maybe it won't, but that's seems a common question for non-trans folk to ask.

    Would you live full time if you could?

    Personally, no I wouldn't. I like being a guy. The beauty routine is a hell of a lot easier to start with :) Cack jokes aside: I'm a Dad and while I don't mind getting glammed up once in a while, I think it would kill the fun of it, if I had to do it day in day out. I suppose that why I'm just a tranny. :-)

    Would you have any surgery? Boob implants or electrolysis?

    Some might do, but I don't fancy permanent boobs. I spend more time in bloke mode and I don't think your off the rail shirt and tie are cut for a 34b :) Beard zapping? A lot of trans folk have sung the praises of laser therapy, but it's out of my price range right now. I'm not particularly hairy and the one time I tried to grow a beard - just for the craic - it didn't get very long. Heh, it didn't really show up on photos either - I just looked worn out. LOL.

    Do our wives know and what do they think of it?

    The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones does know, but I don't tell her how I look nor has she seen me. I do know that Sandy (Tracey's Mrs) did make that jump as have other ladies (or 'real girls') who attend the group with their partners. Does Mrs Jones mind? I wouldn't say she's over the moon about it, but think we've got by the point where it freaks her out. Bless her, it must have been a shock.

    Interestingly, Jane turned the question around and ask the Karate lady what would she think if her husband started to want to dress up. :-) The lady in question said it wouldn't be too much of a worry. How things change he?

    Do you wear her clothes? Where do you get your underwear?

    No, I've got my own wardrobe because shopping can be rather fun. As to underwear, you just go and buy it from a shop. No-one's bothered these days. :) I am wearing Mrs Jones's boots tho!

    Questions aside, it was all very good natured and as I say, we've - trannys that is -been in the Centre for nearly 5 years or so. I think they've got used to us :D

    In other news, Channel 4 ran a programme called "8 and wanting a sex change." It was about a number of American children who had started using hormone blockers at a young age. The idea behind the treatment was to (obviously) halt puberty, give them time to decide if they wanted to stick with their birth gender or transition. If they did the latter - and I'm not expert - but my guess it would be easier. It was a really fascinating programme, both from the side of the child (who must be going through a hell of time) and also from the view of their parents.

    I think we're all wise to the idea of a parent being distraught or negative about it: it's a stereotypical reaction. Instead, this programme let the parents talk of their concerns and on the whole, they were very supportive of their child who wanted this. Maybe the programme was skewed in that regard: would a parent who was against the idea appear on such a show? I'll let you catch it on '4 On Demand' or YouTube (if it sneaks in there) and you can make up your own mind :) It certainly caused a bit of chatter on the forums.

    All in all, a good week. Halloween soon and later on it's Bonfire Night. I do love autumn!

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Paparazzi by Lady Ga Ga ]

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    "The ghost of the past, has its arms around me..."

    Hiya,

    While I was off being a dirty stop out last week, dear Auntie Beeb - BBC 4 to be precise - ran a programme entitled Micro Men. No, not a superhero tie-in or some quirky tribute to the Incredibly Shrinking Man, but partly facts based drama set in the early 80s, on the relationship between two of the UK's leading computer manufacturers, Sinclair and Acorn.... and the men behind the companies. I won't give you a capsule review; mainly because I'm lazy and should you wish to make up your own mind, it's available on iPlayer. :-)

    I must confess that at the time, the history of what was going on passed me by. I was still at primary school and very far from the maddening crowds of urban living. I was more concerned with other fluff than the computer based arms race happening not so far away. Stuff like catching Battle of the Planets or wondering why the lads like Adam Ant, and not Bananarama. Oh well. :-)

    We had a Beeb: the BBC Model B. A 6502 powered machine with a whole 32KB of memory. We didn't get a disk drive - and I mean a floppy disk drive at that - for another 3 years. Loading anything by tape took *ages*. That ooooo weeeek noise of the tape deck for 10 to 15 minutes. But... that's what you were used to. There was no mouse, no Windows and no Internet (at least for the common man). You flicked the power switch and barr-beeepp, the *ahem* OS loaded up. You got a flashing prompt and that was it. Okay: CHAIN "", hit enter and start the tape deck.

    The model B seemed primitive by today's standards, but it held my interest. In fact, it's a good thing home computers were invented, because academically, I was pretty sh** at everything else! :-) Sports? Forget it, I'm a tranny remember? Maths? Too complicated and English? Well, you needed a Rosetta Stone to read my handwriting. So computers it was. I suppose part of it was in my blood, my Grandad was an engineer and my Dad worked in radio electronics.

    Watching the programme made me stop and think how far we've come in such a short space of time. 8, 16, 32 and now 64 bit machines with more memory that you would have thought possible. My first hard disk had 20meg of storage on it, you can't even buy a memory stick that small nowadays. Just the other day I put a server in with 32 Gb of memory and the equivalent of 8 CPUs... *and* that may not be enough for the project! :-)

    Moore's Law just keeps on paying out due to some awfully clever gents and ladies. Where will it all end? I wouldn't like to say, although I'd wager that mobile telephones will get smarter and a lot more powerful than they are now. Maybe they'll replace laptops and you'll be able to hot-dock them into a flat screen and bond a Bluetooth keyboard to them. High speed WIMAX can't come fast enough around here, that's for sure. :-)

    At the end of the programme - and seemingly the end of Acorn's big business - the show closed on a footnote. The rise of American companies like Compaq and Microsoft. IBM, the creator of the PC lead the charge and PC clones flooded the market. Finally, there was the mention of ARM. Acorn seemed to shift focus but stay in the chip market. What do ARM do? Only about 90% of the trade in mobile telephone based CPUs according to one statistic. Small world huh?

