Friday, February 27, 2009

"Between the lines of fear and blame,
And you begin to wonder why you came..."


Man, I'm glad the weekend is here. What a week! :-) Nothing bad to report, just the bits at work have been very frantic. I'm glad that's behind me.

Thursday night was a bit different. As the usual hosts (and hostesses) were away, I had the honour of opening up for the group. As Mrs Jones is out tonight, I got an early pass and was off to the centre to sort things out.

Tables and chairs done, I nipped into the side room to get changed and I was pretty much done (just putting my lippy on) when the first person walked in. I picked up the dress last year during the summer sales and while it's shorter than I'd usually wear. with opaques and boots, I'm okay with it... I just have to watch how I sit down! :-)

Anyhoo, Jane had kindly brought along an award certificate from Nottingham Rainbow - a local county-wide LGBT group - that she'd collected on behalf of the group. It was to celebrate how long the group had been running for and for the work they'd done in helping people.

I suppose looking from outside, or perhaps looking in as a non-tranny, you may wonder what that work is. Well, most of the time we sit around, talk and drink tea. It's very British. :-) But jokes aside, that's all that can be required sometimes. I mean, think back to what it was like before you got your head around who you were. Indeed, maybe you're still finding out. After all, it takes time and sometimes a little help: a friendly face and the chance for a chat with someone who can (hopefully) understand.

What goes on at the group - well, that's one thing I do get asked about a few times. It is a lot of sitting about and talking, but then I enjoy a similar level of socialising with my mates down the pub. The only difference is at Chams, I don't have to watch what I say. There are no secrets and that, for me at least, is very liberating.

Later on, we cleared up and I got changed. I wasn't long but most folk had started to leave by that time and I was left to lock up. That's something I've never had to do and it was kinda odd: pulling the door shut with my clothes all packed away and my face bare, it seemed like a chapter ending. At least, a chapter from a well loved and enjoyable book - with luck, one I shall be coming back to again.

Take care and I hope the weekend is kind to you,

[ Today's lyric: How to Save a Life by The Fray ]

PS: In other blog news, Staci - she of Femulate fame - has posted one of those before and after group shots. It's a subject that somehold grabs my attention. Not sure I'm brave enough to show you all how I look 99% of the time :-) ]

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Daddy told me look into the future, sit at your computer..."

Hey folks,

By some strange quirk of Fate, I've been working away from the office for a few days this week. Sometimes from home, other times from remote sites. It's not something I do a lot, so there was a fair bit of novelty to it. With broadband and the various remote access technologies out there, working remotely was a doddle.

I sat enjoying a quiet cup of tea as I waited for an installation to finish, my mind drifted. Firstly, it was nice to be able to sit and look out on to the garden rather than the usual view from the office window. Secondly, I wondered if this was a sign of the future. With the UK Government using motorists as a serious revenue stream and the ever rising costs of running an office ('leccy, parking, rent, etc): how long before we really see a shift to a virtual workforce? I've read about start-up companies - particularly in large cities - doing this, but how long before the mainstream catches up?

Sure, there are some Health & Safety issues to address - apparently a laptop on your knee for 8 hours isn't the done thing (which I don't do) - and some less trusting management regimes aren't keen on the idea of the staff being out of sight. But it can mean you can work more flexibly and that you're not sat in traffic using petrol up or clogging the roads. Web cams and VOIP telephones mean remote meetings are possible. Although to be fair, I still prefer a good, old fashioned sit-around-the-table meeting with a flip chart and pens. :-)

Is this a good thing? The idea of more home working or will it just mean more working hours and even more blurring between home/office life? For some jobs, you do need to be there. But for many office jobs, you don't: telephone and email can be all you need. The one thing I did miss, however, was the office chit-chat and banter. Sure, you could say it's distracting, but I like to call is socialising :-)

In other news, I spotted this advert for a Marks & Spencers' capsule working wardrobe. It features 5 Mylene Klass's. Now... who wouldn't want to work in an office like that? :-) Mind you, at those prices, I'm tempted by a few items myself.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: No Good Advice by Girls Aloud... who won something at the Brits - yay! ]

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Twenty-four little hours..."


