Friday, May 28, 2010

"Sometimes the clothes do not make the man."


Earlier in the week...

The sun pushed away the clouds to bathe dear Old England in a wonderfully warm summer glow. Not a cloud graced the bright blue sky and it was sunblock o'clock if you wanted to stay outside. It boarded on the slightly too warm at times, but it was great to be outdoors (with the kids) and just enjoy the weather. Mind you, it was also rather good to find a local restaurant with very good air-con too. ;-)

Summer-time for a tranny can be a little awkward. It can be too hot for full warpaint + wig in hot weather.  Still, as management would say there are challenges rather than problems. Strange, I see problems at work, but (cross)dressing for the summer, an excuse to get inventive with my fashion choices. Not that I'd ever describe myself as high-fashion, high street fashion maybe. :-)

Much as I like a cute summer skirt, during the summer (for stealth reasons), it's skinny jeans or leggings for yours truly. Mind you the funny thing is, I know a few trans folk who dislike trousers. They're too male, I've heard said. Maybe, but I don't have anything in my male wardrobe that feels like a good pair of skinny jeans and white wide legged cotton trousers? Very cool despite the rising temps. IMO great with killer sandals and painted toes.

Midweek Amusement

I was going to talk about school stuff - not in a doomy kinda way, moreover how there were good bits and not so good bits. The gist of it is, I guess, that would I really be me now if certain things hadn't happened? I suppose that takes you down the route of nurture vs nature. How much does growing up shape you? Unless your childhood is very traumatic, are we set for a path as is? I suppose I got a few small knocks along the way, but they didn't lay me out flat. Something else to be thankful for!

Such musings were thrown to the wind when I fell upon the Wednesday TV schedule. Dodgy voices, over-the-top costumes and killer heels. Honestly, you'd be thinking Tranny FlickR, but no, it was the Eurovision semifinals. Now, Eurovision is a bit Marmite... not sure if everyone gets that reference (Ed: sorry, over-seas reader!) but put it down to love it or hate it. Me being me - namely typically awkward - I was sort of indifferent: sometimes my cheese tolerance is off and I can't take it. But this year, I was glad I sat through it. Some were dull, some were awful, but some were gold. Well, that slightly dodgy gold you get from the market, the stuff that rubs off on your fingers if you try to clean it. :-) Note to future entrants: 1) make sure you can sing and 2) the accordion needs to be added to the list of Weapons of Musical Destruction. They're just wrong. :-) 3) Lastly, can EV ever be too camp? ;-)


Thursday night was very much a mixed bag. I had the good fortune to get their early - perhaps a little too early because the previous tenants were downstairs using the main room. I say mixed bag, not because there was anything wrong going on, I just didn't really feel in the mood. Funny really, you spend the first half of the week thinking how go it'll be to see people and to decide what to wear (Ed: Lynn, never let it be said you're not a tranny through and through :-P ).

As ever, I'd packed by bag the night before and again, as per, I had two outfits and some spare tops in case said outfit wasn't quite right. But, the sun was most definitely shining, so it would be remiss of me not to make the most of the weather and go for something suited for more sunnier climes. Don't worry, I won't expose you to the nightmare that would be me in a bikini. Somethings are better left unsaid and unimagined! :-)

Once changed, I headed downstairs and put out a few tables & chairs outside: I thought we'd brave the slight chill in the summer air. Sometimes you've got to make the most of the British summer :-) People started to turn up, familiar faces and new peeps alike (Hi Katy!). We also had a re-run of the Bring & Buy and this time, perhaps due to less distraction, more items went. I did try a cute flower patterned skirt, but it was a bit snug on the rear, so back it went. All of the sale money went into the admission's pot and despite this being billed as a likely 'low turnout' meeting (because Rocky Horror was on), we had quite a few people come along. The temperature started to drop, so we all headed inside and what wasn't bought by the group, went into a charity bag. All in all, a good night in with the Chams crew and I was glad I made the effort.

It's now a long weekend - thanks to the bank holiday - and then it's just a short week before the Jones Massive head off on our summer holiday. I can't wait!

Take care!

[ Today's lyric: Freedom 90 by George Michael ]

Friday, May 21, 2010

"There's a million ways to see the things in life,
A million ways to be the fool..."