    Where would we be without computers? For one thing, you wouldn't be reading this and I'd be a lot worse off. Sh**, I might have to really work for a living. (Ed: scary thought!). Hats off to the computer boffins of the 80s and through to today.... wherever they make take us to. :-)

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: The Devil You Know by Jesus Jones ]

    Friday, October 09, 2009

    "Dance your cares away,
    Worry's for another day"

    Hey y'all,

    Autumn is well underway in Notts at the mo. Low temps (well, single figures in centigrade anyway) and it's jumpers and coats when you go outside. I do like the change in seasons. Sure, I'm not big on the wet weather, but I don't like I'd like day in day out sunshine. But, hey, maybe I'm just morose :-P

    So what's been going on? Well.... we - the Chameleons Group - had a party. :-) We often have one at this time of year, as a number of our... umm.. number have birthday's around... ummm... this time of year. :-) Besides, do you really need a reason for good food, good company and some good music? Nah! :-D

    After getting changed I made my way downstairs... and then went back upstairs to fix my nail varnish and change my shoes. I wore my new pink dress that I got in the sale. I was very chuffed with it. I think I need to take up the advice about some upholstery foam in the front of my stillies. I switched to my dancing shoes as they are a lot easier to get around in.

    The food was being laid out and - oops - there was no pop. So, off Mrs A - Alison's GF -and I nipped off to get some from the local shop. Hell, it's not like I'm going to blend in, but really, who cares? :-) It took an age to get served and when we did, the youth behind the counter tried to look cool, but he didn't manage it. He came out with something along the lines of: "You've seen it all at my age." That make Mrs A and I chuckle. At your age? I've got shoes older than you sunshine! Bottles of pop in hand and smiles on our faces, we headed back.

    On the way back, Mrs A mentioned that a neighbour of their's, one of the ex-neighbours relations is transitioning. The kid's in her (ex-him) teens. I guess that goes back to the earlier posts about kids being more upfront and feeling that it's safe to do that. And really, why the hell not? (Thanks to Ali who took the photo BTW).

    Drinks now sorted, we settled down to have a chat before we got stuck into the nibbles. We got talking about how trannying was 'back in the day'. Tracey was telling us some funny stories about the 80s and conversation got to how she came out to her wife (if that makes sense!). I think a lot of us have been through that particular ordeal and the conversation shifted to focusing on wives and girlfriends.

    I mean, if you (as a tranny) come out to them, you kinda get to be honest and the weight of the secret is reduced. But what about the mrs? Tracey was saying that back then - and Tina agreed - that there was little support for partners back then. You really had to go out of your way to find somewhere - or someone even - to help.

    Thanks to the Internet - and some caring souls out there - we're seeing more partner forums and blogs too. I think this is a really good thing to happen. From what I hear, talking about it helps. The frequent - but very valid - questions of: are you secretly gay? Do you want to be full time? Do you want to change sex? All those questions, understandably go round and around. I know the Every Lovely Mrs Jones said that she felt alone with the secret of knowing. I came home one night and she said she'd been looking on the Internet at partner related forums and that that had helped. To that end, there are a few links towards the lower part of the right hand column that are just for partners.

    After the nibbles, Katie - the new girl who came with her mum - came along with.. umm... her mum. Rats. I'm repeating again. :-) Anywho, Katie had brought some clothes along and I got volunteered (Thanks Sandy! :-D ) to be Trinny and Susannah... or more Tranny & Susannah to go and help. Katie was just starting out on the whole TG roller coaster but the black skirt and top really suited her. I loaned her a necklace and a bracelet. A girl's got to accessorise right? I'd donated my last wig to the group, so sadly I didn't have a spare, but you can't have it all can you. Her mum (no names) took it all in her stride. She's one cool lady.

    Once the raffle was sorted out, I made the announcement about Boots visiting us. That went down well and I really hope it goes ahead now. I'd hate to let the group down. After that brief bout of public speaking, it was on with a new party CD: time to shake those collective booties. I'm honest, I've been itching (Ed: no, not like that!) to strut my stuff to Katy Perry's Hot & Cold. That tune's been in my head for weeks. Still, the deed is done now. While the CD wasn't TransAnthems by any stretch, it was fun all the same. :-)

    Talking of dancing, Gaynor says that she and a few friends from UK Angels are off for a Big Night Out down in Pink Punters. I hope it all goes well!

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: The theme from Fraggle Rock. ]

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    "I got sunshine, in a bag"

    Howdy folks,

    A case of so far so good this week. A couple of items in the media and some good news on the Chameleons front.

    Regular readers may know - assuming I did remember to blog about it (Ed: uh-oh, dippy moment ahoy!) - that I dropped Boots an email about their make up services. Well, thanks to a lucky gap in my packed work calendar (!) and rather than play telephone tag, I dropped into to branch in question as the whole email thing wasn't working for either party. Sometimes I swear technology eats your messages rather than deliverying them! :-) So we've got a provisional date booked (25th November).... and Boots were kind enough to offer 10% reduction on shop prices. RESULT! :-D

    I also popped into New Look as I'd seen they had some bodysuits (remember them?) in stock. I popped a few in my basket and snook off to the men's department downstairs. The black one was okay, but okay was as far as it went. In the end, I put it back and headed home. I got so far to the car and got distracted by some cute looking shapewear in a department store. Again, same trick as before - a pair of blokes trousers in the basket and said item underneath. The item was a medium control body but while it felt gorgeous (and did wonders in tightening up certain curves) the cups weren't quite right. I guess that's because a) I don't have any t*ts to speak of (despite having brought my fake ones along) and b) it was multiway. A 'way' which never seems to work for me, but lessons learned eh? :-)

    Which leads us back to the ever circling news story about women's clothes for men. This time around, it's the BBC and this report on mantyhose. Ack! That's an abombination of a word. :-) To be fair, it's more leggings and skirts for men. Kilts, maybes, but skirts? No and certainly not the one modelled in the video. Oddly, I do remember a micro-trend for leggings for guys in the 90s. I think that was part of the Grunge thing going on, but they were worn either with knackered jeans or long shorts. Not sure the netball skirt is a look I'll be sporting in either mode :-)

    Also, last week saw the High Heel-a-thon... an event I caught sight of in the paper after it had finished. (Ed: the shame!). A day out in Leeds? In heels? For the good cause of Breast Cancer Haven *and* attendance by the lovely Kimberley Walsh (of Girls Aloud fame)! Drat and double drat :-) Oh well! Maybe next year eh?

