Friday, December 31, 2010

"I'll rip it up to shreds and let it go."


How was Christmas? I hope it went well and if you were with family, that it wasn't too much of a trauma. :-) Things went well here and the planning over early Xmas shopping - not to mention the speedy wrapping - all paid off. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones did rather well, by her own admission, not mine. Wee Man was all made up over the amount of Lego he got and Little Miss? She was happy playing with her toys too. Throw grandparents into the mix and a good meal and really, I think we did pretty well.

On the present front, Mrs J surprised me with some early gifts. "You'll have to open these on Xmas Eve." They turned out to be some rather nice - and non-male - gifts: a pretty bracelet, some Clinique Take the Day Off and a eye/cheek set too. All very pretty. Wow. I was pleased as punch with those. Honestly, and maybe this sounds overly dramatic, but I'd always hoped that one day, I'd get such gifts at Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful of items I receive.... but these? They are more special to me as I think it shows that Mrs J is okay with this side of me. And yes, I did spoil her rotten in the present presentation. But then, what are wifeys for, if you can't spoil them once in a while? :-)

Funny how dates fall eh? My last blog post was Christmas Eve and here we are a week later, on New Year's Eve too. Well, subject to when you're reading this! :-) 2010 has been a bit of an odd one. A few ups. Certainly some rather unpleasant downs - speaking personally. Yet, looking back, it's not all bad news. Sure there are government cuts, but both Mrs J and I are still employed. The kids are doing well and our parents - considering their age - are also ticking along.

It is, of course, the end of a decade too. I won't go into a huge long list of what's kicked off. I'm sure you had your own personal histories that mean more to you than what I'll prattle out. ;-) I'll leave the media to pick over the bones of the last ten years and, to be fair, they'll make a better job of it than me. :-)

if I look back at the start of the decade, I was nearly 30 and only a few years married. Skip forward ten years and now we're a family. I don't mean this as a crowing exercise, more a case of feeling how lucky I am. I hesitate to use the word 'blessed' because you know me and religion. :-) Unlike that closeted guy I once was, I'm able to be open with those close to me. I get to go out - in Lynn mode - and just enjoy life. I've had the good fortune to go clubbing or go on social evenings. Events I'd dreamed about when I was young and really, I thought would never happen. I suppose it may sound shallow if you look at the idea of living for one social event to the next, but it's not that. It's a balance: I enjoy guy stuff too (just not sport or cars) and the tranny stuff is the other side of the coin. It's a chance to express all sides of me, rather than having to lock a portion of me away and keep it hidden. I think most of us know that's a right pain. :-)

I've got a great bunch of friends from Chameleons and there's you guys here in the blogosphere too. It all helps and it all makes it worthwhile. I find purpose through it and while it's been tough on occasion, pushing on - rather than giving up - has paid out massively. Sure, there have been some dark times, but we all have to walk through the sh** once in a while. So long as you learn from those events, are they always a bad thing?

To close, good luck to you all for the future and take care!


[ Today's lyric: When I Grow Up by Garbage ]

Friday, December 24, 2010

"If only for today, I am unafraid..."

Hi folks,

Only a few more hours until the big day eh? Excited yet? Panicking over those last minute gifts or reading up on tomorrow's massive cook-a-thon? That was 'cook' by the way and nothing rude, but lets move on eh? :-)I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope that 2011 is kind to your and yours. If Christmas isn't your bag - socially or religiously - then happy holidays if nothing else :-)

The presents are all wrapped and stashed. The TARDIS like fridge freezer is packed with goodies, ready to be baked & primped as the hordes descend tomorrow. I've had a large G & T  (Ed: hic), so it's time to finish off a quick blog post and then put my feet up for the rest of the evening. Despite the huge amount of wrapping done recently, we are now 100% sorted for tomorrow. I hope the kids like their presents - I think that's the main drive behind Christmas. Making it special for those dear to your: the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones, Wee Man and Little Miss. LM is tucked up in bed and she's still a bit wee to get the hang of what it all means. Wee Man on the other hand, he's been a bit up & down over it, I guess it's hard to wait so long for something as exciting as Christmas. I hope he's not disappointed.

Talking of Xmas gifts (Ed: ooh, seamless link there Lynn :-) ), I was out with Mrs J and visiting friends the other week. It was a couples do at a local restaurant and while most of the men folk sported jumpers and shirts, the fair sex wowed with knitted dresses or more fitted numbers. Mrs J had gone with skinnies and the gifted boots (thanks Sophie!), so she looked particularly fab - and yes, I did tell her. Anyways, talk got around to Christmas shopping and keeping in mind this was only last week, the majority of the men-folk had yet to buy anything. "Well, I don't really like shopping..." Well, yeah, maybes, but suck it in and get busy! This is Christmas and not trawling the shops/Internet doesn't send out the right message. Funnily enough, I'd finished *ages* ago and when I recounted this tale, so had Maddy and a few others. As Mrs J said: Give me a considerate tranny any day. At least my gifts are on time and on trend. Bless her! :-)

Sticking with the tranny theme, last night was rather good - to use a typical bit of Brit understatement. It was the last meeting of 2010 and considering how close it was to Christmas Eve and a liberal sprinkling of snow, we had a very good turn out. I got their early - a little too early it seemed - and I had to ring the caretaker to pop along and open up. I didn't have to wait long and once inside, I set up. The heating had been off, so it was a bit nippy. Furniture and lights sorted, it was off upstairs to get fabulous. I'd brought along two dresses - something old, something new - as well as two sets of shoes & a pair of boots. Well, best hedge your bets. I was pleased with the new dress (see piccy) and decided to go with the higher shoes. I wasn't sure about my ability to dance in them, but hey, in for a penny eh? Maddy and Alison turned up - the latter looking rather glam in a black outfit + boots and pink tight. Maddy said she wasn't going to come along - due to other commitments - so it was a nice treat to see her (thanks for the card BTW!).

Back downstairs, folk started drifting in. I handed over a small pressie to Sandi & Tracey (for all their hard work and help during the year), said hello to a few friends. I did remember to bring the boots along for Kate, but it seemed in the rush later on, she forgot to take them home (oh well!). I bumped into Sophie, who was rocking a rather nice long black number and cute furry coat. Sandi had brought the music system along and me the laptop, so a few tunes were queued up and we had time for a spot of dancing. I was surprised that my heels were easy enough to dance in, maybe it's a tranny thing - you get a head for heights? ;-)

Towards the close of the evening, we had the obligatory photo shoot and as ever, just a bit of larking about. Kate had said she had trouble relaxing for a photo and smiling. Well, if there's one thing we can do at Chams, is act the fool(s). Not sure you'll be hearing the advice of 'say cheese motherf***er' in Photography Monthly, but it did the trick and a (natural) smile was there for the snapping. Click. Sorted. :-)

Chocolates and biccies snaffled, thank yous and goodbyes said, it was off to brave the cold of the night and back to our respective homes. All in all, a lovely way to end a year of meetings on.

Take care & happy holidays!

[ Today's lyric: Take My Breath Away by Berlin ]

Friday, December 17, 2010

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Festive greets! :-)

I hope all is well with you and yours. All sorted on the shopping front? Personally, I'm done. The Jones Massive have pulled together - no, not like that - and the present cupboard is fuller than Jordan's bra. Present-wise, there's lots of stuff for the nippers and quite a lot for Mrs J too. I guess I like to spoil all of them and it's only money right? It's just the wrapping to get out of the way and I'm not really looking forward to that. :-) Still, on with a few choice tunes and just get stuck in.

I had the good fortune to visit a friend during the week and in addition to lots of laughter and plenty of cake snaffling, there was a wee bit of item exchange. I offered Sophie a long black dress. I think that was gorge, but I just don't fit into it. Mainly as it's a 12 and I'm not. :-) I wasn't really a swap event, but Sophie was kind enough to offer me a rather nice pair of leather boots. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones took an interest in the latter and I think I've lost those to a more needy home LOL. Still, it's good to share isn't it? :-) Then again, maybe I should have wrapped them up. Doh! :-D

For a wheeze I had a look on the eBay Outlet and a rather nice dress caught my eye from Very. I've never ordered anything from them, but I really liked the look of it and at only 20 notes, I couldn't say no. That's tapped into the PayPal funds a little, but hey, it's Christmas and a girl's got to have something to wear right? :-D I've just tried it on and while it's rather body-con, it's a nice little purply pink number. Tis the season to be gorgeous..... and also thankful. Funny, coming out from under the cloud, I can see and enjoy the good things in life. I don't mean the material goods, although don't get me wrong, I do like my creature comforts. No, it's family and the fun/love they bring. Sure, it's hard work sometimes, but I think it's really worth it. Funny, there are two blokes in my social circle who are going through divorces right now and it's taking their toll on them (understandably so). That makes me count my lucky stars and hold on to them.

Next week will be the last meeting of Chams until the New Year. Larks, 2011. How quickly that seems to have rolled around eh? There'll be a spot of dancing and perhaps some fish & chips to keep the cold at bay. No sure what music I'll be inflicting on the group, but something will come to mind no doubt.

I've also got the week off because of the way my work holiday has fallen this year. Wee Man's school will be closed now, so I'll have him climbing the walls as the excitement builds towards the big day. Hopefully, all will go to plan and maybe we'll manage to catch a film or maybe play in the snow if the weather turns. Hell, I've managed to source a new sledge, so fingers crossed for just enough of the white stuff to cover the local hills.... but not enough to shut the roads. We've got a number of folk coming round for dinner. :-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas by Meredith Wilson ]

Friday, December 10, 2010

"So looking for answers if only one,
Turn my back the urge has gone."

