Friday, July 31, 2009
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! :-)
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. :-)
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. :-)
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.
[ Today's lyric: I Say Nothing by Voice of the Beehive ]
Friday, July 24, 2009
Normally I start my blog posts early in the week. I like to mull over what to talk about, particularly if it's a little involved or I need to get my head around what I'm going to say. Some weeks though - and this is one of them - I don't have a particular thought to get down on paper (so to speak).
Back in the day, I used to blog like this all the time: live and direct from my head to the keyboard. Although, of late I've been starting the posts earlier. Giving them a bit more thought in case I run dry of ideas for Friday night.
Today, as I'm at work right now using everyone's top wordy processor: notepad. I'm lucky I'll remember to get the spellchecker will get to cast its electronic eye over this before I hit post. :-)
While I should probably have my mind on work right now (it's 10.43), a few folk have nipped off for coffee and I'm thinking why not strike while the Muse is hot? Wait, that doesn't make any sense at all does it? :-)
Party on, dudes!
Nothing like a good night out with friends to put you in a good mood eh? Yesterday we had the annual summer party at Nottingham Chameleons. It was delayed a little to let it coincide with Anne-Louise's birthday. I won't mention her age and I've gaged 'Ed' too :) Happy birthday! :-D
A few brave souls had gone for the 60s theme, although most of us had stuck with summer outfits. For me, it was a little too warm for the idea of boots, tights and mini dress. Although in all honestly, I don't have anything remotely 60s in my wardrobe. I did consider going for a hippy chick vibe but that didn't really come off.
We had a few new faces pop along: Gaynor popped in for her first visit. I had a bit of a chat with her later on. Emma (of not-so-secret-life fame) came along for the first time too and we - and Sam - had a good long natter. I also got a few snaps off, so maybe - if you're lucky - the two young ladies will be updating their galleries. The usual suspects where 'in da house' (as Mr G would say), so it was a packed night. Val had bought herself a new 'do' and looked great. It really suited her.
There was the obligatory raffle to boost funds and to help cover the excellent spread that Sandi et al had put together. So much lovely cake and so little room in the dress I'd worn :-) I'd brought in a necklace (which Sandy seemed to have her eye on!) and some chocs to help increase the number of prizes. Every little helps as they say.
As the tickets went around, in for a penny, I thought, and my generosity was rewarded! I won some choccies - Mrs Jones's favourites too. Sam also won some chocs and when my number was up again, I slipped the ticket to Emma so she got something too. I don't like winning twice... although for the lottery, I'd make an exception :-)
I switched to my dancing shoes later on - just in case - but the music remained 60s stuff and with the layout of the tables, a good boogie wasn't on the cards. Still, not to worry, it stops you getting all hot and *ahem* glowly. :-)
On yer bike
In other news, earlier in the week I had the dubious honour of turning a previous attendee away - not an 'admirer' in case you were wondering. The chap in question.... he's not your typical TG (tranny, CD, TS: pick a tag) and for reasons I won't go into here on this blog: a line was drawn and he crossed it.
A few of us talked about it and we decided it was best for the group if he didn't visit again. I feel a bit bad doing that, but at the same time the group is here for TG people. He's not going to get what he wants at the group and he's likely to upset folk. The latter will never do as Notts Chams is very protective of the TG folk who come along.
[ Today's lyric: Paparazzi by Lady Ga Ga ]
Friday, July 17, 2009
In a short while, Blogger will be 10 years old. For those of you who... uhhh... blog on Blogger, you've probably seen the article on Blogger Buzz. For those of you who haven't and those that have and can't remember, a quick recap:
But we want to know more — we want to hear from you about what Blogger has meant to you over the past decade
The last 10 years? Woo, that's a long time. Crikey, I'd be in my 20s and what a time that was. Let's move on eh? :-) Looking at the calendar today, in another few months, it'll be around 10 years since I came out to the ever lovely Mrs Jones. A post for another day perhaps? :-)
I'll be honest and say I didn't get the blogging thing first off the bat. Lots of people had a home page (GeoCities, remember them? Well, they're closing up in October of this year) but I never did. I guess being a stay at home tranny, at least back then, I was still coming to terms with who I was and I didn't have much that I wanted to say. I think I was concentrating on keeping it together and worrying what would happen if I was found out... either home, work or somehow on-line. It took a while for that fear to drop, but there's only so long you can be at 2 minutes to midnight and keep that worry going.
Skip on a few years and things have changed. I'd heard of blogging but I think the first TG blogs I read were either from either Jo or Becky. A diary is one thing, but a blog? A lot more interactive, but not the scrum that can be a proper forum. I suppose the idea rumbled around my subconscious for a while and I decided I'd join in too. It certainly wasn't a 'I can do better' vibe, but more... I wanted in. I wanted to talk, to get things off my chest (Ed: other than the tit tape) and really... to connect with people like me. I'm just a regular married guy with two lovely kids and a top wifey... I just happen to have this side of me that likes pretty things and I like to get dressed up and get out. :-)
To actually answer the question about what Blogger's meant: it's more than one thing. It's helped me be who I am now. I'll skip on the Newton quote (Ed: the shoulders of giants?), but through reading and talking with other bloggers, it's helped me find peace with who (or what) am I. That and the help from my dear wife.