    Stay safe,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz ]

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    "The kids are grown up but their lives are worn"

    Hey folks,

    Larks, unusually for me I've left today's blog entry to the last minute. In the last few months I've been writing ahead of myself during the week (if that makes sense), so I've got something ready for Friday night. This week? Well, I've just been up to this & that and with a lack of anything to get off my chest, ummm, it's a bit quiet :-) Still, quiet is good neh? The old cliche about 'interesting times' aside, quiet can't be over-rated some days.

    A little slow time can be good. It gives you space to catch up with things you've been meaning to do. It also lets you look back and take stock of where you are. Not that I'm overly-analytical. :-)

    This week was Chameleons again and after pondering what outfit to wear, I settled on a simple white fitted shirt and that pink skirt (from the photo shoot). I'd taken along my skinnies and a hippy style top in case it didn't work out. I bumped into Alison while I was sorting out my nails. I'd picked up a matte grey shade (supposedly all the rage) but I'm not 100% sure on that. Maybe that'll make it's way on to the next bring & buy sale we have. While chatting I offered to do Alison's nails: I'm not sure why, just a spur of the moment thing.

    Once downstairs I said hello and I'd brought some herbal tea bags along. I've been off caffeine for a while (Ed: is it possible to be on caffeine?) and it was a nice change to have a large cup of tea, rather than my usual glass of water. Talking of drinks leads me to food, I've been out walking most lunch times and that extra inch around my middle seems to have departed for the winter months. Phew! Just in time for the big party at Chams next time too. Hurray! :-)

    There was also a new face along that night. A young lady called Nicola and I had a good long chat with her. She'd come from a town just up the road and like most folk who walk through the door, was (understandably) nervous. Lots of folk are, I know I had the shakes as I drew up all those years ago. Crikey, it's been.... hold on while I use my fingers... I think nearly 5 years.

    On another note - and as you may have read in other trans blogs, The Sun ran another story about a young trans child. Young as in pre-teens. Needless to say, it wasn't in a hugely positive light, but one bit did jump out at me. It's this:
    But James Caspian, who counsels people on gender issues, said: “People
    should not be surprised that a child so young has these feelings. What is more
    of a surprise is that the child has been able to express them openly and that
    because of changes in society those around the child have been so
    supportive.”

    It's the last part that... what?... Okay I'll say it: gives me hope for the kids who feel like this. Hell, I'm just a tranny and for 99% of the time, I'm happy as a guy. I know there are some of us in the trans community who are not: for them, full time is the only option because that's how they feel inside. I can say that as a teenager, and probably for a small proportion of my early 20s, I struggled with coming to terms over who I was. Yet I had the luxury of being okay over being a chap. Sure, I wasn't keen on the whole massive jaw and hairy pins situation, but you can't have it all can you. :-)

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: The Kids Aren't Alright by The Offspring ]

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    "Time is a distance that you can't retrack by miles..."

    Hi everyone,


    Good week so far? I hope so. It's not been a bad one at my end. By the time you read this, I'll be on my way to being another year older. Crikey. The Big Four Oh is closer than the slightly smaller Three Oh, but it's better than the alternative! :-) Besides, I hear life begins at 40, so I've a few years to try and find out what that means. Well, unless any of you know in which case that'd save me some legwork. :-)

    Birthdays, they're a funny old things. I like the quiet ones. Just me, the kids and the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. Like my Dad said about Christmas, it's not so much the presents - although don't get me wrong, a gift is lovely to give or receive - it's as much about the company and having a good time together.


    With regards to age, I look in the mirror and I've noticed the gradual drift of time. A little less hair on top of my head; a few more wrinkles around the eyes. But it doesn't matter, not really. Make-up's wonderful stuff and I keep my hair very short these days. I had it long, down to my waist, when I was in my 20s, but I grew tired of looking after it and so it had to go. I don't miss it though. Funny, because in my youth I was dead against getting it cut short. Funny how we change eh? It felt so important at the time, but now, I don't think about it. In fact, the last time I wore a long wig, I had a
    dress with a low cut back. The feeling of it against my skin took me way back. Memories eh? :)

    Talking of memories, the other day I found an old USB pen and I found a stash of old photos on it. They were all tranny related - of yours truly - and, no, I won't be sharing these ones. Some are from when I started dressing up (well, in my 20s, not as a kid). I won't profess to being a stylish Fashionista, but I'd like to think my dress sense has come on a little since I started. On the other hand, though, maybe I should share the snaps because it shows that we all gotta start someplace. Passing? Heh. Dream on! :-)


    Deciding what to wear, that's one of my main struggles. I look in the magazines, what other women are wearing or what's in shop windows. I even look at those 'style sites' - MyShape.com, Hi Fashion or Carolyn Franklyn's blog (Ed: The Clothes Show anyone?) - for ideas. Not just ideas for what to wear, but ideas for what - I hope - will suit me. I mean last week, I posted about the miniskirt. I know women my age - late 30s - do wear them (with opaques, natch) and they can look good. I suppose my worry is that I don't want to look silly. Funny, though, it's not just me, otherwise there wouldn't be any make-over and style sites would there? :-)

    To be honest with you, my age...? It's just a number. Physically, I still feel the same inside -albeit a bit slower - as I did in my 20s. In my head, sure I have the odd dip (don't we all?) but I feel a lot more comfortable in myself. Funny, as a teenager the idea of being in my 30s was daunting - terrifying almost. Would I be on my own or married? Would I have any kids? Would I be employed? Hell, at one point: would I be male? But I'm all of those now... or still in one case... and you know what: life's good.

    On that happy note, I wish you a pleasant weekend.

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Don't Call Me Baby by Voice of the Beehive ]

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    "Are you ready boots? Start walkin'!"