Hey folks,

I look at the white space of the input form and lots of ideas flit around my head. Trouble is, holding on to one long enough to get it out and on to paper. :-) The snow seems on the way out as the weather just about returns to normal. Not more icy windscreens and life-in-your-hands walks along the pavement. Well, at least until the next big snowfall :-)

This week was shorter - work-wise - than usual because I had a few days off. One to look after Wee Man as he wasn't 100% bless him. He - and then us (natch) - got hit by the heavy cold that's doing the rounds at the mo. Still, it was only a 2 - 3 day thing and he's over it now. The day after that, off for some Christmas shopping to make sure I've got enough for the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. I think I'm just about there on that front. I also managed to grab Maddy some bangles from Outfit. A bargain at only a fiver. Sadly, they were not the silvery ones I said I'd get, but they seemed to go down well enough. A collection of various patterns/colours to mix & match with an outfit.

I had an interesting email come in the other week. Something from asking to look at what they are up to and then to hold off until the big launch of National Dad Week (this week in fact). I guess it was fairly automated, but I wouldn't say it was spam. Apart from that being rude, it's also inaccurate. I've had a look at the site and it seems all about advice (in a good way). The campaign is about getting Dad's involved with looking after the nippers. There's that old chestnut about trannys being who they are because of a distant father. Not sure I buy that. Personally, my money is on how your brain is formed in the womb. I think I posted about that much earlier. Anyways! I don't know if it's a personal thing or a tranny thing, but I do like time with the kids. Funny, anecdotally, or to put it another way "with no scientific basis at all" (LOL), I hear from trans friends that somehow they seem to get this role. Sometimes as the dad, or other times as comedy uncle who is good for a laugh. What truth there is in any of that, I wouldn't like to say, but if you've got a view on that, I'd love to hear it. Anyway, the site has some interesting videos on there and it's not like they give you a manual when it comes to bringing up nippers. ;-)

In other news, it was time for Chameleons once again. This time though, I didn't take any of my fancy outfits. Oh and before you reach for the back button, I didn't go in the nuddy either. That would be far too scary. :-) No, I think it was a combination of being busy (shops, kid care, groceries) and having shaken off a cold, that I found myself thinking: Meh. I went along anyway - certainly to catch up with friends and to help set up. I thought long and hard about outfits, but no, the pull just wasn't there. To be honest, it was rather nice not having to hurry home to get a close shave, bung the bags in the car and go through the motions of all on / all off at the start/end of the night. Instead, I sat around and had a good long natter with friends until it was time to pack up. The evening was pretty quite, but a better word might be intimate. Just a group of friends clustered around, enjoying mince pies (yum!), good conversation and lots of banter.

I did take my camera along - as Sophie was sporting her new boots - to do the honours, but those snaps won't be on here. That wouldn't be fair really. That reminds me, we had a new girl come along (Ruth) and it was her first time out. Hopefully we didn't weird her out too much and I'll post on the forum about passing the snap along. Photos done and everything packaged away, I waited for Alison to get changed before dropping her off. She'd chanced taking the bus and as it's not too far out of my way, it would be rude not to offer a lift.

All good really! Oh, one last thing - as Colombo might say - I'm off to see the quack this Monday and I guess it'll be interesting to see what he has to say about the pill situation. Just the other day, Mrs Jones was saying that I was back to my old self. I must say, it's a good place to be and the big drive to dressing lots and lots has faded away as I've mellowed. Fingers crossed it stays like this.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: The Island, Part One by Pendulum ]

Friday, December 03, 2010

"Oh the weather outside is frightful...."


Funny, I can't think of that song lyric without thinking of Die Hard. Guess it's an age thing. :-) How's things with you out there in blogland? All good I trust.

For those of you outside of the UK, we've had quite a large amount of snow. Despite Hollywood showing a British Christmas as flowing sea of pure white drifts, the truth - as per - is somewhat different. Mostly November/December is dark, cold and mostly rainy. Except for this last week anyways :-) This time around the snow has been pretty heavy and it's been unusually cold too. Certainly a lot colder than a more typical November.

Speaking personally, I think we got off pretty likely hear in the East Midlands - maybe its the power stations? ;-). Sure the drive was snowed out, but we're not far from the main road and as I live near a large village, Wee Man's school remained open. Little Miss got just the one day away from Nursery, but that was no biggie. I've not taken them sledging yet and given that it's been dark when we've got home, we've yet to make a snowman either. Talking of family, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones was around and about near my workplace, so we met up and had lunch together. One of those rare treats. Much as I love the kids, sometimes it's nice just to be a couple for a little while. Talk, laugh and enjoy good food and good company. It certainly made my day.

While a few folk in the office have been shivering in coats, I find that my tranny powers aren't all bad news. Certainly, an amount of fashion flexibility mean you're not fussed about the whole "I can't wear that" mentality. So, on with a good pair of leggings or thick tights beneath your jeans to keep your legs warm. I knew those extra footless tights would come in useful. :-) Mind you, I did find myself putting the better quality ones to one side. After all, you wouldn't want to snag a pair of your best ones would you? :-D

I bought some snow boots earlier in the year - for that trip aboard in March - and now I'm getting the use out of them. Sure, I may look a wee bit too metrosexual in them, but knickers to that. My feet are warm and dry, that's the main thing. Probably a lot more so than the young lady I saw walking through the snow in heeled boots! I don't know if that's brave, dumb or just plain stubborn. :-)

One of the stranger things I've notice about the old snow boots is the noise they make as I walk. They remind me of more glamourous footwear. They're not like my work shoes or trainers, so on some odd subconscious level, I find myself adjusting my walk. Not so much the tranny stereotype of throwing in a wiggle, but more a slow down in pace and less striding or mooching. I do know heels alter how you walk and lets face it, when you're dressed up, you don't want to be stomping around the room. It just seems kinda wrong. I suppose it's a fine line between that comedy mincing about and graceful movement. :-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Let it snow by Cahn & Styne ]

Friday, November 26, 2010

"And you will be so happy to know,
I've come alone, it's over."


I'm a bit stumped on how to start this post. Not through any requirement to put out a massively important message, I guess it's just breaking in the white space. Did you ever get that feeling when you got a new exercise book at school? That first sheet was somehow sacred because it was unmarked and full of what might be. Then again, I may just be being a bit of a mentalist. ;-)

Anyway, let's start with some good news shall we? As way of a change ;-) Whatever synergy it was that's sent the old Black Dog on holiday has kept working its mojo. I've felt... well, just kinda normal over the last few weeks. Okay, as normal as I'll ever be (LOL) but you get my drift. It feels good, nay, very good, to just be myself once again. To be able to be enthused about life and if I am sad, to know that it's not forever. No more bouts of stooping under what felt like the weight of the world.

Sure, I get tired and things nark me on occasion, but they are fleeting moments in the long view. A good kip settles one, discussion or joking resolves the other. I no longer feel like I'm hanging on trying to avoid slipping down the slope. Neither am I parked up in a lay by staring into space, lost to the world, or obsessing on why dressing up could cure my ills. I didn't, I think it was an attempt at distraction - not that it helped. Still, whoever said humans made sense? All of that seems far away and in an unreal sense, a bit like it happened to someone else. I'm struggling to reconnect with that depth of sadness... not that I want to go there again. :-)

But, enough about me, what else has been going on? We had the Chameleons Christmas party on Thursday. Having had a buffet last month, we went for the option of having a Chinese meal to make the catering easier. Given that we were flush on funds, subs were waived and it was just a case of popping a few quid in to cover the food. I was lucky to get their early and put out the tables and chairs. It's not a lot, but it's one less thing for someone else to have to do. Besides, a little exercise helps doesn't it? After that, off upstairs to get changed. Funny, I've managed to resist buying a new dress this Xmas. There are a few I like the look of. I mean, Maddy had a fab number on that was a fitted, asymmetric little black number with this season's lace sleeves. But then I thought when would I wear that again? :-)

I packed just the two outfits, a red number from yesteryear - okay, the early 90s - and a purple dress I got at the Bring & Buy. The purple one didn't quite work, although I love the colour. So it was on with the body-con red dress. I saw a very similar number in New Look while out Christmas shopping for the Ever Lovely Mrs J. Why re-spend when you can re-wear? :-) Top off with my trusty slightly Gothic black lace cardy and I was good to go. Oh and I struck tranny gold with some bangles from Evans. Okay, highstreet chic, but they went on over my man hands... and after I caught Maddy wanting to try then, I did let her borrow a few. Hey, it was Xmas. ;-)

Oh talking of Maddy, I did pass her a sequined number I had from 3 years ago. It didn't quite fit right on me, but Maddy's shape is different to mine and she was rather chuffed with it. No point hanging on to stuff you don't use. I was hoping to bump into Kate and hand over some boots (not from Sophie - I'm coveting those LOL). But no show on that regard. I offered Alison my purple dress because I've tried it a few times, but it's never felt right. I've got to make a bit of room in my wardrobe! :-)

Make-up wise the look was a bit stronger and I dabbled with a bit of black eyeshadow (Urban Decay) via an Avon eye brush I bought last time. That and... oh, how dragtastic... false eyelashes. I thought I'd give them a whirl because it was party night. Dare I say, there were fairly easy to put on. I probably helped that I had a good pair of tweezers and some good glue. The cheaper glue took ages to dry, whereas this stuff was just the right level of stickiness in a few seconds. A couple of blinks later - and an audience (why?!) - I was fluttering away. I'd gone for a more natural shape and it did make a difference to my look.