Good week? Mine's been mixed. Don't get me wrong, everyone is in good health and the Bad Luck Fairy has been elsewhere too. All good stuff... and yet... I'm rather worn out. I'm fairly sure it wasn't the mowing from t'other night, nor the long trek we took for lunch today. No, it's more that mental weariness that can sometimes creep up on you. Maybe a weekend of visiting friends & family and the local park is just what I need. Let the mental muscles relax for a bit and see if that helps.

A few days ago I had the vague thoughts towards a blog post and as I daydreamed my way though it in the car, it now seems to have drifted out of my head and away to where ever thoughts go to bask in the summer sunshine (Ed: would that be the sky then?). The subject in question started off as I've been playing through a few of the 80s tracks in the car - well, after the fun & games from last week, I was in the mood for a spot of retro.

As Frankie Goes to Hollywood stormed through my little car's speakers, my thoughts drifted back to how it was... or perhaps more accurately: how I remember how it was. That's the thing with nostalgia, I'm fairly sure the truth of history gets washed out by recollection. There I was trying to peer around rather than through the rose tinted spectacles, I looked back at my teenage years. It's a confusing mess if I'm honest and seemingly only small fragments jump out at me. I seem to recall being embarrassed quite a lot, although that may just be emotion attached to memory and if you learn by your mistakes, I should write a book :-)

I remember the sage advice (Ed: she means 'cod' more like) of "school days are the best days of your life." I'll say this now and I'll say it loud - well, if you can be loud with the written word - never have I heard such a crock of sh**! :-) As a young kid I had no frame of reference and I'd wonder Is that true? It is really downhill from now on? :-) Chuck that into a heady brew of teenage hormones and struggling over the whole growing up as a tranny, it didn't help my mood. It did get the better of me and after a tearful coming out to my Mum, I went to see the quack about my feelings (which I think I've talked about before).

That brings me round to a question a good friend asked me the other day. I'll spare her blushes, BTW. She asked: Do you enjoy being a tranny? Skip back 25 years I think the answer would have been 95% no and 5% yes. That 5% would be the short guilt free part I had when I managed to get some dressing done. As others have said, you tidy up, clean yourself up and then the guilt comes in. What have I done? Why am I doing this? Where will it end? Etc.

But now, and with all honesty, I'd say a resounding yes (Ed: you smug mare!). Okay, I have the occasional dip, but that's the way it goes. Life is up and down. Honestly, while it's not been a complete walk in the park (Ed: ooo, the click of high heels outside), I'm now happy with who I am. I suppose it helps having a wonderful wife like the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and also a good set of trans friends. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have got here without their assistance, so I remain grateful and I hope that in some small way, by helping out at Chams I'm doing the same for other folk too.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: I Want Out by Helloween. If I had a soundtrack to my teenage years, I'm pretty sure they'd figure heavily. That and Banarama, 808 State and Ned's Atomic Dustbin ;-) Angry middle class white kid, what a cliche :-D I wonder how many metallers are also trannys? It certainly gave me an excuse to grow my hair long :-) ]

Friday, May 14, 2010

"When the working day is done,
Girls - they want to have fun!"

Hi folks,

The big party was just what the doctor ordered - and that's not a reference to the Tory + Libs coalition love in either (Ed: No, you hang up first. No you.). Tsk, and there was me trying to avoid talking about politics! :-) Not sure if I can still class myself as a 't girl' when I'm not that far off the big four oh, but who's counting eh? :-) So, the big event! Dare I say it all went very well and it made all the running around & last minute panic worth it. Last week, as you may have already read, I did nip into town to get a few bits and bobs. The outcome of that shopping trip is somewhere on this page as a photo - judge for yourselves. Yes, clothing was eightiestastic and lots of folk had gone to the effort of something suitable and I think that really added to the evening.

Midweek I received an email from Rebbecca who'd had an idea that a more formal note of thanks to the key organisers (Sandy, Tracey and Jayne) would be a good gesture. Rebecca said she'd source some flowers (and what a lovely bouquet they were too), while I - ever the chocolate junkie - bought some choccies.