    Hi folks,

    Not sure where to start with this entry. A lot seems to have gone on recently and it's all been a bit of a whirl. Thankfully, in a pleasant fairgroundy wheee-ooooh kinda way. That's far better than the hanging on for dear life as the 'copter takes off in an action film stylee. :)

    Remember

    Other than the tranny stuff, this week - in fact today - is of course September 11th. There have been a number of programmes on this week, but honestly, I didn't want to watch them. Our family wasn't affected directly by those awful events, but I do remember feeling.... what? I guess a state of shock at the time. I can't imagine what it must have been like for the families and really, I don't want to know. To that end, I didn't watch the programmes. Those type of things just leave me in tears. To a certain extent, I feel a bit of a fraud writing about this because I nor any of the people close to me were not (thankfully) involved.

    What happened was.... well, words fail me here. [sigh] What happened was so very wrong. I can only hope that we do not forget. I look back and the bulk of my emotion for that time is sadness. Yet, in that pool, there's also a quiet undercurrent of anger; anger at the people who did it and at the way the events were twisted to suit certain government's goals.

    Heavy stuff. Okay, moving on from the deep water to the shallower end in the swimming pool of life. :D

    Tranny Stuff

    Some time last week - and my apologies if I've mentioned this already - I picked up some new shoes. Matalan if you really want to know. It's odd with Matalan, sometimes the products are bang on in terms of design and value. Then, sometimes they just don't do it for me. Still, can you go wrong with some simple suede heels? So 80s too :)

    Regular readers will know I'd got some from New Look earlier in the month, but while they were what I wanted in terms of look, the comfort factor leaved a little to be desired. Replacements in hand, or more accurately, having been 'on foot', that left me with a pair to return. This week I managed a trip into town (another meeting, another day) and took those back.

    Talking of New Look, they - like seemingly everyone else except muggings here - now have a twitter feed. Yes, it's about their goods (Ed: Like duh! They are a shop, Lynn). but it does let you see what's coming in and the other day they had links to Hi Fashion (a blog well worth reading!). I noticed from Hi Fashion a link to bodysuits. It doesn't seem long since they were in fashion. More cycles huh? :)

    The weather's been rather good this week. Not too hot and not too cool - just right for fussy sods like yours truly. With little rain, it's been good to get out of the office and go for a long walk at lunchtime. The exercise seems to have done me good in that it's cleared the cobwebs away, made my heart work and helped shift the pot belly I was at risk of completing :) Good news all round really.

    A Big Night Out

    I'd been undecided over my Thursday outfit for Chameleons and the good weather was, strangely, not helping. Go with something more autumnal now the nights are drawing in, or stay with the summer vibe? In the end I thought I'd forsake my usual skinny jeans / top combo and go back to skirts. It seems funny in that I've spent most of the summer - from a trannying point of view - in trousers. So much for the stereotype of microskirts and fishnets :-)

    So Thursday's look was a tie-dye skirt, biscuit coloured top and black opaques. I'd gone with my new heels (the ones with the hidden platform) which I'm really liking. I had a cardy in the bag in cast it got cold, but it didn't. To be honest, I really enjoyed the change of clothes. It broke the usual routine of skinnies + heels and it really perked up my mood.

    The good news just kept coming that night as the meeting itself was very busy. We started off slowly, but more and more folk kept arriving. It was really good to see the place so busy with new (Hi Rachel & D!), not so new (Gaynor) and regulars. Hazel had brought along a quiz and it being open to interpretation, much laughter and fun was had.

    We now come full circle to fashion. I've been reading that thigh high boots are back in. I've seen photo shoots in magazines and Jess has mentioned them on her blog. I'm know some of you out there rock this look, but speaking about my own image, I find them a little too much. Knee boots, hell yeah, but over the knee and I - personally - can't help but feel like I'm on my way to a panto or Rocky Horror. Damned shame 'cos it's a very funky look. Big boots and a sparkly party dress; isn't that tranny heaven? :)

    Still.... there was also the remains of the Bring & Buy and in there was a leather skirt (Ed: How short?!) *and* some thigh high PVC boots. Both items seemed popular and for a laugh, I tried these on (thanks to Sandi for the snap). I could walk in the boots, but that skirt was *short*. I daren't bend down and man was it tight. I guess leather doesn't give very much. :-)

    Of course, my timing was impeccable was as I collected these, two new visitors turned up: a mum and her son. Talk about how to give the wrong impression eh? Still, I don't think they were looking. Sometimes I'm just too bloomin' respectable! :P

    Both were fun items, but neither were really me. The boots were patent and while I am a child of the 80s, I felt more Lilly Savage than Pretty Woman! :)

    So while the skirt too was on the short side. I did - ooh, ego! - hear some nice comments, but I don't (yet?) have the confidence for a number that tight and so far up my legs. The good news is that I did lay my hands on a gorge purple dress and that I did take home. It does need a good iron tho. :) (Again, thanks to Gaynor for the photo).

    Mind you, the boots did get a bit of use because I wasn't the only one to try them on. Steph had popped in and gave them a drive too. We also nipped outside for a comedy photo: taking her picture under a streetlamp. All very silly indeed and no, I won't be uploading that.

    On our way back through the darkened car park, my mobile started to ring. I thought it would be the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones, but it was someone from work about a server problem. Luckily I did remember to say my male name (phew!) although being stood in a car park talking shop to a work mate *while* in all dressed up in Lynn-mode was a somewhat odd experience. Do you find yourself walking slowly around as you talk? I did and I realised I better stop or make quiet footsteps before the sound of high heels made its way down the wire :)

    With regards to activities. I'm still trying to sort out a visit from Boots, although I have managed to talk to the lady in question. Tracey's looking into booking a meal (that'll be fun!) and the idea of a trip to the theatre has gone down well with the group. Personally, the meal is more my scene. Mind you, I better get on with some walking to build up an appetite.

    Here's to a good weekend - whatever you're up to! :-)

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: These Boots Were Made For Walking by Nancy Sinatra ]

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    "If there's lessons to be learned..."

    Hey good people!