Downstairs, Sandy, Tracey and Rebecca had decked out the hall with table clothes and tea lights. There was a Christmas tree and sparkly disco lights too. Folk mingled and there was lots of chance to catch up with friends. Tina had a new wig on and for a mo, I didn't recognise her. I had that nagging doubt that I knew her. Funny how hairstyle changes a person's appearance so radically. The Chinese food when down a treat and afterwards we had the raffle. Muggings here volunteered to pick the tickets out, although we had a slight problem with the wrong tickets in the bag. Adds to the fun I guess. A quick tidy up and it was time to crank up the laptop. I'd found an audio lead that plugged into the group's stereo, so it was soon tunes a-go-go. Nothing too Christmasy, some disco stuff, some kitsch, some heavy and some old school stuff.

I think we had about half and hour or so of dancing, then it was time to rush upstairs and get cleaned up. Maddy was kind enough to take a snap of me - on the stairs as way of a change - and then it was goodbye to everyone until next time. What a cracking night.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Landed by Ben Folds ]

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Still looking for answers if only one,
Turn my back the urge has gone."

Hey all,

I remember Monday fairly well. The journey to school, packing bags, wading through work emails. After that, everything seems like a bit of a blur. Not a drunken or robotic loss of memory, just... well, this big rush and then I found out it was Thursday. I like my time at work to go quickly, but maybe not quite so quickly! :-)

Funny, but as a kid, you'd be sat in your least favourite lesson - Maths, no French... no, most of them if I'm honest - and how the time dragged. A whole 40 minutes of being sat at a desk. But now? Forty minutes is just a good kip or a ride home if the traffic's bad. I wonder what it'll be like when I get to 60? Will I shut my eyes after reading the paper - or iBrick / eInk / stone tablet - only to find it's time for the Antiques Roadshow? Bah, iPods. I never liked them back then either! ;-)

What's been happening on Planet Jones then? Well, I do seem to be going into housewife mode at the moment. Yesterday I was beavering away in the kitchen... well, not so much gnawing through a tree to build a dam... but baking. I did say I liked baking and as it's Children in Need this weekend, Wee Man needed some suitable themed cakes / biccies to take to school to sell on. A quick mix with the necessary ingredients and one bag of brightly coloured sweets later, I was done. Tired, but done. It was worth it for his big grin the next day. Oh, and the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I had to test them. Strictly for quality control purposes I must add ;-) The Big Night is going off as I type, so I hope (if you're UK based) that you've put a few pennies or pounds in the collection boxes here and there.

I picked up another batch of anti-miserablist tablets from the doctor's today. Not that I've been back in the dumps. Wherever the Black Dog has run off to, he (or she) seems to have stayed from my door and I can't say that's a bad thing. I did have a touch of gender jealously this morning - if that's a term. I was sat waiting in the waiting room and I saw an old friend. She was dressed very nicely and for a mo, a little voice inside peeped: "Why not me?". I know the answer to that. The answer is, you can, but not with all the things you enjoy now. Priorities. Truth is, I don't have it so bad. Not when it comes down to it. Sometimes a little more femme time - if that's not an appalling use of the English language - would be nice, but equally, I kinda like being a bloke. It's certainly a lot quicker to get ready in chap mode.

I tell you what though - and on a clothes related note - I had to dress smartly for a do at my parent's place the other week. Shirt and tie. Okay, not exactly high end formality, but how it rankled. I really didn't like wearing it. Funny, for years I'd worn a shirt and tie to work - okay, not just a shirt and tie - you can get arrested for that ;-) But over the past year or two, I've stuck with jeans and various casual tops. Wait? tops? I mean t-shirt. Sorry I forgot men don't wear 'tops' - that's a tranny thing again. Doh. :-) Where I work, we don't see the public very much and perhaps when the Black Dog turned up... I kinda gave up really. I just ditched the plastic corporate image and stayed casual. Are corporates plastic? No, I meant I was.

So the do was done and I got changed before going home. As we drove back, I did wonder why I had disliked the style so much. It seems a funny thing to get your knickers in a twist over. Still, it was short lived and no great shakes. In other news, I've had a TXT from the Avon lady trying to organise our deliveries and I think, we're just about sorted for the Xmas Do at Chams next week. Well, I say sorted. I've still got to decide what I'm wearing. Trannys eh? :-)

Hope things are going well for you. Whatever you're up to!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: The Island, Part I by Pendulum ]

Friday, November 12, 2010

"You can check it all out, it's the weapon of choice"

Hey all,

Nothing but good news this week... as way of a change ;-) No distant bark of the black dog. Maybe it's been blown away by the recent gales? You can but hope eh?

With a smile from Lady Luck and a few TXTs, I got the meeting agreed with the Avon Ladies. I had a slight wardrobe brain fail on the Wednesday and so I did my usual of packing two outfits. This time, the kilt-style skirts, new top, leggings, spare tights, two sets of boots and some skinnies just in case. Maybe that was a tad overkill, even for me, but despite trying to lay the items on the bed and decide, my mind was a bit all over the place.

So, heavy bag in had, I dropped Little Miss off at Granny's and made my way to Chameleons. I was very early to arrive, so I got the book out and headed upstairs to get changed. One of the good things about turning up early is if the room's free, you can set up. Sadly it wasn't, so I was upstairs and the extra half an hour gave me time to try mixing the outfit up a little. Funny, last time the plan of skirt + tights + boots hadn't worked, yet on the night all was good. Strange that. Do you find your opinion of an outfit changes when you get close to going out?
How the professionals do it.
Fully changed, I headed downstairs to find some of the others had turned up. Tracey and Sandi were about - if somewhat knackered after a very busy day. The evening rolled on and I caught up with Pat, Maddy and Alison too. No sign of Sophie (get well soon Mrs!) Then, as arranged, the Avon reps turned up. All three of them - I'll spare their names - and we had a good natter and Maddy had her make-up redone. Talk about tools of the trade: check out those bad boys! :-)

As they got the camera out for some photos for the Avon magazine, I nipped out to make more tea for them. Guess I'm not quite ready to see my mug in a magazine just yet. ;-) I've got some snaps of that, but they won't go on here unless she's cool with that. The make-up lady did a really good job on Maddy's eyes. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the process, but I was talking with Sandi and Tracy.

We got talking about various things and conversation turned to the fight - is that the right word? - against depression. I found what both Sandi and Tracy had to say very interesting. Sandi: because she went through the mill as being Tracy's wife, and Tracy: as she went through trans issues and depression too. Bottling it doesn't seem to be the answer (obvious in hindsight), but equally, the BASEjump launch into transition isn't right for everyone either. Some yes, but everyone? Hmmm. Like I said last time, I'd be happy to flip between each role because I know I wouldn't make a passable woman. Honestly, that doesn't bother me and Tracy's comments were along the same lines.

Sam turned up later on and it wasn't long before we got out the famous Chams photo backdrop, or to use its technical name: the sheet. :-) There was much larking about and photos taken. I had a really good laugh. Again, just utter silliness and other such japery. After that, time to get changed and give Alison a lift back home. I thought it would be a bit mean to make her get the bus given the weather and the time.

All good stuff.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Weapon of Choice by Fat Boy Slim ]

Friday, November 05, 2010

"If you only knew what the future holds,
After a hurricane comes a rainbow..."

Hi folks,

How's things? All good I trust. In my neck of the woods? Okay now, but the start of the week... well, I think I had to prepare a spare bed for the Black Dog. Irksome so-and-so, he'd moved in over the weekend. Why I've not idea, maybe trans stuff or maybe just a slump in the old brain chemistry. I wish I knew. :-) Still, plenty of work and some good laughs with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and that sent him packing.

I've just got in - hence the later than usual post - from a very nice meal with Mrs J. Not so good for the waistline, but certainly very good for the soul. While we ate and talked - not at the same time I add, this wasn't McBurgerFC ;-) - there was the crackle and whizz of fireworks outside. All rather good to be honest. Oh... and while we talked about Christmas presents, it seems I may be lucky enough to get some trans things this time around: maybe jewellery or some new eye make-up. That I do consider a real treat. It's something we'd talked about once or twice, but it never happened. Guess we'll see what Santa brings, but it really made my night.

In other news, some of you may have noticed the It Gets Better Project that's been running on YouTube in the States. For those of you who've not heard of it, there's a series of videos from LGBT folk to LGBT youth... with the statement of the project It Gets Better. At least, it was LGBT folk imparting that while life sucked here and there as a teenager, it did improve. I think it's cool to see a number of non-LGBT folk getting in on the act. I hope that it'll drive acceptance onwards and kids who aren't the same as everyone else - no matter what or who they are - can feel good about themselves.

I think it'll be a while before I pluck up the courage to get all dolled up and film anything. I'd like to, but at the same time, I want to get over whatever is rattling unseen in my own head.... otherwise, I'd feel like I wasn't being 100% honest. To contradict that, it does get better. I'm not alone and 99.9% of the time, I'm cool with being trans-something-or-other. I've got a wonderful family and good friends too. 'Straight' friends and trans friends. My social circle includes lots of different people and for me, that works just fine. Certainly a world away from what I worried about as a teenager.

So, on that jolly note, I'll see you in a week. Look after yourselves.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Firework by Katy Perry... which - bless her - Mrs Brand dedicated to the IGB project. ]

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Somewhere on a Monday morning,
In the rush hour of another day..."