Ahh, my brain is all over the place at the moment. Events from the night are flashing in and I'm sat typing away with a pleased look on my face. Honestly, after all the work stress, just have a good night out with friends was just what I needed. A meal, cake and a dance just added to the fun! On the way home on Thursday, I was sat in the car flicking the next button on the MP3 player as I was looking for a tune that felt right. All of them seemed old or wrong in some way and in the end, I just turned it off and queued in silence. Today (Friday) couldn't have been more different: I actually felt positive. Yay. :-)

Okay... deep breath and start from the top. Outfit packed, Mrs Jones's tea sorted, kids tucked into bed following cuddles & stories, I made my way up to the Centre. Jayne was already there, so I got the tables & chairs out while she did the cups and plates. It took a little while longer than I expected and on going to the car, I bumped into Sandy and Tracey as they arrived. After a few hellos, they moved on to unpack their car and I headed off upstairs to get changed. Out came the polka dot ra-ra skirt (Ed: rah rah?), pink suede stilettos (a steal at only 3 quid from New Look's sale rail!), day-glo pink leg warmers and a handful of bracelets / necklaces for that all important 80s look.

I'd spent the last few evenings looking through old photos and a few on-line tutorials over 80s style make-up. While I didn't go for the slash of uber-pink blusher, the eyes were rather strong (for me at least): pinks, blues and deep plum all swirled together. The 80s may have been the decade that style forgot (Ed: they said that about the 70s too), but it was a lot of fun.

Maddy and Alison turned up as I was still getting ready, so we had a good long talk and a lark about. Everyone seemed in a very buoyant mood and I think that only added to the atmosphere. Alison had a lovely fitted pink cocktail dress and Maddy had gone all out for a fab 80s top - with shoulder pads. As we joked: so wrong, yet so right :-)

While I am a tranny, the whole 80s wardrobe threw me a little. Not in an upsetting way, but there I was, stood wearing items that I'd wanted to try as a kid growing up. I was 8/9 when the 80s started, so some of the earlier stuff went over my head. I wasn't the only one to pick up on this, I think it was Maddy who said her mum had had a similar blouse (to the one she was wearing). So it was all a bit of a time warp really.

Fully glammed up, I headed downstairs to unpack the car - bumping into Sophie along the way. The wee minx had gone for an 80s jacket, cat suit and white boots. If you think that that sounds like it shouldn't work, you'd be wrong - it was spot on for the evening :) I'd gone back to the car because I'd brought along a lot of old clothes for the Bring & Buy. The Ever Lovely Mrs Jones had also donated (rather well in fact) and the items filled two larges tables in a variety of sizes. The only downside was that I'd misplaced the speakers I thought were at the Centre. No matter, I'd brought some blank CDs along with the laptop, so after a few quick decisions - luckily Maddy had brought some 80s CDs too! - I burned some tracks and put them on the side for later.

In addition to the choccies, I'd managed to buy a large-ish roll of plain material. That was for the group to use as a backdrop to photos. That's why you can't see the usual grey and blue walls of the centre in the photo. It was a bit of rush to get that during the week, but really, I wanted to get that because I felt that with all the effort folk might make - which they did - I wanted it to be ready and available. Anyhoo, the Fates smiled and all was good.

We all decided what to order from the Chinese and shortly afterwards, Rebecca turned up. I hadn't noticed Tracey had popped out to collect the order, but by then it was too late: we'd got the flowers and choccies ready. I silenced the music and asked for everyone's attention. It was then that stage nerves got the better of me, but luckily, Rebecca took charge and gave a very good heartfelt speech about how Jayne, Sandy and Tracey had helped keep the group going and really help build the numbers. Talking of numbers, my previous expectations of a dozen or so people was way under - it was a packed night and we had 3 or 4 new folk come along. The flowers & chocs went down well with the parties concerned and, being true Brits, there was a touch of humility to the acceptance. Sandy kindly pointed out that it was her and her alone who did the work: Anna-Lou and Tracy (not Tracey), where also a big help. Cue lots of applause and cheering.

The night rolled on and the food arrived. There was more than enough to go around and it was rather tasty. I didn't each too much (as I was hoping for another dance later on). The wine and conversation was flowing and everyone - if you pardon the pun - was in good spirits. I didn't have anything alcofrolic to drink - as I was driving - but that didn't matter. After the food, there was more talking and, mais oui, we cranked the volume on the stereo.

By now my feet were making themselves known (Ed: not by smell, BTW), so it was on with my trusty dancing shoes. The owners had agreed that we could stay a little longer than usual, so we really did dance the night away. Various classic / cheesy 80s (delete as applicable) tunes followed: Bananarama, Europe, Dead or Alive, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tiffany, The Bangles, Men at Work, Kim Wilde to name but a few. I think the only one that threw people was the Pop Will Eat Itself track - but it was in the 80s :-) (Ed: Can yoooou dig it?!)

