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 That started on Tuesday so I guess it's too early to tell, but Mrs J has said I seem calmer and less withdrawn.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 ]