As way of a change this post is live and direct. Actually, no, that's not true is it. What if you are reading this a week later? :-) Okay, what I mean is that I've not been working on this one, adding bits and bobs as the week rolls along. I suppose that may be in part because I've had Monday and Friday off this week. It's half-term, so me and Wee Man have been amusing ourselves with this, that and the other. That's a lot of words when really I could have said: this post is unplanned ;-)

Tuesday saw my last session with the counselor. I think it went well, although I still feel that I've yet to hit upon the answer. Hell, I think I've yet to hit what the issue is, let alone the answer! :-) But, looking on the bright side of it all, talking about matters - sometimes in lead pipe honesty - has helped. As I said to Ali  - sorry, Alison - t'other night, being able to talk things over with someone who doesn't have any emotional link to what's going on is rather helpful.

As I posted a few week's ago, I've had my meds upped to 30mg. I guess they must be floating through my system well enough because I've not had any more dips recently. Instead, I've pretty much had typical days. Some fun, some boring, some average, some tiring - really, a return to how things were and for that, I guess you've got to be thankful.

Did I learn anything from the introspection and intellectual scrutiny? I think so, yes. There were not any hard or fast truths: more a collection of observations and possibly things that I've avoided. Some on purpose, some accidentally. Whichever category you want to bump them into, they included making sure I wasn't ignoring the couple relationship between The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and myself (hence today's lyric) and also, had I done the come out journey on my own? For the latter, I don't think it was on my own - I had help from friends (real world and on-line), but Mrs J was on the fringes of that. I'm not going to say that's a good or a bad thing, it's just the way things are. It can be tough to balance your time between your kids, your work, your family and your relationship. There are but so many hours in the day, but I guess you make time for what you need to. Of the people I know, I don't think anyone has some magic ratio for keeping all those plates spinning. On a closing note for that, it being the last appointment - and big softie that I am - I had brought along a small box of choccies as a thank you.

I got my bag packed ready for Thursday and with a pair of boots and some heels, it was rather full. I wouldn't mind, but I only had two outfits in there. Both dresses - the brown wrap one and the skater dress - plus some tights and leggings. I could not make my mind up, so I cover the odds and see what takes my fancy when I get there.

I arrived earlier than usual and I bumped into one of the Avon Ladies who rents a meeting room every now and again. She asked if I knew anyone from the Chameleon Group and I said that I was & that we'd met last time. I suppose with the whole en drab look and lack of wig + heels + lippy, I did look rather different. :-) Somehow, I do take a bit of reassurance from that. Maybe close friends would spot us in the street (so to speak) and while most of us aren't going to pass, do we look different enough from our male image? There's a thought. Anyway, we got chatting and we swapped a few ideas about them running an evening with us. Something I'll come back to later. The downstairs hall was still busy, so I headed upstairs to get changed.

Everything went to plan, although having treated myself to some false eyelashes - well, it was a party night, so why not? - I was a bit miffed to find that the set I bought didn't have any glue with them. Bah, humbug! Still, the Boots nail varnish I got for a quid worked a treat. Even if I did forget my base coat. Outfit all done - the skater dress and funky tights - I headed downstairs to help set up. A lot of folk had already arrived and two of the trestle tables were groaning under the load. I added to that with a half dozen bottles of soft drinks and then the laptop for some tunes later on.

On the way back in, I bumped into a lady called Christine and her wifey. It was a first time for them at the group, so I lead them in, sat them down with some other new-ish couples and made them a brew to be getting on with. It's a fine line, you sort of want folk to feel welcome, but at the same time, you don't want to be all over them in case they want a bit of quiet time and/or to circulate themselves. Nicole also came along for the first time (fab dress) and Katy returned after her last visit (killer heels, BTW). Sophie was full of cold (bless her!) but had soldiered in to ensure the biscuit supply was truly in effect.

Midway through one of the Avon Reps popped in and handed over a catalogue and some suggested dates. That lead to me giving an impromptu public announcement asking folk over what they wanted to do about the Christmas Do, Avon and Boots coming. A few suggestions were made and we've agreed to have Avon around first, move the Xmas Do to the end of November and try to have the Boots event at the end of January. I've already made a few phone calls, but nothing's come back as yet. Fingers crossed though eh?

The night rolled on and we nibbled, chatted and drank the night away..... at least the drivers amongst us didn't drink. The raffle did rather well and that put the group's funds up nicely. Later on it was time to cut the cake - Val, myself and Jane - before having a bit of a boogie. Me being me, and it's usually me who instigates the disco-noise - I'd brought along some new tracks. Some I found easy to dance to: Hummingbird Heartbeat by Katy Perry and Crush by Pendulum. I'm not so sure the last one when down well with the older contingent, but hey, you can't have it all. :-) I did take my camera, but in all the goings on, I didn't get any snaps off. I know Sandi and Val were doing the rounds, so maybe you'll see some later on.

Take care,

[ Today's Lyric: The Loving Kind by Girls Aloud ]

Friday, October 22, 2010

"I was breaking out of my own skin,
Choking upon release,
I'm in no state, to judge you..."

Hi folks,

Winter seems to have arrived. Frozen windscreens, leaves turning brown and a rush to get the kids into their coats before we go. All the apples have gone from the trees in our garden. Many have been boxed or given away. We had a bumper crop this year. Stuff to be thankful for eh? Then today, a bright dose of late sunshine to melt the cobwebs away.


Therapy time again. We seem to have fixed it all to the trans railroad and off we go along it. I've been keeping a track of my moods, just a series of dots in Notepad. Any day that's more than a 5, I think of that as being typical; normal even. It's been helpful. Being able to look back and see a small pattern and one that's slowly rising upwards. Sure, I'm not fully out of the woods, but I can see the hedgerows and open fields. At least I'm out of the darkness and there's no distant bark of wolves. Okay... that's enough with that metaphor ;-)

So what have we discussed? Initially, turmoil within my family - not my as in Mrs J and the nippers - but Jones Senior. Then the birth of Little Miss and how it affected me. To be honest, the birth was fine - no complications for her or Mrs J. Little Miss is by no means a screamer (not like my friend had). Lastly, the trans stuff and perhaps most accurately, my body image. Not that I need to have bits amended - let's keep it clean ;-) - but certainly appearance plays a part of it.

Sure, many days I sport a day or two's stubble because I'm in such a rush and I'm just not bothered about a bit of beard hair day to day. Yet, arm-wise and leg-wise, there are days when it does bother me. It is those areas that seem out of kilter, even when I can't see them as they're under a top or shirt. I had a chat with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones about this. I picked a time when neither of us seemed uptight or where tired and hoped we could talk about this without it getting into an argument. We kept it civil and while I won't be sporting smooth pins, we didn't have a bust up over it. That was the Monday and the following day I talked it over. The councillor suggested that the depression maybe down to the fact that I'm as 'out' as I can be and if I wanted to push things further, it would need to be done with Mrs J and not alone. Given the finite nature of the appointments, I think next week will be the last one.

I've talked again to Mrs J about all of this and she says she's not keen on the idea of couples counselling. Even if we went at different times - because, what about the kids? - she said she wasn't sure what value it would add. She also said, how much to you trust these judgements? A little part of me (Ed: no, not that bit) wonders if the trans stuff has flared up because I'm upset, rather than it being the cause of the upset. There's a difficult call to make. As I waited for the bus back, I caught sight of water running down the gutter (hence the snap). If there's a blockage, the downhill flow doesn't stop - it just backs up, the pressure building up and up until something gives. Maybe that was the problem. Just a build up of lots of small things?

The interviews, if you want to call them that, have been effectively three periods of an hour. Can you really say what's troubling a person in that time span? I think... I think she has a point, yet so does the councillor. I guess it's a case of that old adage: three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. Where all of this fits in those categories I couldn't say.

Oh and talking of categories, I was asked *that* question. Not by Mrs J, but by the counsellor.

Do you want to transition?

I said, no as for the most part, I like being a guy. I guess, just a very metro one ;-)

She then said, Mrs J's not here, what do you really mean?

I was a little thrown by that and then I smiled. My answer was this: if there was just me on my own and I thought work would be cool about it - I would probably flip flop between appearances as the mood took me. One day him, one day her or maybe a row of each depending on my mood. I don't fancy going full time. She accepted that answer and we moved on.

I'm just too lazy and I know I'll always look like a bloke in a dress. Okay, on a good day, I may be lucky enough to look well groomed / turned out, but with my height, shoulders and jaw - I'd be fooling no-one but myself..... but really, that doesn't bother me. I accept how I look and I'm cool with that. For me, it's not about fooling people or being mistaken, it's just about feeling right and cross dressing helps me feel that way. There are times when I need to feel well dressed as a guy and other times, well dressed as a woman. I never said it would make any sense though :-)

I think that there's also a danger in that when you concentrate on what is wrong, you can't always see what is good. You dwell on what you don't have. I'm seeing the doctor on Friday (or will have by the time you read this), so we'll see what happens about the pill dose. I may be feeling slightly more level as my dose went up about two weeks ago.


I also went shopping for the first time in ages. The new Autumn/Winter fashions are out, but really, I'd look at them and think meh. Nothing has really grabbed my attention and I've heard the same story from a few (genetic) ladies too. All much of a muchness they say. Too much beige and the same old story with heels and the air hostess/MadMen fitted dresses aren't really my thing. Sure, I've seen the ankle boots and cable cardies people are sporting, but they don't hold my attention enough to want to buy any.

Disillusioned with the web, I decided on a spot of a bit of real world retail therapy and as I wandered through the store, I did clap eyes on a cute top and two rather nice panelled skirts. One was dark denim and the other more kilt like. I tried them on in and both fit - which was nice. I did try a jumper dress, but I wasn't sure about the V neck - it gave a rather odd fit across my shoulders.