    This week has gone by in a shot. Mind you, having the extra long weekend certainly helped... as did a bit of extra leave tacked on the end. I've hardly been at work this week, but at home with the family instead. Good stuff.

    I had originally written "Larks, this week has..." but it felt a little too Blackadder II. Still, if Hugh Laurie can go from playing The Stupid Prince to a hard edged surgeon, I guess there's hope for us all in re-invention. :-)

    Here in Nottinghamshire, school is open once more and it was time to make some sarnies, pack a bag and try to find the missing school shoe. How is it kid's shoes seem to repel each other? You put them together in the hall and by Sunday night, one has mysteriously moved. Perhaps it's the same force that hides one of your socks. Domestic devilment indeed :-)

    School and re-invention? Two concepts that have somehow collided in my subconscious and made their way out on to this blog. Truth be told, this is my second attempt at a Friday night post. The previous one was about a trip I had to a far away University, but it was so twee - despite being about race (never an easy subject) - that I canned in. It just didn't read right.

    So school, or more accurately, university has been on my mind this week. As I made my way around the city, I noticed an increase in the number of students. People looking for houses, trying to find where the less well known parts of town are, etc.

    University, or 'poly' for me (Ed: Lynn was never that academic), was - without wanting to sound too dramatic - a bit of a life saver. It enabled me to get away from my home town, meet new people, learn about life and start living on my own. Where I went, there were hardly any student hall placements, so it was out into the Big Bad World with you: bedsits, shared housing or a lodging for some folk.

    I felt that in some way I'd escaped. Broken away from some of the more toxic *ahem* friends I had. Not sure someone who outs you to anyone who'd listen can be called a friend, but you live and you move on. :-)

    No-one knew me at poly. I had a clean slate. No baggage of who I'd been nor judgements based on who I was. It was very liberating. I could, for what felt like the first time, just be myself. I met some interesting people over my time there. Some I've stayed good friends with. One I fell in love with and a handful of years after college, she became the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones.

    Ironically with all the freedom and chance to explore myself (Ed: not like that), I didn't do that much dressing up. I'd bought a few things and while I kept my legs smooth and my hair very long, cross-dressing didn't feature that much. Indeed, as I've pointed out in previous post, I purged what little I had in an effort to 'go straight'.

    Why did I do it? Looking back I can't remember. I think it must have been a few thoughts that built into something larger. Maybe part of me hoped it really was a phase and I could put it all behind me. Still, we all know how little story arc turned out don't we? :-)

    So what about the students of today, how will they fare? Technology seems to be at the fingertips and we all seem so inter-connected: mobiles, social networks, tweets, blogs, etc. What about those folk under the radar: students who are trans and who are growing up. I wonder how they will get on. Will they bury it all or will the local LGBT society / Internet forums lend a hand?

    Just last month I had an email from a tutor asking about trans resources for one of his students. Gabrielle (of My CD Life fame) and I have been chatting about various things and one subject that came up was 'making a difference'. Part of me wonders if there was a trans group at college, what could we - the trans community - do to help. Maybe another email is in order.

    Take care
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Sweet About Me by Gabriella Cilmi. (what a voice!) ]

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    "No more poison killing my emotion"

    Hey all,

    How's it going? Well, it's pretty much the Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK. Those extra few days off make all the difference.

    Talking of days off (Ed: seamless link, Lynn ) I had some time off this week to help look after the kids. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones was away on business, so it was up to yours truly to play house-husband for a bit. To honest, I really enjoyed it. No computers, no mobile telephones; just me, Wee Man and Little Miss (when she wasn't at nursery) having some quality time together. We had some good days out together, he got to play with his toys and we even managed a bit of tidying up. The local charity shops certainly did very well that day.

    One night, Wee Man was having a sleep-over, so it was just me and Little Miss. Once she was safely tucked up in her cot - she is only 'ickle' still, well, not that ickle, but still a toddler bless her little pink socks - there was time to plan a few outfits and exercise my tranny powers. Make hay while the sun shines and all that :-)

    Although I wasn't hitting the town - so to speak - it was nice to be able to take the time putting looks together and trying different make-up techniques and what not. I do need to have a chuck out because there's a lot of clothes I just don't wear or are perhaps a little too snug in the wrong places. I guess I'm hanging on to them either due to the memories attached or because they are more occasional wear - long black dress, etc. Maybe when I get a quite night to myself, I'll go through my wardrobe and try to be ruthless. I might have been a bit late to bed that night :-D

    Earlier in the week I'd stopped off at an out of the way beautician and had my nails shaped. It was something I'd thought about for a while and I finally found the time - and the courage - to walk in and get it done. Once I'd got over the initial fear factor, it was very relaxing and I'd recommend having it done if you can. Not too pricey either, but then it was just a shape and buff, no polish or plastic talons applied.

    Thursday rolled around quickly and as Granny had kindly agreed to a spot of baby sitting, I was off to Chams for a night out with the 'girls' :) It was a social do as we had nothing big planned but it was a packed night. I had a great time just chatting and catching up with old & new friends.

    Alison had asked in the group's forum about places to get help with make-up. Not just applying it, but finding out about the right foundation, shades, styles, etc. It is a bit tricky and while there are plenty of videos on-line, nothing beats talking face to face, or trying the products directly. Personally, I don't mind visiting, but some folk are a little more reserved (Ed: she means they don't have a brass neck). So, I thought I'd drop a Boots an email on the subject.

    I mean, we - the TG community - put a fair bit of money towards Boots, so I was curious to see what they might come back with. I got a reply back from Customer Services and a few names to talk to at our local branch. While I did have a chat with the Branch Manager (a very helpful lady), I haven't managed to get hold of the Beauty Team leader as yet. But with a little luck, we may get a visit. I asked the good people at chams - trannys and real girls (natals? :D ) - for a show of hands and just about everyone said yes. Hopefully 14 people or so should be enough.

    Well, that's me done. I hope the week's been kind to you and the weekend goes well too.

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Remedy by Little Boots ]

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    "Cheer up you old b*gg*r,
    c'mon give us a grin!"

