Friday, November 27, 2009

"Oh, what a night..."


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,

    [ 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..."


    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.


    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

    [ 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"


    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,

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

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    "Should I walk away or follow my soul"


    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

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