The Ever Lovely Mrs J and I had another chat about the trans stuff. Again, a level conversation where we talked about it and neither of us go uptight. I know I find it a bit troublesome: embarrassing sometimes, but so it goes. We talked about why Mrs J wasn't involved and I said it was totally up to her. I mean, why should she be? If I may pry, how many of you are out to your partners and of those, has she seen you and what happened?

Other News

After a chat with my GP, I've got another batch of pills to keep me on the straight (!) and narrow. He asked about the counselling process and we talked briefly about that. He said that the aim of the chemical treatment was to take your mind off the depression and give you room to think about what may be wrong. Watch this space I guess.

This coming Thursday is a party at Chams. We've had a number of birthdays and we like to have a shindig when we can. This time around we're forsaking the Chinese food and going for a fuddle. I think I've mentioned this word before; it's when everyone brings a few dishes with them. I've got a list that needs posting on the forum.

Also, I've had a provisional date come back from Boots. It should be good, the last one was excellent and it was enjoyed by Boots and the Chams massive. The only snag is that it's the same night at the Xmas Party. But, that may not be a bad thing. We may be able to have Boots do something between 8 and 9.30, then do the Xmas food and dance later on. Boots have said that this time they'll try to bring products (with 10% off - woo!) to buy on the night. I know that was a problem as some people wanted items on the night. Brand wise, we're talking No 7, Clinique, Estee Lauder (hopefully), Lancombe and possibly some folk from perfumes too. Sounds like a go-er and fingers crossed people will be amenable to it.

Lastly, I've just noticed this little blog is now five years old. How time flies eh? I wonder what the next five will bring? There's a thought ;-)

Righto. That's me done for a rather long entry. I hope the weekend is kind to you.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Crush by Pendulum. ]

Friday, October 15, 2010

"You're in and you're out,
You're up and you're down."

Hi peeps,

Before we dive into this week's wittering, I think I should take the time to say thanks. A number of you commented, PM'd or emailed me over last week's troubles and I found that deeply touching. You didn't have to and for you doing so, I'm grateful. Thank you.


Laptops, they're a bit Martini aren't they? Not so much shaken not stirred, although today's appointment did turn over a few stones... Where was I? Oh yes, tortured analogies. :-) Any time, any place, anywhere. All you need is a WiFi signal and you're good to go. Well, okay, a full battery helps too. ;-) So here I am, holed up in a quiet room, sarnies to the left of me, laptop to the right. Hmmm... this is rapidly turning into some type of song isn't it. (Ed: concentrate, dear, concentrate).

How did today go? I talked... a lot... as per. That poor lady, having to sit through that eh? :-) At least it's for a reason and it's part of her job. I wonder what it's like on the other side of the fence? Sat, listening; picking out the details from the roll of chit chat and explanations. Hmmm, something to think about another time I guess.

It's funny, from the initial appointment - although perhaps 'review' would have been a better choice - I felt that we were going to talk about unresolved grief. Something I alluded to in a previous post. But, the more we talk, the more light is thrown on my life. Through the questions asked, it seems that we come back time and time again to the trans elements of it. Not so much how I struggle with it, dare I say I am happy being a tranny. I think the problem may be that I'm not a happy tranny. Does that make sense?

In some way, I find it helpful. To stay on the sunny side of the street, I feel I can talk fully and openly about this. I guess it's a more... clinical? Is that the word I'm looking for? No, not clinical. It's more analytic. Dear, this is becoming a stream of consciousness isn't it. :-)

So, it's more from an analytic point of view on the whole situation. The history, the narrative, the internal workings and my relationships with people. The summary of our conversation seems to have moved on from the idea of smoothing things over, in that I seem to be masking. There's so much I don't talk about: emotions, the trans life and my feelings. Not because I want to smooth stuff over, but maybe because I don't want to share it with folk. Why do I say trans life? Well, much as I don't split myself up between Richard and Lynn (Ed: oops, real name alert!), I do keep the two social worlds very much apart.

Hey, I find that somewhat ironic because here on this blog I do not that. [pause] No, that's not true is it. There's stuff I don't mention on here. Certain elements of going out, how the kids are doing. Pants, I've just proved it! Whoops. :-)

The counsellor in question is very good and she was honest enough to say that the trans stuff is very new to her. Sure, she's aware of it, but not to the depth of someone who lives within that culture. It's going to be an interesting journey for both of us. To be honest, I've asked if it would be helpful if someone from Chameleons, maybe even me, answered a few questions on the subject. Not that I'm an expert, moreover, just a peak into what goes on with the social circle and what type of issues trans folk may experience.

As to the masking idea, I guess that feels a bit easier to talk about with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones. I mean last time, it didn't go that well did it. I suppose you could construe the idea of 'smoothing' as I'm holding back because of you. Again, maybe the truth is deeper than that. Maybe I'm holding back because I fear what the truth will bring. There is something to ponder.

Talking of pondering, I have to decide what to wear for Thursday. :-)


Last night was just what the Doctor ordered. How do I feel? A lot better than I did over the last few days that's for sure. Maybe some quality tranny time was all that was needed. Makes me wonder if there's a pattern beginning to form.

I'm not normally this camp.
It's usually far worse ;-)
Anyways, I got their early and got the tables and chairs ready. The place had been locked up, but thankfully I had a copy of the codes to open the doors. After that, it was nip upstairs to get changed. As per, I had my outfit and backup outfit :-) With that careful planning, the jeggings stayed in the bag and I went with my funky leggings. They're not shiny nor matte and feel good, so on they went. I decided on a long pink top and as I wanted a bit more coverage, I had a long pale blue wrap top too. I had to let Maddy in as someone had shut the door downstairs. As I finished getting ready, I had a good long chat with her and Alison about this, that and the other.

Downstairs, Sam had turned up and although the evening started off quietly, we all got nattering and had a good laugh. Not all of it was quite so politically correct as it probably should be, but hey, we're a minority right? :-) Sam and Maddy spilled the beans on the exploits of PP. Sophie was kind enough to bring a few boxes of cakes - bless you mrs! We also talked about the pain of laser - something I'd like to sort out when I get on top of the money situation. Maybe not face, but certainly chest as that's pretty patchy to be honest and I really wouldn't miss that. I guess I'm lucky in that my beard is a bit here nor there. As to chest hair, an epliator takes care of it, but on a bad day, I still get a bit of razor rash or the odd spot and that kinda ruins the look. Trannys, we're such vain creatures aren't we. :-)

Talking of vanity, there was the obligatory fashion shoot - or turkey shoot - depending on your point of view. I'll forward those around. Val has started to take snaps of people during the evening and they're very natural shots. It was also her birthday the other day - so many happy returns if you're reading this. Val!

As Tracey wasn't about, I counted up the money and put it away until next time. I locked up and that was that. Meeting up with everyone and a bit of Lynn-time has really helped. Friday passed without any visit from the Black Dog - perhaps its off burying a shoe some place? - and for that I was grateful. My memory seemed to be a little more on track and while I didn't do a huge amount at work - so it goes - I was in a much better news. The Ever Lovely Mrs J is out tonight, so I've got time to go through the photos that people took and pass those around on email. All good stuff really.

On that contented note, take care and I'll see you next week.


[ Today's lyric: Hot and Cold by Katy Perry ]

Friday, October 08, 2010

"Owner of a lonely heart
Much better than a,
Owner of a broken heart."


How's tricks?

This time around the post is, to coin a well loved phrase, a game of two halves. Well, not so much on the game front. That would imply some type of playing about or.... actually, I don't know, but something less than serious. :-)


As I write it's Tuesday afternoon and I've just come back from my first counselling session. It was a positive experience and we talked about a number of issues. How do I feel right now? A little calmer than when I left. Back then, I left... well, not upset, but like I had been shaken up internally. As if there was a swirling wind within me; something pushing at the metaphorical bars trying to get out, but it couldn't. So, I sat and ate my lunch in the autumn sun as I waited for the bus. Eyes now safely behind dark glasses and the anonymity of the street to let me think. I gazed out of the window on the way back, trying to ignore the people I could see and make sense of what was going on internally. Like other t-folk this week, I seem to be feeling jealous of the female form. I hope it's just a side effect of being down. The alternative scares me too much.

Matthew Johnstone's I Had a Black Dog
Some of the things we spoke about, well, they're deeply personal and I won't reveal them on here. Not that I don't trust you guys not to take it seriously, but not everything is about me - there's family stuff too and I try to keep the Jones Massive out of the limelight. What I can do is talk about in vague terms. We talked about work, home-life, relationships and - of course - the T word. The councillor, was insightful and lead me down a number of paths through conversation. She said that she has to try and not make a snap judgement, but probe around the subjects and find out a general picture of what may be wrong. Talking of pictures, the image to the right is by Matthew Johnstone. He wrote/drew a couple of books and that's from I had a Black Dog. He has a blog and it makes for very interesting reading. Hopefully he won't mind me using one of his excellent illustrations.

Last time, the lady in question had said that it may be undisclosed grief. I guess mentally I'd prepared myself to talk about that... yet, instead, I found my barriers falling down and being completely open. I told myself that I needed to be open, open so that I could get everything in the open. No secrets, no lies. It's not something I do very often and I found it tough. I know the young lady does this as a job (and well I might add), but opening your heart to a complete stranger: I found that tough. Hell, we talked about some things that I don't tell anyone: not even the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones.