    Hi folks,

    Or should that be 'hi friends?' Crikey. What a week that was eh? Storm in a C cup :-)

    (Ed: Oo, a smiley, is she on the mend?)

    All flippancy aside: I'd like to thank you all for your kind messages and advice; those sent through the blog, via email or by PM. They really did mean a lot and helped move me from the dark cloud I'd been sat under. Sometimes I guess you gotta clear the air... no, not like that... and get it all off your chest.

    I had a good old ponder about what the underlying issue may be, but I still can't put my finger on it. Still, I took your suggestions at face value: I had a good long chat with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones (surely the sage of the Jones family); tried getting a few early nights and kept an eye on what I'd been eating. I've switched to eating more healthily and tried to stay away from cake and biccies (yummy tho they are) as I wonder if the mid afternoon sugar crash wasn't helping.

    All things considered: I feel pretty good at the mo. Maybe Tuesday was just lots of little things that built up and up and then... BOOM.

    I also took some shoes back (although I may have worn them to Chams. Shhh :P) and got a refund. Much as I loved them, they were perilously high and while I don't mind suffering for a bit of glamour; there's a bit of foot pain and then there's beating your tootsies with an iron bar. Still, that's propped up the old funds.... and I may have seen some others. Time will tell if the Shopping Fairy waves her magic wand so I find them in my size.

    I've also booked a bit of time off to get away from work. Some of that will be with the kids, but I don't mind. When you've no deadlines and just the fabby blue skies to run under, it all starts to feel more worthwhile.

    So, there you go. Nothing particular exciting or a deep insight into the tranny-mindset, but you can't have it all can you? :-)

    Take care... and thanks again.
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Monty Python ]

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    Heartland

    Hi,

    Those of you with a nervous disposition or who have no truck with.... personal sh**.... look away now.

    Still reading?

    Can't say you weren't warned.

    Last chance....

    There's a rush of thoughts pulsing in my head right now; a flock of black shadowy creatures that swirl around. Mad fluttering with yours truly, The Queen of Drama, at the epicentre.

    At the mo, I'm just not with it. As I type I am both simmering with anger and on the edge of tears. Trouble has been brewing for a few days; no, weeks if I'm honest, and each time I've pushed it aside hoping a good day at work, some family fun or even...

    ( Now my fingers hang over the keyboard because my heart swills with the acid of guilt. )

    .... dressing up will help dispel the bad thoughts.

    But none of it does. I wake up feeling tired or, or... just numb. If not numb, then angry. I don't know where the f**k I'm going any more. Work bores me; I just can't seem to engage. The kid's get on my wick and I have zero patience. It's not them, they're not badly behaved, but I blow up and then feel bad at making them feel bad. The anger has nowhere to go. It spits and bubbles inside and corrodes the vessel it's in.

    I had such a good time at Chameleons I fear that I'll end up 'full time'. But the little voice of optimism that exists says: no, it's not that. That time is time outside of the normal world. It's a stressless place, who wouldn't want that? I want that to be true. I can't be full time and be a husband or a dad. That's not how it works and in my heart, I know it's all just fantasy. Just a f***ing stupid pipe dream. A man in drag. A bloke piling on the slap and a wig in order to flick a switch in his head.

    Sometimes, I hate being this way. These are the times when I wonder about cures. But that's BS too. There's no such thing. I can no more 'go straight' than I can fly. Hmmm... flight. No, the analogy works: you start off free and unencumbered, but after a while you find out it's not flying, but an uncontrolled descent. What was once a step off into clear skies is in fact a crash back to reality.

    I want to cry out, to break things. To punch the walls. Something to get the rage out of me, but I don't. I sit and I fold in on myself, lost in my own emotions.

    Heh, and I thought it was going so well too. F**k.

    Now my finger hovers over the Publish Post button. Do you deserve this dear reader? To wade through a sh**storm of my own making? Is this the point of a tranny blog: the warts and all of it. The good, the bad and the f*** ugly?

    I don't know. I just want to feel okay.

    See you Friday.
    Lynn
    x

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    "Sugar and spice and everything nice,
    wasn't made for only girls."

    Hey all,

    I hope things are going well your end. It's been a right f***ing slog over here on Planet Jones: the start of the week was just a right mare (Ed: mare as in nightmare. Not it was a horse. :P). Although, looking on the bright side, the week's jollymetre - the official UK device that measures happiness - plotted a graph like a wedge of cheese. Starting off thin and getting better each day... which was nice :)

    Monday and Tuesday were complete non-starters: very much the thin end of the proverbial wedge. Do you have those days where you just don't get anything done? That you get get stuck between tasks and you can't start anything new as you won't have the time to finish it off. Bah humbug in spades. :-(

    Wednesday was a bit better and Thursday I had a meeting in town. The meeting went well and lots of stuff got signed off and we made real progress. It was good to get out of the office - if only to break from the routine. I had lunch out... and bought some new shoes too. Well, I needed a bit of retail therapy after the first three days! :)

    Thursday night I was at Chams early as Little Miss was stopping off at Grannys (which is the right side of town for the Centre). Other than the karate crew - who have the place before us - there was no-one about. Being early, I headed upstairs to get changed rather than transgress on the folk who'd booked the place beforehand.

    Now, I had planned a rather summer-esq outfit of wide legged white trousers, a new top (well, new to me) and wedges. But... after the purchase of my new shoes, that kinda got replaced by killer heels, skinny jeans and my bustier top. I also tried my new slap - Clinque - which I bought a few weeks ago and used a make-up brush (rather than my fingers) to put it on. Close up, I thought the brush really made a difference to the finish.

    With the early start, it felt like I'd been there most of the night and as I didn't have my watch with me, the evening seemed to last for ages (but in a good way). We had a bring and buy sale to help top up the funds - I'd brought a t-shirt, some earrings and a vest top. Despite making some room in my cupboard, I bought a lovely green top (suitably fitted on the bust) but empire line so it skimmed in the right places. Thank you MyShape for the ideas of what to wear.