Oddly, some of the music seemed quite hard to dance to, I guess years of the ever increasing pace of pop music means that the older stuff feels rather slow. At least, the non-camp disco stuf anyway. :-) Maddy joked that *technically* we could play early Metallica, but I couldn't help but laugh at the insanity of dancing away to metal tracks while dragged up. As I didn't have any such tracks to hand, luckily the group were spared that particular pleasure.

My feet are still hurting and my backs a bit tense, I wouldn't swap any of that at all: it was a truly great night and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. Just a case of waiting to see what joys email delivers in terms of photographic evidence.

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper ]

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Everyday is so wonderful,
And suddenly,
it's hard to breathe."


Sometimes there's no easy way to rattle off a blog post. I find that if I think about it too much, the words
won't come and I'm left staring at the cursor, while phrases and ideas zip around my head. You just have to
let go and accept the deep dive...

Early Friday

Damn, I've stalled again. I guess part of me is in someway putting off what I want to write about. Okay, deep breath. In a few hours or so, I shall be taking our dog to the vets. Yet, it'll only be me coming back. He's a old boy, bless him, and he's not been well. We've been to the vets on and off over the last month, and while the tablets have helped him, he's clearly on a downward spiral.

It's one of those horrible decisions of: do you wait and let nature take it's course, or you do accept that he's not going to get better and save him the pain?

Much as I dislike what I'm going to do... because... because... somewhere in me, there's this nagging doubt that it's wrong. However, another - and perhaps more vocal part - says the opposite. I don't want him to suffer and he's simply not eating. He won't even accept food straight from my hand, which he was doing in the week. Given that, I don't think letting him starve to death is right. So, upsetting as it is, we're both off to the vets.

I will, of course, probably bawl my eyes out. In fact, I can feel the careful sting of tears as I type this. Heh - sounds melodramatic, and some may say it is, but a pet, especially one like our dog, is a part of the family. We had him before we had the kids. People say a dog is a bind or a tie, but I don't really see it like that. A dog is there to meet you when you get home and I've had many a happy hour spend throwing sticks, or taking him for walks.

The wee glimmer of positivity in all of this... no, actually there's two. One is that he's lived to be a good age and secondly, we introduced him to a lady dog a few months ago and she's recently had pups. So, soft as it may sound, a little bit of him lives on.

So... what else can we talk about? This being a tranny blog, I suppose I ought to give a brief nod towards the usual topic of these posts. :) Next week there's going to be a party at Chams. It's an anniversary do and as the group was pretty much founded in the 80s, that's going to be the theme for the evening. Sandy & co suggested this - and a Chinese meal, so it's a sort of stuff your face / fancy dress do. I know from the forum and emails from friends, that folk are getting organised for it. I bought some items earlier in the week, but I'll be keeping my plans under wraps for the moment. Not that it's any great secret, but you know how much I like to change my mind at the last minute. :)

I've volunteered to sort some tunes out for the big night, so I've been working my way through the old CDs the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I have. Not that I have a lot of 80s stuff, it was never really my bag. I guess, being a moody teenager at the time (Ed: as opposed to a moody tranny? :P), most of the stuff I listened to was iffy metal, techo and occasionally, very camp disco.There was a lot of stuff *then* that I didn't like, but Fate has a funny way of sneaking up on you and what you once thought of as soulless cheese, is not amusing cheese of the first order. Go figure. :)

Late Friday

The deed is done and I can't say it was pleasant. What I will say, is that it was necessary. It's funny, I'm still - obviously - upset about it, but it doesn't seem as bad as prior to walking into the vets. Grief, because that's what it is, is a weird thing. It's like the low winter sun. You see it flicker through trees or disappear behind houses. It's still there, but you can't see it. The feeling goes and then BANG, you get the full on glare of it as you round the proverbial corner.

Rather than think of him as he was, I find myself looking back at the happier times. Times on holiday (pre kids) where Mrs J and I would walk and walk and walk, yet he'd keep up with boundless energy. He loved chasing a ball and, for him at least, that never got old. :) There was also that time I almost had to wade into the sea to fetch a ball he'd dropped and the tide had taken it. He wasn't going to let that go easily and I think if I'd not grabbed him, he'd have ended up in Holland. Think of the good times eh?

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Beautiful by Christina Aguilera ]