After about 35 minutes or so, the councillor said that she had a feeling towards a pattern appearing. That was that I smooth things over. In order to keep stuff going - work, socially and personally - I disconnect and compromise to keep the peace. Yes, it gets the job done, but there is a price. The price is this: I don't always get to be me. She said that maybe in the last year or so, maybe I smoothed things over so much... that... that I forgot to be me. "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? Looks like we're going to have a problem here." :-)

Ironic in a way I suppose. At work I can be immensely forthright - double barrel blunt on many an occasion. Yet socially and at home, the opposite can be true. Maybe I feel that work, it's not personal so in the giant swing of things, it doesn't matter? I don't know, I'm not a professional headologist ;-)

Where do we go from here? Well, another session: same Bat Time, same Bat Channel. It's left me with a number of questions and a lot of think about. One of them is how much am I holding back on the trans front. We talked about body image at one point and that I don't shave my legs. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, I can work round it (two pairs of tights or leggings and I'm good), yet... Yet, there's something else that lurks along with those thoughts. They don't look how I feel. I don't consider myself female, I never have. I'm somewhere in the middle: mentally, bits of both as I've blogged about in the past. But being hairy, I've never liked it. It just.... it just doesn't feel right.

Coming back to smoothing things over, Mrs J isn't happy about smooth pins. It upsets her a great deal. I guess the question is this: what price freedom? How much do I push for me to feel right at the expense of others? Can you have your cake and eat it?

Decisions, decisions eh? :-)


Sometimes, things just don't work out. I'm not going to the Big Night Out. I am up and down like a yo-yo today. This morning, parked up in a layby sobbing away, I was worried that I'd wrecked things between me and Mrs J. I dried my eyes, pulled a brave face from somewhere and went to work. How very British. ;-) Things are better than they were, but I still seem to be slipping back into the dark mire. I wish it would just f*** off, I really do.

Still, it's the weekend (for us at least) and that means no work to do, time with the family and maybe a trip to town for a spot of shopping. All stuff to look forward to.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes ]

Friday, October 01, 2010

"When it comes to men like you,
I know the score, I've heard it all before."

Hello again,

The 1st of October rolls into view and - depending on your time zone and when you're reading this - will mostly be over I guess. The rain is doing its best to give the hedgerows and wildlife a good soaking before the sharper winds blow in. Autumn is truly here and it makes a sharp change to the bright sunshine and good weather I enjoyed with a friend on Thursday.

An email arrived from an old blog friend who happened to be in the area. We got talking - as trans folk seem to be able to do in spades - and plans were made: appointments set, brollies packed, sarnies bought and much was said. All in all, I had a very good time and it made a  welcome change from the usual lunchtime route and topics of conversations with co-workers. They're a good bunch - don't get me wrong - but there are times when you'd like to talk about fashion et al, and that's not the done thing. Actually, that's not true, it can be, just don't expect to get the same level of advice or experience ;-)

Headwise, I've felt pretty good this week. I had another dip around Tuesday, but I'm - or more accurately, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones - noticed a pattern. It seems to be midweek that my mood seems to begin to spiral down. Maybe it's the level of pace, burning the candle a both ends or a push from the I-don't-like-Mondays vibe from the start of the week. Who can say? You just get your head down, plough on and tell yourself it's just a bump and all will be fine. So far so good. Talking of which, I'll be seeing the Counselling folk next week. I think that'll be interesting.

Oh and it's the Big Night Out next Friday (8th October) down in Milton Keynes. It's going to be a bit of a run / late night out, but I'm looking forward to seeing friends and enjoying a dance too. You know me, I do like to plan my outfits. As is traditional, I've got it down to two choices. My only dilemma at the mo is what shoes to take. I'm thinking either my heeled sandals or stick with tradition, and go in my dancing shoes. Either work - outfit-wise - but I did put on some Faithless to test drive my ability to move in them. Oddly the sandals seemed okay for dancing in despite their height. Dear oh dear, road testing shoes at home to your own disco. Call the copssss.... :-)

In other news, I was in the barbers t'other week with both nippers. Wee Man's hair was getting a bit spiky, I was the wrong side of bushy and Little Miss? Well, a long fringe (or bangs as I think our American cousins say) might suit Lady GaGa, but on my daughter, it was becoming a health hazard. Not that she looks where she's running at the best of times. Kids eh? ;-) Anyway, the place is run by two young mums and they're a) very good hairdressers, b) very good with the kids and c) pleasantly chatty. One of them had on a new pair of knee boots, I made a passing comment about said items being very nice and she said she'd had them ages. Then, cue a story about one of the customers oggling her in them. "Sorry," I said. "Say that again. He was perving at you?"

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy the view - shall we say - or the the female form as much as the next guy. Hell, I might go so far to add that I appreciate it when a woman rocks a look or outfit. But... I do draw the line at staring or oggling. That to me is rude... and... why do some men feel the need to say something gauche. One gent - I use the word loosely - had said: "Oh I love mums to be - they look dead sexy". Ugh. Keep your comments to yourself! We don't want to know! I suppose at this point in the conversation I should say: Men eh? Tsk. But that may be a bit camp.

Men eh? Tsk :-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Ladykiller by Lush ]

Friday, September 24, 2010

"I'll escape if I try hard enough,
Till King of the Jungle calls my bluff."


This week's post comes from the top of a proverbial hill. The view's rather good and the weather's holding out: neither chilly nor too hot. Through some low cloud I can see, well, mostly. Some of the sky is dark and scary, but most seems a bit misty with bolts of blue if you look long enough. If I concentrate, I can see the path ahead. Sure, it's a bit patchy or rocky in places and there's a few forks here and there where the way's not so clear. But, I'm on the level - no longer slogging to get up the slope and I seem to be the dank of closely packed trees. If I stop and look, I can see that it's not just me that's been walking along here. Sometimes there are other sets of footprint, people who've helped me keep going. All stuff to be thankful for eh? :-) Talking of thanks, cheers to those of you who emailed or commented wishing me a happy birthday. It was very much appreciated.

So, dodgy fictional references aside, what else has been going on? Well, I saw the doctor this week and we had a chat about the ups and downs of the last few months. He reiterated that it would be a slow progress out of that routine, but I guess I'm just impatient. I think after a month or so - I think it's that long - I would expect things to have settled down more. Anyway, that aside, I'm up from 20mg to a slightly higher dose of 30mg a day. That started on Tuesday so I guess it's too early to tell, but Mrs J has said I seem calmer and less withdrawn.

It was time for Chams this week and I had my usual indecision over what to wear. I mean, Monday, it was lovely and sunny: so something floaty and leggings? Then Tuesday it was rather cold and I started thinking about boots & skinny jeans. So, I did what I normally do and I packed two outfits: a skirt, two tops, a dress and some jeggings. I also took in a pair of shoes I'd promised Alison (they are a touch too large for me) and then boots + heels for me.

Bag sorted out, I made my way up to Chameleons. I arrived early to set out the tables, but that was a non-starter because someone had locked the bar area. Well, I say bar, but there's no pumps or optics. So much for the idea of a tranny bar maid eh? ;-)

I decided to leave it and see if anyone else had the door codes. Pat was the next person in and then Alison. Unusually I stuck with my first choice of outfit - skirt, top, heels - and headed downstairs after doing my nails. Tracey and Sandy where back in as they'd come back off holiday. The tykes sprung a surprise on me by buying my a present for my birthday! That was an unexpected surprise (thanks you two!). The card was a lovely touch and very apt.
The evening rolled on and became quite busy. We had some new visitors, a lovely couple from Lincolnshire way (Ed: for our American readers, that's a trip of about an hour), and I tried to make them feel welcome, rather than them be left sat on their own in a corner. I think that's one of the best things about the group: it is friendly without being in your face and you can get involved as much as you do or don't want to. Plus we have a number of regulars, so there's not the problem of feeling like a stranger each week.

I had a chat with Tracey about her & Sandi's holiday and also over upcoming events. With it being darker nights, we get more visitors, so we also do more as a group. Sure, the summer is nice, but with the warm weather and the light evenings, membership turnout is generally lower. As there's a gap in the meeting schedule, Tracey's thinking of a meal out soon. There's two parties on the cards and I finally got my act together over calling Boots. They now have a list of dates from us and the Beauty Manager is sorting out when we could have another visit. No dice on the call from Avon at the mo, but we'll see I guess.

With regards to the party, we decided to have a change from the Chinese take-away option and go for a buffet. This'll mean a few folk bringing items in. I didn't hear the word until I moved to Notts, but locals say a 'fuddle'. Rather than have Sandy take the strain, I tottered around with a list and took the names of volunteers with what they were planning to bring. I bring my lappy along too, so we should be sorted for a few tunes.

Tanya's hen/stag do - well, perhaps 'sten' would be better as it's an en femme outing and abouting. We joked about a 'hag night' but that sounds a bit rude and would totally set the wrong tone. Then there's the risk of it all going a little too Macbeth. When shall we three meet again!? :-) I hope she has a good one. I'm busy with family stuff Saturday, but I'm sorted for the Big Night Out in October. Just a case of swapping mobile numbers with the necessary parties and making sure I turn up in the right place. I guess the only question with that is: what to wear? ;-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Mowgli's Road by Marina & The Diamonds ]

Friday, September 17, 2010

"If the days they seem to fall through you,
Well, just let them go..."