    We also had a visit from Last Orders. Not a punk act or a comedy gig, but two people (Polo and Steph) who informed us about the recommended limits for alcohol and ensuring you stay safe. What they had to say was very interesting: certainly to hear the change in society's attitudes to drunkenness and also the need some people have to get wasted on a night.

    Steph had on a lovely blue dress and - jokingly I think - was on the look out for other size 8 shoes. I was surprised she was an 8, but then a lot of the women folk I know seem to be a 7 or 8 these days. My feet wear paying the price for being in stilettos and Steph had some gorge black leather heels with a hidden platform in them. Compared to my glamour queens, they were like comfy slippers. Oh well, something for next time maybe! :-)

    The evening went well. We had a few new faces and it was cool to see a few of the newer recruits back again for another visit. Friday went by in a blur and I had a good long chat with our new neighbours - they seem really nice.

    Before I sign off, have any of you seen Undercover Dads (or the adverts) on CBBC? It's a kids show and - as I'll explain in a mo - it kinda weirds me out a bit... even if I really liked the demin jacket, long skirt and Uggs combination :-)


    Anywho, the gig is that Dad - with some help of prosthetics and the BBC make-up department - has to pretend to be MegaNanny. The latter is a cover story to get Dad to appear as a woman and then do a series of challenges with the family. The more he gets right, the more prizes the kids will get - not that they know this. 'Course, if he's sussed out, there's a penalty to the whole she-bang.

    I caught the trailer while Wee Man was watching CBBC - oh that's Children's BBC for those of you outside the UK (YouTube clip here). It's been pitched as a kinda Mrs Doubtfire-esq show and I really wonder how they got this one through. Hell, I'm all for a bit of pushing social boundaries, but I find this a bit much. BTW, if you're interested, there's a few re-runs available via iPlayer.

    Anyway, that's me done for a while. I hope the weekend's good to you! :)

    Take care,
    Lynn

    [ Today's lyric: King for a Day by Green Day ]

    Friday, August 07, 2009

    "When I get mad,
    when I get p*ssed..."

    Hi,

    This week's been a bit all over the shop. Parts of it have seemed to drag as if someone was holding back the second hand, while paradoxically, certain bits have zipped by in the blink of the proverbial.

    Blogging-wise I like to have something in mind by Thursday at the latest. I know that Friday's are generally pretty busy and while some nights I can fly by the seat of my pants, I find with the passing entries, that I like to put a bit of thought into them. Anyone who says otherwise gets a Paddington Bear Hard Stare :) Crikey, the nostalgia's flying thick and fast this time around eh? A bit of Roland Rat and now Paddington Bear. Holy yesteryear of talking mammals, Batman :)

    So, stuck of something to write about - well, that's not true. I was thinking about the shower of sh** that's on at the multiplex: the CGIfest that is the summer-time movie. I'm sure there must be some good flicks out, but for the life of me, I've not seen one that appeals to me yet. Maybe my old rule of thumb of 'only go to the cinema between September and May' seems about right. But no, my heart wasn't in that.

    In search of a moment of inner-calm, I do what I do when I get tense... no, not dressing up... I bake. No, really. I bake cookies or cupcakes. I find the whole she-bang very relaxing. It's good to concentrate on an activity and have something to show for it at the end. Double plus good if it's edible. :)

    Now, one could argue that I like cooking because I'm chasing my feminine skills, which personally, I think is complete tosh. I just happen to like baking. Hell, I like making things anyway: paper models with the kids, Lego with Wee Man and what have you. Baking, I think, is just an extension of that.

    While I can throw a few raw ingredients in a bowl, I won't profess to being a good cook. I think there's a big difference between a batch of biscuits and a Sunday roast. Honestly, I don't know how Mrs Jones manages it. There just seems to be too much on the go for a big dinner! Simple stuff - say no more than 4 or 5 ingredients I can cope with, but a few more than that and it's all too much for my simple brain :) Still, meat, 2 veg + sauce and that's 90% of British cuisine covered. The other 10% has something to do with custard and/or cakes. :)

    I could never understand the mentality of some of my old mates who didn't know how to boil an egg or make anything more complicated than beans on toast. Not to say that beans on toast aren't a rather nice dish, I just wouldn't want them for every bloomin' meal. I'd probably burn a hole in the Ozone layer after the second day :(

    Where am I going with all of this? Actually, now I've come this far, I really don't have a clue. :) I suppose if there is a point to this, it's the strange reasoning that cooking (or baking by extension) is essentially woman's work. I don't agree. Cooking is about being able to feed yourself and others. While I fancy the idea of being able to fix my own car, there's another part of my that's far happier producing scrummy cakes for an afternoon tea. Plus, car work, you get so dirty.... and it wrecks your nails :P

    Lastly - and in an effort to stop this being solely one sided - baking, yay or nay? If yay, any favourite dishes you'd care to share? If nay, why not?

    Take care,
    Lynn

    [ Today's lyric: Sh*tlist by L7 ]

    Friday, July 31, 2009

    "I'm not what they believe,
    and if they find out they will leave."

    Hey folks,

    Everything going well? I hope so... Right now the UK seems to be under a monsoon. Seems the jet stream's got the hump (Ed: translation - in a bad mood) and it's chucking it down. Put away those cute pumps and drag out the daisy print wellies. :-) Not that I have been, but heavy weather can be a trannys best friend. Wrap up warm and use that brolly to hide away from the negative elements! :-)

    Kerching!

    Anyhoo, I was lucky to get a spot of shopping in earlier in the week. I'd been building up a list of things to look into. I'd seem some fabby suede heels in New Look and I've been growing less pleased with my old foundation. I also wanted to see what was going cheap during the summer sales and if any of the new Autumn/Winter fashions were out yet.

    Well, the good news is that I don't need to make any more room in the shoe cupboard. Despite me being able to wear an eight most of the time, the pointy toe or rounded toe heels where not going to go on. Curse you, shoe designer! :-) Looks like I'll need a nine, but there wasn't any in the shop. Bad times! :-\

    On the foundation front, I've been reading good things about Clinique's range, so I dropped into a department store to investigate. Seems the two young women on the desk didn't want my custom. I smiled and did that expectant customer look, the one that usually signals a conversation and then an exchange of money for product. Actually, using the word 'product' is now making me think of The Wire. :-) Trannying, hard drugs? Who would possibly make such a connection? ;-) Moving on....