I've also had the good fortune to meet up with some cool people through this web 2.0 contraption: Maddie, Sam, Sandi, Sarah, John, John II :) ... to name but a few. Then there's the people I only know through email and you dear reader. Kinda weird, having friends that you only know via your inbox :-)
I hope that in some way, any TG folk who may be struggling, can look at what's been recorded on this blog and learn from it. The message, if there is one, is if I can do it, so can you.
[ Today's lyric: The Boy Does Nothing by Alesha Dixon ]
Friday, July 10, 2009
How's things with you? [insert lengthy pause here] Hmmm... Plenty going on in my head right now, but I've not yet got my brain around how to type it all up. I guess writing an entry once a week, pretty much every week means there will be some repetition and it's that that makes me stall. It's break the flow out of my head and out to the keyboard.
Thursday I was off to Chams (sorry, Nottingham Chameleons) for a bit of social. It was a lovely sunny evening and part of me wondered about setting the tables and chairs outside. Still, it was early on and in the UK, you never really know what the weather's going to do. Job done, I nipped upstairs to I get changed (I remembered my camera and to charge the batteries!): long summer top, leggings and wedges. It was those or the gladiators, but I think I'll be needing flats for the party next time. The flash isn't quite right and I think my camera is on it's last legs. Still, it's been faithful and perhaps it's time for retirement... and a damned good wipe program for the memory card too. :-)
Anyhoo, the evening was quiet. There was around half a dozen or so of us there: Tracey, Sandy, Yvonne, myself and a new lady called Andy. To be accurate three others turned up but disappeared outside for a chat for most of the evening. Andy turned up around 10ish and it was her first time to the group. She was - and quite understandably so - rather nervous. I suppose when you go to a group for so long or you go out as much as some of us do, it becomes second nature.
Talking of going out, part of the reason why it may have been so quiet is that it's Sparkle up in Manchester. I've not made the effort to go, mainly due to a lack of organisation on my part and family commitments. Part of me would be interested in going just so I can make up my own mind.
There's been praise, scorn and satire of the event. I wonder which of the three are closest to the truth? The cynic in me says satire, but I'd like that not to be the case. :-) I wonder if my lack of drive to go is that I'm lucky enough to get out regularly (from a tranny point of view). Last year I went to Harmony and I didn't really click with the event. The company, food and disco was very good, but it felt a little stayed in places. Perhaps I should have headed to the bar when the beauty contest started. Mmmm... beer :-)
Some people on-line and in real life (Ed: IRL?) have been saying that the next generation of trannys are making the most of the more accepting attitudes in society. I've heard it said that they don't need the support groups or organised events that the current wave do. As the old guard (Beaumont et al) don't seem to be relevant anymore (Ed: Don't sit on the fence, Lynn!) so perhaps the organised events, socials or support groups could one day go.
But... I don't buy that. Maybe some folk are happy to get on with it, but I think as long as we - we trannys have hang ups over who we are - so we'll have support groups in out of the way places to help people come to terms with who they are. It's not all bad news, but hey, it takes a while for that message to get through.
So, whatever you're up to this week: stay safe and enjoy. That's an order, private! :-)
[ Today's lyric: Shimmer by Shawn Mullins ]
Friday, July 03, 2009
I can't put it any other way other than: blimey, it's hot. I suppose I could say Scorchio, but that's an old Brit TV gag :-) Mind you, there's always Google and YouTube.
I tell you what, I was glad I was at work this week... at least some of it has air con! I don't mind a bit of sun, but regular days of 30C (Ed: not the bra size) just do me in and I bet the kids wouldn't have liked being couped up in the car nor being daubed with sunscreen until they looked like they'd been rolled in evaporating goose fat.
I suppose for those of you from hotter places will be scoffing at my inability to take temps beyond 28c. Dammit, Jim, I'm a Englishman, not a jungle explorer! ;-) If it's much warmer were you are, please let me know. It may even give me some perspective!
The office has been hot and many folks - well, gents to be precise - have forsaken the shirt and tie. Shorts are now on the cards and I've given up on long trousers until the temperature drops to a more typical British mid 20s.
Strappy vests seem to be the order of the day for the ladies at work. While part of me - the tranny part I guess - has a slight twinge of jealousy over women's seemingly endlessly more varied wardrobe. V cute shorts and gladiators for one, but not with my hairy pins. ;-) At the same time, I'd kinda glad I don't have to worry about what the fashion mags pump out at this time of year. Bikini diets, fan tans, the war on body hair, etc.
I've read in a few places that if Climate Change was going to occur, we can look forward - not quite the words I'd have used - to seeing British summers very much like the shake and bake of 2003. While I like the blue skies, I'm not keen on the temperatures. That said, part of me wonders how the work clothing would adapt for men. I notice that many delivery drivers and postmen / postladies....
actually, that sounds a bit TS doesn't it? :-P
... now wear shorts. Will we see the equivalent of City Shorts for men? Mind you, a few companies have been trying hard to flog tights for men, so as markets shrink, I suppose it's only natural.
Here's to a cooler weekend!
[ Today's lyric: Girls Aloud with Long Hot Summer ]