How's things with you out there in the wide, wide world of sports? All good I trust. Compared to last week's rather large post, this one will be a bit shorter. Well, I say that, let's see if I get a special delivery from The Muse ;-)

The start of the week was not so good. No bad news or anything, but again, another drop in the old brain chemistry. Not the complete drop and inability to function level of badness, but not that pleasant either. From what I could tell, there was nothing bothering me per say, I guess it was just one of those things. Still, you ride it out: keep busy, do things with the kids, get your head down. My mood got gradually better, although maybe that's due to it being the end of the week and not long from now, I'll be a year older. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones commented that I'd slipped back to my less-than-happy self and we talked a bit about it. In a good way I should add. I'm seeing the doctor this Monday for a check-up appointment and I also got a letter from work about the Counselling Team confirming some dates in October. It might be a bit of a wait, but there are other folk in the queue and considering I'm not having to pay for this, I won't complain. It's just a statement of fact.

So, another year older? Well, it's better than the alternative, LOL :-) There's nothing planned and I'm fine with that. Much as I like a party - see previous Chams party nights - there are times when I prefer a low key event. With a spot of luck, the Jones Massive will invade a local restaurant and provided we behave ourselves, we may even be allowed back another day :-) I think birthdays are a bit odd as you get older - and hell - I wouldn't consider myself 'old'. It's just a number right? Does anyone feel old at all? I have a few very minor aches and pains - and I stress the word minor - but other than that, I don't feel that much different to being 28. Turning 30 was fine, I found 25 more of a shock. The big 40 isn't that far away and the closer I get, actually... I don't know. Maybe that will be more of a surprise? I guess I'll see.

Wee Man is back at school and he's doing well. Funny, there's something about the September weather than always reminds me of school. It's that odd change between the seasons. Some days it's very warm and very summery, other days - and it's usually early morning - you get a taste of the chill to come. I'm enjoying the cooler weather and as the nights begin to get darker and the weather cooler, so fashions are shifting as the season turns. I've yet to see anything I really like, but time will tell on trends and maybe the Fashion Fairy will sprinkle me with a little magic dust. A girl's got to have something cool for the next BNO in October.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: The Universal by Blur ]

Friday, September 10, 2010

"If it's not like the movies,
That's how it should be..."


A week of highs and lows this time around. Funny, I suppose after my oh-so quiet post of last time. Maybe a case of be careful of what you wish for? :-)

Tuesday, well, that was a bit of a black day if I'm honest. But don't worry, it did improve! It wasn't that anything went wrong or that anyone was hurt, that particular day. Instead, I guess I just slipped a little in the wrong direction. Maybe the chemical thrusters failed and I drifted towards the black hole far closer than I'd liked. I'm not talking about feeling a bit down, moreover the flat out lay on the bed - or in my case - sit in the car - just almost completely out of it. I guess that's my recovery room - parking up in the middle of nowhere; just the sound of the wind and nothing else. It's weird, I sit here typing this and it feels like another time completely. My mood is so much better now I'm at the end of the week. People eh? What a mess ;-)

So why the upturn? Despite Tuesday's blip, things started to get better Wednesday as I tried to do something about it - the depression, that is. Don't worry, not in a scary way. :-) One of my worries about the idea of drug treatment for depression is this: what if this is just a sticking plaster? What if there's an underlying issue which will still be here when I've stopped taking the happy pills? I really don't want to go through all this and not be well at the end. My work offers a free counselling service, so after a bit of hand wringing of should I shouldn't I?, I dropped them an email and got myself an appointment: Wednesday.

While I was waiting in the... um... waiting room, there was a book called Living with the Black Dog, or something like that. It was a picture book guide to helping look after someone who had depression. I flicked through it as I waited. So much of it was uncannily accurate that I found it very upsetting. I suppose I was probably that way out, but looking for a bright side in all of it, the cartoons shown made so much sense. Knowing that the tiredness and disinterest are just part of the condition and that they will go away one day helped. The other thing that jumped out at me was the idea of a White Dog Book. This was something were you keep a list of the good things that happen. Funny, I guess I'm doing that already with this blog. :-) In that, you write about all the good things in your life. It's not a panacea, but I can see how reflecting on the good things in your life (health, family, friends, steady job and a fabby wardrobe) might help every now and again.

I got to the end of the book as my appointment was called. That lasted and hour and it was more an evaluation of how future appointments might go. The person I saw asked me questions about when the depression started (birth of my daughter), how I felt - even the really bad parts which I didn't want to think back to. She asked what it felt like and I said it was like slipping down a table towards the edge. Whatever falling off the edge means in the real world, I don't know. Truth is, I don't want to get to the point where I'm that close and I don't want to stare over into whatever void lurks at the end. I want to go the other way, back towards being my old self. We talked about my relationship with the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones (which is very good), my dressing up (how did I feel when out with the 'girls'), school memories and early family life. As that panned out I mentioned my late sister, which happened in the noughties. I mentioned how that really threw the family and she asked me if I had any questions (which I won't bore you with).

Throughout the session I kept finding myself trying to avoid prattling on and then apologising for doing so. She said that I was very harsh on myself - did I notice that? To be honest, I hadn't. I guess I've always been critical and maybe I need to go easy on being so self-critical. Oh, her thoughts on the depression: possibly unresolved grief/mourning over my sister which is coming out as I look after my daughter, Little Miss. I was very close to my sister, W. I think we were quite alike in many ways and although it is nearly 10 years since her death, I still miss her. Just writing that, I can feel the prickle of tears and the cliched lump in my throat. I don't say that as a pull for sympathy - it's just a statement of fact. With those details in hand, I've got to sort some paperwork out for a regular appointment and we'll see where that takes me.

Thursday saw another Chameleons meeting and it was a jolly good laugh. I got to catch up with friends, although there seemed to have been a double booking of the venue. Usually we have run of the place after 8pm as the Karate Kids kick out (Ed: no pun intended), but this time there were people in the kitchen and the front meeting room. Turned out they were from Avon and as I put the tables out, I heard one of the ladies take someone to the side and say "please don't be alarmed if you see a few trannys walking about...".I would have liked to have heard the whole conversation, but tab hanging is rather rude and I was putting out the tables at the time (in bob mode I add).

Pat rolled up (yay!) despite her PMing me earlier saying a family do was in the offing, somehow it was on then off, then on and then finally off. After finishing the setting up, I headed upstairs to get changed - meeting Gayna, Alison and Maddy along the way. Outfit wise, the Fashion Fates had smiled and I was happy with what I'd packed. We had a bit of a minor comedy moment, as when most of us where half way changed,  there was a knock at the door. I said come in, thinking it was some of the unusual suspects, but it was a chap looking for the Avon meeting! Ooops! :-) "Downstairs, mate. First door on the right." Funny, I suppose a more evil response would have been: "Take a seat and we'll sort your make-up out in a mo." >;-) But we're not that cruel. Make-up? Oh, a tried the new Max Factor smokey eyes pen. It's a light colour on one end and a darker one at the other. The pale shade blends nicely and I left mine rather subtle. At least, I hope so. :-)

Outfit done and fully ready, I headed downstairs to find Jayne and Sam had come to visit. It had been a while since we'd met up, so it was great to find out what Sam had been up to. She also brought along some clothes for the group to go through... and yes, I did snaffle the boots for a small fee. The money went into the group's kitty as every little bit helps the funds stay flush. The boots were very comfy - perhaps due to the platform - so they went into my bag and a small donation appeared in the group's money pot. Sophie dropped in and we had a new visitor, who Gayna made feel welcome (well done that lady!). We had a couple of jokes about me being in charge, which I'd like to add I'm not :-) You won't get me roped in that easily! :-D That and Maddy's Jamaican/ Ali G Postman Pat impression which has to be heard to be believed. Ever laugh so much your face hurt? It was just like that.

Maddy had brought along a memory stick as I'd promised her I'd bring in a laptop to swap photos. I had a few hi-res ones of her from the last six months. Funny, I can't believe that she's only been coming along for six months or so. Funny how you get close to people and expect them to be around. :-) Maybe that's just me being a nutter tho ;-) Photos swapped I did have a look through some of my older ones. There was one of me looking very young - well, 10 years ago - and some scary ones where I'd not done too well with the right hair or outfit. Still, it's a learning curve and I think it takes time to find your feet (Ed: try the end of your legs), or perhaps, more accurately, find your own style or look. I have on/off days, but on the whole I'm pretty happy with my wardrobe. Maybe it's a mood thing.

As the Avon ladies where wandering off, I bumped into one of them and asked if they'd like to come and do some demos and bring some stock with them. They seemed up for it, but they didn't half give me the hard sell over becoming a rep. That got a resounding no and then we had the cheek of: what about your wife? No, she works full time too, so thanks, but no thanks. We'll see if anything comes of that, but I'm conscious that I still have Boots to contact. They did such a good time last time that I'd love to see them come back again.

After all that excitement, we had a rather lengthy photo shoot and Gayna had brought along a rather fancy camera. V professional. Lots of people lined up for shots, so my FlickR stream will be usually busy. Great to see everyone having a good time. A handbag full of win!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Not like the Movies by Katy Perry ]

Friday, September 03, 2010

"No alarms and no surprises please."


Today's post will be a little bit all over the place. Sorry about that. :-) I don't have any topic for discussion, no news to break and really.... I don't feel I have much to say. I would like to stress that this isn't a 'poor me' post, more a I-haven't-planned-anything post ;-) Things are fine here, I guess I'm just tired, but I'm looking forward to the weekend (a big family visit).

What's been going on? Well, truth be told: not a lot. Certainly nothing particular transtastic or earth-shattering insights into the trans mindset. Ho hum :-) Earlier in the week (to use a popular phrase of mine) I was at home working. This was a way of saving my holiday, getting a load of tasks out the way and having time to keep an eye on Wee Man. It is almost the end of the summer holidays and I think he did very well keeping himself entertained while I shuffled the mouse around and bashed at the keyboard.