    So, no dice in that shop, I headed off to check out House of Fraser. Well, they had a sale on but nothing I wanted. I did a bit more walking (Ed: think of the calories burned, Lynn!) and reached John Lewis. The young lady there, bless her, didn't ignore me but was both professional and friendly. After hellos, I sat down and we discussed the types available and after lining up a batch, she proceeded to test run a few of them on my fizzog. I was pleased with the result and she offered to do most of my face. Satisfied, she removed the evidence and I was twenty quid lighter but had some good foundation in my pocket. Yay! We had a quick chat about fingers vs sponges vs brushes in terms of application and that was that. Between you and I, I like good service and when I get it, I'll say so. :-) I also dropped an email to the shop when I got home. I hope the lady in question gets the props she rightly deserves.

    All I need now is a night out to give the gear a spin. :-)

    Shape

    Petra was kind enough to share her tips about a web site called myShape.com. Basically, you measure yourself a million ways to Sunday and pop these gems of data into their system. After a bit of thought, the computer comes up with your body type and a series of suggestions of clothes that would suit you.

    Apparently I'm an M shape and a wrap dress is the way to go! Funny, some of the things they recommend are already my favourites. Weird. I would profess to have a fashion sense, but maybe my trannys powers are strengthening. "Now I am the master".

    That said, judging by the suggestions for trousers, I should stay away from leggings. Oops. :-)

    History

    I've been writing this blog for a while now and I don't think I can recall a time where I gave you the obligatory tranny potted history. :-) This will go on a bit, so get a cup of your fave beverage, pop on some tunes and get comfy. It's gonna have to be cut in places as there's large chunks of time where F all happened. These would be peppered with tiny sparks of tranny activity. I think there's a giant water drum that acts as a large collector for CERN that measures these events, but I could be wrong. :-) But back in the real world... I did mention a week or so ago, I'd tell you about me coming out. So here we go.... Run VT Errol. :-)

    When the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I first met, all those years ago, I told her during late night pillow talk that dressing up was something I *used* to do. She was fine with that and said she didn't like big macho types. Good news for me then! At the time of me telling her, it was true and I thought I'd put it all behind me. It was just a teenage phase right? I'd been clean (Ed: we're back to drug gags again aren't we?) about eight months before we met. What women's clothing I had, had gone; my leg hair had grown back and at least on the surface, I was normal.

    Normal, heh! There's a word to conjure with. Well, okay, not so much rabbits out of the hat, but hopefully you get my drift. So, normal... [sigh] Of course, underneath the facade, a mire of denial and borderline self-loathing seethed within. For the next six years or so, I hid it well.

    Of course, over time there was the occasional slip from the wagon. An evening here, an afternoon there when I had the house to myself. In those times I'd be soaring with feeling right, 'correct' if that makes any sense.... only to come crashing down to a pit of guilt and often disgust at what I'd been doing. Lying by omission and all that goes with it.

    Skip forward a few years and we were married (a wonderful day I'll never forget). Mrs J was doing well for herself having landed a good job (or so I thought at the time), but I wasn't doing so well on the work front. It was getting to me - big time. I suppose I could point the finger of blame and say 'it was the stress that made me start'. But that wouldn't be true. Despite my efforts to trash and burn, the tranny urge never really went away. It would sometimes slip but it would never vanish. The sight of a cute dress, the sound of heels on concrete. I think with the benefit of hindsight, I know that it is part of me: I'm a cross-dresser, a tranny, whatever label you want to pick. It's wired in my head and it's a core part of my personality.

    Maybe it wasn't the stress per say, but that I was at the right age. A time where you begin to shift away from nurture and towards the hand Mother Nature dealt you. Again, this would imply that I had no choice. But there's always a choice, right? Maybe. Rather than live with the pressure of lying, denial and dark moods - I gave up giving up. Looking back, it was a choice, but not one I wanted to make. I'd tried that particular hat on and while it fitted, it made me miserable. So, I saved up and bought clothes, boots, shoes, slap, etc and hid them well. You think a spy or an alcoholic can stash well? Amateurs compared to a closet tranny :-)

    Eventually the whole thing got too much for me. Work, keeping my dressing up secret or that Mrs J might find my clothes. My moods were bad, I was not in a good state. Now, I'd rehearsed telling the Lovely Mrs J many, many times. Of course, over the years I'd picked up on how I thought she'd react. But, do you really ever truly know? I don't think you can. Well, certainly I couldn't. One night, sat in on a dark evening, I told her. I felt my guts churn as I did so. I didn't want to drive her away, but I also knew that if I didn't do something about the way I felt.... honestly... I think I would have lost it.

    Of course, I upset her - like duh! - and for that, I felt bloody awful. The woman I love and who I married saying 'forsake all others'. Ahh, but how does it work when in some way, you are the other woman? I had no answers for that one but we worked through it. Somehow, through compromise, taking it slowly and by talking (at the right time) we got through it.

    Ten years on, give or take a bit, I look at where I am now: a fantastic (and accepting) wife; two lovely kiddie winks and.... peace. Sure, I have my ups and downs, just like anyone does, but the acceptance and love my wife gave me, it built on top of the help my friends at Chameleons gave. Slowly, the good erased the bad of self-doubt and the guilt, until eventually, I accepted who I was.

    It was a long and rough journey. I'm still walking and learning as I go, but some time ago I dropped a ton of baggage at the road side. It's long gone and I can barely see it anymore. Barely visible behind the curves of the path and through the veils of shared and personal history. I've certainly no wish to go back and go through it once again. Guess it's like being a teenager, going through it once is enough.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading.

    Take care,
    Lynn
    x

    [ Today's lyric: I Say Nothing by Voice of the Beehive ]