As the song goes, what a difference a day makes... At the start of the week, I had one those bad days that comes along once in a while. It seemed everything I did just didn't work. But, there are two bright sides to this: 1) it's only work* and 2) if you didn't have bad days, the good days wouldn't seem as good.

* Work? Yes. Hmmm. It was one of those days. I do try to leave work behind when the office door shuts, but there are times when what you've been doing (or been unable to do) nags at you. I guess it cuts the other way too. I remember someone telling me to leave your personal life at home - all well and good if you don't have a life at home :-) (Ed: meow) - but the rest of us mere mortals? We're not robots, so what goes on in life spills over into whatever you are doing.

Anyways - lets not dwell on the fleetingly negative! Thursday was a very different affair. As Mrs Jones was working late, I was on school duty..... so I had the afternoon off to make sure I'd get away in time. What could I do in the 3 hours prior to picking up Wee Man? :-)

I headed into town to pick up a Valentine's gift for the ever lovely Mrs Jones. That done, I thought I'd drop by Hot Hair and see if they had anything in. I'd seen a nice wig on their website (Kat) *and* it was in the sale. Being in the sale, it had sold out.... pants. So on a whim I dropped by Debenhams because their wig stock (Ed: wasn't that a festival?) is very good. I tried on a few - the ladies are very helpful and it's nice and private - but I went back to my first choice. An hour later, I'm made-up, packing my bag for a night to Chameleons and I've tried my new wig on.

Despite a half-hearted attempt at another white-out, the Fates smiled and the snow turned to sleet and then to rain. Roads clear, I headed off to Chameleons. I was first in (Sandy had asked for someone to open up), so I put out the tables and chairs. I hung around a bit seeing if anyone would show (due to the weather), but after 10 minutes, I went upstairs to get changed. Unusually for me, I actually remembered my camera.

Thursday evening turned out to be a really good night. I had a very pleasant chat with friends, catching up with what they've been up to and I met two new people too. Dave and Becky. Both were nervous - and who can blame them? - but had plucked up the courage to come in from the cold (literally) to see what the group was like. I didn't get to talk to Dave much, but I had a good long chat with Becky and this that and the other.

All in all, a very good time!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: What a Difference a Day Makes by MarĂ­a Grever ]

Friday, February 06, 2009

"They come, they come,
To build a wall between us,
We know they won't win"


How's things going? All good I hope. For those of you in the UK, did you cope with the snow? :-)


Crikey, it's been cold this week - indeed, just the right level of cold to make it snow... and woo, did Mother Nature save some up for the UK this year. I've still got this child-like glee of the snow. The sound it makes when you walk on it, the effect a snowfall has on sound, the things you can make (igloos, snowmen, etc) and perhaps just the fact that we (Brits) don't get a lot of it.

Perhaps it's the rarity of it, that there's some magical quality to a snowfall. Maybe living in Norway or New England would cure me of it, but I think I'd have a blast for the first few months. :-) Of course, taking the kid's to school or driving to work in a blizzard it is not so much fun - even if there's a fair bit of novetly attached to it. Still, schools were closed so it was off home to get the wellies on and build snowmen in the back garden!

Read all about it!

Prior to the big snow-in, I was visiting the outlaws and in a quiet moment, thought I'd have a look at the paper. I don't really read the press, not through any snobery or moral opposition, but just sheer laziness. I can get the headlines from the BBC via RSS, so why pay for a paper?

This particular paper was The Daily Mail - stop groaning at the back! :-) I'll skip on the whole why-I-don't-like-The-Mail discussion because it's old hat. So... page 7 I think it was and I catch sight of the words: invaded by transvestites.

Good grief! A drive-by shoe pillaging? An out of town store stripped to its hangers of all that glitters? No, a small town somewhere in the UK hosts another regular social event where chaps go along and... well, dress up like ladies. You can read the article here. BTW, what makes it for me, is not the article itself but the comments from Jo(e) Public. It seems the majority of the public just don't give a sh** what we tranny folk get up to... Provided it's not kinky stuff - but I wouldn't want any part of that either! :-)

Sure, we look a bit odd - I'll hold my own hand up to that - but really, are we hurting anyone? If the idea behind the piece was to whip up a storm of fear and panic, then... well, F minus boys & girls, seems most of the public's just not with you on this one.

Go Joe Public! :-)

[ Today's lyric: Don't Dream it's Over by Crowded House ]