While I did get a fair few things out of the way - including a few telephone conversations I needed to have with customers - Wee Man was my only human contact that day until late evening. To be honest, I don't think I'd like to work from home all the time. Much as our office can be noisy, I think I'd miss the company of my work mates. No wonder new mums have so many coffee mornings! :-)

Anyway, that's me done for this time around.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: No Alarms by Radiohead ]

Friday, August 27, 2010

"In Number 69 there lives a transvestite,
He's a man by day, but he's a woman at night."


The week gone has been a bit unusual. For a start, the house has been only half full as both the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones (Ed: TELMJ?) and Wee Man haven't been in. The latter was visiting his cousins and, as I write, still is, while *ahem* TELMJ is making her way back from a week long course somewhere down south. That's left me holding the toddler, so to speak. That's been nice, lots of father/daughter time: plenty of cuddles, a few books, an occasional snack and the odd tantrum. Her, not me, as way of a change :-) I think we are coming out of the Terrible Twos, so Little Miss's language has really come on. I've really missed Mrs J and Wee Man though. The place really isn't the same without them, but both will be back soon.

I suppose you'd be thinking that I'd be dressed up to the nines every night and snapping away with the camera. Well, in all, honesty, that only happened once and I didn't bother with the camera either. I spent some time getting an outfit together for Thursday (more on that later) and that's about it. Instead I read a few books, ignored the telly and caught with friends (emails, telephone calls, etc). I did paint my toenails on the Monday - that light blue colour I'm rather partial too - and it was nice to leave them painted all week. It's the little things sometimes :-) I suppose that might sound a bit odd to non-trans folk, but getting up in the morning and seeing a pretty colour on your tootsies, puts a little spring in your step for the day.

So Thursday? Well, it didn't come to pass. Often Little Miss goes to her Granny's on a Thursday night. That saves us travel during the Friday rush hour and I get an early start at Chams. Really, what's not to like? I had packed my outfit and, truth by told, I was looking forward to driving home in Lynn mode (like I used to). However, Granny wasn't well and clearly dropping the bundle of energy that is my daughter would not be right. (Ed: the good news is Gran's on the mend.) So, LM stayed home with daddy. Previously I would have been gutted/narked/stroppy about not being able to go out. Not so much this time, which makes for a pleasant change. Instead, I shrugged it off and dropped Sophie an email: fancy a brew, mrs? Okay, I may have put a bit more in it than that, but you get the gist :-) So while the Chams massive where doing their thing at the Centre, she and I were chatting about this, that and the other with plenty of tea and cake to fuel us on into the night. I'd like to add that that was in Bob Mode and again, not having to go through the faff of getting changed at the end actually added to the evening. It's funny in that when I started going out - from a tranny point of view - I was quite guarded about my real name, job and where I lived. Now, okay, I don't go shouting it from the rooftops, but I feel more relaxed about it at least with people who've gone from acquaintance to becoming friends.

I did buy far too much cake, so some of that went to Nursery as a thank you for squeezing Little Miss in at the last minute. The staff were made up by the unexpected surprise and having come out from the gloom - at least for the last 4 days - it made my day seeing the smiles on their faces. Again, little things eh?

Talking of cakes and all things nice, comment was made about keeping trim. I know I do watch what I eat and try to get a bit of exercise. So it goes for a few (male) friends but also a number who don't. I wonder if being trans, you watch your weight more because female fashion is orientated towards the lither end of the scale. I do find it a bit annoying that many shops will stop stocking items above a UK 14 or UK 16. Seems a bit daft when the population seems to be getting taller and bigger. :-)

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Neighbourhood by Spaced ]

Friday, August 20, 2010

"You can fight the sleep but not the dream"

Hi everyone,

This evening I'm unusually tired and for that reason, and hopefully that alone, I'm a little out of it at the mo. With luck, a good night's kip will set me right. But, it is Friday and Friday night is blogging night. I suppose in some odd way, I have my own personal deadline and if I break it, I wonder if I'll get out of the habit of regular writing. Well, lets see where this week's stream of consciousness takes us then eh? :-)

Health - or perhaps more accurately, head-wise - I've been pretty good. I think the malaise over the last day or so is just tiredness. Nothing to panic about and really, would panicking help? Probably not :-) I was going to write a post this afternoon, but instead I ended up finishing off a short story. Considering this is YATGB, I suppose you'd expect it to be all very standard trans stuff. Magic wands, genie in a bottle, a cursed pair of killer heels. But honestly, not a sniff of any of that. In fact, I don't think I've written any tranny style fiction for years. I'm not dissing it, I'm just not.... writing it. Maybe now I've got release (and the love from the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones), it's not something I feel I need. Go figure.

Talking of writing (Ed: another seamless link m'dear) I got a note through the contact form. It was from Circus magazine - sorry Circus Bookazine. Seems they've been trawling the interwebs and looking for blog articles and ideas to put in it. I'm not crowing here, I'm sure a lot of other people have had one of these too. I did a bit of research and it seemed on the level. I suppose you put feelers out and see who replies and take it from there. In terms of little old me submitting something, I'm not sure where I'd come into it. I mean, this is a fashion edition and... please note I'm not fishing for compliments here... I'd describe my fashion sense as pure high street, certainly not cutting edge. Ah well, I'll re-re-read the email and see if I can think of anything.

In other news, and following the theme of springing from one meme to the next, I had an unexpected email from a friend I hadn't seen in a while. I'll spare her blushes unless she cares to out herself. Anyhoo, I ended up driving through the driving rain through Nottingham to meet up at her house for a chat and nibbles. I think I might have done a lot of the chatting - and for that I'm sorry - but it was a fab visit with good company. If you're curious, no I didn't go en femme - although the offer was made - and if anything, and perhaps ironically, that added to the evening. I mean, I didn't have to go through that whole fab to drab routine that a lot of us dread. Instead, a cheery wave goodbye and off into the night again. Fantastic stuff to be honest.

This week has also been the release of the A Level results. I find the whole thing very muddled and rather complicated. On one hand, you've got the media: no, that's not fair - let's go with certain portions of the media baying about how exams have got easier, fall of standards, blah blah blah. On the other, education folk saying the opposite. Perhaps, and as ever, the truth lies somewhere between those statements.

One thing that does worry me though, is the chances for kids to go to uuniversity. I did go, although it was poly back in those days and no, I didn't pass. I didn't do so well and I quit to get a job. Now on the radio, I heard one young lad saying he was going to forgo uuniversity and go for the work experience angle instead. A good idea I guess, although I do know that some employers are very keen on you having a degree. Sure, some should require it, but when it's any degree, how relevant is that? How do you weigh up an applicant with lots of... life skills?... versus someone who's been in the classroom. Tough choices.

How about you good people? Did you go or not go? If you did, has it helped and if you didn't, do you think that's held you back?

Oh and it's Chams next week. Yay! Here's to a good weekend!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Weather with You by Crowded House ]

PS: To those of who you who I owe and email to, I'm sorry and I am working on it. Honest!

Friday, August 13, 2010

"This is my church,
This is where I heal my hurt."


It doesn't seem long since I was here a few days ago, typing stuff away into the blogger input form. I suppose the rush of time - or to use the technical term: 'whoosh' - goes that much quicker when you have time off. I've had most of this week away to look after Wee Man. He is, of course, on summer holiday and there are only so many summer camps a lad can go to. So it was time for some father/son time. Building Lego, walks in the countryside, a trip to the local park, video games and a few choice films. All in all I had a great time and I hope he did too. The English Monsoon arrived towards the end and there was a total downpour t'other day. Luckily Wee Man and I were still in the car at that point. When the path started to look more like a stream than river it was next to, we headed for home. Apart from that, all went well. :-)

In other news, I bought a new mobile phone - or smart phone, as they're called these days. I may work in IT, but when it comes to home gadgets, I'm a bit behind the curve. I guess that's a combination of being careful with my money and not always trusting what a vendor says about a product. After the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones's mobile carked it and to be fair, it was five years old, we both ended up with new handsets. Monthly contracts - which I'm fine with - and the unit runs that new fangled Android thingy. Sure, I've read about what this OS can do, but I was surprised just how feature rich the system was. It really is like having a tiny laptop with you. But gadget aside, I find the best bit is that it's easier to keep in touch with people. What about you? Have you *ahem* invested, or aren't you bothered? Part of me is amazed and what it can do, while another part looks to the future and wonders what'll replace it. Technology eh? ;-)

Thursday was Chams time again. I started to pack a few things on the Wednesday but I could not get my head around a look. In the end I packed two pairs of shoes and three outfits. I was late setting off on Thursday and when I got there, my head was still all over the place. Do you get that? You take a few favourite items and yet you look on them unable to put together something that feels right? Anyways, what I'd got - which I normally like - just didn't click. Maybe it was because the tops were both too fitted? I'm still not sure, but so it goes some days. It was a case of on again, off again, on again, off again. After asking for a second opinion, I settled on the A line mini and a pink top. Indecision, coupled with a late arrival, meant I was late coming down and two friends popped up to make sure I was okay (thanks girls!). That was touching and it was nice to have a chat away from the hubbub of the main group. When I finally got myself ready, I headed downstairs and somehow ended up in the kitchen chatting. Maybe it's like parties?

Again, time flew by - talk about last time's meal out from those who went (it went well), some comedy stories - and then half ten was soon upon me. There was time for a quick photo session and Sandi was good enough to get us all together for a group shot. In other news, I've started to fish out the contact details for Boots and Sandi mentioned that we may be getting a visit from a jewellery seller next time around. Sounds good!

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: God is a DJ by Faithless ]